SOLVE magazine Issue 03 2021 | Page 31

DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP are and where we are from . Such a map also would not just display routes from A to B , but would plot a course from the past to the present and even to the future – and this is what has been achieved by the fascinating gazetteer project GB1900 .
GB1900 was the brainchild of historical geographer Professor Humphrey Southall , following his earlier association with a Welsh project , Cymru1900 , undertaken by the National Library of Wales , the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales , and People ’ s Collection Wales . The Government of Wales had commissioned this group to survey Welsh language placenames . To do this a lot faster than the English placenames survey that had started in 1922 and still wasn ’ t finished , Professor Southall ,
from the University of Portsmouth ’ s School of the Environment , Geography and Geosciences , proposed crowdsourcing the vast data collection required .
This approach became the model for GB1900 and the crowdsourcing was managed by Professor Southall ’ s University of Portsmouth colleague Paula Aucott .
The GB1900 project was based on all the 1:10,560 ( six inch : one mile ) maps of Great Britain from around 1900 . It sought to preserve and enhance this geographic history by creating a comprehensive record of placenames and , as far as possible , the history of those names . Over the 22 months of its construction it became the most detailed historical gazetteer ( geographical index ) ever compiled for Britain , and possibly anywhere in the world .
Working with the National Library of Scotland ,
ISSUE 03 / 2021