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Dec 30, 2002: Those Imperialistic Catalogers

Prentiss Riddle pointed me to an interesting article in Chuck Scholton's iDude site. Chuck writes:

I am simply amazed by the fact that the following options appear in country select boxes on many websites.

  • Bouvet Island
  • Heard & McDonald islands
Why? Because they are uninhabited.

Ahem. Interesting lesson for those who are developing controlled vocabularies. CVs certainly should be consistent, but they also must balance design for use. Of course, perhaps some cabal of catalogers is secretly planning to colonize these forlorn places. You never know what those folks are up to. Anyway, read the whole article for a illustration of just how difficult it is to develop CVs for even seemingly simple domains like place names.

Maybe Nathan Shedroff should read this article (see Nathan's 12/28 comment on this Elegant Hack thread ;-) .

Two other quick notes:

  • The December issue of Digital Web is jam packed with IA articles. I'm especially enjoying their regular IA column, Jeff Lash's IAnything Goes. Way to go DW!
  • And let's welcome Paula Thornton to the world of blogging by visiting iknovate.

Happy holidays all!

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Comment: Louise Ferguson (Dec 30, 2002)

Yes, brings to mind the recent temporary colonization of Parsley Island (Isla del Perejil), a Spanish islet just off the coast of Morocco, until 2002 only inhabited by lizards, bugs and parsley.
"It will go down in history as the first military invasion of western European soil since the second world war." (The Guardian, UK)
It does happen ;-)

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