Talk:All Graticules

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The All Graticules page is used by the reference implementation (and others) to look up a place name from coordinate data alone. This also allows a human user to find (or verify the non-existence of) a graticule in the same way.

This talk page has been used to discuss naming conventions and the like. The mostly agreed upon points are summarized below.

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Graticule naming[edit]

Graticules are named based on the largest or most well known place located within them. A proper name consists of this name, then a comma, then the state or province or country name.

Long names, while inclusive, are generally frowned upon. Multiple common names within a graticule can best be handled with a redirect page. If you're forced to create a non-standard name, create a matching graticule page explaining your choice.

Some cities are split two (or four!) ways by graticule lines. They will have two or more listings on this page, and the actual city page will usually list multiple graticules. Interested parties should check those individual pages for how meetups are determined. The Category Split cities lists many of these locations.

In Europe, there are a lot of small countries, still i think we should decide and give only one simple name (city, country) to one graticule. My suggestion is the use of two principles:
1. name the graticule after the biggest city in the country that has the bigger area in the graticue, or
2. in cases of almost equal areas, or more than two countries, use the biggest city in the graticule, and its country name.
For alternative names use redirection.
I think graticule pages should be created one by one, even in case of split cities, that can be the base, and we can create other pages (like a split-city-in-total page, or part-of-a-graticule page) based on this frame. --Tom 21:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
One more thing. A graticule should have the name of the city in its local form (like on Google Maps), and the name of the country in English. I'm wondering, though, what to do about non-latin lettered scripts, such as Greek, Hebrew and Cyrillic. Not to mention eastern asian languages. Any ideas? --Tom 21:34, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
How about start with any official transliteration accepted by that country? - Robyn 04:19, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm in the process of naming the Japanese graticules, and I need to make a decision about macrons (e.g. Tokyo vs. Tōkyō). I named a few graticules around Tokyo and Kyoto, omitting the macrons (e.g. Osaka), but I now think they should go in. This would presumably entail moving the existing Tokyo page to Tōkyō, Japan, with a redirect from Tokyo, Japan. --starbird 22:43, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
For the record, the Canadian graticules like Montréal and Québec have their accents, even though they aren't always used by non-French speakers, the Brazilian graticule names use their proper diacritical marks, and the German place names use the German forms, not the English ones. So don't feel fettered by what is already there nor by what is familiar to English speakers. Do what is right for the region. I agree with the redirects. -Robyn 00:09, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Should we explicitly make redirects? So every page with a diacritic should also have a diacritic-free page that redirects? --joannac 00:13, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
My take would be not to explicitly make them, but to explicitly change any erroneously created ones into redirects. Although they might be useful for people with American keyboards and non-1337 ASCII skills. -Robyn 00:21, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I think the most famous places (Tōkyō, München) should have redirects, so as not to discourage the casual foreign surfer. More obscure places (Itō, Japan; Székesfehérvár, Hungary) probably don't need them. --starbird 21:42, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Is "Southern pole of inaccessibility" intended as a joke? I think it's best that people not put jokes in here, because then someone will turn around and think "Points North, Saskatchewan" is a joke and delete it. I'd think it was a joke if I hadn't been there and bought the T-shirt. And half the Australian graticules look like jokes to me. If you name a graticule really strangely, for some valid reason, like your cousin was on an antarctic expedition and you happen to know that he planted a "pole of inaccessibility" in an otherwise seemingly featureless graticule, then I suggest you create a graticule page for it and explain the name. E.g. Hart Ranges, British Columbia. -Robyn 19:34, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

No, it's for reals. --starbird 22:27, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I see. That page seems to indicate that there are few different pages we could name after that concept. I'll make a page, to help the next confused person to look at the name. -Robyn 22:37, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for creating the page. I'm the one who named a few of the Antarctica graticules, including this one. I'm sorry I caused confusion with my choice, and I assure you it wasn't meant as a joke. But since there aren't any cities in Antarctica, graticules must be named after stations and geological or other distinctive features. I support your suggestion for creating graticule pages for non-standard names. --Ilpadre 07:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Your naming idea for Antarctica made a lot of sense. It's really the only way to name graticules that remote. I had just never heard of "the southern pole of inaccessibility" so it sounded like someone being silly. Silliness is expected and welcome on the wiki! -Robyn 15:20, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


The current ordering of graticules within the continents is listed below the continent name. The automated tools don't have a preference for graticule ordering, of course, so this is primarily a human convenience.

Just a question: any reason why Central America (and Europe) is West to East, then North to South? I only ask because because San Juan, Puerto Rico is northmost and eastmost. Should Caribbean be its own category (eventually)? -- Jevanyn 18:54, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


On each graticule page are multiple categories.

  • Active or Inactive
  • Local geographical designation (State, Province, or Country)
  • Regional features shared with other graticules (Rivers, Park Systems, etc.)

The Local geographical designations will be clustered into larger designations, then on up to continents. This allows, for example, the United States to be searched for the state of Idaho, then the city of Coeur d'Alene.

