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DMOZ: Open Directory Project

Geographic Subcategories Template

Regional/ Top Level

The top level consists of the following three areas:

  1. Alphabar index for all countries in the world.
  2. Countries category sorted "above the line."
  3. Listing of the world's major geographical regions "below the line."
A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

  • Countries

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Oceania
  • Polar Regions
  • South America

Countries Category

The Regional: Countries category is a list of @links of all independent nations and their dependent areas as defined by ISO 3166 . This list is duplicated within the alphabar. If an @link is added to the Countries category, it must also be added to the alphabar. The category and alphabar are updated when changes are made to ISO 3166 to reflect current standards.

The category for a particular country is physically located under its world geographical region category. Locations of countries under the world regions have been standardized, and should not be changed without consensus from the editorial community.

Countries that can be identified with more than one region, are @linked in other world regions as appropriate.

The Turkey category is located under Regional: Middle_East, but is @linked in the Regional: Asia and Regional: Europe categories.
  • Regional
    • Asia
      • Turkey@
    • Europe
      • Turkey@
    • Middle_East
      • Turkey

Categories for a nation's dependent areas are located in the world region categories, listed along with independent nations. For nations with dependent areas, a Dependent_Areas subcategory, consisting of @links should be created. The Dependencies and Territories List gives a complete listing of independent nations, their dependencies, and the subcategory name to use directly under the country name. The dependent areas categories have been standardized, and should not be changed without consensus from the editorial community.

Geographic Taxonomy for Individual Countries

The following are standards and guidelines for building out geographic subcategories under a country, and are broken down into the following four sections. These guidelines are presented in very general terms, and may be difficult to follow if you are new to the ODP. Real examples are given to assist in the their application.

If you are reorganizing a country category to comply with these guidelines, determine which model in section B best fits your country.

A) Standard Types of Geographic Subcategories - Definitions

First Administrative Area (e.g. State, Province, etc.)

The principal geopolitical subdivisions of the country that have some degree of jurisdiction over sub-areas such as counties, localities, districts, etc. Many countries have different levels of Administrative Areas. The first level Administrative Areas are the primary subdivisions of the country. Examples include US and Australian States, Canadian Provinces, Ireland's Counties, and Spain's Autonomous Communities.

When creating a name for an administrative area category use the English equivalent of the official names used by the country's government. Examples are States for Germany, Provinces for Canada, Counties for Ireland, etc.

Second Administrative Area (e.g. County, Department, etc.)
The official subdivision of most US States, Canadian Provinces, and UK countries. For the US and Canada, a county represents the second level Administrative Area, which means it is the next geopolitical subdivision under the State/Province. France, for example, has equivalent areas called Departments.
Localities
Includes, but is not limited to, the following types of populated places or areas with clustered or scattered buildings and a permanent human population: incorporated communities, cities, towns, villages, townships, hamlets, settlements, districts, reservations, and unincorporated places regardless of next higher administrative area.
Neighborhoods
A populated area whose own identity is overshadowed by that of a larger city or locality - and/or - specific and defined urban residential areas (examples - a division or historical area) which may or may not maintain a separate identity of which the residents consider themselves part of the greater urban area. Neighborhood categories should be placed in the appropriate locality.
Non-Administrative Regions
Unofficial areas of a country or within one of its administrative areas. Regions may also be government areas set up for administrative activities of the country's central government, but have no jurisdiction over the areas covered. Examples include municipalities in Australia and regions in England.
  • Categories for named Regions (e.g. Northwest, Central, Southeast, etc.) should go under a Regions category.
  • Special Region types will have their own categories directly under the country names. Islands and Metro Areas are examples of Regions that will have their own categories.
Metro Areas
Major urban agglomerations in the US and Canada. Very few countries will choose to implement this category, and it should be used with some caution as not to duplicate corresponding locality categories.
Dependent Areas
Geopolitical entities that are associated in some way with an independent nation.

B) Building a Geographic Taxonomy

The organization of subcategories under a country should not mimic the country's true geopolitical hierarchy. You should build out the country's geographic taxonomy according to one of the following two models. If you only want to add categories for localities and regions, pick Model 1. If you want to add categories for Administrative Areas in addition to localities, regions, etc., use model 2.

Two important things to keep in mind:

  1. Most countries will be built out according to Model 1. This is especially true for non-English speaking countries. Some small non-English speaking countries, and countries with very little content may not have geographic subcategories. Examples include:

  2. Do not over-categorize and, except where noted, don't create empty categories. Only create categories for which you have real sites to add. Very few countries will have a taxonomy as complete as those in the models below.

