Monday, July 24, 2006

Map of US Placenames

Regional distribution of placenames ending in Branch, Run, or Brook

Pfly is a geographer who was inspired by a 1945 book on toponymy (placenaming) to map the regional differences in place names across the United States. To make these maps, Pfly downloaded data from the United States Geological Society and then mapped the data using GIS. His description of some of the regional differences in placenaming and his speculation about how they developed is fascinating.

Some of the other things he mapped were streams with names that end either in Brook or Creek; placenames ending in Lake or Pond; many names for “small valley” such as hollow, cove, gulch, hole, or dale; and placenames with Salmon, Possum, Alligator, and Moose.

No comments: