Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Places - a new web map

Thanks to Keir Clarke for the tipoff to another excellent map. This time the focus is on PLACE NAMES. These provide a good connection to the landscape, and sometimes are a reminder of features which have since disappeared, or which were there when the settlement was first established.

e.g. ley means a clearing in the forest, and the map below shows the concentration of places with that ending....


I was born in a village in Yorkshire whose name ended in 'ley'


The Places map uses Open StreetMap

Explore the patterns of particular place-name endings. The map here is for places ending in the word 'ley'.


The Places map allows you to map the relative density of place-names in different countries around the world.
Using the application you can enter place-name prefixes or suffixes and view a map showing the geographic distribution of place-names containing those terms.

For example, in the UK we can enter the place-name suffixes of -thorpe and -thwaite to see where the Vikings settled in Britain.

If we take two more common town endings, such as -ford or -bridge we find that the geographic distribution of places with these endings is far more evenly spread across the UK than the ones which are based on linguistic connections with previous settlers. This second map shows the ending 'by', which is linked to the Norse arrivals in East Yorkshire and similar locations around York...

 
Back in the day, I used to do several lessons on placenames... perhaps with the new focus on the nature of places, and changing places they could come back again....

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