Model 1

For most countries you will not have categories for Administrative Areas. Most Web sites you will be adding will be specific to localities and regions, rather than Administrative Areas like States, Provinces, etc. Therefore, for most small and non-English speaking countries you will have, at most, 3 types of geographic categories: Localities, Regions, and Dependent Areas.

The general model you should follow is described below:

Subcategory of Country Guidelines
  • Localities
    • Locality_1
    • Locality_2
  • Create individual locality categories directly under the umbrella Country/Localities category. If this list of categories gets too large, create an alpha-bar.
  • Regions (A)
    • Region_1
      • Locality_1@
      • Locality_2@
    • Region_2
      • Locality_3@
      • Locality_4@

OR

  • Regions (B)
    • Region_1
      • Localities
        • Locality_1@
        • Locality_2@
    • Region_2
      • Localities
        • Locality_3@
        • Locality_4@
  • Create individual region categories directly under the umbrella Country/Regions category.
  • You may have more than one regions category under the name of the country. Create names for specialized regions rather than using the generic term.
  • Under each Region, create @links for all the localities in the Region. You may either (A) create these @links for localities directly under the individual region category or (B) create them under an umbrella Localities category.
  • Dependent Areas
    • Country_1@
    • Country_2@
  • This category contains @links for all dependent areas (when applicable). The name given to this category should be taken from The Dependencies and Territories List.
  • If your country has dependent areas or territories, create category for @links pointing to the dependent area categories.

The following categories are built out following this method of organization:

Model 2

For countries with a lot of content, you will sometimes need to make a more detailed taxonomy. This may involve adding categories for Administrative Areas (e.g. States, Provinces, etc.) in addition to the 3 categories listed in Model 1.

When adding categories for Administrative Areas, the individual locality categories under Country/Localities should be moved under the Administrative Area in which they exist. Replace the locality categories under Country/Localities with @links to locality categories you moved under the Administrative Areas.

Subcategory of Country Guidelines
  • Localities (A)
    • Locality1@
    • Locality2@
    • ...

OR

  • Localities (B)
    • A
      • A_Locality_1@
      • A_Locality_2@
    • B
      • B_Locality_1@
      • B_Locality_2@
    • C
      • C_Locality_1@
      • C_Locality_2@
    • ...
  • (A) Contains a list of @links for all localities in the country. The category for the locality should live under the appropriate administrative area category.
  • (B) If the Localities category gets large, editors may list Localities in an alphabar.
  • Exception: It would be a *massive* undertaking to create top level Country/Localities categories for the US and Canada, even if an alphabar was created for the @links. Any letter in the alphabar would be so huge to load, it would hardly be a user-friendly thing to implement. Therefore, the US and Canada are not required to implement this category at the top level. All other countries are required to have a top level Country/Localities category.
  • Admin_Area_1
    • Localities
      • Locality_1
      • Locality_2
      • Locality_3
      • Locality_4
    • Admin_Subareas
      • Admin_Subarea_1
        • Locality_1@
        • Locality_2@
      • Admin_Subarea_2
        • Locality_3@
        • Locality_4@
    • Regions
      • Region_1
        • Admin_Subareas
          • Admin_Subarea_1@
          • Admin_Subarea_2@
        • Localities
          • Locality_1@
          • Locality_2@
      • Region_2
        • Admin_Subareas
          • Admin_Subarea_3@
          • Admin_Subarea_4@
        • Localities
          • Locality_3@
          • Locality_4@
  • Admin_Area_2
    • ... (same as above)

Administrative Area categories may be added directly under the name of the country (as shown in this model), and sorted above the line; OR created under an umbrella category for the Administrative Area.

Building out Administrative Area Categories

Under each administrative area you will have at least the following 3 categories:

  • Localities
    Under each individual category, add related category links for all Regions and Administrative Sub-Areas in which the locality exists.
  • Administrative Sub-Areas (Counties, Local Govt Areas, etc.)
    Under each individual category add @links for all localities in the sub-area.
  • Regions
    This category will contain subcategories for regions within the administrative area. Under each individual Region category, create categories for Localities and Administrative Sub-Areas, containing @links for localities and sub-areas covered by the Region.
  • Regions
    • Region_1
      • Admin_Area_1@
      • Admin_Area_2@
    • Region_2
      • Admin_Area_3@
      • Admin_Area_4@
  • Create individual region categories directly under the umbrella Country/Regions category.
  • You may have more than one regions category under the name of the country. Create unique category names for specialized regions rather than using the generic term. i.e. Metro_Areas or Islands
  • Under each Region, create @links for all First Level Administrative Areas in the Region.
  • Dependent Areas
    • Country_1@
    • Country_2@
  • This category contains @links for all dependent areas (when applicable). The name given to this category should be taken from the Dependencies and Territories List.

