Monday, August 29, 2011

Putting Culture on the Map


In the UK tourist signs have a brown background and are often referred to as 'brown signs'. Their purpose is to direct people to tourist attractions, such as castles, museums or historical buildings.

Brown signs are the responsibility of local authorities and therefore there is no central record of all the country's brown signs. Follow the Brown Signs is a website dedicated to tracking down (and mapping) all the humble brown signs in the UK.

It is possible to search for brown signs by address or postcode and view a Google Map of all the signs around that location. There are 93 different types of brown signs, signifying such diverse categories as good brass rubbing locations and 'heavy horse' centres.

Follow the Brown Signs lets you search for brown sign locations by category. As well as providing a little history about each category you can also view each of the 93 different types of brown sign on its own individual map.


The UK's Blue Plaque scheme is a way of commemorating the lives of famous residents of the country. Blue circular signs are erected on houses to indicate that someone of note was born or once lived there.

The PlaqueGuide is a Google Map of the UK's blue plaque houses. The map uses blue circular map markers to show the location of houses with plaques. You can find out who the plaque is for by just mousing over a marker. If you click on a marker you can view a Street View of the plaque and read a Wikipedia article about the individual commemorated by the plaque.

The PlaqueGuide is crowdsourced, so anyone can add information about the location of a blue plaque.

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