Wikivoyage talk:Image policy

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Also see Wikivoyage talk:Image policy/old-en archive


Image sizes[edit]

I upped the limits on files sizes to reflect reality a little more. Let me know if there's anything wrong here. --(WT-shared) Evan 12:29, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Looks works well. (WT-shared) Riggwelter 19:03, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

People in photos[edit]

I think that the image policy item when it concerns people in photo's must be reviewed and preferably scrapped. As a tourist, it is virtually impossible to visit any attraction and take a picture without catching other people in the image...and the idea of asking them for permission to publish the image on Wikivoyage is not reasonable. I do not think we need to be quite so paranoid about people in images. We can see it as something worth working for, but to see it as a major obstacle for publishing a photograph - no. (WT-shared) Riggwelter 19:03, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

I wonder if the people from travel magazines or books always ask the people they take photographs of. I doubt it. --(WT-shared) Flip666 writeme! • 09:21, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, but people working for a magazine know that it's going to be in only one magazine. Wikivoyage guides are Open Source; they can and will be distributed far and wide, and our ability to control that distribution is pretty limited. We owe it to our downstream distributors to be diligent in clearing the rights to the works we publish, and we owe it to people who get their photos taken to protect their privacy. Because our guides are open source, the consequences are amplified significantly if we are sloppy.
You don't have to worry about unrecognizable people in a photo, or people in a crowd. But if the person is the main subject of the photo, in most countries they have a right to control how their image is published. I don't want my image published without permission, and I assume most people here don't either. We need to treat everyone with that same respect that we'd treat each other. --(WT-shared) Evan 21:36, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
But of course! The person is not supposed to be the main content of the image anyway - which, I admit, is stated rather clearly in the policy. The reason I wanted to discuss this was that I felt that we were about start some crusade on all images with people in it, judging by the contribs to the travellers' pub. However, I was way too radical when I said that we should scrap the policy bit regarding people. Of course we should not, but the case needed clarification. A photographer could of course be working for an agency, thereby able to sell the image to plenty of various sources, which would mean a huge distribution and less control. That needs to be taken into consideration too. However, respect is of course the key issue. (WT-shared) Riggwelter 05:28, 1 April 2007 (EDT) ...consider the "face in the crowd" picture shown and discussed earlier. In both cases, the subjects are identifiable, but there's another common element: they are either on public land, or are freely visible from public land. When such a condition exists, a new twist comes into play: Fair Use. This is actually a fairly complicated legal term that refers to many things. In the context of this discussion, one of the definitions of fair use includes a condition in which a person cannot assume a degree of privacy because he's in public space, which means that he can be photographed (and cannot stop the process).

Another of the Fair Use definitions is the use of copyrighted materials on public display. For example, a statue in a public square, or a painting on a wall in a public building are both copyrighted by the artists that made them. However, because they are in public space, you are free to photograph them, and to license those photos for editorial use without being subject to copyright infringement. Take note: the use is editorial, which means you can license the photo to a newspaper, but not to a company for use in an ad.(WT-shared) Seth1066 14:05, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

This is precisely why we do not allow images uploaded here under terms of "fair use." According to our copyleft, all images must be reusable by anyone in any context, provided they give attribution to the authors. This includes the right for a company to use our images in an ad. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 13:06, 8 September 2007 (EDT)
Umm, no. "Fair use" is a copyright term, which means the limited re-use of others' copyrighted material for certain purposes even without permission. This concerns a "reasonable expectation of privacy" (or lack thereof), which is entirely unrelated. I've reverted your deletion and fixed the wording. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 22:34, 10 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure I understand your point. Fair use relates to limited reuse for certain purposes, whereas our copyleft requires that all content here be reusable without any limitations aside from proper attribution, for any purpose. The text I deleted was arguing that we can use content incompatible with our copyleft. But regardless, I don't have any problem with the text you have added to the image policy; I agree that the privacy issue has nothing to do with fair use. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 22:51, 10 September 2007 (EDT)
The CC license controls the copyright of the picture, it doesn't have any say on privacy rights. I can take a picture of you and, as the copyright holder of the picture, license it under CC by-sa 2.0. Somebody can take that picture, caption it "This guy eats babies" and publish it on the front page of the New York Times. As far as copyleft is concerned, that's perfectly OK; as far as privacy rights are concerned, it's not.
Let's continue this on Talk:Privacy rights. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 00:19, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Why two different English language image policies?[edit]

Any reason not to merge en:Project:Image policy into wts:Image policy then redirect the former to the latter? ~ 08:32, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

Flickr, Privacy policy, etc.[edit]

We have been having this longstanding discussion about people in photos and recently we had a debate about Flickr users changing their licensing. These two elements have come together in an interesting case [1]. A photographer took a photogaph of a teenaged girl and published it on flickr using a cc license. The photographer was a friend of the girl and the photo was innocent. Virgin Mobile in Australia used the photo in an ad campaign.

The girl's parents have sued Virgin for violating her privacy and causing her emotional distress by having her image plastered in hoardings all over Australia. (also, as you can imagine, an ad campaign by Virgin will have some kind of pun on the word "virgin") They also accuse Virgin of infringing copyright even though the hoardings come with a URL going to the flickr user's homepage. I am not sure what the grounds are, exactly - perhaps the claim is that the licensing terms were not mentioned in the hoardings... Now when I go back to the photographer's page on Flickr, he seems to have changed all his licenses to "all rights reserved" and has made the specific photo private.

I think that this is more of a privacy policy issue than a copyright issue... And from what I understand, model release issues are hugely dependent on the specific context in which the images are used. It is entirely possible that an innocent image on Wikivoyage causes no issues, but if the same image is published on the cover page of a Wikivoyage Press book, it turns into a lawsuit. Also, we accept assertions from the contributers that a "verbal model release has been obtained". It might well be true, but it will not be clear what the model release is for. I think we need to think long and hard about protecting Wikivoyage and also its downstream users, and we should also make sure to add proper disclaimers where it is clear that we cannot protect them. — (WT-shared) Ravikiran 03:22, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Yes, I think the main point here is that it was the downstream user (Virgin) that is at fault and at the receiving end of the lawsuit. It does seem that Virgin was in full compliance with copyright laws, but not privacy laws. I do think that mistake is an easy one to make though, which is one reason why I favor keeping our content as universally free as possible—rather than allowing content that we can use for editorial purposes, but which downstream users could get in trouble for using. The bulk of the discussion here about this was at Talk:Privacy rights for anyone interested. As far as the photographer has "changed the licensing" on flickr, that won't have any bearing on the case or the "real licensing" of the photo, as the Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable. So we could still use it here ;) --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 03:48, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Wikimedia images[edit]

I'm really surprised that Wikimedia images can't be used on this project. It's such a major failing that it's just about a show-stopper for a travel wiki.

The whole point of Wikimedia is that it provides free, reusable images. Rights-controlled images are discouraged on Wikimedia. While I appreciate there are some risks, a blanket ban on Wikimedia content is a blunt instrument for managing rights issues. It's illogical and counter-productive. There are bots and things that can help in policing stuff like rights.

Worse still, it takes away a vital component for writing a travel wiki. I'm a major Wikipedia contributor and also to Wikimedia. To think that I have to go and upload images to yet another website is a deterrent to using this site.

Not a good policy, I recommend serious review! -- 07:18, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Sorry mate, but we're not a part of Wikimedia. We're an independent community with Internet Brands as the owner of the site, domain, and trademark. We use the CC-by-SA 1.0 license and our images must also be CC-by-SA 1.0 licensed or public domain. The reason you can't use Wikimedia files on Wikivoyage is because Wikivoyage is not a part of the WM Foundation. -- (WT-shared) Sapphire(Talk) • 07:42, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
I seriously doubt you understood each other. IP obviously meant images on Wikimedia Commons by "Wikimedia images". With the exception of copyrighted WMF logos, those images don't belong to Jimbo or the WM Foundation at all, but to the respective rights owner or to the general public (in case of PD). Commons simply is a deposit for those images. It is an indispensable requirement for images put on Commons to be free for commercial use. Any image that can't also be used commercially has no place on Commons. Due to personality rights (not copyright) there may be restrictions in case of images of identifiable living persons, but that has little relevancy on Wikivoyage. Anybody can use those images, provided the required copyright remarks are respected. Therefore, at least any image on Commons licensed by CC-by-SA 1.0 IMHO could be used on Wikivoyage. Someone experienced in CC licenses might check whether that is also true for images carrying newer CC-by-SA license. Of course, if you took the image by yourself, it would make more sense to upload it to Commons and to WikivoyageShared. -- (WT-shared) Túrelio 04:25, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Flickr license changing[edit]

Here we are again... another image is up for vfd, that I uploaded myself and know was ccbysa 2.0 when I uploaded it from Flickr. The user has now changed it to all rights reserved, which doesn't take away our right to use the image, but leaves us with no proof that it was ever ccbysa. What to do? I proposed it slightly before, but I'll do it louder this time: I think we need screen grabs of the flickr page to also be uploaded and linked to from the images. Unless someone has a better idea – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 19:14, 22 November 2007 (EST)

I don't think this is something we need to do, as in the case of a suit, it would be the uploader's liability and they could just subpoena flickr's records to prove their case. And needing to take screenshots (and to upload them as well) would seriously increase the amount of time it takes to raid flickr for photos—enough extra time where I would stop. Lastly, shared now actually does get some attention, and we've been pretty good about reviewing recently added photos—vfds are only likely to arise regarding older photos, which were uploaded long before the flickr user changed their displayed licensing. In these cases, so long as someone can vouch that the image was properly licensed, we should not delete it. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 21:23, 22 November 2007 (EST)
FWIW, instead of reinventing the wheel, check out the Commons:Flickr_images and its Talk page over on Wikimedia Commons. Basically, they've concluded that all Flickr images have to verified either by an admin, or by a bot, so copying that bot over to us might be a nice option. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 22:21, 22 November 2007 (EST)
That's a great idea... a bot would obviously be ideal, but until one is written, how about creating a verification box template to be placed on the photo's page by an admin? – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 04:52, 23 November 2007 (EST)

Bump -- given the spate of dodgy Flickr images recently revealed on IFD, I really think we need to get this bot running here as well. The source code link is broken, but I've contacted the admin, and also asked him if he'd be willing to run it on WT as well. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 23:24, 12 May 2009 (EDT)

Copyrighted images for special cases[edit]

So, I would like to propose that Wikivoyage allow uploading copyrighted images for two special cases:

  1. Permission letters and model releases. For example, I now have a PDF file where the Tourism Authority of Thailand licenses their content under CC by-sa 1.0. This should obviously be posted on Wikivoyage — but it doesn't mean the letter (incl. their logo, stamps and more) are CC-licensed.
  2. Pictures on home pages. For example, if you want to stick your mug on your home page, but don't want Virgin Mobile plastering it on billboards.

All in favor? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 07:48, 12 February 2008 (EST)

Ay – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 22:25, 15 February 2008 (EST)

Yes. (WT-shared) Riggwelter 07:54, 16 February 2008 (EST)

Aye. (WT-shared) Gorilla Jones 23:53, 20 February 2008 (EST)

Though that looks somewhat like an insider discussion with a lot of information missing, I have to add a grain of salt.
Pictures on home pages are generally copyrighted (if not stated otherwise) and if you use them without permission of the rights owner you perform a copyright infringment.
Another real-world problem is, that images on personal homepages often are "stolen" from elsewhere; so would have to check whether the image was really made by the homepage owner himself. Though the rights owner may not sue the owner of an insignificant homepage, he surely will sue Wikivoyage because it is owned by a large company. -- (WT-shared) Túrelio 04:43, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Nono -- I mean uploading a picture you own for use on your Wikivoyage homepage. Grabbing random images from random homepages is, of course, not acceptable. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 08:43, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I plunged forward and created Template:Copyrighted. Comments re: the wording? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 09:01, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Looks good, and I agree that it's a good idea to have this option. But should we perhaps change the disclaimer at the bottom of all pages, which reads "Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0," to something more nuanced? Clearly, not all of our content is Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 12:06, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Yeah, definitely, what about just removing the 1.0? Where should we move this convo too before we fly off on a tangent? – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 00:56, 21 February 2008 (EST)
Yes, lets continue this tangent at MediaWiki talk:Copyright#Nuance. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 01:10, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Images automatically licensed as cc-by-sa-1.0?[edit]

copied from en:Project talk:Votes for deletion

...continued from Image:Asia 2006 156.jpg

Guidelines? What guidelines? But as far as I know, no periods of time are mentioned anywhere, and going through the {{dont know}} tag stage seems to be optional. I've been adding {{vfd}} tags to images that already have {{dont know}} tags, and adding {{dont know}} tags to images with no licence. ~ 18:21, 31 January 2008 (EST)
No reason - but then my conclusion that the incorrectly licensed images should be deleted doesn't seem to be universally acceptable. Not sure if there is some plan afoot to somehow legitimize the 'no license' images as well. --(WT-shared) Wandering 18:29, 31 January 2008 (EST)
It doesn't matter that it's not universally accepted. All that matters is that after 5 weeks of debate they have not, by any stretch of the imagination, been "proven innocent". ~ 18:54, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Since you seem to be flitting around more than everyone else, do you get a sense that there are huge numbers of images that are licensed by cc-by-sa other than 1.0? There seem to be three or four listed in this page which is not a huge amount (I assume, no one wants the unlicensed ones) and I'm wondering why we have this panic (we are headed for disaster) thing going on. I get the feeling that there's a subtext here that I'm missing and wonder if you have an insight into this. (Insights from other admins seem to be in short supply.) --(WT-shared) Wandering 22:28, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Could be that most of us are feeling the same way, what are we missing?. I for one don't see any huge issue here, we have always removed invalidly licensed material as we come across them and as far as I can see we have been doing a good job. If this vfd page contains all (or most) of the invalid licensed material in Wikivoyage then we have been keeping it quite clean. I can't see any reason for doom and gloom and a sudden rush to clean all up at once, but since Tweak (If I may use the name (WT-shared) Sapphire assigned to feels the need to list all now, I'm happy to work through them as usual. Even if all these are deleted, the impack on WT as a whole is minimal. --(WT-shared) Nick 02:34, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Relatively speaking, no, there aren't that many with incompatible licences. I'm going to VFD them all now: #CC-by-SA-2.0 (13 images), #CC-by-SA-2.5 (67 images), #CC-by-SA-3.0 (2 images). ~ 04:37, 1 February 2008 (EST)
To put that in perspective, 8,349 files have been uploaded (Feb.1st 2008). Also bear in mind that of those 82 images, some are not linked to from anywhere, some are only linked to from Talk pages or "joke" articles, some are only linked to from User pages (presumably it's not unreasonable to expect that they be re-licenced), and some are copyvios; and some are just really bad photos. Of the rest, many have been uploaded by their creators and it would be simple enough for the uploader/creator to re-licence them. ~ 07:11, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Well, let's try to put some closure to this. It seems to me that there is some sort of consensus that we should delete the improperly licensed pictures. To summarize the discussion above: (WT-shared) Jpatokal wanted to keep the pictures but only because there was no consensus. So, let's set (WT-shared) Jpatokal aside for now and see if we have a consensus.,, (WT-shared) Wandering, (WT-shared) Nick, (assuming .4 and .6 are different) feel that these images should be deleted if we've done our bit in trying to correct the license. User feels we should keep them if the licensing requirements are met and delete them otherwise. I think it is quite clear that higher licenses don't satisfy our requirements because only (WT-shared) Peter has argued to keep them and even his options require a change in our licensing system which implies that these pictures do not match our current licensing requirements. I'd say there is a consensus to delete improperly licensed pictures (pictures with licenses other than cc-by-sa-1.0). Agreed? --(WT-shared) Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
You misrepresent my arguments above, presumably because you did not understand them. I argued that we clarify the text of our copyleft to match our day-by-day practices, not to change our site's licensing, which is a different issue altogether. You are conflating discussions and have not understood the issues at hand here. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)
I also assume no one will argue that we should keep unlicensed ones. I notice that some of the pictures posted without a license are copyrighted elsewhere and due diligence says we should remove unlicensed ones post haste. Agreed? --(WT-shared) Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
No, not agreed on any of that. First, it's not an issue of "improperly licensed" images, it's an issue of whether some correctly licensed images can be used on Wikivoyage. Second, there is no such thing as an "unlicensed" image, there are only CC by-sa 1.0 images without explicit tags. (Everything I uploaded before we even invented license tags, for example.) Third, the proper place or venue for this policy discussion is not VFDs, but the Talk page, where eg. Cacahuate has also expressed his support for keeping CC >1.0 images. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 03:01, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Could someone put a link from the Viking discussion above to this section so that everyone knows we're reaching a consensus? Thanks! Trust a picture about Vikings in a Storm to cause a storm! --(WT-shared) Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Regarding Wanderings suggestion that we delete all unlicensed images:Old farts like me may pop up again, knowing NOTHING about wikiways, but willing to contribute comments on a lifetime of travel as well as a few photos'. Those of us in the old farts club as well as others may not have a clue about licenses. So, if you do mark one "Dont know", give it 30 days for the contributor to figure it out before a deletion. As far as other ill licensed photos, I think it best to get rid of them and clean up the project. Jani contibutes some of the best images on the site, and is one of the more wikiways informed. For some reason, a number of his photos have no license nor have had a license. I would not want to loose any of them. Maybe he could comment on why he does that. (the new one on the front page is about as good as we get, but has no license????????) (WT-shared) 2old 11:11, 2 February 2008 (EST)
Makes sense to me (the 30 days part). Perhaps, at least for recently added pictures, we could drop a note in the users mailbox (a template would serve for this) letting them know that the image will be deleted in 30 days if cc-by-sa-1.0 is not selected. --(WT-shared) Wandering 12:01, 2 February 2008 (EST)

OK, I'm starting to get pissed off here. Here's what it says and has said on Special:Upload for as long as I remember:

All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0.

Comprende? All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-sa 1.0. There is no such thing as a "Don't know" image, there are only untagged CC by-sa 1.0 images, and all these VFDs are null and void. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 02:53, 3 February 2008 (EST)

(WT-shared) Jpatokal, I'm sorry to hear that you're starting to get pissed off (though, I must admit, it is not at all clear to me why a fair discussion should make you angry). Anyway, the point is that Wikivoyage has an obligation to its contributers (as well as to downstream users of content) to take at least minimal steps in ensuring that images are not copyrighted elsewhere and that their use under a common cause commercial license is fair. If a user does not select a license, Wikivoyage should not blithely assume that it can be made available under a common cause license. If we accept your argument, then nothing in Wikivoyage should ever be deleted (all those copyvio deletions of text, etc.) because, again by your definition, everything contributed to Wikivoyage is automatically cc-by-sa-1.0. I could add the text of an entire book, upload songs perhaps, copy pictures freely from the internet, and you would assume that all this is kosher because we say that everything is cc-by-sa-1.0 by definition. That, I should think, is not a very responsible way of treating this enterprise. BTW, thanks for the tip on User:(WT-shared) Cacahuate's contribution in the talk page. I'll take a look at it and add his views into this summary. I've also reduced the size of the quote above, it detracts from the discussion (makes this part look like a separate section). --(WT-shared) Wandering 11:01, 4 February 2008 (EST)
That's not at all what I'm saying. If any image is a copyright violation, then it's a copyright violation regardless of what tag is placed on it, and can and should be dealt with as such.
So one more time. When any user uploads an image, they certify that it is available under the Creative Commons license. If there is reason to believe that this declaration is not true, whether out of malice, ignorance or stupidity, then the image should be deleted. However, for images like Image:IMG_0156.JPGs and Image:DSCF0039.JPG that have been VFD'd above, there's absolutely no reason to believe that these personal snapshots are not the work of the uploader.
You'll note that this is exactly the same thing as we do for text. Contributions are assumed to be legit by default, but we keep a close eye on dubious additions are promptly nuked. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 11:40, 4 February 2008 (EST)
If in fact (and I have no reason to question) Jani is correct that uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-sa 1.0, then when contribtors upload images, the images should be automatically tagged CC-by-sa 1.0. In my non-wiki life I have to deal with lawyers on a reular basis. They have advised me numerous times, not to create arguable situations. (WT-shared) Jpatokal as a community leader needs to have a bit more patience with this sort of situation and act as a counsel in these matters and others. If he is actually getting pissed off, anger management classes may be in the future. Remember, creative people are always the first to go crazy. If we can not automatically tag untagged photos, then I support the idea to tag them Dont know, advise the contributor, wait 30 days and then delete. I think the tagging should be a voluntary action of the contributor, that would eliminate the arguable element from the situation/transaction.
You are welcome to suggest we change policy so that, in the future, images uploaded without an explicit license specified are deleted. I would even support you, as long as there's an easy way for that license to be specified while uploading, and all existing untagged images are tagged first. However, retroactively deleting thousands of images when they already have perfectly valid licenses is beyond senseless. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 11:40, 4 February 2008 (EST)
Did you have an idea how to tag all existing untagged images are tagged first ? And, at this point I am still thinking Delete. Reason: I do not think an arbitrary license is valid. ( Guess it depends on where also.) (WT-shared) 2old 12:06, 4 February 2008 (EST)
Easy-peasy: give me a list of untagged articles, and I'll run a script to tag them all.
And can you please explain to me what is unclear or arbitrary about All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0? Why is this any more unclear or arbitrary than All contributions to Wikivoyage must be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0, which is what we require for text contributions? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 12:46, 4 February 2008 (EST)
The text is clear, but when one finds an image unmarked for license as in Image:PLO FlagShop.JPG , one of my favorites, I would think it better if it was licensed rather than guessing. For me it would be a perfect POM, but may have been avoided due to license fears/questions. On Wikivoyage shared, it is common practice to mark unlicensed images VFD and for them to be deleted, (I have even been notified as such) so I thought the same applied here. Above you said "list of untagged articles" did you mean photos?. The dont know tag states Wikivoyage cannot keep images without a statement that licenses them under terms permitting us to use them. That is in conflict with your side of the debate here, that All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0. My personal preference would be that I could contribute images to Wikivoyage, that could not be used by others, but that seems impossible. When it comes to photos, I really do not consider owning anything. It is simply something I have seen and I am sharing the view with others. That simple. Others may want to control the use, but in reality it is so difficult that even the thought is not worth while. So I guess one of my questions is, why even tag the Dont knows and why have they been deleted in the past under the same circumstances? (WT-shared) 2old 14:01, 4 February 2008 (EST)

Wikivoyage Shared has different wording in the upload box plus a license selector that forces the user to explicitly choose a license, and there was a fairly lengthy argument there as well about what to do with untagged images.

