ICPSR Geographic Names Thesaurus

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Explanation

Geographic Names is an alphabetical and hierarchical list of geographic location terms used in ICPSR's metadata records. The points below describe the structure and logic of the list:

  • Non-preferred terms are italicized and indicate (with USE notation) the appropriate term to apply.

    Example:

    USA
    USE: United States

    United States
    USE FOR: USA

  • The hierarchy, expressed as broader term/narrower term is structured to (potentially) indicate a region-continent-country-state/province-city continuum.

    Example:

    Netherlands
    BROADER TERM(S): Europe
    NARROWER TERM(S): Amsterdam

    Example:

    North America
    NARROWER TERM(S)
    United States
    Michigan
    Ann Arbor

    Example:

    Tokyo
    BROADER TERM(S)
    Asia
    Japan

    While regional, continent, and country names are included in the current list, state/province and city names are included on the basis of their occurrence in ICPSR-archived data sets. These will continue to be added as needed.

  • Sub-regional geographic designations (such Middle East, Southeast Asia) are also included with their associated country names listed as related terms.

    Example:

    Southeast Asia
    RELATED TERM(S)
    Asia
    Cambodia
    Indonesia
    Laos
    Malaysia
    Myanmar
    Philippines
    Singapore
    Thailand
    Vietnam

  • Scope notes are used to delineate the geographic coverage of a region or sub-region. Additionally, they are used to indicate historic context in cases of country name changes. In such cases, relevant dates are given along with instructions/restrictions on the use of particular country name forms. Open dates (e.g. 1991- ) indicate current context.

    Example:

    Uzbekistan
    SCOPE NOTE(S): Formerly member of USSR; independent 1991- .

    Example:

    USSR

    SCOPE NOTE(S): Use limited to 1922-1991.

    BROADER TERM(S)
    Asia
    Europe

    RELATED TERM(S)
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan
    Belarus
    Estonia
    Georgia (Republic)
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Moldova
    Russia
    Tajikistan
    Turkmenistan
    Ukraine
    Uzbekistan

Literary and historic warrant for the Geographic Regions and Country Names list is established through the following sources:

Merriam-Webster Geographic Dictionary. 1998. 3rd edition. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Random House Webster's College Dictionary. 1999. New York: Random House.

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