language map

Balthasar Bickel autotype at UNI-LEIPZIG.DE
Wed Aug 12 05:53:20 UTC 2009


There is a number of packages for plotting maps (as PDFs, or PNGs etc)  
in the stats application "R" (, which is open source  
and free. An easy-to-use package is "maps". I have some hints for  
using it under

Balthasar Bickel

On Aug 10  2009, at 22:12, peterarkadiev wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> I've got a technical question concerning electronic language maps.  
> Since I don't know a particular person whom I could ask, I have  
> decided to address this question to the whole community. I beg your  
> pardon for any possible inconvenience.
> The problem is as follows:
> I have a cross-linguistic sample of ca. 40 languages (this can be  
> expanded in the future), which I'd like to have plotted on a map. I  
> tried to use the WALS interactive reference tool to create such a  
> map, but have found that 1) WALS does not contain all the languages  
> I need (sic!) and 2) the map I created can show the names of the  
> languages only when embedded into the WALS program.
> Moreover, I may need to classify the languages according to the  
> typological parameters I am now working on.
> What mostly approaches my needs is a map of the type used in Christa  
> K├Ânig's book 'Case in Africa' (OUP, 2008), where the shape of the  
> symbols showing the language locations can indicate relevant  
> linguistic information, and which, besides, is accompanied by  
> numbers and by a chart indicating which number corresponds to which  
> language.
> I'd like to ask whether there is any (free) software able to create  
> maps of this kind and export them to such applications as MS Word or  
> MS Powerpoint.
> Thanks a lot in advance for any suggestions!
> Peter Arkadiev
> Institute of Slavic Studies
> Russian Academy of Sciences

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