Monday, 26 September 2016

GB1900 British maps crowdsourcing project launched

From the National Library of Scotland (

Help save GB place names from being lost for ever

A new online project – GB1900 – is calling for volunteers in Great Britain to help make sure local place-names can live on rather than be lost for ever.

GB1900 aims to create a complete list of the estimated three million place-names on early Ordnance Survey maps of Britain. It will be a free, public resource, of particular use to local historians and genealogists.

The project partners include the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, and the University of Portsmouth.

On their new GB1900 web site,, volunteers will work on digital images of all the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey County Series maps of the whole of Great Britain, at six inch to one mile scale (1888-1913). These maps show not just every town and village but every farm, hill and wood – and include names for most of them. The site’s software enables contributors to mark each name by clicking next to it, and then to type in the name itself. They can also add any personal memories they have of the place. To ensure correctness each name needs to be identically transcribed by two different volunteers.

The final list of place names will be not just the most detailed gazetteer ever created for Britain, it will be the world’s largest ever historical gazetteer. It will be released under a Creative Commons licence, making it usable by everyone without charge, and will be of great value for family and local historians.

GB1900 Project website:
Further information:

(With thanks to Chris Fleet)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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