Y. Shiraishi, M. Arikawa

The University of Tokyo, Center for Spatial Information Science, Kashiwa, Japan


This paper describes a spatial document management system (SDMS) that can easily and directly manage spatial documents. A spatial document is a digital document including spatial reference information such as addresses, postal codes and telephone numbers. We can find various kinds of spatial documents on the web and own personal computers: access information, restaurant information, a list of fire stations, outbreak information of influenza. A spatial document is a semi-structured and non-structured spatial data. Consequently, the existing geographic information systems (GIS) cannot directly manage such spatial documents. It is not easy to extract spatial reference information such as address from a digital document because such information is not explicitly tagged in the document. A human-centered system with an easy-to-use interface is required for ordinary users.

Our system provides simple user-friendly interfaces operating such spatial documents and manages textual information about Point of Interest (POI) in these documents. By drag and drop operations for a digital document, a user can load the spatial document in the system. The system converts textual location information into the corresponding POI by communicating a remote geo-coding server and visualize these converted POIs on a map. Also, the loaded documents and the converted POIs are related to geographic locations in this system, and each document is managed as a layer. By clicking the POI on the map, a user can browse the original document including the POI information. SDMS provides document management functions like bookmarking functions on a web browser. The loaded spatial documents will represent the interests and favorites of the user. By such spatial bookmaring functions, a user can easily manage and search digital documents based on location information.

The SDMS does not support advanced analysis functions that the existing GISs provide. However, our system is useful for many kinds of applications. For example, in the case that a user wants to immediately see only a distribution of POIs that he or she is interested in, this system works well. Such information is useful for real-time decision making and understanding the current situations and trends. By simple and intuitive operations of our SDMS, ordinary users can manage various kinds of spatial documents. By using this system, a user will easily generate a map as one of presentations representing the users activity and thinking anywhere at any time. Our human-centered spatial information system will promote ubiquitous mapping by many users.