[tdwg-content] dwc: city to county

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 23:53:53 CEST 2009

Hi John

I fully understand that the topic is sensitive and that it is probably
difficult to find the best compromise. The reason I suggest
city/village names is that we can find them in gazetteers; the utility
of them is thus greatly increased if they are separated out of a
free-form full text location (NLP of that being significantly more
difficult). The problem I anticipate is much less having them always
in the right hierarchy-field - if they can be matched to the
gazetteer, that can to a large extent be simply discovered (but of
course there are counties and cities that have the same name).

The other two notes were really mostly about clarifying a name and a
definition, not changing much.

Since you indicate that you may be willing to change significantly
more, I may want to note that the digital media people have the same
problems, and had to make pragmatic compromises. I personally find the
pragmatic compromise described in the IPTC extension quite convincing.
It offers a hierarchy, it does not require you to class the highest
region into the water/land/island classes dwc requires, it uses
slightly more international terms, and it has a city or place name.

But this is a matter of personally preference of course. Personally I
believe in the impact of the digital media standards. I believe that
GPS recording images will trickle down to every camera - the tempation
of combining your holiday pictures with some interactive mapping tool
is just very tempting and lots of fun, and future observation
databases might perhaps recommend providing an image voucher, with
automatically recorded geolocation. I would therefore even recommend
that dwc directly reuses the IPCT extension 2.0 terms and definitions
(for the hierachy fields, leaving the dwc freeform-text split as an
addition). But I also can think of lots of reasons (existing dwc user
base, etc.) against this.


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