TAR: toponym search

Welcome to the TAR Toponym and TTT-Site Search

A Brief Introduction

The TAR Toponym and TTT-Site Search currently holds around 45.000 entries. All our toponyms are available in Tibetan in the Wylie-transliteration scheme. You can search for toponyms by entering either full or partial names. All queries are handled case-insensitive (i.e. "rGyan", "RGYAN" and "rgyan" will deliver the same results).

Making use of the available search filters will help you to narrow down your results. At the moment you can enhance your search by filtering based on the prefecture a place belongs to, and/or by category of place. You can combine both prefecture and category-filters and select multiple choices for each.

Once we have returned the results of your search query you can view them on a map by clicking on the highlighted coordinates. Moreover, TTT-Sites are provided with links to their individual website entries where available.

As you will notice the lion-share of toponyms has coordinates accurate down to a minute raster only (c.f. bellow). Whenever this is the case the corresponding map-view will provide you with a visualisation of the area a toponym–or a part of it in case of larger places such as mountains and lakes–is to be found in.

History and Background

Our base data derives from the TAR Toponymic Gazetteer (Xizang zizhiqu dimingzhi) published in 1993 by the Peoples Government of the TAR (Xizang zizhiqu renmin zhengfu).
The Xizang zizhiqu dimingzhi lists the TAR's place-names sorted by prefecture-level (i.e. prefecture-level city (shi) or prefecture (diqu)) and county-level division (i.e. county (qu) or region (xian)). It provides the place-names in Tibetan and Chinese, rough coordinates (degrees and minutes), identifies the type of each toponym, gives additional information in Chinese on alternate or obsolete variants and provides a literal Chinese translation of the Tibetan place-name.

In 2009 Guntram Hazod approached Jürgen Schörflinger, who, over the following one and a half years, took on the work of extracting the 40 something thousand Tibetan toponyms (in Wylie-transliteration) together with their coordinates and classification from a–at times rather poor–print.

The resulting digital document served as a starting point for the creation of the online-searchable, map-backed version of the TAR Toponym and TTT-Site Search today.

As is hardly to be avoided with a place-name collection this size you will likely encounter the occasional misspelling or erroneous coordinate. The Xizang zizhiqu dimingzhi, similarly, is not devoid of errors and while those have been corrected upon digitisation, later data handling and preparation wherever noticed, the occasional new typo and misreading surely found its way into our current data-set. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you stumble over a bad entry (particularly if you did not only just discover an error but also are convinced to have the correct reading and/or coordinates at hand).

Future Outlook

We are currently applying for a follow-up project to FWF Project P 25066 Burial Mounds of Central Tibet in the course of which we aim at dedicating some of our work at enhancing the data-quality and functionality of the TAR Toponym and TTT-Site Search.

Besides data-quality improvements live search suggestions, search-as-you-type functionality, a simpler but more powerful live-filter-section and better visualisation rank high on our list.