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Support for URLs per language or region in schema.org

From: Aaron Bradley <aaranged@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2015 12:08:21 -0700
Message-ID: <CAMbipBsdq9f-2giv1U2DxPECmwN9NA=vqHpEN7wS9rJ-nVhSDQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: "schema.org Mailing List" <public-schemaorg@w3.org>
A extremely common scenario for large organizations with a web presence is
that they have different URLs for the same resource based on a users'
language, region, or both.

Same organization, different pages for different languages:
http://www.un.org/en/index.html
http://www.un.org/fr/index.html

Same organization, different pages for different different regions:
http://www.apple.com/ca/
http://www.apple.com/au/

Same organization, different pages for different different language/region
combinations:
http://www.ibm.com/ca/en/
http://www.ibm.com/ca/fr/

Is there a way in schema.org, using any of the supported syntaxes, to
declare different URLs ("url" property) for different web resources
published by the same organization, or for different identifiers for a
organization ("sameAs" property)?

It appears not.

schema.org does have properties supporting the declaration of the language
or region for specific resources, but they're not broadly applicable, and
in any case http://schema.org/URL, as a text type, does not support the
declaration of properties:

http://schema.org/inLanguage
https://schema.org/availableLanguage
https://schema.org/areaServed

So, say, with ContactPoint a publisher is able to declare for a single
Organization that that are different phone numbers for Canada and
Australia, but not able to say that there are separate websites for them.

This hasn't been a huge issue until now, but is becoming more prevalent as
more data consumers are able to ingest JSON-LD, whereby information about
an entity can be presented all in one code block, regardless of whether or
not all that information is included on the page.  (JSON-LD's @language and
@value keys makes this task magnificently easy for strings, but isn't
applicable to URLs).

Google, for example, allows organizations and people to declare their
social media accounts [1], but has no provision for specifying multiple
accounts on a per-language or per-region basis.

Is there a case to be made for URLs to be qualified by language or region?
I think so, but maybe I'm missing either a principle that mitigates against
doing so or, conversely, a method by which this may already be accomplished.

I initially raised this tangentially in a comment on an issue related to
language support for EntryPoint [2], but have broadened the scope here.

[1] https://developers.google.com/structured-data/customize/social-profiles
[2] https://github.com/schemaorg/schemaorg/issues/561#issuecomment-107618227
Received on Monday, 1 June 2015 19:08:50 UTC

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