W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > March 2009

Re: Civic Address for V2

From: Michael(tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 16:01:40 +0900
To: Richard Barnes <rbarnes@bbn.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Marc Linsner <mlinsner@cisco.com>, Doug Turner <doug.turner@gmail.com>, Alec Berntson <alecb@windows.microsoft.com>, "public-geolocation@w3.org" <public-geolocation@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20090304070138.GA574@sideshowbarker>
Richard Barnes <rbarnes@bbn.com>, 2009-03-03 16:52 -0500:

>  It's not really the number of fields that's important, right?  If you don't 
>  care about the semantics of the fields, then you can just use one fields 
>  where everything's smashed together.
> 
>  The important thing about the discussion in the Japanese document is that 
>  Japanese addresses require substantially different *semantics* than western 
>  addresses.

I think most of the semantics of Japanese addresses are often
(always?) built into the address themselves -- at least when they
are written in Japanese (as opposed to when they are
transliterated). Again with my own address as an example:

  東京都新宿区西新宿6-16-11三井ビル605

The 都 part marks the type of major regional division Tokyo is.
The 区 part marks the next major subdivision of that. The dashes
also have known semantics.

The address of the place I work outside of Tokyo is:

  神奈川県藤沢市遠藤5322

In that case, the 県 part marks a different type of major region
(a prefecture) and the 市 part marks it as a normal city -- as
opposed to 都 mega-city (or whatever) like Tokyo. And the lack of
any dashes in the number part also has meaning.

>  Shoving those in fields with other meanings removes the whole 
>  utility of semantic tagging -- you may as well just use a single field.

Actually, for many Web applications in use in Japan, I suspect
that's exactly how the address data is actually passed around --
that is, as a single string. Given that the data has built-in
semantics and is relatively straightforward to parse, handling it
that way makes a lot of sense.

As far as I can see, what Andrei has proposed would allow
developers to either have their applications handle Japanese
address data using a single field if they wanted, or instead to
map the address components to logical equivalents (as in the
example I mentioned in my previous message), if they wanted to do
that instead.

I'm not saying the mappings are perfect, but I'm not sure that most
Japanese developers would either expect (or want, really) more
Japan-specific granularity in a relatively low-level API like this.

  --Mike

-- 
Michael(tm) Smith
http://people.w3.org/mike/
Received on Wednesday, 4 March 2009 07:01:52 GMT

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