SISO - In simple terms, SISO is a list of all the provinces of all the countries of the world. Using ISO 3166-2, I created SISO in 2003 in order to establish a permanent and unchanging list of all the territories of the world so that travelers, whether now or a hundred years from now, would have a benchmark upon which to measure their travels and also to compare where they had been in comparison to other travelers, whether in my lifetime or beyond it. Since there were many lists of countries and places, and since this kept changing and expanding every year, I wanted to establish a permanent list that was not arbitrary, but rather that was objective. I also wanted to establish a list with sufficient detail that it adequately addressed the myriad places in the world, many of which are little-known, so that an extreme traveler would have a lifetime of places to visit and study.
Using the 2003 version of the International Standards Organization’s 3166-2 list of all the provinces of the world (which they call ‘sub-national territories’), which numbered 3931 in all, I created my list of 3978 provinces.* I achieved this by:
As of the time of this writing, SISO – although it has been mentioned in the press - is mostly known only to a very small list of extreme travelers who take an interest in such detail. Even with its limited public exposure, it is part of an ongoing controversy amongst extreme travelers as to what constitutes an appropriate measurement of travel for those who have already been to every country in the world. There are many existing country lists (e.g., DX Ham Radio Operators, Globetrotters, Guinness, ISO 3166-2, Most Traveled People, Travelers Century Club, United Nations registry of countries).
The following factors make the SISO list important:
SISO will allow any traveler in any era a sensible basis to compare where they have been and what they have done with respect to travelers in history, such as Jorge Sanchez or myself.
Herein is a SISO Club for others to join, with an interactive software for input of visits to each of the 3978 places.
*In 2003, I discovered that the International Standards Organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland had a list of “subnational territories.” It contained a list of all the territories of the world, as reported to it by each constituent country. This is known as ISO 3166-2. They also have a list of national territories, ISO 3166-1… I purchased the list from ISO in 2003. On studying the ISO 3166-2 list, I discovered that some adjustments needed to be made to the subnational list in order for it to include those countries on the national list that were not represented on the subnational list because they did not themselves have provinces. (The process I used is described above under “The Methodology Used to Create SISO.”)
**SISO consists of the Combined ISO 3166-2 list (compiled from 3166-1 and 3166-2) and the “Official Unlisted Places” list. SISO is thus comprised of a list based on ISO plus an additional list based on territories recognized by other official organizations but not covered under the Combined ISO 3166-2 list. The Official Unlisted Places list is currently comprised of those places on the Guinness list and the Travelers Century Club list that are not mentioned in the Combined ISO list. In the future, the Official Unlisted Places list may expand to include other officially listed places that are currently not included. An example of another official list is the DX (Ham Radio Operator’s) list. (Nothing is currently added from the DX list that is not already covered by the Guinness or Travelers Century Club list.) The Official Unlisted Places list will change but not the Combined ISO 3166-2 list.
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