HierarchicalGeographic

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The MODS subject fields support one called "hierarchicalGeographic" within which portions of locations can be tagged with the following elements:

  • continent (Includes Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America.)
  • country
  • region ( Includes regions that have status as a jurisdiction, usually incorporating more than one first level jurisdiction.)
  • state (province is now incorporated into "state" per MODS 3.6 version)
  • territory (Name of a geographical area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a governmental authority)
  • county
  • city (Name of an inhabited place incorporated as a city, town, etc.)
  • island (name of a tract of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent but is not itself a separate country.)
  • area (name of a non-jurisdictional geographic entity)
  • citySection (Name of a smaller unit within a populated place, e.g., neighborhoods, parks or streets.)
  • extraterrestrialArea (Name of any extraterrestrial entity or space, including solar systems, galaxies, star systems, and planets as well as geographic features of individual planets.)


In order to support this level of tagging so that we can leverage it for faceted search and retrieval in Acumen, metadata creators who enter a value into the "subject location" field of the spreadsheet should tag values appropriately so that the makeMODS script can generate the appropriately tagged output.

Here are the codes for tagging:

  • continent: #cn
  • country: #ct
  • region #r
  • state (or province) #s
  • territory #t
  • county: #co
  • city: #ci
  • island: #i
  • area: #a
  • citySection: #cs
  • extraterrestrial: #x

The makeMODS script will translate these, if found.

Thus, if in the subject location column of the spreadsheet, you have:

 Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama

Without tagging, makeMODS will generate the following tag:

 <subject authority="tgn">
     <geographic>Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama</geographic>
 </subject>

However, if you tag that entry in the spreadsheet like this:


 Sylacauga#ci, Talladega County#co, Alabama#s

Then makeMods will render it like so:

  <subject authority="tgn">
     <hierarchicalGeographic>
       <country>United States</country>
       <state>Alabama</state>
       <county>Talladega County</county>
       <city>Sylacauga</city>
     </hierarchicalGeographic>
   </subject>

(Note that if the state is spelled correctly, the script will automatically add the country element "United States" -- be sure and specify the country if it outside the U.S.)


This takes a poorly formatted geographical location and turns it into something that is machine-readable, and which can be used to allow patrons to drill down through results to locate content in specific areas.

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