Thursday, February 5, 2015

Municipal upgrades

Yesterday, two municipal upgrade were announced in the Royal Gazette. There are several interesting things around these. At first, the announcements were signed on December 29, and unlike many other upgrades they became published just one month after becoming effective. Which is rather fast for the announcements I look into, and given that municipal changes sometimes get published years after becoming effective (or haven't been announced at all) this is quite surprising.

Also interesting is the fact that for Lom Raet the announcement is titled เปลี่ยนแปลงเขตเทศบาลตำบลล้อมแรด และเปลี่ยนแปลงฐานะเป็นเทศบาลเมืองล้อมแรด - change of area of subdistrict municipality Lom Raet and change of status to be town municipality Lom Raet. Lom Raet became a sanitary district in 1955, which was enlarged two times in 1963 and 1973, and like all sanitary district became a subdistrict municipality in 1999. The 1973 announcement as the latest area definition still had only the central parts of the subdistrict as being within the jurisdiction of the sanitary district. But there was never a Tambon Council or a TAO for the remaining parts of the subdistrict, though the DOPA population statistics listed some small part of the population of the subdistrict as non-municipal. Hence it seems like this announcement makes the de-facto area now official.

It is also interesting how I became aware of these upgrades before they were published in the Royal Gazette. In past I found proposed upgrades in the meeting transcripts at, but those were not updated for several months now, and the site seems dead most of the time as well. Instead, it was the Thai Wikipedia potapt who updated the Wikidata item, which I then saw while checking the changes to the Wikidata items for the administrative entities for erroneous edits.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rename of Muban in Nan

Today, the change of the name of an administrative village in Nan province was announced in the Royal Gazette. Mu 6 of Nam Pua subdistrict, Wiang Sa district was renamed from Ban Mai Santi Phap (บ้านใหม่สันติภาพ) to Ban Pang Si Siat (บ้านปางสีเสียด). The announcement was signed by Ukrit Phuengsopa (อุกริช พึ่งโสภา), province governor of Nan, on November 13 last year, but does not state the date at which the name change became effective. The text also states that the change was approved by the board to consider name changes in its meeting number 5 on November 21 2013 - so almost one year before it was officially approved by the province governor. Interestingly, on the Thai Wikipedia the name of the Muban was already changed on September 30 2013, so even before the board meeting.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Population statistics 2014

Last year, the format of the population statistics on the website of DOPA changed significantly. Until 2012, there were static HTML files with all the data, but now it has been changed to pages using Javascript and retrieving the actual data with JSON requests. I still haven't finished writing the posting on the technical details of this new system and its pros and cons. But apparently one big pro of the new system just showed up now.

In past, these statistics usually came online in April, though the data dated from December 31 of the previous year. Don't know which processes made it take so long, since converting the data into HTML pages shouldn't be much difficult with some programming. To my big surprise, in the new statistics system the data for 2014 already showed up on January 10, or maybe even earlier as I didn't checked it before. Maybe now this new system is directly connected to the database containing the source data.

The total population of Thailand increased from 64,785,909 to 65,124,716, an increase of 338,807 or 0.5%. I still have to adjust the code to calculate the biggest gainer and looser to work with the new population data format, instead I show the graph of the DOPA population data since 1993. Except a big drop in 2004 - apparently due to a big registration data cleanup - there's a steady increase with around 0.5% for several years already.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Milestones achieved

