[tdwg-content] dwc: city to county

Markus Döring m.doering at mac.com
Sun Aug 16 22:20:12 CEST 2009

This reminds me of another question I had for a long time.
If I want to express a species is found within a protected area X or  
within the tdwg biogeographic region "AGS-TF, Tierra del Fuego  
(Argentina)" or as a yahoo where-on-earth-id, how would I encode this  
with dwc? Should I use dwc:locality, dc:location or through the new  
terms dwc:locationID? Is there a way to specify the "reference system"  
so others know where my ids come from?


On Aug 13, 2009, at 21:30, John R. WIECZOREK wrote:

> Hi Gregor and others,
> I greatly appreciate the comments. It gives me the incentive to cover
> geographical issues that others have not touched yet in this
> discussion. Geographical division relationships are even more complex
> than taxonomic name hierarchies, and the DwC terms do not accommodate
> the full complexity that exists. Happily though, I don't think they
> have to.
> The terms we have at the moment are those found most commonly in
> biodiversity databases and derive their names from an unfortunate
> North American geopolitical bias.
> There are really four major problems. First, the names of geopolitical
> divisions (state, province, etc.) are quite diverse (see some
> statistics from the GADM database at the end of this message) and
> cannot be well represented by any term name based on only one of them.
> Second, the same term may apply to more than one level of subdivision
> (e.g., both "state" and "province" occur as first and second level
> subdivisions of countries; "county" and "city" both occur as first,
> second, and third level subdivisions).  Third, two geopolitical
> subdivisions of countries are insufficient to capture the full
> diversity of subdivision systems in existence. Some countries have
> three, four, or even five subdivisions.  Fourth, the use of a
> particular subdivision may be ignored in some contexts while not in
> others - there may be parallel or historical systems in use, one
> person's first-order subdivision may be another person's second order
> subdivision, or extra subdivisions may exist for some administrative
> areas. Germany's Regierungsbezirk is a perfect example of the latter -
> it exists within some Bundesländer and not within others.
> I think the proposed "city" term would be a victim of all of the same
> issues that the stateProvince and county terms have.
> How do we solve these problems satisfactorily?
> Country and countryCode, I propose, can be left as is.
> To be fair while solving the first and second problems, the terms used
> in DwC to atomize geographic subdivisions should be generic.
> The third and fourth problems suggest that atomic subdivisions within
> countries cannot be given unambiguous definitions. If their
> interpretation and content will vary, do they have utility?
> I'd like to be a purist - to be complete, clear, and consistent. If I
> was, I'd propose only the following geographic terms:
> countryCode, Locality, verbatimLocality
> and I would count on georeferences to tell me the rest of what I need
> to know based on my own world view during the period of interest.
> Locality in this case would contain everything the contributor would
> have otherwise put in higherGeography, continent, waterBody,
> islandGroup, island, country, stateProvince, and county.
> But I'm not a purist, I actually like things that are useful right now
> too. Some of the concepts above that the purist me would discard are
> actually useful from experience. I would put them in the following
> order of diminishing utility: stateProvince, county, higherGeography,
> country, waterBody, continent, island, islandGroup. Of these, two are
> extremely useful but have problematic names - "stateProvince" and
> "county". Though these have long historical precedents for use under
> these names, I am not averse to making them more generic (plenty of
> other names in DwC have had to be changed so as not to offend someone)
> - something like "countrySubdivision1" and "countrySubdivision2". I
> will actually make these changes unless I hear cogent arguments to the
> contrary, soon.
> The remaining questions in my mind are, "Does there need to be a
> 'countrySubdivision3' term?" and "Why stop there? Why not include all
> 5 subdivision levels?"  These I will not add unless there is support
> expressed for the idea by more than just me.
> Mind you, none of the proposed solution will actually help Gregor to
> figure out where to put his city values, nor will it assure him that
> he can find all relevant records if he searches for a city value in a
> particular term because there is no guarantee that everyone shares his
> world view in their input data. Here again I argue that the only
> reasonable chance of success is through a spatial query, requiring all
> records to be georeferenced. Hey, at least there is a definitive
> solution. ;-)
> The rest of this message contains information about the content of the
> GADM administrative areas database version 1.0, which informs the
> discussion above.
