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Place-name choropleths

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Count of place-names per county. The darker green, the more the count for a given county exceeds the average for the 39 historic counties. The darker red, the further below average is the count. White represents values close to the mean.
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This map represents the same data as that above but takes the widely differing areas of counties into account.
Loading map...
This map represents the same data as those above but attempts to take both areas and population densities of counties into account.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-11-06. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-11-19.

This page includes choropleth maps of the English counties, detailing the geographical distribution of Robin Hood-related place-names and localities from three different perspectives. The dataset on which they are based is set out in a table below.

The choropleth maps

A choropleth is something much more widely known than its name: a "thematic map in which areas are shaded or patterned in proportion to the measurement of the statistical variable being displayed on the map".[1] It thus resembles a heat map, but unlike a heat map in which variation is in principle continuous, it displays data averaged over discrete geographical regions, in this case the English historic counties. On all three maps, a bi-polar colour progression is used, counties with values above the mean – set to index 100 – being coloured a progressively darker green, while those below are coloured a progressively darker red. Areas with values close to the mean are white or nearly so. Ideally colour gradation should be linear, but since there are a few important outliers in the data, this could only be achieved with colour steps so small that they become difficult to discern or, on the other hand, such large intervals of values grouped together that resolution for values closer to the mean would be insufficient. Intervals are therefore larger for areas well above the mean. I give a brief description of each map below. Population and area data for England and the historic counties are taken from the 1891 census.[2] Many place-names first figure in mid-19th century MS tithe awards or printed O.S. maps, so it would be natural to pick an earlier census as data source, but that of 1891 is the first one that provides a complete (surviving) dataset.

Simple county count

For the first map, the count of English place-names and localities currently covered on IRHB is set to index 100 and used as the base for calculating the indexes for individual counties. Counties with an index value between 100 and 109 (both inclusive) are shown in white, those with higher values in progressively darker shades of green, those below 100 in increasingly dark shades of red, Since the counties vary so widely in size, we are here, as it were, comparing gooseberries to water melons as well as fruits of all sorts of intermediate sizes. Yet the main tendencies recur on the next two, more meaningful representations of the data.

Taking area into account

For the second map, the density of Robin Hood-related place-names and localities in England – expressible as area in km2 per place-name or vice versa – is taken as index 100 and indexes calculated for individual counties based on their land areas and counts of relevant localities/place-names. Colour gradation as on the first map.

Taking area and population into account

The third choropleth attempts to take area as well as population density into account. Here we first calculate an expected place-name count for each county based on its area and the average count per km2 for England. On the basis of the population densities of England and the county in question we then adjust the expected figure upwards or downwards to reflect the population density of the county. This is done in linear fashion. The result is used as index 100 for the county, whose index value is then calculated on the basis of the actual count of place-names/localities. The colouring thus reflects the extent to which expectation is exceeded (or the opposite). I do not know whether a statistician would find this procedure reasonable, but it obviously takes people to give places names, and it seems a reasonable assumption that population density has at least some influence on the density of named localities in a given area. I doubt if this effect is linear, but as I have no relevant empirical knowledge, any adjustment I could make to the way in which it is factored in would be arbitrary. Colour gradation as on the preceding maps.

Notes and qualifications

While figures in the dataset table are updated once a day, it may take two or three days before the choropleths are updated. So when new material has just been added to the place-names section of IRHB and this ought to cause changes to the choropleths, you may find the table and maps slightly out of sync for a day or so. Keep in mind that the choropleths reflect the current state of my work. An estimated 75 to 150 place-names are still to be entered, many of these, mostly of fairly recent origin, belong in the counties that are currently dark red on the maps.

Dataset and colour codes

Click header to expand dataset.