Right on time with the Christmas holidays and the New Year around the corner, I finally finished three major milestones in my data collection - the work which kept me busy the last months and ate away the time I normally used to write postings here. Each of the milestones would be worth a blog posting on its own, but as the final posting of this year I give a short overview of what was completed recently. A big thank you to my co-worker, without his contributions I would be still another two months short of completing these tasks.
  • For each of the local administrative units, the subdistricts which are covered by them completely or partially are now listed in the XML files. The penultimate statistics I published a month ago, when there were still about 1200 of 7700 entities still missing.
  • Now all the administrative villages are in the province XMLs as well. The latest official number of Muban I have is 74956 for 2012, but in the XMLs I have 75202 Muban - the excess 200 are probably Muban which were declared obsolete because of being in town or city municipalities.
  • Last but not least, all of the Royal Gazette announcements defining the boundaries of the subdistricts are now processed and translated in one XML file. This was an important tool to complete the Muban list, both to notice mistakes due to missing Muban in my previous lists, as well as confirming odd Muban names or finding names not found elsewhere. Though not all Tambon had been listed in these announcements, and there were several odd mistakes in the announcements as well, these were and will be a good reference now they are much easier accessible.
One long-running task is almost done as well, collecting the dates of the local elections. Especially since the military junta stopped all local elections, I "only" have to catch up - though in fact most of those missing in my data are those which are not published on any provincial Election Commission website, so it needs much more time for searching than the actual data editing.

But there are still more than enough further tasks I plan to do with the XMLs. Adding the locations of the administrative buildings, this will then help to add geographical data to the Wikipedia/Wikidata entries. And I just recently started to encode the neighboring entities into the XML files as well, something I should write in more details into a separate posting.

I wish all my readers happy holidays and good new year, no longer neglecting this blog like I did the last months is one of my New Years resolutions.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Subdistrict to be reassigned in Uttaradit

In the cabinet meeting last Tuesday, one of the issues discussed was the reassign of the subdistrict Tha Faek (ตำบลท่าแฝก) from Tha Pla district to Nam Pat in Uttaradit province. To quote from the transcript of the cabinet meeting. Hopefully my translation is not totally wrong.
คณะรัฐมนตรีมีมติเห็นชอบร่างพระราชกฤษฎีกาเปลี่ยนเขตอำเภอท่าปลากับอำเภอน้ำปาด จังหวัดอุตรดิตถ์ พ.ศ. …. ที่สำนักงานคณะกรรมการกฤษฎีกาตรวจพิจารณาแล้ว ตามที่กระทรวงมหาดไทย (มท.) เสนอ แล้วให้ดำเนินการต่อไปได้

มท. เสนอว่า เนื่องจากตำบลท่าแฝก รวม 9 หมู่บ้าน ประชากรรวม 4,441 คน 1,355 หลังคาเรือน อยู่ห่างอำเภอท่าปลา 116 กิโลเมตร ทำให้ประชาชนได้รับความเดือนร้อนไม่สะดวกในการเดินทางไปติดต่อราชการและขอรับบริการงานต่าง ๆ แต่หากเปลี่ยนแปลงเขตการปกครองท้องที่โดยนำตำบลท่าแฝกไปขึ้นกับอำเภอน้ำปาด ซึ่งมีระยะทางห่างเพียง 59 กิโลเมตร อันเป็นการแก้ไขปัญหาความเดือดร้อนดังกล่าวให้แก่ประชาชน จะทำให้ประชาชนได้รับความสะดวกในทุก ๆ ด้าน ทั้งนี้ การโอนตำบลท่าแฝก อำเภอท่าปลา ไปขึ้นกับอำเภอน้ำปาด จังหวัดอุตรดิตถ์ ได้ผ่านความเห็นชอบจากราษฎรในตำบล สภาองค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล ที่ประชุมหัวหน้าส่วนราชการประจำอำเภอทั้งสองอำเภอ สภาองค์การบริหารส่วนจังหวัด และที่ประชุมหัวหน้าส่วนประจำจังหวัดแล้ว
The cabinet has approved the draft decree to change the area of Tha Pla and Nam Pat district, Uttaradit. The Office of Juridical Council has already reviewed the proposal. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) then continued to propose this draft decree.

