New web solution for the translation of place names

Regio and Jāņa sēta, the largest map publisher in Latvia, have collaborated to create TerraLexicon – an automatic translation solution that allows the translation of place names on maps into multiple languages directly within the design file.

Our partnership to develop the new translation service began a year and a half ago. The idea for the application came about because of the endless manual corrections required when existing software attempted to translate geographical names, slowing down the process of translating maps and making it much more expensive. Since both Regio and Jāņa sēta were interested in coming up with a solution to this problem, we joined our forces and developed an entirely new translation service.

Our first meeting in 2019 – brainstorming the name of the new translation solution
The names are translated directly within the design file

Unlike ordinary translation solutions, TerraLexicon focuses exclusively on translating proper nouns. At the moment it enables the translation of place names, but in the near future, it will also be able to translate other proper names, such as personal names, species’ names, the names of chemical elements and more. TerraLexicon’s main advantage over other translation services lies in the fact that the names are translated directly within the design file. This saves a lot of time and money.

The combined knowledge of two companies made the development work more effective

Regio CEO Leida Lepik says the company is delighted to have turned the idea for the translation solution – one much-needed and long sought-after – into reality. “Our combined knowledge and experience made our development work even more effective, and also meant we could split the costs,” she explained. “We’ve now got a tool that will have a positive impact on our export potential and our everyday work.”

In addition to the map publishers themselves, the new service could prove to be of use to fellow publishers, translation agencies and other companies that need to translate a lot of names directly into vector files. Such as for wall maps, illustrations and maps in books, posters etc.

Mareks Kilups, a member of the management board of Jāņa sēta, says that in parallel with developing the software they have been talking to colleagues and potential users outside of their companies. “That’s given us a better understanding of the needs that users have, which should allow us to come up with a solution that will be of maximum benefit to everyone,” he said. “When we reached the end of the development phase we organised online workshops in Estonian, Latvian and English to showcase the technical capabilities of TerraLexicon and how it works. As a result quite a few users have given it a go.”

The new translation service can be found online at

“Regio” Ltd (Estonia) and “Karšu izdevniecība Jāņa sēta” Ltd (Latvia) project “Geoname translator for maps” (Est-Lat112) was supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Estonian – Latvian cross-border cooperation programme Interreg. The project was being implemented in the Estonian – Latvian (EST-LAT) cross-border cooperation programme in the thematic objective “Increasing the competitiveness of SMEs” priority axis “Active and attractive business environment.” The project started in September 2019 and ended in March 2021. See more:

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