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Re: Areas (3): Country lists

From: Thierry Sourbier <webmaster@i18ngurus.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 12:11:14 +0100
Message-ID: <01e701c169d8$69703be0$5792fea9@dell400>
To: <webbing@sesame.demon.co.uk>, <www-international@w3.org>

I'm fairly new to this region talk, my earlier short comment on region was
related to the existence of the "Spanish-Latin America" locale which puzzled
me in the past (just like "International English" :).

> A02 North America
>       BM Bermuda, CA Canada,  GL Greenland, PM Saint Pierre and Miquelon,
>       US United States

Not all 3166 codes represent countries indeed. For example, Saint Pierre and
Miquelon isn't a Country, but a French territory (It provides France with
fishes and is used to make colorful stamps :).  As you point out in your
comment, shall we then consider St Pierre and Miquelon to be part of Europe
(per Europe->France->PM relationship) or part of North America (per its
location)? If the latest, then does that mean that France is also part of
North America?

I think it will be hard to have people agree on a *default*
Area->country->region relationship even if they know they can override it
(then what's the point of a standard?). We will probably need several
different hierarchies to reflect the different usage (political,
geographical, economical, trade based, military based, etc...). The same
will probably prevails for area and region code: a single computing code to
represent all French oversea departements and territories (DOM-TOM) would be
dearly needed but would not make any sens from a geographical perspective
(as it corresponds to places sprinkled around the globe).

<side note>
For those who are interested in the list of the French territories there is
a nice animated GIF at:
http://www.outre-mer.gouv.fr/domtom/ (site in French)
</side note>

To resolve this situation an idea could be to concurrently develop a list of
code for *referencials* so all the different standards could live under one

The code could be:
01 - Geographical
02 - Political
03 - ...

and why not:
15289 - World as Company X views it (so we can create mapping tables for all
the legacy locales).

One could register areas, regions and relationship based on those
referential. The referential list would of course need to be pretty open yet
standardized so mapping table could be written (e.g. the political code for
the French territories and departement region should be mapped to all the
geographical regions codes).

That seems like a huge task but of course may be I missed a simpler way to
handle the complex nature of such classifications and/or may be my mind has
drifted from the purpose of such a classification...


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Received on Saturday, 10 November 2001 06:08:18 UTC

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