Wikivoyage:Welcome, Wikipedians

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Welcome to Wikivoyage! This article is specifically for people familiar with Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikivoyage's format was inspired by Wikipedia, and we also use the MediaWiki software to run our site. If you're used to Wikipedia, you should feel right at home—although you should still probably check out the Welcome, newcomers page.

There are some important differences between our sites.

Goals[edit]

Wikivoyage goals differ from Wikipedia in some important aspects. A couple of things stand out in particular:

  • Wikivoyage is traveller-focused. We don't want immense, detailed articles about anything and everything. We don't create articles for every attraction or cross-roads on the globe. Articles in Wikivoyage are comprehensive references for travellers; subjects not directly or indirectly related to travel should be avoided.
  • Wikivoyage is targeted towards print and off-line versions too. We want travellers on the road to be able to access our articles. They should be able to access our articles without an Internet connection, or even keep a dog-eared printout in their back pocket. The print version matters!

Style differences[edit]

Our Manual of Style covers more specifics, but here are some things you should look out for stylistically:

  • We really prefer an informal tone, not an encyclopedic one. Lively writing is welcome... and encouraged!
  • Unlike Wikipedia, we encourage original research. We want you to contribute both first-hand factual information as well as your subjective opinions, but first-person writing should be avoided.
  • Wikivoyage does not follow a strict encyclopedic "neutral point of view". Instead, our guiding mantra is "be fair". Fairness means that descriptions provide a balanced summary of the experiences of Wikivoyagers. For Wikivoyage, the traveller comes first; the needs and priorities of others—such as local residents, travel agents, or the local propaganda ministry—are given less weight.
  • Wikivoyage does not share Wikipedia's preference for relying primarily on secondary sources. External links normally point to primary sources like the official page for a landmark or attraction, not to someone else's description (however neutral or objective) of a place.
  • It's a common thing on [[Wikipedia]] to [[wikilink]] many [[nouns]] you write. Wikivoyage, however, is aimed at providing a practical travel guide rather than a massive collection of general knowledge—most terms will never become articles here, so there will be fewer wikilinks. Unless it's the name of a destination, an itinerary, or a travel topic, it shouldn't be wikilinked.
  • Our regional hierarchy doesn't always follow the "official" breakdown. As a result, we often use a much flatter regional hierarchy than in Wikipedia — we only add a level of regions when there are too many cities or when there is too much content in the existing breakdown.
  • Although there are rare exceptions, Wikivoyage normally does not have separate articles about individual landmarks, attractions, highways and the like. Information on everything in a city is placed in a city-level article, which is then broken into districts only if this becomes unworkable. A building on the national historic register is "notable" for a Wikipedia article, but simply gets a mention in its home city's article in Wikivoyage.
  • Wikivoyage articles have no "External links" sections. Instead we incorporate certain kinds of links into the article itself (see Project:External links for the specifics), and that's it. In part this is to discourage well-meaning contributors from just linking to information instead of actually including it in Wikivoyage articles. It's also so that spammers don't have a handy place to dump links to their sites.
  • Wikivoyage articles use no references. It's fine to point to authoritative primary source external sites for additional information (eg. visa sections are usually linked into the country's immigration website), but individual claims are not referenced. If a claim is dubious or in dispute, it's best to hammer out a reworded consensus on the Talk page, not try to "prove" that it's true.
  • Wikivoyage uses breadcrumbs (for instance, Ottawa-Rideau {{isPartOf|eastern Ontario}}) in contexts where Wikipedia would use categories. This allows a trail CanadaOntarioeastern OntarioOttawa-RideauOttawa to be constructed automatically. There is one disadvantage: the breadcrumbs do not handle cases where something belongs in more than one category. Ottawa-Hull is in two provinces, Kansas City is in two states, and Niagara Falls and the Thousand Islands are divided by the international boundary. Often, these places are split into two articles (like Ottawa and Gatineau) if their size justifies this.

What is an article?[edit]

If you read What is an article?, you'll see that individual articles in Wikivoyage tend to be bigger and more comprehensive than articles in Wikipedia. Because one of our goals is to have printable guides that someone can take with them to use at a destination, we tend to try to write articles about a particular city, region or country all in one place. We try to balance this with the need to not duplicate a ton of information all over the place.

