Include country in county titles?

Ask questions and discuss topics of interest related to the FamilySearch wiki found at http://wiki.familysearch.org.

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
6
46%
Montgomery County, Maryland
7
54%
 
Total votes: 13

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Include country in county titles?

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:34 pm

Should we recommend users include the country when naming a county in an article title?
  • Montgomery County, Maryland, United States
  • Montgomery County, Maryland

JBParker-p40
New Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:24 am
Location: Bountiful, Utah

Postby JBParker-p40 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:04 pm

No. If people are looking up information about Maryland, surely they know it's in the United States. Looks like we are building another Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File,New FamilySearch set of rules!

jbh001
Community Moderators
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:17 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Postby jbh001 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:38 am

The country should only be included as necessary to disambiguate (is that a word?).

For example:
Georgia (country)
Georgia (U.S. State) {note the "not to be confused with" text at the top}
Paris (Idaho)
Miami (Oklahoma)

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20767
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:01 pm

jbh001 wrote:The country should only be included as necessary to disambiguate (is that a word?).


But how do you know until you find the second example that creates the ambiguity? I think for consistancy, we need to put the country name in. But I'm fine with a smaller font for the country if screen space is an issue.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:43 pm

RussellHltn wrote:But how do you know until you find the second example that creates the ambiguity? I think for consistancy, we need to put the country name in. But I'm fine with a smaller font for the country if screen space is an issue.


You may not know until the second instance appears. But that's okay -- at that point you go back and add the clarifying description. For example (too obvious to be real, but illustrates the point): if you only had an article on Georgia, and it described the US State, it would be fine if it were titled Georgia. But then you discover there's a country named Georgia, so you go back and edit Georgia to be Georgia (US State), and create Georgia (country).

However, for the specific point of this thread, I doubt there's any ambiguity. The proposal is already to include the county and the state name. I can't think of a possible ambiguity, since there is no Fulton County in the country of Georgia. So keep it simple, when the title is clear. For anyone interested in Fulton County, Georgia, tacking on United States to the title adds no information they don't already know.

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

Postby The_Earl » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:00 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:You may not know until the second instance appears. But that's okay -- at that point you go back and add the clarifying description. For example (too obvious to be real, but illustrates the point): if you only had an article on Georgia, and it described the US State, it would be fine if it were titled Georgia. But then you discover there's a country named Georgia, so you go back and edit Georgia to be Georgia (US State), and create Georgia (country).


<snip>

So what do you do with 'Georgia'? If you leave it blank, someone will fill it in with the article that should be one of the two. If you create a disambiguation page, you have added a step to finding the information you want, and likely broken all of the old links to the state. If you redirect to the state or the country, you have created more confusion, since the article exists, but points to the wrong place half of the time.

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?

I think we should definitely include the country name.

I also disagree that [county],[state] articles should not include the country. I think it is again a bit naive to think that no conflicts will occur. As long as the order is least-specific to most, a search will find you what you are looking for.

The Earl

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:14 pm

The Earl wrote:So what do you do with 'Georgia'? If you leave it blank, someone will fill it in with the article that should be one of the two. If you create a disambiguation page, you have added a step to finding the information you want, and likely broken all of the old links to the state. If you redirect to the state or the country, you have created more confusion, since the article exists, but points to the wrong place half of the time.


Except for the question of existing links, the answer to this question (which veers from the topic of the thread) is obvious. You create a disambiguation page. This is precisely the situation for which disambiguation pages were invented. There is absolutely no harm in creating a disambiguation page, since it will be used only by people who simply type in Georgia; as you accurately pointed out, there is no redirection that will work for that ambiguous text, so redirection to either the country or the state is definitely wrong. If someone tries to go to "Georgia (country)" they will go straight to the country; if they try to go to "Georgia, United States", they will go straight to the state. Everyone wins.

The Earl raises a good point that we should have a policy for naming that greatly reduces the likelihood of creating ambiguous titles. I agree with this general statement. But ambiguities may still creep into the wiki, so we have to be able to address them.

