Friday, April 27, 2012

Four municipalities changed

Yesterday four announcements were published in the Royal Gazette, all modifying municipalities - three upgrades of municipalities including one name change, and one TAO upgraded to a municipality. In detail, the following was done.
And since I complained about the lack of maps in the last set of municipal announcements, this time all four announcements include the municipal boundary definitions and a map, though technically only necessary for the upgrade of the TAO - in the other three cases no municipal borders were changed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DOPA headmen magazine

Cover 10/1998
Some years ago, I posted about the Thesaphiban magazine published by the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) as its internal magazine to reach all the various offices in a less formal way. Now by some random googling I have noticed that there is a second similar magazine, also published by DOPA but targeted to the lower admninistrative levels - the village and subdistrict headmen.

This magazine, titled "กำนัน ผู้ใหญ่บ้าน" (Subdistrict headman, Village headman) is also a monthly magazine, first published on December 5 1949. Sadly, it seems it is only available in paper copies, I haven't been able to see any downloadable PDFs of it. All the online information on it is rather well hidden on the DOPA website, and very outdated - from the starting page on the magazine one can only find the covers and table of contents of the years 1998 and 2002. But the magazine is still in print, just few days before I discovered the magazine, the Public Relation Department issued a short advert with the details on how to subscribe. Thus the magazine costs 216 Baht for one year, but to subscribe or get any further details one has to call a number within DOPA - funnily at the extension number 404.

There is not much else to find about this magazine on the web, the only other interesting thing are some scans of a 1957 issue, which is apparently for sale. Though probably one could find more old issues at the Chutachak weekend market - haven't been there for long time, and never browsed through the book and magazine part of the market. Though I probably won't be able to read and understand much, I would certainly love to get one (current) issue of this magazine (and the Thesaphiban magazine)...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chumchon emblems

While looking for new local administrations to add to my Google plus circle, I stumbled upon the account of the borough (Chumchon) Tha Ruea (ชุมชนตลาดท่าเรือ) of Surat Thani city. Though still an inactive account, it is the first of the municipal subdivisions which I found in Google plus. But when I looked for some more information about the boroughs of Surat Thani - the city website sadly has no such list, so it a bit more searching was necessary - I next found the facebook page of this borough, which is much more active than their Google plus. The header artwork of their page then to my surprise did not show the emblem of the city, but an emblem specific to the borough.

So far, to my knowledge it is only those administrative units to have an emblem which are also a legal person - thus the provinces, the municipalities and TAO, the PAO (which however usually share the same artwork as the province) and Bangkok and its district. The other districts however have no emblem, since they are also no legal person. I have never before seen any borough emblem, and also don't know whether the borough have legal person status or not, but since this emblem looks very much like the other official emblems there may be even more emblems of administrative units than the nearly 8000 of the types listed above. Its a pity there seems to be no heraldic books on Thailand except those few published by the Department Of Fine Arts.

The emblem of Tha Ruea depicts a Chinese style ship, which fits the name and location of this borough - Tha Ruea means "harbor", and it is located directly at the river front harbor of the city. Though harbor is a bit of an exaggeration, there are only very few ships there - and to me it always seemed like they are permanently moored there, as I never seen any ship leave or noticed them change position.

Anyway, now I am of course curious if the other 42 boroughs of Surat Thani also have such emblems, or if the boroughs of other municipalities have such artwork as well. It is really sad that in most municipality websites, there boroughs are either not mentioned at all, or just as the list of their names, but no detailed information.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Muban rename in Chiang Rai

Village 23 of Huai So subdistrict (ตำบลห้วยซ้อ), Chiang Khong district, Chiang Rai province, was renamed from Ban Ka Salong Kham (บ้านกาสลองคำ) to Ban Kaen Salong Kham (บ้านแก่นสะลองคำ), as published in the Royal Gazette today.

