Kategoriarkiv: English

Weblog posts in English

”Digital turn” vs. ”computational turn”

While having a hunch usually is enough to make a tweet about something (often hoping someone will either prove you wrong or right, or ask interesting follow-up questions), it is sometimes necessary to look into things to discover if your hunch has any validity.

In this case, my hunch is that digital turn and computational turn are (or rather have become) empty phrases used by humanities researchers to sound hip and aware about the fact that the internet happened and that digital literacy has an impact of our way to research and understand things. Maybe my hunch is more of a prejudice, based on hearing too many complacent remarks from newly turned digital humanists, and maybe I should just leave this as a rant with a TL;DR I am a bitter and prejudiced librarian at the end. But… let’s look at some data instead.

DHQ – a landmark digital humanities journal

Digital Humanities Quarterly is one of the most well-known digital humanities journals and possibly a good material for looking into whether the phrases digital turn and computational turn are used/over-used/under-used in the field in general. I downloaded a batch of DHQ content from their website (yay open access and general accesibility!) in 2019 and have all articles from vol 1 issue 1 to vol 13 issue 3 on my computer.

I uploaded these articles in an xml format to the excellent online text mining tool Voyant and was pleased to find Voyant was great at handling xml files (I’m making a note for future reference as I use this tool when I teach digital tools and methods at Uppsala University Library). I got some immediate results and couldn’t immediately grasp how the Phrases tool work so here I’m posting the results shown in the Contexts tool. (Quick note: This is just because I’m lazy/not overly invested in this topic, but if you really want to learn one of the Voyant functions in-depth they have GREAT DOCUMENTATION.)

The phrases aren’t super common in DHQ articles, it seems. Here they are, presented in the context (embedding code provided graciously by Voyant’s export functions).

Digital turn

Computational turn

So, not very convincing results to prove my hunch is right, but maybe an insight into the original of digital turn? I could definitely follow-up on that David M. Berry thread and try to look into some citation network data. I won’t, at least not now, but I could.

Searching for the phrase in Summon (ub.uu.se)

The question that popped into my head after seeing the above-mentioned results was: Maybe recognised digital humanities scholars are less prone to using these terms? Maybe they are used by researchers who are ”new” in the field, or those who are using the term in another, non DH context to sound impressive or pedagogical about the digital transformation of science and society?

The next thing I did may not answer these questions, but it does give some insight on the overarching academic disciplines where the phrase digital turn is most common. So, what did I do? Simple, I did a phrase search on ”digital turn” in the online catalogue of Uppsala University Library, Summon.

I received 1441 results on this search and decided to filter them according to discipline (a facet in the left hand pane of the search interface). The disciplines are quite detailed, so I did a manual sorting of the disciplines into the high level categories used in DiVA (you can read more about these at the DiVA wiki on Advanced search, look under Controlled searches > Category ID).

A few of the disciplines were hard to sort (recreation & sports; parapsychology & occult sciences; applied sciences; geography) so for these I had a quick look on the search results and decided on category based on the articles and/or journals that were represented in the results.

(Side note: parapsychology & occults sciences had 1 result, and led me to the fascinating journal Aries, which on the publisher’s web page has the tantalising description ”the first professional academic journal specifically devoted to a long-neglected but now rapidly developing domain of research in the humanities, usually referred to as ”Western Esotericism”.” The question I know we’re all asking ourselves now is: is the ghost of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sometimes guest editor, or even *drum roll* ghost writer for this journal?)

While I have a whole spreadsheet with this information, I will just post some highlights here. You can also get the link to the search results. You can obviously have the spreadsheet if you like (just send an e-mail), I’m just too lazy to post it here now since it’s quite basic and therefore not worth the effort.

Okay, so highlights. The ”digital turn” usage per high level category is:

Category Number of search results
Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences 
Engineering and Technology 146
Humanities and the Arts 773
Medical and Health Sciences 74
Natural Sciences 69
Social Sciences 823
All 1887

As you can see, All amounts to a larger amount of search results (1887) than I previously stated (1441). My guess is that since I imported the numbers per discipline, some of the results will have been tagged with two or more disciplines, meaning they count twice as examples of a discipline in the table.

You can also gather from the table that the phrase ”digital turn” is way more popular in humanities and social sciences – together they account for 1596 of 1887 results, i.e. 84,6 %!

