Modern and Historical Place Names

What is it?

GeoTWAIN provides facilitated, multilingual search of modern and historical place names with georeferenced presentation on a map and additional information on history, political structure and alternate spellings. or


The Project

Originally designed as a software-development-project GeoTWAIN grew to become a combination of research, software-development and interdisciplinary teaching in order to maximise sustainability of the GeoTWAIN-project.

In our research cluster on transculturality many projects deal with georeferenced data. Our tool GeoTwain works on visualisation techniques for such data. It is the aim of GeoTwain to provide easy visualization of 4-D-information based on Google Earth and to grasp spatial relationships embedded in historical evidence to analyse, recombine and disaggregate geo-referenced historical data without having to use more specialized and highly complex GIS Tools. Envisioned visualization with GeoTwain allows for fast and efficient assessment of georeferencing’s analytical potential in any given case; it also allows the user to carefully weigh further investments in data enrichment in relation to expected findings. Both the development and application of GeoTwain are embedded in our broader research environment infrastructure, the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA).

The project was initially funded by the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Contect in 2009, then supported by Prof. Dr. Madeleine Herren, Department of History, University of Heidelberg.

IEEE 2009 (Oxford) article on the Concept of GeoTWAIN

The GeoTWAIN-Team

Project Coordination, conception and development since 2012:
Philipp Franck

Project Coordination till 2012:
Kilian P. Schultes, Alexander Zipf mit Peter Gietz & Matthias Arnold

Initial development:
Konrad Berner

Sincere thanks to Konrad Berner for the initial Idea and the first prototype; Lukas Loos for his help in some tricky database problems and his moral support in general; and Dirk Eller and Andreas Greiner for their support concerning the help-texts.

Data Sources
Modern and Historical Place Names