Open main menu

Wikimedia Commons β

Category talk:Belgium


Main categorisation in BelgiumEdit

Belgium is a relatively small country, comparable to many states in the United states, departments in France, Lander in Germany, provinces in Canada, Italy and Spain, ... Most of them are not subdivided in other subregions. The structures as described below are stable since September 2007.

There is a clear consensus of Belgian users not to divide Belgium in subcategories as for example per province, for several reasons:

  • Provinces are mainly administrative, play a small role in Belgium and might, like in Italy, disappear within a couple of years.
  • Because of its density, provinces are not very clearly delimited and with its 2700+ cities and towns (and 2000 hamlets), most people don't know the exact province from the many cities and villages.
  • A simple two level country/location structure allows for categorisation without knowing anything about the Belgian structure. As for postal letters that are adressed by location/country, most images contain only that location information.
  • As we can see in many bigger countries, a three level categorisation system is difficult to maintain as most categories start of as a two level one and are converted later to a three level category, creating quite some confusion as the category system evolves continuously from a two to a three level system.
  • We have been playing with the idea to subdivide Belgium in Flemish, French, German and Capital regions, but this level would only reduce the category sizes by a factor of 2 to 2,5 while potentially creating all sorts of politicial conflicts, which do not exist with the current system.

Consequently, Category:Cities and villages in Belgium just contains all the categories related to any location in Belgium. We have been playing with the idea of changing the name in Category:Populated places in Belgium, "Locations in Belgium", ... But it seemed better to stick to the then major standard Category:Cities and villages by country.

Category:Belgium and all major Belgian cities and regions are optimised and tuned for easy and quick navigation to specific locations: on the top left of those categories, you can reach any place in two to three clicks without having a clue about the complex country organisation.

The system is not perfect, some categories need be revised, but it is generally accepted as the best compromise and the most friendly for efficient categorisation and navigation.

On the bottom right of Category:Belgium, underneath the ~ tilde symbol, we have the side categories that are mainly related to wikipedia and the Belgian category maintenance. Category:categories of Belgium allows for quick navigation in "Belgian" categories without knowing the tree structures.

Secondary categorisations in BelgiumEdit

Territorial categorisations in BelgiumEdit

A secondary categorisation in Belgium is organised as a territorium structure that corresponds roughly with the administrative dependencies. Category:Belgium and all major Belgian cities and regions are optimised and tuned for easy and quick navigation to specific locations: on the top left of those categories, one can easily navigate to the next subdivisions:

  • Country --> Regions --> Provinces --> Municipalities --> Villages --> Hamlets/parishes.

In principle, all provinces and municipalities in Belgium have been completed around 2008.

Politically speaking, the German community is not on its right place (belongs to Wallonia), but we prefer that the German community feel at an equal level and have equally easy navigation.

Political categorisations in BelgiumEdit

Politics in Belgium are complex and the regions (territory related competences) and Communities (language/people related competences) are not simple to categorise. The good point is that politics are kind of abstract and don't show up very much in the categories. They can be found in Category:Subdivisions of Belgium but lead quickly to the territorial category system above.

Problem with BrusselsEdit

As one can see in en:Brussels (disambiguation) Brussels is a region, capital and pseudo-province (161 km2), a city and municipality (32 km2), the city center (+- 16 km2), the old city center/village (+- 4 km2), the very old city center/village (+- 1 km2), but again, few people know the detailed differences, even less the precise borders, so these dimensions are all grouped, by necessity, in one single category:Brussels. So because Brussels has several hats, it is normal that it appears at several levels.

Category:Brussels (city area) has been added. As all areas (communes) in Brussels, it is a side category, not a hierarchical category: all major items remain in the Brussels category tree, but the items that are clearly pertaining to a commune are linked there as well. --Foroa (talk) 05:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Categories used in BelgiumEdit

Because people are dropping all the time new "xxx in Belgium" categories, a flat list of categories pertaining to Belgium ("Category:xxx in/of Belgium") is badly needed. Category:Categories of Belgium in Category:Meta categories by country seems to be the best compromise. Maintenance of that list might be a problem. --Foroa (talk) 15:13, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Cities in BelgiumEdit

As can be seen in en:City status in Belgium, city is a honorary title given to 70 or so villages or municipalities in Belgium (the smallest has 1000 inhabitants). Because frequently, people throw out villages that don't have the city status, all "... by city" categories have been replaced by "... by location" categories. (Category:Categories of Belgium by location). --Foroa (talk) 18:19, 14 April 2011 (UTC)


For cities and villages, significant churches, castles, town halls, ... basically, the primary need for categories is to have lists by name, followed by lists by location. All this under the assumption that all items will get eventually encapsulated in their own category, which is confirmed every day. As a secondary need, we see "side-categories" to cover the "by type/style/model" needs.

