Study conducted by IREA researchers selected for the cover of the "ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information"

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The article “Flexible Trip-Planning Queries”, by Gloria Bordogna, Paola Carrara, Luca Frigerio and Simone Lella of CNR-IREA, has been selected by the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (IJGI) as the cover story of Volume 12 (Issue 5, May 2023), which contains 29 articles devoted mostly to themes and problems of geographic information systems.

In the context of high social mobility, in which people frequently change their place of life, for both work and tourism, and services present in an area (such as shops) change rapidly, there is a growing need for systems that allow users to be quickly and constantly aware of local resources. In such a context, the current practice of searching on the Internet for different types of geo-resources in a geographic area, to identify the most convenient routes for visiting the most relevant ones, is inadequate since it requires the iterative formulation of several queries.

To perform this task within a Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR) system, the article proposes “flexible trip planning queries”, which allow users to formulate a single query to identify the most relevant resources of the types of interest and to rank alternative routes to visit them by taking into account users’ preferences and visit priorities.

The algorithm is applied in the Smart cOmmunity-based Geographic infoRmation rEtrievAl SysTem (SO-GREAT) system, developed in IREA to empower local communities: in fact, it collects and manages open data made available by both regional and local authorities in the Lombardy region that describe local resources and services (such as schools, hospitals, etc.) and voluntary geographic services in which citizens offer services in the neighbourhood.

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