Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vikings Live on Google Maps

The British Museum has devised an ingenious Google Map's based campaign to promote the cinematic release of Vikings Live. Today, in 380 UK cinemas and in 50 cinemas around the world, the British Museum are screening a live guided tour of the museum's Vikings exhibition.

Rather than create a simple cinema finder map for the event the British Museum has released a Google Map which also shows the location of all UK towns with Norse place-names. The Norse Placenames Map not only shows the lasting legacy of the Norse invasion on large sections of the UK it also allows you to click on individual town names to learn more about the etymology of the place-name.

For example, the etymology of the town of 'Scunthorpe' is explained as 'Skuma's outlying farm/settlement'. When you search for a town on the map not only can you find out about the etymology of its placename (if it has Norse origins) you are also told the nearest cinema to the town, where you can watch Vikings Live.

Vikings Live is screening in cinemas around the UK today only. The exhibition itself is now on at the British Museum.

If you are interested in the meaning behind place-names you might also like this map of US States. Back in 2010 I used the the Google Maps label library to create this simple US States Etymology map.

The map shows the meaning of each U.S. state name based on the 'U.S. State Name Etymologies' entry on Wikipedia.

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