Places and streets named after personalities are indicators of social hierarchy in a city. Often they are as prestigious as the person they are named after. We wanted to study the distribution and location of gender in eponymous streets and made a map!
We looked at the number of roads named after women versus men and their geographical distribution using OpenStreetMap data. To run the analysis we put together a light script using Turf.js and Tile Reduce and queried OSM QA Tiles.
After filtering tokens like national highways (NH), state highways (SH), crosses, mains, margs, and salais we sent the names to NamSor - a robust API for applied onomastics.
The results are fascinating, and maybe not surprising: streets named after men are more numerous and more centrally located than streets named after women in the metro areas we analyzed. Between Bengaluru, Chennai, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, and San Francisco, the percentage of streets named after women is an average of 27.5. Among the cities in India, Bengaluru tops the list with 39% of streets named after women.
We’re still working hard to perfect the code and are taking requests for more cities on Twitter. Take a look below to see what we have so far and let us know what else you would like to see!