> Counts of geopolitical subdivision types within countries:
> Level:Count
> 1:240 (in other words 240 names for administrative features such as
> "state", "province", etc. at the first subdivision of countries)
> 2:215 (...215 names for administrative features such as "county" at
> the second subdivision of countries)
> 3:126
> 4:25
> 5:2
> Counts of geopolitical entities for each level:
> Level:Count
> 0:248 (countries)
> 1:3366 ("states", "provinces", etc.)
> 2:39136 ("counties", etc.)
> 3:99097
> 4:40550
> 5:3655
> Names for geopolitical subdivisions from GADM version 1.0:
> Aboriginal Council, Administrative Area, Administrative Committee,
> Administrative County, Administrative Region, Administrative State,
> Administrative Zone, Aftonomi Monastiki Politia, Aimag, Amphoe, Amt,
> Anchal, AOk, Aprinki, Apskritis, Area, Arrondissement, Arrondissment,
> Assembly, Astedader Akababi, Atoll, Automonous Region, Autonomous
> Banner, Autonomous City, Autonomous Commune, Autonomous Community,
> Autonomous County, Autonomous Island, Autonomous Monastic State,
> Autonomous Okurg, Autonomous Prefecture, Autonomous Province,
> Autonomous Region, Autonomous Republic, Autonomous Sector, Autonomous
> Territory, Avtonomiuri Respublika, Avtonomnaya Oblast, Avtonomnyy
> Okrug, aymag, Baladiyah, Banner, Barangay, Bashkia, Bayan, Bezirke,
> Bibhag, Boma, Borough, Bundesland, Bundesländ, Canton, Canton
> Municipality, Capital, Capital City, Capital District, Capital
> Metropolitan City, Capital Region, Capital Territory, Castello, Census
> Area, Census Division, Centrally Administered Area, Cercle, Changwat,
> Chantun, Chartered Community, Chef-Lieu-Wilaya, Chiefdom, Chuan-shih,
> Circle, Circuit, Cité, City, City and Borough, City and County, City
> council, City Municipality, Ciudad Autónoma, Ciudades Autónomas,  
> Clan,
> Colline, Comarca, Comarca Indígena, Comisaría, Commissiary,  
> Communauté
> Urbaine, Commune, Commune and Prefecture, Commune and Préfecture,
> Commune Autonome, Commune Rural, Commune Urbaine, Commune-Cotiere,
> Community, Community Government Council, Comuna, Comunidad Autónoma,
> Concelho, Conservancy, Constituency, Constituent Country,
> Corregimiento, Corregimiento Departamento, Country, County, County
> City, County Municipality, Daerah Istimewa, Daerah Khusus Ibukota,
> Daerah-Daerah, Delegation, Departamento, Département, Department,
> Dependencias Federales, Dependency, Development Region, Diamerismata,
> Dìjíshì, Dìqu, Directly Governed City, District, District Council,
> District Municipality, Distrik, Distrikkaya, Distrikt, Distrito,
> Distrito Capital, Distrito Federal, Division, Do, Dzongkhag, Economic
> Prefecture, Eilandgebieden, Ekonomisk region, Emirate, Entity, Estado,
> Établissemnet Indien, Faritany Mizakatena, Faritra, Federal
> Dependency, Federal District, Federal State, Fivondronana, Fokontany,
> Fovaros, Fu, Fylke, Gemeente, Gemeinden, Gobolka, Gorod, Gorsovet,
> Governarate, Governorate, Grad, Gu, Gun, Guyŏk, Gwangyeoksi, Hamlet,
> Headquarter, Home Nation, Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Hot, Hsien, Huyện,
> Il, Improvement District, Independent City, Independent Town, Indian
> Government District, Indian Reserve, Indian Settlement, Indigenous
> Territory, Intendancy, Intendencia, Inuite Land, Island, Island Area,
> Island Council, Island Group, Island Municipality, Island Region,
> Itumalo, Jilla, Judet, Kabupaten, Kaghak, K'alak'i, Kampeng Nakhon,
> Kanton, Kata, Kata Ndogo, Kaupstadir, Kayaing, Ken, Khet, Khêt,
> Khetphiset, Khoueng, Khum, Kilil, King Amphoe, Kingdom, Kommun,
> Kommuneat, Kommuner, Kommunur, Kotamadya, Kraj, Kray, Kreisfreie
> Städte, Krong, Kunta, Lääni, Laen, Lake, Lalawigan, län, Land,  
> Länd,
> Land Reserved, Landkreise, landskap, Landsvæði, Lansdele, League,
> Local Authority, Local Government Area, Local Government District,
