Have done Iran this morning so have now done a reasonable "trial" across 4 countries of what it going to be involved in identifying coordinates for T List entries
a. I don't think that the need for "Guessing" is going to be a big issue. In fact I would suggest that we do NOT "guess". There were only 2 of the Iranian sites where I could establish NO location coordinates at all for a site using locations garnered from the UNESCO description plus detailed searches for coordinate info on the Web. Iran's "Silk Road"
where the T List entry (as Els and I have previously discussed) lacks any specific mention of any location. Now we COULD make a guess and put in Rey and Qazvin .... and?? Or just leave the site without any coordinates until we know more. The second site was "Hyrcanian Forests"
. Again the T List entry contains no specific areas - just the provinces likely to be involved. Here I took a different approach as I DID find an article on the Web which did specify 5 possible locations - and I was able to identify coordinates for 4 of them (though 1 was already on Iran's T List in its own right). So, the question is - should we include location coordinates in either of these 2 slightly different situations? If we take the latter approach then we should ensure that a link to the source is added to the site page? There is also the issue of sources for the locations. I came across a lot of "good stuff" at this level of detail which it seems a shame to "lose" - we could add a column to the spreadsheet format which could contain a single link to explain a location where thought worth doing - but where would you "put" these "location links"?
b. For all the other Iranian T List entries I was able to identify solid coordinates for at least ONE of their locations, so the site would at least have that to locate it. I failed most on the "Historical Bridges
" - 4 found but 7 not. This slightly unfortunate as the locations are spread across quite a wide area of the province of Kuzestan so it is possible that one could pass close to 1 without knowing it. On 4 of the missing 7 I could mention a town which is likely to be nearby but..... how nearby?? I have tried to operate to the "Gold standard" of being able to identify cultural location coordinates to the level of detail of actually being able to see e.g the ruined bridge on Google Earth and right clicking on that ruin to obtain the coordinates or at least finding a "Google supplied" descriptive pointer!
c. The only other missed location was 1 for a site titled "The Natural-Historical Landscape of Izeh"
. This raises another issue. I could have just chosen the coordinates for the town of Izeh. But I don't believe that ANY of the locations are in that town - the mention of "Izeh" refers to the county of Izeh not the town. So - I established that there are likely to be 3 locations, found 2 of them and concluded that they were not so close together that they would be a single location if ever nominated, and left out the 3rd. Does this seem reasonable?
d. Whilst I had the benefit of having recently been to Iran and having carried out some searches of T List locations when planning that trip, Iran did provide some particular problems - Google map details were often in Arabic script and alternative spellings are legion in converting Farsi into an English approximation. In many cases Google didn't provide an entree and I found a number of tourist and Iranian Archaeology sites which were very useful to provide a starting point ( e.g http://www.tishineh.com/
). Similar sources may have to be used for other countries too. To do the lot took me about 4 hours. It could have been done in less and I spent a lot of time on just a few locations but i feel that we should adopt a policy of preferring to have NO coordinates rather than inadequately researched ones! If you can't find an answer and don't want to spend the time (fair enough!) then leave it "empty". But, even then, there is no doubt that covering all the T Lists of all the countries is going to take a lot of man hours -and then Els has got to transfer our data onto the site.....!!
e. I have tried to compare my results with those of Meltwaterfalls. I am amazed that he got as far as Iran all on his own so, there is no criticism of his work to date but, as far as I can see (????) only 1 location per T List site has been established - and some sites I can't find at all. I agree with his suggestion above that we should "sense check" his work. But that really requires that it be extracted from the map and presented by location within site within country so that gaps and alternative results can be compared. Can he create a single list in that sort of format which we can all use? From what I can see it would certainly reduce the amount of work required if we don't have to start from scratch for every country. But I would suggest that we present Els with a combined and "complete" (or as complete as we can make it) picture for each country we cover so that she doesn't have to "mix and match" from different sources
f. In fact the exercise DOES repay the effort if you are interested in increasing your T LIst/Country knowledge - I found out a surprising amount about the Iranian T List sites despite all my earlier work.
g. Another issue which arose was the number of duplicates on Iran's T List -either already inscribed or on the T List twice. I have included these with a comment in order to assist "completeness checks" but we need perhaps to make comments on the "Site pages" where we find this??
h. It may be some time of course before Els can prepare this site to "receive" T List coordinates. Is it agreed Els that it IS worth doing and that the site will be changed? And is it Ok for you to receive coordinate lists in the mean time?
i. Finally - how should we present the results to you? I put the first 3 countries up on this Forum - and a mistake WAS found so there might be some benefit in making them public! But might it be better Els to send you the spreadsheet and do any checking AFTER the coordinates have been uploaded and presented in map format. That then raises the issue of column layout etc - I have country, site, location, coords, comment. I haven't assigned a location "number" - I assume we would continue to adopt the convention of single location sites using "001" and choosing the "most important" location (even if only arbitrarily!) of multiple location sites to have that number. Would it be of help to you in transferring data to your dBs if we numbered all locations?