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What is the best approach concerning location tags, i.e. tags denoting countries, regions, cities etc.?

This would be a great case for a hierarchical system, but tag hierarchies are currently not feasible (link is from 2010 though). This means we're likely to end up with a whole lot of tags for locations alone.

Should we disallow location tags in general, just allow a subset (e.g. national level and above only) or just let it unfold for now, to see where we get without such a convention?

9

I would recommend not trying to control it. When you consider how people who answer may be using the sites, they may add "Paris" to their favorite tags and subscribe to the RSS because they live there, but don't want to be overloaded by all "France" questions.

4

I thought about suggesting we use the ISO two digit country codes, with synonyms set up for common versions:

(synonyms , )
(synonyms )

And if the question is about a specific state or region within the country, use whatever standard designation is appropriate to that country, like:

.. but then I realized this would be really awkward in practice. I think something like

or

is plenty clear when you are travelling, there is no way any rational traveller would be confused about 'which California, in which country?' or 'oh, you mean Paris, South Dakota?'

So -- KISS! (And probably disambiguate as necessary, but no need to overthink this.)

3

There is one problem I could see with location-based tagging, which is ambiguity. If I tag a question with "Paris", do I mean Paris, France... or Paris, Ontario... or Paris, Denmark... or...?

This probably is really only a "problem" during the beta phase where restrictions on privileges such as creating new tags are lifted. Once users need 1500 reputation to create new tags, however, it will probably be much more manageable.

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    Generally if they don't specify, it'd be assumed to be Paris, France. Similarly, I've been told there are eight 'Denver's in the US, but almost anyone would assume I mean Colorado, unless specified otherwise. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Jun 23 '11 at 5:25
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    "Paris, Ontario" should not be tagged "Paris". Probably just ontario since I doubt we'll have a ton of questions about that town specifically. Ideally the tag wiki would specify the exact location referred to. – Matthew Read Jun 23 '11 at 16:10
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    This won't be a problem for globally known destinations but could be for locally known ones such as Victoria, the state in Australia vs Victoria, the city in British Columbia, Canada. – hippietrail Jun 25 '11 at 17:56
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    Good points; my argument is probably pedantic. – user82 Jan 24 '12 at 20:56

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