2.2. Version Sheet

The version sheet gives general information about the nomenclature described by the package. This sheet has the following layout (examples of values are given in italics):

Table 2.3. version sheet layout example

1nomenclature_nameNomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics

The expected cells in this sheet are detailed below:


MANDATORY if this nomenclature is not supported yet.

OPTIONAL for new versions of an already supported nomenclature.

The nomenclature_name property specifies the full name of the nomenclature.



The nomenclature_acronym property specifies the acronym used for the nomenclature. For new versions of supported nomenclatures, the value of this cell must correspond to a supported nomenclature acronym (see the Appendix B).



The is_official property shows if this nomenclature (version) is official. Official nomenclatures are standardized and legally approved by regulations on statistical units. For example, the NUTS nomenclature is official because it is approved by the European Commission and is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. If the nomenclature is not a part of a standard, it cannot be considered as official.



The URL property specifies the link to the on-line publication of documents describing the nomenclature (version).



The version_name property specifies the name/title used to denote the nomenclature version described by the package.



The version_start property specifies the date when this nomenclature version comes in force.


MANDATORY if the package describes a new version of a nomenclature already supported by the Database.

OPTIONAL if it describes a new original nomenclature of statistical units, then this cell must be left blank.

The version_previous property specifies the name/title of the version that is chronologically previous to the described one.


MANDATORY only if this is a new (original) nomenclature AND if its structure is similar to one of other supported nomenclatures.

OPTIONAL in other cases, then this cell should be left blank.

This field aims at referencing an already supported nomenclature which is similar in its structure: for example, EFTA (European Free Trade Association, see http://www.efta.int/ for further information), and CC (Candidate Countries) nomenclatures are similar to NUTS.

The expected pattern for a similar_to item is an already supported nomenclature acronym and its version, separated by a pipe "|" character. For example, if EFTA nomenclature version 2003 was to be introduced for the first time into the database, this cell would have had the value NUTS|2003. Several similar nomenclatures items can be listed, separated by a comma. Example: NUTS|2003,NUTS|2006.


The derived_from property is used in case when the nomenclature is derived (its units are built upon the units of other supported nomenclature(s)). The value must refer to the nomenclature and the version from which the described nomenclature is produced. For example, in the NUTS2-3 nomenclature, the units were produced from NUTS nomenclature, so this is specified as NUTS_1989 (for the NUTS of version 1989). If this is not a derived nomenclature, this cell must be left blank.

If there are more than one nomenclature from which the described one derives, each of them must be mentioned on a separate row by repeating the label of the "A" column and giving the reference to the nomenclature from which this one derives in the "B" column.


MANDATORY only for new (original) nomenclatures OR by a nomenclature version that brings changes in the hierarchy of levels.

OPTIONAL in other cases, then this cell must be left blank.

If set, this property must be repeated as many times, as there are dimensions in the hierarchical structure of the nomenclature. After each dimension row, there must be rows that declare the levels corresponding to this dimension. After them, another dimension row can appear to introduce the next dimension. Please see the example of the file for the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) nomenclature below.

The order in which this property appears in the table is relevant: dimensions with higher priority must appear above dimensions with lower priorities. The priority of a dimension is defined by its importance in the list of all dimensions. For example, in UNEP nomenclature, geographical dimension has higher priority than the political one.


MANDATORY (at least one level) IF the dimension property is set.

OPTIONAL only after each dimension property OR after another level property. It introduces the identifier of a nomenclature level. All the levels belonging to the same dimension must be listed after the respective dimension property, beginning from the most general level and ending by the most detailed one.


Since the revision 0.10 of these specifications, the definition of dimension and level has been reviewed, the levels_count and dimensions_count fields have been removed. Please consult Appendix A for further information.

To give more detailed examples, the following sub sections propose two complete "version" sheet layouts covering different nomenclatures.

2.2.1. version sheet layout example: NUTS 2006

The following layout describes the NUTS nomenclature of 2006 version, as if it were not yet supported by the Database, but the previous NUTS versions were already supported.

Table 2.4. version sheet introducing NUTS 2006 nomenclature


The property nomenclature_name is empty because this nomenclature is a new version of the NUTS nomenclature, already supported by the Database.

The property similar_to is empty because the NUTS nomenclature is a base one (but there are other nomenclatures that are similar to NUTS: in principle, this relationship is reversible).

The property derived_from is empty because the NUTS nomenclature is not derived from any other.

In the NUTS 2006 version, there have not been any changes to the hierarchical structure of the nomenclature, so it is not necessary to specify the properies that may follow the derived_from one.

2.2.2. version sheet layout example: UNEP 2006

The next layout introduces the UNEP nomenclature of 2006 version, as if it was not yet supported by the Database. It would be the first supported version of this nomenclature.

Table 2.5. version sheet introducing UNEP 2006 nomenclature

1nomenclature_nameUnited Nations Environment Programme

The is_official property is set to false because, although this nomenclature is widely used by the UNEP, no official documentation was found detailing it, apart from the list of units available at the cited URL.

The version_previous property is empty because it is the very first available version of the nomenclature.

The similar_to property is empty because no other known nomenclatures use exactly the same structure.

The derived_from property is set to ISO-3166 because at the National level, the UNEP nomenclature uses exactly the same units that are references by the ISO-3166 standard, including the digital units codes.

Then two dimensions are set:

  1. one dimension named geographical, composed of the following levels:

    1. Global

    2. Region

    3. Subregion

    4. National

  2. one dimension named political, composed of the following levels:

    1. Sovereign

    2. National


The geographical dimension is described before the political one because it has higher priority.

The levels of each dimension are described from the most to the least general.

The values used to set the dimension and level properties must be used by the corresponding columns in the hierarchy sheet (see Section 2.5).