Monday, June 30, 2008

Toponyms with changing names and spellings

Fellow Wikipedian Michael Brückner, now working at the Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, in his working blog posted about two papers co-written by him. Though I can only access the second on GIS in Thailand, one of the problems they are trying to address is the identification of toponyms with the actual location, something which I also often have problems with during my work with the administrative entities.

As I am now only using Thai sources at least the problem of the plethora of romanization schemes does not affect me, and where I use "English" names to make it easier to read I exclusively use the RTGS (Royal Thai General System of Transcription), which though it has its weaknesses is at least a standard. But spelling changes in Thai are also possible, not just the temporary spelling reform of the 1940s, but also minor changes, like an added or removed ะ, or the omission of a silent last letter, both does not changes the pronunciation at all. One example can be the spelling change of Thep Nimit in Kamphaeng Phet, which changed from เทพนิมิตร to เทพนิมิต in 2005. Strangely I can only find the announcement for the rename of the TAO, but not the one for the subdistrict itself. And there are also accidental misspellings, sometimes even in the Royal Gazette. But as I work through the entities mostly manually I can identify the entities in these cases much easier than a computer would do with a simple search.

However much more work are the real name changes, and even worse name exchanges between two entities. Most problematic are names where I cannot find any current corresponding entity, and no source for a renaming or abolishing. One example is the minor district Hua Hin (กิ่งอำเภอหัวหิน) in Tak Province, which was created in 1906. And this announcement is the only thing I have found about this minor district so far. Its parent district Chiang Ngoen was downgraded to a minor district before 1917, and at an unknown date abolished completely. The only thing how I can link this Hua Hin to the present day entities is its main tambon Wang Hin, which is now under Mueang Tak district, same as the tambon Chiang Ngoen. I haven't yet lost my hope to find more about this minor district in the Gazette, but at least among the announcements I could find by searching for the titles there is nothing yet.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Local government entities of Phuket province

As Phuket is one of the smallest provinces it's very easy to give a complete listing of the central and local administration divisions in a single posting without becoming too lengthy.

District and subdistricts of PhuketFor the central administration it's three districts, Mueang Phuket (เมืองภูเก็ต), Kathu (กะทู้) and Thalang (ถลาง). These are further subdivided into 17 subdistricts, and 103 villages. Not all of the subdistricts have villages however - Talad Yai and Talad Nuea as part of the city Phuket, and Pa Tong as part of the same-named town don't have this subdivision anymore. I am not sure about Kathu, the city website lists 14 chumchon instead of the 8 muban it had in my latest list.

Municipalities and TAO of PhuketThe local government entities are more diverse and has experienced more changes recently. Right now there are nine municipalities, one city (Phuket, ภูเก็ต), two towns (Patong, ป่าตอง and Kathu, กะทู้), and six subdistrict municipalities: Karon (กะรน), Choeng Thale (เชิงทะเล), Thep Krasattri (เทพกระษัตรี), Ratsada (รัษฎา), Rawai (ราไวย์) and Wichit (วิชิต). There are further nine Tambon administrative organizations (TAO).

Originally, Phuket had 13 TAO - of which twelve were created in 1995, and Pa Khlok (ป่าคลอก) in 1996. Karon had been merged into the subdistrict municipality Karon in 2004, and the other three Ratsada, Rawai and Wichit were upgraded into subdistrict municipalities effective August 30 2007.

Of these TAO, Karon, Thep Krasattri and Choeng Thale cover (or covered) only parts of a subdistricts, as the other parts are covered by a municipality. The others cover the complete subdistrict. For the municipalities it's the other way round - Phuket covers two subdistricts, Thep Krasattri and Choeng Thale parts of a subdistrict, and the other six each a whole subdistrict. Originally, when the sanitary district Kathu was created in 1956, it covered only part of the subdistrict Kathu. In 1967 it was enlarged to include the area of Patong, and in 1986 Patong became a separate sanitary district, so since then both cover exactly one subdistrict.

Though I have listed Kathu as a town above, in fact it will become a town effective July 14, as decided into the board meeting 33/2008. Phuket was upgraded to city status in 2004, Patong to town status in 2002.

