FamilySearch Wiki talk:Naming Conventions for Geographic Names
| This guideline documents a FamilySearch Research Wiki naming convention. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense and the occasional exception. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.|
This page describes conventions for determining the names of Research Wiki articles on places. Our naming policy provides that article names should be chosen for the general reader, not for specialists. By following modern English usage, we also avoid arguments about what a place ought to be called, instead asking the less contentious question, what it is called.
Country names in English
Use the form of a current country's name as it appears in the CIA World Factbook.
When a widely accepted English name, exists for a former country or empire, we should use it. For example, New Spain rather than Virreinato de Nueva España, Ottoman Empire rather than دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه or Osmanlı İmparatorluğu.
- I agree. It might be nice to show the country name in the native language(s) within the body of the article. Wikipedia does this as can be see with Spain (example). I believe this allows searching to find either. Thomas Lerman 16:47, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Browse by Country page, and Category:Countries
Use the CIA World Factbook to determine which nations are listed on the Browse by Country Wiki page, and in the Category:Countries. Only continuously inhabited places with indigenous populations in the World Factbook are eligible.
Countries which are not listed in the World Factbook should not appear on the Browse by Country page, or in the Category:Countries. However, they may be appropriate as part of another country's page/category, or on the List of extinct states page, or in the Category:Former Countries.
Country sub-divisions: as in the FHL Catalog
For places smaller than a country use the name as it would appear if it were in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog. However, normally write the name in order from smallest to largest jurisdiction, for example, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.
Also, use diacritics as they would appear in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog, for example, Höfgen (AH. Meißen), Sachsen, Germany.
Names of classes of places do what English does. In particular, when dealing with administrative subdivisions, we write of United States counties and Cook County, Illinois, or of Russian oblasts and the Moscow Oblast, but of Chinese and Roman provinces, not sheng or provinciae.
Also, use Jackson Township, Hamilton, Indiana, but use Cicero, Hamilton, Indiana for an incorporated municipality.
It is often the case that the same geographic place-name will apply to more than one place, or to a place and to other things of interest to genealogists such as a tribe or language; in either case disambiguation will be necessary. See Wiki:Disambiguation.
Diltsgd 21:25, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
- The wiki:Disambiguation link in the paragraph above is not working. If there is something else that needs reviewing, would someone update the link? I would update the link myself, but I'm not sure where it was intended to go. Also note that one of the current Policies in the Wiki is for Disambiguation. The Disambiguation Discussion page for this policy is also available (although it is currently empty). Franjensen 15:50, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
- Once it is formally adopted by our Wiki community, the said link should be to our own internal article (the next one on this list of proposed MOS items). Diltsgd 01:55, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Wiki - is it intended to be Mormon-oriented or is it intended to be all encompassing?
Objection had been posted concerning Baltimore, Maryland vs Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland.
Didn't we discuss the emphasis on reaching out to more places rather than emphasis on FHL Catalog? Many places do not recognize Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. It is simply Baltimore, Maryland.
What's more Wikipedia mentions "Independent City" only in the article, same is true for the independent cities of Virginia as well as United Kingdom. The key is the simplicity of remembering the place names. Only in Family History Library Catalog you will find that term. dsammy 00:44, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- I like simplicity. But sometimes simplicity all by itself isn't enough. Another important characterisitic is verifiable. Using a standard like "do it the way the FHL catalog does it" on place names gives us a standard that can be verified in most cases we would need, and predictable in the few cases that are not already in the catalog. If the only standard is simplicity by itself, that is harder to verify and predict what the concensus of users would agree is simple.
- The logic behind the FHL Catalog standard should not be rejected just because it is associated with a "Mormon" organization. It is available to our Wiki community worldwide on the Internet and is specifically designed to help genealogists. Wikipedia has more of a general encyclopedia audience--it's standards, particularly on place names can be a useful guide, but the FHL Catalog has decades of thought and experience behind it and is more adapted to the needs of genealogists.
- How do we title articles about towns? If our community reaches concensus that the FHL Catalog is a good standard to use for naming articles about places, I believe that would mean that articles about cities and towns like Chicago would carry the title Chicago, Cook, Illinois, or Fairfield, Jefferson, Iowa. How does the community feel about this? If I understand what Dsammy is saying, he would prefer the more simple Chicago, Illinois or Fairfield, Iowa. What do our other contributors think? Diltsgd 02:31, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- Take a look at Fairfield (disambiguation). It already distinguish several Fairfield's in one state. I am referring to usage of "independent city" in the url address.
- And this format is already widespread in several Wiki sites. If more than one is found in a specific area, just add the necessary identification like Fairfield, Hyde County, North Carolina and Fairfield, Union County, North Carolina. It's worse with Washington Townships so additional identification is necessary as needed and just for Iowa alone, there are 49 of them!)
What's more I can shoot down your assumption, in the Family History Library Catalog, you can't get "Chicago" with "Cook County", and instead of that it has to be either simply Chicago or Chicago with Illinois to get the search results. That is the logic behind the usage. The family historians are not going to type Fairfield, Jefferson, Iowa to get that because that part of information is already in the first line in the page in search results. Here's the result from search for "Fairfield, Utah" - Fairfield, Utah ... ed States]] > Utah > Utah County > Fairfield... own in Utah County, Utah. For other uses, see Fairfield (disambiguation). '' See how the info is presented instantly?
Secondly, why should it has to be to that way? You need to think OUTSIDE of the box to see how others see it. dsammy 03:57, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
- And I am going to have more fun with you. Check out Portland (disambiguation). And we are moving beyond what the FHL Catalog is into new areas not available at the FHL. dsammy 04:52, 31 May 2009 (UTC)