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Subject: Location - precision, altitude, and administrative area



Now that the discussion on location precision has subsided, it seems like the closest thing we have to consensus is that the precision field should be optional and, if it’s not present, the precision is unspecified (i.e. no default). A consuming tool can then provide its own defaults and treat it how it thinks best. I realize this isn’t what everyone wanted, but it did seem like the most common either first or second-best option.


We do have two other questions to resolve:


1. Are there any use cases for an altitude property?

Altitude has been suggested once but we discussed it on a working call and there didn’t seem to be anything clear. Given that you can currently represent an address (including floor/etc) and lat/lng, are there any use cases that require an altitude specifically?


2. Should we use ISO-3166-2 for administrative area?

This was suggested on a TC call…we currently have said we’ll use ISO-3166-1 for country code, but 3166 also includes a set of values for administrative area (state, province, etc.). For example, an ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code is “us”, while an ISO 3166-2 area code would be “US-NY”.


There are some pros and cons to doing ISO-3166-2. The pros are obviously that it’s an international standard and provides a good set of values to use. That said, it isn’t in as much common use as ISO-3166-1 (country codes) is and so people will need to figure out how to find and use it.



My points of view on these:


  1. I can’t think of any use cases for altitude…address provides the best way to describe people on a certain floor/room in a building.
  2. We shouldn’t use ISO-3166-2 for administrative area, it’s not commonly used enough and I don’t think the value of having defined properties for that field outweighs the downside of people doing it wrong or having to figure out what it is.




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