Coffee Hour is UROC and GTU | MacEachren wins PSU teaching award | Recognition Reception on April 26


Yanan Xin

Yanan Xin presents her poster on college football fan travel patterns in the Geographies of Media and Communication Specialty Group Poster Session. Hers was one of many Penn State Geography student posters at the 2019 AAG annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last week.


Alan MacEachren was named a 2019 recipient of the Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

Sara Cavallo won the 2019 Nancy Brown Geography Community Service Award.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) showcase and Gamma Theta Upsilon induction ceremony

The final Coffee Hour for the spring 2019 semester will be April 12. The speakers will be the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connection (UROC) students presenting on their projects. An induction ceremony for the Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) geography honor society will also take place.

  • Friday, April 12
  • 3:15 p.m. in 319 Walker Building, Coffee and refreshments
  • 3:45 Gamma Theta Upsilon induction ceremony
  • 4:00 in 112 Walker Building, Lecture
  • Coffee Hour To Go Webcast


Save the date for the Recognition Reception

The annual Department of Geography Recognition Reception will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019, third floor of the Walker Building. Come for refreshments and socializing, the graduate student poster session, and a program where awards and accomplishments are recognized and celebrated.

MacEachren, Prins named recipients of 2019 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

Alan MacEachren, professor of geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Esther Prins, professor of education in the College of Education, have received Penn State’s 2019 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

The award, established in 1992 by The Graduate School, is presented to faculty members in recognition of outstanding teaching performance and advising of graduate students.

Decision makers need contextual interactive guidance

As decision makers balance economic, environmental and social aspects of living, planners and others need decision-making tools that support the process, but do not dictate the outcomes, so that trade-off choices can reflect a wide array of needs, according to a team of researchers who looked at an interactive program using trade-off diagrams.


GeoAnnotator: A Collaborative Semi-Automatic Platform for Constructing Geo-Annotated Text Corpora

Morteza Karimzadeh and Alan M. MacEachren
International Journal of Geo-Information
Ground-truth datasets are essential for the training and evaluation of any automated algorithm. As such, gold-standard annotated corpora underlie most advances in natural language processing (NLP). However, only a few relatively small (geo-)annotated datasets are available for geoparsing, i.e., the automatic recognition and geolocation of place references in unstructured text. The creation of geoparsing corpora that include both the recognition of place names in text and matching of those names to toponyms in a geographic gazetteer (a process we call geo-annotation), is a laborious, time-consuming and expensive task. The field lacks efficient geo-annotation tools to support corpus building and lacks design guidelines for the development of such tools. Here, we present the iterative design of GeoAnnotator, a web-based, semi-automatic and collaborative visual analytics platform for geo-annotation. GeoAnnotator facilitates collaborative, multi annotator creation of large corpora of geo-annotated text by generating computationally generated pre-annotations that can be improved by human-annotator users. The resulting corpora can be used in improving and benchmarking geoparsing algorithms as well as various other spatial language-related methods. Further, the iterative design process and the resulting design decisions can be used in annotation platforms tailored for other application domains of NLP.

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