Why focus on COGs/Regional Councils in the U.S.? "the substate district is essentially an administrative tool of states"

The prior three posts which demonstrate the levels of the global geocode will raise the question, "Why focus on COGs/Regional Councils in the U.S.? The following excerpt from the paper: "Prototype Global Geocoding of Political Geographies for Library and Data Management - Wikipedia Example," a paper to be presented at the Applied Geography Conference, October 31, 2013 in Annapolis, Maryland. 

"The historic primary substate political region of States is the county or its equivalent. It is for these areas that Census data is collected and maintained. Four states have independent cities for which census data is collected.  Virginia has 39, while Maryland, Missouri and Nevada each have one.  Though Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have eliminated some or all counties, census data is compiled for historic counties which have no current governance function.  State data is collected on the same geography and is a resource.

"As previously noted, though Federal programs have encouraged and funded multi-jurisdictional regional approaches, the substate district is essentially an administrative tool of states.  Generally there are a variety of agency based multi-jurisdictional substate district systems used by departments and agencies for program administration.  While they may interface with localities and local officials for planning and programming, there is rarely a representative organizational structure.  The Federal Metropolitan Planning Organization process is an exception, but it is confined to the defined urbanized areas and is for transportation planning only.  Regional councils are, or can be, multi-issue in their planning.

"The prototype uses the state based COG/regional council alignments as the substate region.  Most states have complete systems.For Delaware and Hawaii, the county is the substate region.  Compared to other systems of substate regions, the COG/regional councils have the advantage of local government representation appointed by the member local governments, the responsibility for a variety of planning processes which include local government planners, and, in many cases, the ability to implement or promote the implementation of regional programs.  Having worked together for over 40 years in some regions, there is some “regional community” social capital.  Staffs work with communities and their data, in effect cultivating “regional intelligence.”  Multi-state councils enable coordination across state lines, while operating consistent with regional council requirements of each state.  A national, single-layer of substate regions is the base product. If substate region boundaries are renegotiated, as is underway in Connecticut, the codes can be changed to match new alignments.  Multi-state regions are the sum of substate components.

Sub-State Region Maps for the U.S.

In 2011, two posts were made showing substate region maps for COGs/Regional Councils and alternatives for those with incomplete systems by state. Part 1 - Maine to Texas and Part 2 - Michigan to Hawaii

If you are interested in more information, send me an email for the current paper and related information. Tom.Christoffel (at) gmail.com