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About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Massimo_Foti
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Location: Lugano, Switzerland
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:56 am
Post subject: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

I am looking into a project that will require a database storing locations and historical AFVs. In order to refine my ideas I have been looking at existing country registers for the USA, Canada, Belgium, France and Poland (thank you guys for the hard work!).

I see they all group locations by states/regions/provinces. Now, I am not sure I always agree with this approach. Grouping things by state in the USA is a good thing for sure, it's a huge country with too many locations, but I wonder if it's worth doing the same for other countries too. I know for sure it's not worth splitting Switzerland into cantons, and I believe it would be overkill to split Italy in 20 regions while I have to handle 70 locations at most.

On top of that I assume many foreign people will have no idea about where swiss cantons or italian regions are located, just like I know almost nothing about french regions, belgian provinces or german lands.

Since this is going to be a web-based project, I think I could do something along the lines of what Trevor is doing on preservedtanks.com, leveraging Googlemaps and storing data for states only for USA based locations.

What do you think about it, do you feel the need to group locations by region/canton/district even outside the USA?

Thanks in advance for any feedback

Massimo
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L.Delsing
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:44 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Hello Massimo,
I have put everything (only MBTs) in a access database and don't use word or so anymore



I have a column in this database for the province/region/canton etc, but I almost never use it. But when needed it is there. There are more columns with various details which are not on the picture.

Regards,
Lesley


Last edited by L.Delsing on Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:05 am; edited 2 times in total
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:24 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

I have an iPhone version coming out soon as part of my JED app (its about to go to iTunes for approval) and I am listing monuments by country, region, town/city, address in that order. Probably best to include include the region as quite a few countries have locations with similar names.

One of the other things that will be included in the next version will be an equipment identifier...

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:46 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

- Massimo_Foti
What do you think about it, do you feel the need to group locations by region/canton/district even outside the USA?


Outside the USA I don't know, but for Russia and France you will need at least the regions.

In France, some towns have the same name from a department to another.. sometimes the only way to differentiate a town from another is to have the department number, but the most reliable piece of information is the postal code, so that you are sure it's the good location (there are 100 departments in France, incl. overseas).

P-O

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:28 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

I think including something like postal codes is good also. In the U.S. there are sometimes variations of twon or city names but having the 5 digit ZIP code assigned by the post office can tell you if they are the same. It can also help you determine what towns in larger states (like Texas, California, New York, etc) are nearby and worth trying to see in the same trip or if they are on the other side of the state. (They also can help you find locations that are just across stae lines from where you are) I think most countries have some form of postal code.

Oh and of course LAT/LONG is always useful with GPS and Google maps

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:42 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Thanks all for the feedback. I understimate the issue of places with similar/same name. I think I'll go with postal codes, because in order to properly handle regions/cantons/departments and referential integritty, I would have to list all of them inside a separated table that have to be populated upfront.

Massimo
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:21 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

So we need to encourage people to post the gogglemaps link & the GPS co-ordinates!

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Massimo_Foti
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:45 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Sure! I keep a little personal googlemap of places I visited or would like to visit:
maps.google.com/maps/m...d69b3f&z=4

Feel free to ask if you have questions about some less-know italian or swiss places

Massimo
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armyjunk2
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:51 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

I like Access due to the ability to sort in many different ways, it can be sorted by any of the columns and the hyperlink feature for photos. I use it for my WWI artillery list.

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the_shadock
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:56 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

- Massimo_Foti
Thanks all for the feedback. I understimate the issue of places with similar/same name.


just a typical example, for France.

If you want to go from Armancourt (80700) to Armancourt (60880), you have to drive 47 kilometers :



and I have other examples of the same problem//

FORTUNATELY THERE ARE NO TANKS AT ARMANCOURT

P-O

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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:07 pm
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

So we need to encourage people to post the gogglemaps link & the GPS co-ordinates!


I may not post a Google map but I do post the co-ordinates Smile .

I know it's kinda lazy, but I don't even bother getting street addresses anymore, since those can be very confusing. Google/Bing/Mapquest don't give exact locations for them either.

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L.Delsing
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:17 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

@ Armyjunk2: how do you make the hyperlink to your pictures?

@ Joe D: coordinates are indeed very nice, especially in the field. Instead of ''tank located at training area x'' you have an exact location!
regards,
Lesley
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Tichenor
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:08 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Hi Massimo

The region/state/province question is the same i had last year (or the year before that), my conclusion was almost the same as what P-O says. For instance Kapellen in Belgium (alot of armour there) There are two or three of them in Belgium, without the province (or the postal code) you will be driving a lot around Belgium. Coordinates are great, only there are some locations the governement is't very happy about when they are published. So that gets us back to the state/province/region or the postal code.

Michel
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Michel_Krauss
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:21 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Coordinates are great, only there are some locations the governement is't very happy about when they are published.


If the goverment is not to happy about publishing some locations, they also will not be happy when some-one show's up uninvited
Not even considering the fact that the person may starts taking picture's

In my opinion the big disadvantage of using postal codes or similair, you will need the internet to get an location
And even then it will be very hard to find because they are an national thing
I have tried it with my own postal code at Google.co.uk (so an English site and not Dutch) and my home town is not within the first 100 hits
And I know where to find it, so it is not suited for international use

You will need something that can be used in combination with an travel guide like Garmin or TomTom

So geographic coordinates or street, town, etc
Then people can use it during vacation, whatever

If some-one want to try an postalcode in Holland: 5825 AM
Michel aka Tichenor, you will find it Wink

Michel

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Tichenor
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:34 am
Post subject: Re: About AFV databases, locations, regions and the like

Michel

easy, even not so far from where I live ( should I mention it's Overloon?)

What I wanted to say with the governement thing is that here in Belgium every army base has open doors, public days and so one. Easy to get the coordinates then ( and pictures), but the latest time there are people thinking google earth and stuff like that is maybe not such a great thing. I know Holland has the same "problem".

michel
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