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

Markus Döring m.doering at mac.com
Wed Aug 29 10:54:55 CEST 2012

if you have placenames from properly defined gazetteers, dwc offers a term pair for the literal & id value which is often very useful: dwc:locality & dwc:locationID

Because dwc:locationID is not limited to one specific encoding scheme, GBIF has created an initial guide for users how to make use of several frequently used encodings by using a short prefix together with the code itself:

Maybe this is something we can take forward to include more and more gazetteers?

The way dwc handles locations is very similar to scientific names. The both have a term for a literal and an ID in the lowest level, but then there are also terms for the literals of the higher classification. It really depends upon the use case, but in general I would say the lowest 2 terms are the ones we should use and trust most while the higher classification is usually just one view and rather a hint to what the lower pair means.


PS: I always found that Yahoo Where On Earth IDs have taken a very pragmatic approach by having some well defined placename "ranks" like country but still allow for a flexible typed hierarchy to some degree and also support multilingual names. For example the German town of "Odenthal" resolves like this:

<place yahoo:uri="http://where.yahooapis.com/v1/place/682822" xml:lang="en-US">
	<placeTypeName code="7">Town</placeTypeName>
	<country code="DE">Germany</country>
	<admin1 type="Land" code="DE-NW">North Rhine-Westphalia</admin1>
	<admin2 type="District" code="">Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis</admin2>
	<locality1 type="Town">Odenthal</locality1>

While the town of Bangor in Wales, UK resolves with totally different admin123 categories:
<place yahoo:uri="http://where.yahooapis.com/v1/place/11768" xml:lang="en-US">
	<placeTypeName code="7">Town</placeTypeName>
	<country code="GB">United Kingdom</country>
	<admin1 type="Country" code="GB-WLS">Wales</admin1>
	<admin2 type="County" code="GB-GWN">Gwynedd</admin2>
	<locality1 type="Town">Bangor</locality1>
	<postal type="Postal Code">LL57</postal>

On 29.08.2012, at 08:42, Thomas Bandholtz wrote:

> 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".
> http://innoq.github.com/led/
> Best regards,
> Thomas
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-content mailing list
>> tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org
>> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-content
> -- 
> Thomas Bandholtz
> Principal Consultant
> innoQ Deutschland GmbH
> Krischerstr. 100, 
> D-40789 Monheim am Rhein, Germany
> http://www.innoq.com
> thomas.bandholtz at innoq.com
> +49 178 4049387
> http://innoq.com/de/themen/linked-data (German)
> https://github.com/innoq/iqvoc/wiki/Linked-Data (English)
> _______________________________________________
> tdwg-content mailing list
> tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org
> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-content

More information about the tdwg-content mailing list