Berico Seeks a Talented GIS Software Engineer to Lead CLAVIN


Looking for a new challenge? Berico Technologies is seeking a talented and hard working Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Software Engineer to become the technical lead / product owner for CLAVIN, and to represent our company on all things geospatial! Read the job description here, and apply online.  We look forward to speaking with you!


Back in 2013, the Center for Civic Media at MIT reviewed and selected CLAVIN as part of their evaluation of existing geoparsers CLIFF-CLAVIN: Determining Geographic Focus for News Articles for use in processing news articles. They selected CLAVIN, and began extending it for use within their own open source software package, CLIFF. (Excellent name choice!). CLIFF is a Java-based web service that is extremely useful for geoparsing news stories, with its own set of unique heuristics. Version 1.4.1 of CLIFF was just released today! CLIFF’s principal committer, Rahul Bot (@rahulbot) has also made contributions to CLAVIN. You can read more at

CLAVIN Product Brocure

Berico Technologies has created a Berico Product Brochure. Check it out!

Berico Product Brochure

CLAVIN 2.0.0 Released

Version 2.0.0 of CLAVIN includes some restructuring of the API, adds some new functionality, and offers some minor performance-enhancing tweaks to the core resolution algorithm. This list details most of the major and minor changes made in CLAVIN v2.0.0:

  • Changed API for location resolver to be simpler & easier to use
  • ClavinLocationResolver is now the primary class for resolving location names
  • LocationResolver interface and LuceneLocationResolver class are now deprecated
  • New API enabling direct queries of CLAVIN’s internal gazetteer index
  • Enables quick lookup of details for known locations in gazetteer; see package clavin.gazetteer.query for details
  • New IndexDirectory structure supporting the following:
  • Hierarchical “ancestry” of GeoName records (i.e., city –> province –> country)
  • Using common/short place names from the alternate names file; see clavin/index/ for details
  • New MultipartLocationResolver for resolving location names in structured data
  • Designed to handle multipart location names, such as those often seen in spreadsheets or databases (e.g., `[Reston][Virginia][United States]`); see package clavin.resolver.multipart for details
  • Fixed subtle bug in core resolution algorithm that mistakenly treated admin1 codes from different countries as the same thing (doh!)
  • Boosted cities & countries in core resolution algorithm, since these are the things mentioned most often in text. For example, this helps Washington DC win over Washington State, and the city of Cairo win over Cairo Governorate

These changes, especially the algorithmic modifications, have yielded a modest — *yet noticeable and welcome* — improvement to resolution accuracy. For convenience, binaries are also distributed via the Maven Central Repository.

Please sign-up for our two new mailing lists on Google Groups:

clavin-users is for discussions about how to use CLAVIN. If you’ve got a question about getting CLAVIN up & running, this is the place to ask it.

clavin-developers is for discussions about active software development efforts for CLAVIN. If you’ve got a question about how to implement a new feature for CLAVIN, this is the place to ask it.

GEOINT 2013/2014

Berico attended GEOINT 2013 which was postponed until April 14 – 17, 2014. In our booth, we demonstrated CLAVIN and Travis Pinney’s recent contributions, found on Github, for incorporating foreign language detection and OpenStreetMap Gazetteer support.


LocationTech Tour

Charlie will spoke about CLAVIN at LocationTech Tour on Nov 14, 2013 in DC. LocationTech is an event on location-aware open source technology.


All Things Open 2013

Charlie Greenbacker (@greenbacker) presented CLAVIN at the open source software conference, All Things Open in Raleigh, NC., happening October 23-24, 2013.


All Things Open Source Conference

Charlie gave a talk on CLAVIN at the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC on October 23. Titled “Open Source Software for Geotagging Unstructured Big Data,” the presentation covered how CLAVIN works and how it’s used to enable advanced geospatial analytics on text data. The slides from Charlie’s talk are available here.


CLAVIN 1.0.0 Released

Berico Technologies is proud to announce the version 1.0 release of CLAVIN, its award-winning open source geoparsing software! The culmination of over 18 months of effort, version 1.0 features include:

  • Extensive code cleanup and additional documentation
  • Removed coordinate extraction classes; these capabilities will be re-added to a future release
  • Reverted from PlaceReference and ResolutionContext in favor of ResolvedLocation
  • Updated documentation info for website generated by Maven Site plugin
  • Moved everything to com.bericotech namespace for distribution via Maven Central
  • Algorithmic heuristic tests are no longer integration tests
  • Data model again mirrors gazetteer format
  • Returned to a direct dependency on Lucene document index for resolution
  • Returned to a Lucene indexing strategy where each alternateName, etc. for a location is stored as a separate entry; this is essential for the resolution algorithm to achieve high accuracy/recall
  • Removed customizable weighting strategies for resolution algorithm; tuning should only be attempted through the maxHitDepth, maxContextWindow, and fuzzy parameters
  • Return of IndexDirectoryBuilder replacing previous abstractions
  • Major improvements to packaging and distribution of releases, now via Maven Central
  • Better alignment with standard Java coding conventions

For convenience, binaries are also distributed via the Maven Central Repository.

Please sign-up for our two new mailing lists on Google Groups:

clavin-users is for discussions about how to use CLAVIN. If you’ve got a question about getting CLAVIN up & running, this is the place to ask it.

clavin-developers is for discussions about active software development efforts for CLAVIN. If you’ve got a question about how to implement a new feature for CLAVIN, this is the place to ask it.