Why is this? Is the phrase ”digital turn” more fascinating in social sciences and humanities? Did the other sciences simply not encounter a digital turn, but rather a digital transition spread out over such a long period of time that digitalisation wasn’t received as something revolutionary and sensational?

Where is it? Where is the ”digital turn”?

The temporal aspect is also interesting – the first 40 results were published before 2000 (with the oldest actually being a record from 1898, from Medical Times and Register – apparently the phrase was found in the full-text (which wasn’t available to me), but I couldn’t find it, despite reading through all 8 pages (and learning a lot about surgical practices)). A time graph of the result list would be interesting to see, but I’m not yet sure of the best way to export the result list as an easy-to-work-with data set, so that will have to wait.

Maybe I’ll look into computational turn tomorrow.


The bigness of the world is redemption. Despair compresses you into a small space, and a depression is literally a hollow in the ground. To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary, but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest. Being able to travel both ways matters, and sometimes the way back into the heart of the question begins by going outward and beyond. This is the expansiveness that sometimes comes literally in a landscape or that tugs you out of yourself in a story.

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

A Short Note on Animal Welfare in British Politics

It is easy to be swayed by populist propaganda, especially if it comes from a) political parties and b) the press. Both parts are equally guilty of misinformation through ”political information”, although one might argue this is not their responsibility as a public education system exists which is meant to teach citizens information literacy and critical thinking.

An interview with Morrissey was recently posted on Morrissey’s (?) new (?) web page. While many of the points have been a topic of discussion (and loathing and gloating &c) one case is certainly the mention of the right-wing party For Britain. This is the quote:

JOHN: You say you have never known a British political party that represents your views.

MORRISSEY: There is a new party called For Britain. They have the best approach to animal welfare, whereas no other party even bothers to mention animal welfare. The EU will not protect animals from halal or kosher practice. For Britain seem to say what many British people are currently thinking, which is why the BBC or Channel 4 News will not acknowledge them, because, well, For Britain would change British politics forever … and we can’t have that! If you love animals, you really cannot vote Labour or Conservative. Give animals a break. They’ve done enough for you. Let them live.

Because people generally make sloppy analyses of Morrissey’s political statements, and because people are generally bad at fact checking, I decided to do some for myself.

This is what For Britain’s manifesto says on animal welfare:

12.Agriculture & Fisheries
• Reintroduction of 200 mile limit under UNCLOS 1977;
• Rebuild UK fishing fleet with UK boats, gear & crew;
• Farming: Support transition from CAP with an end goal of self-sufficiency;
• Farming & Fisheries are strategic and must be assisted to regrow – abuse by major buyers must be tackled;
• End the live export of animals;
• End religious slaughter;
• Prioritise a culture of animal welfare in agriculture;

This is what Labour’s manifesto says on animal welfare:

Animal Welfare

This is what the Conservative’s manifesto says on animal welfare (the issuu publication was not ideal for browsing so I did a simple search on ”animal” in the text and may for that reason have missed something):

We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. As we leave the European Union, we can take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter.

My conclusion is his first statement is incorrect; both Labour and Conservatives mention animal welfare in their manifestos. As to what they say, one might ask what the difference is between >prioritising a culture of animal welfare in agriculture (For Britain) and promote cruelty-free animal husbandry (Labour)? They seem equally vague to me and I’d be much more interested to read any proposed legislation they might have been working on to achieve these goals. (As for the Conservatives I’m not sure how CCTV is supposed to make anyone feel better while being slaughtered…? Cf. Morrissey’s ”humane slaughter” argument.)

As for the second statement, on halal and kosher slaughter, it is notable that For Britain is the only one of the three parties who call for the end of any slaughter. On the other hand, they want to rebuild the UK fishing fleet and regrow the fishing industry, so the conclusion one can draw (and I’m genuinely surprised Morrissey does not do this, but on the other hand he probably has better things to do than look into political manifestos :)) from their manifesto is that the issue isn’t about animal welfare as much as racial positioning and national promotion – which is absolutely disgusting. The sociologist John Lever has written a short piece on the issue of how ”concerns about religious animal slaughter and animal welfare are consistent across […] historical periods and the paper explores the extent to which these issues act as a proxy for real life problems connected to wider processes of socioeconomic development and change.” (My italics)

Another interesting article on the topic is Killing Animals for Food: How Science, Religion and Technologies Affect the Public Debate About Religious Slaughter by sociologist Mara Miele, where she notes that the cultural amnesia regarding meat production (i.e. the UK view and knowledge on slaughterhouses as compared to non-mechanised slaughter on small scale farms) ”might create the conditions of possibility for cruelty of a new kind, on a greater, more deeply hidden scale” (i.e. the abattoir).

