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I am trying to divide the world space to geographic sub-space from "general" to "specific" locations and without using latitude and longitude information. That is, I am trying to think about the world in someway like the following:

The most "general sub-space" > ... > The most "specific sub-space"


Continent > State > Region > ... > City > Town > Address
  1. What is (are) the most used "division approach(es)"?

  2. What is (are) the most efficient "division approach(es)"?

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"To what end" ... would go a long way to assisting in a reasoned answer. – Dan Patterson May 1 '11 at 3:57
up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is a problem that everyone solves with a slight difference. IMHO, Yahoo did a great job with WOEIDs.

As far as what is the most efficient way, it seems the answer is too subjective and dependent on your application.

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