However, here on en:, the upload wording is unambiguous and there's no requirement for users to place a license tag nor are there any instructions for doing so. The "don't know" tag is a fairly recent invention and, based on a quick Google of the archives, it has never been used as a reason for VFD until Tweak came along.

So. I'm going to propose that we do the following:

  • All old untagged images are tagged CC by-sa 1.0 and removed from VFD (unless there are other reasons to suspect they're copyvio etc).
  • Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared.
  • After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD.

All in favor? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 23:12, 4 February 2008 (EST)

(WT-shared) Jpatokal, I'm sorry, but the discussion above is completely at odds with your proposal. There is a lot of discussion above and it may be hard for you to read through everything so let me make it simple. The following users feel, and they have all made substantive arguments in favor, that images that are unlicensed or incorrectly licensed (cc-by-sa>1.0) should be deleted:,, (WT-shared) Wandering, (WT-shared) Nick,, and (WT-shared) 2old. The users who want to keep the images are (WT-shared) Jpatokal (though initially you did not express that view) and (WT-shared) Peter. (User:(WT-shared) Cacahuate's reasons for keeping are related to the need for a consensus and I assume he hasn't seen this discussion so I won't include him in the keep column.) Of the two in favor of keeping, (WT-shared) Peter's view seems to be that the images are not properly licensed but should be kept for expedient reasons. You, (WT-shared) Jpatokal, are the only user who feels that we have no responsibility towards our users in the matter of licensing.
Again, you completely misrepresent my above arguments, again presumably because you don't understand them (much less the issues being discussed). I do not think that >1.0 attribution-sharealike images are not properly licensed, that doesn't make sense to begin with, because all one needs to do to properly license a file as CC-by-SA is to indicate their intent to do so. Besides, that discussion has nothing to do with this one (again, because you don't understand the issues we are discussing, you have conflated several distinct discussions underway). This is a discussion merely of whether saving a file on a page where it says that you agree to certain terms by saving the file, actually does mean that the person agrees to those terms. It seems evident beyond reasonable objection that this is the case. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)
I find that comment genuinely offensive, and I expect an immediate apology. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 12:27, 5 February 2008 (EST)
I'm sorry (WT-shared) Jpatokal, but no apology is forthcoming. --(WT-shared) Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Now I understand that you are a community leader but I hope you will see that the community is better served by discussing things (without shouting - I noticed that you, without comment, restored the big lettering in the quote above - and without aggression) and by being accepting of a viewpoint that may be at odds with your own. The success of Wikivoyage should be of more importance to you than the presence or non-presence of a few (or many) images that have been loaded onto Wikivoyage without a license and that Wikivoyage is then redistributing under a free common cause license. In case after case the courts have ruled that websites cannot hide behind 'we don't know' when it comes to copyright infringement and I ask you to consider how it will look when a downstream user, Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage Press is a good example, is sued for publishing copyright pictures and then Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage Press sues Wikivoyage for claiming that the picture was available under a free license and then Wikivoyage says "hey, we don't ask our users to choose a license we just assign them, sometimes years after the fact!" Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage Press will be fine but where will Wikivoyage be? I, for one, believe that I have a responsibility to Wikivoyage because my intellectual contributions are embodied in it. And, if you stopped shouting, getting angry, and being generally dismissive of other viewpoints, I hope you'll see it that way too. --(WT-shared) Wandering 11:27, 5 February 2008 (EST)
The reason you think I'm "dismissive" of your arguments is that I find them completely and totally irrational, your renderings of other peoples' comments are tendentious at best, and you're conflating two completely separate issues (untagged and CC >1.0) to boot. But let me try asking you two questions.
(WT-shared) Jpatokal, you can hold whatever opinion you like about the rationality of my arguments just like I can hold whatever opinions I like about the rationality of your arguments. However, neither of us own Wikivoyage, we are both contributers to this site, and it is NOT conducive to a meaningful discussion to shout, to show aggression, and be dismissive. I'm sorry you can't see that.--(WT-shared) Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
A) Are you satisfied with text contributions licensed by users hitting the "Save page" button below the text "All contributions to Wikivoyage must be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0"? (yes/no)
B) Are you satisfied with image contributions licensed by users hitting the "Upload file" button below the text "All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0"? (yes/no)
Do what you want down the road. I feel that the user should ALWAYS explicitly select a license or, at the least, agree that the work is free of copyright and that he/she agrees to release it under a clearly specified common cause license (with one of those agree/disagree check boxes). However, that does not address the issue at hand, which is, what to do with images that have been previously uploaded without a license, or uploaded with an improper license. --(WT-shared) Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
<plants hand on face, drags it down slowly, takes deep breath>
The user does "agree that the work is free of copyright and that he/she agrees to release it under a clearly specified common cause license" — that's precisely what the text on Special:Upload quoted above in big bold letters means.
Can you please explain to me why you feel that the wording of A) is sufficient for this permission, and the wording of B) is not? Or should we delete all text ever written on Wikivoyage as well? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Also, let me spell out once more that any images that are copyright violations or are reasonably suspected of being copyright violations must be deleted. But whenever a user uploads a file, that user has certified that it's available under a compatible Free license, and we have to AssumeGoodFaith — in precisely the same way that we presume text contributions to be innocent until proven guilty. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 12:41, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Have you actually read the article you point to above (AssumeGoodFaith)? It makes for interesting reading even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the context in which you have quoted it. Lots of good stuff there. Some extracts:
Sometimes you really are being ribbed the wrong way (pun intended). Even so, it is still better to assume good faith — the question is not one of accurate perception, but of appropriate action. It may be more helpful to see the other person as a challenge to overcome rather than a personal enemy to be vanquished.
However, some times a person's goals may directly interfere with your life. They could be in direct competition with you, and there could be a limited number of resources. You may disagree at some fundamental level of morality. You could have something they want. They could even be completely unreasonable, knowing they have some sort of power over you, like a spammer that subverts technology against you. Conversely, you might engage in strategic conflicts to get what you want. PoliticalAction is almost by definition this kind of adversarial approach in the West. Remember to not make these conflicts personal, and never engage in conflicts that will accomplish nothing. Don't win a PyrrhicVictory by burning bridges you may have to cross in the future.
Well, worth a read. Clearly, I don't want a conflict with you. I was being tendentious and irrational well before you entered the conversation with your "I'm starting to get pissed off" remark. But, in the spirit of the article, I'll withdraw the remark you got so upset about. I don't really care what you think of my arguments (I am pretty close to being as long in the tooth as (WT-shared) 2old so young whippersnappers don't easily bother me). Now, if you are willing to tone down your shrillness (what's with all that comprende? and "let me spell it out" and entering a discussion with "I'm starting to get pissed off") we may actually get somewhere toward a consensus on what to do with all those images out there. If, that is, you care about a consensus. --(WT-shared) Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
You accuse me of not caring about consensus and having no responsibility towards licensing. Now, I disagree with you very strongly about this topic, but have I personally attacked you? (WT-shared) Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Currently I am in favor of Jani's last two proposals 2)* Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared. * 3)After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD. And I would like it completed ASAP. However keeping unlicensed images does not set well with me at this point and I would like to se further discussion. Many may not agree, but take it from an older (in age) contibutor, this site is very new and if it is accepted by the travel community as I think it will be (Route 66 looks dead), it will be around a long time. Lets work towards making it as unquestionable as we can with the content. People are always looking for an opportunity, someone could actually set us up under the current situation and calmly wait for an opening to sue. Lets close any loopholes. This is not the voice of paranoia, but experience with opportunists. On another point, Jani, you may want to inform Evan that some of us appreciate him and the wife founding this site and participating in discussions in the early days and until he and the current owner split. They retained ownership of the rights to publish and contributors keep adding to the value of this site with very limited input from Evan. I for one would welcome his comments more in these debates, for the benefit of all. As with Thomas A. Edison, who also was an Ohio native, Wikivoyage is not his last invention (we hope) as with Edison who went on to found General Electric did not stop with the long lasting light bulb, nor the repeating telegraph key which was one of his earlier works. (WT-shared) 2old 12:09, 5 February 2008 (EST)
It looks to me as though license tags are causing a great deal of confusion. We should probably get rid of them.
All images without image tags are CC-by-sa 1.0. This is stated very very clearly in the upload form, and has been for 5 years.
If for some reason we decide to keep the license tags then we should immediately add cc-by-sa tags to images for which the tags are missing as so to avoid future confusion. -- (WT-shared) Mark 13:02, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Greetings all, I just want to voice my support of the view that uploaders of images without tags have declared (by using the site) that all contributions are licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0 and as they have declared that, they also agree per the terms of the CC-by-SA 1.0 license that the materials they have submitted are available under CC-by-SA 1.0 or do not infringe on the proprietary rights of another person. Thus, there's no need to delete any images without a CC-by-SA 1.0 tag, unless you truly expect it to by a copyvio. -- (WT-shared) Sapphire(Talk) • 13:32, 5 February 2008 (EST)

I was accused by (WT-shared) jpatokal of conflating the two issues (cc-by-sa>1.0 and unlicensed) so I went back and looked at this rather long and Hamlet-ian thread (to delete or not to delete, that is the question) and, would you believe it, the scream was right! If only he would talk like a normal person perhaps I would have heard him earlier. So, going back to first principles, here is my position:

cc-by-sa->1.0 images. "Keep" We should delete them because we've been giving the impression that they are not legit, but, I don't see how Wikivoyage can be legally called to task for a choice that the user has made when uploading (our responsibility to the downstream user) or why the uploading user would care (our responsibility to the contributing user). On rereading, I see that we got tangled in definitions of derivative and collective work because (WT-shared) Peterfitzgerald has been using these images in the Wikivoyage:Wikivoyage Press Chicago guide (are there many of these in the Singapore guide as well, that might explain the anger) and the definitions of derivative and collective work. But, that is the business of a downstream user and, as long as Wikivoyage ensures that the licenses are appropriate, no business of ours. Any images added to a Wikivoyage article would, it seems, qualify as a "collective work" and we should be able to combine images with different licenses on the same page after appropriately modifying the 'content is available under' rider at the bottom of the page. That should be sufficient even though Wikivoyage has been combining them as a collective work and displaying an incorrect licensing statement at the bottom of the page. An important caveat is how we do this because it is setting a precedent for misuse down the road.
Again, I find myself thoroughly misunderstood, misrepresented, and wrongfully and ignorantly maligned. To repeat, the >1.0 images used in the Wikivoyage guide are totally irrelevant to any decision made on this site. I believe we at Wikivoyage Press have the right to do so, provided we properly note licensing and attribution, and I have WTP's support in this. A dumb decision here simply doesn't bear one iota on the images in the book. But again, that is a separate issue from this one, which is even more clear cut.
My motivation in making the arguments I have about what images we may keep stems from my desire to make Wikivoyage the most effective open-content travel guide possible, and simply to see that logic and clear-headed understanding prevails against stubborn ignorance. If frustration came across in my arguments, it was simply because I felt that the points I made were not sufficiently addressed in the cascading responses, as my points (and the issues being discussed) were not understood by discussants. That would be a good time for clarification, which I was trying to provide. I got angry because you, Wandering, were repeatedly implying in bad faith that my arguments should be discounted according to a very incorrect and insulting perception on your part that I had a conflict of interest in the matter. I do not, and the fact that you continue in this line of personal attack further demonstrates that you do not understand the licensing issues being discussed, do not understand what I have argued, and are generally bringing down the level of discourse. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk
unlicensed images. "Delete" I am uneasy about keeping images that have not been explicitly released with a free license by the uploading user. Wikivoyage has followed the practice of deleting them for quite a while (See: Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/May_2006, Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/June_2006 and presumably many others) and I don't see why we should suddenly decide we need to keep them. --(WT-shared) Wandering 14:52, 5 February 2008 (EST)
I hope you don't take this badly, but I simply must disagree. We have been very clear from the begining that anyhthing uploaded here is under the CC-by-sa 1.0 unless otherwise indicated. I simply don't understand why this isn't clear. -- (WT-shared) Mark 15:41, 5 February 2008 (EST)
(I don't take anything badly, I just find it hard talking to angry people.) If it was so clear then why were we deleting unlicensed images all along? A quick look at the deletion archives seems to show that deleting unlicensed images was a no-brainer. Anyway, I do think that there is a difference when a user explicitly makes a selection (of the license as well as indicating that there are no copyright issues) versus when the selection is implicit. That is one reason why many websites have the Agree/Disagree check box that users check off. --(WT-shared) Wandering 16:08, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Can you point out what images have been deleted in the past for the sole reason of not having a license tag? I just looked through both Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/May_2006, Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/June_2006 and as far as I can see all deleted images are suspected copyvios, duplicates, advertisements or violate privacy rights. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Keep all images with no license marked. -- (WT-shared) Colin 19:12, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Keep. This seems cut-and-dry to me. It's made clear - right out front and out loud, not buried in fine print - that anything uploaded here is under CC-by-SA 1.0. We don't require people to tag the text they enter in these here boxes, and we all seem content with the implicit understanding there. Some admins here do an impressive job of catching mis-licensed copyvio photos, but this ain't that. (WT-shared) Gorilla Jones 23:01, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Jeez Louise. I'll start by saying that I whole-heartedly agree with everything Jpatokal has said. While I give kudos for actually getting more of a conversation to take place about this than we've been able to in a while, as Jani says, the VFD page isn't the place to do it... clogging it with all these images isn't really helping solve our problems.

I'll pitch in my support of the Special:Upload text, I agree it will cover us in the event of an unlikely lawsuit, and I vote to keep anything uploaded without a license for reasons specified by Jani and others, with the obvious exceptions of copyvios, etc.

Re: >1.0 images, what a couple users here seem to be taking as a given is that 2.0 and 3.0 images are improperly licensed.... this has been discussed many times, and we clearly don't have a consensus that that's the case... we're still figuring out if they are compatible with us and beyond that whether we can and should upgrade our whole site to 3.0 and beyond, so the real debate should be getting to the bottom of that, rather than jumping the gun and vfd'ing those before a consensus is reached.

As for automatically tagging images, we've discussed it in a few places, I've been pushing for a while to figure out how to either default to 1.0 on the pull down menu in Special:Upload so that if anyone desire other than 1.0 they have to take action, OR to leave it as "select a license" and give them a non-ignorable error message to select a license before it will let them upload. Either way, I'd like it if it wasn't even possible to not select a license or to select an incompatible license, just as a double reassurance.

Lastly, if I can defend Jani for a moment, I do slightly understand his agitation... we've been slowly discussing all of this calmly in several spots around the site, and the mass vfd'ing of images like this was more than a little sassy, especially given the vfd'ers awareness of those other conversations, Jani wasn't jumping into a conversation agitated, this conversation has been ongoing for a long time in some form or another. But, to come full circle, I'm glad sparked the conversation that he was trying to spark, and I'm glad we're nearing a consensus – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 00:17, 6 February 2008 (EST)

A quote from Jani above: Wikivoyage Shared has different wording in the upload box plus a license selector that forces the user to explicitly choose a license, and there was a fairly lengthy argument there as well about what to do with untagged images. But, they continue to vfd untagged photos. Why is that and should both site not ne the same? And, for those getting angry, when I was much younger someone informed me that anger was a form of temporary insanity, after I pondered and reflected on that for many moons, I had to agree. (WT-shared) 2old 09:32, 6 February 2008 (EST)
The logic — which I don't personally entirely agree with, mind you — is that on Shared the user can easily select a license from the pulldown, and if he doesn't, then he doesn't know/understand licensing in the first place and the picture is suspect. But on en:, there's no obvious way to tag images at all. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 09:52, 6 February 2008 (EST)
And I agree that en: should be upgraded to use Shared's system. However, this discussion is about what to do with the old images. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 09:52, 6 February 2008 (EST)
Jani's proposal to reform the :en system is sensible. Mass deleting images which clearly were uploaded in accordance with our copyleft, at a time when awareness of licensing documentation was lower among our contributors than it is today is not. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)

Wow, this discussion turned into a real barn-burner. With passions running pretty high it might be good for everyone to step back and look at the star articles, featured articles, (WT-shared) maps, and other great things here and remember how much fun it can be to work together on travel articles instead of arguing about contentious issues like licensing.

That said, with regards to the current debate, my take on it is that existing images on en: with no license are fine - it's only been in the past year or two that we asked people to specify licenses, and before that all images were considered implied CC-SA due to the text on the Special:Upload page (see my first talk page comment for this same discussion in 2005...). It probably makes sense now that we have shared: to redirect upload links on en: to shared:, which would prevent this sort of confusion in the future. With regard CC-SA > 1.0, I think it's clear that the spirit of the license is that any version of CC-SA is fine, although the letter of the license doesn't state that; it's probably worthwhile trying to start a separate discussion about mass-updating the site to CC-SA 1.0+ - I'm sure we're not the first site to be faced with this issue, so it would probably be easy to dig up precedents from other sites on how it could be done. -- (WT-shared) Ryan • (talk) • 22:34, 6 February 2008 (EST)

On 02/04/2008 Jani said:So. I'm going to propose that we do the following:
  • All old untagged images are tagged CC by-sa 1.0 and removed from VFD (unless there are other reasons to suspect they're copyvio etc).
  • Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared.
  • After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD.

All in favor? Jpatokal 23:12, 4 February 2008

And the problem goes on. And, (WT-shared) Wandering seems to have wandered off (darn it). I am in favor of Jani's suggestion and would like to see it implemented ASAP with one change. The suggestion to add a check box, saying they understand and accept the terms, should be included. You should always try to create a situation that is not arguable. In addition, the text regarding images being sent to shared, should be in red, bold, larger print, so even an old, blind, dummy, like me can not miss it. Then, they can not ARGUE that they did not see it, without being required to take an eye test before driving or contributing images to Wikivoyage. (WT-shared) 2old 10:59, 15 February 2008 (EST)
I've altered the box on Special:Upload, can you read it now old man?  :) – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 22:37, 15 February 2008 (EST)
For some reason, I intuitively knew that you would be involved in the resolution of this problem. What you have done is a good start. Now, how about the check box to confirm the contributors action on how the image is licensed. I will see that you get a 10% raise in your Wikisalary. (WT-shared) 2old 10:35, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Whether a checkbox or forcing the selection of a license in the pulldown menu, I agree it would be nice to force one of the two, I'd vote for the latter as with a checkbox it's still possible then to not select a license. However that's not something (I don't think) that we can implement, I think it's something Kevin at IB would have to figure out... and we should probably move all of the pieces of this vfd discussion somewhere else soon... and maybe start a tech request for a non-ignorable error message if a license isn't selected. And furthermore, as I've suggested in the past, I think special:upload on all language versions should redirect straight to shared – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 13:02, 16 February 2008 (EST)
I've been staying out of this debate, but will chime in now to say I'd support Jani's suggestions. (WT-shared) Pashley 08:59, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
I've also stayed out of this for a number of reasons, but I fully support Jani's suggestion. I'll clean up the untagged images vfd later todaysometime this week, by tagging them cc-by-sa-1.0 and archiving the vfd. It seems totally legal since the it was explicitly stated on the upload page that all content will become cc-by-sa-1.0. --(WT-shared) Nick 09:10, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Specific Question, Permissions (flickr[edit]

Ok, I mailed a user on flickr about permission to two of his images on my en:Korsakov and en:Russia to Japan via Sakhalin articles, I informed him about the need to change the license to creative commons with attribution - and not only got his permission, but he seemed very honored to be asked. But there are two issues with this - one is that requests attribution below the image, and second - i doubt he's going to change the license of his picture on the flickr page. Now normally i would just explain the issues and work things out - but the user only speaks very basic English, and my Japanese is not good enough to explain something this complicated.

So my two questions is: - Is it OK to make and attribution below the picture, after the image text - something like "picture of bla bla bla, by John Doe" even though i breaks the usual format? - How do i deal with a permission to upload under CC atribution sharealike 2.0, when the flickr page will most likely remain showing that the image is copyrighted - can i upload the mail somewhere? (WT-shared) Sertmann 18:43, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

1) I don't know; but I suppose that would be fine. We can't guarantee him that reusers/derivative works will do the same, though.
2) To a large extent we operate on trust here—we'll take your word. If someone challenges you on it, you can just forward the email to that person. I did the same with Image:Nenets reindeer sledge.jpg. Also, there's no conflict between displaying the copyright and giving license to others to use the image under CC-by-SA; regardless of licensing, the author still retains a copyright unless they release it to the public domain. --Peter 18:02, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

3:) ok, uploaded it here (WT-shared) Sertmann 18:43, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

Image permissions[edit]

Swept in from en:pub:

I've read everything I can find on Wikivoyage and Wikivoyage shared about images, and I'm still totally confused about how do answer the question: "How do I know I have permission to put an image on a Wikivoyage page?" To start, can someone at least answer this question: "If I find an image on shared, does that mean I can put it on Wikivoyage without worrying about permissions?" (WT-shared) Sailsetter 10:23, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

If it's your own picture or on Wikivoyage Shared, it's definitely OK to use anywhere on Wikivoyage. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 12:57, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Caveat: if it's your own picture, but it shows a copyrighted document or copyrighted image, it may not be okay to use. (WT-shared) LtPowers 10:02, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Thanks. Another question: is there a policy about using images from Wikimedia Commons? Can anything there just be used, or only certain types of licenses? And if the latter, is there a listing somewhere of specifically what type of licenses Wikimedia commons images have to have if they can be freely used on Wikivoyage? (WT-shared) Sailsetter 11:01, 27 September 2008 (EDT)
Right now, we can only accept images from Commons that are in the public domain or are licensed CC-by-sa version 1.0. Other versions of the CC-by-sa license are not backwards compatible with 1.0, which is what we use. I'm still holding out hope for updating our license, but that seems a long ways off yet. (WT-shared) LtPowers 19:33, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

We just have one image policy... The only images that can be used on this site are:

  • Ones you've taken yourself, and are releasing under a Creative Commons license or into the Public Domain
  • Images that are already licensed under Creative Commons, and that are available to be modified and for commercial use (ones that say "NC" are not compatible.

