1.a Numeric Key Value
From a data management point of view, the unique “name” of each entity is a numeric key value that is linked to all of the information about its attributes and history in each table of the database.
1.b. Place Name
In order to improve the human readability of the database, we have recorded a default name in Chinese characters and pinyin transliteration in addition to the Numeric Key Value. The default entity names are normally the names that appear as headwords in the Alphabetical List. However, the default name may represent only one of many monikers that a particular place held during its history. The additional names that an entity held during its Song existence are listed in the Historical Instance table.
1.c. Parent Place Name
The DGSD records the name of each entity’s parent and the parent’s parent entity for purposes of disambiguation. For instance, there are eight counties or towns known as Anhua (安化). The parent and second level parent fields clearly distinguish them based on their unique location in the Song spatial hierarchy. Parent-child relationships changed frequently during the Song, and the full information appears in the Historical Instance table under the Prefecture and Circuit fields.The Parent Place Name information in the Entity table, based on Hope Wright’s original entries, is strictly for disambiguation purposes.
The Notes field of the Entity table preserves the original Hope Wright entry for each entity. This improves fidelity to the original reference work, aids in disambiguation, and facilitates error checking.