We have just added a few more places and units, and a lot more names and relationships to A Vision of Britain through Time:
- The 77 new “places” include all remaining “Ancient Districts” — Hundreds, Wapentakes, ancient Boroughs etc — except those in Wales, so they are findable from the home page. We also went through the descriptive gazetteer entries that were so far un-placed, and have created “places” for several interesting ones that were over 1,000 words long and were not linear features; for example, Salisbury Plain and the Carse of Gowrie:
- The 151 new units include the seven “Conurbations” defined by the 1951 census, such as the West Midlands, the useful part being that we include the listings of which local government districts were parts of each; and 84 wards within the four Scottish cities, again as listed in 1951. There are of course many, many more Wards we could add.
- The 2,745 new names and 1,309 new relationships are partly in connection with those new units, but mainly the result of work to systematically link the 1831 census’s parish-level table into the system: the unusually detailed occupational statistics in that table are already accessible within the web site, but many parishes lacked data because the names or other information in the census list did not match. One key aspect of that is that although we have always included the information from Youngs’ Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England about which parish was in which hundred, we were not making practical use of it ourselves so various errors by Youngs and by ourselves persisted. That has now changed, although we have still to re-load the 1831 statistics to make them more complete, and Welsh administrative geography remains a challenge.
Obviously, this has been a general tidying-up operation, and the context is that we are starting to transfer the whole web site to a new server. We will not be announcing any further changes to the content until that migration is complete, in a couple of month’s time; but there will then be a lot of additional features in the software.
Fortunately, there will be plenty of developments with the separate Old Maps Online site in that period, so there will be no shortage of news on this blog.