A. Guszlev1, L. Lukacs2, J.J. Reyes Nunez3

1 - University of West Hungary, Szekesfehervar, Hungary

2 - Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

3 - Eotvos Lorand University, Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Budapest, Hungary


The Hungarian Toponymic Program (HTP) has been established in 2005 as a part of the MTA-ELTE Cartographic and Geoinformatic Research Group (Budapest, Hungary). The Program deals with research on toponyms and problems related to toponym usage on maps.

The main project of the Program is to create and visualize the Gazetteer of Hungarian Toponyms (GHT) concerning cartographical aspects. The framework of the Gazetteer will be a special geographical information system, in which Hungarian toponyms of the whole Carpathian Basin are collected and analysed. There are a great number of Hungarian geographical names of medieval origin in this region, mostly used up to presents, but the general gazetteer of these names is still missing. The database content corresponds to a medium scaled (~1:200 000) map.

Geoinformation systems are digital data-storing, processing and analysing systems, which are able to process and visualize spatial phenomena. In a GIS-gazetteer a map is not only a graphical method of visualization. Names are not simple labels represented on maps, they become separate map objects (annotations) instead of being attributes. Advantages of using annotations are the higher cartographic quality and that spatial distribution of names can be also analyzed. Name variants from the Middle Ages or in different languages can be identified, domestic and artificial terms can be divided, toponymy use types can be recognized and represented. GHT takes into consideration aspects of cartographical representation. In case of different name-types GHT indicates the feature type, recommended Hungarian name for map usage, the foreign name and the earlier variant names, if applicable. Storing foreign names include official names for transborder Hungarian names, names in the minority languages in Hungary, and recommended English terms for Hungarian features. The ethimology (domestic or artificial name), the source of the names and in case of landscape region names the division-system and its hierarchy are represented beside the names.

Gazetteers are rarely used in Hungary at present. The use of them is widespread neither among professional cartographers and geoinformaticians nor nonprofessional readers. The most possible reason of that is the difficult availability of data. GHT will be an organized and user-friendly Hungarian name database, it will be published on the Internet according to international standards and recommends (ISO19112 – Geographic information – Spatial referencing by geographic identifiers, Web Gazetteer Service recommendation).