Annotation of Toponyms in TEI Digital Literary Editions and Linking to the Web of Data

  • Francesca Frontini Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale "A.Zampolli" - ILC Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - CNR
  • Carmen Brando EHESS, CRH UMR 8558 (EHESS-CNRS)
  • Marine Riguet Labex OBVIL – Université Paris-Sorbonne
  • Clémence Jacquot Université d’Artois, EA Grammatica
  • Vincent Jolivet Labex OBVIL – Université Paris-Sorbonne


This paper aims to discuss the challenges and benefits of the annotation of place names in literary texts and literary criticism. We shall first highlight the problems of encoding spatial information in digital editions using the TEI format by means of  two manual annotation experiments and the discussion of various cases. This will lead to the question of  how to use existing semantic web resources to complement and enrich toponym mark-up, in particular to provide mentions with precise geo-referencing. Finally the automatic annotation of a large corpus will show the potential of visualizing places from texts, by illustrating an analysis of the evolution of literary life from the spatial and geographical point of view.


  • Abstract viewed = 139 times
  • HTML viewed = 40 times
  • PDF viewed = 30 times


Download data is not yet available.


BERETTA, Francesco, and Pierre Vernus (2012). “Le projet SyMoGIH et la modélisation de l’information: Une opération scientifique au service de L’histoire.” Les Carnets Du LARHRA 1: 81–107.

BERETTA, Francesco, Djamel Ferhod, Séverine Gedzelman, and Pierre Vernus (2014). “The SyMoGIH Project : Publishing and Sharing Historical Data on the Semantic Web.” Digital Humanities 2014. Conference Abstracts. EPFL, Lausanne / UNIL, Lausanne. 469–470.

BORIN, Lars, Dana Dannélls, and Leif-Jöran Olsson (2014). “Geographic Visualization of Place Names in Swedish Literary Texts.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 29.3: 400–404. doi:10.1093/llc/fqu021.

BRANDO, Carmen, Francesca Frontini, and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (2015a). “Disambiguation of Named Entities in Cultural Heritage Texts Using Linked Data Sets.” New Trends in Databases and Information Systems. Communications in Computer and Information Science, Springer: 505–14.

BRANDO, Carmen, Francesca Frontini, and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (2015b). “Linked data for toponym linking in French literary texts.” Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR '15). Eds. Ross S. Purves and Christopher B. Jones. ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 3, 2 pages. doi:10.1145/2837689.2837699.

CIOTTI, Fabio, Maurizio Lana, and Francesca Tomasi (2014). “TEI, Ontologies, Linked Open Data: Geolat and Beyond.” Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative 8 (December). doi:10.4000/jtei.1365.

FRONTINI, Francesca, Carmen Brando, and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (2015). “Semantic Web based Named Entity Linking for Digital Humanities and Heritage Texts.” Proceedings of the First International Workshop Semantic Web for Scientific Heritage at the 12th ESWC 2015 Conference: 77-88.

GREGORY, Ian N., Andrew Hardie (2011). “Visual GISting: Bringing Together Corpus Linguistics and Geographical Information Systems.” Literary and Linguistic Computing 26.3: 297–314. doi:10.1093/llc/fqr022.

GREGORY, Ian N., Alistair Baron, David Cooper, Andrew Hardie, Patricia Murrieta-Flores, and Paul Rayson (2014). “Crossing Boundaries: Using GIS in Literary Studies, History and Beyond.” Collections électroniques de l’INHA. Actes de Colloques et Livres En Ligne de l’Institut National D’histoire de L’art. INHA.

GREGORY, Ian N., and Christopher Donaldson (2016). “Geographical Text Analysis: Digital Cartographies of Lake District Literature.” Literary Mapping in the Digital Age. Eds. David Cooper, Christopher Donaldson, and Patricia Murrieta-Flores. London: Routledge. 67–87.

GROSSNER, Karl, Krzysztof Janowicz, and Carsten Keßler (2016, forthcoming). “Place, Period, and Setting for Linked Data Gazetteers.” Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers. Eds. Merrick Lex Berman, Ruth Mostern, and Humphrey Southall. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

HACKEY, Ben, Will Radford, Joel Nothman, Matthew Honnibal, and James R. Curran (2013). “Evaluating Entity Linking with Wikipedia.” Artificial Intelligence 194: 130–50. doi:10.1016/j.artint.2012.04.005.

HONES, Sheila (2011). “Literary Geography: Setting and Narrative Space.” Social & Cultural Geography 12.7: 685–699.

KRIPKE, Saul (1980). Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

JANOWICZ, Krzysztof (2009). “The Role of Place for the Spatial Referencing of Heritage Data.” Proceedings of the Cultural Heritage of Historic European Cities and Public Participatory GIS Workshop: 17–18.