CLAVIN Wins MIT Geotagger Bake-Off

Our friends at the MIT Center for Civic Media recently published a blog post providing an update about their research into the geography of news coverage. Of particular interest was their “Great Geoparsing Bake-off” in which they compared multiple geoparsing tools & services to see which one best fit their requirements (spoiler alert: CLAVIN wins!). Read it all here: Big Data, News and Geography: Research Update


Mil-OSS / LANT Summit

Travis gave a presentation at the Mil-OSS | LANT summit on August 8 in Charleston, SC. This talk, entitled “CLAVIN: Enabling GEOINT and Cyber Security,” demonstrated how CLAVIN can be used to add a geospatial perspective to traditional cyber analysis. Check out the slides here.


Naval Postgraduate School Experiment

Travis conducted an experiment for Naval Postgraduate School JIFX 13-4 at Camp Roberts, CA on August 5, 2013. The experiment was titled “Context Based Geospatial Extraction with CLAVIN,” and provided a system prototype demonstration in an actual environment for this Joint Interagency Field Exploration hosted by NPS.

A local newspaper, the Monterey Herald, mentioned CLAVIN in its coverage of the JIFX event.


USGIF Technical Workshop Tech Talk

Travis gave a talk on CLAVIN at the USGIF Technical Workshop in Denver on July 18. The presentation, titled “Exploiting Unstructured Data using Crowdsourced Gazetteers in the Cloud,” focused on using OpenStreetMap as a source of gazetteer data for CLAVIN.


Lightning Talk at the Big Data DC Meetup

At the July meeting of the Big Data DC Meetup group, Travis gave a lightning talk entitled “Enabling Geospatial Analysis on Unstructured Big Data.” Video of the presentation is below:

LocationTech Working Group Tech Talk

Charlie gave a streaming tech talk webcast on CLAVIN for the Eclipse Foundation’s LocationTech Working Group at 11:00am EDT on June 18, 2013. The talk was broadcast live via Google Hangout and was subsequently uploaded to YouTube for later viewing & sharing. The slides can be viewed here, and the video is embedded below:

The Washington Post Story on CLAVIN

We were thrilled that the Washington Post printed a half-page story on CLAVIN in a recent issue of the newspaper. It seems CLAVIN has gone from analyzing the content of news articles to being the content of a news article. The story is available online here: Clavin seeks to make its mark in open-source world and also in the June 3, 2013 print edition on page A14.


Data Science Toolkit

Many thanks to Pete Warden for mentioning CLAVIN on his personal blog PeteSearch. Pete said CLAVIN is “very promising” and has “some very neat tricks up its sleeve.” Thanks, Pete!

Be sure to try out Pete’s Data Science Toolkit, a collection of open data sets and open source tools for data science:


2013 FOSS4G North America Conference

We’d like to thank everyone who came out for Charlie’s talk on CLAVIN (“Automatically Geotagging Unstructured Text with Open Source Tools”) at the <a/ href=””>2013 FOSS4G North America Conference in Minneapolis on May 23, 2013! The turnout was fantastic and we really appreciated all the great questions! Slides from the talk can be viewed here.


Location Intelligence Conference

On May 21, 2013 Charlie gave a talk on CLAVIN at the Location Intelligence conference in DC during the “Open Source Technology Use Cases” session. View the slides here.


CLAVIN in the Blogs

CLAVIN was recently featured in a pair of blog posts by Google Maps Mania and Directions Magazine’s All Points Blog. Thanks for the mentions, and thanks especially to the anonymous commenter who “received perfect results” from our “great demo!”


Destination Innovation 2013

Charlie gave a short talk about CLAVIN and Berico Technologies at the Destination Innovation 2013 event hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) in DC on May 6, 2013. Watch the video:

Following Charlie’s presentation, the NVTC judges recognized CLAVIN with the Most Innovative Capability Award (mid-size business category)!




MIT Analyzes the Boston Marathon Bombings

In their latest investigation, Catherine D’Ignazio and researchers from the MIT Center for Civic Media turned their attention to media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. In this study, they looked at three weeks of news coverage from four different sources to see which media outlets paid attention to which crises in the weeks surrounding the attacks. Using CLAVIN, they were “able to yield up to 90% correct placement of news articles at the country level.” The write-up is here: How Close to Home? Crisis, Attention and Geographic Bias along with an interactive visualization.


Open Analytics DC Summit

Charlie gave a talk on CLAVIN at the recent Open Analytics DC Summit. For the event summary & presentation slides, check out the recap here.


MIT Leverages CLAVIN in a Study

Catherine D’Ignazio and researchers from the MIT Center for Civic Media are currently using CLAVIN in a study on the geography of news coverage. CLAVIN helps them extract & resolve place names mentioned in new articles to power their geospatial analytics and visualizations. Read the write-up for an initial experiment here: A Comparative Experiment in Mapping the News and don’t miss their cool interactive visualization: NEWSMAPPING.


Lighting Talk at the Geo DC Meetup

Charlie gave a “lighting talk” on CLAVIN at the February 2013 meeting of the Geo DC meetup group. Review the slides here.


Tech Talk at GEOINT 2012 in the Innovation Pavilion

CLAVIN was featured in a tech talk at the GEOINT 2012 Innovation Pavilion. Check out the video of that presentation:


GIS Cafe Interview at GEOINT 2012

Charlie Greenbacker recorded an interview with at GEOINT 2012 about Berico in general and CLAVIN in particular. Watch the video here: