Wednesday, October 7, 2015

@Amphoe competition

While I was in Thailand in summer, I collected the paper version of the first two issues of the @amphoe magazine published by the Department of Provincial Administration. Issue one my wife picked at the province hall in Trang - the staff there was very reluctant to give it away, and refused to give her a copy of issue two even though there were many boxes for delivery in that office. So I got issue two from the province hall in Phatthalung instead, while I was doing a short photo walk in the government complex my wife picked the magazine, this time from a much friendlier official. While waiting for me, they discovered a photo competition, asking to send photos with the magazine, so just for fun my mother-in-law posed in front of the province hall showing the magazine and submitted the photo. Everyone already forgot about that competition, so I was quite surprised to see my mother-in-law in the latest Facebook post showing the winning photos.

Hope that short she won will be large enough I can wear it as well when visiting next time - without my interest into these topics nobody of my family would have ever noticed that magazine anyway. And I am now looking forward to see the third issue of the magazine, it is already advertised on Facebook so at least the online version should show up soon. Lets see if it gives me chance for some nitpicking again...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Province governor reshuffle 2015

As the fiscal year in Thailand ends today, this is also the standard date for the province governor reshuffle, many province governors had their last working day today and either retire or move to a new position. And of course also the now vacant positions get refilled by promotions of deputy governors. The reassignments were already confirmed by the cabinet on September 8, and though I added them into my XML files I was to busy to report them here yet. As there are quite a lot of transfers, I don't list each name individually, just listing the numbers and notable special cases.

Altogether 58 positions were changed, 54 of them effective October 1st and another four on October 2nd. The transfers split into these categories:
  • 21 province governors get transferred to another province
  • 22 deputy province governors get promoted to province governors, three of them staying in the same province
  • 10 become province governors from other positions in the Ministry of Interior
  • 3 province governors get transferred to other positions not related to province governors
  • 1 deputy governor gets transferred to another position
  • 1 gets transferred from positions not related to province governors
One of transfers effective October 2nd is quite odd - Phakaphong Tavipatana (ภัคพงษ์ ทวิพัฒน์) gets transferred as governor from Surin to Phang Nga, but he will assume office in Surin just one day before on October 1st being promoted from the deputy governor position in Sara Buri. There was a similar kind of transfer two years ago, but it remains strange.

There are some province governor positions vacant after these transfers, I haven't yet checked if a second batch of promotions was approved in the meantime as I was still busy working through the old census data - more on that soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rename of Muban in Phayao

Today the change of the name of one administrative village in Phayao was announced in the Royal Gazette. Village 6 of Sa subdistrict, Chiang Muan district was renamed from Ban Lai (บ้านหล่าย) to Ban Tha Fa Lai (บ้านท่าฟ้าหล่าย). This change was approved by the board to consider name changes in its second meeting this year on June 23, and the announcement was then signed by the province governor on July 29. As the rationale for the change the announcement states that the new name better fits the history of the village, as it was created by splitting off area from the village Ban Tha Fa Nuea (Village 1) and Ban Tha Fa Tai (Village 2).

Friday, August 28, 2015

Three local governments renamed

Yesterday three announcements were published in the Royal Gazette regarding the change of names of local governments.
All three name changes will take effect on September 4, and it seems they were done without discussion in the board to consider name changes - at least no meeting reference is mentioned in the announcements.

Even though the changes are not in effect yet, I have already updated the corresponding Wikipedia articles, and also created the Wikidata items for these three local governments with all their data.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fake new provinces going viral

On the Facebook page of the Department of Provincial Administration, earlier today a news announcement was posted intended to correct claims that five new provinces in the Northeast are about to be created. Apparently, yet another half-truth facebook posting has gone viral and shared by many without giving it any thought. I found at least one version of that post on Pantip with the list of the five province alleged to be created.
  • Bua Yai split from Nakhon Ratchasima - จ.บัวใหญ่ แยกมาจากโคราช มี 8 อำเภอ อ.บัวใหญ่, อ.คง, อ.ประทาย, อ.โนนแดง, อ.บ้านเหลือม, อ.แก้งสนามนาง, อ.สีดา และ อ.บัวลาย
  • Det Udom split from Ubon Ratchathani - จ.เดชอุดม แยกมาจากอุบลราชธานี มี 5 อำเภอ 2 กิ่งอำเภอ อ.เดชอุดม, อ.บุณฑริก, อ.นาจะหลวย, อ.น้ำยืน, อ.ทุ่งศรีอุดม,กิ่ง อ.น้ำขุ่น และกิ่ง อ.นาเยีย
  • Katharalak split from Sisaket - จ.กันทรลักษ์ แยกออกมาจากศรีสะเกษ มี 6 อำเภอ 3 กิ่งอำเภอ อ.กันทรลักษ์, อ.ขุนหาญ, อ.เบญจลักษ์, อ.ศรีรัตนะ, อ.ไพรบึง, อ.โนนคูณ, กิ่ง อ.เขาพระวิหาร, กิ่ง อ.ศรีเมืองทอง และ กิ่ง อ.ทับทิมสยาม
  • Chumphae split from Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum - จ.ชุมแพ แยกมาจากขอนแก่น มี 6 อำเภอ อ.ชุมแพ, อ.ภูเวียง, อ.สีชมพู, อ.หนองนาคำ, อ.ภูผาม่าน และ อ.ภูเขียว ของ จ.ชัยภูมิ มาจัดตั้งเป็น จ.ชุมแพ ด้วย
  • Nangrong split from Buriram - จ.นางรอง แยกมาจากบุรีรัมย์ มี 10 อำเภอ อ.นางรอง, อ.ชำนิ, อ.หนองหงส์, อ.บ้านกรวด, อ.เฉลิมพระเกียรติ, อ.โนนสุวรรณ, อ.ปะคำ, อ.หนองกี่, อ.ละหานทราย, และ อ.โนนดินแดง
Of these, the plan to create a province Bua Yai by splitting off parts of Nakhon Ratchasima is nothing new, that province even already has a Wikipedia article and I had mentioned it here before when that plan reemerged in 2013. Also, the province Chum Phae is not new, I first read about it in about 2005, but never heard any update on that since then, so it seems to be shelved and forgotten - probably its save to remove its mention in the Wikipedia article on Khon Kaen. Interestingly, according to this list it would even be composed of districts from two provinces, so far all newly created provinces were split off from just one province.

