Workshop at the University of Zurich and special issue in the Journal of Location Based Services on “Semantic information in geosocial data for the mobile age”

Workshop at the University of Zurich and special issue in the Journal of Location Based Services on

“Semantic information in geosocial data for the mobile age”

Workshop URL:
Call for papers PDF:


With technology advancing, ever more users create and use geographic information while mobile. This user-generated geographic content (Craglia et al., 2012) has been the subject of many studies (Capineri et al., 2016; Sui et al., 2012) in recent years, and has also been characterized as Volunteered (Goodchild, 2007), Ambient (Stefanidis et al., 2013), or Contributed (Harvey, 2013) Geographic Information. Geosocial media in particular have been the focus of case studies involving management of disaster responses, and urban studies around the concept of smart cities. However, despite these efforts, our understanding of context and semantics is still not sufficient to provide reliably relevant information of high quality. Moreover, current location-based service providers often do not share information on how their recommendations and services are derived, leaving produces and consumers of such information in the dark, and with little control over their contributions. Location continues to be of crucial importance for delivering services and improving their quality, for example with Google Music now taking location into account when making playlist suggestions.

Aims and scope

This workshop and special issue aims to address the problem outlined above. Our key aim is thus to bring together a set of researchers, and generate a set of publications that contribute to open, transparent use of semantics embedded in geosocial and other data for helping mobile users in their decision-making. Using real-world large datasets, contributions should demonstrate methods and approaches that enable or implement the use of embedded semantics in concrete location-based services. At the same time, the analytical approach needs to be anchored in our existing body of knowledge on theories and methods. The workshop and special issue are primarily focused on geographic information from publicly accessible datasets, contributed by a wide user base in order to mitigate problems of privacy, reproducibility, and user bias. All approaches, be they computational, visual, and/or collaborative, are welcome. However, we discourage contributions which narrowly focus on a particular method without discussing the problem addressed and the significance and impact of the results achieved. Contributions from multidisciplinary teams are especially encouraged. We expect contributions to address research questions from the domains of urban studies, human and environmental geography, planning, economics, and transportation sciences, but are open to submission from other fields.

Workshop and special issue format

The workshop is a continuation of the research begun in the European COST-Action ENERGIC (, but neither officially part of it nor funded by it. It is open to all interested researchers. It will serve as a forum for the submission of short (1500 words) discussion papers and an intensive interaction and exchange of views between specialists from a variety of domains. It may also serve as an opportunity to specialists from different domains to come together to prepare papers for the special issue. Submissions to the special issue may be made by either workshop attendees or others interested in the theme. Participation in the workshop does not guarantee acceptance in the special issue, and authors of papers submitted to the special issue should be aware of the following:
1. Papers must be original, never published in similar or abridged form in English, or any other language, including proceedings.
2. All papers will be reviewed by 3 reviewers covering a range of domains, selected by the guest editor, with the approval of the Editor-in-Chief.
3. The journal’s Editor-in-Chief will retain the final decision to accept or reject manuscripts.
4. There is no guarantee a submitted manuscript will be accepted for publication.
5. The special issue will include 5-7 papers, with contributions no more than 8000 words long, including references, but excluding supplementary materials.
7. Papers will only undergo a maximum of two rounds of reviewing – papers still requiring major revisions after a second round of reviews will not be accepted in the special issue.

Important dates (Indicative)

Deadline for workshop submissions: 16 June 2017
Decisions to authors: 14 July 2017
Workshop at University of Zurich: 21-22 September 2017
Full paper submission for special issue: 01 December 2017
Initial decision on full papers: 19 January 2018
Final papers due for special issue: 16 February 2018
Final decisions on full papers: 02 March 2018
Workshop Organisers and Guest Editors of JLBS Special Issue

Ross Purves (UZH) | Frank Ostermann (ITC) | Andrea Ballatore (BBK) | |


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