We do not handle this consistently now at this website (31 for Grand Canal and 1 for Augsburg for example).
When the full details of the Augsburg inscription were put up on the UNESCO Web site I was rather surprised to see it described as a single continuous site but that IS indeed the case -look in detail at the map
When I reviewed the site when still on the T List all the documentation I found - including the notice boards in Augsburg - indicated that the site would be made up of a (Varying according to the document!!) number of locations BUT as per the map it actually consists of a single CONTINUOUS (albeit branching and rejoining) line all the way from North to South following all the canals. The map isn't very good for looking at the detail - especially in the city itself and I was particularly interested to see how the 3 fountains were handled. As far as I can see they too are connected to the red line!!
The AB eval is confusing - it refers to 22 "elements" but also states "The boundaries of the property are defined by the limits of the canal system
" and "Underground canals and water supply pipes connect all the elements
". I would take this as meaning that the 3 fountains are connected to the inscribed area of the canals by the underground pipes!!!!
Hence just a single linear inscription???
The Grand Canal on the other hand certainly consists of a number of SEPARATE core areas -which is why ICOMOS was so concerned that there should be a "level 2 buffer zone" (I am not sure if this concept of Buffer zone "levels" has ever been officially defined/accepted) which connects the entire length of the canal and its branches. This issue almost derailed its inscription.
As for our own possible "Inconsistency" - well we try, do we not, to follow UNESCO using its documents and maps and only "correcting" where these are inconsistent/wrong. It is certainly true that the Grand Canal and Augsburg canal system have been treated differently but not "wrongly" and we have correctly reflected these different approaches.
The Grand Canal as a number of separate elements (many of which are themselves "linear") "connected" by a continuous Buffer zone (I think China complied with this??). Multiple location sites are usually given separate reference numbers by UNESCO and these are listed on the Map tab page. That has not been done by UNESCO for the Grand Canal which leaves us to try to work out how many separate "locations" there are but separate ones there would indeed seem to be!! In its 2016 revised evealuation ICOMOS actually refers to it as a "Serial site". China has also identified and "coded" them - e.g "TJ03 - Zhenzhou section of Tongji Canal"
. Whether we have covered all them correctly I don't know.
The "Augsburg Canal" as a single linear core inscription with branches extending no wider that the water courses and pipes connecting them!!! This despite the ICOMOS evaluation referring to "22 elements" which are actually being treated as being connected into a single continuous core zone. As a result neither UNESCO no ourselves have identified separate locations. We could I guess go back and identify each of the 22 and give them location numbers and coordinates on the map!! It may be more "useful" but it wouldn't seem to be "correct"!!