A portion of this gazetteer of Poland was published as a 2 volume book set in August 1988 by the (US) Defense Mapping Agency and includes names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. It may be useful for locating places on maps because the gazetteer provides their coordinates. While the admininstrative subdivisions of Poland have been reorganized since 1988, this now ‘historic’ data reflects the subdivisions of its time. There’s a bit of PGSA history below the search box for those interested. Another column of this database shows the current (2009) data.
The Type column identifies the named locality feature. Most of them are PPL which stands for a populated area such as a city or village. Other types can be looked up here although most can be inferred. The 1988 province column shows the province the locality feature was in during the 1975-1998 time period. Here’s a map showing the location of these provinces. The 2009 province column shows where it is now and has been since 1998. Here’s a map showing the location of these provinces. UTM stands for Universal Transverse Mercator, a location coordinate (grid) system that will not be explained here. The gazetteer was prepared in large part by reading names off of existing maps. The Map Sheet column designates which map in the series was used. It is based on a worldwide map sheet numbering scheme.
Gazetteer of Poland (1988 & 2009)
[ New Search Feature is coming soon ]
by James J. Czuchra
The personal home computer became popular during the 1980s. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, people were reaching out to other computers with modems over their phone lines. While government and university computers had dial-in capabilities for a long time, hobbyists were now setting up their personal computers to provide hobby related content. These systems were called Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) run by a person called the SysOp (Systems Operator). By late 1991, PGSA had approved and purchased the equipment for a BBS. James Czuchra was the first SysOp. He was able to make the Dziennik Chicagoski death notice indices, Haller’s Army index, and others searchable on the BBS. In early 1995, the PGSA purchased a digital copy of the Gazetteer of Poland. The SysOp formatted it to be yet another asset on the BBS.
A big problem was the BBS had a Chicago phone number which meant that very few people outside of Chicago phoned in to use the system because of long-distance charges. The mid-1990s also saw the World Wide Web become popular as internet server providers (ISP) became more numerous and easier to use. It was clear that the way to go was to put the BBS content on the internet. PGSA started with a basic America Online (AOL) account and the static content of the BBS was reformatted and placed on the AOL account. James Czuchra now became the Webmaster. (In 1993, Kenneth Olsen took over as SysOP. When PGSA moved to AOL, the BBS was shut down.) The problem was that AOL did not provide a way to host the databases previously on the BBS. Other websites were providing data from the gazetteer making the PGSA effort to make it available moot. Then when Poland was reorganized in 1998, the gazetteer seemed totally obsolete. Since it’s likely that most websites try to provide current content, I thought it might be valuable to provide historic content by making the data from the gazetteer available again.