Fuzzy Matcher – Ogaden
This page provides a tool that allows ‘fuzzy’ matches to be made with identified locations in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Given the numerous languages, dialects, and other attributes of the region, it is common for spellings of placenames to drift quite a bit. This tool makes use of the standard Levenshtein Distance algorithm to calculate the closest matches between an inputted word and a placename. Placenames for Ogaden are provided by the US Government National Geospatial Intelligence Agency GEOnet Names Server, a list obtained from USAID, and a list of villages with no coordinates from a map developed by a local consulting company. The coordinates provided in the output can be copied and pasted directly into Google Earth for visualization.
Note that the European Union provides a similar tool for the entire world called the Fuzzy Gazetteer. The tool provided on this page was quickly created to focus exclusively on Ogaden rather than searching all of Ethiopia.
Fuzziness: Fuzzy Fuzzier Fuzziest
Tips: You may want to play a little with the placenames you are inputting. For example, if the placenames include spaces, try the search with and without spaces. If the placenames include diacretic marks, try removing those. Also, if you suspect part of the name might be a standard prefix or postfix, try removing that as well.