So, if you find images on Commons that satisfy that, as many do, then yes, they are compatible here... but GFDL only is NOT compatible here, so many images on commons are not. You have to look at each image – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 20:51, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

The list of compatible licensing is here. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 23:07, 27 September 2008 (EDT)
So does that mean that only Wikimedia commons licenses in the section of that page beginning Licenses-There are a bunch of available licenses for files on Wikivoyage, and they are a bit confusing. Here's a breakdown ... can be used on Wikivoyage period end of story? For instance GNU Free Documentation Licenses aren't on that list, so that means that Commons images with that license can't be used on Wikitrave, right? (WT-shared) Sailsetter 16:11, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Right, that list is comprehensive—no other licenses are compatible with our site. GFDL licenses are not compatible, unfortunately, with Creative Commons licensing. That's why we can't copy text from Wikipedia. There are people trying to make the licenses compatible, but we're not there yet. (But we'd need to upgrade our site's licensing from 1.0 to any later version to take advantage of new compatibility anyway.) We can only use images that have GFDL licensing if they cross license the image with both GFDL and CC licenses. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 17:02, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

OK, so the above discussion indicates, if I've got it right, that images from Wikimedia commons can be put on Wikivoyage if they are licensed as public domain or CCA-SA 1.0. The next question is, how do you do it? I've read all the documentation on this I can find, and the more I read it the more confusing it seems. Do you need to first copy the image from Wikimedia Commons and then Upload it to Wikimedia Shared? I can't find any explicit statement that you should do this, but it finally dawned on me that some things in the instructions only seemed to make sense if that was so. If that's not what you're supposed to do, then what are you supposed to do? (And as I say I've read the Helps on adding and uploading images and it still doesn't tell me the basic thing I need to know -- how do I get it on Wikivoyage. Or maybe it does tell me, but it doesn't say explicitly any where I've found, "To put an image from Wikimedia Commons on the San Francisco page of Wikivoyage, this is what you do ..." (WT-shared) Sailsetter 15:00, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

You're not limited to version 1.0, and you can also use CC-by in addition to CC-by-SA. Easy version: if a license is provided in the pulldown menu on the download form on Wikivoyage Shared, then you can use that license. To get a commons image over to here, it's necessary to download the image first, then upload it via Shared. To fill in the necessary description details, click the link on the upload form next to "photos from Wikimedia Commons," then fill out those fields. I really wish there were a faster, simpler way to do this, but that's the best we have for now! --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 15:50, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

Animated gifs?[edit]

Moved here from en:pub:

I have temporarily added an animated gif to the Route 66 itinerary article and am looking for some feedback on it.

  • Does anyone see specific problems with the use of animated gifs?
  • Does it look acceptable and of value or did the static map work better?

__(WT-shared) Nick 15:51, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

I dislike it because 1) as a matter of personal taste I hate web sites that flash and wriggle and move, 2) as a practical matter I don't see any reason at all why there should be a moving line to trace Route 66 rather than a static one, and 3) as a matter of policy, I think it's inconsistent with Wikivoyage's goal to be useful as printout. (WT-shared) Sailsetter 19:48, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

It's not working well for me. I had to reload a few times to get it to show up, then to start animating. It still only gets as far as Albuquerque before it resets itself, and on the image description page I get "Error creating thumbnail." I'm not against the very concept of animated gifs, but this one seems gratuitous (nothing a static image can't show). (WT-shared) LtPowers 10:00, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Agreed -- animated GIFs are rarely, if ever, of value in a travel guide. Routes can be perfectly well represented on a static map. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 12:42, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Thank you all for your feedback. I've reverted it back to the old map --(WT-shared) Nick 14:06, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for trying a new idea, Nick. Innovation is key. (WT-shared) LtPowers 20:46, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Agree we don't need it, but still a fun idea! – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 00:35, 4 October 2008 (EDT)

personal portrait for user page[edit]

I wonder how can I upload a photo portait of myself to be used for my user page, just to make it look more personal and friendly. Help? --(WT-shared) DenisYurkin 04:21, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

In the same way you upload any image. In the comment section you can tell that it is for your user page. --(WT-shared) Rein N. 04:42, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Also see Image_policy#People_in_photos, a specific template was created for this purpose: {{copyrighted}} – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 15:44, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for help. I was not attentive enough to find a special notice in this article. For future readers, I created a subsection which is entirely about user-page personal photos. --(WT-shared) DenisYurkin 07:35, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

Image use[edit]

Swept in from en:pub:

I have two image-related questions:

  • 1) I wanted to upload a satellite picture of Hurricane Jeanne to use on the Florida page and possibly the city pages of various Florida cities. I know that the photographs taken by US government employees taken in the course of their duties is in the public domain for upload, but what about a satellite photograph taken by an agency(NOAA/NHC)? There is a FEMA photograph on the tornado safety page, but it lists the link to the photograph on FEMA's website. I know the website for the agency (, but I downloaded(right-click "save as") the picture a long time ago (2004) and the satellite imagery on the site is real-time and there is no archive to link to or to find the picture. Can I upload such a picture giving the link I mentioned?
  • 2) On Wikivoyage Shared [2], there is information regarding the template for images from Flickr, but not licensing information (on "How to Upload Files" nor "Image Policy" nor "copyleft license" pages). Are all images on Flickr in the public domain or copyleft-license compatible? Could someone please explain the process of uploading pictures to Wikivoyage shared (as I said, I've seen the info on the Fickr template)?
  • Thanks for the help!! (WT-en) AHeneen 02:34, 18 November 2008 (EST)
I can answer question (2). Flickr users can set their own copyright or licensing for each image they upload. Some (most, in fact) are listed as "All rights reserved", meaning they are not licensed for use here. Others have Creative Commons licenses. You can use the Advanced Search functionality to specifically find pictures with a Creative Commons License. So for example, searching on "hurricane" finds 384,166 results, but if I click on "Advanced Search", scroll to the bottom of the page and tick all 3 of the Creative Commons boxes, the results are filtered down to 8,721 results. If you click through to the photo page, there is information about the photo on the right-hand side of the screen, including licensing info which you can click on for full details of the license. Hope this helps. (WT-en) Tarr3n 05:31, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Thanks! Did I correctly do this: here's the file in Wikivoyage Shared [3], and here in Flickr [4].
Looks OK to me... (WT-en) Tarr3n 06:20, 18 November 2008 (EST)
On a related note, Wikivoyagers looking for photos of UK and Ireland destinations should check out Geograph [5], where all the photos have a CC license. If you click through to download a photo it even automatically generates the code you need for Wikipedia, which is easily adapted for Wikivoyage upload. Very useful. (WT-en) Tarr3n 06:25, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Regarding #1, as long as the satellite image was taken by a USG agency (and not all the ones they use are), and as long as nothing has been added by a third party, the satellite images are in the Public Domain. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:50, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Alright, I've uploaded image #1, which can be found here given a Public Domain (created by a US gov't employee...) license and attributed to NOAA. I think it makes a nice addition to the Florida page! Thanks everyone for answering my questions!! (WT-en) AHeneen 20:34, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Fundamental change needed - Attribution of images[edit]

There is a strict policy about linking to external sites. This is so that Wikivoyage is an independent travel guide, rather than a collection of links to other sources. Each article is intended to stand alone, contain its own infromation, and crucially, be printable. The idea that the pages are intended to be printed appears in many policies. With this in mind, images which are included in articles should have the photographer credited in the main article. This is because the default license for images is a Creative Commons attribution license. Using an image, but failing to properly credit the photographer is outside the scope of the licence, and, thus, infringement of the copyright which subsists in the photograph. If we don't credit the photographer, people who print articles, either for their own use, or for the incorporation into other volumes, or distribution in travel centres will be infringing copyright. As such, a choice between two sensible avenues needs to be made. The first is to inform people about this so that they can make an informed choice. The second is to credit the photographer in the article. I think the second option is more appealing, simply because in a user driven site, it is appropriate that site takes steps to protect the contributions of the users. 19:10, 4 January 2009 (EST)

I don't think any change to our current standards are needed. The "printable" issue does not strike me as being any different from Wikipedia or any other site since anyone re-using Wikivoyage guides is responsible for making sure that he/she follows the license terms. Given that starting point, here are a few discussions that have occurred on Wikipedia about this subject:
There are probably others that might delve deeper into the legal issues, but my feeling is that 1) Wikivoyage meets the legal requirements currently without providing photographer name in the caption, 2) adding the caption seems a bit spammy and invites other issues - will contributors then begin including "text by John Smith" next to their text contributions?, and 3) anyone re-using Wikivoyage guides is responsible for ensuring that such usage is in compliance with licenses. -- (WT-shared) Ryan 19:18, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Agreed with Ryan. Text is equally vulnerable. I printed a Wikivoyage guide once for my personal use, and tossed out the last page, as it was merely the last few "Based on work by..." credits, and I was trying to keep my load light. How can this site prevent potential malfeasance such as that? Answer: it can't. This site behaves appropriately, and has to assume good faith on the part of those using (and re-using) it.
(FWIW, the one prominent re-user of Wikivoyage guides, Wikivoyage Press, is in substantial compliance with the CC license.) (WT-shared) Gorilla Jones 21:18, 4 January 2009 (EST)
I'm not convinced any change is needed, though anon has a point about the license requiring attribution. If we do need to do something, though, I'd say credits in the article body are out. Credits in the photo caption — which work even if the photo is moved or used in multiple articles and automatically vanish if the photo is deleted — are worth discussing. Putting them anywhere else isn't. (WT-shared) Pashley 21:31, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Redistribution is a separate issue than printing done by end users. The external links policy exists to encourage the migration of content to the Wikivoyage guides themselves (and to limit spam). We want content here, rather than contained in links, for a variety of reasons, in addition to the stated reason that our guides are intended to be printable for travelers, so they can use them on the go.
Though it isn't something Wikivoyage is required to do, we do try to make compliance with our copyleft easier for those who redistribute Wikivoyage content in print form. We provide a guide to reuse (which deals with this issue directly) and we collect attribution details conveniently at the bottom of each page.
Now, we don't have attribution details included in that same section for the authors of images, and that's not ideal. I could see how that might trip up a well-meaning redistributor, under the impression that all relevant attribution information was in that one spot. It would be nice if we could automatically add image author names, grabbed from properly formatted image summaries on shared, to the credit section at the bottom of articles in which those images appear. Realistically, we simply don't have the technical support for that to be possible. Even if we did, I'd argue it would be better to use our technical support for purposes relevant to Wikivoyage's needs, not those of redistributors of Wikivoyage content.
Captions strike me as a lesser option. Automatizing the inclusion of author names in the thumbnail would be at least as difficult as it would to include them in the article credits section. Not all images are formatted using thumbnails. We use that space in thumbnails for image description already, which would be crowded by attribution. Most importantly, though, our travel articles themselves should be a space only for travel content, not interspersed with attribution or any other non-travel-relevant info. That is separated out for a reason.
Any non-automatic option would be a dubious use of our time, since the value of such work would only be to the benefit of redistributors, rather than to Wikivoyage. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 08:01, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Photos of buildings[edit]

Note that the French Cour de cassation (the supreme private law court) has judged that a private building photo couldn't be published without the authorisation of the owner for a commercial purpose. Then the French parliament voted an exception for books of architecture. --(WT-shared) Henri de Solages 11:21, 2 June 2009 (EDT)

GFDL images now OK (mostly)[edit]

Wikimedia's licensing vote also affects the Commons, meaning that we can finally start using GFDL 1.3 images as well (details). There's a task force underway to retag all multilicenseable images, which should be complete by August 1, 2009 -- the policy wording should be revised at that point. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 05:51, 22 June 2009 (EDT)

Should we wait until August to add the GFDL tags to the upload form? --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 19:58, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
Wait, aren't they just adding ccbysa to their images, which is what makes them desirable for us? I don't see why we would ever need to add GFDL to our licenses, and I hope we can avoid that – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 20:32, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
That's right, we shouldn't need to add GFDL here -- the point is just that (most) images tagged "GFDL" on Commons can now be uploaded as CC 3.0 here.
By August 1, 2009 (the deadline of the relicensing), I expect that Commons will have retagged all the suitable images to be explicitly CC by-sa, and then we can hopefully remove the current extra wording. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 22:34, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
I think doing anything before they are retagged on Commons will create confusion for less familiar users.... I say wait a month and then just upload them here as cc 3.0, and then avoid having to create anything new that says GFDL blah blah.... we have enough license selection options already  :) – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 03:44, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
PS, this is very good news for us, opens up a ton more images and maps! – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 03:45, 23 June 2009 (EDT)

I have updated the text now that the license migration on Wikipedia and Commons should be complete. (WT-shared) LtPowers 16:37, 26 September 2009 (EDT)

Buildings and artworks in photos[edit]

The "Buildings and artworks in photos" section implies that photographs of artwork in public spaces in the U.S. are not restricted by the artist's copyright. This seems to be incorrect; the "freedom of panorama" (to use a translation of the German term) applies only to works of architecture in the U.S., at least according to the fine folks at Wikimedia Commons. (see commons:COM:FOP) I suggest we adjust our guidance accordingly. (WT-shared) LtPowers 16:15, 9 July 2009 (EDT)

Text adjusted accordingly. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 22:26, 9 July 2009 (EDT)

Photo attribution[edit]

Swept in from en:pub Do we want to go down the path of putting attribution on each photo if requested by the author? See [6]. The CC-BY-SA licence says we must provide attribution reasonable to the medium, but I think we should act in good faith here, and if the author doesn't want their work used here with our standard attribution, then we just remove their image. --(WT-shared) inas 20:36, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

This has come up in the past and the consensus was that photos in articles should not have credits on them; I think it was related to Wikivoyage_talk:Copyleft#JensANDMarian_VFD_discussion. If a user wants a credit in the caption and doesn't want the image to be used without it then my preference would be to simply VFD the image. -- (WT-shared) Ryan • (talk) • 20:50, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Also discussed on Shared to the consensus of no credits in photo captions. The photo is marked all rights reserved on Flickr, but Peter did the original grab, so I expect she originally had it as CC and changed the licensing in the months since then. I'm fine with deleting it. (WT-shared) Gorilla Jones 20:52, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I'll just vfd the image. Following on from the discussions pointers above, I think it would be possible to automate adding the credit from the photo template to an attribution template within the article, should this every prove desirable. Doesn't seem to be a big issue at the moment. --(WT-shared) inas 22:04, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
My hunch here is that this was simply a misunderstanding—I'll send Karen a note. FYI, I got permission directly from her to license the image (at this low resolution) under CC-by-SA 3.0. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 12:49, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
This came up because of the need to click through twice to the attribution information (once for the photo page on :en, then again to :shared). Karen noticed this when checking whether iguide (which mirrors our content) provided proper attribution. (The iguide site admin was actually the one who added the thumbnail caption attribution.)
I created a duplicate page here with the attribution info as a courtesy to her (and because I really want to keep that photo), but this is obviously a larger problem that cannot reasonably be solved in this way. This really needs to happen. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 20:13, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
Making a local copy seems a bit of a hack, and only solves the issue for one language version. If we don't hold out much hope for the tech request, I think we just develop a quick imageattribution template, which just puts the type of licence and attribution in a small font at the bottom of the page with the other attribution info. for now, we just use it for the difficult cases, but we could easily automate it at some stage if required. Would solve a few other problems with licencing and attribution of images as well. --(WT-shared) inas 21:33, 3 September 2009 (EDT)

Images missing source and license information[edit]

The image policy says that images without license information should be deleted. What of images without source information, such as Image:Entebbe Kampala Route.jpg? Is the PD-self tag sufficient claim that the uploader took the image him/herself? I tend to think not, but I'm not sure all would agree. (WT-shared) LtPowers 21:00, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Common sense applies here as well. The route pic there looks like a screenshot from Google Maps and is thus a copyvio, but if somebody uploads a random pic and slaps PD-self on it, we'll usually assume good faith. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 23:11, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, I linked the wrong image -- had two from the same user up and copied the wrong name. The map I already nominated for deletion because it was missing license information. Image:Entebbe Airport.JPG, on the other hand, is licensed PD-self but has no explicit source. Yesterday it struck me as not being likely to have been taken by the uploader, but a second look at it today makes me think maybe it was. (WT-shared) LtPowers 09:27, 30 September 2009 (EDT)


Swept in from pub:

Are very wide panorama-type pictures allowed to illustrate a destination? (example: [7] (WT-shared) Rastapopulous 19:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I don't see why not. Use <br clear="all"/> to make it appear underneath (rather than next to) the text, and use |center instead of |thumb or |left or |right. You can see an example of this on Southern Tier. (WT-shared) LtPowers 22:09, 10 November 2009 (EST)
How do I add a caption then? If I try to do it now, the picture reverts to full size, which is too big. (WT-shared) Rastapopulous 11:08, 11 November 2009 (EST)
I've added a caption to it without it reverting to full size. Seems to have worked. (WT-shared) Andyfarrell 11:28, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes. I think the problem was caused by the fact that I didn't add |thumb. The Wikivoyage:How to add an image article, while fairly clear on how to use individual elements, is not very helpful for combining elements. (WT-shared) Rastapopulous 11:35, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I should have specified that. (WT-shared) LtPowers 13:11, 11 November 2009 (EST)


The "Summary" section says both:

  • "Copyright information on images should be added to image pages. Images without copyright information are assumed to be available under the default Wikivoyage license, the CC by-sa 3.0, however Wikivoyage Shared has special templates for this - use them."


  • "You must select one of the licensing options on the pulldown menu—images uploaded without licensing information will be deleted."

So which is it -- are images without licensing information deleted, or are they assumed to be licensed under our default text license? (WT-shared) LtPowers 08:57, 4 January 2010 (EST)

It's the former, we cleared that up pretty well last year, but I suppose there are a few confusing relics around, I'll change that one now – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 10:27, 4 January 2010 (EST)

I admit to some discomfort with the auto-licensing provision; we all know people don't read the text on Special:Upload very closely at all (if they did, we'd stop getting uploads to :en). I would much prefer we enforce a license selection via the dropdrown list, rather than simply asserting CC by-sa over anything anyone uploads. And yes, I know we do exactly that with text, but text and images are very different beasts. (WT-shared) LtPowers 11:23, 4 January 2010 (EST)
If you haven't already, have a thorough read of #Images automatically licensed as cc-by-sa-1.0?, and after seeing how much anguish that conversation caused (and the eventual loss of 2 contributors, if I recall correctly), decide if you want to reopen that debate :). I agree on the forced license selection, have championed it several times, but sadly we would need IB's help and we know how that goes. Also see WtTech:Disable Upload file button until a license selected and WtTech:Make uploads ccbysa1.0 by default(WT-shared) cacahuate talk 11:29, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Most of the anguish seemed to be based on disagreement over the methods used. I'm certainly not suggesting VfDing all images that don't have an explicit license tag. But frankly, the current method seems a little sneaky. (WT-shared) LtPowers 16:33, 4 January 2010 (EST)
How so? It's clearly stated at special:upload, there's nothing sneaky about it – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 16:46, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Because the average Internet user isn't used to losing control of his images just by uploading them to a web site. Yes, the implicit grant is clear if one reads the right text, but I think it's obvious not everyone does that. (WT-shared) LtPowers 17:01, 4 January 2010 (EST)
I don't think there's much we can or should do to make up for people clicking buttons without reading warnings first, we're hardly the only website that relies on "by clicking here" warnings. I've bolded it though in special:upload to try and draw a little more attention to it – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 17:04, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Sure, but this involves people losing the right to control their images; the stakes are a bit higher, don't you think? (WT-shared) LtPowers 19:35, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Nope.... It involves people agreeing to license their images under the cc license, and they are told so before uploading. There's multiple attempts to educate them before they click upload. Too lazy or rushed to click over and read more about licensing? Not our problem :) – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 09:03, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Well that's why I said "a little sneaky" instead of outright dishonest. It's that "not our problem" bit. (WT-shared) LtPowers 13:39, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Ah then, I see we have very different definitions of sneaky :) 17:08, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Editorial use[edit]

I think the reason for the current backlog on the vfd page is that the practice of deleting pictures of tourist attractions under various copyright laws is very much new, and people aren't sure how to respond to it without having had a discussion to produce a consensus on what to do. We had a discussion regarding keeping photos of types of landmarks (sculptures, murals, Legoland, etc.) under "editorial use" rights [8] at Votes_for_deletion/Archive_July-Dec_2009#Image:Nyhavn_lego.jpg. That discussion should be required reading before continuing this one.