The name change, which is more like a spelling change, was approved by the Board to consider name changes in its first meeting this year on January 17, and the announcement then signed by vice province governor Surachai Sinthong (นายสุรชัย ลิ้นทอง) on March 8.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DOPA entity numbers 2012

The Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) has added the numbers of administrative subdivisions as of December 31 2011 to their website. According to that list, Thailand now has
  • 76 provinces
  • 878 districts (not including those within Bangkok)
  • 7255 subdistricts (not including those within Bangkok)
  • 74956 administrative villages
  • 2082 municipalities - 27 cities, 155 towns and 1900 subdistrict municipalities
  • 5693 subdistrict administrative organizations (TAO)
  • 2 special administrative areas (Bangkok and Pattaya)
  • 76 provincial administrative organizations (PAO)
Compared with last year, the only change for the central administrative units was the creation of one administrative village. But since the above numbers are as of December 31, this cannot be the new village in Yala announced earlier this year, as that became effective January 17. So it looks like another village creation was done, but not announced (yet).

Of course, the bigger change was within the municipality numbers, but thanks to the documents from the Department of Local Administration I should have my data current for these already.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New ccaa file

On March 9, the Department of Provincial Administration updated their ccaa lists of geocodes, the most current version of the TIS1099 standard last updated in 2005. There are however only very few changes to the last version - in the ccaa list with the districts and subdistricts, only four subdistricts had their name change.
  • Thung Pi subdistrict, Chiang Mai (50220200) changed spelling from ทุ่งปี้ to ทุ่งปี๊ [Announcement].
  • Kham Rian (ขามเรียน), Maha Sarakham (44110600) renamed to Sang Saeng (ขามเรียน) [Announcement].
  • Nong Kheng (หนองเข็ง), Bueng Kan (38010300) renamed to Non Sawang (โนนสว่าง) [Announcement].
  • Huai Khayung, Ubon Ratchathani (34152400) changed spelling from ห้วยขะยูง to ห้วยขะยุง. It seems this was a long time error in the DOPA data, as the municipality was already spelled with the short u, and also in all Royal Gazette documents the subdistrict was spelled with short u. I already stumbled on the same issue while processing the 2011 population data.
The RCode list, which contains the codes for registration offices, and therefore most notably the codes for the municipalities, has some more changes, however most (eight) are simply municipal upgrades. The other changes in the list are the following.
  • Bang Len (เทศบาลตำบลบ้านเลน), Ayutthaya province (1486) renamed to Bang Pa In (เทศบาลตำบลบางปะอิน) [Announcement].
  • Na Wa Yai (เทศบาลตำบลนาหว้าใหญ่), Amnat Charoen province (3798) renamed to Pathum Ratchawongsa (เทศบาลตําบลปทุมราชวงศา) [Announcement].
  • Nong Kheng (เทศบาลตําบลหนองเข็ง), Bueng Kan province (3888) renamed to Non Sawang (เทศบาลตําบลโนนสว่าง) [Announcement].
  • Nong Ko (เทศบาลตำบลหนองโก), Khon Kaen province (4082) renamed to Kranuan and upgraded to town municipality (เทศบาลเมืองกระนวน).
Only the last one was news to me, as it wasn't announced in the Royal Gazette yet, nor was it mentioned in the Excel sheet I found at DOLA. Also, some new codes were added.
2177 เทศบาลตำบลพลา
2178 เทศบาลตำบลเนินฆ้อ
4062 เทศบาลตำบลเมืองเก่า
4665 เทศบาลตำบลจุมจัง
5040 เทศบาลตำบลสันปูเลย
6485 เทศบาลตำบลป่ากุมเกาะ
7266 เทศบาลตำบลท้าวอู่ทอง
7267 เทศบาลตำบลกระจัน
7381 เทศบาลตำบลบางกระทึก
Strange is only the case of San Pu Loei, which already has the code 5046, but marked with an asterisk as an obsolete entry, and now added again with the code 5040.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Municipal upgrades

Three municipalities upgrades were published in the Royal Gazette last week.
Sadly, only the announcement on Mueang Pak contains the boundary definition and the map, so I was only able to get the location of the municipality office for Mueang Pak. Though actually it probably won't be much help for Tha Mai, as the office seems to be located near the district office in the middle of the town, and none of the buildings around there looks like a more representative office building. And for Sakon Nakhon I already has the location in my XML.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Population statistic 2011

As expected, the full population statistics from the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) for the year 2011 (2554) has become online. The main index page wasn't yet updated, so it can only be found right now in case one guesses the URL - or follows the links in this post.

