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.

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.