Problems attached to the place names selection and standardization in preparing the thematic map of Latgale

Room D
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00
geographical education, Latvia, map, place names, region

In order to give people a possibility to learn more about the history and culture of Latgale the map “Ar Latgolu sirdī” (“With Latgola in the heart”) was published by the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency in 2014. This is the first thematic map of Latgale on which it is possible to see the historical borders of Latgale together with the administrative-territorial division and borders of the Planning region of Latgale used since 2006. The map gives information about 100 significant persons who have promoted Latgalian language, history and culture. Places where those persons were born are marked with numbers on the map. A short piece of information about each person is given.

All texts and place names on the map are written in Latgalian. However, some place names have changed over time. For example, the town name Jākubpiļs was used in written sources before the Second World War. Today, the spelling form Jiekabpiļs is mostly used – the place name which is closer to the name in standard Latvian language Jēkabpils. In many cases place names have several variants because of dialectal differences. It is important to find the earliest attested spellings of the place names in question as well as to know the local usage of them. Various problems attached to the names selection and standardization will be further discussed.

Zane Cekula
Latvian Geospatial Information Agency; Rezekne Higher Education Institution, Institute of Regionalistics
zaneic [at]

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