However, unlike previous years the data has quite a lot of problems. The most obvious one is that the new province Bueng Kan is missing - while listed in the index page with a population of 407,634, but the pages with the district and subdistrict data are still 404. The other big problem is the big number of strange subdistrict entries. Already in past years, there were occasional subdistricts with one or two citizen added in a municipality where they actually should be found, something that in past I had interpreted as a municipal border not exactly identical with the subdistrict boundaries. However, this year a total of 33 such entries were so much wrong that my algorithm could not parse them anymore. To give a few examples
  • In Bangkok, Bang Na subdistrict (แขวงบางนา) is additionally to its correct data within Bang Na district, one male in one household is found in Bang Na subdistrict in Phra Khanong district - the district which in past contained Bang Na subdistrict (see here).
  • In Fao Rai district of Nong Khai province, the subdistrict Kut Bong (ตำบลกุดบง) is listed with a single unpopulated household, whereas Fao Rai subdistrict (ตำบลเฝ้าไร่) has 1220 citizen in just 2 households. But in fact, all of Fao Rai subdistrict belongs to Fao Rai subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลเฝ้าไร่) listed one page later, and Kut Bong is actually in Phon Phisai district (see here). Whereas Kut Bong must be wrong, the Fao Rai case may be real, as it also found in the 2010 data - maybe the two households are military barracks, which are not under the jurisdiction of the municipality.
  • In Chai Prakan district, Chiang Mai province, the subdistrict Nong Bua is listed twice, once marked with an asterisk and one unpopulated household, and a second time with the actual population. Additionally, a single unpopulated household is listed under Wiang subdistrict, which isn't within Chai Prakan at all (see here).
Except the Fao Rai case (which also made no problems for my parsing algorithm), all these strange entries must be bogus. I have not much hope it will create any reaction if I send an email with the above questions to DOPA, I guess I nevertheless should give it a try, at least to get the data for Bueng Kan.

The data for Bueng Kan showed up one day after this posting - wonder if that was a coincidence or if I have a reader within DOPA who called the right official?

Monday, April 2, 2012

License plate update for Nakhon Si Thammarat

I almost missed another license plate graphic announcement, as on March 21 a new graphic for Nakhon Si Thammarat was published in the Royal Gazette. The graphic shows the natural abundance in the province in the middle - fish, palm trees and birds. To the left is a shadow play figure, in the special style only found in this province. I am not sure what is the special meaning of the dancer to the right, probably a special cultural feature of the province.
Nakhon Si Thammarat 2012
Interestingly, when comparing the graphic with the one published in 2006 [Gazette], one notices that the graphic is in fact identical, the only difference are the colors - whereas in 2006 the dancer and shadow play figure are in purple and white, in 2012 especially the dancer is much more colorful.
Nakhon Si Thammarat 2006
As these license plate graphics are becoming a quite popular topic of this blog, and I was just asked about it, I checked through the Royal Gazette announcements to check which provinces have not received any license plate graphic yet. Interestingly, this is not just the recently created province Bueng Kan, but another seven further one - Amnat Charoen, Nong Bua Lamphu, Mae Hong Son, Samut Songkhram, Ranong, Narathiwat and Yala. And maybe Betong could also be missing, as that district has its own license plates and does not use the one of Yala province. I have no idea if these provinces really have no graphic yet, or if these graphics were only not published in the Royal Gazette.