Talk:List of counties in Tennessee

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Featured list List of counties in Tennessee is a featured list, which means it has been identified as one of the best lists produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 21, 2008 Featured list candidate Not promoted
February 1, 2008 Featured list candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured list


Useful links[edit]

A potential resource for county contributors: http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/tn190090.txt - Population data for Tennessee counties, 1900-1990 Censuses.--orlady 04:48, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject help[edit]

Some helpful information on U.S. county lists can be found at WP:COUNTYLISTS. Tompw (talk) (review) 16:31, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I am placing this here on behalf of doxTxob who proposed that the lists List of Tennessee county seats and List of Tennessee county name etymologies be merged into this article to remove redundancy. This merge will also meet goals set by WP:COUNTYLISTS. Some lists to look at for possible ideas are List of counties in Nevada, List of counties in Maine, and List of counties in Arizona. Any of the featured lists on WP:COUNTYLISTS can be good sources of help. ~Dan9186 November 26, 2007 01:37 (UTC)

Looking at several of the lists I noticed that none of them use a template to create the table headers but rather they are all hard coded. I thought this was a bad idea and could be made easier with the use of a template so I spent most of the day building one. {{Countytabletop}} and {{Countyrow}} would be the two templates that we would wish to use to display all of the information from the three lists. Over the next week I will try and work on them but in case anyone else wishes to start on it I thought I would list the useful tools here. ~Dan9186 November 26, 2007 08:39 (UTC)

Complete - the merging of List of Tennessee county seats into List of counties in Tennessee, this leaves List of Tennessee county name etymologies to be merged -- Dan9186(TEC) 16:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Over time I will go through this source and add the established dates to the list but if anyone else wants to get a head start here is a good source for the established dates. Tennessee Blue Book Online -- Dan9186(TEC) November 28, 2007 18:41 (UTC)

Complete - the merging of List of Tennessee county name etymologies has been completed. I have also completed the creation dates for all of the counties as well. The only thing left is the Formed From, Population, and the Area columns. These items can be found on the Tennessee Blue Book links listed above. I will be putting them up over the weekend if no one else finishes them first. -- Dan9186(TEC) November 29, 2007 04:39 (UTC)

Age pyramid[edit]

Age pyramid[1]

For every county in the US there is an age pyramid image available from the Wikipedia commons. Would it make sense to put a small version of that image into the list of counties? The syntax for the image on the right is [[File:USA Shelby County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid.svg]]. Replace county name and state for all US states. doxTxob \ talk 05:21, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I think that would be information overkill. Keep such material to the county articles. -- Huntster T@C 06:48, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Clickable Map[edit]

I was looking through and noticed something interesting on the List of counties in Kentucky. They have a clickable map at the bottom of the list that you click on the county and it redirects you to the counties article. I don't know how useful it might be but I thought it was at least worth mentioning as a possible addition to our own list. -- Dan9186(TEC) December 14, 2007 23:11 (UTC)

Great feature. Looks like a lot of work, though. doxTxob \ talk 04:07, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Problem is, this is only useful for those people that have large screen resolution. It will just begin to scroll off the side of the page for anyone with a resolution under 1280x1024. It looks nice, but it loses its value to those working with less capable computers. I tend to hold that Wikipedia must be designed to work for everyone; text links work well enough. -- Huntster T@C 10:51, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have noticed the horizontal scroll in the Kentucky list and it should be avoided because horizontal scrolling is annoying. How about splitting the map? They do that on road maps, split Tennesse in the middle and print West TN on one side and East TN on the other side. Could that work better? It would probably look funny, though. What is the maximal width an image can have without forcing the horizontal scroll, by the way? doxTxob \ talk 00:15, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
That's sort of the problem with any large image…it will be too large to at least some viewers. That is why the thumbnail images here default to, I believe, 180px. This renders them visible to *everyone* without any scrolling. Also, remember too that excessively large images are going to take a lot of time to load on slower connections, though because the image would be a the bottom, presumably the viewer will be reading material above while it is loading. I guess I'd also question the real value of such an image, since each county should already have an image showing its position in the state, and thumbnail of File:Tennessee county maps.gif can simply be clicked on to enlarge. I'm not necessarily saying the image map should not be done, I'm just pointing out the usability problems that will go along with such an action, and strongly advise caution for any action taken. -- Huntster T@C 01:20, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it's too much effort for a work that might not be enjoyed by everyone. doxTxob \ talk 01:36, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
As doxTxob said I think it would be relatively easy to correct the image width issue by splitting it into sections. However instead of east and west I would think it would make a little more sense to do west, middle, and east like the state is usually split up. As for the location maps already in place the only benefit I would see for the image map is it would associate the location with the name a little better. Still you two do make a good point about how worth it the map would be. -- Dan9186(TEC) December 16, 2007 04:26 (UTC)

