Saturday, April 25, 2015

Why Your Street Has That Name


Back in 2013 Noah Veltman released a History of San Francisco Place Names. This map started a trend in etymology mapping. Now interactive maps are springing up all over the world whose only purpose is to explain the origin of city place & street names.

Famostrato - Personajes hist├│ricos de las calles de Madrid is a new Spanish map which explains the origins of street names in the Spanish capital which have been named after important or famous individuals.

If you click on one of the colored streets on the map of Madrid an information window opens providing a link to the Spanish Wikipedia article of the person whom the selected street was named for.


The History of San Francisco Place Names was the original place name etymological map. The History of San Francisco Place Names is a fascinating insight into the history of the names behind the California city's landmarks and streets.

Click on any of the streets or landmarks, marked in blue on the map, and you can find out who it was named after or where the name originally came from.


Democracy Street is a UK map, partly sponsored by the UK parliament, which is attempting to map the influence of democratic history on the country's place-names. Using the map you can discover which streets in your neighborhood have been named after a politician or someone else who has been important in some way to the country's democratic history.

Streets and roads named after an individual important to UK democracy are shown on the map in yellow. These streets are further highlighted on the map by a larger white circle lighting up the underlying Stamen toner map tiles. If you select a yellow marked road on the map you can learn a little more about the person whom the road was named after.


Stra├čenkrieg is a fascinating map revealing the history behind the many Berlin street names which have a military connection. The map highlights Berlin streets which have been named after battles, important military leaders or German army regiments.

All the military connected roads are highlighted on the map with colored lines. The colors indicate the historical period associated with the road's name, e.g. Prussian, the Weimar Republic, National Socialism or post-WWII. If you select a road on the map you can read a brief explanation of the military relevance of the road's name and click-through to read a more detailed account of the person or battle memorialized.
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