Journal of Location Based Services Contribute to our special issue on Semantic information in geosocial data for the mobile age

Journal of Location Based Services

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 producers 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. The special issue is a continuation of the work carried out at a workshop ( This research begun in the European COST-Action ENERGIC (, but is not officially part of it.

Aims and scope

This special issue aims to 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 to our existing body of knowledge on theories and methods. The special issue is 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. 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. 

Submission instructions

Important dates

  • Full paper submission for special issue: 15 January 2018
  • Initial decision on papers:  30 March 2018
  • Revised papers due:  30 April 2018
  • Final decision on papers: 10 May 2018

Special issue format

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. The special issue will include 5-7 papers, with contributions no more than 8000 words long, including references, but excluding supplementary materials.
  5. 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.
  6. In Step 1 of the submission form, indicate that your manuscript is a “Special Issue” article. In Step 5 of the submission form, answer “Yes” to the question “Is the manuscript a candidate for a special issue?” and then select ”Semantic information in geosocial data for the mobile age” from the subsequent drop down menu.

Contact information

Ross Purves (UZH)

Frank Ostermann (ITC)

Andrea Ballatore (BBK)


Capineri, C., Haklay, M., Huang, H., Antoniou, V., Kettunen, J., Ostermann, F., Purves, R. (Eds.), 2016. European Handbook of Crowdsourced Geographic Information. Ubiquity Press.

Craglia, M., Ostermann, F.O., Spinsanti, L., 2012. Digital Earth from vision to practice: making sense of citizen-generated content. Int. J. Digit. Earth 5, 398–416. doi:10.1080/17538947.2012.712273

Goodchild, M.F., 2007. Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal 69, 211–221.

Harvey, F., 2013. To Volunteer or to Contribute Locational Information? Towards Truth in Labeling for Crowdsourced Geographic Information, in: Sui, D., Elwood, S., Goodchild, M. (Eds.), Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Theory and Practice. Springer, Berlin, pp. 31–42.

Stefanidis, A., Crooks, A., Radzikowski, J., 2013. Harvesting ambient geospatial information from social media feeds. GeoJournal 78, 319–338. doi:10.1007/s10708-011-9438-2

Sui, D., Elwood, S., Goodchild, M.F. (Eds.), 2012. Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge: Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Theory and Practice. Springer, Berlin.

Editorial information