|Background information with some historical facts of the origin and development of populstat.info.|
Why this site?
You might wonder why this site is being built? It’s a somewhat peculiar kind of hobby that I have collected these data already for more than 35 years now.
Geography, atlantes and maps have always formed my core hobby, besides other interests in culture and science.
Gathering the data
Originally – in my teens – I used to draw maps. Maps of real existing countries as well as of phantasy worlds. In the maps of the real world I wanted to show the proportion of places with certain symbols and for that purpose I needed recent figures.
Since that time I started to collect data on the number of inhabitants of cities, provinces and states all around the world. A remarkable collection of population figures has been built, mostly as photocopies and written on loose-leaf systems.
While collecting these data it occured to me that places also have a historical component. Not only were they mostly growing in size, but they beared other names in the past, in the same language partly due to changed political views, and in other languages partly due to foreign rule or trade with other nations. The phenomenon of international name variants exists still nowadays. So I have decided to include that kind of information too in these files. Most name variants are – or will be in due time – transferred to helpful “see” references in the tables when the alphabetical order of place names make such entries necessary.
While searching data in atlantes, encyclopedias and geographical dictionaries more information has been gathered. Some files of places include extra information of elevation in metres, dates of foundation, and exceptionally co-ordinates.
From paper to an electronic version on the web
The idea of publishing this databank crossed my mind now and then, but the investment in time and money made this impossible. But nowadays with the use of spreadsheet programs I can “publish” it more easily on Internet and WWW than in the classic way on paper.
Since 1993 I made some initial steps to convert my old fashioned data-archive on paper into a modern database on a personal computer. In Spring 1999 the technological progress of Internet and WWW made it possible for me to build a site on this subject. By that way the information is not only kept for myself, but it is accessible for everyone all over the world who is searching via this new medium.
And now here it is, though the site is not perfect yet! There are still al lot of things to fulfil: a better lay-out, more sophisticated showing of diacritic marks, and of course filling certain gaps in the tables. I hope I may have the time to make these wishes come true.