Monday, November 1, 2010

While the Website seems to be dead - at least since October 5 the name server responsible for the domain hosted within the DOPA IP range does not answer anymore - the Department of Provincial Administration had started a new website with district information some months ago, found under the address That website seems to be still in not yet fully set up - only about half of the districts are featured there so far, and for many it has even less information than had, but it seems like this is the site which was announced last year, labeled 2.0 by me then.

One big drawback IMHO is the fact that they chose to use the Microsoft map server as the basis, which not only has far less hires satellite data than Google Earth for Thailand, but also requires the installation of the Silverlight browser plugin. Also still a big problem is the navigation, I haven't yet found an index from where I could easily choose province and district to jump to the corresponding information page. In fact, I only stumbled upon the district information pages when Google found me the list of former head district officers for Lan Saka district, Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Sadly, the structure of URL for the district information pages does not automatically create the index, they all follow the form[17..429]
with the numbers starting 17 for Ko Chang and as of today ending with 429 for Cho-airong. As I haven"t found the index page, I had to create it myself by downloading all the pages and parsing them to get the district and province name. Much smarter would have been to use the TIS1099 geocode of the province instead, e.g. use 8414 for Khian Sa district instead of the rather arbitrary 39 it now has.

But as usual, this discovery leads to more questions than answers - will this become the replacement for, taking over the information which was present there? Or will com back to life once a webmaster discovers the malconfigured nameserver? Or will fall to a domain grabber when the domain expires in January next year? When will the new amphoe website cover all the 878 districts?

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