Choosing an Upload Data Format: Linked Places (LP) or LP-TSV?

World Historical Gazetteer supports uploads of both Linked Places format (v1.1; specification) and a derivative, LP‑TSV, useful for relatively simple data (v0.2; specification). Their specifications provide details, and should be consulted in designing transformations. The following will help in deciding which is appropriate for your dataset. The WHG team is not able to transform your data, but can help guide you in this essential step; just let us know via .

Linked Places (LP) format

Linked Places format has been developed as an interconnection standard for place data contributions to the WHG and Pelagios projects, but it will hopefully see wider use over time. It is both valid JSON-LD, a syntax of RDF, and valid GeoJSON. It also incorporates temporal extensions to GeoJSON proposed in GeoJSON-T.

JSON-LD is a lightweight Linked Data format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is based on the already successful JSON format and provides a way to help JSON data interoperate at Web-scale." -- from JSON-LD web site (v1.1 draft specification)

GeoJSON is a format for encoding a variety of geographic data structures." -- from GeoJSON web site ( RFC 7946 specification)

GeoJSON-T adds time to GeoJSON, expressed in "when" elements that can be added at the Feature level, in geometries of a GeometryCollection, in properties, or in the non-standard foreign elements allowed by the GeoJSON specification. It is a work-in-progress (GitHub).

Apart from its JSON-LD structure, the distinctive features of Linked Places format include:

  • Permits temporal scoping of an entire place record and/or any individual name variant, geometry, place type, or place relation, expressed either as timespans or as named periods. Timespans are encouraged, as they enable temporal queries, filters and visualizations.
  • Permits any number of sourced names, geometries, and relations.
  • As the specification outlines, almost all elements are optional.

LP-TSV format

LP-TSV is a tab-delimited text file format developed by WHG to support users and contributors whose data is relatively simple. For example, an LP-TSV row can include a timespan for an entire record, but does not permit temporally scoping individual components (names, geometries, etc.) as Linked Places does.

The distinctive features of LP-TSV include:

  • It requires one "title" toponym, a named source for it, and at minimum a "start" year integer.
  • It permits any number of name variants, ccodes, types, and matches (links) but only as semicolon-delimited lists of strings within those columns.
  • It permits one geometry, which can be a longitude/latitude pair or a WKT (Well-Known Text) expression.
  • With respect to relations, it permits only a single "parent_name"/"parent_id" combination.