Timo Rantanen

I started to work in the BEDLAN research group in 2014. During the recent years, I have been developing the geographical approach in studying the human history from spatial and spatiotemporal perspectives. I am for example concentrated on to study the interaction between the physical environment and human by using linguistic and environmental data of Finland. On the other hand, notable part of my work has been in collection, harmonization and digitalization of different datasets such as Geographical database of the Uralic languages (including high-quality maps and geospatial datasets of Uralic language family) and a cost-distance model indicating the human travel effort in (pre)historic Finland. I execute most of my work by using geographic information systems (GIS), which enable the production of the geospatial datasets, map visualizations as well as more advanced spatial analyses. I am also interested in expand my expertise in geostatistics. From geographical point of view, I am focused on two spatial scales: 1) area of Finland, and 2) area where Uralic languages are/were spoken.

Major interests

  • Geoinformatics
  • Spatial databases
  • Geospatial analyses
  • Language geography
  • Uralic languages
  • Interdisciplinary human history
  • Environment-human interaction


ORCiD ID 0000-0003-0835-9088

Rantanen, T., Tolvanen, H., Roose, M., Ylikoski, J. & Vesakoski, O. 2022: Best practices for spatial language data harmonization, sharing and map creation – A case study of Uralic. PLoS ONE 17(6): e0269648.

Rantanen, T., Vesakoski, O. & Ylikoski, J. 2022: Mapping the distribution of the Uralic languages. Marianne Bakró-Nagy, Johanna Laakso & Elena Skribnik (eds.), The Oxford Guide to the Uralic Languages. Oxford University Press.

Rantanen, T., Tolvanen, H., Honkola, T., Vesakoski, O. 2021: A comprehensive spatial model for historical travel effort – a case study in Finland. Fennia 199 (1) 61-88.

Contact information

Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku

Email: timo.rantanen(at)utu.fi