Place naming conventions: ascending vs. descending order

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In naming places, should we use ascending or descending order?

Poll ended at Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:08 pm

Ascending (Montgomery County, Maryland)
11
69%
Descending (Maryland, Montgomery County)
5
31%
 
Total votes: 16

ritcheymt-p40
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Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:31 am

JBParker wrote:Are we designing the Wiki for the techno-savvy, experienced researcher types? Or are we designing it so anyone with any amount of knowledge about a locality can add information and/or use it without having to worry about getting every comma, dash, etc. in the proper place?


I'm not trying to be too uptight about this, but I also know that if we don't post best practices we're going to get a pretty high volume of users doing wacky things like using postal codes for place names.

Thomas_Lerman
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Postby Thomas_Lerman » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:43 pm

Sorry for my forking. I will try to stay focused. :D

I still have not voted on this. Can anyone answer or get the answer as to why the FHLC chose to list in descending order?

JBParker-p40
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Postby JBParker-p40 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:27 pm

Thomas --

I believe it was for ease of sorting back in the day when computers were not as sophisticated nor capable as they are now.

JBParker-p40
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Postby JBParker-p40 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:44 pm

On my earlier post today, I forgot to mention that if Wikipedia has already solved some of these naming conventions, and we can match the way they do things, I would think that would be to our advantage. First of all, we don't have to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, if the way they do things makes sense for us. Secondly, if our Research Wiki has the same "look and feel" as Wikipedia, the user doesn't have to learn new conventions just for our site.

In Wikipedia, they name county pages in the following pattern -- Elko County, Nevada -- no country, and with county written out. They also make that county title a category, as well, and place all kinds of subjects (or topics) as pages under that category, including the names of populated places within that county. For a good example, go to Wikipedia and then to Elko County, Nevada. Then look under that as a category.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:23 pm

I didn't have much luck with "Elko," but I tried "Las Vegas," in Russian, and it seems to be consistent with the English Style. (Not I don't speak Russian, but I did visit Russia for 10 days and started to learn how to read the Cyrillic alphabet.) I had less success finding entries for Utah. :D

If you already have a standard from Wikimedia, then I vote for not re-inventing the wheel.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:08 pm

Before the forum was created, I had mentioned this on a talk page for a user group meeting, maybe preferring the descending order for the purpose of allowing 'drilling down' to the needed article.

For example, for the United States you do the article on the national-level items, then have a list of the states.

From the states page, select the state, then on the state page select the county (how to deal with Texas with its 270 counties could be a wrench in the works).

From a county page, select its towns and townships, if that state uses townships like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc., does.

The link to the lower jurisdiction list should be very easy to find so that people don't get lost finding the needed content. Preferably in a template box near the top of the article would be a link to the lower jurisdiction, we would probably have to write a template ourselves, I don't recall if Wikimedia has one already or not for this.

Does this idea I've presented sound like it could fly?

Thomas_Lerman
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Postby Thomas_Lerman » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:08 am

I like the idea of being able to drill down. A big advantage to that is that all of the pages do not need to exist. Having the links available would help enforce the article name. Someone clicks drills down to a city, clicks on it, they find it does not exist, and it can prepopulate parts of the article for a starting point for them to create. In this case, it would make sense to have the article name the same order they drilled down . . . almost like breadcrumbs.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:35 am

Thomas_Lerman wrote:In this case, it would make sense to have the article name the same order they drilled down . . . almost like breadcrumbs.
Or like path names for files and directories:

C:\NorthAmerica\UnitedStates\Utah\Cache\Logan

The_Earl
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Postby The_Earl » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:39 am

JamesAnderson wrote:Before the forum was created, I had mentioned this on a talk page for a user group meeting, maybe preferring the descending order for the purpose of allowing 'drilling down' to the needed article.


The portal system does this 'drill down' navigation pretty well. There is not really a wikimedia feature to see structure otherwise, except for subpages. Subpages use slashes, and are ugly.

To be fair, on Wikipedia, I can do a search for a county, but I couldn't get to the county from the state page. I think that is a failing of their infoboxes / templates, not a failing of portals in general.

'Drilling down' i think is a good concept, but the difficulty of predicting a name causes problems. If you wanted NYC, would that article exist in the NY County tree? Would you want Kings CO (Brooklyn) information? What county is Sacramento in?

I agree with Thomas, we need a structure so that we can build a framework for people to add information. I would be really cool if we could auto-copy a template into a non-existing page when a user clicked on the link for it, and then have them fill in the pertinent info.

If all this works, then the portal system would be easy to fill, and users would have a good place to put their content. Exceptions like major cities and boundary changes could be handled case-by-case.

If you look at the US_Structure page, you will see I am a big proponent of drill-down, but I have moved away from it a bit as I see the portal system get built out.

The Earl

Thomas_Lerman
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Postby Thomas_Lerman » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:19 am

Sacramento is in Sacramento county (at least in California). That is where I am from. Wait, stop . . . no forking here. :D


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