Category: mapping

U.S. City Names That Have Changed

If you’re like many Americans, you have an “I ♥️ N.Y.C/Chicago/L.A.” t-shirt in the back of your closet. Because of our love for these big cities, we know N.Y.C.’s nickname is the Big Apple and that it’s quite windy in Chicago (thus its nickname). We’re also cognizant that L.A. is where most Hollywood stars reside. However, we might not know that these cities didn’t always have the same names we’re familiar with today.

For instance, L.A. used to be dubbed “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula.” This translates to The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula and was shortened to Los Angeles in the 19th century. Many more cities have cycled through various names throughout the years, including nearly every city in one particular midwestern state. See these changes for yourself via the map.

View U.S. City Name Changes in a full screen map

We used Wikipedia’s List of city name changes to create the map. You may filter the locations by the total number of name changes (five is the most!), or read on to learn how colonial names like Swilling’s Mill, Arizona morphed into the large city of Phoenix.

Cities with Many a Former Name

There are plenty of reasons why a city may wish to spruce up its name. Perhaps the current one is offensive to a group of people or it’s simply no longer a good representation. Why not improve colonial names used centuries ago? Several places take it further than just one or two changes. The following cities have undergone five name changes throughout the years.

  • Albany, New York
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Kinston, North Carolina
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Each of these cities has had periods being called five different names, though previous names were often recycled. The city of Albany has previously been dubbed Fort Nassau, Fort Orange, Albany, and Willemstad, before going back to Albany. Kinston cycled through former names like Atkins Bank, Kingston, Kinston, and Caswel, before reverting back to Kinston. Pittsburgh was known as Fort Duquesne, Fort Pitt, Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, and then Pittsburgh once again.

Remarkably, both Concord and Phoenix have had five unique former names. Concord was originally settled by the Pennacook Native Americans and was later called the Plantation of Penney Cook, Penney Cook, Pennacook, and Rumford, before ultimately landing on Concord. Concord comes from a new concord or peace between two towns after a boundary dispute.

As for Phoenix, the city was named Swilling’s Mill, after the surname of a Civil War veteran who erected crop fields in the east of modern-day Phoenix. Swilling’s Mill evolved into Hellinwg Mill, and then Mill City before a settler suggested Phoenix as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization (the Hohokam people and their descendants). East Phoenix was then adopted before the East was dropped entirely.

Now that we know how the Plantation of Penney Cook became Concord, New Hampshire and Swilling’s Mill morphed into Phoenix, Arizona, let’s see how the states fare with their cities’ name changes.

Illinois & Other States with Varying City Names

Not only are there several cities that have gone through plenty of names, there are also some states with more finicky cities than others. Only 36 U.S. states have cities with at least one reported name change. The states listed below are home to the most.

  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut

Illinois is practically a whole new state with all of its cities’ name changes. Of the 323 U.S. cities with former names, 157 are located in IL (that’s over 48% from one state!) Further putting Illinois cities’ name changes into perspective, the state with the second-most city name changes (New Jersey), has 20 cities with varying names. Then comes Massachusetts, where 14 cities with former names are located. As for Pennsylvania and Connecticut, these states are home to 12 and 11 cities with newer names, respectively.

However, most of the states have between 1-3 cities with former names. For example, while Phoenix, Arizona was notable for its five unique name changes, Phoenix is also the only city in the Grand Canyon State with a former name.

Build an International Name Change Map

Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

While we didn’t include international city name changes on our map above, you could create your own. Then you could explore some of the fun name changes we discovered in our research: Edo was the city of Tokyo’s former name before it was changed in 1868. Casablanca was known as Anfa in ancient times (and, indeed, the oldest district of the city still bears that name). And what was the former name for Paris? The City of Lights used to be known as Lutetia, which means a place near a swamp or marsh. We prefer Paris.

To make your own map:

  1. Find the cities you want to map
  2. Format your location data in Excel
  3. Copy-paste it into our Excel map builder

You can easily map up to 500 data points for free, using an open data source or any location data you have available. If you need more than 500 locations, take advantage of BatchGeo Pro, which allows you to map 20,000 data points at a time. Depending on your data quantity, you save time with our automated mapping tool. Get started with more insights into your data at

Mapped: Largest Famous Protests in American History

The United States was created on the basis of protest (Boston Tea Party, anybody?). Therefore, the history of protest in America is as crucial as American football. The Constitution’s First Amendment even protects the right to free speech and assembly.

As the U.S.’s population has increased, so too have the sizes of protests. Let’s take a look at the various types of political protests, the 10 protests with participants in the millions (like the 2020 United States racial unrest), and, of course, their locations.

View Famous Protests in American History in a full screen map

The map displays data from Wikipedia’s List of protests in the United States by size. We divided them into 12 categories, such as gender, race, and war.

Overview of the Types & Years of Famous Protests

From climate change to war, race, and gender, among others, there have been many instigating factors for the 23 most famous—and largest—U.S. political protests. Which types of protests occurred the most? See the breakdown below.

  • Gender-related protests (4)
  • Climate change (3)
  • Race (3)
  • War (3)
  • Sexual orientation (2)
  • Gun violence (2)
Photo of Million Women’s March Chicago by bradhoc
Photo of Women’s March Boston Jan 2017 by Ryan Dorsey

Other types that appeared within the history of protest in America include abortion, Armenian genocide, organized labor, political figure scandal, satire, and trade. Each has been represented by one protest throughout the years.

Years of Famous Protests

Speaking of years, what timetable are we looking at with these protests?

As you can see, the most famous protests are pretty recent, the oldest being the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. But protests still occurred 100 years ago, just on a smaller scale. Older protests can be found on the map of major 1917 events along with those from 1918, 1919, and 1920. Now that we have a better understanding of the types and years of these famous protests, let’s take a look at the largest.

