[tdwg-content] Change of DwC terms stateProvince, county, and municipality?

Thomas Bandholtz thomas.bandholtz at innoq.com
Wed Aug 29 08:42:59 CEST 2012

Hi Gregor,

you are perfectly right. Such administrative hierarchies should not be
described in a DwC record, but in some external gazetteer.
We have geonames.org as a reference.
If you provide a link to the lowest admistrative location (community),
everybody can look up the broader levels there.

The levels of this hierarchy are different from nation to nation.
There is some European approach to harmonize this, just forgot the name,
but I may look up if someone is interested.

The drawback is that geonames does not use the "official" data.
Governmental agencies may have a problem referring to geonames.org.
In Germany, we are going to publish an "official" gazetteer soon, by
October I guess, in a rather new R&D project "Linked Environment Data".

Best regards,

Am 29.08.2012 07:24, schrieb Gregor Hagedorn:
> I think the neutral names are of limited value. They require everyone
> to understand the intended meaning and it is highly error prone that
> different collection manager will read the specifications differently.
> In Germany we have states, then a next level (administrative district,
> "Regierungsbezirk") hardly anyone outside of the administration would
> know which one the own town belongs to. Then we have the "Kreis" which
> is roughly equivalent to a county and fairly well recognized by most
> people. This has the slight catch that small cities belong to a
> county, whereas big cities are "county-free cities" (kreisfreie
> Stadt). As a result, one manager would map "Regierungsbezirk" to
> second level, others the "Kreis", others will put the "circuit-free
> city" in second level, others will leave it empty and put the
> county-free city in third, to have all cities in the same field...
> One of the big advantages of computers is, in my eyes, that they can
> easily handle (at least) simple synonymy. With the advent of the
> Semantic Web this promise has become even more realistic.
> Providing a set of semantically well defined and well labeled names,
> some of which are applicable only to some countries, and leave it to
> software and a configuration thereof to figure out which mapping is
> most appropriate for which use case, would be my preference over the
> mapping pre-defined and just numbered by level in the hierarchy.
> Gregor
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Thomas Bandholtz
Principal Consultant

innoQ Deutschland GmbH
Krischerstr. 100, 
D-40789 Monheim am Rhein, Germany
thomas.bandholtz at innoq.com
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http://innoq.com/de/themen/linked-data (German)
https://github.com/innoq/iqvoc/wiki/Linked-Data (English)

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