I think we have a pretty strong imperative to invoke our right to editorial use of photos. As a travel guide, it would be quite harmful to our site to disallow photos of prominent attractions, and if we don't allow photos under editorial use, we'll wind up forbidding photos of a ton of really important images, including loads of photos already used on our site. The laws are there to protect our rights to use of such images, and other wikis exercised these rights, including the big ones under the Wikimedia umbrella. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 14:24, 11 January 2010 (EST)

It has always struck me as one of the fundamental, founding principles of Wikivoyage that the content included therein be free. Not just free as in beer (a laudable goal in itself), but free as in speech. Our image policy says "All images on Wikivoyage Shared and the Wikivoyage sites must be licensed in a way which is compatible with the copyleft license, or must be in the public domain." Our copyleft says "Anyone can use Wikivoyage content according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license." Including "editorial use" content would require us to change those bedrock principles, and it would unnecessarily hinder our reusers.
As for editorial use, I'm having trouble finding a clear definition of the phrase. As the Photo Attorney (to whom you linked) points out, "Editorial Use May Not Always Be Fair Use". That means: just because something is used editorially does not mean it automatically falls under the "fair use" exceptions present in U.S. copyright law; an editorial use may still be considered illegal copyright infringement. And not all countries' copyright laws make allowances for fair use anyway.
Including derivative works of copyrighted items is a legal morass into which I'd just as soon not dive, especially given the contradiction it presents with our stated principles and the obstacles it puts up in front of reusers of our content.
-- (WT-shared) LtPowers 09:29, 12 January 2010 (EST)
I agree with (WT-shared) LtPowers. Lets try to keep it free to use anywhere for any purpose (in line with our copyleft). I think it would be wrong to rely on specific provisions of U.S. law which may give a travel guide a loophole. It hinders third party use, and means that people in other jurisdictions have to check every image. At the end of the day, if use of the image would hinder the reuse of our work, then we shouldn't keep it. --(WT-shared) Inas 18:28, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Check the bottom of any article on :en—re-users already have to check each image they intend to use, as they have different licensing requirements. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 18:32, 22 February 2010 (EST)
All our images have licences compatible with our copyleft. They may have different licence variants within that framework. If we are going to change the way our information can be distributed (non-commercial, fair use, etc), and limit some of our site to distribution only in the U.S, that should be something we discuss far more broadly - it is a fundamental change. --(WT-shared) Inas 18:40, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Wikivoyage's "free for any use anywhere for any purpose" principle is very laudable. How much do we collectively know about the fairly arcane legal field of copyright of publicly owned monuments? This seems to be the key driver of this discussion. Laws are presumably very different from country to country. I truly struggle to imagine the circumstances in which a government body would take action over the use of a photo of a public landmark in a travel guide, be that use editorial or otherwise. Are there any precedents for this? That might help me (and I am sure others) better understand this problem.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 23:12, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Hear, hear! (WT-shared) Riggwelter 02:33, 23 February 2010 (EST)

But our copyleft doesn't only say you are free to use it in another travel guide. It means I can frame it and sell it, it means I can make a print fron it, I can make a catalogue of world sculpture from it, i can use it as the cover of a magazine, or a book. An artist whose work appeared in one of those forms, and sold commercially may well object - but our copyleft gives people the freedom to do that.

All this stuff has been done to death at Commons, including the precedents when available. I say we mostly just follow their lead, and not reinvent the wheel. If we want to depart from what they do at Commons, we would need think why our understanding of copyright differs from theirs. --(WT-shared) Inas 07:18, 23 February 2010 (EST)

Very well said; I'm glad you agree with me because I am not able to communicate the idea as clearly as you. =) (WT-shared) LtPowers 09:47, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Could you please link discussions from Commons—my understanding is that they very much do allow images under fair use. Otherwise they could not display images of virtually any sculpture created in the past 50 years... And they most certainly do. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 12:25, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Well, the policy page is commons:Commons:Fair use. It says in big letters "'Fair use' material is not allowed on Commons". And while they do have photos of sculptures created in the past 50 years, they will all fall into at least one of the following categories: a) images that haven't been noticed by someone familiar with Commons' copyright rules; b) images from countries that have freedom of panorama exceptions for sculptures; c) images of sculptures that are released under a free license; or d) images in which the copyrighted sculpture is a minimal part of the work as a whole. If you know of any that only fall into category a, please nominate them for deletion! (WT-shared) LtPowers 14:00, 23 February 2010 (EST)
OK, but on the other hand, Wikipedia permits the use of fair use, under strict criteria, because their goals (like ours) are different from Commons. Commons' principal goal is independent of its use by other Wikimedia projects—it aims to be the principal repository of free media on the internet, for use by everyone. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is concerned with illustrating its articles, and recognizes that in certain cases this will be impossible to do without accepting fair use (it only accepts such images when there is no reasonable way to illustrate the object in question). Therefore, it is allowed to upload images to Wikipedia under such terms. I see no reason why we should adopt a more restrictive policy for Shared, as it would be silly to treat Shared as anything other than a repository for our guides, as we will never compete (or need/want to compete) with Commons. We could copy Wikipedia's policy on this near verbatim.
The argument that we should not accept images under editorial/fair use for the benefit of re-users does not to me seem compelling—certainly not enough so where we should hinder our ability, as a travel guide, to use images of major attractions! Re-users must already check each individual image they are re-using in order to respect the terms of their individual licenses. Is that ideal? Perhaps not, but it is what it is. Re-users like B&Bs are unlikely to care much about this, while re-users like magazines or guide publishers will, as they are in the business of being really careful about permissions. I get contacted quite frequently regarding the publication of my maps in various magazines, websites, etc., even when I've released the image into the Public Domain! --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 14:27, 23 February 2010 (EST)
It's too late not to adopt a more restrictive policy, as we already have, from the very founding of the site! The site has always had a strict copyleft, and with it the guarantee that our content is available under free licenses. To adopt the English Wikipedia's stance on fair use would be a foundational change to the goals of the site. (Also, it actually does complicate reuse to introduce non-free material, as currently, a potential re-user can be certain that any material will be freely re-usable. Without that guarantee, the user will have to check each image individually before he even knows if he can re-use it or not, rather than only to check what the licensing requirements are.) (WT-shared) LtPowers 17:06, 23 February 2010 (EST)
I'm sorry, but your last comment did not make sense. Our current policy does not allow fair use rationale for images, we change policy via discussion, and we are currently having a discussion regarding the proposal to alter that policy. Asserting that it's somehow too late to make a change that you don't like, regardless of whether we develop a consensus here, does not align with the most basic practices of how we work together on this wiki.
As licensing requirements as well as author attribution necessitate looking at the image page, this change would in no way change that. A potential re-user, when checking the image page, would see whether they could use that particular image under the licensing conditions, and editorial use. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 18:03, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Although I'm sure (WT-shared) LtPowers can speak for himself, I didn't see him as saying that it can't be changed, just that such a change is fundamental to the site, and that it changes our goals.
I really think that a little research on "fair use rationales" is required before we go any further here. If you are proposing this change, you should suggest a fair use rationale that may apply here. I don't think there is any rationale that would apply to We are talking about using entire images or artwork, for a commercial purpose. If there is no legal rationale at our disposal, this debate is futile. --(WT-shared) Inas 19:01, 23 February 2010 (EST)
It is far from clear to me that we would have any entitlement to resort to the U.S. provisions of fair use. This site isn't for research, study, personal use, criticism, review etc. It is a commercial enterprise to sell ads on a travel site.
There is a subtext here that seems to be saying, that it may well be a copyvio, but who is going to care enough to prosecute, and if they do we can just delete the image then. There is some validity that argument, I think. After all this is the way youtube, etc seem to work - just let people upload and wait to see if someone complains, and take action then. And even if they do prosecute, it will likely be a reuser (such as a magazine), and it won't be our problem - its theirs.
Personally, I'm happier with the OSM whiter that white philosophy - that our primary goal is to produce a free and unencumbered travel guide. If we wanted an part encumbered or copyrighted one, we should just go and buy a LP. --(WT-shared) Inas 17:59, 23 February 2010 (EST)
LTPowers and Inas make quite compelling arguments as to why Wikivoyage policy does in many cases seem to disallow the use of images of landmarks and monuments. That says to me the policy is wrong. If we have to move to situation whereby all of our text is free use and 99% of our images are free use, but there is a disclaimer regarding public monuments and landmarks encouraging the re-user to do his own his own legal research in those specific cases, then so be it. I think that is hugely preferable to deleting iconic images which are important in our travel guide. There is surely not a government body anywhere in the world who would sue a travel guide for using an image of publicly-owned monument. That makes me very comfortable about using such images here. A re-user who might not be a travel guide can make their own minds up.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 01:18, 24 February 2010 (EST)
I find your approach of "sure, it may be illegal in theory, but who on earth is going to sue you for posting a photo of a fountain", refreshing. At least we have something positive to discuss, rather meandering through justifying why Wikivoyage is entitled to some exception to the copyright law, which in my opinion it almost certainly isn't.
However, I still think that saying we are creating some content just for "our guide", that may not be able to be redistributed by some parties even if they adhere to our licence conditions, is a very fundamental change to our goals. We would no longer have a guide that could be redistributed freely by anyone. As such, we would want a broad consensus in order to change that goal. --(WT-shared) Inas 17:21, 24 February 2010 (EST)
Yes it would certainly be a change, but one that would only effect a small number of (important) images. After ploughing through all the tedium at Commons, most countries that have evolved copyright laws seem to allow use of such images anyway. The image that prompted the current round of debate seems to be the one I uploaded of the publicly owned dolphin statue at Lovina. Not at all surprisingly, Indonesia does not seem to have any ruling on freedom of panorama. I am sure if the relevant govt department was approached they would not even know what it meant. The lawyer responsbile would probably look it up on Google using his computer which is full of pirated software. It also stuck me that our current policy would require that images of the Bali Bomb Memorial be deleted ; a monument designed specifically for folks like us, commissioned by the governor, largely paid for by public donations from travel-related businesses. I am sure this is not be the only such example which tests the bounds of logic.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 22:46, 24 February 2010 (EST)

As an aside, and possible counter example, the Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru and other Aboriginal managed areas. If you want to take a commercial photo in Kakadu expect to pay a flat fee. Same goes for Uluru. So, sure, some governments probably won't care, but others have shown that they do. --(WT-shared) Inas 23:57, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Jesus fragging Christ. Do we really have to go through this shit again? First of all, here's what "commercial" means in terms of photography:

Commercial use in the context of images (photos and video) is limited their use in advertising and promotional material - every other use is non-commercial. [9]

Got that? "Advertising and promotional material" means that the subject of the photo is used in a way that endorses the content. This is most definitely not the case for images found on Wikivoyage, which isn't selling or promoting anything, and hence, our use of them is not commercial, it's editorial. This means that Australian/NSW/Uluru whatever restrictions on "commercial" photography do not mean jack shit for Wikivoyage.

Now, editorial is not the same as fair use. Fair use means that you can use any content, even if the copyright holder objects, for a set of strictly limited purposes which Wikivoyage may or may not qualify for. We do not accept fair use on Wikivoyage, nor do we need to.

Now, Wikimedia Commons goes a step further and attempts to ensure that all their images are usable for all purposes. But Wikivoyage Shared's explicit mission in life is to be an image repository for Wikivoyage, and nothing more. Our responsibility starts and ends with ensuring that the person who holds the copyright of the image — which is not the same at all as the copyright of various objects depicted in an image — has licensed it as CC or public domain.

An example to illustrate this:

  1. I go to Uluru, take a picture of it, license it as CC by-sa 3.0 and publish it.
  2. Somebody uploads it to Wikivoyage, which uses the picture editorially.
    1. I hold the copyright to my picture. I cannot sue Wikivoyage, because I have explicitly granted all the right to use it editorially.
    2. NT holds the copyright to Uluru. They cannot sue Wikivoyage, because the law covers only commercial use of the picture.
  3. Mr X takes the picture off WT and uses it in a commercial.
    1. I hold the copyright to my picture. I cannot sue Mr X, because I have explicitly granted all the right to use it commercially.
    2. NT holds the copyright to Uluru. They have not handed over this right, and under NSW, they can sue Mr X. This is not Wikivoyage's problem, and Wikivoyage is not in any way at fault — it is always the publisher's responsibility to ensure that all copyrights are cleared.

Clear enough? If anything, our policies need to be clarified so that users understand that we can ignore most of these bullshit commercial use restrictions; however, it would be a nice little courtesy to tag some images, so that potential reusers understand that various authorities attempt to claim rights to their commercial use. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 02:17, 25 February 2010 (EST)

You missed the point, and your rant only addressed the aside. Read the text again. This discussion is nothing to do with what constitutes commercial use, or whether Wikivoyage use constitutes commercial use. You also have the basics of the law wrong, and the NT doesn't hold any kind of copyright in the images of the rock. This discussion is partially about free redistribution to people who do use the images, and whether we want restrict that, and partially about whether we are comfortable with some level of illegal use when the possibility of any legal action being taken against anybody at all is small. My aside, providing an example in Australian law was only to provide a counter example to the Indoesian example given, namely that there are some governments that do care, even if the Indonesian one doesn't. Please comment on either of the two issues actually being discussed here, if you have an opinion. This discussion was never about commercial use of images. --(WT-shared) Inas 04:59, 25 February 2010 (EST)
I have not missed the point, and I find it surprising that you are missing my point. To recap:
1) Wikivoyage's responsibility ends with Wikivoyage. To give another example, if I can take a picture of Evan from Wikivoyage and caption it "This guy is a child molester", I will commit criminal defamation -- yet that doesn't mean WT is in any responsible for my actions. Precisely the same applies to anybody who commercially uses an image from Wikivoyage that happens to contain some object that somebody thinks is copyrighted.
2) You state that "Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru", but Wikivoyage is not doing commercial photography, so this restriction is not a concern for us. If what you now state is correct -- that NT does not attempt to enforce a copyright on Uluru, and instead eg. only requires permits for entering for the purpose of commercial photography, then we have even less to worry about, since then it's a case of trespassing and this has nothing to do with copyright at all. (However, some places -- probably most famously the Eiffel tower's night lighting -- do attempt to claim copyright on all derivative works including pictures.) (WT-shared) Jpatokal 21:34, 25 February 2010 (EST)

I understand your point - but it has nothing to do with the point. The Eiffel Tower, try to claim copyright due to creativity etc. I don't think the NT government are trying that with a rock that has existed for an eternity. Anyway..
To clarify...
Point Number 1 - We are currently have as one of our goals that our guides are free to redistribute - commercially or otherwise - as long as the terms of our licence are complied with. Of course it will always the responsibility of the reuser to verify they comply with what ever restrictions apply in their jurisdiction, and if we wanted we could just satisfy ourselves that we are comfortable with our own legal position, and to don't concern ourselves with our reusers. After all, millions of web sites do just that. However, it is my opinion that our goals encompass far more than that. If we are placing images on our site that we know cannot be reused just by complying with our copyleft that is a change to our current goals - and it should be discussed widely, and a solid consensus reached.
Point Number 2 - Reusing artwork, sculptures, in which copyright subsists, in the way we do on Wikivoyage is almost certainly a breach of that copyright. Whether Wikivoyage is using them commercially or not has little or no bearing on this, and the editorial use, or fair use is not relevant to us as far as I can see. Neither of those concepts depend on commercial use. The issue here is, do we care - given the likelihood of the issue being prosecuted? Do we care on behalf of our reusers?
From interpreting your comments, it seems you care little about the legal position of our reusers. It is their lookout, and their responsibility. I disagree. I think having a freely distributable guide is one of our paramount goals, and we should go to considerable lengths to do everything we can to maintain that. --(WT-shared) Inas 23:11, 25 February 2010 (EST)
I basically agree with Jani that it is the responsibility of the re-user to ensure that they are in compliance with all laws if they plan to use something commercially. However the only thing I think that we are possibly doing wrong is knowingly saying that an image is available for re-use under cc-by-sa-X.0, when it fact it should be cc-by-sa-X.0-NC.
If we know for sure that a monument, sculpture, etc, cannot be photographed and sold commercially, I don't think in good conscience we can tell people that it is available commercially and just expect them to figure out that it's not. – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 12:54, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Arguing over commercial use is a bit of a red herring. Plenty of governments, including the U.S., do not make a non-commercial exception to copyright law for artworks. A photograph of a recent sculpture in the U.S. is subject to copyrights held both by the photographer and the sculptor, and only a "fair use" or "de minimis" argument has any chance of circumventing the sculptor's copyright ("editorial use" being a subset of fair use). Using it non-commercially does nothing to absolve the re-user from the legal need to respect the copyright. (WT-shared) LtPowers 12:57, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Agreed.... my only issue is that we are telling people they can reuse it as ccbysaX.0, when it fact they can't – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 13:14, 26 February 2010 (EST)

First of all, Ian, how can you possibly consider Jani's comment missing the point when it rebuts the argument that only you were making... that Wikivoyage's use of images is commercial and therefore cannot use an editorial use rationale?

Anyway, this conversation is starting to confuse me, so I'll try to make the points I want to make as clear as possible. I apologize in advance if I'm getting repetitive, and the ugly bolding is just to call out important topics.

  • It is ironic that the people here that actually are re-users of Wikivoyage content are the ones arguing that re-users need to be responsible to themselves in these matters, not us. From experience as a re-user, and with dealing with other re-users, I fell pretty confident that responsible re-users are really careful to take care of themselves, and irresponsible re-users ignore every aspect of our re-use stipulations. It's nice of us and a goal of ours to make their job easier, but there's a limit to how far we should go if it will diminish the quality of our guides. I think allowing fair use under very restricted criteria would add minimal complication to re-use, but would be quite beneficial to our site.
  • Allowing images that would constitute a small portion of those that we use to be marginally more restrictive for re-use (by applying a fair use rationale?) is not a foundational change in our site and its goals. Wikivoyage is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. That is our goal. Including images of major attractions furthers that goal by improving the quality of our guides, while omitting them detracts from it. Our additional aims include include our guides being useful for inclusion in other travel books, giving up-to-date information for travel guide publishers. This will not change that. Period. I think the potential disadvantages for re-users are being blown way out of proportion—they are in fact minimal—and I say that as a re-user...
  • Our re-use disclaimer, shown on every single page, states: Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details. Allowing images under fair use would require no change in our re-use disclaimer, as it would not complicate responsible re-use in any significant way. A re-user already needs to check each and every image they re-use to make sure they fulfill the licensing requirements (e.g., the author's name if the license requires attribution). We area already up front with re-users that they cannot simply re-use our image content and assume it is usable under CC-by-SA 3.0. This is why I really don't understand the argument being made that allowing fair use rationale (under the same criteria that Wikipedia uses) would somehow create such a barrier to re-use.

To make this discussion less abstract, lets look at an example (and I could produce many, many more). I use photos of public artwork in illustrating our guide to downtown Chicago's public art. Leaving that article devoid of images would diminish its quality, usefulness, its attractiveness to readers, its value as an example to the world of the quality of our site, and ironically, its appeal to re-users! Here is my photo of a Chagall mural. I want to keep it, as it improves our guide. Wikipedia also includes an image of the mural in its article on the mural. It does so because a) it can and b) it makes the article much more useful. An ideal guide to Chicago's public art would actually include images of each sculpture a reader would see along the way, to make them easier to identify (that's not practical here for other reasons).

My best reading of the opposition to importing WPs fair use policy on images is that of an exaggerated worry about something rather trivial (an obstacle to re-use?), in opposition to a change that would clearly and significantly benefit our site and its goals (this was my read on opposition to the license update too...). So help me, what is the important overriding concern here that trumps the value of illustrating our guide with relevant photos? Please give an example of what the consequences would be, for the abstract-weary.

Oh, and Jani, you say we don't need to apply fair-use—why? Don't we in order to keep an image like the one of Chagall's mural? --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 20:00, 26 February 2010 (EST)

Okay - you want to talk about commercial use, fine. Wikivoyage almost certainly is commercial use. If you search "adsense" and "commercial use" you will find many opinions on this, as it comes up often. Jani's link is both irrelevant and misleading. If it were to be tested legally, a common sense test would likely apply. Are the people using the image making money from their use? If so, the use is likely commercial. IB are making money from their use, and so the use is commercial. The same as if CNN or the New York Times used the image.
But as I said above, any discussion of "commercial use" is missing the point. Unless someone can give a reason or a rationale as to why commercial use makes any difference as far as copyright is concerned, e.g. they come up with a fair-use rationale under U.S. law which depends on non-commercial use. If someone comes up with this, then we can start discussion of commercial use in earnest, and I'll be happy to contribute where I can. Until then we are just hot air.
Until someone identifies something that actually depends on commercial use, the only two points at issue are the two I clearly listed above. Do we care about copyright of public panorama, given the chances of WT being sued are very small, and do we can about being whiter-than-white as far as our reusers are concerned. Any further discussion on commercial use that doesn't actually state why it is important to this discussion, just takes us further down a rabbit warren, and away from the actual issues.
And again, my opinion is that we can live without the occasional mural, because I think the "free", and the beginning of our mission is important. The fact that the text at the bottom says the images are under various licenses does not change the established practice we have of protectively deleting copyright and non-free images, in order to keep our guide free. --(WT-shared) Inas 21:51, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Well, you do realize that CNN and NYTimes do use photography under editorial use, and the argument that the use is non-commercial, right?
We delete copyrighted and non-free images because we understand them to be images that we cannot use. If we can use photos where the photographer has given the go-ahead, but the photo is a derivative work of public art or architecture that is copyrighted, then I think we should. I believe, from reading your comments... that the issue is relevant because it would determine whether we can legally use an editorial or fair-use rationale in keeping images? You insist we cannot because Wikivoyage is a commercial entity, others disagree. This is not an area that I know much about, and I didn't talk about it at all in my post.
But if you don't want to continue talking about commercial/non-commercial use because you don't think it relevant, then why do you continue to do so? I was rather hoping for a response to any of the arguments or requests that I made, rather than see them buried further back up the thread... --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 23:22, 26 February 2010 (EST)
And this is why the Wikimedia Foundation has a legal counsel.  ;) The only issue for me is that we claim to be a free travel guide, and I've always thought that was free-as-in-speech, not just free-as-in-beer. In order to be truly free, everything we offer needs to be available under a free license. If we have derivative works of copyrighted material in our "free" travel guides, then they're not really free anymore. That's the foundational change of which I speak. It is a change of such great import that I would expect no less an effort at communication and sitewide consensus than we mustered for the license change before deciding to implement it. (WT-shared) LtPowers 10:14, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I absolutely agree that we should get more people involved in this discussion, as it is important. I don't agree that this would make our guides "unfree"—Wikipedia certainly still claims to be the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, despite using some images under fair use (and they definitely mean free as in speech). My worry about excluding images like public art (and I checked, we'd have to remove really high quality, very relevant images from all but three of the 21 Chicago articles if we ban these), is that we'd hurt our site in a tangible way, in marginal pursuit of an absolute ideal that would not provide tangible benefit. That's precisely what I think the license upgrade discussion was about. I cannot think of an example of how re-users or we would suffer any significant practical disadvantage from allowing images under fair use, provided we make it clear when we do. And I say that as a commercial re-user myself!
Examples of practical harm to our site are numerous: images like Image:Calder flamingo.jpg, Image:African-American Civil War Memorial.jpg, Image:Cph-Christiania-mural.jpg, Image:Mission sanfrancisco balmyalley.jpg, and many, many more are really important for illustrating our guides. Photos like these give readers a real idea of what a destination, a culture, a neighborhood, etc. is like in a way that words ultimately cannot. For destinations where modern architecture and public art are one of the principal reasons for visiting (ahem, Chicago), disallowing any such images would really deprecate our guides.
I'm a huge proponent of free content, which is why I really like Wikivoyage, and a good part of the reason why I object to obstructing and restricting the freedom of information and its re-use. Asserting copyright over any photos of public art is to me odious, and I therefore support and encourage the use of principals like editorial use and fair use, which hinder those restrictive goals, and further our goals of free content. If we keep photos under such terms, others who want to do the same can use them as well—banning them would have practical, harmful consequences for re-users too! --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 12:11, 27 February 2010 (EST)

It seems there are only 2 relevant issues here:

1. Can and should we allow images that are in some way restricted against commercial use on YES, we can, as Jani clearly laid out above (see [10] Commercial use in the context of images (photos and video) is limited to their use in advertising and promotional material - every other use is non-commercial.). So the only discussion left on this matter should be whether or not we want to. I say yes, for all the reasons Peter has outlined.

2. How easy should we make life for our re-users. As mentioned several times above, our re-users already have to check each and every image before re-using. So we aren't adding any extra burden. If they want to use the images in advertising and promotional material then not every image on our site will be available to them. I fail to see this as a problem, and certainly not our problem. Our goal is to create an awesome travel guide, not hone a database of images that are available for advertising.

Our only duty is to note the proper licensing on the images, which is my current concern: we don't have a license available on our site that defines said images as cc-by-sa-NC, so if we do decide we want to keep the images on the site, we should create that option.

I pray that we can stick to answering these 2 clear questions here and stop convoluting the conversation :) – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 13:54, 27 February 2010 (EST)

I find Jani's arguments to be persuasive and agree with Cacahuate and Peter. Even if our content was public domain, re-users would still have a responsibility to make sure they are re-using content legally. Thus, as long as we are putting the proper license on content, our responsibilities are complete. It would take a lawyer to answer this question completely, but it seems that even in cases of editorial use, CC-by-SA is more appropriate than CC-by-SA non-commercial per the following clause in the CC-SA license:
Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license: Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
Thus it seems that if we tag an image as CC-SA, as long as that tag is accurate for use on Wikivoyage then we've done all we need to do. -- (WT-shared) Ryan 14:40, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I think that covers us for onsite use, but we do attempt to tell re-users what license it is available to them under, at How to re-use Wikivoyage guides etc, so we need to in some way clarify this by editing our policy pages and removing ourselves from any re-use guidance, or introducing an NC selection in the licensing menus – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 18:45, 27 February 2010 (EST)
There is nothing approaching a consensus sufficient to make Wikivoyage no longer free. I strongly oppose the creation or acceptance of a NC use licence for any part of Wikivoyage. In order to make WT an effectively free guide, we have to do some groundwork on behalf of our reuses. I strongly disagree that our duty on this site extends only to Wikivoyage, and not to our reusers. I'm not here to just give IB ad revenue - I'm here to create a free guide.
I'm not here on a crusade to make information or public artwork free. I rarely agree with anything Richard Stallman says or does. Everybody has the right to charge for and control the use of their creative work by law. Just because they place it in a public space doesn't (unless the law says so) make them forfeit that right.
Noone has given a legal argument that holds any water as to why Wikivoyage should have a special position to use otherwise copyright images. The best anyone has come up with is Jani's blog post, and that doesn't apply to WT.
Anybody still in the commercial v non-commercial space for WT, may care to read the creative commons survey [11].
And Peter - with respect, you have an annoying habit when arguing an issue of picking out an irrelevant point, and using it to dismiss offhand a line of reasoning. I've seen you do it a couple of times to others, and you did it previously to me when we were discussing Bodies of water, when I mentioned the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Lake Como in one sentence. It probably isn't going to win me over to your point of view. In this case, I specifically said I don't consider commercial use to relevant, unless someone provides a valid legal rationale in which it becomes important. I continue to discuss it because everyone else seems to be insisting on it, and I'm not going to stick my head in the sand. --(WT-shared) Inas 22:42, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I may not have stated my case clearly - if we are stating that images are CC-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licensed, when in fact they are actually CC-SA non-commercial Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike [12], then we are at fault. Based on arguments above, and the text of, I don't think this is the case. Thus we are saying that 1. all content on Wikivoyage is CC-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licensed, and 2. it is up to anyone re-using that content to verify that they are meeting the terms of the license and using the images properly. Our responsibility extends only to #1, so it seems (to me) that we merely need to make sure we are specifying the correct license. Beyond that, it is up to the re-user to verify their own compliance with the license and copyright law. -- (WT-shared) Ryan 02:24, 28 February 2010 (EST)
But - we can't simply state that a derived image is under a licence of our choosing. If I take a photo of a mural, the photo of it may be a derived work, it may be subject to the restrictions imposed by the mural author. Even if we could find a legal premise to use it on WT, we couldn't say anything conclusive at all about the licence or the rights to reuse. --(WT-shared) Inas 23:00, 28 February 2010 (EST)
Maybe I missed something, but not all content on Wikivoyage is CC-SA. In fact, most of it is not CC SA; all text and most of the images are CC by-SA.
As for Cacahuate's "only two things": I really don't see how the first item enters into it. The majority of images under dispute are not derivative images of non-commercial but otherwise freely-licensed works; rather, they are derivative of non-free works. How does whether or not we accept non-commercial licenses matter? (WT-shared) LtPowers 16:35, 28 February 2010 (EST)
I've updated my comment above to remove acronyms and hopefully avoid confusion. -- (WT-shared) Ryan 23:05, 28 February 2010 (EST)
The CC non-commercial thing is a bit of a red herring here: any image licensed as CC SA-NC means that the photographer requires that the image may not be used "commercially", which is only vaguely defined by the license, and does not necessary even mean the same as the editorial-vs-commercial distinction of photography in general. This is entirely different from the cases we are discussing, where any objections to commercial use are not stemming from the photographer, but from the owners of various objects in the pictures.
Re: fair use, as far as I can see, the only pictures on WT that would require fair use rights are reproductions of copyrighted 2D artworks. So we can't take a picture of a Chagall mural alone (= reproduction) and stick it on WT, but a streetscape somewhere that happens to incorporate a portion of a copyrighted mural (= derived work) should be fine. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 06:22, 1 March 2010 (EST)
My understanding is that such a streetscape may be allowable if the use of the mural is minimal, under the legal principle of de minimis. Regardless, though, I don't see your justification for treating derivative works differently than faithful reproductions. On Commons, the only difference is that the latter does not create a new copyright but rather just inherits the copyright status of the original; the former produces an image with two copyrights, one held by the photographer and one for the original work (if it's copyrighted). But in both cases, the original work must be free in order for an image to be hosted on Commons. (WT-shared) LtPowers 21:37, 1 March 2010 (EST)

To quote from one of Ryan's edits above: 'It would take a lawyer to answer this question completely...'. Indeed. Probably a specialist copyright lawyer. Possibly the smartest thing said so far in this discussion. Are any of us actually qualified to be casting an opinion on these fairly arcane matters of law? If not, does anyone have a favour to call in from somebody who is, or perhaps a friend to exploit? --(WT-shared) Burmesedays 01:16, 1 March 2010 (EST)

I'm not a lawyer, but I've been doing photography for well north of ten years and run a business that attempts to make money off reusing WT content, so I'm confident enough about my opinions to put my own money on the line!
Also, while talking to an IP lawyer would be nice, the unfortunate reality is that this is a grey field, and no lawyer can make things black and white, they can only advise on probabilities and the often wildly conflicting precedents. (WT-shared) Jpatokal 06:22, 1 March 2010 (EST)
Very fair comments Jani. I can't pretend I understand these issues anything like as well as you or others here, and my comments have tended toward a layman's common sense approach (probably dangerous!). It is more than interesting to me that actual, existing commercial reusers of WT content are on the same side of fence in this debate.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 11:47, 1 March 2010 (EST)
Once again muddled, oh how fun. When I say NC, I'm referring to any image that can't be turned around and used in advertising etc, whether it's because the photographer stipulates it or because the content is a copyrighted landmark, etc. Perhaps there is better wording that should be used. But I still stand by my above 2 points. Do we use them in WT. And if so, let's provide an accurate reuse license. Not sure why that isn't clear, it seems tragically simple to me – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 14:15, 6 March 2010 (EST)
I'm arriving a bit late to the party, but I'll note my full concurrence with Jani's statements above, and that our responsibility to potential re-users ends with accurately identifying the re-use license for the content in question. (WT-shared) Gorilla Jones 16:26, 6 March 2010 (EST)
Cacahuate, it seems simple to you because you know what you meant to say. =) Am I correct, then, in surmising that your first point meant to read "Can and should we allow images that are derivative works of copyrighted material on"? Your answer to that question, though, seemed predicated on Jani's words about commercial use, so I'm not sure if your answer is still yes to the revised question. (WT-shared) LtPowers 16:41, 8 March 2010 (EST)
If it is indeed legal to use said "derivative works of copyrighted material" on (on the argument that we are using it non-commercially, are using it editorially, under fair use, whatever you guys decide to call it), then yes. – (WT-shared) cacahuate talk 16:35, 12 March 2010 (EST)
Then my next question must be to ask "How far should we go with that?" That is, if derivative works of some copyrighted material is okay, then are derivative works of any copyrighted material okay? Obviously, the answer is and must be "no" (otherwise, we could just go to the library and copy text out of published travel guides to use here), so where is the line drawn, and how do we decide whether something is on the right side of that line or not? (WT-shared) LtPowers 12:47, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
This discussion started talking about public monuments and landmarks. So I suggest that is as far as we go. I don't think anyone here is suggesting anything more. If we have to avoid some countries due to actions of wanky govts who claim ownership of public vistas (eg Australia and France), then so be it.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 07:53, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
You're willing to acquiesce to governments claiming copyright over natural landscapes, but not to artists claiming copyright over their own creations? (WT-shared) LtPowers 13:55, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
The key word was "if". Just as we have been doing, examine each image and make a decision (there will be very few). The majority of users who have expressed an opinion here seem to think we can justify use of public vista/landmark images. If there is a clear case of a govt proactively prohibiting this (as may be the case with the world's two great nanny states, Australia and France), then we should be aware of that. Whether we remove an image because of that, is open to debate. As I stated earlier, I do not think any of use are really qualified to be making a call on such an arcane area of IP law. Ultimately it might come down to whether we actually think the copyright claimant would take action. In the vast majority of cases, I suspect not and the very worst that would happen is a request to remove the image. As for re-users - for the very limited number of images involved, they can look after their own legal compliance. --(WT-shared) Burmesedays 22:37, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
I think you're underestimating the number of images involved. Also, I guess I'm not clear on what you mean by "proactively prohibiting". (WT-shared) LtPowers 08:06, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
I might be. I think there have only been a couple of this nature put up at VFD since I have been watching it? By proactively prohibiting, I was referring to situations such as (quoting Ian above): "the Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru and other Aboriginal managed areas. If you want to take a commercial photo in Kakadu expect to pay a flat fee. Same goes for Uluru." I believe the same is true of the French in regard to the Eiffel Tower. Such cases should probably be examined a little more closely than those involving administrations which care rather less. Even then it is most unlikely that the New South Wales govt would do anything other than ask for the picture of the Harbour Bridge to be taken down.--(WT-shared) Burmesedays 09:12, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
My understanding is that the French claim a possibly-legitimate copyright over the Eiffel Tower's lighting schemes, not the tower itself, which is old enough to be long out of copyright. The Australian rule is, in Commons parlance, a "non-copyright restriction", which means you may be violating an agreement if you release such a photo under a commercial license, but the Australian government has no copyright claim whatsoever. Commons ignores non-copyright restrictions, focusing only on copyright issues, so they pay no mind to the Australian restriction; that's between Australia and the photographer only. (Again, though, that's on Commons; we do not have to have the same rules as Commons.) (WT-shared) LtPowers 08:45, 18 March 2010 (EDT)

The Australian statutory restrictions, are no really different in effect to many thousands of other private institutions and private land owners that prohibit commercial photography. We have certainly had no problem using those kinds of images in the past. Since the recourse is primarily against the photographer, I think our policy in this area should be to allow the photographer to remove the image should they later discover that they have broken the law or their contract and wish to remove their image. When then choose to upload the image for commercial use, they can choose to take the risk. I would, however, say the risk is minuscule for someone outside of jurisdiction.

As far is this discussion goes, I think we are heading for an impasse. I'm genuinely surprised how many people jumped on Jani's bandwagon on the basis of a single blog post. I am not a practising lawyer in this field, but I do have a degree in law, and I know enough to see that the blogger concerned was legally way out of their depth.

We are nowhere near putting together a policy that permits fair use of images. No one has even attempted a rationale that may permit that, even if as a community we decided that it was a good idea. There is much confusion between the concepts of "fair use", "commercial use", and even this invented concept of "editorial use".

Since, we probably aren't going to engage a lawyer to work out something for us here, I think we should just remain pragmatic, and not remove every panorama on WT.

I propose, that where we have an image that is clearly of a piece of copyrighted artwork, in a jurisdiction where copyright protection of photography of copyrighted artwork is routinely enforced and/or litigated, we remove it. Else, we keep it. The exception being if the request comes from the photographer, or the owner of the artwork in the panorama, in which case we also remove it.

I understand this probably doesn't put us in strict compliance with the laws of every jurisdiction. I realise that it doesn't provide a fair use rationale, or other defences outside of the U.S, but I think it strikes a balance between the legal position, and the images we need to illustrate a travel guide. --(WT-shared) Inas 20:28, 4 May 2010 (EDT)

Honestly, I think we probably could make a legitimate fair-use argument for many of the images involved in this discussion. It's not like we're offering up a faithful reproduction of Picasso's Guernica (which is copyrighted); we're showing important landmarks, usually three-dimensional, in the context in which they appear. The difference is important to fair use, as it affects both the "purpose and character" of our reuse and the "effect" that the use has on the original work's "potential market or value" (see Wikipedia:Fair use#Fair use under United States law).
But of course, that's the United States. Different countries have different rules, and it's not clear which jurisdictions' laws apply: the jurisdiction in which the Wikivoyage servers are located? The one in which IB is incorporated? The one in which the photograph was taken? The one in which the photographer lives? Or some combination of the above? Under U.S. jurisdiction, we could probably justify using a photo of The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, but under Danish law that would be strictly prohibited (to the best of my knowledge).
It's these legal complexities, and the watering-down of the "free" portion of the site's goals, that make me shy away from allowing these fair uses. If we do decide to allow them, I would suggest a) allowing only photographs that show the copyrighted work in context (that is, no simple head-on reproductions of 2-D artwork); b) allowing only photographs whose photographers agree to a free license for the photo as a whole, even if part of the photo depicts a copyrighted artwork; and c) prominently marking each one as being derivative of a copyrighted work.
-- (WT-shared) LtPowers 10:23, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
I think I essentially agree with you. I don't want to water down the current "free" licence. I want to respect the rights of copyright owners. I don't want to rely on a concept of fair use, which is very U.S. centric, and somewhat arbitrary in its application. But - equally I want to remain pragmatic as we make decisions on what we keep, as to the reasonableness of the reproduction, and the likelihood of action against of any reusers, while maintaining our willingess to actively address the concerns of the potential copyright holders. --(WT-shared) Inas 05:14, 6 May 2010 (EDT)

Art galleries[edit]

Okay, I understand there is some dispute over photographs of copyrighted artwork displayed outside. But what about artwork displayed inside? AFAIK, no country allows a "Freedom of Panorama" exception for artwork displayed in an indoor gallery with controlled access. Image:P9205227.JPG is the image that brought up the question. (WT-shared) LtPowers 22:35, 4 July 2010 (EDT)

Historical documentary photos[edit]

I'd like to see us have a clear policy about historical photos such as this one, preferably against them. Although many articles have a history section, I don't think it is one of our goals to give historical documentation or illustrated histories of our destinations. It makes the guide look like a Wikipedia page. Let's save the images for things one might actually see there. If the reader wants to delve into history, there are better websites for that. (WT-shared) Texugo 23:58, 27 February 2011 (EST)

7 months on and no one has responded to this. I'll put a note on the en:Traveller's pub, and hopefully get some more eyes on this. I'd like to rephrase and add a bit to what I said above though, in that I am proposing we add to the Image policy page:
  • A policy regarding historical photos (i.e. "Here's what Mytownville looked like in 1930, and here again in 1946, and here's what it looked like in 1968", and so on.) Rare exceptions might be agreed upon, such as the photo of the pre-bomb Dome in Hiroshima, provided that that we deem it to be integral to the tourism experience in the given locale (as in Hiroshima's case).
  • An explicit policy (in addition to the "only simple photography" guideline) against images of artists' impressions of places or attractions (i.e. "Here's an 1867 engraving of what this old mill once looked like" or "Here's a minor Dutch realist work showing what the river used to look like back in 1737 before industry came and mucked it up" or "Here's a CG artist's idea of what these ruins looked like back when they were in use".) Again, if there were good arguments for why a particular image represents a crucial and relevant part of the modern tourist experience, we could consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
To these two policy additions, I would expect that exceptions should be extremely rare (as they have been so far anyway), and well-discussed (as they have typically not been). I think we need to categorically disallow these types of images in policy, so that we can point contributors there when necessary. Additional reasons are:
a) they are encyclopedic in both appearance and level of detail,
b) they usually represent something that the tourist won't actually experience there anyway, or could better see by going to a local history museum,
c) the artistic merit of an artist's impression will always remain a matter of taste.
d) they encourage the inclusion of multiple photos of the same subject, (i.e. "then vs. now" photos, "before vs. after" photos, or "painting vs. photograph" pairs of images)
What do we think? (WT-shared) texugo 09:34, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I would argue that in some cases they are useful. I have used historical images on dive site articles where the dive site is a wreck, as this is almost always interesting information to the diver, it is often very difficult to find such images, and it gives the diver/traveller a better understanding of what they are visiting. I also try to produce maps of the current state of the site, so we have a classic case of before and after imagery too, and once again I think this is of value in making the site more comprehensible to the visitor. My preference is that they should be allowed when they serve a useful purpose. (WT-shared) Pbsouthwood 15:01, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
It would be interesting to get the views of non-contributing users on this point. Is there any way of making such a survey? (WT-shared) Pbsouthwood 15:01, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I would be reluctant to enshrine a prohibition in policy. For articles with well developed "History" sections, an appropriate vintage painting or photograph can be an excellent compliment to the prose. (WT-shared) LtPowers 15:14, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I can see (WT-shared) Pbsouthwood's point as a potential exception criteria point, as it does serve a useful purpose, in that undersea wrecks won't have any kind of visitor's center or brochure or other information and the diver is basically exploring a ruin on his own.
(WT-shared) LtPowers, with the exception of historical photos (which the policy doesn't touch on at all), the prohibition is already basically enshrined in the "nothing but simple photography" policy. I think we have two choices here: 1) change the current policy to allow images beyond "simple photography" and thus embrace the proliferation of a hodgepodge of different image types, or 2) clarify the already-implied general prohibition and develop a set of criteria for allowing exceptions. I agree that a single, well-chosen image might, in a select few cases, be a decent compliment for the history section (only), but I really don't want to just patently allow whatever kind of painting, portrait, etching, engraving, sepia, black and white, pastel, watercolor, CGI or woodblock print somebody thinks is neat-o to be added to whatever section of whatever article they feel like decorating. This type of image changes the visual flavor of the article from one of travel in modern times to one of history and nostalgia, especially if we allow more than one such images in any given article. If you are seriously suggesting we go for choice #1 above, then you won't mind if I slip my aunt's amateur cowboy paintings into the Texas article or some pencil sketches of the designs for Saint Whatever's Cathedral before they adopted a different façade design, or some pictures of podunk hometown back in '73 when it had 3 gas stations instead of just one like it does now. If anyone really thinks it should be a free-for-all on image types, please state some arguments for that, and realize that that is a whole different policy change proposal in the opposite direction. If, however, you'd like to allow some image types to be used in a limited, controlled way that enhances rather then detracts from articles, then I suggest we spend our time developing some criteria for exceptions. (WT-shared) texugo 00:14, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I was mainly responding to your statement, "I think we need to categorically disallow these types of images in policy", which I took to include historical images. But I don't see how we can effectively enforce any strict policy that stops short of complete prohibition. Can you propose some wording you'd like to see? (WT-shared) LtPowers 11:33, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
Well, I'd really like to hear more opinions on this first. My original thinking was that
a) artists' impressions such as paintings, etchings, and the like are already forbidden by the "only maps and simple photography" line but that the prohibition should be made more explicit and obvious (without really leaving any more room for exceptions than we do for montages). Again, this is already basic policy and practice, as these regularly get vfd'd and deleted according to policy, but I just want something more concrete to point new users to, and...
b) historical photographs should be similarly discouraged as a general rule, but that exceptions might be made on a case-by-case, discussion-first basis on talk pages in the rare cases such as Hiroshima where comparing the the modern and historical appearances of a destination might be deemed a practically essential part of the tourist experience.
I didn't originally envision creating an actual set of criteria for exceptions, though User:(WT-shared) Pbsouthwood's point made me consider that it might be a worthwhile pursuit, if there are other causes for exception that we can agree upon. I don't have the text in mind for any possible exception clauses, and think that it is something that we should perhaps discuss if people don't agree to generally ban them as I suggest. Personally, I could accept a blanket ban on all the above image types, or I could accept a general ban with caveats for special cases, but I really cannot accept just allowing any and every kind of image with no criteria to help us decide what is tasteful, balanced, relevant or appropriate. Do you see what I'm saying? (WT-shared) texugo 12:31, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I really hope to get some others' opinions on this soon as well... (WT-shared) texugo 12:35, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
Just to toss out another potential exception, and I don't think we have too many of this type: it can be useful to show a piece of artwork/handicraft when it is what the area is famous for (particularly to illustrate what you go there to buy). In this instance, I'm thinking of the artwork I put at the top of en:Palekh. --(WT-shared) Peter Talk 23:43, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I'm quite against detailed policy cast in stone for this, especially since new users are already confronted with a regulars crowd that is (to my taste) too eager to just revert and refer to a policy page. That's fair enough for obvious things like touting, but images are really a matter of taste and I strongly disagree with the notion that historical or art images are principally unwanted. I'm fine with the idea that we prefer other ("general") pictures, and historic or art pictures could never replace those, but indeed there are plenty of places where they both make sense ánd make the illustrations more divers. If it's already rare, then a whole policy with concrete criteria seems.. overkill. I agree with the examples (WT-shared) Peter has mentioned, and I could also see Mona Lisa in en:France (for it's an icon) and I've used a detail of an archaeological site to illustrate the See-section of en:Greece. Any travel guide I use has such images. I really don't see how an occasional artist's impression is a problem, and if it is for a specific article, I would encourage anyone to not just delete or prohibit, but find better images and upload them. As often as possible, I think we should practice tolerance to anyone who takes the trouble to upload anything in the first place. To me a simple sentence explaining the basic ideas (see below) would be enough. If this all turns into a real problem, we can always make more detailed policies later. (WT-shared) Justme2 04:19, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

We're making a travel guide, not an encyclopedia. Therefore, historic images, artist impressions or art works are generally discouraged. However, exceptions can be made by consensus, for example where a work of art is iconic for a destination or a historic image is very relevant for the modern tourist experience. They should be used sparingly though and if you think your image warrants such an exception, be prepared to explain your reasons on the talk page.

To tell you the truth, I am fairly amenable to that wording, regarding historic images at least. Regarding paintings, etchings, etc., though I think this would be a little more permissive than we have been. A photo of a craft for sale or trellis or mural that a traveller might see there is one thing, and I'd regard that to still fall within "simple photography", but digging up an image of a random etching of a place as it was 200 years ago, or adding a painting of some guy the city was named for.. that seems the kind of stuff the "simple photography" guideline was meant to prevent\and not something that a traveller can see when he goes there. If it's iconic, sure, but I'm sure people will still upload stuff like Image:W Virginia Moundsville Grave Creek Mound.jpg fully prepared with some reason why they think it ought to go in there, and this is the kind of stuff that caused me to start this thread in the first place. (WT-shared) texugo 04:46, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

I agree with (WT-shared) Justme2, there is no need to set these things in stone. Hiroshima#Understand [13] has a historical photo that adds significantly to the History section. Many travelers go to Hiroshima for its history, and the photo makes the section more lively. Just adding one historical photo doesn't make the article an encyclopedia. I think this easily could be left to the writers of the articles instead of making up site-wide policy for this. We already have too many rules to follow. --(WT-shared) globe-trotter 10:46, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Did you read the whole thread? (WT-shared) texugo 11:04, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
Yes, I have? --(WT-shared) globe-trotter 11:21, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
I think that this is a guide for travelers should always be kept in mind. With "History" sections, I try to emphasize info that is useful to visitors in having an understanding of what they will experience when visiting today, for example explaining why a certain date is a national holiday, or why there's a bit monument to so-and-so in the city's main square. I would say that historical image usually would not be appropriate, but there might be occasional exceptions. I'd say any such images would need to pass a test: Does this image make the article more useful for a traveler planning a visit to the place, even if said traveler is not particularly interested in the details of the place's history? -- (WT-shared) Infrogmation 15:51, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
(WT-shared) Globe-trotter, I only asked because I've already mentioned the Hiroshima example more than once as one of the rare cases where it makes total sense to include a historical photo.
Thinking more on it, I am totally ok with (WT-shared) Justme2's proposed text above. It allows for some leeway but is clear enough that generally frown on these things, which should be enough to keep us away from a slippery slope of letting these image types proliferate. (WT-shared) texugo 01:46, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

Questions about images[edit]

Swept in from the en:Project:Travellers' Pub

Some photos have been deleted from en:Bangkok/Khao San Road page, because allegedly they were promotion. This one [14], because it shows a restaurant sign. This one [15] because it shows a hotel room. And this one [16] as it is a bowl of soup offered by a restaurant near Khao San Road.

I've now been checking the other en:Bangkok articles for similar pictures, and if signs are promotion, then many pictures would need to go. The rationale behind the removing of the pictures was that "they are not attractions". But then which things are attractions and which aren't? The picture removed from Khao San Road was a restaurant. So then we can also not show bars or clubs? What about shopping malls? Some examples of photos that could be seen as promotion and would need to be removed:

  • White Lodge Hotel [17]
  • FoodLoft food court [18]
  • Brick Bar [19]
  • Chacrit Muay Thai School [20]
  • Emporium Shopping Mall [21]
  • Condom Compendium Restaurant [22]
  • Long Table Restaurant [23]
  • Narcissus Club [24]
  • Nana Hotel [25]
  • Central Plaza Pinklao Shopping Mall [26]
  • RCA 808 Club [27]
  • RCA Plaza Mall [28]

Most of these pictures are from en:Bangkok/Sukhumvit, just to give an example. This is logical, because at places like Sukhumvit and Khao San Road, there are no attractions. There is not much more to do than drinking, clubbing and going to restaurants. Almost any picture would be promotion, except for those just giving an overview of the road.

Then there is a second problem: recognizable faces. Bangkok is a busy city, and there are people walking around everywhere. Some pictures were already removed, but this also puts open a plethora of images that need to be removed. Some examples:

  • Khao San Road lead image [29]
  • Chinatown [30] - shows people on the road, the road itself, but also some signs, so could also be seen as promotion
  • Yaowarat cloth seller [31]
  • Yaowarat market [32]
  • Khao San Road market [33]
  • Tuk-tuk on Khao San Road [34]
  • Soi Cow-boy [35]
  • Soi Pat-pong Night Market [36]
  • Siam Square Soi 7 [37]
  • Hualamphong Station [38]
  • Oriental Hotel lobby [39]
  • Tuk-tuks and people on the road [40]
  • Soi Thaniya [41]

Many of them are markets, which are nearly impossible to photograph without people on them. Others just show the road, and well, also people as there are people on the road. Where do we draw the line on which pictures can stay and which need to go? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 19:34, 8 June 2011 (EDT)

In addition I see that they were images that were considered acceptable during the star nomination process. As they were not criticised during that process it seems reasonable to assume that those of us who bothered to participate didn't consider them objectionable at the time. Cheers, • • • (WT-en) Peter (Southwood) Talk 07:08, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
On the "promotional"" complaint, Wikivoyage Shared image policy [42] states: As a general rule, photos of individual businesses, especially those seen to be promotional, will be deleted. Exceptions include images that are meant to be illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region, or those of exceptionally famous establishments.
It would seem to me that the Bangkok images in questions absolutely fit the category of being "... illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region". They certainly add to the articles in that respect.
On recognisable people, the Wikivoyage shared policy [43] makes an exception as follows: public spaces people give up a certain degree of privacy, which means that they can be photographed (and cannot stop the process). At Wikivoyage, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture. That surely covers any photographs of crowded streets, markets etc. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 08:43, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I know Khao San Road and Yaowarat passed the Star nomination, but this discussion took place after it. What about signs, like the Narcissus Club sign? --(WT-en) globe-trotter 09:05, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I don't see anything wrong with the soup picture; it should be restored. The sign picture is arguable, but it's pretty tasteful and I don't think it's blatantly promotional. The hotel room picture is pointless, as it looks like a generic hotel room; I don't think it'd pass muster at Shared VfD. (WT-en) LtPowers 09:51, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I would like to get back to the point that if the images were approved by consensus to be OK for a star article, they should not be removed without further discussion, unless to be replaced by a better image. If someone disagrees with the star nomination consensus they can discuss the difference of opinion on the talk page before making a change, in case there was a good reason for the use of that image. Of course the reasons may be recorded in the discussion, which should also be on the talk page, but it is quite possible for the star nomination process to miss a detail, or for best practice style to change over time. Presumably any changes made after the date of elevation to star have not been vetted by peer review, and may be patrol edited without prior discussion.
This does not prevent anyone from simply plunging forward and unilaterally changing something which was accepted by peer review, but then they should expect to be challenged and required to explain and defend their actions.
Based on this line of reasoning, I think it is acceptable to simply revert the deletions and open a discussion on whether the images are inappropriate. As one of the participants in the star nomination process, I must have accepted all the images as appropriate at the time. • • • (WT-en) Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:22, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
To clarify re: wts:Image_policy#Photos_of_businesses—I wrote that section for the express purpose of dealing with touts. If it's an image uploaded and added to the article by a regular like Globe-trotter, then I see no reason to remove it simply on those grounds. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:21, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
I agree with this principle. I think that the photos improved the article. Not that it would be impossible to find better ones, but we use what we can get until someone finds better. • • • (WT-shared) Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:30, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

Fruitless image width reduction[edit]

Sometimes I reduce the display width of images in articles out of (a misguided and ignorant?) concern for those travellers struggling with low speed and unreliable internet connections.

However it now occurs to me that just reducing the designated pixel width from, say 600px to 300px will have no effect whatever on the bytes to be actually downloaded -it just instructs the browser how to render the (already) downloaded image.

Would it be a very difficult technical task to automate the production of a reduced size (both in byte size and native width) image (thumb) whenever a (relatively) large image is uploaded and then to call it automatically with a specific image parameter syntax? --W. Franke-mailtalk 11:08, 25 September 2012 (CEST)

Are you requesting something other than the thumb option? An inclusion within an article such as [[Image:Interesting Photo.jpg|thumb|300px|right|This picture is interesting]] will indeed render and send only a 300px wide image file. -- Dguillaume (talk) 07:53, 27 September 2012 (CEST)
But only if my analysis of the download burden is correct. --W. Franke-mailtalk 00:01, 30 September 2012 (CEST)
Then I'm afraid you will need to substantially clarify what you are asking for, since thumb exists entirely for this reason. There is no browser-side resizing involved. -- Dguillaume (talk) 00:55, 30 September 2012 (CEST)

I'm afraid your analysis of the "download burden" is wrong, Frank, although your sentiments are laudable. :Dguillaume is entirely correct and specifying a size does not just change the apparent image size displayed using HTML; it actually generates a resized version of the image on the fly on the WMF servers and links to it appropriately and automatically. This happens whether or not you specify the size in conjunction with "thumb". The difference is that the default image size is used when you don't mandate an actual image width in the thumb, and that is more likely to reduce the burden - unless, of course, the specific Wikivoyage reader has set a very large default in their preferences (not possible here of course, with a maximum of 300px currently).

This means the server does all the work of changing the image size, not the web browser of the reader. Having the server do all the work, means faster downloading of pages. It also means that larger images can be stored on the server without any slowdown by the browser (especially on dial up telephone lines or slow data roaming connections in fringe radiom reception areas). Only the data for the actual size on the page is transmitted. From MediaWiki 1.5 the default thumbnail width can be set in the preferences, so it is recommended not to specify "px", in order to respect the users' preferences (unless, for a special reason, a specific size is absolutely required regardless of preferences, or a size is specified outside the range of widths {currently 120–300 pixels for Wikivoyage - but see the proposals for changing this below} that can be set in the preferences). -- Alice 04:49, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Local images[edit]

Swept from the pub:

At the moment we can only access images from Commons. See bugzilla:41985. All local images must be manually imported from wikivoyage-old, either to here (non-free) or to Commons (free images). This, that and the other (talk) 00:47, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

WMF has no intention of importing wts:, general:, tech: and the like from the old WV site. Unfortunately, images and entire categories are often named differently on commons: so all those broken wts: links likely won't fix themselves. K7L (talk) 05:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Assistance is needed. This, that and the other (talk) 07:14, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
There are lots of talks about image migration at the pub on My bot which updates file links if files have different name on Commons will resume its work when I return home in the afternoon. --Stefan2 (talk) 08:55, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Looks like you should also update links to local images that were tagged with nowCommons at We had ~7000 local images, so that's going to be another severe problem. I wonder if other languages experience it as well. --Atsirlin (talk) 09:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
This is just terrible. Am I the only one who did not realize that local images were not going to be migrated as well, or was this simply not communicated? Now, given that the old English Wikivoyage is locked, migrating 7000 files is going to be a huge pain. If we'd known this earlier, the obvious thing to do would have been to migrate all the files to wts by script and then work through them later. Perhaps that is what should be done right now by the programmers. — Ravikiran (talk) 10:28, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, this has not been communicated, but perhaps this has been implied=) I also see one positive side, though. If 7000 local images were kept, we would never clean them up.
Let's wait for the response to Ryan's bug report. If the local images are not supposed to be migrated, we should ask Roland for opening at least partial access to (and probably to other language versions), so that images can be sorted and transferred to Commons. After all, 30000 or 30000+7000 is not a big difference=) --Atsirlin (talk) 10:32, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Argh! Were those images also skipped in the import process? Yes, my script can update those links too, but it would be much easier to do so if they can be tagged properly. If you manage to get some write access to the old projects, try to use the same name for the NowCommons template and the "different file name on Commons" category on all projects as this will simplify the migration process for me. --Stefan2 (talk) 10:53, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Stefan, the templates are already there, and MGA73's bot has even done automatic tagging with NowCommons. So if your bot can run without writing access, please, start it ASAP. I will certainly ask Roland if temporary access to can be granted, but I want to have a clear reply from WMF tech people first. Maybe the images are transferred but not properly imported or something... For example, the statistics page still shows 7500 local files. This might be an old value of the counter, though. --Atsirlin (talk) 11:01, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
My bot only needs read access to the old projects, so I can fix already tagged files. However, I suspect that there are lots of untagged files. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Edits to files and categories on should now be possible, thanks to Roland.--Eloquence (talk) 16:23, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, links to all local files have now been updated if there was a NowCommons tag and if there didn't seem to be any problem with the file. Since there are so many files on Wts, there are many Wts file names which I haven't had the time to update yet. --Stefan2 (talk) 10:36, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

All flags renamed to Commons name[edit]

Today I renamed all flags on articles to the names on Commons, as on Commons duplicate files aren't acceptable. All the country articles have their flags back. If I still missed one, please let me know! Greetings - Romaine (talk) 15:56, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

My bot is back and updating images, so if you missed any flag, it will be fixed by my bot. --Stefan2 (talk) 15:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Great! Does your bot also handle files which were uploaded on en-Wikivoyage itself? If so: nice! I hope you then can also look at the other local files on the other languages versions? Romaine (talk) 16:01, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
The bot handles all files on seven language versions, assuming that they have been correctly tagged and categorised. The bot will fix the local files, but I'm currently only handling files on the two shared projects. --Stefan2 (talk) 16:15, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, things would be simplified if the old Italian Wikivoyage ( could use images from instead of --Stefan2 (talk) 16:26, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
In the past evening/night I have been working on renaming all road signs on the articles (which were available on Commons). All those file names are corrected and emptied the Category:Pages with broken file links with about a thousand pages. Romaine (talk) 07:50, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

New round of cleanup[edit]

Now is open for editing (only the File and Category namespaces). I have created the missing templates, and you can start tagging as usual. In case you don't know the details, here is a short manual. In contrast to Shared, local files are not well categorized (in fact, they are not categorized at all), so the easiest way will be to go through the files in the historical order and note down which month/year you are currently working on. The full list of local files is here.

  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003

Cropped images[edit]

Swept in from the pub

On a few occasions, I've seen people tagging with NowCommons if an image is a cropped version of a Commons file. In many cases, this looks like a variant of Commons:COM:IDENT: someone has removed identifiable individuals from the image. For example, this has been tagged as being available on Commons as File:Munduk Bali Syzygium aromaticum drying.jpg. What should I do with these images? If I replace links, then I feel that this would not just be a filename update, but an editorial decision. I see three possibilities:

  • Make an editorial decision and always update the links.
  • Update the links if the NowCommons tag was added by the original uploader. The tag would in this case work like a Wikipedia G7 (uploader requested deletion). I'm worried that it may take time to check who the NowCommons tagger is.
  • Remove all of these NowCommons tags.

Currently, I'm just skipping these, since I don't know how people would prefer them to be handled. --Stefan2 (talk) 18:58, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I trust you to make such editorial decisions. Our main goal now is to have images back. It does not hurt if some of these images do not perfectly follow the intentions of the original uploader. After all, it is a wiki, not a personal travel guide. --Atsirlin (talk) 19:24, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. These should be tagged with Move, not NowCommons, and uploaded as derivative of the originals. In many cases, this may not have been the whim of the uploader but performed for very reasonable (and often policy-based) purposes. LtPowers (talk) 19:32, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Which policies do you refer to? I agree that it is better to do things this way, but the question is: how long do we plan to live without the images, with broken links to wts, etc? So my choice is essentially pragmatic. And I know how careful Stefan is. I am sure that he will still tag dubious images as Move instead of replacing them. --Atsirlin (talk) 20:18, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
The main policy I can think of is . Beyond that, though, it's likely a case-by-case thing, and IMO the safest route is Move, not NowCommons. LtPowers (talk) 22:07, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Another thing: How about [44] / File:Burma-CIA WFB Map (2004).png? I suppose that the change in font is irrelevant. However, there is also a change in POV (Rangoon/Yangon) and one city (Beik) is only on one of the maps. A few other cities also change names. I don't know if this has to do with POV or factual errors or anything else. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:01, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

In that case, look at the source: the CIA World Factbook. The version on Commons is newer, and is thus the one we should be using. LtPowers (talk) 22:07, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, I tried to find the same version, but it did not always work. Anyway, the maps from CIA World Factbooks are obsolete. We have new maps in our own style, and these maps should be used throughout Wikivoyage. The old maps may be still in use on nl: and fr: where nobody updated them. However, these language versions did not develop the respective content either, so it does not really matter which cities are shown on the map.
In short, don't worry about the CIA maps. Always link them to Commons. --Atsirlin (talk) 22:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
In this case, it's not just a matter of checking the CIA factbook: it is a matter of POV. The name Rangoon is used by people who oppose the government whereas the name Yangon is used by people who support the government. It is also possible that someone might have edited the map to use the same names as on Wikivoyage. The page on this project is called Yangon, not Rangoon. If the map doesn't use the same name as the article, there could maybe be some potential confusion, although people going to the country probably need to learn about the name issue beforehand. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:22, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I mean that the pages using these CIA maps are so underdeveloped that they are of little use anyway. And they are always showing English maps, even though French versions are typically available on Commons. But I am not going to fix this, because we have lots of more urgent things to worry about. None of us has enough capacity to take care of all languages simultaneously. --Atsirlin (talk) 22:39, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Images under the Exemption Policy[edit]

Swept in from the pub


I uploaded an image which should fit under the exemption policy: File:Map of Agra Fort.jpg. What template(s) should I add in the description? This image was deleted on Commons as 2D art is not covered by Freedom of Panorama in India. If it is OK, I will upload more. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:36, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

PS: There is an issue with thumbnails. Yann (talk) 15:43, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

The thumbnails give "Ontario 401.svg Error 401: Authorisation required, it's my way or the highway...". This is a server-side bug so you might want to report that to bugzilla: using the "report a bug" link in the sitenotice? No one here has access to configure the servers. K7L (talk) 15:52, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Looks like the problem of local files has not been fixed yet. It would be great if you could post another bug report. We don't have any template for non-free content yet. Could you try to copy one from Wikipedia and adjust it to our purposes? --Atsirlin (talk) 15:57, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
{{KeepLocal|reason}} is used on the shared projects to indicate that an image is useful for Wikivoyage but can't be uploaded to Commons for whatever reason, but it seems that the KeepLocal template doesn't exist here. One example here and more examples here. It seems that it is also necessary to create "Information" and "Self" templates. --Stefan2 (talk) 16:00, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Could an admin import these templates from Commons and/or Wikipedia? Thanks, Yann (talk) 16:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Is there already an exemption policy agreed? Before allowing such files, such policy should exist. Also such policy isn't a blank check to upload everything which isn't allowed on Commons. With such policy there are specific guidelines that determine which files are allowed and which not. Uploading locally is not a dustbin for everything which isn't allowed on Commons. Romaine (talk) 17:15, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
See here. This policy has not matured yet, but it should be enough for the start. However, we cannot start as long as the file upload does not work-( --Atsirlin (talk) 17:19, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Yann, I'm not sure this image would meet our non-free use policy anyway. If we're going to have a map in an article, it would be better to have a Wikivoyage-style map that's entirely free than to use a picture of a non-free map. LtPowers (talk) 18:48, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
So what quite of images would be allowed? To me, this seems acceptable: a map of the Fort is essential to illustrate properly this article, and this is the original map shown on the site. Yann (talk) 06:09, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
But the map has to be presumed to be copyrighted; you would not be allowed to upload it at Commons. Wherever possible, we prefer files that can be uploaded to Commons, which in this case would be our own map, formatted in Wikivoyage style, and translatable to other languages. LtPowers (talk) 13:38, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The EDP doesn't have any statement about replaceable images (cf. w:WP:NFCC#1). Should there be one? In this case, the image wouldn't survive deletion on English Wikipedia because it would be possible to replace the image by drawing your own map, or by improving Openstreetmap's map. User:LtPowers's post above sounds a bit like the Wikipedia policy: use Commons images (i.e. free images) whenever possible. Also, the foundation's resolution says that replaceable images shouldn't be permitted, although one could maybe debate what "replaceable" means. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:47, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I did not include replaceable images when I drafted the policy because I was only considering artwork and architecture presented as artwork and architecture, which are inherently non-replaceable uses. I failed to consider the subset of "artwork" that presents useful information -- e.g., maps -- which are indeed replaceable. That was my oversight, and I apologize. You're right that the Resolution says "An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose," and our EDP should be modified to explain that. I will make a proposal on the talk page. LtPowers (talk) 14:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Of course, this map is under a copyright. That's why I uploaded it here instead of Commons. I don't see how you could make a map which would not be a derivative of this one, unless we make a survey of the whole building ourselves, which is hardly possible. And yes, it meets the criteria of art work in the draft policy. Yann (talk) 16:47, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Here's a start: LtPowers (talk) 18:32, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The thumbnailing issue should be fixed now.--Eloquence (talk) 03:11, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Non-free images[edit]

Hi folks; I've taken a stab at creating Template:Non-free image. You can see it in action on File:Sign Mammoth Hot Springs YNP Wyoming USA.JPG. It categorizes images into either Category:Photos of copyrighted works or Category:Orphaned photos of copyrighted works. The latter category is applied if no articles are listed in the template call, so it may not be the best title (it could have false positives if an image is actually used but the article isn't listed on the template... or false negatives if an image is orphaned but an article is listed in the template); I'm not aware of any programmatic way to determine if a file is orphaned or not.

Feel free to tweak as necessary.

-- LtPowers (talk) 01:04, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

File on Commons message[edit]

Swept in from the pub

According to point 5 at Wikivoyage:Cleanup: "We need a template like Wikipedia with "This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page there is shown below."" For that the page MediaWiki:Sharedupload needs to be updated with:

{| align="center" class="plainlinks" width="512px" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" 
style="border:solid #AAAAAA 1px; background-color:#F9F9F9; font-size:95%; margin:.2em auto .2em auto;"
| [[File:Commons-logo.svg|30px|Wikimedia Commons Logo]]
|align="center" | This is a file from [[:Commons:Main_Page|Wikimedia 
Commons]].<br />Information from its 
'''[{{fullurl:Commons:File:{{PAGENAME}}}} description page there]'''
is shown below.

Can someone edit that page? Greetings - Romaine (talk) 17:06, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Similar text is already displayed: "This file is from Wikimedia Commons and may be used by other projects. The description on its file description page there is shown below." Is there something more that is needed? LtPowers (talk) 19:47, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
I find that notice isn't noticeable enough. It's just one line of text. We should be immediately able to recognise an image is from Commons without having to read the notice. And there's no harm done from changing it. JamesA >talk 01:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
I tried updating MediaWiki:Sharedupload but the change doesn't seem to be reflected on image pages - see File:Denali-from-reflection-pond.jpg which still uses the old formatting. Is there another message that should be changed? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:58, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Try MediaWiki:Sharedupload-desc-here. JamesA >talk 02:42, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
That worked. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:47, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Privacy rights shed[edit]

In updating this imported page, I basically deleted everything about privacy rights. I did so reading an evolving consensus that we are leaving this sort of thing up to Commons. I left in a note about not adding your "me-in-front-of-touristy-stuff" photos. Does this seem right? --Peter Talk 04:34, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Thumb alignment[edit]

We've always discouraged left aligned thumbs. Does anyone mind if I make this official? Again, the reasoning is that our articles are supposed to be fairly uniform in structure—to allow users to quickly scan for their information. Left aligned thumbs break up the listings being scanned. --Peter Talk 06:31, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Traditionally, we have given a wide latitude to editors to deviate from the norm provided they can produce a cogent rationale.
Traditionally, we have been very careless and negligent regarding physically handicapped readers and those whose native language is not a variety of English, and this should change now that we are members of the WMF family.
Our policy should first give clear and unequivocal guidance to newbies, and then more detailed advice for long term editors.
Our Image policy article should clearly state:
Please use thumbnails unless you have a good reason not to:
  • "[[File:Name|thumb|alt=Alt|Caption]]"

This way, the display size of images can be enlarged if the reader clicks on the lower right corner of the thumbnail.

The other details are optional, if you have a good reason to change the default, and can be placed in any order:

"thumb" (or "thumbnail"; either can be followed by "=filename"), "frame" (or "framed"), or "frameless". Display the image with specific formatting.
frameless is a bit like "thumb", but means both the visible caption and the box around the image are left out. Another way to put it, is that this is like specifying no type at all, except that the default size is that of a thumbnail and the "upright" option also works (see Wikipedia article for details).
"border". Put a small border around the image.
"right", "left", "center" or "none". Determine the horizontal placement of the image on the page. This defaults to "right" for thumbnails.
"baseline", "middle", "sub", "super", "text-top", "text-bottom", "top", or "bottom". Vertically align the image with respect to adjacent text. This defaults to "middle".
"Widthpx" or "xHeightpx" or "WidthxHeightpx" or "upright" or "upright=Factor". Scale the image to be no greater than the given width and/or height, keeping its aspect ratio.
With "upright", scale a thumbnail from its default size by the given factor (default 0.75), rounding the result to the nearest multiple of 10 pixels. Size is disabled when the image is 'framed'. A factor of 1.3 is often about right for a landscape orientated lead image and 1.7 is often a good choice for maps.
Link the image to a different resource, or to nothing. Must not be set for non-public domain images unless attribution is provided in some other fashion.
Specify the alt text for the image. This is intended for visually impaired readers. See WP:ALT for how this should typically differ from the caption.
Specify the image's caption. This is visible only if "frame" or "thumb" attribute is used, but may be displayed on mouseover in other cases.

It does not matter whether the file is from Wikimedia Commons or hosted locally; the same syntax is used.

" -- Alice 02:38, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I am very much in favor of making it official and clear that we discourage left-aligned images, for the reasons Peter stated. I am not aware of any case where consensus has been reached to keep something aligned to the left, and I can't imagine why we would need to. It is every bit as much a part of the look and feel of our articles as the article templates themselves. Texugo (talk) 03:21, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
In my articles, I have always tried to alternate left- and right-aligned thumbs. I feel that it provides balance to the page layout, especially when two or more photos need to be placed relatively close to each other in order to correspond with the text of the article: stacking one directly on top of the other gives the page a lopsided look, especially when there aren't any other photos for some distance above or below. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:25, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

As you might expect, I feel that the policy wording I have proposed above, in the pink box, makes it clear enough that editors should not deviate from the defaults without good reasons, while simultaneously giving the flexibility to thoughtful editors such as André who may be able to advance a cogent rationale for deviating from the defaults. These defaults are there for good and sensible reasons, but there will be articles and circumstances where the default of a right-located thumbnail with no size specified and aligned to the middle of surrounding text might need to be changed. Another good reason might be to specify the location of a thumbnail as none to facilitate use in a table. This is not dissimilar from our policy with regard to article templates: do not deviate without good cause.

As an aside, the current revision of the Google relevancy ranking algorithm places a great deal of emphasis on the "alt" text of images since it is an attribute traditionally ignored by people trying to use manipulative Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If editors start using this correctly, they will not only help our visually handicapped readers, they will also boost Wikivoyage search engine rankings in general! -- Alice 04:30, 2 March 2013 (UTC)


I am going to insist that we do add to the policy that left-aligned images are discouraged. It doesn't matter one bit that some people want to introduce them - we can always continue discussion about whether they should be allowed. But realistically, that's what it is -- introducing something we have always specifically avoided -- and that is not something that should be done by default just because we never got around to codifying our very long-existent practice. Our body of content has been pretty meticulously curated to always right-align images - of our 30,000+ articles, I would venture that less than 40-50 currently have left-aligned images, and the ones we do have have practically all been added since Peter's original proposal above. Not putting the prohibition in the policy amounts to introducing left-aligned images by default, without consensus, in spite of our long-established practice. I think it is an absolute no-brainer that the policy needs to reflect the established practice which is already in evidence in 99.9% of our articles. It needs to be in there and it needs to be in there now. Those who are in favor of introducing left-aligned images have the onus of building consensus for changing our existing practice, and should not be allowed to impede us describing the time-honored status quo on the policy page. We don't need to build a new consensus to simply describe the status quo, regardless of who disagrees with it. If consensus is ever reached in the future to change the practice and introduce left-alignment, the policy page can always be changed again at that time. Texugo (talk) 00:01, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree—I didn't think there would be any debate about it, given that we've always discouraged the practice... in practice. The only argument I've seen for using left-aligned images is to accommodate more images than the article length allows for, which kind of runs afoul of the minimal use bit. --Peter Talk 00:16, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Moreover, for the purposes of your original proposal above, it doesn't even matter what their pro-left-alignment arguments are, and there is absolutely no need for those arguments to be dealt with before simply describing the status quo in the policy. If we allow supporters to block that, we are effectively introducing what they want by default and reversing the burden for gaining consensus, automatically throwing out our long-established practice and then fighting for consensus to get it back. That is not right. Texugo (talk) 00:22, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
This seems astoundingly, and unusually, combative. I'm surprised to see such vehemence. LtPowers (talk) 02:38, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I suppose so, and I'm sorry if my language is strong. I have just finally gotten through similar but much more heated discussions about a bunch of similar practices/policies on pt:, and I thought I sensed in the above the same tactic at work: a simple clarification of long-established practice has been stymied since January just because somebody wants to change that established practice first, with the result that the discussion is deadlocked and their desired change is implemented by default until some future consensus is re-reached, which in this case may be never. Maybe I have overdone it, but I did want to leave it clear that I consider this tactic to be unfair and unquestionably un-wiki-like. Sorry if I have offended. Texugo (talk) 03:08, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I oppose on the principle that once put into policy it becomes, in practice, virtually impossible to change in the future. Our policies are becoming increasingly prescriptive. By all means produce a guidance, a recommendation, but not a prohibition. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:42, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm very sorry, but I do not really recognize "oppose" as a valid position in this case. We aren't proposing to make anything "more prescriptive" - there has already never ever been a single case among 30,000+ articles in all these years where we decided left-alignment was ok. The practice has always been 100% consistent across all articles. Call that prescriptive if you will, but that is the status quo, and describing that in policy would represent no change, while omitting it or putting anything less into policy would represent a passive change to become more permissive without any consensus for such change. To oppose simply describing the way things have always be done is simply a vote to bypass the the process of consensus for change. Any discussion to change how we do things and make it more permissive should be a completely separate discussion. I cannot fathom any legitimate reason for opposing the simple explanation of the status quo. Texugo (talk) 13:29, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
That's an interesting way of putting it. What do you regard as valid positions?
By the way, I do not agree with much of your summation above. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:58, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Walt Disney World/Animal Kingdom was promoted to Star with a left-aligned image. LtPowers (talk) 15:30, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Wow, you're right, although I would consider that it simply slipped under the radar, and I don't think I am the only one who would have objected had I seen the nomination process. Look, I regret reopening this conversation with such a combative tone, but no one can deny that, as Peter stated, left-alignment has always been discouraged and has been corrected to the right in 99.99% of our content. The fact that it wasn't written down was never really an issue, but now that we have moved to WV, it is starting to proliferate and it has become an issue which is starting to change the consistent look of our content. Since the way WV works is "status quo until consensus to change", we need to stop now and evaluate what the status quo is (our starting point) to know what default will prevail in the event that no consensus is reached. I think it is more than obvious that status quo is against rather than for, regardless of any extraordinarily rare exceptions you may dig up, and if we do not clarify that that left-alignment is discouraged and always has been, the new practice will continue to grow and proliferate as if that were the status quo when it is clearly not. Again, I am sorry if I have offended, but I feel very strongly that left-alignment should not be able to win on a technicality that gives it the status quo advantage simply because we never bothered to write it down back in the day. Texugo (talk) 17:10, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
To Peter, I don't understand your point about policy articles becoming too prescriptive. Isn't that what they're there for? I'm all for looking the other way while productive contributors get their feet wet, but at the point of a star nomination, we look to the style policies to make sure a nominated article in line with our practices. --Peter Talk 18:35, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Also to Pbsouthwood, you wrote above that "once put into policy it becomes, in practice, virtually impossible to change". I would say that it is just the opposite: if not put into policy now, it will become, in practice, virtually impossible to preserve things the way we have intentionally kept them for years. And I do not think that is remotely fair. Texugo (talk) 18:40, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
We have a few guiding principles, and a few core content policies. Together these define WV. The rest of the policy is there to support those critical items. The more rigid the detail becomes the more difficult it is to do new and interesting things which may be improvements. If the manual of style is tightened up so that it only allows one way of presenting an article, there can be no growth into areas which are within the guiding principles and core content, but have been prohibited by rigid and possibly even unintended restraints. When that happens, generally either people ignore the rules, including the good ones, or leave. My personal opinion is that our rules are already excessively restrictive in some regards. Some may think I am trying to force my wishes on the rest, but equally it may be claimed that others are trying to force their somewhat more specific and restrictive wishes on the rest. I would prefer the project not to become a tyranny of the majority.
Texugo, consider the possibility that some of the ways we have intentionally kept things for years may not be the best ways for them to be, either now or in the future. Some of the ways things were done in the past have already been changed, and some of us think these have been improvements. Would it be fair to stifle improvements? Bear in mind that the community changes over time, and technology changes over time, and if the policies do not allow change to take advantage of new technology, or are unacceptable to new contributors, or old contributors who want to try something new, the project will stagnate and die.
All policies should have a clearly defined reason, and the reasons should be stated in the policies, so that if the reason for a policy one day is no longer valid, it will be possible to change the policy. Could we have a nice clear summary of the reasons for not allowing left aligned images, so we can see why they are currently such a bad thing? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:51, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't really think your fears are especially well-grounded with regard to the rigidity of our policies inhibiting change or growth. If changes are truly worth making, we discuss, we reach consensus, and we change them. As you have pointed out, we have already changed some of the ways things were done in the past - we've introduced categories, changed section headers, changed tags to templates, changed our listing format, introduced page banners, introduced new article types, working on dynamic maps, etc. - we have been pretty good with adapting to new technology and new ideas, and every one of those changes was well discussed until consensus was reached before implementing them. In this case however (and the case of galleries below), we are allowing the way we do things to be changed without such discussion and consensus. We have always been, for years, very strict with regards to left-alignment, which is why our body of content is very consistently right-aligned. Now however, there are new contributors, great ones even, who disregard our established practice, and those of us who do not wish to introduce the new practice are now left without any fair way to keep correcting them, so it is slowly starting to change our formatting, and without the discussion and consensus that should happen first. To go from strictly weeding out all left-aligned images to allowing them whenever somebody wants is unquestionably a big change for our content, and I insist that, like all other big changes, we be given a way to preserve things the way they are until such time as consensus has been reached. The only way to do that is to make policy reflect the practice that has brought us to this point, and then proceed with the discussion for change afterward. If we try to do it the other way around, the new practice will continue to take hold in the meantime, despite the fact that consensus may never be reached, and those who want to keep the traditional way things have been done will have lost completely by default. Texugo (talk) 11:32, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Oops, forgot to answer your last paragraph. Rationale for not using left-alignment includes, at least:
  • it creates a meandering text flow, the appearance of which varies greatly depending on the user's font size, monitor size, window size, and browser type
  • it introduces random flow and formatting problems (same reason we are happy to eliminate the left-aligned TOC), and these are not always evident to the person adding, due to the same variables as the previous point.
  • it reduces quick scannability of listings by splitting parts of lists away from the left margin
  • it presents yet one more aesthetic variable for editors to disagree and fuss over.
There may be other arguments introduced over the years as well. Texugo (talk) 11:41, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


While I would agree that right-alignment of images is the preferred format in almost all cases, I also agree with Peter that many of our policy pages are turning into long lists of things that aren't allowed, which is a concern. In this case would it be acceptable to update the image policy with something like the following:

Images should be right-aligned, as this keeps a consistent look and feel across articles and avoids layout and flow issues that can be encountered when different alignments are used. If there is a compelling reason to use an alignment other than right-alignment, be sure that the reason is obvious to others and ideally explain that reason in an edit comment or on the article's talk page. Please do not use different alignments solely as a way to fit more images into an article - see minimal use of images.

Would that encapsulate the preferred formatting, without closing the door entirely on experimentation? -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:24, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I appreciate your diplomatic attempt at resolution, and that would certainly be better than nothing. I might be amenable to that wording, particularly if you strike the words "in an edit comment or", but in almost a decade of working with this material, have we ever come across any situation where we agreed there was a compelling reason to use another alignment which was obvious to others (besides perhaps centering panorama pictures)? Texugo (talk) 21:02, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd be pretty happy with that wording, although I might add at least one strict line: "don't use them when they would alter the formatting of a bulleted list." That's the single biggest problem they present. --Peter Talk 23:12, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I would like to see that caveat as well. And since it has always been possible to avoid left-alignment in one way or another, I'd much prefer that an edit comment alone not be sufficient. I think an argument should be presented as to why an exception has to be made, because I have never seen such a case. Texugo (talk) 00:04, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Looks OK to me. It discourages without shutting off the possibility of using it if there is a situation where it works better than the other available option. I do prefer the reasons to be listed, both in the policy article explaining why the use is discouraged, and in any article where it might be used.
Re the reasons listed above:
  • Appearance differences may be sorted out by browser development. Not holding my breath, but possible as this is a current technology issue. Currently valid, may fall away some day.
  • Also a current technology issue, which may change. Currently valid, may fall away some day.
  • Quite agree on this point. Messing with list appearance is not good for legibility.
  • A bit over the top in my opinion. I don't see this as a valid reason myself. There will always be differing opinions on aesthetics to argue about.
  • If there are other reasons introduced over the years they should be listed too, otherwise if the others are not relevant, they may be missed in the argument for using a left aligned image. if and when this occurs. All reasons for not using should be listed, and it should be specified that they are technical or aesthetic reasons. The more clarity there is, the less likely that there will be disagreement. They don't have to be added immediately, and can be removed as and when they are no longer valid. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:20, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Proposed wording[edit]

Ryan's wording above garnered some support. Altering it a bit to accommodate concerns expressed by Peterfitzgerald and myself, we have:

Images should be right-aligned, as this keeps a consistent look and feel across articles and avoids layout and flow issues that can be encountered when different alignments are used. If there is a compelling reason to use an alignment other than right-alignment, be sure that the reason is obvious to others and ideally explain that reason on the article's talk page. Please do not use different alignments solely as a way to fit more images into an article - see minimal use of images. Don't use them when they would alter the formatting of a bulleted list.