The 10 Largest Protests by Participants

The 1995 Million Man March (8th largest) saw the National Park Service and event organizers disagree over attendance. Ever since, official crowd estimates have relied on an amalgam of police data, organizer estimates, crowd scientist research, and journalists.

Now, all 23 well-known protests of America’s history had at least 40,000 protesters in attendance. However, several drew even larger crowds: think millions of participants. Below are the 10 protests with the most participants.

Protest City Estimated participants
2020 United States racial unrest Nationwide 15,000,000-26,000,000
2017 Women’s March Nationwide 3,300,000–5,600,000
March for Our Lives Nationwide 1,200,000-2,000,000
2018 Women’s March Nationwide 1,500,000
#RickyRenuncia San Juan, Puerto Rico 1,100,000
March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation Washington, D.C. 800,000–1,000,000
Anti-nuclear weapon march New York City 700,000–1,000,000
Million Man March Washington, D.C. 670,000–800,000
March for Women’s Lives Washington, D.C. 500,000–1,000,000
Million Mom March Washington, D.C. 750,000

The four best-attended protests in the U.S. occurred nationwide in cities across the country from Washington D.C. to Portland, Oregon. The largest of these also happens to be the most recent: the 2020 United States racial unrest, which includes multiple sub-protests like those for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, which resulted in various building and award name changes. This racial unrest went well-past September, but the map only includes those up to that month. We were curious about more of the specifics of these nationwide protests’ location, so we made a second map, displayed below.

Yet before nationwide protests became the norm, there were those held exclusively in Washington D.C., N.Y.C., or San Juan, PR. Though concentrated in one city, the six protests that included #RickyRenuncia (also known as Telegramgate, Chatgate, or RickyLeaks) drew more participants than the fifth and final nationwide protest: the March for Science, or #11.

Locations of the Nationwide Protests

Of the five nationwide famous protests in American history, only the March for Science missed the list of the top ten largest protests. However, its 395 individual protest locations nationwide did make it onto the map below.

View Nationwide Protests in a full screen map

While each of the nationwide political protests was made up of individual city protests, not every city recorded an attendance count.

Make Google Maps With Thousands of Markers

Whether it’s famous protests, the largest wildfires of the decade, or any number of important topics, you can better visualize location data with maps. And when it comes to maps, Google Maps reigns supreme.

Utilize Google Maps via BatchGeo, which uses the Google Maps Geocoding API to automatically map and display your data for free. For larger maps, a Pro plan supports up to 20,000 markers at a time (which we needed to create our second map of 2,000+). Learn more about how you can map multiple locations on Google Maps with just a few steps.

Implement Project Tracking with Excel

From never-ending email updates to last-minute finishing touches on an overdue project, you have plenty on your plate at work. No matter how you currently manage it all, Excel can be a helpful addition to your project management tool kit. The popular spreadsheet software can help keep track of important dates and which members of your team are doing what.

Be it for a one-off project or an entirely new system for your processes, let’s take a look at two of the ways Excel can help you with project tracking: a timeline for projects and a chart to visualize it all.

Excel Project Tracker

Keeping track of key dates and how long it will take to accomplish each task in a larger project is essential to ensuring it goes off without a hitch. This kind of project tracking comes easy to Excel—just start by creating appropriate column headers and then fill in the details.

Some suggested headings include:

  • Task name
  • Status
  • Who it’s assigned to
  • Start date
  • Completion date
  • Duration
  • Additional notes or comments

These headings can be as granular or big picture as you’d like. For example, some might opt for separate Internal due date and External/client due date columns. Once you choose the headings specific to your project and fill in the details, you’ve got yourself a fool-proof way of tracking your projects. However, you may wish to turn this into a more visually-pleasing way of looking at your project’s steps, as we’ll show below.

Make a PM Gantt Chart in Excel

Another way to communicate project management data? Make it visual with the help of a chart. Gantt charts are a popular option for project management purposes as they offer an easy way to schedule and track your progress. And what better place to create a chart than the same tool you use for project management? While Excel doesn’t include Gantts as a chart type, you can make one of your project tracking data with a customized Stacked Bar chart.

To start, open your Excel project tracking spreadsheet and ensure you have (or add!) separate data columns for task name and either:

  • Start date and Duration OR
  • Number of days since start date and number of days until the task is completed

Then, select only those data columns and follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Insert → Bar Chart → Stacked Bar
  2. Remove the Start dates’ fill by right-clicking the blue bars → Format Data Series… → Fill → No Fill
  3. Since we want the first task at the top, let’s check the box for Categories in reverse order
  4. Optional: delete the title and/or legend by clicking → Delete

The result is a beautifully formatted chart that shows your progress. Note that you can customize the colors of your chart and even save it as a template for future Gantts. But charts aren’t the only way to visualize your business data.

More Ways to Make Excel Work for Your Projects

Project management is important for any successful venture and an Excel spreadsheet is a cheap and effective place for your data. See more ways to use Excel as a PM tool. However, it’s not the only useful thing for which you can use Excel.

If your spreadsheet contains location data such as addresses, cities, states, or countries, you can also map out your data. Maps provide visual insights you may otherwise miss. Get a feel for where the majority of your markers (data points) are located, sort, group, etc. One such example applies if you send out quotes or estimates on behalf of your business. If so, you can create a proposal tracking map.

View Proposal Tracking Map in a full screen map

Your success counts on improving the percentage of proposals that are accepted, keep track of where in the world or region your proposals go, where they are most accepted, and how potential clients heard about your business. So the ability to sort by “Proposal Status” or “How They Heard About Us” is invaluable. See what you can gain from making a similar map for your business at