MOI states that Tha Faek subdistrict covers 9 administrative villages and 4441 citizen in 1355 household. It is located 116 kilometer from Tha Pla district [office] which causes the citizen inconvenience. Nam Pat district [office] is only 59 kilometer away, which will make it more convenient for the people in every aspect. The transfer of Tha Faek from Tha Pla to Nam Pat was already approved by the citizen in the subdistrict, the council of the subdistrict administrative organization, a conference with the section chief of the government offices of both districts, the council of the provincial administrative organization and the heads of the provincial government.
I first read about this proposal in April this year, when it was first discussed in the Board to consider draft laws [Meeting Transcript]. To become effective, this draft decree must be published in the Royal Gazette first, I am not sure whether it needs the formal approval by parliament as well - but given that this parliament is filled with people selected by the same junta choosing the cabinet members I don't expect any larger delays and guess it will come into effect early next year.

Looking at the map, the reason for this change becomes obvious - since the creation of the Sirikit dam in 1974 the area of Tha Faek became even more disconnected from the center of Tha Pla district than it already was before, actually it is surprising it took 40 years to adjust the administration to the changed traffic situation.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Local government units covering more than one subdistrict

About half a year ago, a discussion on the best outline of the Amphoe articles on the German Wikipedia raised the question how many of the subdistrict administrative organizations (SAO/TAO) don't cover the same area as the corresponding subdistrict. I couldn't answer back then, I only knew that the about 900 subdistrict municipalities created in 1999 usually cover only parts of a subdistrict, so the TAO covers the remaining parts; and I knew that especially in Ayutthaya province, several adjoining subdistricts are merged together to one single TAO. However, I could not give the actual numbers for each category of TAO.

In order to be able to give these numbers, I started to add a new XML tag to my data files, but only did this for a few provinces at first. Luckily, my fellow Wikipedian hdamm came to help and also added these tags to many of the XML files, so right now the central and southern provinces are completely tagged, as well as most of the northern provinces and some of those in the northeast. Though there are still 1285 local government missing, I think it is worth to give a partial answer now - at least to show that this blog isn't dead, I just was too busy with other tasks and thus haven't found the time to writeup good postings here.

Right now, there are 7852 local governments, of which the 76 provincial administrative organization and Bangkok are special cases which are out of this statistics. Those considered are
  • 30 cities (Thesaban Nakhon, เทศบาลนคร)
  • 175 towns (Thesaban Mueang, เทศบาลเมือง)
  • 2235 subdistrict municipalities (Thesaban Tambon, เทศบาลตำบล)
  • 5334 subdistrict administrative organizations (องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล)
  • 1 special administrative area (i.e. Pattaya)
For 1285 of these 7775 the data isn't entered yet, but those which have a coverage defined fall into the following three categories.
  • 4497 (69%) cover exactly one subdistrict
  • 1509 (23%) cover one subdistrict partially
  • 485 (7%) cover more than one subdistrict at least in part (118 of these are TAO)
  • 125 (2%) cover more than one subdistrict, and all of them completely (71 of these are TAO)
I'll post an update of this statistics once I have it for all of the local governments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Area definition for Nong Khanan subdistrict municipality

After a long time of inactivity due to the political lock of the country, the Royal Gazette contains a new announcement by the Ministry of Interior, by which the area of the subdistrict municipality Nong Khanan (เทศบาลตำบลหนองขนาน) [Wikidata] was modified. The municipality was created in August 2012 by upgrading the TAO Nong Khanan, and though the municipality covers the whole subdistrict Nong Khanan there seem to have been problems with the exact boundaries. In March this year, the boundaries of the subdistrict were revised by a publication in the Royal Gazette, updating the original definition from 1998 [Gazette] for the subdistricts Nong Khanan and Hat Chao Samran. Since none of the subdistrict area definitions contains a map, I only have the map embedded with the current announcement showing the current boundaries of the subdistrict and municipality.

As the municipality boundaries were not well-defined, the Election Commission did not prepare any constituencies for the municipality council yet, so there was no election for either the municipal council or the mayor since 2012 - and as the coup junta stopped all local elections until further notice, there will be an appointed council sometime soon (or maybe there is already and I just did not find anything on the web about it yet), whereas the permanent secretary will continue to be acting mayor as long as the junta sees the country not ready to have any elections.