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Compile authoritative sources for reference space groups

Created on Friday 26 March 2021, 10:11

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  • ID
  • Project
    Metabolism of Cities Data Hub
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Type
    General Research Work
  • Tags
    Data Hub Priority Plan 2021 Multi-scale integration
  • Assigned to
    Carolin Bellstedt
  • Subscribers
    Aristide Athanassiadis
    Carolin Bellstedt
    Paul Hoekman

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In case the name of the task is not very clear, here a description: This task is for the nesting part of the Data Hub Priority Plan 2021. The idea is to compile and therefore make an overview of, in our system existing, authoritative (“mother”) docs/shapefiles for ref spaces that we would reuse over and over for many cities, e.g. the one that we have on countries, the one on NUTS2 etc..
Based on that, it can also already be considered which other shapefiles would be desirable to have for additional ref spaces. For example, we may need one on the US States etc. (But, ultimately, this is an additional task.)

Discussion and updates

New task was created

Big side note: For this task and in general for others of the Data Hub Priority Plan 2021, and even for all those manuals that we've written, I think it would be great if eventually we could integrate them as pages on the Data Hub. For now, I was even thinking of using the news items for making the overview of the ref space sources and creating a mini news item, similarly as to what was done for the "about" page, but wanted to check to see what others think?
I quite like the way that RAWGraphs have their learning section and could see us having something like that. With small bits like that, basically a chopped up manual, it is easy for a user to read up on and check something.

Hey Carolin, great to see this move ahead!! Agreed on your idea below as well. In terms of creating a news item: I'd do that only if you write it up as a NEWS item. For the ABOUT page it made sense because it described the newly launched site. However, in this case I'm not sure if that makes sense (in other words: would it make sense to include this page in the newsletter? if yes -> make news item). The alternative is simply that you use the WEB PAGES section in the control panel and add it there -- that is 100% right for any page like that anyway.

BTW I've also added a tag for the tasks for the 2021 priority plan, so that way you can label each task and later on we can pull them all together easily.

Hi Paul,
Ok, great. Yes, that makes sense. I've made a new task for the setup of these pages, as this was a rather big side note ;)
Also noted about the tag. I've already been using it :)

Task was assigned to Carolin Bellstedt

Status change: Open → In Progress

I've made a web page titled "Sources for reference space groups" and compiled the list there. I'm neither set on that name nor on the slug (@Paul, feel free to change it), but the content is there :)
Since this cannot be publicly seen (yet), here also the list:


"The NUTS classification (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics) is a hierarchical system for dividing up the economic territory of the EU and the UK." (Source)

Local Administrative Units
"To meet the demand for statistics at a local level, Eurostat maintains a system of Local Administrative Units (LAUs) compatible with NUTS. These LAUs are the building blocks of the NUTS, and comprise the municipalities and communes of the European Union." (Source)

Urban Audit
Cities, Greater Cities and Functional Urban Areas boundaries according to the European Urban Audit. (More info)

(All the documents are "parked" in Munich:

Status change: In Progress → Completed

Hey Carolin, have you checked by any chance whether there are similar to NUTS level for other parts of the world (and a consistent level by the UN)? Like provinces, states, etc. That might help for other places outside of EU.

Hi Aris,
No I haven't, just from the top of my head I know of ISO 3166 and that "series". I see this as an additional task to this one, made a small section on that in the page that I've created to be listed there and was just going to make an extra task for this :)
I figured that I'd also include the list of our "lighthouse cities" in that task, so whoever picks up this new task has some guiding points too.

Great stuff Carolin!

Linked to Aris's comments, I think it would be nice to make that additional task as it would indeed be very nice to also look into other areas. Otherwise we are making ourselves so Europe-centered from the get-go. Also Aris, the best I have been able to find in the past is this document. There are a few other places (I found a site listing all/many ISO 3166 levels), but they were never with an open license.

BTW I had also uploaded country-wide divisions for SA: MDB District Municipalities 2018 and MDB Local Municipal Boundary 2018. We should try find a provincial shapefile, and we will then have 3 levels available for SA cities.

I also think there were a few people who uploaded nation-wide subdivisions for a few Latin American cities in the course.

Thanks :) Very much looking forward to the page being live. Maybe I'm going to ask for Guus' help with the "learning section".
Yes, that additional task already exists here :) And I've just added your document to the description.

Nice about those SA divisions. I've just added them to the list too and added the provincial one on the "missing list". Oh yes, you are right about the Latin American ones. I will see what I come across.

Perfecto Carolin!!

Hey Carolin, just a note, there is now a system set up in the WEB PAGE CONTENT part of the control panel that allows you to generate a publicly visible page. Basically, under slug you can enter:


It will then become available at that link. So for instance I modified the following link a bit and it can now be seen here:

Hope that makes sense.

Yes, that makes sense. That's cool! It means that the webpage is public and can be seen (and therefore markdown mistakes spotted more easily) and shared even though it isn't linked yet anywhere in the menu etc. Nice, thanks!