Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2010-03/Placename namespace

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Initially this proposal could be implemented with a pseudo-namespaces (just titling entries with the "Placename:" prefix) but a bug should be filed to add the namespace officially so that it is properly supported by the search features. --Bequwτ 14:11, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Presumably entities with actual use that allows them to be in the main namespace will need to be in both places? What information will be in which entry? Conrad.Irwin 13:12, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I see two possible differences:
  1. The main namespace should list the qualities needed to understand the attributive use (we don't currently do this well but probably should) where as Placename: would just refer to places.
  2. Depending on the TBDed inclusion criteria of this new namespace, it could be that New York only talks about New York, NY whereas Placename:New York could list all places named "New York".
--Bequwτ 15:23, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
That's what I feared :). In essence the namespace would just contain the "Places" section of w:New_York_(disambiguation), making it rather redundant. Conrad.Irwin 15:46, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Hopefully not "just" as the point is to include linguistic data (alternative spellings, translations, etymologies, etc.) which could differ different places with the same name. As was mentioned below the inclusion criteria for this new namespace could be such that something of linguistic value must be entered for it be allowed. --Bequwτ 19:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


What's to be included? Nile, Half Dome, Tropic of Cancer, and continental divide are geographic names that don't represent places, as such. Is this for proper names only, or proper nouns (not exactly the same thing, I'm told), or common nouns too? A more general namespace name might be toponym(s) or geonym(s)Michael Z. 2010-03-10 04:02 z

And what sort of sense lines would be allowed in this namespace? ("A place name", or "A hamlet in Tyne and Wear"?) And are all place names inclusible — even Southern District of New York and Black Creek and Newcastle-under-Lyme Rural District and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport? These must be specified in the vote before the latter starts. (Preferably after discussion, of course.)​—msh210 17:01, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
The point is not to pin the details of inclusion and layout down in this vote (is the main page unclear on that?). The intent is to begin a namespace for place names so that the community can decide further details later. Since it would be free from the CFI these details could be determined by consensus rather than just by voting. Any of the inclusion criteria that have been discussed before (eg Wiktionary:Place names) could be experimented with. The intended scope of this namespace includes potentially all toponyms, so it could include Nile, Half Dome, and Tropic of Cancer (continental divide is a common noun, but Laurentian Divide could be up for inclusion) but again inclusion criteria can be debated if the vote passes. I would've used Toponym: except that it is such a rare word.--Bequwτ 20:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Aside: (N Amer) Continental Divide, or Great Divide with caps is a proper noun; a geographic feature, but not exactly a “place.” See w:Continental Divide of the AmericasMichael Z. 2010-03-11 17:21 z
Re "is the main page unclear on that?", the vote page says CFI will read "Layout and inclusion policies of this namespace are separate from the main namespace and found through Wiktionary:Place names". According to what you wrote, it should say "...are separate from those of the main namespace and are not yet set: for now, this namespace is a free-for-all".​—msh210 20:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
That was intentional. As every modification to the CFI requires a vote, I don't think the CFI should describe the current status of separate policy pages that it links to. That the place name policy is experimental should be mentioned on the vote page and and on its policy page (whether it be WT:Place names or WT:Toponyms). --Bequwτ 03:26, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
While I agree hat the CFI shouldn't mention the current state of policy pages it includes by reference, it should include by reference only policy pages. Or, at least, it should include by reference only policy pages when such inclusion is central to the point of the particular criterion for inclusion (clause of the CFI), as it is here. Or, at the very least, we should not vote specifically to add an inclusion by reference to a non-policy page where such inclusion is central to the criterion for inclusion. I think that this vote should omit the addition to WT:CFI and be only about adding a namespace for placenames, with criteria for inclusion into that namespace to be decided later (but nothing mentioned in WT:CFI).​—msh210 15:54, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Sounds fine. Does my change suffice? --Bequwτ 01:58, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
If you're asking me: It's better than it was, thanks, but I'd prefer no change to WT:CFI at all, with the vote's being only on adding the namespace and (roughly) what the namespace is for (place names' entries). Perhaps that's just me, though.​—msh210 18:52, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood your previous post. I do think that's better. Let's leave the CFI to the main namespace. --Bequwτ 01:49, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and a good source on "proper names" is User:EncycloPetey/English proper nouns#A word about .22proper names.22. --Bequwτ 20:33, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


