Monday, March 13, 2006

Surname Profiler

The SurnameProfiler from UCL 'Spatial Literacy in Teaching' Website allows family name enthusiasts to make searches on the geography of the most frequent 25,000 surnames in Britain (between 1881 and 1998). Maps show their historic and current distributions in Great Britain (as seen the the left and below). The website also gives other information on family names. For example, the surname Crooks there were 230 occurrences in 1881 and 3535 (1226 increase) in 1998. In 1881, Crooks were over represented in the Midlands but by 1998 had moved north. In 1881, Crooks was ranked the 1936 popular surname while in 1998 it had risen to 1725. The surname Crooks ideriveded (origninated) from Celtic; Irish; Other Northern Irish

The website was designed to investigate the distribution of surnames in Great Britain, both current and historic, in order to understand patterns of regional economic development, population movement and cultural identity. This website allows users to search the databases that they have created, and to trace the geography and history of their family names.

The spatial literacy website also had a very good conference the other day called ‘Spatial Literacy in Teaching: Communicating GIScience’. 8 speakers presented a range of recent developments in spatial analysis, software and pedagogy. Including Professors Batty and Longley (from UCL), Janelle, (University of California, Santa Barbara), David Maguire (ESRI Inc., Redlands, CA). All their presentations can be downloaded from the spatial literacy website.

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