Cultural-specific place types

I’m adding my people’s traditional nomadic settlements to places so that I can create a project for them, but this leads to the question what are they? Is a nomadic settlement with a few structures and pastures a town? If it is a census-designated place does it count as a town? What about depopulated ancestral settlement sites? I find I lack the place types to name these, if I mark census designated spots as a Local administrative area, how do I label the others?


I’ve created a few places within iNaturalist (maybe six?), but I’ve yet to create a place that fits neatly into an existing place type. I have not yet encountered a circumstance where the place type matters, so I just pick something that seems less wrong. I’ll be curious to hear how others handle this, but for me the place type is a hoop easily jumped through.


I second what @dlevitis said. I don’t even know what to sort parks I create. I hope that the designation is not very important to you. If it is, maybe you can add a feature request?


For that sort of place you might want to look through some anthropological literature to see how anthropologists refer to those types of places. It would give you a term to apply if nothing else.

I’d be tempted to mark them as something along the lines of “Traditional Indigenous Use Area”, possibly with the addition of the cultural group’s name.

However, as a former anthropologist who did some fieldwork work in archaeology I’d be wary of marking such sites on a publicly accessible forum such as iNat due to the prevalence of people artifact poachers. We never made any of our sites available to the public when I was doing archaeology work (back in the early 90s, so before most people had internet) and the sites would still be found and robbed on a regular basis.

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“Traditional Indigenous Use Area” is not an option. I also don’t think “census-designated place” is appropriate, as that definition is specific to the United States. I would recommend “historical town” for the depopulated ancestral settlement sites, and maybe “town” for the current settlements. It’s not exactly right, but it’s probably close enough to work.


That would be a good type if it was listed and I’m surprised that nothing like that is since there’s so many different designations.
The settlements are already visible on many online maps, the ones still populated are somewhat assimilated and the abandoned ones are often popular hiking locations, though there isn’t much left to take and I couldn’t see anyone finding anything they could sell there. If anything, they will eventually be mined over, sadly.

I’ve been using “local administrative area” for those that appear on the census, their appearance on the census is a large sign of assimilation and a sign that there are still people living there, but the majority of them, I’m not sure you could call towns. The Spanish word “población”, just broadly a populated area, works great and it’s on the English site as an option but that seems to be a possible bug, the website doesn’t like it very much when I choose that one and it appears as a translation error.
Maybe “historical town” will work for the depopulated ones, I’m surprised there is nothing denoting a heritage site, archaeological site, or general historical site, but I’ve been using “miscellaneous” up until now and it’s not very helpful to categorize them and find them again.

If you come up with a term or category that you would like to use, you could post a feature request to have it added. I noticed there was a lot of duplication in that field, and came to the conclusion that the list was probably built from values picked up by imports of places from various external sources.

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Yeah I saw that, there are duplicates that have no capitalization. I’d have to think of a good name, I think there is the possibility to make a broader category that could fit other things that can’t be categorized like ruins, archaeology sites, and sacred land, and the only thing I can think of is heritage site, but I’m sure there is something better.

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