Friday, September 30, 2011

Wiki loves monuments

This month several European Wikipedia editions held a collective event titled "Wiki Loves Monuments", in which they tried to give the officially registered monuments a better coverage in Wikipedia, especially taking lots of photos. For Germany, one of the biggest problem was the fact that the registration of monuments is done by the local government units, the municipalities or communes (Städte und Gemeinden). While some feature their monument list rather prominently on their website, or at least publish any changes on their list there. Yet others have nothing like this, and especially for the larger cities the list can be really lengthy - for example for Aachen its a PDF file with 29 pages, thus several hundred of monuments.

Wat Phattanaram
The Thai Wikipedia sadly did not take part in this event, though the compilation of a complete list of monuments would be a much easier task there - as the Thai administration is still much more centralized, its only the Fine Arts Department (กรมศิลปากร) which does the registration of monuments, and these are then published in the Royal Gazette. One simply has to find all the announcements with the term เขตที่ดินโบราณสถาน (area of historical site), which returns a total of 610 PDFs - and a few further with slightly variant titles. I had started to process that list into my XML format quite some time ago, but only for very few of the announcements I added the details in a machine readable format.

As an example, Wat Phattanaram (วัดพัฒนาราม) in Surat Thani town (photo album)has been declared a registered historical site in December 2001 (Gazette announcement). The corresponding entry in my XML looks like this
<entry description="Creation of historical sites in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani and Chumphon" 
 title="ประกาศกรมศิลปากร เรื่อง ขึ้นทะเบียนและกำหนดเขตที่ดินโบราณสถาน (วัดชายนา วัดท่าพญา วัดพัทธสีมา จังหวัดนครศรีธรรมราช, วัดเขาพระอานนท์ วัดพัฒนาราม จังหวัดสุราษฎร์ธานี และ วัดสวี จังหวัดชุมพร)" 
 volume="118" page="10-11" issue="พิเศษ 127 ง" uri="2544/E/127/10.PDF" publication="2001-12-21" sign="2001-08-29">
  <createpark index="5" type="HistoricalSite" name="วัดพัฒนาราม" english="Wat Phattanaram" 
   locationgeocode="840101" arearai="1.2575">
There is much more to discover in the Royal Gazette publication archive than just law texts and changes to administrative units, the items I usually cover in here as well as make up most of the coding project.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thailand is participating in Wiki Loves Monument this year!