What is a Gazetteer?
A Gazetteer is a geographical dictionary. Instead of including lists
of words, it includes lists of places. These places can be settlements
(cities, towns, villages) or geographical features (hills, rivers, regions,
parks, tourist attractions etc.). We have extended the concept of a Gazetteer
to include events, famous people and family names.
Why include events, famous people and family names?
A gazetteer doesn't normally include these, but Scotland has so many
connections between its towns and villages, castles and glens and historical
figures and events that we thought you would like to know about these. Families, or
clans, are also an important feature of Scotland, so we thought we would
include these too.
Who uses the Gazetteer for Scotland?
We have undertaken various surveys to identify who might be interested in using the
Gazetteer. This has shown that people from all over the world are interested
in it. Interest is particularly apparent from countries where there are strong
family connections to Scotland (such as other parts of the United Kingdom,
the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
and South Africa). People of all age groups want to use the Gazetteer for all
manner of different tasks, from tour planning, to historical reference, to
business assessment and family tree research. Everything you can imagine, and
Can you answer my questions?
Please use the Gazetteer itself to answer any questions you have. If you have a pressing question which is not answered, of
course we will try to help, but please bear in mind that we must direct our efforts to completing the project, and we do get a great
number of questions. Remember that the process of compiling the Gazetteer for Scotland is still in progress, so we are unable to
answer questions on entries as yet incomplete. All the information you need should eventually be included!
When will the site be completed?
By mid-2001 the website included many thousands of entries covering
all of the major places in Scotland. However, the Gazetteer will probably never be completed, because we can always
find new information to add and need to bring other entries up-to-date.
When was the Gazetteer for Scotland officially launched?
30th November 1998 (St Andrew's Day) the Gazetteer for Scotland was launched in the
Department of Geography at the University of Edinburgh. The ceremony was
attended by members of the press. The gazetteer has been planned for many years
and a pilot project was completed in 1995.
How much did the Gazetteer for Scotland cost to create?
Building the sophisticated web-based database system which lies behind
the Gazetteer for Scotland, and especially collecting all the data, has
already cost in the region of £250,000. We estimate the annual
cost of maintaining the information to be at least £30,000. Neither
the University of Edinburgh, nor the Royal Scottish Geographical Society
has the resources to cover this cost, and in practice, the maintainance
of the system is undertaken through the enthusiasm of the editors.
How can I sponsor the Gazetteer for Scotland?
The only way that this project can be successful will be if we can raise
funding to ensure it is completed, and can continue to reflect the changing
face of Scotland. We hope to generate funding through corporate sponsorship.
Sponsors will benefit from exposure to a very large number of users of the
gazetteer, of the order of 250,000 accesses per week.
Sponsors will be able have links to their own "home page", and their logos will be included on gazetteer pages.
If you can help by sponsoring the "Gazetteer for Scotland" project or
need more information about future developments, please contact us:
Where does the information for the Gazetteer for Scotland come from?
All of the entries within the Gazetteer for Scotland have been
especially written for this purpose by our team of specialist authors. The team
consults a large number of reference materials, including
standard reference works, government literature, information from tourist
agencies, specialist studies on local places, and historical literature.
For more information see the detailed description
of our sources.
How current is the information in the Gazetteer for Scotland?
The Gazetteer for Scotland covers a wide range of information about many
places, such as their history, geography, economy and famous people. While we
try to keep up-to-date, it is not always possible to take account of every new
tourist attraction, the very
latest study or even the most recent economic developments in each place or
region. However, we do try to keep the Gazetteer as up-to-date
as possible and value your suggestions. Try visiting the Gateway to Scotland's
Scottish newspapers for the latest news in Scotland.
Can I send you information about places you have forgotten?
We are very pleased to receive new information, updates or corrections. Please try
to include sources and as much detail as you can, because we need to verify the
information you give us to ensure that our standards of quality are maintained.
While we are happy to receive information, we do not accept entries written by others.
One of the ways is which the gazetteer differs
from other web-sites is by including a balanced review within each entry, which
has been subject to a thorough and consistent editorial process.
Can I send you photos to put on the website?
Thanks for the offer but at present we are generally unable to accept offers
of photos for the site. This is partially for reasons of copyright.
Where can I find further information about Scotland?
See the acclaimed
Gateway to Scotland website
Where is the Gazetteer for Scotland physically located?
The Gazetteer for Scotland runs on a large computer in the Department of
Geography at the University of Edinburgh. This computer that lets
many people use it at the same time and so can do many things at once. It
needs to be able to do this because of the number of people who use our
web-site (thousands every week).
How many entries are there in the Gazetteer?
You can check our Gaz Stats section,
which calculates the exact number of entries for you. If you come back
regularly, you will see the number of entries gradually increase.
In what form is the data for the Gazetteer held?
The Gazetteer for Scotland is held in a large relational database.
This gives great flexibility in terms of searching and
presenting the material.
Can I put in a link to the Gazetteer for Scotland on my website?
Yes. Our main reason for making the Gazetteer available on the web was so it
could be as accessible as possible. We are very pleased you want to use
it! If you intend including links to several pages within the Gazetteer,
please do check with us first and take note of our
guidelines on copyright and conditions of use.
Can the Gazetteer for Scotland site put in a link to my website?
The Gazetteer for Scotland is intended to provide a complete and verified
source of information on Scotland. At present we don't have the resources to
review and maintain a list of web links and therefore we cannot include links
to other websites at present. We are however providing a facility for our sponsors.
Please contact us if you would like to sponsor the Gazetteer.
Who is working on the Gazetteer for Scotland?
The editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland are Bruce M. Gittings (of the University of
Edinburgh) and Dr. David M. Munro (of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society), who direct
the project. The project has involved the contributions of many; see our
credits page for full details.
I've seen the same information on Wikipedia - do you just copy them?
No, we never do that. We were compiling the Gazetteer for Scotland several years before
Wikipedia existed and we create our own infomation from a range of
published sources augmented with our own field work. We always try to use multiple
sources to substantiate facts. Unfortunately Wikipedia editors often copy
information from the Gazetteer for Scotland; we do hours of research, they copy-and-paste in
seconds. This is illegal and we regard the practice as immoral and unreasonable, but it is
very difficult to stop.