Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


A land of literal names

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Imagine yourself an explorer coming upon a new place and being burdened with naming it. The seeming peacefulness of the wide ocean gave the Pacific its name. Little did Magellan know that the waters were rarely thus. However, my point is that there is a reason why places are named the way they are. Now, two mapmakers--Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust--pay homage to history with an atlas that swaps out familiar city names with those closer to their origin.

Cuba is a 'Place To Find Gold', the Sahara is marked as 'The Tawny One', and London is the 'Unfordable River Town.' In the United States, California is now known as the 'Land of the Successor',  New Mexico is New 'Navel of the Moon,' and New York is New 'Yew Tree Village.' It makes one wonder at the stories behind these names, doesn't it? Almost enough to get an interest in geography and etymology. I know I would. Maps are sold here.

Found via Flowing Data


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