Friday, April 28, 2023

Traveling without a Passport

In the United States there are 34 different towns and cities called Springfield, 31 cities called Franklin and 29 called Clinton. Recently The Pudding devised a geolocation search engine which is able to determine which location a person is searching for when they are looking for a town which shares its name with many other towns in the US. 

The Pudding's Most Likely Town map calculates "what place someone is most likely referring to (in the United States), depending on where they are". However many American towns and cities also share placenames with locations which are outside the United States. It probably isn't that surprising that a country settled by immigrants has numerous towns and cities named after places abroad. 

Axios has decided to celebrate these international toponym homonyms by creating 50 travel itineraries which allow Americans to travel the world without ever leaving their home state. In Visit Paris Without Leaving Home you can enter the name of your state and retrieve an interactive map which shows an optimal route around the towns and cities in your state which share a name with a foreign location. 

For example the map at the top of this post shows a route around Florida which takes in Venice, Naples and Melbourne (among other places). However you won't need a passport to visit these locations because this Venice, Naples and Melbourne are all situated in Florida.

The Axios article also includes a number of heat maps which show the "concentration of U.S. cities with names from different regions of Europe". Who would have guessed that New England is full of towns named after towns in old England?

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