Spatially aware systems available nowadays already proved to be able to change citizens life in a number of ways (GPS, car navigation systems, mobile devices such as digital camera with GPS, etc.). In recent years they also became available as web services and web applications oriented towards both to a business and customer audience (Viamichelin, Mapppy, Google maps, Yellow pages, etc.). However, there is still a huge gap to fill  for  connecting the core of the web with spatially aware applications, namely the fact that the backbone of the web is still based on pages written in human language and place names, addresses, points of interested, etc. are contained in those pages as manually written text. LEILAS proposes to fill this gap by performing research on identification and georeferentiation of geographical named entities (mentions of places) as they appear in texts written by humans. In its purest form LEILAS will deliver algorithms that, given a text, will “annotate” every mention of a place, an address, a point of interest with the exact spatial coordinates. The outcome of this research will be integrated in a set of services/portals which will drive standard web users towards a navigation experience enriched with spatial localization.

In LEILAS, innovation is represented by the fine tuning  natural language processing and semantic technologies for the identification of geographical named entities in texts, together with their integration with geographical information system for increasing precision in the identification and localization phases.  LEILAS will also propose a set of innovative services that take advantage from the possibilities offered by Web 2.0 and propose new and exciting ways of perceiving information both to the business and home community:

  • The myPlaces portal, where the user indicates a set of web pages  of her choice and the portal offers the possibility to “manipulate” the geographical references contained in those pages (e.g. trip planning, tourism guide generation, automatic linking to web annuaries such as web yellow pages, hyperlinking to repositories of information such as wikipedia, etc.)
  • The NeTourist portal, a search engine mainly ranging on tourisms, specially conceived to take advantage from georeferentiation of places in documents. It will offer services such as map based result hits, geographically based proximity search, itinerary constrained hits caching, etc.
  • The NELocalize service, a B2B web services offered to web site administrators to provide geo-localization facilities to people accessing their web sites. On the long run, the service could evolve into a service offered to big content aggregators.

Project Partners



An SME in the field of machine translation, with the main goal of providing recognition technology for Spanish, as well as translation services for all the B2C portals.


The German center of excellence in Artificial Intelligence, with the main goal of providing recognition technology for German and English.



An SME in the Natural Language Processing market with the main task of providing recognition technology for French and Italian.


An SME in the business of internet based services and software development, with the main goals of supporting georeferentiation, visualization and portals set up.



An SME in the business of B2B services with special attention to financial services and localization services.