Whether I’m reading a book on islands I’ll never visit or just eating a bowl of cereal, I love looking at maps. And as you can probably tell by the amount of infographics I’ve been publishing lately, I also thoroughly enjoy visual learning. That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon this interactive map of London surnames that charts the most common last names in the English capital.

The unique tool maps the top 15 surnames in each area of London, and you can determine the prevalence and origin of each name based on its font size and color, respectively. When all the names are combined you are left with an ethno-cultural map of London that simultaneously displays the city’s diversity and shows how homogeneous surnames can be within different ethnicities (just look at the prevalence of Smiths, Patels, and Begums). Cool, huh?

Sure, the map was created almost two years ago from information based on the 2001 Electoral Roll, so it’s not necessarily the freshest of infographics. But considering the source, I don’t think timeliness is necessarily paramount — the map was created by James Cheshire, a professor at University College London’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, so you know that you aren’t looking at shoddy cartography:

map of london surnames

Unless you have bionic vision or super powered bifocals, I highly doubt you’re able to read that map. So head over to Spatial Analysis (Cheshire’s personal blog) to get the full interactive map experience.

Steven tried out for The Amazing Race one time and was denied. We're not saying this is why he started this site, but it may have been a contributing factor in his decision to explore the world online and share his travel inspiration with others.


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