Other issues[edit]

It is not necessary to list contact information for a particular graticule - the history of wiki edits will effectively do that.

Active graticules missing from graticule.kml[edit]

Whenever I load the active graticule map, there are several grats that do not come up, for example, New York and Sacramento. Both of these grats are plenty active, but they don't get squares, while hundreds of inactive grats are present. Can we modify this file to include only active grats, or have an alternate file that only has active grats? And how do we keep it up to date? Update I see, it's meant to be read in Google Earth. But it covers the graticule with a black square, and adds a white outline for inactive grats. How about just an outline, for just active grats? -- Jevanyn 19:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good to me - who is our expert on the .kml format? --Thomcat 20:20, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
My best guess is that Zigdon did it. The debug window is signed "dan", which is Zigdon's real name. Hermann also seems to know his way around .kml and Google Earth. -- Jevanyn 15:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I was trying to cover the contiguous USA's graticules and toward the end of that the graticules started disappearing. I asked Zigdon about it a few days ago (who in fact did make the .kml program) and he said he'd look into it. -- Moose Hole 16:25, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
The "active graticule" map has become useless because there are so many it takes forever to load and when they do you can't even see them all. What was it intended for? -Robyn 04:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion: sections should be in tables[edit]

IMPORTANT The change discussed here is controversial, please don't make more tables until we get a chance to sort it out.

I did this change: 18:30, 18 September 2008 Ted (Talk | contribs) (97,563 bytes) (Rearranged 35-39N as a table, that I think is easier to read. Suggest other sections follow suit. Will note in discussion page.)

Important Note: The automatic script that parses these pages for inclusion in the maps DOES NOT READ THESE TABLES. Any graticule listed in one of them has about a 1:6 chance of being listed properly. Zigdon 00:14, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

^^^^GUYS: Read what Zigdon wrote. The major purpose of the All Graticules page is to drive the peeron engine. I personally think the tables look dumb and are hard to scan visually, but now there's a reason other than my personal preference to stop making tables. -Robyn 00:34, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea; it makes the sections much easier to look at, and easier to find your graticule on the page. I just broke things down by:

* New Row on change of Latitude
* New cell on change of (Longitude div 10)

Check out All_Graticules#Latitude_35_North_to_39_North for an example. If folks agree (and I really think they should :D), we can do the other sections, too. Ted 18:34, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

I would actually suggest to split up the page into regions, and then set up tables (cf. Germany). But I think that the peeron map is reading this page as its input - and I don't know if it might be confused by a different format. -- Relet 19:57, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Ooo, Germany's page is pretty cool -- but I think that's more appropriate to separate pages per region (i.e., a United States of America page.) As this page is read programatically (which prevents too much deviation in format), I'm just trying to make it a little easier for human-folk to read. I found the very-long 1-column list unhelpful. In particular, I'm about to embark on a cross country trip, so seeing the graticules laid out vaguely N-S, W-E lets me follow my rough path and find graticules. (Of course, so does the peeron map page. Hmmm :) 20:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I changed part of Europe into tables, but I used
  • New row on change of Latitude
  • New cell on change of Longitude
because with the (longitude div 10) I found it sometimes difficult to directly see the eastern/western neighbors. Danatar 14:03, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, I had no idea such a simple idea could become a problem. I'm not sure I understand Robyn's "look dumb" -- how can anything be worse than a long vertical line of words? -- but the technical difficulties certainly means that this idea needs more consideration before we go whole-hog on the table-making.

For that reason, I ask that folks hold off on table-ification of this page. I'll email Zigdon & Robyn and try to work out something that's satisfactory for everyone, which might mean I have to back out my North America table. Hopefully, I can convince Dan to update the robot reader. Or maybe we'll come up with a world-map page to accompany this one, or something.

But the bottom line is: please no new tables on this page until further notice. Thanks! Ted 01:04, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

My preferene is because raw olumns are easier to san, and easier to edit, but my preference is irrelevant here. If you want a nie table of your local region, put it on a Category:Regional Geohashing page. This file is for the machine to read. -Robyn 01:16, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Saving Table[edit]

Here's the table Ted made, to save his work. Perhaps you want to put it somewhere else where it would be useful.

LOL! Ok thanks. I suppose I should go un-table-ify the main page, now. I'll go do that. Ted 19:42, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh cool, that was quick. If you want to break it up by single degree of latitude with section subsubheadings, THAT won't break peeron. -Robyn 19:56, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Ted has opied this table to its own page, so I'll not clutter up the talk page with it. -Robyn 07:56, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Counting Named Graticules[edit]

I was curious to know how many graticules we had named so far. Does anyone know how to make one of those computer things count e.g. how many open parens are in the All Graticules page? -Robyn 23:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC) piped through
|grep -E '\[\[.*\|.*\(.*\)\]\]'|wc -l
yields me a number of 2083 currently. -- Relet 23:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Today it was 4511. --Jevanyn 18:16, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
Which, given that there are 64,800 graticules to name, and maybe half of those contain some sort of land, is not very many! Keep going!  :-) -- Benjw 21:27, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Progress by regions[edit]

Think twice before naming graticules in an area for which you do not have local knowledge or experience. There are lots of mistakes in Google Maps and it's easy to make a mistake and not realize what you are naming after when you don't know the local language. Plus it's fun for people who actually live or go there to have the honour of naming their own graticule.


