Commons:Categories for discussion/2010/10/Category:2008 in the European Union

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And many other 'YYYY in the European Union as well as Month YYYY in the European Union categories.

The category and the whole category tree of "photographs taken in countries that are members of the European Union by date" is unecessary. The following points comming to my mind, see also the illustration table below.

  • First the EU is not a country as this category tree wrongly suggests.
  • Second if 2008 in the european union is used as a cascade category then all categories 2008 in countryX are overcategorized at the moment because they are as well in 2008 by country and in the cascading European Union subcategory.
  • Third, the European Union is a political union. Content categorized to Category:European Union is expected to be related to the topic en:European Union. Just because a photo was created within the European Union does not create such a topic connection. It simply not worth to blow up the history of the European Union topic category with any photgraph that accidentially was created within one of the member states of the European Union.
  • Adding the photograph File:2007 07 16 parlament europejski bruksela 24.JPG to a category like July 2007 in the European Union would be appropriate. Adding File:University of Limerick - Campus2.JPG to that category is not an appropriate topic categorization or an misunderstanding of the European Union as a territorial entity.

The current situation:

2008 by country month 2008 by country month 2008 in countryX
2008 in countryX*
2008 in the European Union 2008 in countryX* month 2008 in countryX
month 2008 in the European Union
*overcategorization, the first must be removed from its parent category.
Red text: deletion suggested, unecessary cascade and no relation to the topic European Union.

Reduced form:

2008 by country month 2008 by country month 2008 in countryX
2008 in countryX

--Martin H. (talk) 21:25, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support but not for exactly the same reasons.
  1. Today, Commons has a two level world-country structure (5000 by country categories, but will probably double within one year) which is based on political divisions.
  2. On some categories, 116 overcats seem tolerated for by "continent" categories. Continents are not political but geographical divisions and create problems because many countries span several continents and makes categorisation much more complex (would require at least 40000 additional intermediate categories). They make mainly sense for geographical items that don't fit exactly in the political country scheme, such as rivers, mountain ranges, lakes, languages, maps, history ... (see en:List of countries spanning more than one continent)
  3. The European union intermediate structure could only be considered if:
    1. There would exist comparable and well known structures (for example Nort American Union, south Asian union, ...) for the rest of the world, which is not the case
    2. The structure is mature and stable; the EU is still changing for many years to come.
So the European Union has to be a side category, not an intermediate category. --Foroa (talk) 06:01, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I can not see how this can cause confusion. I created the current category as I wanted to link the European Union nations together which for all other purposes they are (for example see: Category:Members of the European Union). Because as you point out the European Union is not a 'state' per se but rather a federal body that oversees its member states I continued to include member states within the category divided by country.
The North American Union and the South Asian Union are not comparable. The European Union had much further powers and holds teh highest juristriction for its member states. Moreover the European Union is frequently used as a combined measure of member states in statistics etc.
Further to this I can not see that even for someone who wishes to search each member state individually that this can cause any confusion. The category co-exists with existing categories. Deleting it would only go to undermine work carried out by consciencous editors. -- Mtaylor848 (talk) 18:37, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Imagine category Category:Countries of Europe, per your logic this category must not contain Portugal, Spain, France etc. directly but a subcategory with countries of the European Union and only some other countries directly like Andorra, Switzerland, Croatia, etc. So consequently: Almost non of our categories (!!) follows your example. Neither has Category:Rivers of Europe, Category:Buildings in Europe, Category:People of Europe a subcategory specially for countries of the european union. From a categorization viewpoint your approach is simply wrong.
The question is:
Is this correct? No, the European Union is not a teritorial Union.
What is the purpose of Category:European Union, will pepople look for all photographs taken on the territory of the European Union or will they look for media files related to the European Union as an institution? I think the second. Nobody who will look into Category:History of the European Union will have any interest in File:University of Limerick - Campus2.JPG. Thats just unecessary. The category causes confusion, it breaks up the category structure and there are plenty of other tools that rely on this structure. If you want to 'link the european nations together'... well, create a link list, e.g. a navigation bar at the top of the category providing links to the same year in member countries of European Union. That would be appropriate. --Martin H. (talk) 20:54, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't break up the structure as the two co-exist. I have set the European Union apart from the other alphabetised nations ergo it does not interfere with them. I also don't think it is for us to guess how people search for different subject. Anyone searching still has the option to search via individual member states.
I don't think that the rivers comparison is pertinent to your point. Rivers flow with little regard for political boundries and so to categorise them by continent is a little more appropriate. The European Union and Europe are very different entities. The European Union does not cover all of Europe and itself extends outside of that continent.
I do not see providing such a search means and grouping nations that fall under a single federal parliament prevents people from searching by other means. I personally make many searches amoungst content in E.U. states but I do not think I have once searched on commons for data outside of the Union. For me it is useful. I am not trying to group them together as one entity I have just provided an umbrella category. Mtaylor848 (talk) 12:58, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
At least, we al agree that the world/country categories are forming the main scheme.
I understand the need of Michael, but there are million ways of adding side categories, such as in this case Europe, Schengen, Eurozone, Commonwealth, English speaking areas, Ancient Roman countries, Anglo-Saxons, Germanic peoples, Vikings country, British empire, Dane and Norman conquests, Caucasians, Southern Europe, ... If each person is to start its intermediate or side-categories, where will we end ? --Foroa (talk) 15:24, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I suppose we could do so and I wouldn't object to it per-se. It is however very different to have such categorisation over the European Union which is a contemporary organisation that administers over member states in a federal capacity rather than say Ancient Rome which is not current (although perhaps if we were referring to the years in question then it would be so. My overriding point however remains that I do not see how the category in question impairs anybody elses search. Mtaylor848 (talk) 20:32, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support I agree that they are unnecessary, esp. in light of Foroa's comment. At a minimum, and even if the EU categories remain, the over-categorisation must be eliminated. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:10, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
J 1982 (talk) 23:11, 23 November 2011 (UTC) Symbol support vote.svg Support And if we must keep it, no such categories before 1993. It was not only a name change, OK the European parliament existed , but before 1993 it was mostly an international free trade agreement.
  • This discussion seems dead and should probably be closed. The original concern about over-categorisation was apparently because the EU categories had been added to the country-by-year categories. It seems that this has been fixed. Also since the member countries have been added to Category:Members_of_the_European_Union under European Union, then it's not inconsistent if the date categories have the same structure. The rest of the discussion is about whether the EU date categories are useful or not, and it seems that most people think they are not. However I wouldn't be inclined to delete them myself, because it seems that a few people think they are useful (namely Mtaylor848 and presumably the others who have been creating them), and it seems that they are now relatively harmless and easily ignored. Also there's a good chance somebody would just recreate them anyway. ghouston (talk) 06:28, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Closing as suggested since discussion is dead. ghouston (talk) 09:31, 27 November 2013 (UTC)