Changing geographical names as a challenge for research and gazetteer management. Expectations and perspectives for future development, Marburg, 09.09.2019 – 11.09.2019

In the course of history, geographical names (places, settlements, regions, etc.), as well as administrative entities (districts, countries), have changed many times. In several regions of the world, geographical names are the subject of heated debate, since some names express political or territorial claims.

While printed gazetteers have gone out of fashion, in recent years, various disciplines have been contributing data in an increasing amount related to place names through the creation of multiple digital gazetteers. The increased number of gazetteers reflects the high demand for this structured data in various disciplines, such as history, geography, archaeology, climate change research etc.

However, existing gazetteers demonstrate great variation in content and metadata structure. These variations prove a severe hindrance to research that aims to compare data from different databases.

In 2019, researchers of the Herder Institute (Marburg), the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (Leipzig) and the Justus Liebig University (Giessen) have started work on a project exploring the content and metadata structure of existing gazetteers. The project is financed by the Leibniz Association. The project team will bring together historians, geographers and computer scientists. With a focus, as the project signals „The Challenge of Developing Geodata-Based Gazetteer Research Technologies and Methods“ we would like to take the opportunity of this workshop to address central questions for the future developments of gazetteers through an international network of scientists that this project helps create. For the first project workshop we identify four areas to structure these contributions:

– How can we analyse both analogue and digital gazetteers?
– How can we address both technical and conceptual issue and contribute to standardisation?
– What are the goals for a novel and innovative Gazetteer-Tool?
– Which structural and content analysis functionality should a Gazetteer-Tool support for the near future?

The workshop is open for guests. If you want to participate, please send an email to dariusz.gierczak@herder-institut.de and register until August 30, 2019. In addition, we can assist guests to find appropriate hotel accommodation in Marburg.

The working language of the workshop is English.


September 9, 2019

13:30-14:00 Welcome (Coffee and refreshments)

14:00-14:15 Christian Lotz (Herder Institute) / Francis Harvey (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography): Introduction

14:15-14:25 Eric Losang (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography): General aspects of toponomy in cartography

14:25-14:45 Discussion

14:45-14:55 Bent Ahrens (Herder Institute): Linking entities between gazetteers

14:55-15:05 Grigori Chlesberg (Herder Institute): Explorations of toponyms in East Central Europe

15:05-15:25 Discussion

15:25-15:40 Break

15:40-15:50 Daniel Nyangweso (Eötvös Loránd University [ELTE] Budapest): Open source data and technologies in gazetteer service development

15:50-16:00 Ahmed Shams (University of Oxford): On-and-off the Maps: Geographical Names in Sinai Peninsula and the Middle East

16:00-16:10 Malak Alsli (Eötvös Loránd University [ELTE] Budapest): Transliteration in attempt to avoid the intricacy of the Maghreb’s toponymy

16:10-16:30 Discussion

16:30-16:50 Break

16:50-17:00 N.N. (State Archive of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart): Approaches to persistent identification of geographical entities in the project GND4C

17:00-17:10 N.N. (Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, Frankfurt/Main): An Open Regional Gazetteer for Europe – challenges and opportunities

17:10-17:30 Discussion

19:00 Dinner

September 10, 2019

9:15-9:45 Welcome (Coffee and refreshments)

9:45-9:55 Vít Voženílek (Palacky University, Olomouc), Zdeněk Stachoň (Masaryk University, Brno): Czech geonames and related gazetteers issues

9:55-10:05 Zsolt Bereczky (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca): Street name changes and historical monuments in the Transylvanian town of Târgu Mureș

10:05-10:25 Discussion

10:25-10:35 Break

10:35-10:45 Tomasz Panecki (University of Warsaw): Localities in cartography

10:45-10:55 Wiesława Duży (Polish Academy of Sciences): Localities in written source

10:55-11:05 Bogumił Szady (Polish Academy of Sciences): ontoHGIS

11:05-11:30 Discussion

11:30-12:00 Introduction of Work Groups around four project themes

12:00-13:00 Break (lunch)

13:00-16:30 Group work (Coffee etc. available around 14:30)

16:30-17:30 Presentations from the work groups and discussion

19:00 Dinner

September 11, 2019

09:15-09:45 Welcome (Coffee and refreshments)

9:45-10:00 Overview of work group activities

10:00-11:15 Group work (Coffee etc. available around 10:30)

11:15-12:00 Presentations from the work groups and discussion

12:00-12:15 Next steps

12:15 Conclusion of the workshop


Dariusz Gierczak

Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung
Gisonenweg 5-7, D-35037 Marburg
+49 6421 184-195