Phuket was already a town since 1935, the other municipal areas as of today started as either TAO or as one of the five sanitary districts created between 1955 and 1987. Patong was the first of the sanitary districts to be upgraded to a subdistrict municipality in 1994, the other four were upgraded in 1999 when all the sanitary districts of Thailand were upgraded.

Finally, two TAO were created in 1955 - Ratsada and Si Sunthon (ศรีสุนทร) - but I am still not sure yet when this first generation of TAO was abolished again.

So below is a map with those local and central government offices I know so far. I could find two of the TAO with PointAsia, the district offices and those within Phuket city I had looked for quite some time ago to geotag the Wikipedia articles. Any additions or corrections to this map is of course welcome.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thai spelling reform and province names

Last year I stumbled upon a spelling reform while browsing through the Royal Gazette announcements. Some months later Rikker posted more details on this reform in his blog. What I did not notice back then was the fact that not only some words changed their orthography, especially the change of อำเภอ (Amphoe, district) to อำเพอ did spring to my eyes then. In fact, also some of the provinces got a revised spelling then, which I could now notice while working through an announcement on the regions which lists all the provinces.

The following is the list of all the provinces which changed spelling, with first the reformed and second the traditional/current spelling.
  • Nakhon Pathom - นครปถม instead of นครปฐม
  • Phitsanulok - พิษนุโลก instead of พิษณุโลก
  • Uttaradit - อุตรดิต instead of อุตรดิตถ์
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat - นครศรีธมราช instead of นครศรีธรรมราช
  • Surat Thani - สุราสตร์ธานี instead of สุราษฎร์ธานี
  • Krabi - กะบี่ instead of กระบี่, this one however more looks like a misspelling
What I would need now is a complete list of the lower administrative entities at that time as well, so I could see which of the district or even subdistricts had been spelled differently. I doubt I can find like that hidden within the Gazette database, so if someone has an old geography book from that time which has a list of lower entities I'd be grateful for a scan - not only for the spelling changes, also to have more datapoints for the numbers of each entity type.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Regions of Thailand in the 1940s

Regions as of 1941I just mentioned them when I talked about the statistical regions earlier, and as a matter of coincidence I now found them in the Royal Gazette as well - the regions which were the successors of the abolished circles (monthon). They were named Phak (ภาค), and were simply numbered, so it was simply ภาค ๑, ภาค ๒ and so on.

Though according to the original forum posting where I first about them, the regions were started in 1934 as a direct successor of the abolished monthon, the first announcement I could find so far in the Royal Gazette dates from 1941, when the four annexed provinces were included into the regional layout. At that time there were five regions - Central and west, east, northeast, north and south.

Regions as of 19431943 the layout was changed in the first two regions, region 1 became a southern region, while region 2 a northern central region. In March 1944 the two provinces of the capital, Phra Nakhon and Thonburi, were excluded from the regions, which was undone in October the same year. Another announcement of 1946 was issued to add the re-created provinces Nonthaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon into region 1.

Regions as of 1947In 1947 the four annexed provinces were returned to French Indochina, so these were removed out of the regions list. Additionally, as the province Kalasin was re-created, this was now also listed, but the basic layout of the four areas remained unchanged.

I intentionally titled the posting with 1940s, as the change of 1951 into 9 regions will be the topic of a separated posting. I also haven't yet found the official announcement to abolish the region in 1956.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bangkok district museums

Street sign pointing towards the district museumIn 2005 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has started a program to establish a local museum within every of the 50 districts, displaying items of the local history, the local handicrafts and culture. They are named พิพิธภัณฑ์ท้องถิ่นกรุงเทพมหานคร, which simply means "local museum Bangkok". If I read the website on this program correctly, so far 21 such museums were opened. In most cases these museums are within schools.
In the local museum database most of the above are also listed together with their opening times; the missing museums are only accessible in the Thai version of that database. All of the museums have no entrance fee, and are closed on either Sunday or Monday.

Boat and boards with district historySadly the whole program seems to be not much promoted anymore, especially not in English. The website which I link above is quite difficult to find as the domain name is not working anymore. There are also some broken links within it, and of course no English version. If there weren't the street signs the museums would receive even less visitors - when I visited the one of Bangkok Noi lately I wasn't not only the first to sign the guestbook for the day, but for 2 weeks (OK, it was around the Songkhran holidays then, so hardly any students brought there with their school classes). I've posted a report especially on that museum in my travel blog already, so you can get an idea of how these museums look like. I can only recommend to pay them a visit, too bad I have only been able to visit one of these museums (and that twice) so far.

Below is a Google map with all the locations of the museums listed above, as accurately as I could place them. Corrections or additions are of course welcome.

View Larger Map

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Muban rename in Surin province

Published today in the Royal Gazette are two announcement renaming villages (muban) in Surin Province.

Volume 125, Issue 70 ง on Page 156 is the rename of village 1 of subdistrict Samut, Prasat district, from Ban Ta Tuan (บ้านตาตวน) to Ban Thung Mon Tawan Ok (บ้านทุ่งมนตะวันออก).

Volume 125, Issue 70 ง on Page 157 is the rename of village 16 of subdistrict Dan, Kap Choeng district, from Ban Noi Phatthana (บ้านน้อยพัฒนา) to Ban Mai Rue Thong (บ้านใหม่เรือทอง).

Both name changes were already effective as of April 25, the same date they were approved for publication.

In both cases the announcements state that the rename was done because the village community voted in favor of the change, for the first one it additionally states that the old name is meaningless and has no historic roots, for the second that the new name is historically more correct.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tambon area clarification in Sam Phran, Nakhon Pathom

Published in the Royal Gazette today - Volume 125, Issue พิเศษ 102 ง on Pages 22-70 - the subdistrict boundaries in Sam Phran district, Nakhon Pathom Province, were redefined. The announcement states that this adjustment of the boundaries was done by the provincial governor (ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด). The announcement was signed on April 22, and became effective with the publication. Sadly it does not state what was actually changed in respect to the boundaries before, but if I am not mistaken none of the 137 villages was reassigned, so it must be only minor changes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where to find out about new districts or provinces?

As I had recently found the source for the decisions of the local government units - all those posting labeled Board meeting are from that source - I still don't know where to find news on new district or provinces before they get published in the Royal Gazette. Of course right now the municipality news are much more important for these a lot of activity is going on, and to make it worse the publication in the Royal Gazette has quite some backlog for those. Also, there was just one new district the last 10 years, and no new province for 15 years, so unless the Interior Ministry has a backlog of planned creations waiting for the Royal Gazette wouldn't hurt that much. In the past the official announcement for district and provinces were mostly some time before they became effective anyway.

But even though it is not such important, I still try to find such a up-to-date source. As there was just a single new district recently - Wiang Kao created in 2006 - I cannot be sure I have found the right one yet, but it seems new districts are decided in the Thai cabinet, such as this transcript from February 21 2006. This includes a section titled เรื่อง ร่างประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง แบ่งเขตท้องที่อำเภอภูเวียง จังหวัดขอนแก่น ตั้งเป็นกิ่งอำเภอเวียงเก่า (About the draft announcement by the Thai ministry of Interior about changing the area of Phu Wiang district, Khon Kaen province, creating Minor district Wiang Kao). The announcement in the Gazette came in May 2006, just three month later. The cabinet approval was apparently the last step before the announcement. Even more interesting than this final approval would be transcripts of the earlier planning steps within the MOI, but at least Google does not find anything which looks like that. I am simply curious a lot if and when there will be new districts, subdistricts or provinces.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Province changes since 1910

Map of Thailand with the provincial boundaries as of 1915I mentioned earlier that I still have to compile a list of the changes in the provincial layout, to correct some of the mistakes in the listing at Over the last century several provinces ceased to exist, new were created, some where temporarily abolished and others received new names. I just hope I did not miss any of the changes in this list. I did not include changes in the boundaries of the provinces, for example the district Umphang was with three different provinces in these times.

I have chosen 1910 as the beginning of this table, as I still have to sort out the many changes during the thesaphiban reforms, especially which Mueang were at provincial level and which were subordinate. Also, after the territory losses of 1903 and 1907 the country got its current territorial extend, and in 1910 the provinces of Lanna (Chiang Mai) were finally set up. There's a slight chance I missed changes which happened between 1910 and 1917, as that is the earliest time I have a (nearly) complete list of provinces and districts. The map to the right shows these boundaries as of 1915, as far as I can get them from all the changes listed below and also district reassignments. I have added the spelling in Thai letters to those which no longer exists as province names today.
  • 1914 Nakhon Khuen Khan (นครเขื่อนขันธ์) was renamed to Phra Pra Daeng (พระประแดง).
  • 1915 the provinces Phra Nakhon (พระนคร) and Thon Buri (ธนบุรี) were established.
  • In 1915 Chaiya (ไชยา) was renamed to Surat Thani, Phichai (พิชัย) to Uttaradit, Bang Nara (บางนรา) to Narathiwat and Pranburi (ปราณบุรี) to Prachuap Khiri Khan.
  • 1926 the province Kabin Buri (กบินทร์บุรี) was abolished and added to Prachinburi.
  • In 1932 eight provinces were abolished. Lang Suan (หลังสวน) was added to Chumphon, Min Buri (มีนบุรี) split between Phra Nakhon and Chachoengsao (but soon thereafter the one district which went to Chachoengsao was also added to Phra Nakhon), Phra Pradaeng to Samut Prakan and Thonburi, Sai Buri (สายบุรี) to Pattani and Narathiwat, Takua Pa (ตะกั่วป่า) to Phang Nga, Kalasin to Maha Sarakham, Thanyaburi (ธัญบุรี) to Pathum Thani, Lom Sak (หล่มสัก) to Phetchabun, and Sukhothai became part of Sawankhalok province. Kalasin was the only one which was later recreated.
  • 1938 the province Khu Khan (ขุขันธ์) was renamed to Sisaket.
  • 1939 Sawankhalok (สวรรคโลก) was renamed to Sukhothai.
  • 1943-1946 the provinces Nakhon Nayok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon were abolished - Nakhon Nayok was split between Prachinburi and Saraburi, Nonthaburi between Thonburi and Phra Nakhon, Samut Prakan to Phra Nakhon, with the exception of the minor district Ko Sichang, which came to Chonburi (and continued to be under Chonburi after 1946), and Samut Sakhon came to Thonburi.
  • Also during Word War II, four provinces were established on territory annexed from French Indochina - Lan Chang (ลานช้าง), Nakhon Champassak (นครจำปาศักดิ์), Phibun Songkhram (พิบูลสงคราม) and Phra Tabong (พระตะบอง).
  • 1947 Kalasin was reestablished.
  • 1971 Thon Buri and Phra Nakhon became the single special administrative area Bangkok.
  • 1972 Yasothon was split off from Ubon Ratchathani.
  • 1977 the province Phayao was split off from Chiang Rai.
  • 1982 the province Mukdahan was split off from Nakhon Phanom.
  • 1993 the provinces Amnat Charoen (from Ubon Ratchathani), Nong Bua Lam Phu (from Udon Thani) and Sa Kaeo (from Prachinburi) were created.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Board meeting postings

I had prepared one more posting on the board meetings since the end of last fiscal year, but now I decided that I won't clutter this blog with the old news any further. In fact, I even noticed I accidentally had posted one report twice already as I was jumping around between old and new issues, and the postings are sorted by the posting date and not the meeting date.

So to have these postings preserved in a more sensible way, I have started a new blog named ThesabanUpdates, where I will repost all the board meeting postings, using the date of the meeting as the posting date, and also set the provinces which it concerns as labels. Hopefully I can finish this reposting before there are new transcripts to work through. So this new blog is in fact simply the archive of these special kinds of postings. Any new report will get posted in both here and the new blog, while when I find the time to work through one of the older transcripts - the website goes back till 2004 - these will only show up in the new blog. But since I think have all the relevant information for my spreadsheet from the municipality changes till the end of fiscal year 2007 this is something with a rather low priority.

