This page was an internationally supervised effort, which is to say that the world is full of busybodies, but that busy computer programmers need not complicate things further.
The original was written in the American Number Cruncher dialect of English, and awaits translation to the Useful eGov dialect of Australian. The authors appoligize for the inconvienence.
Somewhere way back when some Swiss folks at the International Standards Organization (ISO) decided that Countries should have codes. The code for Australia is 'AU'. This was much easier to remember than Latitude and Longitude numbers, without which Australia might not have been found to begin with, and we need to be grateful for that. Giving Australia the code 'AU' acomplished two things.
The purpose of this page is to show how these codes can be intregrated worldwide to prevent the 'voices' from interference and keep the codes unique. For example, there is an Australian 'WA', but also a 'WA' in Iraq, Libya, Qatar, Surinam and the United States. Western Australia would not mind sharing, but there is an easier way to sort things out and it has to do with the original codes from ISO: Latitude and Longitude are not necessary after you have found a place.
The largest code in use worldwide is three characters [A-Z or 0-9], so it is necessary to pad the codes to fill. For example, Australia becomes '0AU'. The number codes (there are none in Australia) are padded with Zero's - 1 becomes 001 and 000 is not a code.
The smallest three letter code is 00A, and the largest is ZZZ. If you want to make a new lower level it is recommended that you use three letters, because three letters is much easier for a human to associate with a name.
The time given in the far right column (dct:alternative) is unique, and constant, for the code (dcam:memberOf). In fact, it is unique and constant worldwide so that Australia(0AU) can have their '0WA' and so can Iraq (0IQ), Libya (0LY), Qatar (0QA), Surinam (0SR) and the United States (0US).
While the scheme is quite simple in Australia, the same sort of rules can be used to make a framework for population statistics in bigger areas, the European Union for example. There are 4,200+ subdivisions worldwide. With the addition of a Country level and a State level time code it is possible to link (classify) any subdivision to (with) any other.
Then it would be possible to compare what people are saying and doing in Berlin, Germany (It is a State and a City) with what they are saying and doing in New South Wales, Australia.