ISAKSEN, Leif, Rainer Simon, Elton T.E. Barker, and Pau de Soto Cañamares (2014). “Pelagios and the Emerging Graph of Ancient World Data.” Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Web Science. WebSci ’14. New York, NY: ACM. 197–201. doi:10.1145/2615569.2615693.

JOCKERS, Matthew L. (2013). Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

JOLIVEAU, Thierry (2009). “Connecting Real and Imaginary Places through Geospatial Technologies: Examples from Set-Jetting and Art-Oriented Tourism.” The Cartographic Journal 46.1: 36–45.

JONES, Christopher B., Ross S. Purves, Paul D. Clough, and Hideo Joho (2008). “Modelling Vague Places with Knowledge from the Web.” International Journal of Geographical Information Science 22.10: 1045–1065.

LEIDNER, Jochen L., and Michael D. Lieberman (2011). “Detecting Geographical References in the Form of Place Names and Associated Spatial Natural Language.” SIGSPATIAL Special 3.2: 5–11. doi:10.1145/2047296.2047298.

MENDES, Pablo N., Max Jakob, Andrés García-Silva, and Christian Bizer (2011). “DBpedia Spotlight: Shedding Light on the Web of Documents.” Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Semantic Systems, I-Semantics ’11. New York, NY, USA. ACM: 1–8. doi:10.1145/2063518.2063519.

MORETTI, Franco (2007). Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History. London, New York: Verso.

MOSALLAM, Yusra, Alaa Abi-Haidar, and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (2014). “Unsupervised Named Entity Recognition and Disambiguation: An Application to Old French Journals.” Advances in Data Mining. Applications and Theoretical Aspects. Springer: 12–23.

MURRIETA-FLORES, Patricia, and Ian Gregory (2015). “Further Frontiers in GIS: Extending Spatial Analysis to Textual Sources in Archaeology.” Open Archaeology 1.1: 166-175. doi:10.1515/opar-2015-0010.

NADEAU, David, and Sekine, Satoshi (2007). “A survey of Named Entity recognition and classification.” Lingvisticae Investigationes 30.1: 3–26. doi:10.1075/li.30.1.03nad.

PIATTI, Barbara, Anne-Kathrin Reuschel, and Lorenz Hurni (2013). “Dreams, Longings, Memories–Visualising the Dimension of Projected Spaces in Fiction.” Proceedings of the 26th International Cartographic Conference, Dresden.

PIATTI, Barbara, Hans Rudolf Bär, Anne-Kathrin Reuschel, Lorenz Hurni, and William Cartwright (2009). “Mapping Literature: Towards a Geography of Fiction.” Cartography and Art. Amsterdam: Springer. 1–16.

REUSCHEL, Anne-Kathrin, and Lorenz Hurni (2011). “Mapping Literature: Visualisation of Spatial Uncertainty in Fiction.” The Cartographic Journal 48.4: 293–308.

RIGUET, Marine (in press). “L’impact de la physiologie dans la critique littéraire de la fin du XIXe siècle: l’exemple de Claude Bernard.” Actes du colloque Littérature et Science au XIX siècle. Eds. Elsa Courant et Romain Enriquez. ENS Ulm. Épistémocritique.

RIGUET, Marine (2015). “Les éditions numériques de textes littéraires par le Labex OBVIL: la critique littéraire de 1850 à 1914.” Presented at Journée d’études HumaN’Doc, Bibliothèque nationale de France, November 2015. 26. Jan. 2016.

SIMON, Rainer, Elton Barker, and Leif Isaksen (2012). “Exploring Pelagios: A Visual Browser for Geo-Tagged Datasets.” International Workshop on Supporting Users’ Exploration of Digital Libraries. Paphos, Cyprus: 23-27.

STADLER, Claus, Jens Lehmann, Konrad Höffner, and Sören Auer (2012). “LinkedGeoData: A Core for a Web of Spatial Open Data.” Semantic Web 3.4: 333–354.

VAN HOOLAND, Seth, Max De Wilde, Ruben Verborgh, Thomas Steiner, and Rik Van de Walle (2015). “Exploring Entity Recognition and Disambiguation for Cultural Heritage Collections.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 30.2: 262-279. doi:10.1093/llc/fqt067.
How to Cite
FRONTINI, Francesca et al. Annotation of Toponyms in TEI Digital Literary Editions and Linking to the Web of Data. MATLIT: Materialities of Literature, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 2, p. 49-75, july 2016. ISSN 2182-8830. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 feb. 2018. doi:
Secção Temática | Thematic Section


digital literary studies; toponyms; semantic web; geographic databases; maps and visualizations