[tdwg-content] city to county

Steve Baskauf steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Mon Sep 14 22:15:13 CEST 2009

1. I support Gregor's call to internationalize the name of the "county" 
DwC element, although I do not have a strong opinion on the name or 

2. One reason why I don't have strong opinions about the location terms 
at various levels is that I think in the future they will become 
increasingly irrelevant.  A GPS-derived decimal latitude and decimal 
longitude effectively serves as a GUID for locality.  If a record has a 
decimal latitude and longitude it should be possible (and in many cases 
already IS possible) to determine all of the other geographic elements 
(continent, country, stateProvince, etc.) from the decimal latitude and 
longitude using software, and with a suitably accurate digital elevation 
model to determine the elevation for surface records as well.  The only 
other element that is really important is the "terminal (most specific) 
named area" which is not likely to be something like a political 
subdivision that can be computer-derivable.  It is more likely to be 
something like "west side of Smith's quarry" or "Jonesville Community 
Park" - something that would be useful to place the GPS coordinates in a 
local context.  Until I read this thread it was never clear to me that 
this is what dwcterms:locality meant and I think that people have been 
using it in a variety of ways.  Perhaps the name should be changed to 
make it more clear that locality means the lowest level rather than 
something more generic. 

Steve Baskauf

Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

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