Geographical terminology is an integral part of historical and contemporary landscape in the Czech Lands. Many roots of contemporary geographical names are of pre-Slavonic origin, for example Celtic or Germanic. The origins, development and transformations of geographical terminology reflect the relationship of man (society) towards landscape on the level of spatial knowledge, orientation in space and the mastery of it. Geographical terminology thus reflects not merely the landscape character and unique characteristics of many different landscapes but also the spiritual and ideological dimension of the individual developmental stages of human society. In particular, written resources and maps preserve the inheritance and transfer of geographical names, in addition to generational human memory, albeit merely for a limited period. Geographical names are monitored and researched by specialists from many scientific disciplines, especially linguists, geographers, geodesists, historians and historical geographers, sociologists and lawyers. Geographical terminology makes its mark in applied research and practice. Geographical names have been and continue to be integral parts of everyday reality in the broad sphere of human performance, deliberations and decision-making. Geographical terminology is a living entity which undergoes continuous development and transformations. It is a reflection of landscape-forming and historical processes, a remnant of mutual relationship between two phenomena, landscape and society. This reflection forms a mental map of landscape in the human mind, which is influenced by a geographical and cultural-historical awareness of their inhabitants. Although geographical names have been transcribed and continue to be transcribed, in conjunction with the strata of new countries and ruling human societies, with some definitely disappearing in some regions or with completely new ones emerging elsewhere, their traces are transferred from generation to generation through the intermediary of historical primary sources. Geographical terminology with its emotional and ideological value and contents remains part of landscape's memory, whether in landscape itself, in human memory or historical sources. In the Czech Lands the tradition of collecting, documentation and research of historical geographical names dates back to the mid-19th century. The observance of important changes in terminology in the past, alongside the research of their causes leads to a better understanding of the genesis of the wealth of terminology and their preservation as part of the cultural heritage of the Czech Lands.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.