Commons:By location category scheme

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This is the category scheme for images, and other multimedia files which are classified by their placenames, with example placenames being countries, cities, provinces, states, and regions. The general pattern shall be: *"[object name] of [place name]"' (Where place name uses the spelling in the English Wikipedia). Specific category names with this pattern are not to be listed in this scheme.


Categories of the form "[Location adjective] [object]" are deprecated, and shall be transformed to the noun form with object stated first. The new pattern shall usually be "[object] of [Location name]".

Example: "Category:Luxembourgish politicians" becomes "Category:Politicians of Luxembourg".

(The full list of affected categories that shall be changed may be found here).

Preposition choice[edit]

"Of" is the preferred preposition. Existing prepositions that are uniformly used in current sets of category names shall be retained unless they are ambiguous or unless the impact of the change would be minor. In general, the location to be noted is the one that is judged to be of most interest to the greatest audience. This choice can in some cases force the use of an alternate preposition (See discussion of "occupations" below). The following rules will generally be followed:

  • Location When [object] "of" [place name] means location in which the object may currently be found, then "in" shall be used.
  • National Origin If the placename connotes place of origin, then use of "from" is required where "of" is ambiguous. For example: Paintings of Russia can be taken to mean depictions of Russian landscape and so becomes Paintings from Russia. In other cases, "from" may be preferable for other reasons such as inclusiveness of members who originated in a country but no longer are "of" that country. Any term referring to people should generally use "of", rather than "from". Occupations will use "from" unless the personage has some tie to the country, then "of" shall be used (e.g. Kings of England). See Commons:Category scheme People for more details.
  • Cultural designations which are associated with no longer existing geographical entities shall be associated with their locations.
    • "Byzantine" → "the Byzantine Empire"
    • "Trojan" → "Troy"
  • Style associated with a distinct geographical entity. EG.
    • "Chinese Architecture" → "Architecture of China".
type example (incorrect) example (correct) pattern
Location: "London Sculptures". "Sculptures in London". [object] in [location name]
National origin things "Mexican music" "Music of Mexico" [object] of [location name]
National origin people "Russians" "People of Russia" [People] of [location name]
National origin occupations "Russian Dancers" "Dancers from Russia" [Occupation] from [location name]
Cultural styles "Byzantine art" "Art of the Byzantine Empire" [Art form] of [location name]

Excluded from this scheme[edit]

  • Ethnic: E.g.: Jewish/Arab/Latino Painters. Such adjectives unassociated with some precise location and are out of the scope of this scheme. No change.
  • Language: Where the term refers to a language, this non geographic meaning falls outside the scope of this scheme. EG: "Category:Chinese radicals" refers to a component of Chinese language characters, not political extremists of China.
  • Fossilized Expressions: Adjectival forms which are found in phrases which have become well established over time may be excluded. EG: "French Revolution", "Greek Gods", "Spanish-American War", "Mexican food".

Place names[edit]

There's no consens about policy to follow with proper nouns, but there are mainly two proposed criteria. There exists some traditional English exonyms still used nowadays to refer non-English-speaker places or geographical areas (i.e. "Category:Firenze" redirects to "Category:Florence"). For further information about toponym names in English, please, see Exonym and endonym (from en:wp).

Proposal A: English Wikipedia as authority[edit]

Due to the rule that category names have to be in a single language, and English was chosen as the category language, some users purposed that the English Wikipedia should be the authority on place names used in categories. Note that this will sometimes contradict actual names used by residents. We may know it is really Firenze, Venezia, or Wien, but if you feel strongly- argue it on En:Wikipedia. In order to maintain a consistent usage of Category names, the English Wiki's designation shall prevail. Note: this is not the rule that applies to articles, (our "gallery pages").

Proposal B: Apply same exceptions on articles from Commons:Language policy[edit]

The second main criteria states that using en:wp as authority could imply to apply biased points of view of the world from English-speaker people and countries in a project that aims to be multicultural and multilingual (i.e., see Category talk:Eivissa for Ibiza). Although English language would be used for categories, users working under this criteria (mainly non-English speakers) have purposed to apply the same exceptions ruled for titles of articles (see Commons:Language policy).

It means, as in titles for articles, here would be exceptions when a title of a category is a proper noun, such name and surnames of persons (native), the name of a plant or an animal (Latin binomial), a title of an artwork (original language), or a toponym (native). According to "Exonym and endonym" from wp:en, the United Nations discourages the usage of exonyms.

In the other hand, some other users have an intermediate position: only when there was a strong demand by users to translate it, this English name could be used as a title of category (i.e. Category:Sevilla isn't translated to Category:Seville, because there's no such demand).

Other problem cases[edit]

  • For historical, no longer existing entities: Use the name of the entity as it appears in the En:Wikipedia. E.g.: "Yugoslavia", "the Soviet Union", "the Confederate States of America", "the Ottoman Empire", "the Aztec Civilization".
  • Greek Sculpture, Architecture: Do not use "Ancient Greece" unless "Ancient Greek" is explicitly indicated.
Greek → Greece: In all other cases where category also includes modern Greek object or people.
  • "Roman Sculpture, Architecture, Military" → "Sculpture from en:Ancient Rome": Note - no article on Roman civilization, and Roman Empire is too specific.
  • "English" → "England": If its peer categories are other UK regions such as Wales. Otherwise, "the United Kingdom".
  • "American", "U.S." → "the United States": Not the long form "United States of America"
  • "Baltic" → "the Baltics"
  • "Czech" → "the Czech Republic": Assumption is made that Czech was being used properly, and that Czechoslovakian was not intended. But "the Czech Republic" is quite unfitting for historic themes and context (before 1993, or 1969) – "Czech lands" can be more suitable but too archaic, "Czechia" is controversial
  • "Czechoslovakian" or "Czechoslovak" → "Czechoslovakia" (the former country)
  • "Irish" → "Ireland"

Collection names[edit]

  • "by city": for categorization purposes this grouping shall refer to any settlement as large as a megalopolis or as small as a village.
  • "by nationality", “by Country”: These categories shall be renamed "by country".