England— ▢ 
Area (km2)130278
Population15331856
Pop. density/km2117.68568752974
Place-names (PN)443
Counties39
Km2/PN294.08126410835
PN/km20.0034004206389413
PN/county avg.11.358974358974
Bedfordshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1207.96236
Population160704
Pop. density/km2133.03725788277
Km2/PN
PN/km20
RH names0
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count0
Count idx.0
PN/km2 idx.0
PN/km2/pop. idx.0
Berkshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1870.55416
Population176109
Pop. density/km294.148035788496
Km2/PN467.63854
PN/km20.0021384037337898
RH names3
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous1
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.63
PN/km2/pop. idx.79
Buckinghamshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1925.06532
Population185284
Pop. density/km296.248162633775
Km2/PN641.68844
PN/km20.0015583886784683
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous1
Total count3
Count idx.26
PN/km2 idx.46
PN/km2/pop. idx.56
Cambridgeshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2224.75527
Population185822
Pop. density/km283.524692583378
Km2/PN317.82218142857
PN/km20.0031464134929322
RH names5
Local traditions2
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count7
Count idx.62
PN/km2 idx.93
PN/km2/pop. idx.130
Cheshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2659.05986
Population536644
Pop. density/km2201.81719414169
Km2/PN132.952993
PN/km20.0075214553462516
RH names18
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous2
Total count20
Count idx.176
PN/km2 idx.221
PN/km2/pop. idx.129
Cornwall— ▢ 
Area (km2)3512.94656
Population322571
Pop. density/km291.823486207544
Km2/PN3512.94656
PN/km20.00028466131861681
RH names1
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count1
Count idx.9
PN/km2 idx.8
PN/km2/pop. idx.11
Cumberland— ▢ 
Area (km2)3926.10227
Population265549
Pop. density/km267.636801524276
Km2/PN196.3051135
PN/km20.0050941108062374
RH names20
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count20
Count idx.176
PN/km2 idx.150
PN/km2/pop. idx.261
Derbyshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2666.37657
Population426768
Pop. density/km2160.05541182804
Km2/PN115.92941608696
PN/km20.0086259383834895
RH names15
Local traditions2
Literary locales2
Artifacts4
Miscellaneous0
Total count23
Count idx.202
PN/km2 idx.254
PN/km2/pop. idx.187
Devon— ▢ 
Area (km2)6746.5022012
Population455353
Pop. density/km267.494678934368
Km2/PN3373.2511006
PN/km20.00029644991439331
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.9
PN/km2/pop. idx.15
Dorset— ▢ 
Area (km2)2558.714
Population194517
Pop. density/km276.021391996136
Km2/PN852.90466666667
PN/km20.0011724639799524
RH names3
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count3
Count idx.26
PN/km2 idx.34
PN/km2/pop. idx.53
Durham— ▢ 
Area (km2)2619.45327
Population371137
Pop. density/km2141.6849096911
Km2/PN1309.726635
PN/km20.00076351810620389
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.22
PN/km2/pop. idx.19
Essex— ▢ 
Area (km2)3994.3606
Population579355
Pop. density/km2145.0432392108
Km2/PN499.295075
PN/km20.0020028236809666
RH names8
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count8
Count idx.70
PN/km2 idx.59
PN/km2/pop. idx.48
Gloucestershire— ▢ 
Area (km2)3220.22125
Population384552
Pop. density/km2119.41788161295
Km2/PN1073.4070833333
PN/km20.00093161300640445
RH names3
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count3
Count idx.26
PN/km2 idx.27
PN/km2/pop. idx.27
Hampshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)4199.681908
Population465521
Pop. density/km2110.84672844227
Km2/PN1049.920477
PN/km20.00095245308754941
RH names4
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.28
PN/km2/pop. idx.30
Herefordshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2174.63091
Population115949
Pop. density/km253.318933096559
Km2/PN
PN/km20
RH names0
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count0
Count idx.0
PN/km2 idx.0
PN/km2/pop. idx.0
Hertfordshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1643.67525
Population224550
Pop. density/km2136.61457760589
Km2/PN234.81075
PN/km20.004258748800896
RH names7
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count7
Count idx.62
PN/km2 idx.125
PN/km2/pop. idx.108
Huntingdonshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)947.8466175
Population54969
Pop. density/km257.993560334671
Km2/PN947.8466175
PN/km20.0010550230190593
RH names1
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count1
Count idx.9
PN/km2 idx.31
PN/km2/pop. idx.63
Kent— ▢ 
Area (km2)4028.014259
Population785674
Pop. density/km2195.05243762346
Km2/PN1007.00356475
PN/km20.00099304514403408
RH names4
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.29
PN/km2/pop. idx.18
Lancashire— ▢ 
Area (km2)4887.00405
Population1768273
Pop. density/km2361.83170341346
Km2/PN325.80027
PN/km20.0030693651665789
RH names15
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count15
Count idx.132
PN/km2 idx.90
PN/km2/pop. idx.29
Leicestershire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2133.19514
Population200468
Pop. density/km293.97546255426
Km2/PN213.319514
PN/km20.0046878036671319
RH names9
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous1
Total count10
Count idx.88
PN/km2 idx.138
PN/km2/pop. idx.173
Lincolnshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)6853.541554
Population380487
Pop. density/km255.51684439382
Km2/PN428.346347125
PN/km20.0023345594206928
RH names14
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous2
Total count16
Count idx.141
PN/km2 idx.69
PN/km2/pop. idx.146
Middlesex— ▢ 
Area (km2)733.699116
Population560012
Pop. density/km2763.27201135676
Km2/PN183.424779
PN/km20.0054518261134173
RH names4
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.160
PN/km2/pop. idx.25
Norfolk— ▢ 
Area (km2)5295.068817
Population317983
Pop. density/km260.052666167266
Km2/PN1323.76720425
PN/km20.00075541983272396
RH names3
Local traditions1
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.22
PN/km2/pop. idx.44
Northamptonshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2598.04945
Population238496
Pop. density/km291.798098762131
Km2/PN1299.024725
PN/km20.00076980828829105
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.23
PN/km2/pop. idx.29
Northumberland— ▢ 
Area (km2)5219.457352
Population319730
Pop. density/km261.257325893751
Km2/PN1304.864338
PN/km20.00076636319261566
RH names4
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.23
PN/km2/pop. idx.43
Nottinghamshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2184.29885
Population231945
Pop. density/km2106.18739281028
Km2/PN42.005747115385
PN/km20.023806266253356
RH names35
Local traditions2
Literary locales5
Artifacts10
Miscellaneous0
Total count52
Count idx.458
PN/km2 idx.700
PN/km2/pop. idx.776
Oxfordshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1957.11642
Population145449
Pop. density/km274.318011189135
Km2/PN279.58806
PN/km20.0035766906498081
RH names7
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count7
Count idx.62
PN/km2 idx.105
PN/km2/pop. idx.167
Rutland— ▢ 
Area (km2)393.64986
Population20559
Pop. density/km252.226615805223
Km2/PN98.412465
PN/km20.010161314422924
RH names3
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous1
Total count4
Count idx.35
PN/km2 idx.299
PN/km2/pop. idx.673
Shropshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)3478.33784
Population236239
Pop. density/km267.91720956007
Km2/PN1159.4459466667
PN/km20.00086248091415985
RH names3
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count3
Count idx.26
PN/km2 idx.25
PN/km2/pop. idx.44
Somerset— ▢ 
Area (km2)4222.833974
Population386866
Pop. density/km291.612884234127
Km2/PN2111.416987
PN/km20.00047361558903665
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.14
PN/km2/pop. idx.18
Staffordshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)3033.52762
Population818290
Pop. density/km2269.74865651627
Km2/PN379.1909525
PN/km20.0026371937236556
RH names8
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count8
Count idx.70
PN/km2 idx.78
PN/km2/pop. idx.34
Suffolk— ▢ 
Area (km2)3855.47654
Population304430
Pop. density/km278.960407835862
Km2/PN3855.47654
PN/km20.00025937130977848
RH names1
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count1
Count idx.9
PN/km2 idx.8
PN/km2/pop. idx.11
Surrey— ▢ 
Area (km2)1963.24336
Population418856
Pop. density/km2213.34899612242
Km2/PN140.23166857143
PN/km20.0071310568446288
RH names13
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous1
Total count14
Count idx.123
PN/km2 idx.210
PN/km2/pop. idx.116
Sussex— ▢ 
Area (km2)3776.80565
Population380873
Pop. density/km2100.84527383611
Km2/PN1888.402825
PN/km20.00052954803221077
RH names1
Local traditions0
Literary locales1
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.16
PN/km2/pop. idx.18
Warwickshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)2336.9058
Population307193
Pop. density/km2131.45288098476
Km2/PN333.84368571429
PN/km20.0029954138502288
RH names6
Local traditions0
Literary locales1
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count7
Count idx.62
PN/km2 idx.88
PN/km2/pop. idx.79
Westmorland— ▢ 
Area (km2)2027.09466
Population65098
Pop. density/km232.113941832396
Km2/PN253.3868325
PN/km20.0039465349881589
RH names8
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count8
Count idx.70
PN/km2 idx.116
PN/km2/pop. idx.425
Wiltshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)3562.23727
Population264997
Pop. density/km274.390609023076
Km2/PN1781.118635
PN/km20.00056144491464489
RH names2
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count2
Count idx.18
PN/km2 idx.17
PN/km2/pop. idx.26
Worcestershire— ▢ 
Area (km2)1944.75732
Population296661
Pop. density/km2152.54396882795
Km2/PN324.12622
PN/km20.0030852178512433
RH names6
Local traditions0
Literary locales0
Artifacts0
Miscellaneous0
Total count6
Count idx.53
PN/km2 idx.91
PN/km2/pop. idx.70
Yorkshire— ▢ 
Area (km2)15713.328366
Population1777923
Pop. density/km2113.14744773278
Km2/PN98.825964566038
PN/km20.010118798277266
RH names122
Local traditions8
Literary locales23
Artifacts1
Miscellaneous5
Total count159
Count idx.1400
PN/km2 idx.298
PN/km2/pop. idx.310
Limit (index)Colour
Less than 10
Less than 20
Less than 30
Less than 40
Less than 50
Less than 60
Less than 70
Less than 80
Less than 90
Less than 100
Less than 110
Less than 120
Less than 130
Less than 140
Less than 150
Less than 160
Less than 170
Less than 180
Less than 190
Less than 200
Less than 300
Less than 400
Less than 500
Less than 600
Less than 700
Less than 800
Less than 900
Less than 1000
Less than 1500
Less than 2000
Otherwise

Background

Notes