Calling all geo-geeks!

Seasons greetings, fellow geo-geeks! Here’s my problem. Right now, I have organized OurAirports like this:

world : continent *
continent : country *
country : region *
region : airport *

It’s the kind of neat data structure that people like me love, but that never quite works. First of all, not every country is divided into regions (provinces/states/etc.) and I don’t always know what region an airport is in, but I deal with that by adding an “Unassigned” pseudo-region to every country.

More importantly, not every country belongs to a single continent. The most obvious exceptions are Russia and Turkey, both of which span Europe and Asia, but there may be others that I haven’t thought of.

So here are my questions:

  1. Are there any countries besides Russia and Turkey that span more than one continent?
  2. Are there any subdivisions of the above countries that span more than one continent? For example, does Turkey have a province, or does Russia have an oblast that lies in both Asia and Europe?

I’m trying to figure out if I can link regions to continents, or if I have do have a link from every single airport.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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3 Responses to Calling all geo-geeks!

  1. Ross says:

    What about exclaves and dependent territories? Britain has dependent islands all over the shop, including Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands which sports a UK ICAO code (EGYP) and has a small scheduled service. Spain has two cities in North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla), the latter of which has an airport (though its ICAO code, GEML, is correct for NW Africa). Don’t forget NZSP, either 😉

  2. david says:

    Thanks, Ross and Ed. I found that Wikipedia has already answered my question in excruciating detail, and it’s a mess — not only do many countries and even subdivisions overlap continents, but there’s not always full agreement on what continents some areas belong to.

    The enclaves and other foreign territories aren’t always a problem, because many of them have their own ISO 3166 codes, so OurAirports treats them as separate countries. Here are some examples:

    Falkland Islands
    St. Pierre and Miquelon
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

    Melilla and the Canary Islands don’t have a separate code from Spain, however, so those need to be dealt with. When a country has a military base on another country’s territory (hostile or otherwise), I assign the base to the host country, so Leeward Point Field at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station is assigned to Cuba, even though the U.S. controls the field, and RAF Akrotiri is assigned to Cyprus.

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