Friday, April 24, 2015

@amphoe

The Department of Provincial Administration is starting a new public relations magazine named @amphoe, which seems to be part of their project Amphoe Yim (อำเภอยิ้ม, smiling district) running for some years already. Right now the first issue is only available in digital form, and if I understand it correctly the printed version will be out middle of May. They also did a Facebook page to promote this magazine.

The magazine is of course predominantly in Thai, but there are a few pages with English text as well, e.g. on page 23 a section named "Things you may not know about administration" includes the answer why there are only 76 provinces and not 77 as many wrongly believe. Though I cannot read much of the Thai text, the paper version would be a nice addition to my library. Anyone could grab me an issue and I will pick it up when I am in Thailand again in July?

I am not sure if this new magazine will replace the long-running Thesaphiban magazine also published by DOPA, or will be a more general-public supplement.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rename of Khilek municipality

Yesterday, the rename of Khilek subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลขี้เหล็ก) in Mae Taeng district, Chiang Mai province to Chom Chaeng (เทศบาลตำบลจอมแจ้ง) was announced in the Royal Gazette. As law.moi.go.th remains inaccessible, I could only now find with the Google cache that this name change was discussed in the board meeting on February 4 of the board to consider draft laws, but apparently wasn't discussed in the board to consider name changes. In fact, that board meeting is currently the only link which Google shows for Chom Chaeng, though now soon Wikipedia and Wikidata as well as this posting will also show.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Subdistrict reassignment in Uttaradit

Current area of Nam Pat district
hdamm and Potapt, Wikimedia Commons
Back in December I mentioned the forthcoming reassignment of the subdistrict Tha Faek in Uttaradit when it was approved by the cabinet. This change became effective on February 14 already following its announcement in the Royal Gazette on February 13, however I failed to report it on time here - I planned to have all the Wikipedia resources finished before, and only now realized that the Thai wikipedian Potapt already took over the biggest part, the update of the maps. As I already explained what's happening in December, I now focus on the coverage of this act in the Wikipedia universe.

While a few other Royal Gazette announcement were already transcribed for Wikisource, and some of them even translated into English - as government works these announcements are without copyright, so they are eligible to be stored at Wikisource - now I have tried to do this myself and thus created both the Thai and the English version of this announcement there. As I copied most of the legal phrases from other Thai law translations, my translation shouldn't be that bad.

The Wikipedia articles on the two affected districts Nam Pat and Tha Pla are updated in English, German and Thai, it remains to be seen how long it will take the obviously bot-created articles in Vietnamese and Bishnupriya Manipuri (one of the many languages of India) to be ever updated by a human being. I am quite skeptical such bot-created articles for topic totally unrelated to the main interests of the native speakers make any sense - for Vietnamese its at least an almost neighboring country, but doubt anyone speaking Bishnupriya Manipuri will ever be interested in a Thai district. Even the article on the subdistrict Tha Faek itself will probably be hardly ever read - even for Thai it seems this Tambon is hardly interesting, as the Thai Wikipedia still has no article on it. The TAO Tha Faek is on Wikidata as well, but has no article on any Wikipedia yet.

As I already linked the resonator pages for the districts above, created from the data in Wikidata, those already show a lot of information like the neighboring district, the population data including some historical, and of course the subdivisions including this change date and its reference. One quite basic information is still missing - there is still no datatype for giving the area, so I cannot be recorded yet that with this change the area of the two districts changed by 315 km², the area of Tha Faek subdistrict.

Last but not least there are the maps to show the location and extend of the districts. That Wikimedia Commons category contains both the maps I did 10 years ago while all the district article were created, and the much better vector maps originally created by fellow Wikipedian hdamm and now updated by Potapt.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Two new districts for Yala province forthcoming

The website law.moi.go.th used to be my prime source on planned administrative changes, most notably the municipal upgrades. However, for about a year it seems to offline or at least incredibly slow, so I wasn't able to notice important changes from the board meeting transcripts as I simply cannot even get the overview pages. Today I tried again, and though the website is still same unusable, at least Google had a cached copy of the 2558 board 2 meeting list, and the meeting on January 19 had two very interesting items on its agenda.
๑. ร่างพระราชกฤษฎีกาตั้งอำเภอลำใหม่ จังหวัดยะลา พ.ศ. ....
๒. ร่างพระราชกฤษฎีกาตั้งอำเภอโกตาบารู จังหวัดยะลา พ.ศ. ....
Two new districts were discussed to be created in Yala - Lam Mai (อำเภอลำใหม่) and Kota Baru (อำเภอโกตาบารู). Luckily, the PDF with the transcript is also available through the Google cache, so can extract some details as well. As both Mueang and Raman district have a quite big population - 165,000 and 91,000 respectively - it makes sense to decentralize the central administration in this area. I expect the official announcement in the Royal Gazette soon, so I already prepare to get the Wikidata items in good shape, and having the maps ready...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Population numbers 2014 announced in Royal Gazette

As done since 1994, also for last year the official population numbers were published in the Royal Gazette yesterday [Gazette]. As usual, these are the registration numbers as of December 31 2014, the same numbers as were already available since January in more detail on the DOPA statistics page.

As the numbers are all given in Thai numerals, the data at DOPA is not just more detailed but also easier to read - if you can read the province names in Thai, and pay attention with the municipal and non-municipal numbers. There's also the full data compiled by my tool into one XML file, but that's not really human readable...

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 law.moi.go.th, 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.