Wednesday, December 20, 2017

131th National park created

Last week the 131th National Park became officially established by publishing the Royal Act in the government gazette. The park covers an area of 354 km² of Chiang Mai and Lamphun province. Oddly the Royal Act does not include the name of the park, but an older list of the IDs of the protected areas assigned by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation includes those parks in the process of being established, and thus it was possible to identify this new one to be the Mae Ta Khrai National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแม่ตะไคร้).

The agendas of all cabinet meetings are searchable online, and with that resource I was able to find that this new park was first discussed in November 2008, and then again in June 2016. I guess the first time was to get the go-ahead on the preparations, while the second was the final approvement to prepare the Royal Act.

According to that ID list there are still another 16 parks pending their creation - but sadly that Excel sheet is  from 2013, so there may be some other changes to that pending list in the meantime. It would be good if the DNP would have an up-to-date version of that list online, and especially not change the values anymore after a protected area became official - there are several versions of that ID list with sometimes different values floating around in long-forgotten parts of their website which only Google can still find. For example, Mae Ta Khrai according to the 2013 list has the ID 9105, however the description of the park on the DNP website uses a PTA_CODE of 9101.

Not being a stable ID is the reason why I haven't yet proposed it to become a property in Wikidata, to further help identifying the protected areas of Thailand. When I rechecked the list of items there to prepare the map below, I found one duplicate entry which was added under its present and a former name separately. The map below should show all of the current and (and least most) proposed national parks as saved in Wikidata.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Local government statistics updated

Normally, the Department of Local Administration updates their list of the local governments once a year at around the end of the fiscal year in October. Oddly, this year there was an update in March, but now effective December 1st there was another one. The only numbers which changed were the TAO, as Wang Nuea TAO was merged into Wang Nuea municipality, which became effective December 1 - thus the tables were updated exactly with that change.

  • Provincial administrative organizations (PAO, องค์การบริหารส่วนจังหวัด): 76
  • Municipality (Thesaban, เทศบาล): 2441
    • City (Thesaban Nakhon, เทศบาลนคร): 30
    • Town (Thesaban Mueang, เทศบาลเมือง): 178
    • Subdistrict municipality (Thesaban Tambon, เทศบาลตำบล): 2233
  • Subdistrict administrative organizations (TAO, องค์การบริหารส่วนตำบล): 5333
  • Special administrative units (องค์กรปกครองส่วนท้องถิ่นรูปแบบพิเศษ): 2
Source: summary_25601201
Little nitpicking - the English website of the DLA has a very outdated list of the subdivision numbers showing values from 2014.

The Excel sheets with the detailed data were also updated. I have so far only checked for the differences in the TAO sheet, and it seems the only changes (apart from the remove of Wang Nuea of course) are corrections to the population numbers which were wrong for some entries in the March version.

One new sheet has showed up, which collects the addresses of the TAO offices. Sadly, it does not include the geographic location, and since translating a Thai address into a geographical location is almost impossible it doesn't help me in adding the locations to my data.

The sheet with the numbers by province  is now translated into XML to make it easily machine-readable, but I guess the spreadsheet with the numbers by province since 2007 compiled from all the previous DLA lists is of more interest.