Semisupervised Model for Geographical Document Classification

Semissupervised model for geographical document classification (Watanabe 2018) . This package currently contains seed dictionaries in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic Japanese and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional).

Semi-supervised Bayesian model for geographical document classification. Its online version has been working since 2011. It has first been in Python, but recently implemented in R. This program automatically construct a large geographical dictionary from a corpus of news stories for accurate classification. Currently, the newsmap package contains seed dictionaries for English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Chinese documents.

The detail of the algorithm is explained in Newsmap: semi-supervised approach to geographical news classification. newsmap has also been used in recent social scientific studies:

Please contact Kohei Watanabe or issue a pull request if you want your publication included in this list.

How to install

newsmap is available on CRAN since the version 0.6. You can install the package using R Studio GUI or the command.


If you want to the latest version, please install by running this command in R. You need to have devtools installed beforehand.



In this example, using a text analysis package quanteda for preprocessing of textual data, we train a geographical classification model on a corpus of news summaries collected from Yahoo News via RSS in 2014.

Download example data

download.file('', '~/yahoo-news.RDS')

Train Newsmap classifier

## Package version: 1.4.1
## Parallel computing: 2 of 8 threads used.
## See for tutorials and examples.
## Attaching package: 'quanteda'
## The following object is masked from 'package:utils':
##     View
# Load data
data <- readRDS('~/yahoo-news.RDS')
data$text <- paste0(data$head, ". ", data$body)
data$body <- NULL
corp <- corpus(data, text_field = 'text')
# Custom stopwords
month <- c('January', 'February', 'March', 'April', 'May', 'June',
           'July', 'August', 'September', 'October', 'November', 'December')
day <- c('Sunday', 'Monday', 'Tuesday', 'Wednesday', 'Thursday', 'Friday', 'Saturday')
agency <- c('AP', 'AFP', 'Reuters')
# Select training period
sub_corp <- corpus_subset(corp, '2014-01-01' <= date & date <= '2014-12-31')
# Tokenize
toks <- tokens(sub_corp)
toks <- tokens_remove(toks, stopwords('english'), valuetype = 'fixed', padding = TRUE)
toks <- tokens_remove(toks, c(month, day, agency), valuetype = 'fixed', padding = TRUE)
# Seed dictionaries supplied by this package
# English: data_dictionary_newsmap_en
# German: data_dictionary_newsmap_de
# French: data_dictionary_newsmap_fr
# Japanese: data_dictionary_newsmap_ja
# Spanish: data_dictionary_newsmap_es
# Russian: data_dictionary_newsmap_ru
# Simplified Chinese: data_dictionary_newsmap_zh
# Traditional Chinese: data_dictionary_newsmap_zh_hant
label_toks <- tokens_lookup(toks, data_dictionary_newsmap_en, levels = 3) # level 3 is countries
label_dfm <- dfm(label_toks)
feat_dfm <- dfm(toks, tolower = FALSE)
feat_dfm <- dfm_select(feat_dfm, selection = "keep", '^[A-Z][A-Za-z1-2]+', valuetype = 'regex', case_insensitive = FALSE) # include only proper nouns to model
feat_dfm <- dfm_trim(feat_dfm, min_count = 10)
## Warning in dfm_trim.dfm(feat_dfm, min_count = 10): min_count is deprecated,
## use min_termfreq
model <- textmodel_newsmap(feat_dfm, label_dfm)
# Features with largest weights
coef(model, n = 7)[c("us", "gb", "fr", "br", "jp")]
## $us
##         US WASHINGTON   American Washington  Americans       YORK 
##  10.733869  10.031534   9.773099   9.496846   8.234697   6.951198 
##     States 
##   6.285434 
## $gb
##   British    London    LONDON   Britain Britain's        UK    Briton 
## 10.939468 10.653923 10.647544 10.396778  9.754031  9.711121  7.533754 
## $fr
##    French    France     PARIS     Paris     Valls Frenchman    CANNES 
## 11.348094 11.322555 10.448944 10.259995  8.005111  7.838057  7.742747 
## $br
##    Brazil Brazilian       SAO     PAULO       RIO   JANEIRO       Rio 
##  11.63429  10.33501  10.28738  10.28285  10.21237  10.20553  10.09799 
## $jp
##     Japan  Japanese     TOKYO     Tokyo       Abe     Abe's    Shinzo 
## 11.752176 10.938679 10.795813 10.101658  8.653831  8.065616  7.983856

