[tdwg-content] Clarification about values for dwc:county

Bob Morris morris.bob at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 18:24:18 CEST 2015

This may be a usage issue not a definition issue. For example if you search
for the form of notarized signature in u.s. states, you will probably
conclude that most or all states require a form County of _______________.
In turn this and its sisters may be derived from the Uniform Commercial
Code.  But other legal docs may have different conventions.  One could wish
that a best practice would be to follow local practice for legal names of
such named entities as counties.  But my guess is that in the U.S. this is
full of huge state to state variation arising from historical events,
especially colonial ones.
On Apr 12, 2015 10:35 AM, "Steve Baskauf" <steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu>

> The definition of dwc:county is: "The full, unabbreviated name of the
> next smaller administrative region than stateProvince (county, shire,
> department, etc.) in which the Location occurs."  What I'm wondering
> about is whether the "full" name includes the second part to the name as
> it's typically written in the U.S. and Canada.  "Missoula" is given as
> an example.  However, the full name of that county in Montana is
> actually "Missoula County".  If there were consistency in second parts
> of county names, one could just assume that one adds " County" after the
> value given for dwc:county.  However, there isn't consistency.  In
> Louisiana, it's "Washington Parish".  In Alaska, names usually end with
> "Borough" (e.g. "Denali Borough"), although sometimes they don't (e.g.
> "Dillingham Census Area").  Outside the U.S. and Canada, there may be no
> second part to the name, or it might be something completely different.
> I am having a problem with this when I try to display values of
> dwc:county on a web page.  Currently I have some rules that involve
> examining the country and the value of dwc:stateProvince to decide what
> to append after the first part of the name. But they don't work for
> Alaska and if I just said "Dillingham, Alaska" that would really be
> wrong if I meant the Dillingham Census Area and not the city of
> Dillingham.  It would be easier to display them if the second part of
> the name were included in the value.
> Is there a convention on this?  I was assuming that it would be to omit
> the second part of the name, but since the definition says "full,
> unabbreviated name", I'm not sure.
> Steve
> --
> Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
> Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences
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