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Why does CountryData[] think that Svaldbard is a country?

Posted 11 years ago
I was showing off Mathematica's capabilities to someone by making a quick and dirty geographic travelling salesman calculation complete with mapping, when I noticed that Mathematica thinks that both Svalbard and the Isle of Man are separate countries.  Why is this?  Is this a bug?

CountryData["Europe"] includes both "IsleOfMan" (part of UK) and "Svalbard" (part of Norway).  Is this a bug?  The documentation says that CountryData knows countries and "country like entities", so I thought that these are separate because they are geographically separate islands (though the Isle of Man is hardly far from the mainland...)  But Alaska or Hawaii are not listed by CountryData["NorthAmerica"].

So, is this a bug, or is it intentional?  It doesn't look like one of those debated or unclear cases which will upset somebody's political sensibilities one way or another, so why are these regions separate in Mathematica's database?
POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
2 Replies
The Isle Of Man is an interesting place, considering its tiny size. (I have relatives there...) It's part of the EU for some purposes but not others. (No doubt numerous deals and mutually beneficial arrangements over the years have now been enshrined in law...)

By the way, notice that Croatia doesn't appear in the European Union in my Mathematica (9.0.1.0).
CountryData["EuropeanUnion"]
{"Austria", "Belgium", "Bulgaria", "Cyprus", "CzechRepublic", "Denmark", "Estonia", "Finland", "France", "Germany", "Greece", "Hungary", "Ireland", "Italy", "Latvia", "Lithuania", "Luxembourg", "Malta", "Netherlands", "Poland", "Portugal", "Romania", "Slovakia", "Slovenia", "Spain", "Sweden", "UnitedKingdom"}
although Wolfram|Alpha knows better.
POSTED BY: C ormullion
Well, it looks like I didn't do enough research on the autonomy status of these regions.  Here's some reading for the Isle of Man.
POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
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