UNGEGN-ICA webcourse on Toponymy - HOMEPAGE

Welcome to the Online Toponymy Course!

This webcourse was realized from 2004-2012 thanks to the contributions of many people engaged in toponymy, to the organizational support of the International Cartographic Association as well as to the financial support of the United Nations Statistics Division. Ferjan Ormeling bears overall responsibility for the contents, while web compilation and adaptation were done mainly by Nicoline McCarthy.

Course objectives:

  • To provide the basic knowledge necessary to deal with geographical names at BSc level

Course structure:

  • National framework: the course sequence follows the names 'production' process: collection, processing, standardizing, visualization and communication

  • International framework: different languages, scripts, conversion systems and attitudes are dealt with

  • Institutional aspects: the experience of both the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) as well as national names bureaux has been applied here

  • Changes in focus are reflected: from the original focus on national gazetteers towards the current focus on names data bases and cultural aspects of one's toponymical heritage

  • The course consists of 20 modules, each of which are subdivided in a number of chapters. Each module has separate exercise and documentation pages

Whom is this course intended for?

  • Topographers that collect geographical names

  • Staff of geographical names branches

  • Cartographers that have to select names for their maps

  • Map and atlas editors


  • This toponymy course is part of a webcourse in cartography developed by the Commission on Education and Training (CET) of the International Cartographic Association

  • It was originally hosted on the CET website by Dr Laszlo Zentai at ELTE University, Budapest

  • Material has been provided by Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie (BKG), ITC (Twente Technical University), Noordhoff Atlas Productions, Utrecht University (UU), and Natural Resources Canada (NRC)

  • The first modules were produced by Antal Guszlev (ELTE) and Krisztina Iras (ELTE), within a structure devised by Barend Köbben (ITC). There has been input from Bernd Beinstein (BKG), Botolv Helleland (Norway), Andreas Illert (BKG), Helen Kerfoot (NRC), Richard Knippers (ITC), Barend Köbben (ITC), Nicoline McCarthy (UU), Ferjan Ormeling (UU), Peeter Päll (Estonia) and Tjeerd Tichelaar (Noordhoff).

  • The financial support by the United Nations Statistics Division (Department of 
    Economic and Social Affairs) on behalf of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names has enabled the producers to complete this toponymy course.


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Copyright United Nations Statistics Division and International Cartographic Association, July 2012