Help us record place names from old maps

Today we are launching a new website,, which needs your help!

We are looking for on-line volunteers to transcribe and confirm all the place names from early twentieth century six inch to one mile scale maps of Great Britain. The final list aims to be the most detailed historical place-name gazetteer ever created, including approximately three million names for everything from towns and villages down to individual farms and physical features such as hills and woods. The final confirmed names will be made available under a creative commons licence, meaning everyone will be able to access it.

This project leads on from an earlier Welsh project,, and has been created by a collaboration involving the Great Britain Historical GIS Project at the University of Portsmouth, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University of Wales and the People’s Collection Wales.GB1900 homepage

You can read more about the project here:

You can also keep up to date with our progress on this project by following us on twitter: @gbhgis #gb1900

About Paula

Senior Research Associate on the Great Britain Historical GIS Project, the team behind the website 'A Vision of Britain through Time'
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2 Responses to Help us record place names from old maps

  1. David says:

    I just joined this project to assist – I’ve confirmed a number of locations in Pulverbatch Shropshire, however there was one particular type of map mark I was unable to confirm – indicated by a number of brown markers against things like B.M. 602.2 – I was unable to verify whatever these were supposed to be called no matter how I called them.
    Similarly – at the extreme right end of the word Wrentnall (indicating the area name) was a site called Old Shaft (this was unmarked) so I tried to name it but I was unable to do so – I was unable to label anything new. Despite the fact that just to the right of Old Shaft was another already labelled Old Shaft that I was able to confirm.
    Perhaps someone could come back to me with regard to the accurate labeling of B.M. 602.2 (maybe it shouldn’t be labeled at all – and also why I can’t enter any unnamed items.

    • Paula says:

      Hi, thanks for volunteering on GB1900.

      Please do not transcribe or confirm Benchmark heights e.g. B.M. 602.2 or other numbers recording heights like contours or areas like acres.

      We have been experiencing some technical difficulties which could be causing your problem if you have been trying to transcribe or confirm names yesterday or today. We thought the issue had been fully fixed at the end of yesterday afternoon, but it seems to have just re-occurred and our developer is on leave this week, please bear with us.
      Please note in normal circumstances if you go to view your profile page whilst you are transcribing or changed geographical location on the map you may need to click the “Transcribe” button again to add new pins, although it will continue to let you confirm them without clicking the button.

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