About The arguments about inclusion of non-attributive place names in the main namespace appear to be at an impasse.: I don't see why. I have seen arguments against being encyclopedic (and I fully agree), I also understand why some are uneasy about this inclusion (because this is not something common in other dictionaries), but I have not seen arguments against including linguistic data about placenames in the mainspace. There is no more reason to create a namespace for placenames than a namespace for animals, or for surnames, or for adjectives, etc. Lmaltier 20:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Classes of animals, surnames, and adjectives are allowed in the main namespace. Inclusion of proper names, in general, is not allowed by the CFI (Wiktionary:CFI#Names basically says there's got to be some usage independent of a unique referent.) You may not agree with that, or not believe that point of view has legitimate arguments, but some do and have said so in previous debates. The point is to find a place to put certain type of useful, linguistic content for terms that aren't allowed by the CFI. I say "impasse" because half a dozen votes have been proposed to solve this problem and none have succeeded. --Bequwτ 02:13, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, which arguments against including linguistic data? I don't remember any, except that this is sometimes already present in Wikipedia. But linguistic data about words belong here. And, as far as I know, no vote was organized on a proposal to deal proper nouns (when they clearly are words) exactly the same way as other words, and to include only linguistic data in their pages. Lmaltier 06:31, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Start one. The more ideas the better. --Bequwτ 13:24, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
For the moment, I just want to provide feed for thought. It's probably not a good idea to organize several concurrent votes on the same subject. Lmaltier 22:08, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


Please see WT:BP#CFI for place names based on the quality of the entry. Could these two votes be combined? --Makaokalani 15:21, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

How combined? Do you meaning conjoining the two ideas to get something like "create a separate namespace for non-attributively used place name where entries have at elast 2 of {pronunciation, unique non-English translation, additional definitional information}"? It seemed like from the BP discussion that you wanted to change the CFI for the main namespace somehow. --Bequwτ 20:22, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
We have seen even stranger votes...:-) Sorry, wrong word, I meant that the two votes could have been on the same page, since if the CFI would pass, the namespace wouldn't be needed, and if the CFI would fail, we'd get a picture of how many people oppose placenames. But maybe it wasn't such a brilliant idea, and too late anyway. It's a pity if we have to create a separate namespace, because the strength of the Wiktionary is just having all the meanings of a word on a single page. --Makaokalani 15:45, 16 March 2010 (UTC)


If this proposal is meant to exclude London, U.K. from "London" from the mainspace, I am definitely going to oppose. If the proposal is meant to provide a namespace for obscure villages while keeping major places in the mainspace, it seems reasonable enough. I think this proposal should clearly state that it does not in any way regulate the inclusion of place names in the mainspace. --Dan Polansky 12:13, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

No such direct effect is intended. Consensus is currently to keep very common place names in the main namespace regardless of the CFI and its attributive use clause. If this namespace is successful it is possible that the consensus could change (and regard the namespace as the only valid location for non-CFI-allowed place names). So, this vote doesn't try to regulate current consensus. --Bequwτ 14:53, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I, for one, would be open to allowing common proper nouns in the main namespace even if this vote passes. --Bequwτ 15:24, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


I think that the justification of the proposal should be clearly separated from the proposal itself. The sentence "The arguments about inclusion of non-attributive place names in the main namespace appear to be at an impasse" does not belong to the proposal itself but to its justification. That is what I think, anyway; other people may differ. --Dan Polansky 12:15, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. --Daniel. 12:21, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Yep. --Bequwτ 14:56, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


Would "Gazetteer" be a better name for such a namespace? Entries in the namespace could have the same sort of freeform format of our current appendices. Entries could have some sort of hierarchical naming structure e.g. ("Lesser arm of the local spiral galaxy") => "Earth" => "Europe" => "United Kingdom" => "England" => "Somerset" => "Nempnett Thrubwell". SemperBlotto 12:28, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand the word gazetteer as something providing linguistic information about placenames, but rather short encyclopedic info about places, such as population. Is my understanding wrong? Lmaltier 13:04, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I do like the hierarchical structure idea. It would be a great idea for the layout if this vote is approved. Gazetteer strikes we as a bit less known that Placename but I if others want the change I wouldn't object. --Bequwτ 14:58, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Is there a public domain gazetteer or a preview gazetteer in Google books that you would recommend I have a look at, to see what kind of product a "gazetteer" is? --Dan Polansky 07:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Not I, but see w:gazetteer.​—msh210 16:01, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
So, this is not at all the same as a language dictionary... Lmaltier 19:02, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Sister project[edit]