I think the postings on older meetings are not of that much interest, even though the Thai names of the municipalities within them work well to attract Thai readers here, and thus hopefully one day will guide someone here who'd be able and willing to assist me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Muban creations in the Royal Gazette

I had been adding the Royal Gazette announcements concerning the villages (muban) into my scope of thing to monitor recently, as you could see by the so far two rename announcements of this year on them. Though I have only processed those on Surat Thani in detail, and will probably let the others rest for quite some time as there are still many announcements on higher level entities left to process, something odd turned out. It seems like there were no village related announcements before 2002, but since then up to 200 each year. Did they change the title of these announcements - it is now ตั้งและกำหนดเขตหมู่บ้าน (create and specify area of village), but even with variations I did not find anything older. Or did these changes in the past simply did not make it into the Gazette?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Regions of Thailand

Map of Thailand with the four regions colorcodedWhile the provinces are the top-level administrative subdivision, using larger scale regions especially for statistical purposes is very common. The most common way to divide the country is four regions - North, North-East, Central and South. These regions each have a different geography, the mountainous north, the low river plain of the central, the higher and dryer plateau of the northeast, and the long Malay peninsula. However the boundaries of these regions are not always so clearly defined.

Wolf Donner in the foreword of his 1978 geography monograph "The Five Faces of Thailand" writes
Unfortunately, the definition of "regions", a very important feature in economic geography, has not found mutual agreement between the National Statistical Office (N.S.O.) and the Ministry of Agriculture. The latter confined the North Region to the seven actually mountainous changwats of the north ("Far North"), whereas the N.S.O. included fifteen changwats in the North Region ("Greater North") with obvious effect on the size of the Central Region.
and in the note attached to these two sentences
This required much re-calculation when using data from different sources; but the region of reference was not always clear. Confusion became complete when the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives published Agricultural Statistics of Thailand, Crop year 1972/73 in 1974. The former regions (with numbers of changwats) North (7), Central (35), North-East (15) and South (14) had been changed into North (16), North-East (16), Central (9), East (8), West (8) and South (14)...

Subregions of the central as defined by Wolf DonnerThe National Statistical Office (NSO) in its 2000 census still uses the same four regions as they were mentioned by Wolf Donner, who was then probably referring mostly to the 1970 census. As the central region in this definition is quite big, it can make sense to subdivide this into the west, east and the central proper, thus making it seven regions altogether. In another book by Wolf Donner, this time in German, he subdivides the central into four subregions, the central proper into the Bangkok Metropolis including the provinces surrounding Bangkok, and a region he named "sub-central". However, his definition differs from the one used in the Thai Wikipedia, which includes Tak (normally a northern province), while Dr. Donner includes Suphanburi and Samut Songkhram.

I don't know whether the NSO will continue to use the four regions in their forthcoming census in 2010, but according to a Thai wikipedian the Ministry of Interior nowadays uses the seven regions, but not being able to read all the MOI publications I could not verify this yet, nor be able to confirm the exact outline of these regions.

Another regional outline was mentioned in the 2Bangkok forum, according to Khun Wisarut it had 9 regions (Phak, ภาค) as the continuation of the Monthon in the years 1934 till 1956. But unlike the Monthon these much less powerful, that's probably why they are almost unknown nowadays. Any further information on these regions would be very welcome.

Municipal decisions from November 23 2007

Meeting number 52 from November 23 2007 with one municipality upgrade.
  • Upgrade of Sikhio subdistrict municipality, Sukhio district, Nakhon Ratchasima province to a town (เทศบาลเมืองสีคิ้ว) effective January 31 2008.
There's also a correction to the reassign of some are from TAO San Sai to the subdistrict municipality San Sai from meeting 50 on November 16. This change has already been published in the Royal Gazette on February 4.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gazette "special" issue

The Royal Gazette nowadays is published in several issues each identified by a Thai letter and a number. The ones I only come across are the letters Ko Kai (ก) and Ngo Ngu (ง). The Ko Kai series seems to be for the higher level entities - provinces, districts and municipalities, while the Ngo Ngu is for lower levels - minor districts, subdistricts, villages, sanitary districts and the TAO. There are two further issues, Kho Khai (ข) which seems to be on announcements on the aristocracy only, and Kho Kwai (ค) for business registrations.

There are however also announcements in my database which have the additional word phiset (พิเศษ) in the issue identifier, for example the upgrade of the town Surat Thani to city status in issue พิเศษ 67 ง. This word means special, yet I cannot find a system what a special issue differs from the normal one, as it has the same kinds of announcement in either issues. For a totally different meaning of phiset, see this post in Rikkers blog on the Thai language.

