Geographical Place

CIDOC-CRM class C13

What is a "Geographical Place" & how to use it

The class "Geographical Place" refers to portions of the surface of the Earth. This portions can be covered by water (river, sea…), forest or other land. The more specific identity of instances of this class is provided by a fixed vocabulary of "geographical place" kinds.

The pre-defined kinds of geographical places are:

  • Region

  • Settlement

  • Legal Territory

  • Natural Element

  • Address

  • Infrastructure surface area

  • Section

Hint: You can further describe and classify your Geographical Place by associating them with Classifications (country, city, village, etc.) with your own vocabulary. In order to do this, the vocabulary must be set up in the Controlled Vocabularies settings.

Add a Geographical place

Basics fields

Three fields are mandatory to add a Geographical Place :

  • Its naming, that can be associated with a time-span (it comes useful to refer, for example, to Byzantium, Constantinople or Istanbul).

  • A short definition that allows other users (and even you) to understand what it is.

  • the kind of geographical place that further defines the nature of that Geographical place.

Note that kinds have to be chosen from a fixed list: Region, Settlement, Legal Territory, Natural Element, Address, Infrastructure surface area, Section. Find below the definition and examples for each type of kind.


A geographical area whose unity is defined by physical features or by the results of human activity (economy, production system). It is conceived here in generic terms and may be natural, historical, economic, etc. It is therefore a bona fide object, meaning that it can be observed objectively, that there is a certain physical discontinuity between the entity and its environment (see Varzi, Achille, "Boundary", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Boundary ). This does not mean that the boundaries of the place must be clearly defined; they may be vague or uncertain. For example, the Geneva region, i.e. the area of land around the city of Geneva, does not have clearly defined or identifiable boundaries, but is based on an objective and identifiable reality. The legal territory of the city of Geneva, on the other hand, is a fiat object, i.e. an artificial place that exists only in a sphere dependent on the human mind: what does or does not belong to this legal territory has a reality only in the social world (see Varzi, Achille, "Boundary", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Boundary).


  • The coalfields of northern France

  • The Mediterranean region Scandinavia

  • The Geneva region, which may include neighboring regions, notably in France (unlike the territory of the canton of Geneva)

  • The Lake Geneva basin

Hint: A lot of Geographical Place are already the Geovistory data-bank. Add and open existing Geographical Place in your Project easily by checking the list of suggested entities (screenshot below).


Hint: If georeference data are filled in, then your Construction will appear on the map available in the analysis module.

By clicking on Advanced form, you will have access to some Specific Fields, such as the georeference. This is where you can give the GPS data of the Geographical Place (latitude and longitude) in a WGS84 format.

Important: If you re-use a Geographical Place already entered by another user, you will be able to retrieve the GPS coordinates if they have been recorded. A window suggesting you to add the Georeference will appear. You are free to use them or ignore them and create new coordinates.

You can activate profiles in order to make use of other classes of interest. The following profiles might be interesting to use in connection with geographical places:

Hint: Find here the complete list of available profiles.

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