RE: Geographical language data

From: Martin J. Heijdra (
Date: Tue May 29 2007 - 16:05:56 CDT

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    Since I did not see any reference to the following: in addition to the maps in Ethnologue and the GIS WLMS, in printed format in 1993 there was published the very expensive first edition of the Atlas of the World's Languages; the second edition is slated to come out any time now:

    Atlas of the World's Languages
    Editor(s) - R.E. Asher, Christopher Moseley
    List Price: $570.00
    ISBN: 9780415310741
    ISBN-10: 0415310741
    Publisher: Routledge
    Publication Date: 21/05/2007

    Before the first appearance of the Atlas of the World's Languages in 1993, all the world's languages had never been accurately and completely mapped. The Atlas depicts the location of every known living language, including languages on the point of extinction.

    This fully revised edition of the Atlas offers:
    up-to-date research, some from fieldwork in early 2006
    a general linguistic history of each section
    an overview of the genetic relations of the languages in each section
    statistical and sociolinguistic information
    a large number of new or completely updated maps
    further reading and a bibliography for each section
    a cross-referenced language index of over 6,000 languages
    Presenting contributions from international scholars, covering over 6,000 languages and containing over 150 full-colour maps, the Atlas of the World's Languages is the definitive reference resource for every linguistic and reference library.


    Personally, while this atlas is compiled by major scholars in the field, I thought the decision (in 1993 at least) to have current maps for most continent, but reconstructed ca. 1500 maps for the Americas was weird and hardly defensible.

    Martin Heijdra

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of Christopher Fynn
    Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 6:09 PM
    Cc: Eric Muller
    Subject: Re: Geographical language data

    Eric Muller wrote:

    > I just noticed two products from Global Mapping International: the
    > Seamless Digital Chart of the World Base Map
    > (<>), and the World Language Mapping
    > System (<>). If I understand correctly,
    > the later is essentially a GIS form of the Ethnologue data, and is used
    > to produce the maps in the printed edition of The Ethnologue. I am
    > impressed by the ability to create maps such as those at
    > <>.

    Over ten years ago the Linguasphere project produced some very nice linguistic
    maps which were supposed to be published as an atlas of the world's languages. I
    saw the original maps but don't know if the atlas was ever published - it would
    have been pretty expensive to do so.

    Someone must have the original files - and it would be a whole lot cheaper to
    publish these in digital format than as a printed atlas.

    Linguasphere also had a language classification and code scheme which many
    people preferred to that used in the SIL Ethnologue

    - Chris

    > I am wondering if anybody has experience with those products, and what
    > kind of setup you use.
    > The kind of application I am interested in is to take data like "Numbers
    >> from 1 to 10 in Over 5000 Languages"
    > <> or CLDR data and put them on
    > maps. I am interested by both static maps and interactive maps (most
    > likely using Flash technology).
    > Thanks,
    > Eric.

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