Choosing an Upload Data Format: Linked Places (LP) or LP-TSV?

World Historical Gazetteer supports uploads of both Linked Places format (v1.2 specification) and its delimited file derivative, LP‑TSV, useful for relatively simple data (v0.2 specification). Their specifications provide details, and should be consulted in designing transformations. The following will help in deciding which is appropriate for your dataset. The WHG team is not able to transform data for you, but we can help guide you in this essential step; just let us know via .

Linked Places (LP) format

Linked Places format has been developed as an interconnection standard for place data contributions to the WHG and Pelagios projects, but we expect it to see wider use over time. It is both valid JSON-LD, a syntax of RDF, and valid GeoJSON. It also incorporates temporal extensions to GeoJSON proposed in its precursor GeoJSON-T.

JSON-LD is a lightweight Linked Data format. "It is primarily intended to be a way to use Linked Data in Web-based programming environments..." -- from JSON-LD web site (v1.1 draft specification)

GeoJSON "is a format for encoding a variety of geographic data structures." -- from GeoJSON web site ( RFC 7946 specification)

The draft GeoJSON-T format added time to GeoJSON, expressed in "when" elements that can be added at the Feature level, in geometries of a GeometryCollection, in properties, or in the non-standard foreign elements allowed by the GeoJSON specification. It is a work-in-progress (GitHub).

Apart from its JSON-LD structure, the distinctive features of Linked Places format include:

  • Permits temporal scoping of an entire place record and/or any individual name variant, geometry, place type, or place relation, expressed either as timespans or as named periods. Timespans are encouraged, as they enable temporal queries, filters and visualizations.
  • Permits any number of sourced names, geometries, and relations.
  • As the specification outlines, almost all elements are optional.

LP-TSV format

LP-TSV is a delimited file format developed by WHG to support users and contributors whose data is relatively simple. LP-TSV data can be stored in CSV, TSV, or spreadsheet form (the "TSV" is an artifact of an earlier draft). For example, an LP-TSV row can include a timespan for an entire record, but does not permit temporal scoping of individual components (names, geometries, etc.) as the full Linked Places format does.

The distinctive features of LP-TSV include:

  • It requires one "title" toponym, a named source for it, and at minimum a "start" year integer.
  • It permits any number of name variants, 2-letter country codes (ccodes), types, and matches (links) but only as semicolon-delimited lists of strings within those columns.
  • It permits one geometry, expressed as either longitude and latitude or as a WKT (Well-Known Text) expression.
  • With respect to relations, it permits only a single "parent_name"/"parent_id" combination.