Before 1995, the special issues had a trailing chabab phiset (ฉบับพิเศษ), for example the creation of minor district Viphavadi, published in issue=53 ง ฉบับพิเศษ. As "chabab" means issue, it then had explicitly "special issue" in the issue name.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Municipal decisions from November 22 2007

Meeting number 51 from November 22 2007 with 5 subdistrict municipalities upgraded to town status.
  • Upgrade of Song Phi Nong subdistrict municipality, Song Phi Nong district, Suphanburi province to town status (เทศบาลเมืองสองพี่น้อง), effective January 31 2008.
  • Upgrade of Kaeng Khoi subdistrict municipality, Kaeng Khoi district, Saraburi province to town status (เทศบาลเมืองแก่งคอย), effective February 1 2008.
  • Upgrade of Sam Phran subdistrict municipality, Sam Phran district, Nakhon Pathom province to town status (เทศบาลเมืองสามพราน), effective February 1 2008.
  • Upgrade of Nong Sam Rong subdistrict municipality, Mueang Udon Thani district, Udon Thani province to town status (เทศบาลเมืองหนองสำโรง), effective February 1 2008.
  • Upgrade of Tak Bai subdistrict municipality, Tak Bai district, Narathiwat province to town status (เทศบาลเมืองตากใบ), effective February 1 2008.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Meeting TAT

During my recent vacation I took the chance to meet with Khun Nitty from Born Distinction, the company which does the internet activities for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Meeting in person is usually the better way to avoid misunderstandings, the way the TAT originally made their plans to work with Wikipedia created quite a lot. So we had a meeting for about two hours, talking about the plans of TAT, my editing history and experiences at Wikipedia, especially on Thai topics. Of course I also answered her questions, as well as presenting several topics where I had problems in editing and would loved the help from a Thai. Some of these problems, especially when I need information not available in English, already became topics in this blog. Quite a big topic was that several Wikipedia articles give the prostitution and sex tourism a disproportional focus - of course TAT is not happy with the still-present image of Thailand as a sex tourism destination.

Originally a press conference officially starting the WikiMission was planned during my stay as well, however it was delayed. I am not sure if it was held already now, I did not see anything on the TAT website about it.

Additionally TAT invited me for a dinner in a luxury hotel restaurant, with several directors and associate directors from TAT and also Khun Nitty and her boss at born distinction. It was really nice to see that my work on Wikipedia has been appreciated by them so much. I got a thank-you letter, a bag with some goodies including a book on Thai cocktails produced by born distinction and a T-Shirt marking me as an E-Citizen. But the largest gift was a voucher for two nights at the Springfield Village Golf and Spa Resort near Hua Hin. Luckily our travel plans were very flexible, so we went there already begin of April. Jokingly the TAT directors said they sent me to Hua Hin, so I can research more on the area, as it is currently not much covered in Wikipedia. But if they really intended that it they should have chosen a less luxury hotel, we spent most of the time in the hotel, the only place additional to the beach we went was the local Somdet Ya park.

Nitty promised me that the current drive to improve the province articles - she already started to add the sights to several articles, but I haven't had time yet to look into it in detail, or even to incorporate them better into the previously existing text - won't be a one-time activity, but they will continue to improve or create articles on Thai topics over the next years. I am especially looking forward to the photos they plan to release in a public license, there are many areas of Thailand where Wikipedia has absolutely no illustrations.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First candidates for the Bangkok gubernatorial elections

Later this year the four year term of Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayothin will end and a new governor will be elected. I don't know if the date for these gubernatorial election has already been fixed.

However, now candidates for the election start to make their intentions public, starting with Nattakorn Devakula, TV host and son of former finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakul, as reported by Daily Express, the tabloid newspaper from the Nation Group. See also the comments of Bangkokpundit.

Former massage parlor Chuwit Kamolvisit, who was already defeated in the 2004 gubernatorial elections, already announced earlier that he will give it another try.

I am not sure if Apirak, the incumbent, has already said whether he'll contest for reelection, however his self-suspension from his duties earlier this year in response to the corruption allegations around the fire truck scandal had some smell of being a kind of promotion for the forthcoming election campaign.

Some other candidates already showing up are mentioned in an article in The Nation.

Update: The election is set for October 5 2008.

