Can anyone please tell the difference between Geoparsing and Georeferencing?

2 Answers 2


Definitions from from Wikipedia and my comments:

Geoparsing is the process of converting free-text descriptions of places (such as "twenty miles northeast of Jalalabad") into unambiguous geographic identifiers, such as geographic coordinates expressed as latitude-longitude. One can also geoparse location references from other forms of media, for example audio content in which a speaker mentions a place. With geographic coordinates the features can be mapped and entered into Geographic Information Systems.

You would use geoparsing most often for going through information you have obtained from various sources in order to be able to plot it on the map or use in any kind of spatial analysis. For instance, when you have collected Twitter tweets, you could geoparse them by trying to match words that are in the tweets to real-world objects. Such data can be used later on for various spatial analysis or to make certain decisions.

To georeference means to associate something with locations in physical space. The term is commonly used in the geographic information systems field to describe the process of associating a physical map or raster image of a map with spatial locations.

Most often, you would geo-reference an image by using coordinates of well-known locations. For instance, a ortophoto image taken by airplane a century ago can be scanned and then geo-referenced meaning that it can be overlayed with vector data that has already been defined in a coordinate system.

  • please tell me something more about geoparsing, as I am to work on tweets, identifying spatial info and then display it on the maps.
    – Kuku
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 13:40

Geoparsing is referred to as a process of converting free-text descriptions into geographic entities.

Georeferencing is a process of assigning a real-world coordinates to each pixel of a raster image.

There is also a term "geocoding" (which is in a way similar to geoparsing) that refers to the process of converting addresses to geographic coordinates.

Here is a post discussing the difference between geocoding and georeferencing.

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