User:Tonestertm/Place Name Harmonization

From Wazeopedia


The main purpose of Place Name Harmonization is to standardize chain and franchise naming as much as possible, across regions (State, RC area, Country...) The goal is to create a consistent User Experience so that a user can search a business name anywhere and receive an optimal set of results, unhindered by different regional naming, misspelling, or otherwise incorrectly named businesses.

An additional feature to date (July 2015) has been an attempt to standardize the Category(-ies) assigned to these businesses. This aspect will need further discussion, as there has been some disagreement thus far, due to the relatively limited nature of our Category list.


The following is current as of July 14, 2015, and recommendations are welcomed. For the purpose of discussion a GHO has been established.

As it stands now, the system consists of two Google Sheets workbooks, with submission forms, not unlike the Closures system. Any user can submit a suggested name for a business through the form. It is then reviewed on the Submission sheet by an assigned moderator and accepted, modified or rejected. Accepted and modified entries are copy/pasted to the Master List. From the Master List, results are then filtered by State, RC region, or National, or combinations of the above, and can be displayed for editors to reference when adding or editing places and PURs. Suggested location is in a State or Regional Wiki page, but other options could work.

At present, submissions are entered and reviewed by Region, as defined by the RC areas. Each submission contains an option to mark states where a business is known to operate, or to mark the entire region, if most or all of the states within that region apply.

There is also a "National consideration" check box which will ultimately submit the given name to all regions to consider as an accepted National name -- the ultimate goal. The moderators will have the opportunity to accept or reject that name for their area, and when either unanimity or a critical mass (to be decided) is reached, that naming will become standard for the country, and these results will be displayed in all lists.

Work to do now

Each RC will need to appoint a moderator or moderators (which can include themselves, if they so desire). In an effort to limit damage to the database, moderators will be the only ones with direct access to edit the Master List.

Each RC should approve or submit their three letter Region Code in the chart below -- these were only chosen as placeholders. Once we get going, these will be a lot harder to change, so please do this before we get your region set up!

Each Moderator will need to review the list of existing names and decide whether they approve or disapprove of the current names and categories. This will be done in such a way that their Region Code can be added to the appropriate lines in the table with a minimum of effort. Contact tonestertm when ready to complete this task.

Future Plans

In the works is a system which will hopefully do away with copy/pasting and will allow the moderator to simply set a cell value for each new submission on a Moderation page (Approved/Rejected/Moderate).

  • "Approved" entries will be dynamically gathered in a master listing, from which the regional and/or national display lists can be filtered, and suggested National entries can be passed on to other regions for approval.
  • "Rejected" entries will be hidden/removed to another page/deleted (to be discussed).
  • "Moderate" entries will be kept in the moderation list for corrections/research/further discussion, but not accumulated in the Master List nor displayed on the given region's sheet.

It is also hoped that eventually this information will be used by the Places Browser, so that incorrectly named places can be flagged. Don't hold your breath on this part, though....

Harmonization information

In the sheet below are links for each region's relevant info.

  • Live Form - For users to submit missing businesses (this is also available in a link on the regional name lists)
  • Sheet Embed Code - Can be dropped straight into a Wiki page for embedding the filtered region lists (Looks something like the embed below)
  • Full Page Link - Opens the filtered region list in a full-width window, not limited by Wiki sizing. ( see the example below the following chart)

View this list full-screen in Google Sheets