is a project developed from research in the Department
of Geography at University
College London. In this section you can read about different queires you have.
Onomap is a research methodology, based on an academic project, which allows users
to classify any list of names into groups of common cultural ethnic and linguistic
origin using surnames and forenames.
There are growing needs to understand the
nature and detailed composition of ethnic
groups in today's increasingly multicultural societies. Ethnicity classifications
are often hotly contested, but still greater problems arise from the quality and
availability of classifications, with knock on consequences for our ability meaningfully
to subdivide populations. Name analysis and classification has been proposed as
one efficient method of achieving such subdivisions in the absence of ethnicity
data, and may be especially pertinent to public health and demographic applications.
However, previous approaches to name analysis have been designed to identify one
or a small number of ethnic minorities, and not complete populations.
Onomap methodology is based on a new ontology of ethnicity that combines some of
its multidimensional facets; language, religion, geographical region, and culture
encapsulated in people's names. It is a methodology developed using data collected
at very fine temporal and spatial scales, and made available, subject to safeguards,
at the level of the individual. Such individuals are classified into 185 independently
assigned categories of cultural ethnic and linguistic (Onomap) groups, termed Onomap Types,
based on the probable origins of their names.
The Onomap classification is a methodology that allows
users to classify any list of names into groups of common cultural ethnic and linguistic
origin using surnames and forenames.
The classification of names into such groups of common origin is organised in a hierarchy of three levels of cultural ethnic and linguistic groupings, termed the Onomap Taxonomy.
At the base of such hierarchy there are a total of 185 independently assigned categories termed Onomap Types, which represent the smallest building blocks of the Onomap Taxonomy. These are then organised in 66 Onomap Subgroups which themselves nest together in much coarser 16 Onomap Groups.
The Onomap Classification Algorithm is the set of rules by which Onomap software decides how an individual's name is assigned to one final Onomap Type and how the overall person's Onomap score is calculated.
Each person is due to have two components of a name, a forename and a surname. Both of these elements are evaluated against a ‘Name-to-Onomap Type' dictionary that determines the likely Onomap Type of each of them.
When putting these two together, different cases are possible, such as that both elements of a person's name share the same Onomap Type, that they only share a common Onomap Subgroup or an Onomap Group, or that they do not share any of the three, in addition to other data handling situations.
In order to consider all of these posible cases when evaluating a person's Onomap Type, the Onomap Classification Algorithm is comprised of a set of seven rules or cases. At the end of the coding process, a person is assigned with an Onomap Type according to one of these seven cases defined as the Onomap Coding Case.
The OnoMap classification is an output of academic research and uses data from multiple sources. To read more about the Onomap methodology download a UCL Working Paper:
Mateos, Webber and Longley (2007) The Cultural, Ethnic and Linguistic Classification of Populations and Neighbourhoods using Personal Names , CASA Working Paper 116, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London
To read more about Name-based ethnicity classification methods, see a published review paper
Mateos, P. (2007) A review of name-based ethnicity classification methods and their potential in population studies, Population Space and Place , 13 (4): 243-263
If you would like to licence any of the OnoMap software for commercial or academic purposes then please get in touch using the details on our contact page.