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What do street names tell about a country’s history, culture, and geography? An excellent project by Die Zeit
What this work is about
The data team at Die Zeit collected the names of all the streets and squares in Germany, building a database that can be easily explored by readers . Related articles present some of the most interesting findings in terms of kind, recurrence and distribution of street names across the country.
Why we like it
This is an outstanding piece of data journalism in many respects, standing out for the team’s ability in handling about 1,000,000 street names. As the authors state, toponymy really is “an archive of both language and history”. This is especially true for Germany, whose complex history during the 20th century has left visible marks on the streetscape. What we especially like is the sapient combination of a very small scale – a single street – with the national one. The authors zoom in on a few particularly interesting cases, helping readers navigate the huge amount of data.