I am developing a software product. Very briefly, given a floor plan, it lets the user edit it, and add information to each "room".

Think of a shopping mall, where it will display the floor plan and have a list of shops, alphabetically or by category; search for one & it is highlighted on the map. Click any room on the map & get information — maybe opening hours, restaurant menu, etc.

Now just shopping malls; anywhere that needs a "directory", maybe last office blocks, college campuses (campi? ;-), exhibition halls, etc. Is there one Latin word that sort of conveys that — which would sound good as a product name?

1 Answer 1


Forma urbis was a famous ancient plan of the city of Rome. This is the single best precedent for this kind of a map in the Latin-speaking world, and I therefore recommend using it or its variations.

It means literally "shape of the city". If you have something other than a city, you may want to replace the second word by something else:

  • Forma campi, "form of the campus"
  • Forma aedificii, "form of the building"
  • Forma fori, "form of the marketplace"

If you want a single name for your product — as would indeed be good so as not to confuse any customers who might be less fluent in Latin — then I recommend picking a single variant. The original forma urbis might bring to mind an app about ancient Rome, so varying it might be best. Those who know the original can recognize the word play and the rest just have a name. Perhaps one of the ones I listed above? You can pick the one that looks best or is easiest to pronounce or the one that best matches your primary use case.

If you need suggestions for translating a specific thing such as a shopping mall into Latin, that is perhaps best taken to a separate question. You can ask several! The thing you need about the word for this purpose is the (singular) genitive form.

  • upvote, but, sorry, it's not exactly snappy. Is there no single word which implies a font of knowledge? Maye I should look into gods and godesses ... or maybe there is a Pandora's box of knowlegde. guidance, etc
    – Mawg
    Jun 26, 2021 at 12:14
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    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica Oh, I thought Forma urbis is pretty much the snappiest you could get with Latin here, especially with the Roman map of the same name. Google Translate is very untrustworthy with Latin and I would disregard it entirely. It is far better to consult any of the many (free) online Latin dictionaries. Rimor means "I dig up" or "I explore" or similar. Dux can be a general guide, but I don't think I've ever seen it refer to anything but a person and the first impression is "general".
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 26, 2021 at 13:55
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    I'd also have suggested something like index aedium (vel locorum), but that would admittedly suffer from the same lack of snappiness. Jun 26, 2021 at 18:07
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    @SebastianKoppehel Do you want to write that into an answer? While it might not be what the asker wants here, it might be perfect for someone who else stumbles upon this question later.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 26, 2021 at 22:00
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    @MawgsaysreinstateMonica I don't know if such a map exists. It's best to take it to a new question, but perhaps history is indeed the most fitting site. You might have more luck with modern drawings of ancient buildings.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jun 27, 2021 at 7:44

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