State Archives of North Carolina: Get Involved with Talk Like a Local

State Archives of North Carolina: Get Involved with Talk Like a Local . “In an effort to emphasize holdings in our collection that relate to North Carolina localities, the State Archives of North Carolina is launching a series entitled Talk Like a Local. Our simple intent is to expand on this concept by providing a little background information about how the area was named, sharing an item from our collections, and recording the pronunciation of the place name – preferably spoken by someone native to that region and, where possible, including various pronunciations – all of which will be shared here with our blog audience.”

Harvard University Davis Center: Google Needs Historians. (Still.)

Harvard University Davis Center: Google Needs Historians. (Still.). “Gazetteers (databases that associate placenames with location information) like GeoNames and Google Maps are extraordinarily good at recognizing historical places by their contemporary names. They cope remarkably well with alphabets, alternate transliterations and the occasional misspelling…. They are able to do this not because machines are brilliant, but because they have been fed incredible amounts of data by (occasionally brilliant) human beings. What they can’t do, on the fly, yet, is conduct historical research.” A deep and interesting dive.

Google Blog: Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps

Google Blog: Speak easy while traveling with Google Maps. “This month, we’re adding a new translator feature that enables your phone to speak out a place’s name and address in the local lingo. Simply tap the new speaker button next to the place name or address, and Google Maps will say it out loud, making your next trip that much simpler. And when you want to have a deeper conversation, Google Maps will quickly link you to the Google Translate app.”

Government News Australia: Dictionary builds place nicknames data base

Government News Australia: Dictionary builds place nicknames data base. “Brisvegas, Shagger’s Ridge, Osty, Mullum, Freo, The Gong. If it’s a place and it’s in Australia, you can bet it’s got a nickname. The Australian National Dictionary Centre has launched an appeal for place nicknames as it builds the nation’s first database of the unique monikers Aussies have bestowed on the places they live in, drive past, or visit for holidays.”

‘Took away our identity’: Google Maps puzzles residents with new neighbourhood names (Reuters)

Reuters: ‘Took away our identity’: Google Maps puzzles residents with new neighbourhood names. “Home to a Peach Street, an Orange Street and a Lemon Street, the Fruit Belt district of Buffalo, New York, has been known by that name since German settlers planted orchards there in the 1800s. So, local resident Veronica Hemphill-Nichols was surprised when she opened Google Maps on her first, freshly bought smartphone about 10 years ago and saw the area rebranded as Medical Park.”

You say Cairo, I say Cairo: New online resource provides audio pronunciation of Illinois places and landmarks (Illinois Aces)

Illinois Aces: You say Cairo, I say Cairo: New online resource provides audio pronunciation of Illinois places and landmarks. “A University of Illinois agricultural communications researcher and her students have created an online resource that offers proper audio pronunciation examples of places and landmarks across the state of Illinois. The tool was designed not only for broadcasters or news anchors, but for anyone publicly speaking about places in Illinois. And, of course, those curious about Illinois will also enjoy using the tool.”

What’s New: FamilySearch Places (FamilySearch)

FamilySearch: What’s New: FamilySearch Places. “Anyone who has tried to uncover his or her family history knows that place is an integral part of every family’s story. The places our ancestors lived shaped their lives and experiences. They also determined what records were created about them. It makes sense, then, that to find our ancestors and understand their lives, we need to learn about the places they came from. FamilySearch has a new tool called FamilySearch Places, which makes learning about places easier. Although the development of this tool is ongoing, some great features are already available, so you can start using it now.”

Notre Dame: English professor wins NEH grant to bolster major digital humanities research database

University of Notre Dame: English professor wins NEH grant to bolster major digital humanities research database. “Associate Professor of English Matthew Wilkens is fascinated by the use of geography in literature over time. How, for example, did the Civil War affect the importance of certain places in American literature, and what can literature tells us about Americans’ sense of place? The answer can be found in books written during that period — potentially thousands of them, many more than Wilkens could ever read and analyze himself. To consider the widest possible range of literary production, Wilkens turned to computation. He was recently awarded a $325,000 Digital Humanities Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bolster Textual Geographies, a database and suite of tools he is developing that allow users to find, map, and analyze more than 14 billion place name mentions from books and journals in English, […]

Stuff New Zealand: Google Maps wants public’s help to master Māori place names

Stuff New Zealand: Google Maps wants public’s help to master Māori place names. “Google Maps promises it will start pronouncing Māori place names correctly by the end of the year. And the tech giant wants the public’s help to determine which names are being mispronounced by the app’s automated voice. An online platform, developed by Google and Vodafone, invites the public to drop pins on an interactive map of New Zealand to point out the cities, towns and streets that need linguistic attention.”