> Localidad, Locality, Location, London Borough, London Borough (city),
> London Borough (royal), Lungsod, Maakond, Maakunta, Machi, Magisterial
> District, Marz, Maslikhat, Megye, Mehoz, Méng, Metropolis,
> Metropolitan Borough (city), Metropolitan City, Metropolitan County,
> Metropolitan District, Miesto Savivaldybe, Minor district, Mintaqah,
> Mis'ka Rada, Misto, Mkoa, Moughataas, Muderiah, Muhafazah, Mukim,
> Municipal, Municipal District, Municipalité, Municipalité De Canton,
> Municipalité De Cantons Unis, Municipalité De Paroisse,  
> Municipalité
> Régionale de Comté, Municipality, Municipality / Mun. Council,
> Municipality/Municipal Council, Municipio, Município, Municipio
> Especial, Municipiu, Municpality, Munisipyo, Muong, Mura, Nahia,
> National Capital Area, National District, National Park, National
> Territory, Neighbourhood Democratic, Neutral City, New District,
> Nisga'a Land, Nisga'a Village, Nomos, Non Organisé, Northern Hamlet,
> Northern Village, Not Classified, Oblast, Oblast', Oblasy, Obshtina,
> Okres, Okrug, Opcine, Opština, Opštine, Ostan, Outlying Island,
> Parish, Parish Municipality, Parroquia, Parròquia, Part, Partido,
> Phum, Po, Poblacion, Población, Powiat, Prefecture, Préfecture,
> Prefecture City, Prefegitura, Principality, Probinsya, Propinsi,
> Province, Provincia, Província, Provincie, Provinsie, Pyine, Qark,  
> Qí,
> Quận, Quarter, Qúndao, Raion, Raioni, rajoni, Rajono Savivaldybe,
> Rayon, Reef, Regencies, Regency, Região, Regierungsbezirk, Regiões
> autônoma, Region, Región, Région, Región Autónoma, Région  
> Capitale,
> Regional Council, Regional County Municipality, Regional District,
> Regional District Electoral Area, Regional Municipality, Regione,
> Republic, Repuplikasi, Reserve, Réserve Indienne, Resort Village,
> Respublika, Ressort, Rreth, Rural City, Rural Commune, Rural
> Community, Rural district, Rural Municipality, Sahar, Savivaldybe,
> Sector, Sector Autónomo, Senatorial District, Settlement, Seutukunta,
> Sha'biyah, Sha'biyat, Shahar, Shahrestan, Shěng, Shi, Shire,  
> Shìxiáqū,
> Si, Siyudad, Soum, Sous Colline, Sous-préfecture, Sous-régions,
> Special Administrative Region, Special Area, Special City, Special
> district, Special Municipality, Special Region, Special Ward,
> Specialized Municipality, Srok, State, Statistical Region, Statisticna
> Regije, Statutární město, Statutarstädte, Statutory City, Sub
> district, Sub location, Sub Town, Sub-chief, Sub-county, Sub-district,
> Subdivision of County Municipality, Subdivision of Unorganized,
> Sub-prefecture, Sub-Province, Sub-region, Sum, Summer Village,
> Sveitarfélög , sýsla, Syssel, Taarafa, Taluk, Tambon, Tarafa,  
> Tèqū,
> Terre Inuite, Terres Réservées, Territoire, Territorial Authority,
> Territorial Unit, Territorio Nacional, Territory, Teslin Land,
> Teukbyeolsi, Than Pho, Thana, Thanh Pho, Thành phố trực thuộc  
> tỉnh,
> Thi xa, Tỉnh, To, Town, Town Council, Townlet, Township, Township  
> and
> Royalty, Traditional Authority, Traditional County, T'ŭkbyŏl
> Haengjeonggu, Uknown, Union Territor, Union Territory, Unitary
> Authority, Unitary Authority (city), Unitary Authority (county),
> Unitary Authority (wales, Unitary Authority (wales), Unitary District,
> Unitary District (city), Unitate Teritorială Autonomă, Unitatea
> Teritorială, United Cantons Municipality, United Counties, United
> County, Unknown, Unorganized, Upazila, Urban, Urban Commune, Urban
> district, Urban Prefecture, Velayat, Vikas Kshetra, Village, Village
> Cri, Village Naskapi, Village Nordique, Ville, Viloiati Mukhtori,
> Viloyat, Viloyati Avtonomii, Voblasts', Voivodeship, Ward, Water body,
> Waterbody, Welayat, Wilaya, Wilayat, Willaya, Wiloyat, Województwo,
> Woreda, Xiàn, Xiànjíshì, Xíngzhèng Wěiyuánhuì, Xīnqū, Yin,  
> Zhíxiáshì,
> Zila, Zìzhìqí, Zizhiqu, Zìzhìqu, Zìzhìxiàn, Zìzhìzhou,  
