Linguistic Geographies

Just a quick post about something interesting I saw earlier today.

If you search Manuscripts Online for ‘map’, there are 1320 results to wade through, but the resources section also contains a link to the Gough Map – apparently one of the earliest maps to show Britain in a geographically-recognizable form. There is plenty of background reading about the origin and purpose of the map and also a section on the digitisation process (spoiler – they used ArcGIS).

The map itself is searchable by modern name, medieval name, or appearance, so here is an example shot of where I live. The place marker is on Skipton – symbolised with a largish castle and labelled skiptou(n) – the hamlet of Manchester (labelled manch..) is to the right, and Bradford – a single building marked bra[dford] – above. There isn’t much other detail in this area, but a number of rivers originate nearby, suggesting it is high ground. At the top left of the image is the vast metropolis of York (Eborienc), clearly one of the most important cities in the country at that time.

Gough Map

Gough Map © 2011 King’s College London

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About randomactsofcartography
I'm a software product engineer and map nerd. Although I work in GIS, I prefer paper maps to Google maps, vinyl to mp3s, box brownies to digital cameras, FM to DAB, etc., etc. Pass me my pipe and slippers.

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