[uf-discuss] maps, place names and tagging

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Sat Nov 4 02:21:02 PST 2006

In message <200611040028.kA40SPV66410 at proxy.syd.comcen.com.au>, Michael
MD <mdagn at spraci.com> writes

>I've seen some sites link to Wikipedia pages for city names.

Treat that with caution. Consider:


which is, rightly, about Birmingham, en not Birmingham, Alabama.

However, it was, recently, moved to:


for a few days, during which time the former was a disambiguation page.

>Wouldn't it be nice if the pages related to place names on Wikipedia
>(or any site that lots of people might link place names to) had geo
>markup on them and also some kind of standard markup for related place
>names and how they are related to each other? (something to say that
>suburb a is in city b is in state c is in country e).

That might be modelled on the "taxobox" used for species; see for


> I used the example of Wikipedia because many pages there related to
>place names already have that information on them, but not in a
>machine-readable format.

It would be relatively easy to add "geo" markup to the co-ordinates the
"infobox" on the Birmingham page, and other like it. The existing
mark-up (with "wiki-mark-up") is:

        ! Coordinates
        | 52°29N 1°54W

Why not go ahead and do it on  couple of pages, then find the relevant
project page and explain what you've done, and ask others to do likewise
on further pages? Or even including the necessary hooks in the Wiki

Perhaps the microformats 'wiki' could also have a page about applying
uFs on Wikipedia (ad wither wiki-media projects, such as Wikicommons and

>Maybe we need some kind of extended combination of geo/adr/hcard for
>places that can also show how a place is related to another place? eg
>"near", "parent" (as in "this place is in parent"), "child", etc given
>that most place names would be referring to fuzzy blobs that may be
>inside or overlap with other known fuzzy blobs.

Ranking places (this is a suburb/ village/ city/ county/ country) might
be better, allowing a hierarchy to be implied. Or there could be a set
of "rel" attributes for the categories you mention (I'd prefer
"neighbour" or "neighbouring" to "near").

>I've noticed quite a lot of sites using tags for place names but the
>lack of standards for place names is holding back this very simple way
>(for humans) to specify where something is.

Isn't that what co-ordinates are for? ;-)

Andy Mabbett
                Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <http://www.no2id.net/>

                Free Our Data:  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>

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