For those of us whose nerdiness blends an interest in historical linguistics and geography, the “Atlas of True Names” is here to help. This fascinating collection of maps…

…reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today’s maps…

For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated, the Atlas gives you “The Tawny One”, derived from Arab. es-sahra “the fawn coloured, desert”….

Update: There is now a more in-depth version specifically for the United States.