Monday, September 09, 2019

Holloways of the World

In my twenties I briefly lived in a squat in the North London district of Holloway. Despite having once lived in an area actually called 'Holloway' I never knew what a 'holloway' was - until today.

A Holloway is a road or track which is significantly lower than the land on either side. I only discovered this fact thanks to Dirk Kloosterboer's fascinating investigation into the spatial distribution of roads named 'Holloway' around the world.

Dirk had an idea that if you mapped all the 'Holloways' in a country then you might end up with a basic elevation map. You can read the results of Dirk's mapping in Holleweg. As part of his investigations Dirk mapped the locations of roads named Holleweg (nl), Holloway (en), Chemin Creux (fr), Hohlweg (de), Corredoira (gl), Hulvejen (da), Hulvei (no) or Hålväg (sv). His article includes an interactive map showing the locations of roads with these names around the globe.

I don't think I'm giving too much away by revealing that Dirk discovered that you can't really create a simple elevation map by mapping roads called Holloway. However he did discover that there could well be a link between elevation and the distribution of roads named Holloway. You can discover what that link is at Holleweg.

No comments: