How to model government organization hierarchies so that the list can expand and compress

Stéphane Wirtel stephane at
Thu Aug 13 21:17:44 CEST 2015

Create a model with a parent_id on the current model

and you can use the mptt concept or some others for the reading.

On 13 Aug 2015, at 21:10, Alex Glaros wrote:

> It's like the desktop folder/directory model where you can create 
> unlimited folders and put folders within other folders. Instead of 
> folders, I want to use government organizations.
> Example: Let user create agency names: Air Force, Marines, Navy, Army. 
> Then let them create an umbrella collection called "Pentagon", and let 
> users drag Air Force, Marines, Navy, etc. into the umbrella 
> collection.
> User may wish to add smaller sub-sets of Army, such as "Army Jeep 
> Repair Services"
> User may also want to add a new collection "Office of the President" 
> and put OMB and Pentagon under that as equals.
> What would the data model look like for this?  If I have a field: 
> next_higher_level_parent that lets children records keep track of 
> parent record, it's hard for me to imagine anything but an inefficient 
> bubble sort to produce a hierarchical organizational list. Am using 
> Postgres, not graph database.
> I'm hoping someone else has worked on this problem, probably not with 
> government agency names, but perhaps the same principle with other 
> objects.
> Thanks!
> Alex Glaros
> -- 

Stéphane Wirtel - - @matrixise

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