the MODS Editorial Committee would like to follow up on a proposal
to introduce some changes to the MODS
<hierarchicalGeographic> element. While there are no
specific plans for a MODS version 4 at this point, it would be a
major overhaul of MODS. However, several useful changes to the
<hierarchicalGeographic> element could be introduced in MODS
previous proposal was sent out for discussion on Dec. 27, 2013.
This proposal can be found here:
MODS EC revised the proposal based on the feedback received and is
now soliciting comments on the new proposal, see below.
We would like to hear from you by Sept. 5, 2014
behalf of the MODS EC
<province> will be deprecated; <state> will be
<state>-- Includes first order political jurisdictions under
countries, such as states, provinces, cantons, Länder, etc.
regardless of what they are called in the particular country.
See Commentary and Examples: 1.
New Attributes to Indicate Place Types
Attributes <at> areaType, <at> regionType, and <at> sectionType will be
defined for elements <area>, <region>, and
<citySection> respectively. These would of course be
See Commentary and Examples: 2.
Indication of hierarchical level
<at> level will be defined for all place type elements to indicate
hierarchical level. It would of course be optional.
See Commentary and Examples: 3.
The authority attributeGroup (authority, authorityURI, and
valueURI) will be added to all place type elements.
Places that no longer exits
<at> period will be defined. Its presence will indicate that the
described entity once existed but no longer exists. Its value
would be a hint of when it existed (it could simply be a date).
See Commentary and Examples: 4.
Commentary and Examples
- The way MODS currently handles first level
political jurisdictions -- i.e. first level below the country --
is not consistent. It was brought out that in the MARC 662 there
is a subfield called "first order political jurisdiction". In
MODS, both <state> and <province> are used for first
order political jurisdictions depending upon what they're called
in the particular country-- but the guidelines say the
<state> – Includes first order political
divisions called states within a country, e.g. in U.S.,
Argentina, Italy. Use also for France département.
<province> – Includes first order political
divisions called provinces within a country, e.g. in Canada.
first order political divisions mostly go under <state>
unless they're called <province>. And we're silent on what
they call them in other countries.
committee thinks it desirable to put all first order political
divisions under one element. The term "first order political
division" or "first order political jurisdiction" is rather
unwieldy. So the proposal is to deprecate province and define
<state> as all first order political jurisdictions.
- This replaces the earlier proposal to define new
element <placeOther> and attribute <at> otherType, to
accommodate other types of places that don't have their own
element. Instead, group them together under <area>,
<region> or <citySection> as appropriate (area is
used for non-jurisdictional places, region for jurisdictional,
and <citySection> may be used for either ) and indicate
the place type with the corresponding attribute, <at> areaType,
<at> regionType, or <at> sectionType.
for example is currently defined as:
Name of a smaller unit within a populated place, e.g.,
neighborhoods, parks, or streets
citySection is a broad term that can be used without the
<at> sectionType attribute, but if you want to designate a specific
type of city section you could say
formally established neighborhoods, or
that the use of "city" here doesn't preclude towns.
could take an <at> areaType attribute to accommodate some of those
areas that have been suggested-- national parks, rivers, Indian
- When the level of elementA is less than the level
of element, then elementA is higher in the hierarchy than
element. It is recommended that levels begin with 1 and are
consecutive, however this is not mandated. Levels could, for
example, be 3 , 5, and 9.
There is no need for <at> level for simple
cases like the following where the hierarchy is easily inferred:
But there are a few cases where <at> level
would be useful:
- The actual hierarchy of the existing place types
for hierarchicalGeographic isn't always clear, and in some cases
depends on the context.
- It will be useful to be able to indicate that two
places have the same level.
- In cases where the same place type is supplied more
than once, their levels relative to one-another are not always
To elaborate of the latter two points:
Consider the following example, where
Blackstone is a sub-neighborhood of East Side, in Providence.
citySectiontype="neighborhood" level="1">East Side</
Another example, consider
Massachusetts Avenue which runs
through Lincoln Park within Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Say
you want to identify that section of Mass Ave within the park:
<state>District of Columbia</state>
<citySection citySectionType ="neighborhood"
level="1">Capitol Hill</ citySection>
citySection citySectionType =”park” level="2">Lincoln
citySectionType =”street” level="2">Massachusetts
the level is the same for two places the intersection is
indicated. This example indicates the intersection of the two
level 5 entities.
- The following example indicates the portion of the
Oregon Trail within Idaho that existed during the gold rush:
level="3"type="trail" period="gold rush">Oregon
<country period=”1945-1990”>East G