It's early days yet, but here at Stanford we are starting work on a suite of spatial and geographic plugins for Blacklight (http://projectblacklight.org; planned name GeoBlacklight), and part of that work has included changing our local cataloging practice to reference GeoNames (http://www.geonames.org) URIs instead of place name strings in our records. Our hope is that this will allow us to index records at multiple levels of specificity within a hierarchy, allowing for the kind of "broader term" selection that I think you're describing. This will also allow us to index all of the names a place might be known by (e.g., different cultures have different names for the same place), as well as a place's previous names (e.g., Istanbul vs Constantinople).
We are still in the design and prototyping stage of this, but all of our work is free and open source, and we hope to have something to share with the broader community within the year.
I hope this helps.
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Manager, Application Development
Digital Library Systems & Services
Stanford University Library
On Feb 12, 2014, at 5:47 AM, "Harper, Cynthia" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Is anyone doing any work that would make it possible to broaden a geographic search in a discovery layer? For instance, broadening specific country subheadings into a continent search? Just wondering.
> Cindy Harper
> Electronic Services and Serials Librarian
> Virginia Theological Seminary
> 3737 Seminary Road
> Alexandria VA 22304
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