  • South Africa south of S 32
  • Coastal line of western coast
  • Many significant places (larger cities and towns) in about one half of countries

Middle East[edit]

Arabian Peninsula: Large parts of the coastline, all graticules surrounding Dammam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat named.


  • Japan is completely named

Otherwise, only a few scattered graticules named.


  • All states complete
  • Offshore islands or those not covered by coastal graticules may remain

New Zealand[edit]

Partly named, though mostly not added to All Graticules page.


  • Completely named: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria?, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  • Partly named: Finland, Italy (only north)
  • Mostly unnamed: Rest of eastern and southeastern Europe

North America[edit]

  • Contiguous USA (close to?) complete
  • Alaska and Canada still have gaps
  • Mexico is mostly unnamed

Central America[edit]

  • Caribbean Sea and islands near complete
  • Only a few mainland graticules named.

South America[edit]

  • Most of the east coast named.
  • Coastal waters along the east coast named.

Atlantic Ocean[edit]

Only a few scattered islands named.

Indian Ocean[edit]

Only a few scattered islands named.


Only a few scattered graticules named.

Length of Page[edit]

I don't know who's in charge around here, but let it be brought to the sysop's attention that something is broken on the All Graticules page. I can only see a table of contents, and any of the links on the TOC don't really do anything. The navigation sidebar and the discussion/edit/history tabs don't even appear there. It might have something to do with the page being too large, as I get this message when I manually type in the URL to edit the page:

WARNING: This page is 259 kilobytes long; some browsers may have problems editing pages approaching or longer than 32kb. Please consider breaking the page into smaller sections.

I would gladly fix it myself, but I don't know the best way to go about breaking the page into smaller sections. If I'm the only one who has a problem viewing the page, it's not a big deal to fix it since I can manage without using the page anyway. New User 11:39, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea what's broken with your browser or your connection, but since noone seems to have reported on such a problem by now and nothing about the page changed recently (except of it constantly growing), the problem is probably on your side. The page is very long and it needs to be, it must not be broken up for the time being because it is mostly a source database for an automated script. Ignoring the warning is obligatory when editing that page. Seems you have one of those restricted browsers that automatical warning above is about, though. --Ekorren 11:51, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! New User 12:10, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Shows up fine for me. In the interests of figuring out what the problem is, what OS/browser are you using? --joannac 19:19, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
WinXP/SP2 with Firefox 3.0.6. New User 06:48, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Graticule naming revisited[edit]

Could we summarize the consensus on the page Naming conventions or on another page in the Category:Standards and possibly link it on the top of the All Graticules page? -- relet 17:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

It's a wiki. Go for it. -Robyn 01:13, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Where do the islands go?[edit]

I just named some more US Minor Outlying Islands grats (Midway, Wake Island, etc.), and I had to guess where in All Graticules to put them -- under North America (since they're US islands), or under Pacific Ocean (since that's where they are). For example, Clipperton Island, France is listed under Central America, not Europe, while Johnston Atoll, United States Minor Outlying Islands is listed under North America, not the Pacific Ocean. Also, there are a number of oceanic islands whose grat names end in "Pacific Ocean", although they have various political affiliations.

My feeling is that graticules (that have any land in them) should be named politically, and located (in All Graticules) geographically. In particular, an oceanic island grat should take the name of whichever country adminsters it, but be grouped here under the ocean that washes it. (I can already see a problem, in that I feel like I want an exception for Hawaii, but that may be hard to justify. After all, it's not part of North America.) Alternately, we could create an Oceanic Islands section in All Graticules, and reserve the Ocean sections for all-water graticules.

Either way, the grats themselves should take both political and geographic categories. For most places, the political category does double duty -- if I tell you that a place is part of the state of Kansas, then you know roughly where it is. That's not the case for some of these remote dependencies. --starbird 15:13, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I did name an "Oceanic Islands" 'continent' for lack of something to do with those. I would say put them in the category for their country and for either the continent they are near, if they are near a continent, or Oceanic Islands if near nothing. It doesn't hurt to be in more than one category. I'm not passionate about that solution: it just seems workable. -Robyn 16:24, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah, so the idea is that every bit of land should be (indirectly) inherited by one of the world's continents, with Oceanic Islands standing in as the "none of the above" (or "other") continent. I like it. --starbird 10:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

The way amateur radio handles this might be informative. They have been dealing with this question for many decades. See the ARRL countries list - --Bos 17:07, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

So they are using an Oceania category. Demonstrated workable. - 18:27, 11 May 2009 (UTC)