Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Best practices for spatial language data harmonization, sharing and map creation-A case study of Uralic

List of Authors: Rantanen Timo, Tolvanen Harri, Roose Meeli, Ylikoski Jussi, Vesakoski Outi


Publication year: 2022

Journal: PLoS ONE

Journal name in source: PLOS ONE

Journal acronym: PLOS ONE

Volume number: 17

Issue number: 6

Number of pages: 19

ISSN: 1932-6203



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Despite remarkable progress in digital linguistics, extensive databases of geographical language distributions are missing. This hampers both studies on language spatiality and public outreach of language diversity. We present best practices for creating and sharing digital spatial language data by collecting and harmonizing Uralic language distributions as case study. Language distribution studies have utilized various methodologies, and the results are often available as printed maps or written descriptions. In order to analyze language spatiality, the information must be digitized into geospatial data, which contains location, time and other parameters. When compiled and harmonized, this data can be used to study changes in languages' distribution, and combined with, for example, population and environmental data. We also utilized the knowledge of language experts to adjust previous and new information of language distributions into state-of-the-art maps. The extensive database, including the distribution datasets and detailed map visualizations of the Uralic languages are introduced alongside this article, and they are freely available.

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Last updated on 2023-19-01 at 08:42