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MVZ Data Capture Guidelines: Higher Geography

MVZ Policies, Guidelines and Procedures > Entering Locality Data into the MVZ Database

Higher_Geography is a field in the Geog_Auth_Rec table that is a combination of geopolitical subdivisions. This field is written as a string concatenation of the following fields in the Geog_Auth_Rec table: Continent/Ocean, Sea, Country, State_Prov, County, Quad, Feature, Island_Group, Island. The Higher_Geography field comprises a controlled vocabulary with secure access for changes and additions.

The authorities that we use for Higher_Geography are The Statesman's Yearbook and The World Factbook

Data Entry Protocol

Each Specific Locality is referenced to a Higher Geography record by a Geogid that is picked by the data entry personnel. If there is no appropriate Higher Geography record in the database for a Specific Locality, the data entry person must notify a curatorial staff person who has authority to update the Geog_Auth_Rec table. Higher Geography should always include as much specific information as is provided with the Verbatim Locality. For example, if the Verbatim Locality is "near Snoqualmie Pass, King County, Washington", then the data entry person should pick the Higher Geography record that has "North America, United States, Washington, King Co." If this record does not exist in the Geog_Auth_Rec table, then a new record must be created rather than choosing the record that says only has "North America, United States, Washington."

  • Counties: Specific Localities within the United States (except Alaska) should be referenced to county, parish or equivalent political subdivision. For Alaska, the 7.5' Topographic Quad name serves as a geographic subdivision and should be entered in the Quad field. Counties also may be used for countries besides the U.S. (e.g., United Kingdom).
  • Offshore Localities: For offshore localities, the Higher Geography should include at least the Ocean in the Continent_Ocean field. If applicable, an offshore locality also may include Sea and Feature, where Feature is in this case a tertiary subdivision of the pelagic location (e.g., Prince William Sound).
  • Feature: Feature may be used for tertiary pelagic localities as described for offshore localities above. Terrestrial features include National Parks, National Monuments, and other geographic regions of interest such as "San Francisco Bay Area."
  • Islands: Island localities should be referenced to the specific island name and, if relevant, the largest island group or archipelago to which that island is associated. An offshore locality that is associated with an island should include the island as part of the Higher Geography record. For example, if the Verbatim Locality is "100 yds off of the beach, Bay Farm Island, Alameda Co., California", then the Higher Geography record should be "North America, United States, California, Alameda Co., Bay Farm Island."

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