The whole piece is actually quite insightful (and doesn’t seem to evaluate which type of killing is the greater evil) and her end statement is: ”For [the current] ethical questioning [the] two institutions (the traditional practice of killing and the modern slaughterhouse) do not seem to offer satisfactory answers: the most pressing issue that will need to be addressed is not how to kill ‘humanely’ farm animals for food, but how to find ways to reduce the number of animals that need to be killed for food.”

Now, my ideal newspaper would have written about this instead. I mean, if the Guardian really wants to throw dirt on Morrissey, wouldn’t it be more satisfactory to do so with actual facts? Alas no, because what they do write on the issue is:

Morrissey instead throws his weight behind For Britain, the far-right party set up by former Ukip member Anne Marie Waters, someone he namechecked in a recent concert on the BBC. He said he was supporting the party because “they have the best approach to animal welfare”.

I did do search on the Guardian webpage for articles on [animal welfare ”for britain”] and [animal welfare ”anne marie waters”] and the only related things that show up in the search is more articles about Morrissey (really?) and this ludicrous piece on Easter eggs, where Anne Marie Waters try to make a cheap political point based on a Sainsbury’s tweet with incorrect facts, presumably made by a poor communications employee who really just makes it clear that large (and small) companies need to employ educated social media strategists who can anticipate which words and phrases might cause outrage by trolls on Twitter.

As usual my suggestion to everyone involved (fans, journalists, animal rights activists) is to read a book. Or just, you know, use the internet. It’s basically a library at your finger tips. Read, think – then write.

By the way, to whichever one of the mentioned groups you belong if I were you I’d be more worried about the lack of analysis and fact checking in the Guardian (and other newspapers, but does that even need to be said?). It is the press that is the fourth estate, not Morrissey.

Freedom of Panorama Public Art Walks at Icepops 2018

Yesterday I held a short lightning talk on the public art maps I previously wrote about on the UK Copyright Literacy blog (also cross-posted on this blog).

I’ve done a minor update on the interactive map page, adding public art in Uppsala with English text. I am planning to add more art in Uppsala and other cities, but time is (as always) scarce.

I wish I had been more of my usual enthusiastic self in the lightning talk but as soon as I stepped of the plane in Manchester on Monday I felt this terrible cold coming on and it still has me in a firm grip. As I’m staying the week in Liverpool for LILAC 2018 this is mighty annoying. Due to low energy levels I skipped this morning’s parallel sessions.

I did however attend the wonderful session on The Publishing Trap and I am now very keen to make a copy of the game to play at home (which is Uppsala University Library for the time being – surprise!). Luckily, some things are unbound by the unnatural national borders we keep up by copyright, so there’s not too many adaptions needed (if any?); open access and scholarly perceptions on publishing and openness are quite similar in Sweden and the UK. (A Brask note* that I haven’t studied all the board game materials in details.)

Well, while everyone else has been networking and checking out the terracotta army (did you know Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe?) at least my feverish sinuses has inspired this blog post.

* A Brask note is a sort of disclaimer, although the etymology behind the Swedish brasklapp is so intriguing that it, like lagom, should be exported to the English language. And possibly many other languages as well.

Public Art and Policy: Educating Library Users in Copyright Literacy

As part of Kista Library’s Welcome Refugee Days on 17-20 June I arranged a Mozilla Maker Party to teach the public library users about copyright in everyday life. While copyright might seem like a difficult and dull topic of interest only to a select few (mainly creators and lawyers), it is actually one of the most urgent topics of media and information literacy (MIL).

Why is copyright essential to media and information literacy?

