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   The Challenges of Spell Checking Maps


  In conventional spell-checkers, words are validated against one or several lists of correctly spelled words called dictionaries. If a word is in a dictionary, it is deemed correctly spelled. Otherwise, it is not. If the latter case, conventional spell-checkers typically offer users a number of closely matching but correctly spelled words.

The spell-checking of maps is similar, yet more challenging for several reasons:

  • Text in maps resides in many different types of objects. Some of those objects are dynamically updated based on varying conditions.
  • Text is laid down irregularly in maps and is represented in different fonts and at different angles, making it hard to proof manually.
  • GIS Maps, through their underlying databases, can contain enormous amounts of text. 
  • Many words on maps and in feature classes are geographic nouns. Conventional dictionaries, such as those used in word processors, may contain the spelling of some major geographic features such as countries and state capitals but are unlikely to contain local geographic names, and for a good reason. Many of those spellings are only valid at certain geographic locations. 
  • Maps can contain abbreviations or codes such as zoning codes on a parcel layer. Those abbreviations or codes are typically not in alphabetical dictionaries and placing them in custom dictionaries may reduce the spell-checking accuracy of other maps for which those codes or abbreviations are not correct.
  • Some words are unlikely to be found in maps. Even though they exist and are correctly spelled, they are likely misspellings for other words. For example, sight for site, pubic for public, bed for bad, or stuff for staff.

MapSpeller solves those challenges by spell checking both conventionally and spatially, and by offering key innovations.

 
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MapSpeller™ for ArcGIS®
Page last updated on August 31, 2016
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