Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch: Welsh and Relative Location Make for the Longest Place Name in Europe

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (try to pronounce it, I dare you) is a village in Wales.  The fifty-one letter name is the longest place name in the United Kingdom and all of Europe.  According to my research it is also the longest name for a settlement anywhere in the world.

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The English-language translation for the village is "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave."  This name is an example of relative location.  Relative location are directions to find a place by comparing to other locations.  Everyday examples would be "the gas station is at the intersection of Main Street and First Avenue" or "My office is located in the Maple Hill neighborhood."

The other type of location is exact location.  Exact location uses a premade coordinate system to give location.  Examples of this are "my hometown is located at 35.4 degrees north and 93.3 degrees west" or "the target house is at 46SED1838206526."

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