In the 2013 UNESCO publication Media and Information Literacy: Policy and Strategy Guidelines, UNESCO gives ”a full recognition that copyright is essential for enhancing individual creativity, for the advancement of knowledge and cultural expressions, and for the promotion of cultural diversity”,  while underlining that there is a difference between protectionism and empowerment when advocating for ethical use of media and information. A protectionist policy would e.g. be ”focus[sing] on copyright of scientific and educational resources”, while an empowering policy would be ”advocacy through MIL for open education resources and open access to scientific information”. Marika Alneng, author of Folkbibliotek i förändring – navigera med medie- och informationskunnighet (The changing public library – a navigation through media and information literacy, my translation), describes copyright as one of eight common denominators for the MIL teaching practises of public libraries in Sweden. She notes – and I wholeheartedly agree – that teaching copyright literacy to librarians (who in turn will teach the library users) could be done on a more positive note. To focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t do would be much more beneficial for the creativity and innovation that the European Union strives for (cf. (4) in the InfoSoc Directive (2001/29/EC)). Such an empowerment focus should also aim to increase the legal confidence of librarians – a greatly desired skill, as librarians are the citizens’ go-to-persons for all things digital in the information society.

What is a Maker Party?

Mozilla describes their Maker Party as ”a place for artists to connect with educators; for activists to trade ideas with coders; and for entrepreneurs to chat with makers. It’s a place to network, innovate and make a difference.” In 2016, the Maker Party theme of the year was ”to challenge outdated copyright laws in the European Union.” Mozilla had prepared three different activities which all highlighted European copyright absurdities – and how to advocate for changing them – in a modern sharing-is-caring society: Post Crimes, Meme Around, and Contributing to the Commons. Since all 28 member states of the European Union have different copyright legislations, I tweaked the activities to fit the Swedish circumstances. (It is for example a bit unclear to me if the Swedish quotation exception in copyright actually covers the making of memes and reaction gifs. Read more here about the European Parliament’s proposed changes to EU copyright – fingers crossed we can all meme around in the future!)

The Public Art Conundrum of Sweden

However, it is painstakingly clear that publishing pictures of public art online is not allowed according to Swedish copyright law – Sweden’s highest court judged in favour of the Visual Arts Copyright Society in Sweden in their case against Wikimedia Sweden, arguing that while individuals were permitted to photograph artwork on display in public spaces, it was ”an entirely different matter” to make the photographs available in a database for free and unlimited use. But what is a database? Well, BASICALLY EVERYTHING ONLINE. Oxford Dictionaries defines database as:

”[A] structured set of data held in a computer, especially one that is accessible in various ways.”

This means posting pictures of public art in Sweden online (whether it is on a tourist selfie or on a Wikipedia page) is copyright infringement. This includes sharing pictures on social media platforms such as Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram. Oh, to imagine I used to make fun of photographing the Eiffel tower in the day time vs. the night time…!

A map showing various stages of freedom of panorama in copyright legislation. Note how red Sweden is! Like one, big August crayfish party. (Map from Wikimedia Commons, by Mardus et al. CC BY-SA 3.0)

So, what to make of this? I had an idea.

Activity 1: A City Tour of Public Art

Cameras ready! And back to the Maker Party in Kista: I decided to construct a city tour of public art, where the library users were given a map pointing out public art in the vicinity of the library. They were invited to walk this tour and learn a bit more about the works of art, and by doing so also learning about their local society, it’s history and the cultural landscaping of the city. Indeed, the colourful pillars at the metro station in Kista is not an architectural curiosity like the tower in Pisa, but an artistic interpretation of the transition between rest and dynamic movement. Who knew? PDF’s with the City Tour maps can be found at the bottom of this post. When finishing the tour, the participants were introduced to a second map, one where the location markers had been replaced with either a red x (meaning the work could not be photographed and shared in a digital format) or a green check (meaning the work could be photographed and shared in a digital format). As the Swedish copyright law states that copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death, any public work of art made by an artist who died 1946 or earlier can be photographed and shared freely online.

This means good news for old kings…

… but bad news for Marianne Lindberg de Geer’s sexually hyperactive granite rabbits.

