Toponymic Guide


Collecting and elaborating of geographical names. Toponymic guide

Publication "Collecting and elaborating of geographical names. Toponymic guide" (Zbieranie i opracowywanie nazw geograficznych. Przewodnik toponimiczny) was issued as an initiative of the Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography. Its aim is to describe methods of collecting and establishing standardized forms of geographical names and ways of its presentation on the maps.

Part 1. Collecting names in the field (Część 1. Zbieranie nazw w terenie), published in 2002.

64-page first part of toponymic guide concerns methods of collecting in the field own names of features, permanently related to Earth surface. Terms and basic notions concerning collection and preparation of names were presented in this part. Preparatory works were described here: their scope, usage of existing sets of names and communication with name users. Field works were discussed: their range, field inquiry and name recording. Also way of determining type of feature, its location and preparation of list of names was presented. Sample letters to offices of commune, city and forest district, copies of names, list of abbreviations of information sources, exemplary list of names and definitions of the selected topographic features were included in the appendices.

Part 2. Language elaboration of names (Część 2.Opracowanie językowe nazw), published in 2003.

Second part of toponymic guide, having 110 pages, characterizes geographical names as a part of Polish language. Rules of Polish spelling of geographical names, discussed here, were divided into names of geographical features, which are located in Poland and those which are situated in neighboring countries. For first group of names rules of using capital and small letters were given, rules of writing with hyphen and writing adjectives derived from two-word geographical names were given. For geographical names of features situated in neighboring countries rules of local spelling were characterized and lists of alphabets used in these countries were given, namely: Czech, Lithuanian, German, Lower-Sorbian, Upper- Sorbian, Slovakian, Belarussian, Russian and Ukrainian. Also rules of transcription and transliteration were given for last three alphabets. The separate chapter, illustrated with 14 maps, was dedicated to dialects of Polish language. Authors included in publication the glossary of old topographic terms, which are no more used in literary language, but can be still found in geographical names, as well as list of abbreviations existing on maps and in their legends.

Part 3. Applying and arranging scripts on maps (Część 3.Stosowanie i rozmieszczanie napisów na mapach), published in 2004.

In third part of toponymic guide, having 150 pages, characterization of geographical names and other scripts, as an integral part of a map, was presented. Functions and types of scripts on maps were described, writing system used in cartography was characterized. After presentation of general rules of applying scripts on maps the detailed rules of locating names related to point, linear and area features were discussed. Location of names of particular map elements was described in details – large chapter is related to names of localities and their parts, both on topographic and on tourist, small-scale and atlas maps. Similar description was included for rules of placing names of streets and scripts concerning constructions and devices on topographic maps and city plans, names of spatial division (countries, regions, parks), names of water bodies (hydronyms) and names of relief forms (oronyms). Also general rules of preparation of gazetteers were described. The publication is richly illustrated with map reproductions presenting both correct and erroneous placement of names.