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Does sitemap.xml have to be in the root directory?

This may be a simple and absurd question, but is it completely necessary for sitemap.xml file to be in the root directory of the wordpress install directory of the site, or is it ok to create a subdirectory and place it there? i.e. /sitemap/sitemap.xml

I've created a dynamically generated site map xml file, but would like to auto-generate it on the fly when changes are made, and need to be able to write to this file. I would like to keep the main wordpress folder permissions as they are and only have this subdirectory writable.

Would love to hear any thoughts on the matter! Or alternate solutions... Merci!