Commons:Project London

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Capital of England

Project London was started with the prime intention of rationalizing the London category system, so to enable the back log of London images to be diffused with more ease. It can also serve as a place for general problems regarding London images to be brought to for discussion.

City of London skyline from London City Hall - Oct 2008.jpg
Tower Bridge

Diffusing images of London[edit]

I am going to introduce an additional set of new categories. It would be handy to have some help and preferable from fellow Londoners so that this doesn't have to be explained in detail but can just be got on with.

For those that can help here is the background:

It is evidently proving difficult, for most image up-loader to provide a location category any more precise than London. A very large back log in uncategorised images (mostly photos) has thus accumulated. So I am going to create as many parents and child cats as I can to provide a ready made place for the use of newbies and the dead plain lazy. This will also make it easier for us to go through the backlog with Hotcats.

One aspect that I found confused some people was the very existence of the category “Districts of London.” So, last year I gave them their proper name of “London borough of ...” However, these are not strictly districts 'of' London but districts which fall within London, since they are really and legally self-governing subdivisions of the UK --another source for creating confusion. To be boringly pedantic: the only formal 'London districts' since their abolition and the creation of the w:en:Greater London Authority (GLA) are the Education and Police districts -both of which are not very useful for our purposes. Then there are the ad hoc areas which are being created all the time, such as “Business Development Districts”. So to use such a lose word as 'district' in WC is not wise. Also, the urbanisation of London is so dense that the old districts are rapidly losing their identity. This is an important practical point: I have found that even local people are no longer sure of exactly where the boundaries of their old district lay for the lack of any modern-day visual clues.

As an aside:
The Parliamentary Bill to have these old names and boundaries preserved by the use street signs failed. Historic :Counties, Towns and Villages (Traffic Signs and Mapping) Bill.
Some councils are putting up their own signs saying Welcome to... such an' such, but the placement of these do not seem to follow any fixed rule and so should be ignored for any purpose other than as a :rough guide.

However, these old names are still used informally and are essential for historic images, so I want to maintain them to provided both a comprehensive coverage of London and to align roughly with the place names used Wikipedia articles ( WP started to sort through this category naming problem some three years ago but progress seems to have slowed down a bit).

A suitable 'size' division for the outer London area would be those of Category: London region postal towns. Due to the way that the Royal Mail evolved, the corresponding equivalent in the inner area is: Category:London town postal districts. The child cats to any of these are unlikely to need further subdivision. Also, any omission will be easy to spot and add correctly. The wording of the cats has been chosen carefully to avoid having to debate this at length in the future. Best of all, Royal Mail boundaries tend to stay put and retain the same name, unlike the constant gerrymandering that goes on with the other boundary lines in London.

What this mean for a modern day photographer is that s/he needs to look no further than the nearest street name plate to find the postal town or the letter/number code giving the sub-district; e.g., WC2. It appears in the lower right hand corner of all the signs.

Currently, for a would-be user of WC it is difficult to find London images on WC by location, unless looking for a well known landmark. This user un-friendlessness defeats the raison d' être of WC somewhat. What this change means for the picture researcher wanting to search by location, is that they can look forward to getting returns from the formal Royal Mail address which nearly always appears on their brief. At the same time, this avoids the problem of 'place' were the Royal Mail has dropped the district name from the formal address in their drive to force the use of shorter and shorter addresses to speed up letter sorting.

Finally. When this is finished, the Category:Districts of London should be renamed to Category:Places in London so that it can contain any large housing or industrial estates and any other well defines areas that editors think warrant their own category. The names of the outer London postal towns and the inner London postal district names might as well appear in this category too, because by common usage, they have come to refer to approximately the same area.

For more information explaining the London postal region see:w:en:London postal district


Example of child cat to the above Category:London W5, Category:London WC2,.. etc.