Activity 2: Contributing to the Commons

The second activity was meant to empower the users (much welcomed after introducing the supreme court’s protectionist view on public art) and was presented in a simple poster exhibition which introduced the Swedish copyright law, Creative Commons licences, where to find CC materials, and the photo challenge of Wikimedia Commons. This activity was based on the Mozilla Maker Party activity with the same name. Due to the drop-in organisation of my maker party it wasn’t possible to follow their schedule, but the components were there all the same. The aim was to, in a simple way, explain how digital creativity and copyright can be used to share and remix content, and also showcase how this can be built upon to support digital innovation and entrepeneurship. While it may seem a bit far-fetched, there is a strong connection to the Welcome Refugee Days event: by teaching library visitors about the legal system governing digital innovation and creativity they can get the knowledge and confidence to start their own businesses – which leads to both digital inclusion and integration into society. In other words, getting a key to solve one issue may get you past all those other doors as well.

Materials used in the Maker Party

Click the links to access the city tour maps and the poster exhibition (in Swedish). All map graphics are © OpenStreetMap contributors, and all maps and materials are therefore shared under CC BY-SA 2.0.

  1. Kista Public Art City Tour – 2 pages, A4
  2. Kungsträdgården Public Art City Tour – 2 pages, A4
  3. Poster Exhibition – 4 pages, A3
  4. soon to be uploaded – maps of answers to the city tours

Gallery from the event

Pictures mostly by me; if not, they’re reposted with permission.

Willy Vandersteen and his other legacy

En sådan lustig slump! Häromdagen var jag på Eleonora Rosatis evenemang The Wonderful Life of EU Copyright Law and Policy och advokat Geert Glas berättade ingående om rättsfallet Deckmyn vs. Vandersteen, där definitionen av upphovsrättslagens begrepp parodi var viktig för att utröna huruvida brott hade begåtts eller inte:

Article 22(1) of the Law of 30 June 1994 on copyright and related rights (Belgisch Staatsblad of 27 July 1994, p. 19297) states:
‘Once a work has been lawfully published, its author may not prohibit:

6. caricature, parody and pastiche, observing fair practice;

Fallet rör en bild som är en parafras på ett omslag till serien Suske en Wiske, tecknad av Willy Vandersteen, och som använts av Vlaams Belang-politikern Johan Deckmyn i en kalender publicerad av partiet (se illustrationerna i jämförelse med varandra på denna sida). Vandersteens menar:

The drawing at issue resembled that appearing on the cover of the Suske en Wiske comic book entitled ‘De Wilde Weldoener’ (which may roughly be translated as ‘The Compulsive Benefactor’), which was completed in 1961 by Mr Vandersteen. That drawing is a representation of one of the comic book’s main characters wearing a white tunic and throwing coins to people who are trying to pick them up. In the drawing at issue, that character was replaced by the Mayor of the City of Ghent and the people picking up the coins were replaced by people wearing veils and people of colour.

Och angående försvaret om att bilden är ett parodiskt inslag framför de följande:

Vandersteen and Others dispute that interpretation, since, according to them, parody must meet certain criteria, which are not fulfilled in this case, namely: to fulfil a critical purpose; itself show originality; display humorous traits; seek to ridicule the original work; and not borrow a greater number of formal elements from the original work than is strictly necessary in order to produce the parody. In those circumstances, they also allege that the drawing at issue conveyed a discriminatory message, since the characters who, in the original work, pick up the scattered coins, were replaced in the drawing at issue by people wearing veils and people of colour.

Aha, där ser vi något: är det så att upphovsrättsintrånget inte är en egentlig skada i sig, utan att teckningen framför ett diskriminerande budskap som således kommer att associeras med serien? Är det vidare så att diskriminering inte går att komma åt via dagens lagstiftning och att upphovsrätten därför används till för att markera mot detta? Det är verkligen en intressant fråga!

Det som gör slumpen lustig är att jag i dag satt och läste i De gulden passer: Journal for book history från konferensen SHARP 2014 (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing) och hittade en artikel av Gert Meesters som handlar om just Willy Vandersteen and his legacy: Comics publishing in Antwerp from 1945 to the present day. Enligt artikeln (s. 127) tecknade Willy Vandersteen under täcknamnet Kaproen antisemitiska illustrationer under andra världskriget. Meesters skriver: ”His political opinions were known to fluctuate from time to time, but he remained rather conservative during most of his career.”

