The following was originally posted to the discussion page of WP:OCAT as a personal short essay explaining handling the subdividing Category:People from California into occupational groupings within Category:California people by occupation. At the suggestion of some editors I'm archiving the post here as an essay for reference.

Regarding interesection of state and occupation[edit]

I've been in the process of reviewing and completing the scheme for Category:California people by occupation which was set up a while back as a way to index the exceptionally large Category:People from California by occupation. Since the work I'm doing on that category is somewhat related to the recent discussion of intersection by location, I thought I'd share some comments on the goals of a scheme like Category:California people by occupation and how it relates to OCAT.

OCAT is obviously correct that in most cases you don't need to divide topics by geographical boundary. That's especially true for topics whose categories aren't particularly large and for geographic boundaries that are particularly small. For example, I don't think most cities or even most states need a complete by-occupation subdivision because the number of articles involved isn't really large enough to make it all that useful. And for some occupations the fact that the person is in one city versus another city doesn't make a big difference.

However, for really, really large geographical categories of biographies it can be useful to create a subdivision scheme by occupation. Think of it from a reader's perpective using the category system. If I'm a reader interested in perusing articles on notable Californians, for example, I'm fairly likely to want to view bios about people in similar professions rather than just a big alphabetical list by name. (Another likely scenario would be that I'd want to view people within specific cities or counties, but I'll stick to occupations here.) I might want to read about artists from the state, or about businesspeople or military people, etc., depending on what my specific interest is. So rather than present the reader with a massive phonebook like directory of names of Californians, it's useful to group those names into broad occupational subcategories. Thus instead of placing someone in Category:People from California, they would appear in Category:California writers.

For such a scheme to be useful, it needs to completely cover all the biographies, meaning that theoretically all bios should fit within one of the subcategories. In order to achieve this, the categories need to be broad, top level occupational groupings similar to those in Category:People by occupation. In fact, using top level groupings from Category:People by occupation is a way to make sure that the scheme is consistent with similar occupational schemes. The goal is to keep each of the occupational categories as broad as possible while still covering all the bios. (The current set seems to do a pretty good job on that front.)

So in regards to avoiding category clutter and overly specific categories, I think the keys here when considering occupational subdivision schemes for a region are:

Anyway, I thought that with all the back and forth in the last few days on this guideline on the wording for Intersection by location, I thought I'd provide a specific example of an exception to the rule and how I've been handling it to help reduce potential conflicts and maintain a scheme for a particular state that is hopefully more useful to the reader than just a huge list of names. I think you really have to look closely at any given state or city case by case before pursuing a complete subdivision. And likewise you'd have to carefully consider whether

Well, back to the cleanup I've been doing. But hopefully this is some food for thought on things to consider regarding specific occupations-by-state and occupations-by-city schemes. Dugwiki 16:12, 16 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]