Hampshire Mills Group

 

 

The International Molinology Society
TIMS

a personal view from HMG member George Roussopoulos

 

TIMS is ’The International Molinology Society’. It is based in Belgium, has representatives in many countries and assembles information about wind and water mills across the world.

Its most useful resource is the TIMS database, a sophisticated spreadsheet assembly of key information about the location and types of water, wind and other types of mills in many countries which anybody can access and add to.

It enables their location to be easily plotted on the Google Earth maps and constitutes a very useful tool when travelling abroad. The coverage however varies considerably from country to country:

There are 3 databases covering a total of over 20,000 mills. One can download them in a zip format which then opens into a big .xls spreadsheet that then reduces by a factor of about 4 when saved as an xlsx. Each mill has one line containing e.g. its name, coordinates, descriptions of its function and its technical aspects etc.

And one can also download a .kmz file which plots their location in Google Earth, then go to a specific region to see the mills available there.

The first ‘millscombined’ contains the 8,375 mills for which a photo has been provided. In addition, there is a second database ‘nophotos’ of 10,661 mills without a photo, and another covering 1,893 so-called ‘inaccurate’ mills for which the information included is more fragmentary or less reliable. The latter is like a work in progress and its geographic cover differs from the 2 main ones.

I have analysed the millscombined database which, as an xlsx file, is of about 9mb:

 

DISTRIBUTION OF MILLS  IN TIMS

Mills with photos

03/01/2015

(Selected countries)

%

Total

 

Germany

28.5%

2,391

 

Netherlands

19.0%

1,589

 

Belgium

9.5%

795

 

Portugal

7.9%

662

 

France

5.3%

440

 

Sweden

5.1%

423

 

Denmark

3.3%

273

 

Switzerland

2.1%

178

 

Austria

2.1%

177

 

Greece

2.1%

172

 

Finland

1.7%

143

 

Estonia

1.5%

122

 

Italy

1.4%

120

 

USA

1.1%

96

 

England (=UK)

0.9%

78

 

Lithuania

0.9%

73

 

Slovenia

0.6%

54

 

Norway

0.6%

50

 

Czech Republic

0.5%

41

 

Ukraine

0.4%

37

 

Thailand

0.4%

33

 

Canada

0.3%

24

 

Poland

0.3%

23

 

Romania

0.2%

20

 

Russia

0.2%

15

 

Hungary

0.1%

10

 

Croatia

0.0%

4

 

Cyprus

0.0%

3

 

Slovakia

0.0%

1

       
 

Other countries

3.9%

328

       
 

Total

100.0%

8,375

Of which

     

... water

 

40.4%

 

... Wind

 

56.1%

 

... other

 

3.5%

 

 

This distribution probably reflects 3 main factors:

size of country, prevalence of mills in it, zeal of contributors to TIMS

The ‘zeal’ factor comes from the fact that the main contributors are from northern Europe, and they have added places to which they tend to travel on holidays from home!

So for instance the cover in Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Austria looks very thorough, but it is much more sketchy elsewhere, including in France and the UK where there is much more information available from local groups but not registered with TIMS.

Take a look - it may be fun, and you may wish to contribute to TIMS your own discoveries as you travel one day!

 George A Roussopoulos

13 June 2015

 

   



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