Jag antar att vi vid det här laget skulle kunna fråga oss om upphovsmannen egentligen hade haft något emot Deckmyns användande av materialet? Och i så fall av vilken anledning: upphovsrättsliga eller ideologiska skäl? Och förresten är det kanske helt ointressant att fundera på vad upphovsmannen egentligen hade velat? Belgiska seriers funktion som nationalklenod gör det kanske ännu viktigare att serierna hålls politiskt korrekta (på
s. 140-141 i Meesters artikel går det att läsa om muralmålningar med seriemotiv och seriepriser – varav ett (på ca €6,000) namngivet efter Vandersteen – vilket visar på seriernas betydelse för Flandern och Belgien.)

Nationalismen är tyvärr på framfart i Europa, och förespråkarna använder inte sällan yttrandefriheten som en sköld för diverse uppseendeväckande dåd (jfr. Lars Vilks rondellhund). I det här fallet får frågan om upphovsrätt och begreppet parodi skymma (eller påvisa?) den egentligt intressanta frågan: den om rasismen i Europa.

The Misspelt Three Names


Here, have a treat: a cross-post with my Tumblr, explaining about some of the names that can be seen in the map of BBC’s Sherlock episode A Study in Pink. Although this first sentence was not included in the original post as anyone reading it on Tumblr would’ve needed no explanation of the picture. ”All together now…” ”Rachel!” etc.

Ivor Pl is actually the road turning left (from Allsop Pl) – so far so obvious – but also note Dorest Sq, Glouchester Pl and Marlybone R.

Now, Dorest Sq is obviously just a mistakely written Dorset Sq (at least there is no logical, linguistic reason behind the misspelling as far as I can see), but let’s talk about the fascinating names of Marlybone Road and Glouchester Place!

Marlybone R, or Marylebone as is the actual name, is a very confusing name to try to pronounce for tourists. When you hear its name being called out in the speakers you will hear something that sounds like /marlibon/ or /marrylebon/ – and ”Hullo!” as Sherlock Holmes would’ve cried out – isn’t this suspiciously close to something we see in the map above?
My guess is that Englishmen’s confusion is regarding the spelling, not the pronounciation, but I have no proof of this – except the map above – so don’t take my word for it. Some onomastician has surely written loads about this.

What, though, is the reason for this confusion that makes us wonder if all our English classes on pronounciation were for nothing? Well, it is the fact that Marylebone Rd in 1453 was written Maryburne, Marybourne in 1492 (take that, Columbus!), Marybon in 1542 and Marylebone in 1626. The meaning of the name is ’(place by) St Mary’s stream’ with reference to the dedication of the 15th century church which was built there, and to the Old English burna ’stream’. As A Dictionary of London Place Names (Mills, 2010) would tell us, the inserted -le- is probably introduced on the analogy of other names, like St Mary-le-Bow where it has ”a loose, connective sense”. For other names with the old element burna, please visit this marvellous site I just found: Key to English Place-Names and type in ”burn”. You’re welcome.

Place-names can be very transparent (like Baker Street, where presumeably a baker once lived) or not transparent at all (like Marylebone Road) – which makes it such a fascinating thing to read about (and study, which many linguists do!). We choose names for ourselves and for places so that we can identify it in common – and human kind has always done so. Doesn’t the thought just blow your mind?

Which brings us to Glouchester Pl, or rather Gloucester Pl, which the previously mentioned KEPN explains as ”’Roman town called Glevum’. The first element may be based on a Brit. *Glevon/*Glaivon, ’bright’, although this interpretation is tentative.” -cester derives from Old English ceaster ’a city; an old fortification; a Roman site’, which in turn comes from the Latin castrum ’fortified place’. (As a small note, according to The Online Etymology Dictionary castellum is the Latin diminutive of castrum, and the origin of the word castle. You’re welcome again.)

Of course, writing Glouchester makes all the sense in the world – compare with similar place-names like Manchester, Winchester, Chesterfield etc. Even though Wiktionary explains the pronounciation as /’ɡlɒstə/ (yes I copied proper IPA this time) the analogous -chester is based on written language, not pronounciations of the name (note that this is my guess).

”Why the name Gloucester Place then?” you ask. Well, this is probably due to some person from Gloucestershire who either lived in London (near this place) or was famous and/or well-liked enough to get a street named after him-/herself.

(You should also give me A for effort on the alluding title of this post.)