Geographical Names

It is not the intention of the editors to take a position with regard to the political or diplomatic implications of geographical names or continental groupings used.

The names of countries used may not be the complete official names of those countries. The geographical names used are chosen for the sake of brevity and common usage.

Wherever possible, the country (or territory) name preferred by the organization concerned is used, providing this is possible within the limits of standardization required for mailing or statistical purposes.

It is important to note that some organizations insist on the inclusion of territories on the same basis as countries, or on the inclusion of countries or territories that are not recognized - whether under the specified name or indeed as a definable area at all - by other organizations.

Giving precedence as much as possible to the organization’s preferences may lead to what appears to be duplication, as one geographical area may, according to some parties, have more than one possible name. Some geographical names used in this database may not, strictly speaking, even refer to geographical areas. An example is groups “in exile”, namely a group identifying itself by the name of a sovereign State but not actually present in that State.

Political changes over the years may lead to some questions in an organization’s description. Briefly: countries referred to in an organization’s description retain their old form when referring to a date prior to the change – for example, towns referred to in events prior to 1991 still retain their country as German DR (Democratic Republic) or Germany FR (Federal Republic), while subsequent dates refer simply to Germany.