Profile of Structure and how to use regional categories for Germany

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Location: Germanymap
Surnames/tags: Germany Deutschland Regions
Profile manager: Andreas West private message [send private message]
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Explanation about the agreed structure for regional categories used for locations in Germany

1) Lowest level (city/town/borough) structure

Germany will be following (for the lowest level) the <City>, <State> structure used in many other countries as well.

2) Naming convention

Following the WikiTree guidelines "to use their conventions instead of yours" it is mandatory to use the German spelling instead of the English or any other foreign language spelling, so use Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen and not Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia or Keulen, Duitsland!

3) No mixing of languages in categories

As Germany's three top level regional categories should co-exist both in English and German, categories names should not be mixed (eg Köln, Germany).

4) Use the German alphabet

All German regional categories in English should have English names, all those in German should be in German spelling including the correct use of the so called "Umlaute" (these are the additional letters in the German alphabet (ä Ä ö Ö ü Ü) or the character ß (Eszett). See this page for more info:

Please note that all modern computer/keyboards can emulate those special characters. See this URL for more info

5) Ambiguous locations in a state

If there is more than one category name in the same state (eg Lövenich, Nordrhein-Westfalen) than add an unique identifier (usually the next higher regional category) in brackets after the name eg Lövenich (Köln), Nordrhein-Westfalen and Lövenich (Erkelenz), Nordrhein-Westfalen

6) Structure to follow

  • Germany
    • <State, Germany>
      • Districts and Independent Cities of of <State>

from here on it should link to the structure in German, meaning the relevant German districts and independent cities should point to "Districts and Independent Cities of <State>" (and to the higher category in German at the same time)

→ see [German structure] following the links to the structure in German

Administrative divisions of Germany


Governmental districts (Regierungsbezirke)

The large states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony are divided into governmental districts, or Regierungsbezirke.

They aren't used in our hierarchy of categories!

Administrative districts (Kreise)

The Districts of Germany (Kreise) are administrative districts, and every state except the city-states of Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen consists of "rural districts" (Landkreise), District-free Towns/Cities (Kreisfreie Städte, in Baden-Württemberg also called "urban districts", or Stadtkreise), cities that are districts in their own right, or local associations of a special kind (Kommunalverbände besonderer Art). The state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen consists of two urban districts, while Berlin and Hamburg are states and urban districts at the same time.

As of 2011, there are 295 Landkreise and 107 Kreisfreie Städte, making 402 districts altogether.

In 2010 only three Kommunalverbände besonderer Art exist.

District of Hanover. Formed in 2001 out of the previous rural district of Hanover and the district-free city of Hanover. Regionalverband Saarbrücken (district association Saarbrücken). Formed in 2008 out of the predecessor organization Stadtverband Saarbrücken (city association Saarbrücken), which was already formed in 1974. City region of Aachen. Formed in 2009 out of the previous rural district of Aachen and the district-free city of Aachen.

They represent the lowest of the top level categories used in our hierarchy of categories! There shouldn't be (in all top level categories) any profiles listed in those top level categories. The only possible exception is for those cases where the exact location (town/municipality) is unknown.

Municipalities (Gemeinden)

Municipalities (Gemeinden): Every rural district and every Amt is subdivided into municipalities, while every urban district is a municipality in its own right. There are (as of 6 March 2009) 12,141 municipalities, which are the smallest administrative units in Germany. Cities and towns are municipalities as well, also having city rights or town rights.

7) Examples

  • Germany
    • States of Germany
      • North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
        • Districts and Independent Cities of North Rhine-Westphalia
      • Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
        • Districts and Independent Cities of Rhineland-Palatinate
      • Berlin, Germany
        • Boroughs of Berlin ← as Berlin is a State and also a city it has Boroughs below that are all in German and should just point here to this special category

8) Find the next higher category of your town

a) Use GOV and enter the place name then click search. Eg "Duisburg"

b) Select the correct displayed entry (check in which state & country it is, use the map as well)

c) Select those with a postal code as they are towns/cities. Eg Duisburg

d) Scroll down to "Superordinate objects" and check the next higher object. Eg Düsseldorf (administrative district). Eg Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf

e) Skip the administrative district (German Regierungsbezirk) and go one level higher whilst checking for the valid date. Eg Nordrhein-Westfalen (federal state)

f) Point your new category to this higher category

If you're unsure whether you found the correct entry to link to (or that one is even still missing) then please post it to G2G or in the feedback/comment section here

Images: 1
Administrative divisions of Germany
Administrative divisions of Germany


On 30 Jul 2017 at 04:11 GMT Richard Ryker wrote:

Hi Andreas,

I have added Category:German Misnamed Categories to hold all the misnamed categories that hold profiles for German locations.

I don't know enough about the German location category hierarchy to fix these myself. Can you have someone take at look at them and move the profiles to the correct German location categories?

Once these are all fixed, you might consider keeping the German Misnamed Categories page for when this happens again. (Because it will.)

Thank you, Rick

On 14 Oct 2016 at 08:44 GMT Seán Donovan wrote:

Clarify: ß is 'Eszett' (double ss or sharp s), not a umlaut-ed vowel (Herr Neumann called them 'doppel-Punkt') :þ

On 4 Jul 2016 at 22:35 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote:

Hi Andreas

I've added this page to Category Names for Regions.

Would you please add Category:Deutschland and Category: Germany to it?

Thanks for the effort you put into this,