This page provides access to the AAAS ‘fuzzy’ matching tools. These tools allow reported place names to be matched with identified locations in eastern Burma, Darfur, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. Given the numerous languages, dialects, and other attributes of such areas, 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 are obtained from the US Government National Geospatial Intelligence Agency GEOnet Names Server, a list derived from Russian topographic maps, lists received from NGOs, and other sources. 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 tools provided on these page were created to focus exclusively on specific regions within these countries rather than searching the whole of each country.
If you want a fuzzy matcher for another area, please Contact Us.