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Structure of Place Principal Element

6. There's a Place for Us (Geographic Records)


Structures, geographic locations, and jurisdictions, including extraterrestrial ones

<Place type="natural" role="authority">

The Place element encompasses both physical geography (astronomical and terrestrial locations, including their topographic and structural features) and political geography (geopolitical jurisdictions of governments). The emphasis is on the name of an area and/or its government, which may change.Currently, Place has a required 'role' attribute with values of authority, instance, or authority/instance. It also has an optional 'type' attribute with values:natural, constructed, or jurisdictional.It may also have a 'usage' attribute with the single value of subdivision, to indicate suitability as a value of Subdivision in Relationships. Its Entry has an optional 'class' attribute with values:individual, collective, or referential, as well as 'language' and 'transliteration', and may have a 'scheme' attribute.

Similar to current practice, an Entry may serve as an anchor for both organizational and geographic subordinate Relationships. The post-ordinate Qualifiers are common.Place is a "substantive" Principal Element in that real estate (land and structures) may be held, owned, controlled, etc. Differing from LC's ambiguous headings (44), buildings are included here as they occupy space, have spatial relationships, and have rooms within them.While mostly useful for subject relationships, they also find expression in literal holdings of parks and living history museums, as well as in the context of the National Register of Historic Places, the United Nations World Heritage Sites, etc. There is potential for improving access to historical and geographic information. These examples illustrate the wide variety:

Andes Mountains
Andromeda Galaxy Galaxies
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina/Virginia) Parkways
Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress) Auditoriums ?
Dazuizi Site (China) Archaeological Sites
Diaoyu Cheng (Extinct City) Extinct Cities
Earth Planets
Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) Neighborhoods?
Halley's Comet Comets
House of Dionysus (Paphos, Cyprus) Dwellings
La Brea Pits (California) Holes
Thomas Jefferson Building(Library of Congress) Buildings
Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, Massachusetts) Living History Museums ?
Ruby Gulch Mine (Montana) Mines
San Jose International Airport Airports
Santorini Volcano (Greece) Volcanoes [needs xref Volcanos]
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) National Parks & Reserves
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Mountains?
Waitomo Cave (New Zealand) Caves

The chief difficulty in managing the duality between place and government is resolved by means of Relationships, both geographic and organizational. The following examples are not meant to be actual displays, but attempt to reveal structural relationships that could underpin presentation of such an arrangement. Details of how indexes and display options would work are left to implementation software. Note the potential for conditional display by omitting of pre- and post-qualifiers in subordinate positions. The effect of jurisdictions' being treated as intrinsic parts of a name (i.e. embedded), such as for public libraries is evident in this example:

The following example extends this idea to show how Relationships (in italics) could be used more extensively in geographic organization. The Relationships section discusses the intriguing issue of relationship names versus categorical membership. Note the accommodation of overlapping periods (Jacobin) via nested subsets, which is useful in cases of dispute or uncertainty.This example also partially illustrates the optional display of entries by language, English in this case.

Related events can link reciprocally:

Place includes individual top-level jurisdictions, even if space is not coterminous with the jurisdiction. It excludes inter-governmental organizations, e.g. United Nations.Being covers proper names for inhabitants:

Place Being(collective)
Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Indians
KwaNdebele (South Africa) Ndebele (African People)
Tonga Tongans
Zululand (South Africa) Zulu (African People)

Place excludes jurisdictional subdivisions treated as Organization and organizations which administer spaces (e.g. airports, parks). Sometimes the names are quite similar, but the distinction is an important one.When the names are identical, Qualifiers can be added to make them unique, although the Principal Elements' names reflect the difference. In practice, this distinction may not be problematic in terms of redundancy. We intend to continue studying the issue and welcome feedback. See also LC's ambiguous headings for similar categories (44).

Place also excludes sculpture regardless of size (Work) and mobile structures, such as ships and trains, which are handled by Object. Whether or not an Object should exhibit internal geographic relationships needs study; consider the condominium ship World. The "isness" and "aboutness" issue raised earlier applies to Place, with the mixing of Concepts in some LCSH headings causing instantiation problems, e.g. Mines and mineral resources. Divide and conquer is a reliable principle.

Addresses merit further study, especially since they would be used in multiple schemas. They appear to represent a cluster of Relationships, primarily between a Being or an Organization and a Place. Cascading/embedding and Qualifiers complicate the picture, although a street number clearly represents a sequential aspect of a relationship to the street.

Fictional Relationships also apply to Place. For consistency, we have used "Fictional" in all cases, although LCSH uses "Fictitious" and "Imaginary" variously in qualifiers, e.g. (Imaginary place), although "Legendary" and "Mythical" represent a discrete idea(s).All of these examples belong to the Category:Fictional Place.

Place Fictional: Concept
Atlantis Continent
Elbonia Country? or Nation ?
Gaia (Fictional Planet) Planet
Lake Wobegon (Minnesota) Town ? or Populated Place ?
Shangri-La Utopia
South Park (Colorado) Town ? or Populated Place ?