2019, Volume 16, Issue 3

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Xulio Sousa
Instituto da Lingua Galega
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Geonomastics on the Web: Visualizing Surname Distributions in a Regional Space

Voprosy onomastiki, 2019, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp. 212–223 (in English)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2019.16.3.041

Received 30 January 2019

Abstract: The geographical distribution of surnames has been used for decades in a variety of scientific fields as a source of information for research into the history, migrations, genetics, etc. of various human populations. Nevertheless, the geographical dimension of names has hardly been explored until now in the study of anthroponyms. Situated at the intersection of human geography and linguistics, geonomastics, considered as one of the onomastic meta-disciplines, received an important impetus since the introduction of GIS technologies into humanities in the last quarter of the 20th century. This paper presents Cartografía de Apelidos de Galicia (CAG), a free-to-use web application developed at the University of Santiago de Compostela’s Instituto da Lingua Galega that shows the geographical distribution of Galician surnames based on the current Galician population census. The author describes the data sources covered by the app, the structure of the map, its visualizing features and search capacities. The author argues that CAG may be a useful tool for both professional and lay researchers, especially genealogists. Since most of Galician surnames derive from place names, the visualization of their geographical distribution of surnames may be insightful for identifying their origin. Complemented with historical onomastic data, this application may become in the future a valuable source of information about the migration of the population of Galicia.

Keywords: Galicia, anthroponymy, genealogy, geonomastics, surname distribution, geographic information system, digital humanities.

Cartografía dos Apelidos de Galicia is a research project of the Instituto da Lingua Galega, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, supported by Real Academia Galega (for the 2006 version) and the Secretaría Xeral de Universidades da Xunta de Galicia (current version; TecAnDali research network, ED341D R2016/011). The author wishes to thank César Osorio, Ana Isabel Suárez Moreno, and Dr. José Ramón Ríos Viqueira, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, for client and server-side development insight and support. He is also grateful for the assistance received from the Real Academia Galega and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística.


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