Nature of BelgiumEdit

Mostly in "nature of Belgium by location". Nature should certainly not be subdivided in provinces, they are more naturally categorized in the various natural Category:Regions of Belgium, many of them being natural regions (Polders, Kempen, Meetjesland, Hesbaye/Haspengouw, Hautes Fagnes, Gaume ...) that are categorised on the top of Category:Nature of Belgium by location. --Foroa (talk) 06:19, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

This category at the moment also contains a category "Nature of Wallonia"; Wallonia however doesn't seem very much of a natural region. In case it is anyway, than there can also be categories like "Nature of Flanders (Belgium)", "Nature of Brabant (Belgium)", "Nature of Limburg (Belgium)", etcetera. Limbico (talk) 19:42, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Nature of Wallonia contains about 20 images and, I checked, has not changed since 6 months. This category will disappear over time. As far as I remember, there has never been an attempt from Belgian users to create a nature of Flanders or by province category for the simple reason that natural regions don't fit in well with administrative/political organisations. --Foroa (talk) 07:06, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
1) Why should a catagory be removed, because it hasn't been changed for months? It can be perfect, so that it doesn't have to be changed any more.
2) It's not relevant what Belgian users did or did not; Commons is an international project to all subjects of which users of all nationalities can contribute.
3) As for the prescribed possibility to create province catagories relevant to whatever a country, see what is said in sub section "A few questions and remarks about what is posed above" above. Limbico (talk) 03:38, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


Please see: Commons:Deletion requests/Category:Countries by category. It discusses Belgium categories. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

A few questions and remarks about what is posed aboveEdit

1) Who wrote all this and where has it been discussed before, resulting in the mentioned "clear consensus of Belgian users"?

I wrote the above as it is the result of many years of categorisation work and structuring in Belgian categories; it is the reflection of a consensus and a de facto standard. With the exception of churches, there has never been a request from Belgian users to create by province categories as that would add hundreds of intermediate categories without additional value. The basic point is that nobody of Belgium expressed a need to search a collection of items that pertain to one single province. It should be noted that there are in each province specific categories for items that specifically belong to the province and that each municipality is categorised in its own province, each town and hamlet in its municipality.
An example of the additional intermediate complexity can be seen in Category:Sculptures in the Netherlands: some categories are country wide, some per province, some per city, some per subject.
This is not to say that province categories are completely excluded; they will be naturally created when the country level structure is no longer manageable and need further subdivisions to keep it manageable. --Foroa (talk) 07:23, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

2) Wp Commons has no national editions in which (mostly) national users to a certain extend can make their own kind of rules. It has one kind of general rules and in those rules there (presumably) is nothing that allows administrators to prevent other users from making province catagories in one single country, the way it is most usual in all other countries.

3) "departments in France, Lander in Germany, provinces in Canada, Italy and Spain, ... Most of them are not subdivided in other subregions".

Belgium is a country like also Canada, Italy, Spain and many others are and it, like them, (administratively) is divided in provinces. Why sould the fact that provinces in certain countries are as big as some relatively small countries be a reason not to have province catagories in those not so big countries? Wouldn't this even be dicriminative?

4) "most people don't know the exact province from the many cities and villages."

Most people don't contribute to Commons. In case they don't know in which province a certain town is situated, they (should) have the opportonity to be informed about this by both Wp and Commons. If any users don't know in which province Belgian places are situated they might look it up or contribute to other subjects.

5) "A simple two level country/location structure allows for categorisation without knowing anything about the Belgian structure."

Administrative devision in provinces has nothing to do with "the (somewhat complicated) Belgian structure". Therefore catagorisation in also provinces is quite as easy as far as concerns Belgium, as it is in case of other countries. Limbico (talk) 02:35, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Limbico. I doubt the fact that few people "requested" to create categories means there is also clear consensus. And the arguments given in the "consensus" are a bit strange. For example, mentioning French departments disregards French regions, and Spain has both communities and provinces as well. Likewise Italy has regions and provinces. So other countries have several levels of subdivisions too. Most people don't know the exact province of a place? Nor would I know this of a place in France, so let's just categorise every French village in one category as well. SPQRobin (talk) 04:21, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Return to "Belgium" page.