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U.S. Virgin Islands shows parent as North America, but is not a child of North America?  XML
Forum Index -> Discussion of GeoNames Toponyms
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geonameguy



Joined: 18/04/2008 19:59:11
Messages: 35
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U.S. Virgin Islands (country code VI) shows its parent as North America, but is not a child of North America (if you query North America for its children).

Example:
http://ws.geonames.org/hierarchy?geonameId=4796775

This seems like an omission? Shouldn't U.S. Virgin Islands be a child of North America (just as British Virgin Islands is)?
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3993
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The difference is that VI is modeled as ADMD (administrative division) whereas VG is a PCLD (dependent political entity).

Maybe it would make sense to model the US dependencies as PCLD too. What do you think?

Best

Marc

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geonameguy



Joined: 18/04/2008 19:59:11
Messages: 35
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marc wrote:
The difference is that VI is modeled as ADMD (administrative division) whereas VG is a PCLD (dependent political entity).

Maybe it would make sense to model the US dependencies as PCLD too. What do you think?

Best

Marc 


Although I cannot claim expertise on the political question, my implementation challenge is trying to get a complete list of child entities within the North American division.

My implementation depends on people clicking through a hierarchical structure where children are retrieved (and cached of course in my database) and then displayed as sub-item options.

If I cannot pull the North American child data to find the U.S. Virgin Islands, how can I reliably locate all items which claim parentage of North America? That seems difficult if not impossible if parent-child relationships are not declared both ways.

Just another comment on this subject: I suppose I understand somewhat the logic of ADMD and PCLD as it concerns toponyms that fall within the territorial boundaries of established political entities. However, in the case of toponyms that might have both a political parent entity as well as a literal geographic parent entity (of some importance), might it make sense to do the following?

1. Establish a single heritage hierarchy for the toponym in question, based on its political affiliation and identity.

2. Establish it within the children data for both a) the political affiliation, and b) the literal geographic domain ("especially" in a case like the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they have an ISO-issued 2-letter country code as well as a separate physical location outside of the U.S. proper).

I understand this is a potentially difficult situation, but my main concerns at the moment is a practical one -- how may I reliably obtain all country-level child entities that reside within the "North America" toponym, whether or not the larger question of multiple inheritances is solved.

I'm not sure what to suggest exactly. Perhaps you are right to treat it as the British case, but since I have no clear idea of the politics of this, I am unable to offer a recommendation myself. Perhaps I could do some research if the situation remains unclear, but for now, I am looking for a practical solution to my immediate problem (if that were possible).
geonameguy



Joined: 18/04/2008 19:59:11
Messages: 35
Offline

marc wrote:
The difference is that VI is modeled as ADMD (administrative division) whereas VG is a PCLD (dependent political entity).

Maybe it would make sense to model the US dependencies as PCLD too. What do you think?

Best

Marc 


Just for the record, I have changed the U.S. Virgin Islands to PCLD.

I haven't made a broader effort to change U.S. dependencies in general to that classification, but I think (based on my understanding that the U.S. Virgin Islands carries its own flag and has its own ISO-issued country code, and so on) that the PCLD designation makes more intuitive sense to me than ADMD in this case.
 
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