Include country in county titles?

Ask questions and discuss topics of interest related to the FamilySearch wiki found at

Moderator: ForbesMM

Should users include the country when naming a county in an article title?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:35 pm

Montgomery County, Maryland, United States
Montgomery County, Maryland
Total votes: 13

Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Can't find Paris France article? C'mon, now...

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:52 pm

The Earl wrote:<snip>
Just think, if someone put in 'Paris' (Idaho) first, how hard would it be to find the article on the city with the big tower in it be?


If I searched for "Paris" and didn't see what I wanted, I'd search for "Paris France." And given the fact that the article on the place with the nice tower would have the word "France" in it a few more times than the article on Paris, Idaho, I'm pretty sure the right article would come up first in the search results.

Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Postby The_Earl » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:50 am

ritcheymt wrote:<snip>
If we include the country name in a title of an article dealing with a county, users doing a search for articles on United States will receive search results spammed with 60,000 articles relating to various counties of the U.S. (That's 3,000 U.S. counties times 20 articles per county, which is probably a conservative estimate.)

I disagree that including the country will spam searches. If the title article is kept in order with the country last, then shorter titles, ie those most relevant to the country in question will show higher in search priority than longer titles. 'Immigration, United States' shows higher than 'New York County, New York, United States' for a search of 'United States'. No one is going to navigate through 300 results, to find their intended page, they are going to change their search criteria.

ritcheymt wrote:Wikipedians decided it was not a good idea to ruin millions of searches over a few exceptionally ambiguous place names. Instead they keep the naming simple, note the (relative handful of) ambiguities when they arise, and use redirects, disambiguation pages, and link editing to straighten out name changes when necessary.

This statement confuses navigation of ambiguous names with the choice of how ambiguous names should be.

'Paris' is less ambiguous than 'Georgia'. 'Orange County' is more ambiguous than 'Orange County, Florida'.

The question at hand is not how to help people navigate around ambiguous names, but how much work should be done now to prevent ambiguity vs. how much work will need to be done in the future to disambiguate those names, or more succinctly, does omitting the country name in county titles make the title too ambiguous?

I am of the opinion that omitting the country name introduces an unacceptable level of ambiguity in page titles. Or, more properly, that more work would be put in resolving the ambiguity of articles without country names in the future, than would be needed to add the country now.

I am also of the opinion that Wikipedia's stance on this is insufficient for the FS Wiki, because FS Wiki places more importance in place names, and will contain many more place name articles than Wikipedia.

And one of these days I will learn to spell 'ambiguous' without the help of the spell-checker. :D

The Earl

Return to “FamilySearch Wiki”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest