Perspectives let you display faceted understandings of a place. 

Perspectives are specific to the Places Knowledge Maps site. They let you switch between different place trees, each with a different "perspective" or focus. This lets you create nuanced relationships between two places. Let's consider the relationship between Charlottesville and Albemarle.

Charlottesville is "in" Albemarle geographically, but Albemarle isn't the county for the city. Instead, Charlottesville is an independent city. Residents will use "Charlottesville" as their county and city in official forms.

Charlottesville is not within Albemarle administratively. From the administrative units Perspective we have the following tree:
  • Virginia
    • Albemarle
    • Charlottesville

Charlottesville is within Albemarle geographically. From the geographical regions Perspective, this becomes: 
  • Virginia
    • Albemarle
      • Charlottesville

You can switch perspectives from the Knowledge Maps editors by selecting Perspectives from the Main Menu. We've included a detailed step-by-step guide at the bottom of the page. We've also listed each perspective here, with examples. 

List of Perspectives

Cultural Regions 

Show places that are culturally significant, but that may not have official government designations. Only use this if no other perspective fits your needs. 

Example: movie theaters, informal neighborhood boundaries

Electoral Relationship

Shows regions that are significant to electoral processes.

Example: Virginia's 10th district.

Historical Polity Administrative 

Shows place designations that no longer exist, but are historically important.

Example: the thirteen British colonies that became the USA.

National Administrative Units 

Shows official places with administrative significance.

Example: District of Columbia, Virginia, Albermarle county.

Geographical Relationship

Shows relationships based purely on location. Feature A can be "located in," "centered in," "near," etc. feature B. This perspective involves only geographical criteria for relationships, with no other considerations. Don't use this for any relationship that isn't solely geographical. 

Example: An ancient polity could be "located in" a contemporary administrative unit. This would mean the geographical area of the ancient polity was within the modern administrative unit: we can reference the modern place's footprint to illustrate the latter's area.

Religious Relationship

Shows monasteriespilgrimage routes, sacred sites, sacred mountains, and other networks of religious relationships between features. 

Example: Miqat, Mina, and Mecca are all important places during Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage. They share a relationship from the religious perspective. 

Organizational Relationship

Shows relationships relevant to organizations or internal organizational units. 

Example: Google's headquarters are in Mountainview, CA, but it has other offices worldwide. These offices share an organizational relationship. 

Administrative Relationship

This is a relationship between features that pertain to administration. It does not include the relationship between governmental units, such as counties being within prefectures. For these, use the "administrative units" perspective.

Use this perspective is for relationships like "is an administrative seat of"

Environmental Relationships

Shows natural feature relationships, or other relationships relating to the physical landscape. 

Example: Mount Elbert is the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains. A mountain and its mountain range share a relationship from the environmental perspective. 

Site Relationships

Shows the relationships between buildings: a single structure might be part of a large building complex or site. 

Example: The Vitra Design Museum in Germany includes multiple buildings with architectural significance. These buildings all share relationships from the site relationship perspective. 

Switching Perspectives

  1. Go to the places editor at
  2. Click on the Main Menu icon
  3. Click Settings
  4. Click Perspectives
  5. Choose the perspective you want to see
    • The perspective tree will open