Country categories follow this model are:

C) Sort Priority

Geographic subcategories should be sorted above the line to separate them from topical subcategories.

  • Regional: North America: Canada
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • ...
    • Saskatchewan

    • Arts_and_Entertainment
    • Business_and_Economy
    • ...
    • Weather

D) Special Circumstances

There are a few countries that will deviate slightly from these guidelines, due to unique geographic characteristics.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is composed of 4 countries, plus dependent areas. The top layer for the UK will include the 4 countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Each one of these countries will be organized as if they were their own nation following the above guidelines for building out a geographic taxonomy.

Small Island Nations

These are countries composed of several small islands (i.e. more than two). In many cases, each island is a unique entity, and has little association with other islands other than belonging to the same government. The most logical way to subdivide small island nations is by the name of the islands. Therefore, the stages in which you will build out the taxonomy are different than with other countries.

You will first start out by creating categories for Islands. Many of these small island nations will not have locality categories. Local sites will be categorized under the appropriate island category. For islands that do have locality categories, then the localities should live under the island in which the locality exists (e.g. Country/Island/Localities), rather than in a "Localities" category directly under the country (e.g. Country/Localities). The localities category under the country will contain @links to all localities in the nation.

Examples:

Note: The US State of Hawaii has the same geographic characteristics of Small Island Nations. Therefore, Hawaii should follow this model of organization rather than the general one being followed for other US States.

United States Subcategories

Editors may create complete listings of all localities, counties, regions, and metro areas in a state, even if there are no sites listed in some of these categories. This gives the editors the opportunity to "pre-set" all the @links that localities, counties, and metro areas will require.

The following are detailed guidelines applying the generic structure to States.

Counties (for Louisiana, use Parishes)

Each county should have its own category. These categories should be placed in the counties category under the state. Add a localities subcategory with @links for localities in the county; OR you may list these @links "above the line" directly under the county name.

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: Florida: Counties: Dade
    • Homstead@
    • Miami@
    • Miami Beach@

OR

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: Florida: Counties: Dade
    • Localities
      • Homstead@
      • Miami@
      • Miami Beach@

City in two counties:

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: South Carolina: Counties
    • Lexington
      • Localities
        • Irmo@
    • Richland
      • Localities
        • Irmo@

Independent city

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: Virginia: Rockingham County: Localities
    • Harrisonburg@

Localities

  • Option 1
    • Create an alpha bar under the Localities category
    • Create categories for individual localities in the alpha bar
  • Option 2
    • Create an alpha bar under the Localities category
    • Create categories for individual localities in the alpha bar
    • Create a State/Localities/All Localities category containing @links for all localities listed in the alpha bar.
    Do not create alpha-bars at the State level for localities.

Neighborhoods

Categories for neighborhoods can be created for a particular locality. These should be placed in a Neighborhoods category under the locality, and sorted above the line.

Metro Areas

Metro area categories should not be replacements or duplicates of central city or county categories. If the central city or county category covers the metro area, then do not create a separate metro area category.

If separate central city/county and metro area categories are created, the category descriptions should explain this difference.

The definition of a Metro Area should follow that given by the US Census: "The general concept of an Metro Area is that of a core area containing a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core." The US Census maintains a list of statistical metro areas. Editors may consult this list to help them define metro areas. Metro area categories should consist of the following:

  • <Metro Area>
    • Localities (this category will list @links to all localities encompassed in a the Metro Area)
    • Counties (this category will list @links for all counties included in the Metro Area)

The geographic area covered by sites listed in a metro area should follow the 80/20 rule: if a site covers 80% or more of the region defined by the metro area, then list it in the metro area category; otherwise list it in the category for the central city or county, whichever is more appropriate.

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: Michigan: Metro_Areas: Detroit_Metro_Area
    • Localities
      • Ann Arbor@
      • Birmingham@
      • Bloomfield Hills@
      • Canton@
      • Deaborn@
    • Counties
      • Macomb@
      • Oakland@
      • Wayne@
      • Washtenaw@

Regions

This is the generic geographic taxonomy for Regions.

  • Counties (this category will list @links for all counties encompassed by the Region)
  • Localities (this category will list @links to all localities encompassed by the Region)
  • Metro Areas (this category will list @links to all metro areas encompassed by the Region)

  • Regional: North_America: United_States: Michigan: Regions: Upper_Peninsula
    • Counties
      • Alger@
      • Luce@
    • Localities
      • Escanaba@
      • Marquette@
      • Sault Ste. Marie@