Predict geographical focus of texts

pred_data <- data.frame(text = texts(sub_corp), country = predict(model))
text country
text63 ’08 French champ Ivanovic loses to Safarova in 3rd. PARIS (AP) - Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic lost in the third round Saturday, beaten 6-3, 6-3 by 23rd-seeded Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. fr
text68 Up to $1,000 a day to care for child migrants. More than 57,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, have been caught entering the country illegally since last October, and President Barack Obama has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address what he has called an “urgent humanitarian solution.” “One of the figures that sticks in everybody’s mind is we’re paying about $250 to $1,000 per child,” Senator Jeff Flake told reporters, citing figures presented at a closed-door briefing by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Federal authorities are struggling to find more cost-effective housing, medical care, counseling and legal services for the undocumented minors. The base cost per bed was $250 per day, including other services, Senator Dianne Feinstein said, without providing details. us
text69 1,000 DRC ex-rebels break out of Uganda camp: army. About 1,000 former fighters from a former Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group broke out Tuesday from a camp where they being held in Uganda just as soldiers were about to repatriate them, the Ugandan army said. “A thousand rebels from the M23 (group) have escaped” from the camp in Bihanga, about 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of the Ugandan capital Kampala, a spokesman for the Ugandan army said on the official Twitter account. ug
text73 1,000 killed in Boko Haram conflict this year. More than 1,000 people have been killed so far this year in three states in northeastern Nigeria worst hit by Boko Haram violence, according to the country’s main relief organisation. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) figures are the starkest indication yet of the increase in bloodshed in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe that have caused growing concern. NEMA said in a presentation in Abuja on Tuesday that people living in the states were “caught up in an intensifying conflict”, which has been raging since 2009. Violence has increased in northeastern Nigeria since the new year, including a high-profile attack on a boarding school in Yobe, which saw dozens of students slaughtered in their beds. ng
text78 1,000 migrants repulsed at Spanish border. MADRID (AP) - Officials say around 1,000 migrants of sub-Saharan origin have failed in an attempt to get over Spain’s three-tier barbed-wire border fence separating its North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco in a bid to enter Europe. es
text79 Some 1,000 migrants try to reach Spain from Africa. MADRID (AP) - Some 700 migrants stormed a border fence to try to enter Spain’s northwest African enclave city of Melilla from Morocco on Tuesday while the sea rescue service said it had picked up some 500 others trying to enter the country clandestinely by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in boats, officials said. es


Changes since newsmap v0.6

Bug fixes

  • Drop document variables to avoid slowdown and warnings

New data

  • Add Chinese (simplified and traditional) seed dictionaries
  • Add French seed dictionary

Changes since newsmap v0.5

Bug fixes

  • Fix error in textmodel_newsmap() when smooth is < 1.0
  • Fitted models no longer include classes that did not occure in training set

Changes since newsmap v0.4.5

New functions

  • Add coef() and coefficients() methods

Changes in dictionary

  • Add Russian language seed dictionary
  • Correct Cook Islands' country code from CC to CK, and remove it from POL

Changes since newsmap v0.4.3

Changes in dictionary

  • De facto capital cities of TZ, ZA, NG and BO are added to all dictionaries
  • CC is added to DE, JA and EN dictionaries
  • Dictionary entries are sorted in alphabetical order of country code

Reference manual

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0.7.4 by Kohei Watanabe, 7 months ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Kohei Watanabe [aut, cre, cph] , Stefan Müller [aut] , Dani Madrid-Morales [aut] , Katerina Tertytchnaya [aut] , Ke Cheng [aut] , Chung-hong Chan [aut] , Claude Grasland [aut] , Giuseppe Carteny [aut] , Elad Segev [aut] , Dai Yamao [aut]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

MIT + file LICENSE license

Imports utils, Matrix, quanteda, quanteda.textstats, stringi

Depends on methods

Suggests testthat

See at CRAN