The other alleged provinces listed I have never heard about, so these might have been from some small local advocate groups but never made it into any official channels. For example, the Kantharalak province is supposed to contain the minor districts which don't exist yet, and in fact since 2007 any newly created districts are supposed to become full districts directly and omit the minor district level.

It would be much more interesting to know the current status of the one province actually about to be created - Mae Sot to be split off from Tak - or the proposal to create Fang province from the north of Chiang Mai which was to be considered by parliament several years ago.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Census 1970

The census data for 1970 is now completely translated into my XML structure, for all of the publications like the Whole Thailand report I have transcribed table one containing the population and household numbers for each district subdivided by municipal, sanitary districts and non-municipal areas. Of course the publications contain much more data, but that's so much special interest only I have not worked on it at all. Actually, the only other data I have prepared in the XML schema so far is the age distribution, so I might add that later.

Though this XML should be the easiest way to store the data for any further processing by software, the Excel sheets I created as an intermediate step to represent exactly what is visible in the publications are probably more accessible for non-programmers. I collected them all in one archive. I also compiled the downloads from the statistics office into PDF files, however these are around 10 MB each. Due to this, as well as to avoid copyright problems, there's no download link for these, but if you need one or many you can simply ask me by email.

Working through the tables was rather straightforward, there was only one district which was missing - Na Haeo in Loei is not in the list though was created in February 1970 as a minor district, thus before the reference date of April 1st 1970. In a few cases, the type - minor district (King Amphoe, กิ่งอำเภอ) or full district (Amphoe, อำเภอ) - was wrong, but there were also a few where I had mistakes about the actual dates in my data and only spotted them when looking more closely now.

The only cases where the actual numbers are inconsistent are for two province.
  • Surin - the household numbers for private and collective households are wrong by one for sanitary and the nonmunicipal areas.
  • Thonburi - the total population according to the publication on Thonburi was 920,033, whereas the publication on the whole kingdom lists 920,058 - seven women and 18 men more. Also, the sum of the numbers for the districts also return the value of 920,033, so these two documents contradict.
I have also already finished the data for 1960, and I am currently working on 1980 - which however will take much longer than the previous two census as there are both more districts as well as the data is more detailed. I am also continuously updating my spreadsheet with the total population numbers for each district.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New ccaatt list

Last month, the Department of Provincial Administration issued a new version of the geocodes based on the TIS 1099 standard - or actually other way round, the list on which the TIS 1099 standard was based. This time they changed to publish Excel sheets instead of plain text files, making it a bit easier for normal users to use these lists, but for me to look for the changes it adds a little extra work to convert to the old format. Sadly, the meta data or version history of the Excel files don't show any internal information on the way these lists are compiled...

As there was just one administrative change for the central administrative units - the reassign of Tha Faek subdistrict in Uttaradit province - there is just one new code in the ccaatt list and the new code is no surprise.
Sadly, the planned new districts in Yala did not receive a code yet with this update, so if they become official before another update of this list I have a 50% chance of guessing the right codes to use in my XML file for Yala - in fact I have already made my guess as I prepared the two entries, so if anyone from DOPA is reading - please choose 9509 for Lam Mai and 9510 for Kota Baru.

A few more changes are in the rcode list which contains all the registration offices and thus both district and municipalities. While the districts are of course the same as in the ccaatt list, this time nine municipalities received a new four digit code.
There are still a lot of municipalities which did not receive a four digit code yet - and it is simply impossible that all can receive such a code as there are provinces which have more districts and municipalities than fit into the 99 possible codes. Thus to assign a unique code to every municipality the code scheme has to be changed.

The code 1681 was in past ccaatt lists used with the name "อ.บ้านเช่า จ.ลพบุรี" (Ban Chao district, Lopburi province), but marked as obsolete. It is both a strange code for a district, as well I am not aware of any district with that name ever planned in Lopburi. Interestingly, the district Ban Mi was named Ban Sao (บ้านเซ่า) from 1917 till 1939, so it might even be a misspelled obsolete geocode entry. But now it has been overwritten by Kok Ko.