Featured list[edit]

I have nominated this list for featured list status. Please leave our opinion on the discussion page for the nomination: Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of counties in Tennessee. doxTxob \ talk 03:06, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the article is quite ready for featured content status yet. I'd like that generic sentence that says "A county is a local level of government smaller than a state and not smaller than a city or town, in a U.S. state or territory" to be replaced by a specific discussion of counties in Tennessee (how they are formed and what their functions are), and I'm bothered by the absence of good information on the "Indian lands" mentioned so many places in the table. --Orlady (talk) 04:06, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Compared to other lists of counties with featured status, this one looks very good to me. The generic sentence you mentioned is the definition of what a county is in the US of A. If we're talking counties, we all need to know what we're talking about. That is one of the principles of scientific writing: You have to reveal the best information in the summary already and you have to define key words that might be unknown to the casual reader. That is to make sure that the reader is enabled to understand the core terms and to determine if the topic is of interest for him or her or not. Imagine this scenario: The article List of counties in Tennessee is the first ever article you read on Wikipedia. If it does not explain what a county is, how useful would it be? Not very ...
Counties have different purposes and functions in the different U.S. states. That generic definition, which is similar to saying "larger than a breadbox but smaller than an elephant", is a reasonable start, but it fails to communicate much about what a "county" means in Tennessee. This could include the fact that the formation of each new county was authorized by the Tennessee General Assembly[1] or its predecessors (such as the North Carolina state legislature), that counties have important governmental functions under the state constitution and state law (this is not true of counties in every U.S. state), and that specific duties and powers of any particular county are set out in the the county charter and/or in private acts of the state legislature. (As a result, a person who is familiar with the operations of one county's government might be utterly confused by the way things work in a nearby county.)
Additionally, much could be written about the history of counties in Tennessee. For example, I found this interesting historical tidbit on the CTAS website: "For many years during the early portion of Tennessee's history, the county units of the state militia were a vital part of the peace keeping and law enforcement arm of the state, being subject to call when certain conditions existed. Acts of 1801, Chapter 87, Section 2, formed the first regiment of calvary for the district of Hamilton which was composed of Knox, Sevier, Blount, Roane and Anderson counties. Acts of 1803, Chapter 1, was a statewide militia law regulating and organizing all the county military units. The militia would be made up of freemen and indentured servants between the ages of 18 and 45, with certain people and professions being exempted from service." (I would not add that kind of information to this article without a lot more research; I merely describe it as an indication of the rich opportunities that exist.) --Orlady (talk) 17:33, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
The lack of explanation of Indian Land bothers me, too. That could be part of the introduction. But how to formulate it? Do you have an idea? Done
Ready or not, the nomination is in and I am confident. The discussion should reveal weak spots in the article and help to improve it. Support for the nomination is also welcome. doxTxob \ talk 04:32, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
The Library of Congress has a compilation of cessions of Indian lands at http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llss&fileName=4000/4015/llss4015.db&recNum=129 / This is the kind of information needed to flesh out that aspect of the article. --Orlady (talk) 17:14, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Based on 2000 census data