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Toponymical Atlas of the Canton of Vaud

Toponymy is the study of place names. The names of towns, villages, fields, roads, hills, forests, mountains, rivers and brooks are part of a culture’s immaterial heritage. They preserve precious information about the history of the landscape as well as the history of the language spoken in an area.

The project consists in creating a user-friendly, online atlas of all toponyms in the Canton of Vaud on the basis of a relational database. The aim is to incorporate as many historical attestations of place-names as possible. All philological data are incorporated from original, dated and localisable documents. Besides visualizing the geographical location of all toponyms, the atlas will also allow for the inclusion of photos and other illustrations.

The aim is to create a tool that will be of service both to the general public, because of its accessibility and its simple design, and to the scientific community, because of its comprehensiveness and interdisciplinarity. It may in future serve to stimulate the elaboration of new projects, such as in the field of museology, the study of landscape and climate history, the history of language and writing, and historical anthropology.


  • Michiel de Vaan (director)
  • Albin Jaques, Oliver Rendu, Saana Vallotton,
    Stefania Maffei Boillat (board)
  • Nadia Spang Bovey (database and website)
  • various other contributors