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IMO, the two articles (gazetteer and World gazetteer) should be combined under the title "gazetteer". Further, World and electronic versions should be treated in that one article as versions. Bwood 03:58, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Moved. - UtherSRG 07:30, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)

Moved from article:

This is not the main sense of "gazetteer," and clearly we will want an article about gazetteers in that main sense. Where should the above article live? "Electronic gazetteer"? "Database gazetteer"?

Major Revisions Necessary[edit]

I propose changing the structure and content of the article. The article contains a rather narrow definition of a gazetteer and lumps all variations into one category. Gazetteers and gazetteer services offer much more in information management and information retrieval. Furthermore, increased interest in geospatial technologies and digital libraries (digital gazetteers) has fueled public and private research and development into the development a gazetteers' commercial and enterprise applications (e.g., enterprise georeferenceing, geoparsing). I think the article should be modified to reflect such developments. Anyone interested in discussing this?
Jde123 17:30, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think this is a wise idea; think it covers the definition of a gazetteer widely and well. GIS / Digital gazetteers are actually a rather more narrow definition. Sorry!

Dictionary or Directory?[edit]

Suggest changing the definition from "geographical dictionary" to "geographical directory" as "dictionary" implies that there is a definition. Of course sometimes this is the case, but often a gazetteer is just a list of places with a reference.Bazonka 15:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

=Don't agree with this; "geographical dictionary" is a well-established definition :

"dictionary" = "a book giving information on particular subjects or on a particular class of words, names, or facts, usually arranged alphabetically", for definition of gazetteer see the OED or 00:34, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but a gazetteer does not necessarily give information - it could just be a list of places. A dictionary definition of Directory is "a book containing an alphabetical or classified listing of names, addresses, and other data" which to my mind seems much more appropriate - the fact that OED calls it a "geographical dictionary" is irrelevant if a more appropriate description exists. Changed to ambiguous "dictionary/directory". Bazonka (talk) 17:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Major expansion[edit]

I have added the etymology section, the types and organization section, split the reference and notes section, and although I did not originally create the history section, all but two sentences under the "modern" sub-section are my doing. Although much has been done so far, there is still much to be added. The section on the Western World and the gigantic sub-section on China are fine as they stand at the moment. However, I need help from others on the history of South Asian, Islamic World, Japanese, and Korean gazetteers. --Pericles of AthensTalk 12:21, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


While the images of maps make the article look nice, several have little connection to the topic (gazetteers). Some come from gazetteers, but the fact that some gazetteers contain maps is almost fortuitous; they give the impression that gazetteers are map-based whereas they are essentially textual works (geographical dictionaries). Put in some illustrations of typical gazetteer pages, but I suggest these maps are removed. -- (talk) 10:31, 10 April 2008 (UTC) For what it's worth, I agree. The images look nice, but they are not examples of gazetteers and they confuse the reader. -- Matt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


This article now seems to me to be unbalanced. While a lot of interesting information has been added, it is now predominantly historical and predominantly east-asian. As someone who compiles gazetteers, I don't see these as the principal issues of interest and the article therefore gives a false impression. -- (talk) 10:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Unless you haven't already, you'd be surprised how hard it is to find scholarly books or journals written about gazetteers, let alone ones that aren't based on historical gazetteers, and not just gazetteers in general. On JSTOR, I found tons of articles on pre-modern Chinese gazetteers, and could find barely anything on anything else. Hence, the undue weight...for now. This article is by far not done, a fact I've already mentioned above.--Pericles of AthensTalk 14:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
That I'm afraid is the nature of academic research, which shouldn't really be reflected here. I am quite sure there are historians who study gazetteers along with other ancient literary works, but those of us active is gazetteer research would point towards, for example, the United Nations (, Linda Hill ( or, PCGN in the UK ( or Bruce Gittings ( There is a lot of current activity in gazetteer design, creation, management and standardisation which are the key research issues of the moment, rather than ancient gazetteers of the Far East, which seems to be to be a narrow field which reflects your personal interests. My point is someone reading the article as it now stands would get entirely the wrong impression of where the bulk of gazetteer work has been done (19th century onwards).

-- (talk) 16:56, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, this doesn't directly address your concern with the lack of information on modern gazetteers, but I just recently was able to find information on ancient Egypt and added it to the article.--Pericles of AthensTalk 09:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I suggest that the last line of the first paragraph be changed from "This information is generally divided into overhead topics with entries listed in alphabetical order" to "This information is generally divided into topics listed in alphabetical order." I'm not sure what an "overhead" topic would be. A topic name (such as "computers") is already an "overhead" term for its subject. I'm a new editor that was reading the five pillars and wanted to know what a gazetteer was. Anyway, that line kind of threw me, and I think it could be worded better. G1956w (talk) 05:58, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Merge from Universal Pronouncing Gazetteer[edit]

I've completed the merge from Universal Pronouncing Gazetteer to this article as the result of an AFD debate here. A lot of the content seems to be unsourced/POV statements therefore I have discarded it. You can see the article before the merge here. Feel free to add any of the information there back in if you can find reliable sources.
Please raise any issues with the merger on this talk page (which I'm watching). Jackc143 (talk) 20:08, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a Gazetteer?[edit]

According to WP:5 it seems to be. It is not listed as an example here though. So is it or isn't it and how should that be treated in the article here? There are two issues, do we list wikipedia as an example of a gazetteer and if it is not, what is the difference and how is that to be propagated elsewhere. There's a persistent difficulty with minor governments being called non-notable based on diverging understandings of what features of a gazetteer are in Wikipedia. TMLutas (talk) 13:06, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Updating the "List of Gazetteers" -- What should be its scope?[edit]

Unless someone objects, I am about to revise the "List of Gazetteers" which forms the last part of the article. The "Linked Pasts" meeting held at Kings College London 20-21 July 2015 agreed that some widely available list of major gazetteers was needed, and after some discussion agreed that the best way to do this was to improve the Wikipedis list. I am one of the editors of a new book on gazetteers, as well as having led construction of the web site A Vision of Britain through Time (listed here). Specifically, I am going to revise the list of Worldwide gazetteers, and clarify how far they are (a) bodies of independent research, (b) the result of integrating multiple bodies of research, or (c) user interfaces to someone else's data -- several of those currently listed are mainly interfaces to the NGA gazetteer (or just don't exist at all any more). I would add discussion of Open Street Map and Wikidata as gazetteers that exist independently of the NGA; covering Wikidata means treating Wikipedia as a gazetteer! (see above). HOWEVER, WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WITH THE LISTINGS OF CONTINENTAL OR SINGLE-COUNTRY GAZETTEERS? Most gazetteers are quite local, there are lots of them, and the ones currently listed are pretty random. British gazetteers are already a big part of the list but I could easily double just that; and if I got some of my collaborators involved we could enormously expand the whole thing. For now, I propose just to shorten the non-"Worldwide" lists by removing any where the hyperlink does not work and a Google search does not find a new address, but really something more systematic is needed. --Humphrey.Southall (talk) 10:34, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I do not see any order to the lists of country-linked entries. I propose that an alphabetical list of entries by country be considered. Alternatively, perhaps the order of country-based gazetteers could be by continent. I believe that most people searching for a gazetteer will first think of the country that they want and look for it alphabetically. These country-specific lists might follow lists of worldwide and then continental gazetteer entries. Should countries that no longer exist fit into this rubric or be listed separately (in alphabetical order or by continent)? As for lists that do not fit into this rubric at all, I think that there should be a discussion here about how to order them.

Mr. Posen (talk) 14:53, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

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