Article templates[edit]

The great majority of Wikivoyage articles tend to be about cities, countries, and regions. (That's not all, of course—see other ways of seeing travel for some more ideas.) We think having these articles organized somewhat the same makes it easier for readers to use the guides, so Wikivoyage articles usually have standard headings; they are not as free-form as Wikipedia articles are. If a reader wants to find restaurants, they look in the Eat section of the article, whether it's about New York City or Mumbai. The hotels and hostels go in Sleep, the museums and monuments go under See.

In our Manual of Style we have a set of article templates that show the preferred format for each kind of article. These are guidelines, of course – people can add information to an article however they want. That's the wiki way. But editors come through later and try to shape the articles to look more and more like the templates.

Information and formatting using MediaWiki templates[edit]

See also Wikivoyage:Using Mediawiki templates

Wikipedia uses a large number of MediaWiki templates to generate links, boxes and other formatting within a page. Wikipedia has infoboxes at the top of many articles, for example the {{infobox settlement}} on articles for individual towns.

Wikivoyage tends to use MediaWiki templates more sparingly and is more restrictive on the creation of new templates.

We do use {{quickbar}} (which resembles a Wikipedia infobox) on country-level articles, but no equivalent at city or destination-level. As Wikivoyage (unlike Wikipedia) does not have articles about most individual highways, {{routebox}} is used in the "Go next" section to list the next town with an article on major road or rail lines through a city.

The template to place co-ordinates for a town at the top of a page is {{geo}}.

Links to and from Wikipedia[edit]

We use Interwiki links to link to Wikipedia. You can see how to make these work on our links to Wikipedia page, which also explains why in-line links to Wikipedia are not used. Instead, articles will link to the Wikipedia's page of the same subject by using a sidebar link; this means it will take two clicks to get from a Wikivoyage city page to an individual landmark description on Wikipedia.

Within Wikipedia, you can use templates such as {{Wikivoyage}} to link to here; those use the [[voy: ]] interwiki to link to the same-language Wikivoyage (Wikipedia reserves sidebar links for other-language versions of the same Wikipedia article). You can see how on links from Wikipedia.

Note also that interlanguage links – [[fr:France]] and the like – link to other-language versions of Wikivoyage. As on Wikipedia, these generate sidebar links, unless written as [[:fr:France]].

Behavioral norms[edit]

Perhaps because of our relatively small size, Wikivoyage does not have the same problems with vandalism, edit wars, and other unwanted edits that the English Wikipedia does. For this reason, we tend to use SoftSecurity as a tool to handle unwanted edits much, much, much more often than technological means.

We have very few protected pages (particularly for license text that must remain verbatim), a handful of page deletions, and almost zero user bans. We'd like to keep it this way.

Consensus[edit]

We determine virtually everything by consensus. Few decisions are made on this site by majority-rule voting. So far, we've been lucky to avoid much conflict that couldn't be resolved through discussion.

For this reason, we don't have a lot of intercommunication overhead like committees, votes, arbitration, or mediation. We try to keep our processes for making decisions very informal and casual.

Non-free content[edit]

We really want to keep Wikivoyage free for everybody. But we also want to create a great travel guide. Accomplishing the latter sometimes means we want to show readers pictures of important artworks and buildings that may still be covered by copyright. Just like the English Wikipedia we created a non-free content policy to allow them to be uploaded locally, here.

The only non-free content allowed on Wikivoyage are photos of important copyrighted artwork and architecture, and the remainder of the photo has to be licensed freely just like any other photo. We do allow such photographs as banners for pages or sections that are not primarily about the non-free work.

Terminology[edit]

Some terms you may be used to in Wikipedia have analogs in Wikivoyage. Some things you might be looking for:

For more examples of the project's terminology, see Wikivoyage:Jargon.

Content sharing[edit]

While Wikivoyage and Wikipedia have different goals, we do have overlap in some of the content we produce, and ideally, we will be able to take advantage of our Creative Commons licensing to share that content.

Firstly, Wikipedia is not a travel guide. If you see content that is travel or tourism related on Wikipedia, it may be better suited to Wikivoyage. You can migrate the content, while ensuring that it is properly attributed. Otherwise, if you are planning to copy large amounts of text content from Wikipedia to Wikivoyage, please ensure it is suitable for Wikivoyage. Remember, we prefer to have lively, non-encyclopedic and original writing with the traveler in mind.

Images are shared between the projects using Wikimedia Commons, with rare exceptions due to copyright and fair use considerations.

Remember that most Wikivoyage articles have a single link to a corresponding Wikipedia article. This is a convenience for those wishing to learn more facts about their destination, but it is not a substitute for including all the information a traveller may need in the Wikivoyage guide.

See also[edit]