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Glenrothes, United Kingdom

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Glenrothes, United Kingdom

Coordinates: 56 12 N 3 10 W

Population: 38,679 (2001 est.)

Since the mid-1970s the list of silicon-related geographical nicknames has expanded to include half a dozen valleys, two alleys, a forest, a gulf, a desert, a fen (or marsh if you prefer American English), and a glen. For this we have the microelectronics industry to thank. Glenrothes in the Kingdom of Fife, to take one example, happens to fall within the boundaries of Scotland’s Silicon Glen. A new town created after World War II in response to the growth of the coal mining in this part of the country, Glenrothes, a short distance inland from the Firth of Forth, successfully adapted to the modern economy and now helps Scotland produce approximately 30 percent of Europe’s personal computers.
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Ben Keene is the editor of Oxford Atlas of the World. Check out some of his previous places of the week.

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