Muban rename

Published today in the Royal Gazette in Volume 125, Issue 64 ง on Page 154 is the rename of village 11 of subdistrict Nong Lak, Chai Wan district, Udon Thani province from Ban Nong Lak (บ้านหนองหลัก) to Ban Nong Lek (บ้านหนองเหล็ก). The rename was already effective as of April 21, the same date it was approved for publication.

The announcement also says that this rename was done to make the village name conform with the historic name of the place, and that the name (not sure if it means the old or the new one) is also already in use for 3 other villages in the same subdistrict.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gazette announcement with a missing page

As mentioned before I am currently working to get a complete list of the Tambon administrative organizations, quite a big task - as of January 2008 its 6500 entities, plus some which have become municipality or have been merged into a municipality or a neighboring TAO. I have already done the complete south, but now I come into the central part I have a problem: the PDF with the announcement of the TAO creations in 1996 has one page missing. Within the TAO of Suphanburi, the index jumps from 1789 to 1808, as page 184 is not within the PDF. If someone from the Royal Gazette online archive is reading - a new scan with that page included would be nice. The fact that page 35 of the 1995 TAO creations is twice in the PDF is just a shale replacement.

Luckily I have a Excel sheet with the TAO as of 2007, so I could reconstruct the TAO which have been on the missing page. Th 20 missing TAO are from the districts Bang Pla Ma (10), Nong Ya Sai (4), Don Chedi (5) and Sam Chuk (1). Only the indexes I could not reconstruct, I am not sure what is the sorting of the entries.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My google maps

Google Maps thumbnail of my Saraburi mapI have been creating some maps for postings to this blog before using Google Maps, which are easy to embed into the posts. But in case you want to see all these maps together, including those which haven't been featured in a blog post yet, you can simply look at my Google Maps profile. As most of these maps are incomplete - obviously they only contain those places I could pinpoint on a map - any help in completing them is welcome. As it's possible to collaborate on a map by several users, though sadly not in a real wiki sense like in Wikimapia, anyone who wants help to make these maps more authoritative is welcome, just contact me and I will add you to the collaborators for those maps you like to edit.

It's a pity the team at hasn't yet added the ability to add a georeference to single log postings, as it would be quite nice to have those blog postings which can be pinpointed to a specific place displayed in a map automagically - especially useful for my travel blog. But as they did this for YouTube, another site owner by Google, I guess it won't take that long till that feature will show up here as well. Geotags within a RSS feed with the GeoRSS standard is nothing new anymore...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Municipal decisions for May 8 2008

Meeting number 33 from May 8 2008 with 7 TAO upgraded to subdistrict municipalities, and two subdistrict municipalities upgraded to towns.
  • Kathu, Kathu district, Phuket province, upgraded to town (เทศบาลเมืองกะทู้), effective July 14 2008.
  • Dok Khamthai, Dok Khamthai district, Phayao province, upgraded to town (เทศบาลเมืองดอกคำใต้), effective May 16 2008.
  • Thung Takhrai (เทศบาลตำบลทุ่งตะไคร), Thung Tako district, Chumphon province, effective May 15 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 64.80 km², 8 villages and 5,768 citizen.
  • Bang Luek (เทศบาลตำบลบางลึก), Mueang Chumphon district, Chumphon province, effective July 25 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 35.87 km², 12 villages and 7,744 citizen.
  • Na Din Dam (เทศบาลตำบลนาดินดำ), Mueang Loei district, Loei province, effective May 30 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 154.60 km², 14 villages and 10,562 citizen.
  • Khao Phra (เทศบาลตำบลเขาพระ), Phibun district, Nakhon Si Thammarat province, effective July 25 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 131 km², 12 villages and 7,743 citizen.
  • Ko Chang (เทศบาลตำบลเกาะช้าง), Ko Chang district, Trat province, effective April 30 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 172.30 km², 4 villages and 3,737 citizen.
  • Hin Kong (เทศบาลตำบลหินกอง), Suwannaphum district, Roi Et province, effective July 17 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 87 km², 16 villages and 7,373 citizen.
  • Ban Rai (เทศบาลตำบลบ้านไร่), Damnoen Saduak district, Ratchaburi province, effective May 31 2008. The TAO was created in 1996, covers 19.81 km², 8 villages and 10,160 citizen.