> Zìzhìzhōu,
> Zoba, Zone, Županija,
> On Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 8:33 AM, Gregor Hagedorn<g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com 
> > wrote:
>> At the moment I can only add small bits of geo-relevant comments to
>> the dwc effort:
>> --------
>> 1. While studying the available terms for describing
>> biodiversity-related images for MRTG, trying to reuse as many dwc
>> terms as possible (unless higher priority standards already exists,
>> such as dc or xmp, see
>> http://www.keytonature.eu/wiki/ 
>> MRTG_Schema_v0.7#Geography_Vocabulary),
>> we note the conspicuous absence of
>> ** city or place name **
>> The term is available in iptc geo extension and is likely to be in  
>> the
>> future routinely used on digital images. dwc has
>> http://purl.org/dc/terms/Location
>> Has Domain:
>> Definition:     A spatial region or named place.
>> and
>> Identifier:     http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/locality
>> Has Domain:     http://purl.org/dc/terms/Location
>> Definition:     The specific description of the place. Less specific
>> geographic information can be provided in other geographic terms
>> (higherGeography, continent, country, stateProvince, county,
>> waterBody, island, islandGroup). This term may contain information
>> modified from the the original to correct perceived errors or
>> standardize the description.
>> Comment:        Example: "Bariloche, 25 km NNE via Ruta Nacional 40  
>> (=Ruta
>> 237)". For discussion see
>> http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/wiki/Location
>> However, the first is very wide, and does not give the information
>> that the type of object is a place or city name (it could be
>> circumscription names like a province), the second is free from text.
>> In many densely populated areas, separating the city or village name
>> for easier finding is recommended, because these terms do occur in
>> gazetteers. Could this be added to DWC?
>> --------
>> 2. If clarity is more important than brevity, I would greatly prefer
>> stateOrProvince over the current stateProvince, which literally is  
>> the
>> province of a state, which more less exists in Germany as
>> administration province of a state of the federal republic
>> (Regierungsbezirk).
>> --------
>> 3. The definition of county (perhaps better more international as
>> "County or Subprovince") is:
>> Term Name: county
>> Identifier:     http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/county
>> Has Domain:     http://purl.org/dc/terms/Location
>> Definition:     The full, unabbreviated name of the next smaller  
>> political
>> region than StateProvince (county, shire, department, etc.) in which
>> the Location occurs.
>> Comment:        Examples: "Missoula", "Los Lagos", "Mataró". For  
>> discussion
>> see http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/wiki/Location
>> Here, wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County) suggests to
>> interpret the German Kreis as equivalent to county; however, the
>> literal definition above would require to map county to
>> Regierungsbezirk.
>> Many countries have a hierarchy of adminstrative political regions,
>> and the highest may often not be the most relevant ones.
>> I suggest to weaken the definition to a suggestions, perhaps:
>> Definition:      The full, unabbreviated name of the most relevant
>> political region between cities or villages and states or provinces
>> (county, shire, department, etc.) in which the Location occurs.
>> Gregor
>> --
>> ---------------------------------
>> Dr. Gregor Hagedorn
>> Heinrich-Seidel-Str. 2
>> 12167 Berlin
>> skype: g.hagedorn
>> This message is sent on a personal basis and does not constitute an
>> activity of the German Federal Government or its research
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