So then the only real question is what to do if there are links to an article that has been discovered to be ambiguous. That's a bit tricky. I think they all have to be fixed. This might be a lot of work or only a little bit. Wikipedia has a sidebar link on every article in the toolbox area called "What links here"; this makes it trivial to find all the references and fix them. I don't see that capability in the Family Search Wiki, but if it were added, then nothing would stand in the way of creating the optimal titles for previously ambiguous articles, and fixing all the links to those articles to point to the correct article, without going through a disambiguation page.

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

Postby The_Earl » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:11 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Except for the question of existing links, the answer to this question (which veers from the topic of the thread) is obvious. You create a disambiguation page. This is precisely the situation for which disambiguation pages were invented. There is absolutely no harm in creating a disambiguation page, since it will be used only by people who simply type in Georgia; as you accurately pointed out, there is no redirection that will work for that ambiguous text, so redirection to either the country or the state is definitely wrong. If someone tries to go to "Georgia (country)" they will go straight to the country; if they try to go to "Georgia, United States", they will go straight to the state. Everyone wins.

The Earl raises a good point that we should have a policy for naming that greatly reduces the likelihood of creating ambiguous titles. I agree with this general statement. But ambiguities may still creep into the wiki, so we have to be able to address them.

So then the only real question is what to do if there are links to an article that has been discovered to be ambiguous. That's a bit tricky. I think they all have to be fixed. This might be a lot of work or only a little bit. Wikipedia has a sidebar link on every article in the toolbox area called "What links here"; this makes it trivial to find all the references and fix them. I don't see that capability in the Family Search Wiki, but if it were added, then nothing would stand in the way of creating the optimal titles for previously ambiguous articles, and fixing all the links to those articles to point to the correct article, without going through a disambiguation page.


I disagree that disambiguation pages are a 'no harm' solution.

First of all, they do not address the page title question at all.
If you are looking for the US state of Georgia, where do you look? You yourself have 3 different places to look. Which is the canonical name for the page on the US state of Georgia? If you go to 'Georgia (state)' is that the US state, or the nation-state?

Second, they add a navigational step.
This makes it one more step to get to the place you are looking. It also adds maintenance for the disambiguation page, and all linking pages. Do you have to update the 'Georgia, United States' article to include a link to 'Georgia, Maine, US' when that page gets added to the disambiguation page? Does 'Georgia, Maine' warrant an entry on the disambiguation page? Would you expect to navigate to 'Georgia, Maine' by going to 'Georgia (disambiguation)'?

You sort of get to the same conclusion I state in your last paragraph. I think this discussion spends to much time on navigation, which is solved with other solutions, than on canonical names for pages.

And I dislike the parens.

I guess I should have gotten more sleep this weekend :)

The Earl

Thomas_Lerman
Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 am

Postby Thomas_Lerman » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:42 am

I really believe in consistency between products. With the new FamilySearch, the country is always shown to add clarity and remove ambiguity. However, FHLC currently does not show the country, but that is an old product. Will the FHLC be updated?

When I think of a newbie searching . . .
Would they exact match search for "Georgia, United States" or "Georgia"? Which would add more clarity for that person? If they did an exact match for "Georgia" and got the country, what would they think? Do most people in the USA even know that a country exists named Georgia? However, do we want to ignore the rest of the world?

Do we have any ability to do any usability testing?

dsammy-p40
New Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Postby dsammy-p40 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:58 am

Thomas_Lerman wrote:I really believe in consistency between products. With the new FamilySearch, the country is always shown to add clarity and remove ambiguity. However, FHLC currently does not show the country, but that is an old product. Will the FHLC be updated?

When I think of a newbie searching . . .
Would they exact match search for "Georgia, United States" or "Georgia"? Which would add more clarity for that person? If they did an exact match for "Georgia" and got the country, what would they think? Do most people in the USA even know that a country exists named Georgia? However, do we want to ignore the rest of the world?

Do we have any ability to do any usability testing?


That is an issue between the FHLC and NewFamilySearch which doesn't recognize County of Norfolk, but insists on Norfolkshire which is not correct at all.

A quick check on Paris alone in Wikipedia will produce this message
This article is about the capital of France. For other uses, see Paris (disambiguation).


Return to “FamilySearch Wiki”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest