GENUKI Maintainers' Pages

Version 2.0

Definition Of The Format For Gazetteer Entries

Source files

The searches are all performed on a central MySQL database using SQL queries. Changes made by maintainers are not made to the central database itself, but to a set of source files which are used collectively to replace the entire database at regular intervals or when the need arises.

The source files consist of comma separated text files named places.csv, with one file per county. The places.csv file for a county can be held in any convenient location on a server accessible to both the county gazetteer maintainer, and the system administrator. Note that the county gazetteer maintainer need not be the same person as the county maintainer. Contact the system administrator if you have a problem locating your places.csv file.

Database creation/update

The URL for a county's places.csv file is held as part of the county's entry in the County database table. Contact the system administrator if you need the entry changed.

A program is run by the system administrator to collect all the county places.csv files and build the database from source. When any section has been changed, a database rebuild is required to activate the change; a simple rebuild is performed at 06:00 every day.

Definition of fields

The fields in the places.csv file are as follows. Each field description contains the field name used in the MySQL database to identify it, and its size and type. The column letters are those that would head a spreadsheet format of the places.csv file.

ColumnField NameContentExplanation
ACCC Chapman county code3 characters, upper case.
BGRIDREF Location32 characters, you can use either of two formats (see below).
CAPPROX BooleanFlag indicating whether the grid reference is exact or approximate. "Y" or "Yes" means this is an approximate reference and "N" or "No" means it's an exact one. "C" can be used to note that the location specified is that of the centre of the county because no location is available but, in such cases, it is better to leave this and the location field empty. Similarly, "P" can be used to indicate that the location is that of the centre of the parish rather than the actual location of the place.
DPLACE Place NameUp to 32 characters.
EPRIME BooleanA flag indicating whether this is the primary entry for the Town/Parish page in the associated URL. "Yes" means this is the primary entry, "No" means it's not (and might be one of many). For each different URL in Column G there must be only one places.csv file entry with this flag set to "Yes".
FMOREPLACE Additional commentsUp 32 characters about the location. There are frequently multiple places in a county with the same name, and this field can be used to help distinguish them. E.g., there are at least 5 Broughtons in Lancashire, and we distinguish them with text like "near Preston".
GURL The URL of the Town/Parish page of the area which includes this place This is typically the historic parish or township which includes this place and will point to a GENUKI parish page. However, it's not obvious how best to treat all such places. In any case, this field is used to point to the page where the maintainer has placed information about this place. See below for a reference.
HUNSPEC BooleanAlias flag. Some places have alternative names, e.g. English and Welsh names for the same place. Choose a name that you want to be the first to appear (primary name) and create a normal gazetteer entry for it. For all the alternative names create additional entries with the same GRIDREF, but for these, set this flag to "Yes". For the alias entries Column E (PRIME) will always be "No".
IBARONY Barony/Hundred/District (32 characters)For Ireland this field contains the name of the barony in which the place is located. For England and Wales this field can be used optionally to hold the name of the hundred or wapentake in which the place is/was located. For Scotland this field can optionally be used to hold the name of the district in which the place is/was located. For Ireland this field is needed to link townlands to their relevant parish because, for most of the parishes, we have no web pages to link to via the URL field. Note: this field does not get displayed and so there is no requirement for multiple entries if a place exists in 2 or more baronies.
JPARISH Parish name (32 characters)The name of the civil parish in which the place is located. For Ireland this field is used to link townlands to their relevant parish because, for most of the parishes, we have no web pages to link to via the URL field.
KTYPE Type of place (32 characters)The type of place i.e., one of: "Parish", "Townland", "Hamlet" etc. For Ireland, all parishes should have the characters "Parish" in this field and all townlands should have the characters "Townland" as this is used to link townlands to their parishes when we have no URL for them.
LQUOTE Quoted description (32 characters)The name of the file containing a quote describing the place. If present this quote will appear in the gazetteer entry web pages. It is planned to use the quotes extracted from Lewis's Topographical Dictionaries and these are stored currently at /big/Gazeteer/quotes. This field should contain just the name of the file, and not the directory in which it is held, e.g., "i10099.txt".
MNOTES Maintainers notesThis field will never get entered into the database, but is a place within the csv file to hold any notes that the maintainer may need particularly during development of new place entries.
NALIASES Placename AliasesThis does not become a database field, but is used by the database rebuild process to create additional entries with the same contents as the current entry but with the alias as the place name, the PRIME flag set to 'N' and the UNSPEC (Alias) flag set to 'Y'. If there is more than one alias, use a colon (:) as a separator in the list. Avoid leaving spaces at the start and end of alias names.
OFHS FHS Code(s) The code(s) for the FHS(s) covering this Town/Parish.
POTHERCCC Additional Counties Some parishes and places have county boundaries running through them. This field helps handle these and should contain the additional county code(s), separated by colon (:) characters if there is more than one additional county.
QHIDEME Boolean If a parish has a county boundary running through it and multiple entries in the gazetteer, then this field can be used to hide the less important ones in a general search. If you code a 'Y' character here then this entry won't be returned as the result of a general search. However if the search has been restricted to a specific county, then the entry will be returned if the search is successful. To identify the predominant entry, code a 'N' character (N is the default). This technique can also be used for towns lying across county boundaries.
RID Identifier An identifier, unique within the county, for a town/parish. Each entry for which PRIME is set should have a unique ID that never changes to provide a consistent reference to the town parish even if the url or location gets adjusted in the future. This is a character string and it is suggested that it be based on the name of the town/parish with additional characters to make it unique if there are multiple ones with the same name.

GRIDREF format

One of two formats can be used for a GRIDREF field entry:

Other gazetteer settings

There are some entries in the county database entry which are used by some of the search routines:


A number of CGI scripts are available to access the gazetteer information in a number of ways. See the pages on cgi scripts for details.

[Last updated at 07.08 on Tuesday, 15 July 2014, by Mel Lockie. 2014]
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