When a Place is no longer a Place


The former. There is really no need.


I am sorry chi but I couldn’t disagree with you more…

Link All the Things!


I’m sure we’ll find some issue where you can disagree even more. :wink:

Do you support an artist–artist relationship “was born in the same year as”? Would be equally redundant.


I’m not completely sure I agree, but it’s not because it’s theoretically incorrect - my issue with it is that we don’t have any perfect location info, just addresses and coordinates. So we can’t know if two very similar coordinates given by two different people are the same building or two very close ones, or if two addresses are the same but the street name changed, or…


Only because there are cases were this is difficult or impossible is not a good reason to not have relationships for this data. There are for sure also cases where it is difficult to say if two artist personas are the same real person. Yet we have ARs to link performance names to real persons.

I consider it important that a certain location changed its name and was used as several distinct venues. This gives that location it’s own musical history and identity.


One easy example is the Fitzgerald Theater in St Paul:

When A Prairie Home Companion started, it was the World Theater, and was later remodeled and renamed. A Prairie Home Companion has pretty much always been based there since 1980. Right now there is no way to indicate BOTH the name change and the continuity of location, at least not on the event or recording (I have set aliases for it). I think I’ve credited everything to the Fitzgerald, awaiting further development.

Or has it not had a radical enough change to be relevant to this discussion?


That’s not what I meant when I started this discussion, if that’s what you mean.
I meant venues that have been repurposed as something other than a concert venue, e.g. a church or convention center space.


Gotcha. I can see how it would possibly be a different type of relationship. But if the specific place no longer exists, I’d think we would just put an end date on it.

On the flip side, what if a specific venue moves? Is it still the same entity? If it is, then what of a new venue in the old location?


I was making the opposite argument actually - the fact that sometimes it’s difficult to tell without a relationship is the only reason it might make sense to have one (if we could know exactly that two places have a matching location, it would be completely redundant).


In the case of moved entities, I’ve added separate entities for them and linked them via disambiguation. If the old venue changes its name to something else (but is still used as a venue), I update it accordingly. An example of this: https://musicbrainz.org/place/dbb70e3c-3fdd-4f34-8d26-f20b89ca7601 (original) https://musicbrainz.org/place/6a0882fe-5bc2-4b1d-8424-2ab097f19d70 (replacement under the original name)


Okay, so there are a lot of question in this thread, some explicit, some implicit. I’ll try to tl;dr them.

  1. If a location is taken over by a new establishment, and its function is no longer relevant to MB
  • Should that new establishment be recorded?
  • Or is it enough to put an end date on the last MB-relevant establishment?
  • How do you even determine whether a venue’s function is relevant to MB?
  1. What is an MB-place?
  • Does it represent a location that can have many names/owners over the years? Use aliases and/or an artist credit-like system to indicate different names? If so

    • Is there a concept of an “historical” MB-place?
    • *How do you choose the primary name for an MB-place?
  • Or does it represent an establishment, so that many MB-places can share the same physical location? If so
    * Can/should two establishments be linked by a “same location” relationship?

    • Or is it enough that they share the same address and coördinates?
  1. What if an establishment moves? Is it still the same entity?

For me,

  1. If it’s totally irrelevant to MB, there should still be some way to find out “what’s there now?” If an address/coordinates answer that question, that’s good enough for me.

  2. I’m firmly in the place == establishment camp. If an address/coordinates is adequate to show that two establishments occupied the same location, that’s fine with me, but MB should definitely display this somehow.

  3. No, IMO that’s a new entity unless multiple address/coordinates can be associated with one place.

Merging "Columbia Studios" into "CBS Recording Studios"

Thanks @CallerNo6 (docs nerd) for the great abstract, I couldn’t read every ideas out of this topic.
I agree 100% with your answers to the three issues. :cool: :thumbsup:


I think that’s a reasonable summary - do you feel some of that should be added to the documentation? :slight_smile:


Nice analysis. I agree about the establishment aspect.

I think it would be helpful to have the ability to have more than one location tied to one place entity, though. It’s not a perfect analogy, but if your favorite restaurant moved across town, you wouldn’t call it a new restaurant, and you wouldn’t say that whatever moved into its old location is a continuation of the same restaurant. It’s not just a location, but people and history that are tied to that specific establishment.


Well, in order to ensure data integrity, with the relationships we have, a place is:

  • A single physical structure (probably without any major renovations), under a single owner, probably only for a single “branding”. You could call that “place == establishment”, I suppose.

I think we currently use “place” for two different concepts:

  1. A physical structure
  2. An organization

When we talk about the place some music was recorded at, we care about the physical structure: the acoustics of that brick, steel, wood, etc. affect the recording; its size and shape affect the placement of musicians, etc. We put in different places for different rooms in the same building. If a recording studio moved down the street, that is clearly a new place: it could have different acoustics, a different size/shape, etc. Same if the building burnt down and was replaced, or even majorly remodeled.

But then we also have the various engineering relationships (mixed at, edited at, engineered at, mastered at). Often those (especially mastered) are the name of a large company—and we don’t really know what physical space it was done in (we sometimes know the building, though not the room). The sound produced is from the people doing it (a different relationship) and the equipment being used (AFAIK, we don’t store that), not the room it was done in.

We have a URL for a place’s blog & social network accounts (clearly, actually the organization, and why only a single “branding”); we have who founded an place (again, an organization—buildings do not even have founders); we have relationships for where an engineer works (which could be both—but I’ve never seen a building sign a paycheck).

Finally, very clearly an organization, we have the “place commissioned work” relationship.

I think we ought to find a way to separate out the two concepts, and just use place for ①, not ②. Organizations own, occupy, or use places; etc. That might require a schema change—or maybe we could just have two “types” of places, and add a few place-place relations. Not sure…

BTW: Address and coordinates (at least, unless the coordinates are really precise, and our coordinates lack altitude) do not let you link two uses of a place—remember that a place can be just a room, not an entire building. That seems to argue for a place-place relationship for that.


Necro-bumping with an update: I just made a STYLE ticket incorporating some of the suggestions from this thread.


:zombie::zombie::zombie:Ultra-necro bumping :zombie::zombie::zombie:, but I suspect people involved in this conversation would be interested in knowing that style ticket above has finally led to some guidelines.


So, where on the scale of “just changed its name” to “demolished and rebuilt” does a remodeling fall?


To me it depends on how radical the remodel is. For example, I separated San Antonio Municipal Auditorium from Tobin Center for the Performing Arts because in that case the remodeling involved demolishing most of the original building aside from the front façade and rebuilding it, thereby creating a whole new structure.