Monday, July 09, 2018

#AfricaGap - the Subprefectures of the Central African Republic

Even the best query is impotent when the data is not there. There were no known subprefectures of the Central African Republic when I started looking for them.

Best practice has it that any "human settlement" is located in the lowest administrative territorial entity available. It follows that the city of Baoro  is in the Baoro subprefecture and, it in turn is in the Nana-Mambéré Prefecture. This is nominally a Wikipedia best practice and a Wikidata best practice.

When a Wikipedia article indicates a "human settlement" category for an subprefecture, we get it wrong in Wikidata. When we change this in Wikidata, it is still problematic when many articles consider the town and the administrative entity to be the same thing.. Then again, this is Africa and who notices?

When there are multiple items by the same name and one is about the city and the other is not, it is just a matter of making one a subprefecture. For the Central African Republic, this is rather straightforward and it just takes a lot of work to get some structure in the data. At the same time there are many articles in the wrong basket. That problem is for another day.

Fixing the data for the CAR is doable. It takes someone with infinite time on his hands to fix the administrative entities for Angola. Most of the data is wrong and entities by the same name and type often exist multiple times. The queries will show anyone brave enough to work on it.

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