Research Assistant in Geospatial Semantics, Nottingham, UK


Research Assistant in Geospatial Semantics


The Centre for Geospatial Science is a multi-disciplinary research centre specialising in spatial data infrastructures (SDI), location-based services, geospatial interoperability and geoinformatics. It includes researchers from the fields of Geography, Computer Science, Mathematics and Human Factors.

We are seeking a Research Assistant to work on the EuroGEOSS project.  This EU FP7 funded project is developing methods for making existing earth observation systems interoperable, focussing on the three strategic areas of drought, forestry and biodiversity.  More information is available at and

The Research Assistant will be part of a team undertaking research in the area of natural language discovery.  The goal of this work is to investigate methods to express geographic objectives or questions in natural language and from these expressions to discover and execute relevant resources (in the form of web services), thus removing from users the burden of understanding the meaning and structure of underlying resources.  The work will build on previous research in the Centre for Geospatial Science into the use of Natural Semantic Metalanguage for the expression of geographic semantics.

Specifically, this post will investigate methods to harvest semantic information about spatial relations in the form of Natural Semantic Metalanguage (either by conversion or by direct harvesting) from web-based sources.  This semantic information will then be channelled into existing discovery tools that the team has developed.  This part of the role involves early development of research ideas, and we are thus seeking applicants who are enthusiastic, motivated, able to solve problems and take their own initiative.  Knowledge or experience in geospatial semantics would be an advantage.  It is also anticipated that the applicant will work on further development of existing software tools, so programming skills are highly desirable (particularly Java, XML and web services).

The post requires a good undergraduate degree, or equivalent, in a relevant field (the geographical or spatial sciences, linguistics, logic or computer science).  Knowledge or experience in more than one relevant field would be regarded especially favourably, as would postgraduate qualifications.

Information about the Centre for Geospatial Science may be found at

Enquiries regarding the research and other non-administrative aspects of the post should be addressed to Dr Kristin Stock ( 

Provisional interview date: Friday 14th October 2011.