This proposal of organizing together (possibly millions of) place names seems so big and considerably unrelated to Wiktionary that perhaps it merits its own sister project, not a mere namespace in a dictionary. In my opinion, "http://en.wikiworld.org/" would be a good name to it. --Daniel. 12:38, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

It's very big, of course, but no more than for other words. And it already exists for encyclopedic info: it's Wikipedia. I don't see why it's unrelated to Wiktionary to build its linguistic counterpart for etymologies, pronunciations, anagrams, demonyms, derived terms, etc. (just as both Wikipedia and Wiktionary include fox or rain, but with different information). Lmaltier 13:09, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Lmaltier. We would focus on the linguistic aspects with minimal attention to the encyclopedic elements. We'd probably have to locate the referents but this could be done with a miniscule amount of info such as a 'pedia link or coordinates. --Bequwτ 15:02, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Some way to locate the place, yes. Coordinates is not the best way, a map might be the easiest way (if available), together with a very short definition, stating in a few words what the place is (town, etc.) and where it is (e.g. Bulgarian town on the Black Sea coast.). It's enough to understand the word. Lmaltier 16:05, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
A map is available. The m:WikiMiniAtlas, which is already being used on 16 Wikipedias, can be easily imported by adding a single line to Common.js. This would allow a small globe icon to be added to the entry, which would display a map of the area centered on the location when clicked. --Yair rand 16:51, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

See also w:List of places and WikimapiaMichael Z. 2010-03-15 05:29 z

So let's see Wikimapia for "Prague":
"one of the most beatiful parts of Prague - cobbled twisted lanes , baroque churches, embassies , government buildings, well-kept gardens, Lennon's wall .."
Where is the pronunciation?
Where is the etymology?
Where is the list of Czech translation, Spanish translation, Chinese translation, German translation, and other translations?
What has a map to do with a language dictionary of geographic names? --Dan Polansky 07:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
What are you getting at? I posted links relevant to the proposal in this section. Michael Z. 2010-03-15 18:54 z
A map showing where the place is located is useful to readers, it's exactly like pictures illustrating common nouns. Where the place is located and which kind of place it is are the only important things in the definition of a placename. Nobody proposed to provide the same kind of data as Wikimapia. Lmaltier 20:08, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I thought the discussion here was about creating another sister project, a gazetteer or some such.
Anyway, a map is not like a picture illustrating a common noun. In a dictionary, a drawing which embodies the essential characteristics of the definiendum is better than a photo which showing a specific referent, with its specific quirks. (Not just my opinion, but that of Landau 2001 and others).
So, would Winnipeg be illustrated by the city's centre point or the location of its central intersection, or an outline of its current city limits, an outline of its built-up area, its residential area, its census subdivisions, an outline of Census Canada's greater CMA, or what?
We're also a historical dictionary. Does the map have to be updated when the city's legal description changes, even though the definition stays the same? A good “definition” of the city would cover the meaning of the name of this settlement from before it was incorporated as a city in 1874, through Unicity when it grew several-fold overnight by annexing the surrounding municipalities in 1972. Do we need to create a map that shows the city's entire historical development?
I think showing technical drawings like maps at all further distances us from the function of a dictionary. We're trying to bring in information about things, not terms. Bad enough to allow creating “senses” for individual specific people and places. Michael Z. 2010-03-16 00:27 z

The avenue where I live, the hospital where I've born and most institutions where I've studied probably aren't in Wikipedia nor in Wiktionary, due to their policies. From what I see, the Placename: namespace also (probably) wouldn't include them. A sister project for places could have less strict policies that would result in describing those examples eventually, due to geographical focus rather than notability or lexicology. [Note: Wikimapia can't be loaded completely here due to what appears to be a interface made completely by maps, therefore I automatically dislike this site without wasting much time looking for its possible qualities.] --Daniel. 04:01, 16 March 2010 (UTC)