Querying the Web With Local Intent

DIKU Talk by professor Christian S. Jensen, Aalborg University

Time: 13th March at 11.00 - 12.00

Place: Small Auditorium, Universitetsparken 1, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Scientific Host: professor Fritz Henglein, DIKU


The web is being accessed increasingly by mobile users for which a geo-location can be determined. As a result, a spatial, or geographical, web is emerging where content and users are associated with locations that are used in a wide range of location-based services. In particular, studies suggest that each week, several billions of web queries have local intent and target so-called spatial web objects, i.e., points of interest with a web presence that have locations as well as textual descriptions.

This development has given prominence to spatial web data management, and it opens to a research area full of new and exciting opportunities and challenges. A spatial web query takes a user location and user-supplied keywords as arguments and returns web objects that are spatially and textually relevant to these arguments. Due perhaps to the rich semantics of geographical space and its importance to our daily lives, many different kinds of relevant spatial web queries may be envisioned.

Based on recent and ongoing work by the speaker and his colleagues, the talk offers an account of a quest for spatial web querying functionality that is easy to use, that is relevant to users, and that can be supported efficiently. The talk will illustrate different kinds of functionality and the ideas underlying their definition, and it will describe briefly techniques that are capable of supporting the functionality.


Christian S. Jensen is a Professor of Computer Science at Aalborg University, Denmark, and he was previously with Aarhus University for three years and spent a 1-year sabbatical at Google Inc., Mountain View. His research concerns data management and data-intensive systems, and its focus is on temporal and spatio-temporal data management. Christian is an ACM and an IEEE fellow, and he is a member of Academia Europaea, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences. He has received several national and international awards for his research. He is an Editor-in-Chief of The VLDB Journal and will take over as Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Database Systems in June.