Database table naming rules

Before uploading a new dataset into the database and creating a new table, the following rules should be followed for naming the table:

All names (schema name, table name, and column names)

  1. Always in lower case;

  2. No space between the characters. Instead of using space, use _ to separate composite names.

  3. Column names should follow the above rules.

Schema names

If the table is related to a single country data, use the full ISO country name. The name for each country can be found here.

If the data is on a global scale data use the schema: global.


For a table that belongs to the United States data, for the schema, should be used the name: united_states.

Table names

Table names should follow this basic structure:

<locality>_<semantic single word name>_<0|d|w|m>_<optional suffix>

The symbols <> are just delimiters for the placeholder, it means that one of the values inside should be used.

On PostGIS tables, when representing maps, a gis prefix should be added.

The <locality> will be filled if the data in the table belongs to a specific administrative region of the country. In this case, you should name the locality according to the nomenclature adopted in GADM. You can omit this term if the data refers to the entire region that named the schema, e.g., the whole country.

The <semantic single word name> means that the words chosen to represent the data frame must express the content of the table and not be a simple abbreviation of the content.

The <0|d|w|m> portion informs about the periodicity of the update. It should use d for daily, w for weekly, m for monthly, and 0 for static.

The <optional suffixes> are: meta for metadata tables and result for analysis results.


  • geneva_hospitalizations_d

  • geneva_hospitalizations_d_meta

  • geneva_hospitalizations_forecasts_d_result

For a PosGIS table representing a map for Geneva, if the map represent new hospitalizations, for example, and is updated daily you can use the name: gis_geneva_new_hospitalizations_d

About metadata tables

The metadata tables should be used to store explanatory information about a table’s columns. It should contain at least the columns listed below, but can be enlarged to include other information available on existing data dictionaries for the dataset that is being imported.

table (
column_name varchar(128),
description text,
type text, # Numeric, categorical, Boolean, date, datetime, etc.


A dataset of hospitalizations from FOPH (Federal Office of Public Health) for Switzerland, which is updated daily, can be named as:

  • schema: switzerland;

  • table name: foph_hospitalizations_d.

It’s good to indicate the source of the data in the name. In this case the source was indicated by the foph.