Can we please put this into the policy now? Texugo (talk) 19:39, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Looks fine to me, and that wording matches existing practice. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I question whether we ever had a strong consensus for so heavily favoring right-alignment. Certainly it's preferred, but having to individually justify every single use seems extreme, especially since we have star articles that were promoted with left-aligned images. LtPowers (talk) 20:21, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
LtPowers makes a good point about star articles with left aligned images. That precedent suggests a prior consensus for a greater tolerance of left aligned than the proposed wording. It should not be necessary to require that the reason is obvious to others or explain it on the talk page. It can be explained if anyone chooses to move it, and the person who chooses to move it can then explain why it would be better in a different place. I agree they should not mess with list formatting.
Alternative: Images should generally be right-aligned, as this keeps a consistent look and feel across articles and avoids layout and flow issues that can be encountered when different alignments are used. Please do not use different alignments solely as a way to fit more images into an article - see minimal use of images. Don't use them when they would alter the formatting of a bulleted list. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:46, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

That one star article just slipped through the cracks and does not really constitute any binding precedent here, especially considering there were very few commenters who participated in its nomination process, plus the fact that both instances in that article do interfere with the formatting of bulleted lists, which we agree is unacceptable. I am not the only one who would have opposed it on these grounds, had I noticed it. Other than that, I just used a bot to do a count: there are 194 articles which currently have a left aligned image, or around 0.7% of our mainspace articles. I would venture that a majority of these have been added in the months since this discussion was first started, and especially given that it requires a bot to find them, I'd say it means that this hitherto unwritten policy has been more consistently enforced than even many of our written policies. If there were a way to simply find them with the search box or a maintenance category, you can be pretty sure that number would be practically zero by now. Looking through the list I found, I haven't found any where there is any particularly good or obvious reason for the left alignment, nor any case where the reason has been explained and agreed upon. It boils down to this:

  • undeniably, left-alignment has overwhelmingly always been corrected to the right
  • there has been no case where we have discussed and had consensus to keep something on the left
  • to say that images "should generally be right-aligned" but not require any justification for putting on the left means either:
  • "should generally be right-aligned" is meaningless and you can still put images on the left whenever you feel like it, with the expectation that nobody will come along and correct them without discussion (which is contrary to established practice); or
  • I would still be implicitly justified in correcting the 194 existing and any future instances to the right, without need for explanation (in which case putting left-aligned images without justification is futile)

I'm sorry, but we have always had a high degree of consistency on this, and I think exceptions need a justification/consensus. Otherwise you can expect that, as has always been done, left-alignment will eventually be corrected to the right. Texugo (talk) 13:31, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

I really don't understand why you feel so strongly about this issue, Texugo. Can you point to any instances (prior to the recent one) where a well-formatted, mostly-complete article largely written by a reliable contributor had left-aligned images actively moved to the right? LtPowers (talk) 14:47, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
There is no way to search for that, and I'm not sure what the point would be. Besides you and Andrecarrotflower, reliable contributors have generally collaborated with the practice of right-alignment. Do you somehow, in spite of the overwhelming numbers, still doubt that images have routinely and consistently been moved to the right thousands of times over the years? I feel strongly about it because unless someone feels strongly about it, the status quo falls by the wayside without any consensus for the effective change in standard article appearance. Texugo (talk) 14:58, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but why does the possibility of the status quo changing without explicit consensus bother you so much? LtPowers (talk) 15:10, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Because that is not how long-established practices should be changed on a wiki. Just because an established practice didn't get written down didn't mean that we started allow montages to be introduced by default - we finally added the wording in 2009. We didn't let a similar omission start allowing galleries by default - we finally added the wording a few months ago. This case is not any different. Texugo (talk) 15:30, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't accept your premise. The wiki way is collaborative, and very frequently standards emerge organically merely by observing what others are doing. Likewise, standard practice can change organically, as it seems to be doing here. In such cases, I believe one needs to have a good reason to stand in its way. A requirement to garner consensus before changing anything is harmful to a wiki, not helpful. LtPowers (talk) 17:56, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
LtPowers - it is very clear that the standard here has always been "right aligned unless there is a good reason to use some other alignment", and that in cases where people have added left-aligned or center-aligned images without any reason for doing so we have moved them back to the right in order to avoid layout problems. Is there some wording you could propose that would reflect that reality that would be more acceptable? -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:14, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
If wording is necessary, Peter's suggestion above is a good start. Your phrasing is also good; perhaps we just disagree on what a "good reason" is, and I vehemently disagree with Texugo's desire to have every exception pre-cleared. LtPowers (talk) 17:56, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
So let me try this again, then: If no justification/explanation is required to make such exceptions, then can they be corrected on-sight to the right with the automatic greater justification that we discourage left-alignment? If the answer is yes, wouldn't it be in the interest of the person left-aligning to provide a justification anyway, so that left-aligning isn't just an exercise in futility? On the other hand, if the answer is no, wouldn't it just absurdly revert the onus of justification onto the person who is simply trying to align things in the recommended fashion, the way we always do? Texugo (talk) 18:04, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
LtPowers: "Can you point to any instances (prior to the recent one) where a well-formatted, mostly-complete article largely written by a reliable contributor had left-aligned images actively moved to the right?" Answer: Clarence, but is that the "recent one"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:13, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If I'm understanding, the sticking point seems to be justifying use of another alignment. In cases where I've seen other alignments it's usually done to avoid an infobox or because the image is oddly shaped (panoramas, for example) so what about just making the standard "clear to a casual editor why another alignment is being used":
Images should generally be right-aligned, as this keeps a consistent look and feel across articles and avoids layout and flow issues that can be encountered when different alignments are used. If another alignment is being used please ensure that it is obvious why a non-standard alignment is needed - for example, left-aligning to avoid an infobox or centering a very wide image - but please do not use different alignments solely as a way to fit more images into an article (see minimal use of images). Never use any alignment other than right-aligned when the image might alter the formatting of a bulleted list.
If a casual editor can't quickly determine why the image isn't right-aligned then there probably isn't a good reason for that alignment, but in cases like Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom#Sleep it is clear that the alignment was changed to avoid interfering with the infobox. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:24, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

(outdent) Okay, I stand corrected; Walt Disney World/Epcot was indeed changed waaaay back to right-align an image I'd put on the left for layout reasons. I contested it on the talk page, and discussion (since other pages were involved) moved to Wikivoyage_talk:How to add an image#Alignment; that discussion ended without a response to my comment regarding the aesthetics of exclusive right-alignment. But that's not germane here, as we're talking about what current policy is. The only thing that's clear to me in that regard is that Texugo and Peter (F) regard right-alignment as the only acceptable standard and do indeed change it whenever they see it. What I contest is that this preference on their part constitutes a long-standing sitewide consensus. In previous discussions, mention was made of earlier discussions that would represent such a consensus, but I haven't seen them yet.

I have no problem codifying a preference for right-alignment, but I do not feel we should give carte blanche to enforce compliance with that preference without discussion.

-- LtPowers (talk) 18:47, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

The only options I see are to
  • give carte blanche to correct unjustified deviations, or
  • give carte blanche to ignore and defy the preference at will without discussion, and make anyone correcting such deviations explain themselves every time
Only the first makes any sense at all. Texugo (talk) 19:02, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, you have just reminded me that we did actually have "Images should always be placed to the right of the article" in writing for five years at Wikivoyage:Images_in_articles before that was summarily redirected to Wikivoyage:How to add an image in October of last year without first merging that wording. Texugo (talk) 20:24, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Of course it also says "These guidelines are just that — guidelines. Remember that they are still being developed by editors like you based on their experiences. Break these guidelines sooner than do anything barbarous, but try to update the guidelines to take care of the situation." You're taking an extremely hard-line stance here. It's very disappointing. LtPowers (talk) 23:40, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I am simply backing the community's historically hard-line stance as evidenced by the remaining 99.3% effectiveness of the practice, in spite of the lack of a non-script way to track them, and in spite of several months now of no longer being allowed to uncontroversially continue patrolling them due largely to the resistance in this thread to simply writing down the way things have always been done. The current rate of 99.3% enforcement is probably the lowest it has ever been, but it is still evidence of a very hard-core consistent community stance. The wording should reflect the way it has always been done because that is the status quo. The wording should not be looser than we have traditionally been such that people can just start using left-alignment whenever they feel like it and we have to repeat the whole conversation every time we want to correct it. That would represent a change in practice, and that kind of change needs consensus. If loosening the community stance is what people want, the policy can be discussed and changed later, but a wish to change the established practice should not be allowed to stymie a simple effort right now to describe the way things have always been done. Texugo (talk) 23:58, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Existing policy does not prohibit "thumb|left" images. Even if you were proposing to change "should right-justify" to "must right-justify" that is a substantial policy change and, unless you can obtain consensus for this change, it doesn't get done. K7L (talk) 03:55, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
That argument is unacceptable and completely wrong because it ignores the intentional and highly consistent long-standing community practice of avoiding left-aligned images. Simply recording that practice in writing does not in fact represent any change in the way things are done, whereas opening it up to start allowing them whenever you feel like it would indeed be a change that needs consensus. You don't get to say "haha you forgot to write it down so I get what I want". Written policy should be adapted to fit practice, not practice changed because we failed to write it down clearly. Texugo (talk) 11:18, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
"Adapting" policy as you describe it is just another word for "creating" policy. Get consensus first. K7L (talk) 14:51, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Dead wrong. If you willing to thus summarily dismiss the undeniable fact that left-alignment has always heavily frowned upon and intentionally rooted out and corrected for almost 9 years, you are simply trying to cheat the established system to introduce what you personally want. Texugo (talk) 15:26, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Texugo, so far, all you've proved (in regards to "intentional and highly consistent long-standing community practice of avoiding left-aligned images") is that you and Peter chose to move left-aligned images to the right when you see them. Any exceptions to this -- cases where the community did not change left-aligned images -- have been dismissed by you as "well, I didn't notice them". You've invented a tautology, apparently based solely on the personal preference of two editors, and now you want to encode it in policy so that it is harder to change in the future. You're going to have to start providing some evidence that your preference really was widely accepted by consensus before I acquiesce to your demand to have that preference encoded in policy. LtPowers (talk) 15:15, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
You are also dead wrong, Lt. Powers. Surely you can't believe that it was just me and Peter who "cleaned" 25,610 of our 25,804 articles. I didn't even know how to search for them until 2 days ago. The consistency in our body of articles is so overwhelming that it's almost a defining feature of our look when compared to other wikis. That is the evidence, and is all that is needed. I haven't "invented a tautology" based on personal preference - you are using personal preference to impede preservation of the status quo. Texugo (talk) 15:26, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is any question that right-aligned has always been the preferred standard - Texugo's 99.7% number, text on the old "how to" page, the memory of numerous editors (myself included) about past discussions, and a handful of talk page discussions that have been mentioned all support that assertion. That said, I don't agree that left-aligned has been prohibited in the past, nor should it be in the future. We have always encouraged right-aligned unless there is a clear reason to use something else. Let's just note in policy that unless there is an obvious reason for using another alignment that images should be right-aligned and be done with it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:30, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I will concede to use your last wording, Ryan. Texugo (talk) 15:37, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Obvious to whom? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:48, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
I would think "obvious" as in "a means to avoid an otherwise obvious layout problem" (i.e. infoboxes piling up, etc.). Texugo (talk) 18:57, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
You keep claiming we're "dead wrong" but refuse to provide evidence. Anyway, I do not support any sort of wording that requires "reasons" to be "obvious", as that's highly subjective and leaves certain people with strong preferences on this issue free to change the considered layout choices of established editors by simply claiming that there was no "obvious" reason. LtPowers (talk) 19:13, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I have no idea what kind of "evidence" you think you need. Are you asking me to build a bot to scrape 9 years of history to show you a list of all the many many times left has been corrected to right? You know they are there - we didn't get to 99.3% consistency by accident, nor by the sole efforts of Peter and myself. And you still haven't answered my question, posed two different ways above, so I'll try a third: How in the world could "carte blanche to use unjustified left-alignments with an expectation they will stay that way" ever be consistent with our preference for right-alignment? The only result of that would be that it would now be ok for anyone to use left-alignment whenever they want, which would simply make stating the preference meaningless. The result would be that we would be powerless to keep doing things the way they have always been done, and preserving that is the reason this whole thread was started in the first place. Texugo (talk) 19:47, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

How about a discussion, Texugo, where we achieved consensus to do things a certain way -- you know, exactly the sort of evidence we provide routinely when someone asks why something is the way it is. We point them to a discussion we had where we came to an agreement. I am not contesting that right-alignment is a standard; what I contest is the idea that its enforcement by fiat was ever routinely undertaken by anyone except you and maybe Peter when it comes to positioning decisions made by experienced, trusted contributors. We routinely give trusted editors a fair amount of leeway on issues related to formatting, layout, and style, and I believe the history of image alignments (e.g., Star articles promoted with alternative image alignments) bears that out. I have no doubt that we routinely shift images to the right when left-aligned by new contributors, or on short poorly formatted articles. But the idea of taking a considered decision by a trusted editor to left-align an image and negating that by fiat... I do not believe that was ever widely accepted policy, nor do I believe it should be. LtPowers (talk) 00:44, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether this should count for much, but since I found out a while ago that it's customary to align all images right, I have made a number of edits that moved images from left or center to right, giving the customary status of right-alignment as a reason. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:35, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Most edits moving an image from one place in an article to another would probably go unremarked, whether they followed a specific policy or not, for a variety of reasons:
  • Many people would not feel particularly strongly one way or another whether the image is aligned left or right.
  • Possibly the majority of editors are not entirely familiar with all the details of all the policies, and would simply accept a claim that a relatively harmless edit was done following a stated policy assuming good faith on the part of the editor making the change.
  • When we see a trusted editor has made a change to an article on our watchlists, we generally assume good faith and don't bother to look more closely unless genuinely interested to see what improvement they have made.
  • This is a wiki, people edit. Mostly small changes like image placement are not worth arguing about, so we leave them. This will probably remain the case with right/left alignment. I really don't get upset by left alignment if it doesn't harm formatting. I also don't get upset if someone chooses to change it to right alignment if it makes no observable difference to the quality of the article. I don't even care if someone makes a habit of systematically rearranging image alignment as long as it does not go against a policy, and as long as nobody else objects. When someone else objects, I feel obliged to check if the objection is justified. When there is no functional reason for a change, I may take a side depending on what looks right to me.
  • I don't like unnecessary or unnecessarily inflexible rules. They stifle creativity and reduce the range of possibilities for development, and if they turn out to be a problem they are almost impossible to remove and cause endless strife.
  • As things stand, we all have carte blanche to make any change that we think improves an article as long as it does not go against a policy. This is implicit in the guiding principle "Plunge forward". The principle of consensus is only invoked if someone disagrees with that change.
  • There are maybe half a dozen of us debating this point. This is hardly representative of the community of editors, not even of admins. We couldn't claim a genuine consensus of the community even if we all agreed. Consensus by failure to object due to ignorance is not a logically or ethically defensible concept, even if it is implicitly used by governments. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:40, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't care greatly about this debate, either. The only thing that would cause me to care is if an alignment of an image creates some kind of problem, which I recall it's been stated that left-alignment does. That said, just as when people don't vote in an election, their preferences don't have an effect on it, whoever doesn't take part in policy debates doesn't get to shape the policy. As you said, most editors probably don't care much about image alignment, but if you consider it really important to get more people's opinions, we could try to publicize this debate more. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:47, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think many people will care one way or the other, my point is that most probably don't even know that the matter is under discussion, so their absence from it is not a matter of choice. There is no general notice that I am aware of to let everyone know when a policy decision is being discussed. As a result, much policy may be made, and consensus assumed, by a small minority - those who knew that the discussion was happening. I don't claim that this is done in bad faith, only that it happens. Anyone can put the policy pages on their watchlist, if they know to do so, but discussions for new policies may get in under the radar. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:19, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
The closest to a general notice would be postings in the Pub and Requests for Comment. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:42, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Hrm, this discussion seems to have come a bit off the wheels. My thoughts basically boil down to these: right alignment is our de facto standard, with overwhelming conformity, and a tradition of "correcting" images back to the right; there are valid reasons for this preference beyond aesthetic concerns; and asking editors to justify the occasional deviation is not onerous.

Can we agree on Ryan's last proposal? It seems to satisfy the concerns raised by all parties? --Peter Talk 16:30, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

I still object to the requirement that alternative justifications have "obvious" justifications (er...). Shouldn't it be enough that an experienced, trusted editor thinks it's better to have a particular image on the left? If someone wants to know why it was done, one can ask, rather than blindly (and without edit comments!) change it. LtPowers (talk) 00:08, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Edit comments: "Justified thumbnail right, per Wikivoyage custom." Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:28, 29 September 2013 (UTC)


We have long discouraged galleries, mainly to stick to our Minimal use of images policy. Would anyone mind if I stick this in the policy page. This would follow Wikivoyage:How to add an image#Thumbnails. --Peter Talk 19:17, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

We have a few star articles that include galleries - Singapore has several, and a bunch of the Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay articles also use galleries. This is horribly worded, but our implicit policy thus seems to be something along the lines of:
"Image galleries are generally discouraged and should only be considered for lengthy articles for purposes of providing examples of items described by a specific section of text (for example, when describing animal species or food items). Image galleries should not be used solely as a way to include a large number of different pictures in a destination article."
-- Ryan • (talk) • 19:31, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
How about:
Image galleries are discouraged, and should only be considered for showing multiple examples of a specific topic (for example, in describing flora and fauna or cuisine—but not attractions). Keep in mind that we aim for a #minimal use of images.
--Peter Talk 20:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
That's far better stated than my wording. Would it be OK to also note that this only applies to lengthy articles? I don't think we want people to start using image galleries as a replacement for text, so how about "...should only be considered in lengthy articles for showing" ? -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:10, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe—see below. The worry would be that long articles are already tougher and have more images than a molasses internet connection can handle. The main point, I think, is just that they should be rare, and have a specific reason for inclusion, beyond liking galleries. --Peter Talk 21:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
IMHO, the main issue with the articles Singapore and Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay is that they are too lengthy, and would be impractical to print on paper, or display on a mobile device. They should have appendix articles, such as Singaporean cuisine or list of dive sites in Cape Peninsula and False Bay, so that they are not much longer than 100k. /Yvwv (talk) 17:37, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
A workaround for bandwidth problems might be to put galleries into a sub-article for any given article, so you only look at them if you want to.
Another thought in this line: Is it possible to have a gallery that does not load with the article initially, but loads and opens in the article if you click on it? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
@Yvwv, Do you have any practical suggestions for a logical split for Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay which would not harm its utility?
I like the suggestion of a click to expand gallery. I don't know how possible it is, though. --Peter Talk 21:55, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Like this?--Traveler100 (talk) 06:36, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Gallery text title not collapsed

That gallery is loaded together with the rest of the page, and revealed when you click on "Show". I think Peter S. wanted something that would not load up front with the rest of the page, reducing the bandwidth required, and would only load (and display) after being clicked. --Avenue (talk) 11:50, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there is not much point in collapsing the gallery unless the bandwidth is saved. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:08, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I have a problem with galleries: Often, the photos are thereby too small for easy viewing of the salient features. I think galleries are very problematic. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I like our policy against galleries. Exceptions must be proven to enhance the guide somehow rather than just show off a bunch of pretty pictures. If people just want to look at images, they can go to Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Google, etc. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:37, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
This does not appear to have been added to the image policy yet. Please see my comments in the "Again" subsection of the "Thumb alignment" discussion above, as they apply here too. Not expressing our long-standing practice of discouraging galleries amounts to encouraging them, effectively reversing our practice without discussion. I suggest that Peter's last wording be added to the article immediately. If we reach discussion later to change our already-established practice, we can always change the policy page again. Texugo (talk) 00:12, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I do not see that pretty pictures are an undesirable feature of a travel guide. The only realistic objection I have seen against them is the bandwidth and display problem, which can be dealt with by putting high bandwidth media on a sub-page, so the user can choose to look at it or not. Allowing gallery subpages deals with this problem, and they could be formatted to display at a useful size. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:51, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
The established practice is not against "pretty pictures". As I see it, it is:
  • against an unbalanced excess of pretty pictures
  • against turning the site into a picture book or image repository (that's what commons is for)
  • against jumbling the pretty pictures together in such numbers that they lose their character and effectiveness
  • against breaking up the text with giant blocks of images to scroll past
  • against presenting images too small to view well without an extra click (see Ikan Kekek`s comment)
Allowing sub-pages would only address the last two points above.
And again, regardless of the arguments for or against, why would we need to wait possibly forever to reach a new consensus for a proposed change before simply describing the status quo of how things are currently and have always been done? Opposing that amounts to simply insisting we change our practices to what you want until we reach consensus to return to our traditional practice. Texugo (talk) 14:36, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Commons is an image repository, as you say, it is not structured to make it a particularly useful place to look at images related to a specific topic. Also there is a difference between a status quo and a policy. A status quo can be as flexible as it needs to be, whereas a policy on this site is an extremely difficult thing to change. I am not convinced that making this particular practice compulsory will further any of our guiding principles or core content policies. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:22, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Peter's last wording above is just about as flexible as our practice has ever been on the topic. If the policy page continues to say nothing on the topic, then we have to repeat this conversation every time someone uses a gallery for any reason, and I'm afraid they will start proliferating, ceding the status quo advantage to the pro-gallery side simply because we, despite years of intentionally avoiding galleries, never wrote it down. Like the left-alignment discussion above, I don't think it is fair to disregard our long-standing practice and give the implicit advantage to the proponents of change based on the simple technicality that we never got around to writing our established practice down on the policy page. Texugo (talk) 18:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't like galleries very much myself, mainly for bandwidth reasons. They are a poor option, for most of the resans Texugo states above, but until we have a better way of dealing with the occasional requirement for a group of images I don't think they should be banned. I do favour the use of an auxiliary gallery subpage where it would improve the article, and I favour having such subpages on WV rather than on commons when they are specific to a WV article. On commons we have less control over the contents than on WV, and we also don't have the complicating issue of in-line links to a sister project to contend with. This is largely because that is the best option I can think of at present, If technology allows a better solution, I would like to know about it.
As I see it, we need a way to provide useful information which is more conveniently presented as images in such a way that it does not adversely impact on low bandwith or mobile phone users, or unduly interrupt and break up the article text. Having a choice of image size so that they are big enough to be useful would also help.
It would be really nice to be able to click on a link at the appropriate place in the article, that indicates that you will be opening a high bandwidth section, and roughly what the contents will be, which opens as a pop-up or new tab, so you can go straight back to where you were in the article after looking at it. I don't know if or how this can be done, but would not be surprised if a template could be written for the purpose. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:22, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I am not entirely in disagreement with you, but I think proposals and discussion of any possible changes to practice should remain separate from what should have been a simpler issue of making the policy reflect the established practice. Does Peter's wording exclude any existing uses of galleries which you think are valid under current practice? Texugo (talk) 11:59, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I can live with his version of 18th January. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:31, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Guidelines for "minimal use" of photos[edit]

Now that I've read it, I understand the argument for minimal use - that there are situations in which a lot of big files will slow download speeds for articles to a standstill. But including some good photos is a really nice thing. So do any of you have rough criteria you go by on ratios between lines or screens of text and photos? What about on size of thumbnails? I've been acting generally on the basis of how big a thumb needs to be to be sufficiently visible, but if anything, I may tend to err on the side of more good photos, rather than fewer. I think it would be great if every destination article of a place of beauty had at least one photo in it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

For me, the guideline just means don't use huge images (if you can avoid it—see Oceania#Regions), don't use galleries, and don't use thousands of little thumbs. In terms of spacing, I tend to think, more or less, anyone reading a shorter article (Washington, D.C./Anacostia) on a wide screen should be able to see an image at any given time while scrolling. With a longer article, that may make less sense (United States of America). Washington, D.C./Shaw is a good example for a medium-sized article. Really short articles can get a little crammed with images, but that's OK since they're small, and you need to use what space you have to illustrate. --Peter Talk 21:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Sizing of images[edit]

Wondering about greater consistency in image sizing.

  • Within the MediaWiki software we can set the usually default image size to 300px and people who do not like the size can alter under preferences.
  • All we need to do is set most images sizes to default. One can also set image sizes to a factor of default.

This is nice for people with slow connections as they can set the size to small and thus view them easier. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:29, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm finding 300px to usually be too small for decent visibility, but it really depends on what's being depicted and how. Setting a default might be nice, providing it is easy to override the default. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
The width setting doesn't take into account the size of the image. A tall image at 300px could be way to big; a wide image way to small. --Peter Talk 04:40, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Would it be possible to have, say, 3 default thumbnail sizes, called landscape, portrait and panorama? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:35, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
What sizes do you have in mind for defaults, and how easy would it be to custom edit them for individual photos? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
We could, but within each category there is still going to be plenty of variation in dimensions. Then there is also the question of the destination. If there's a pressing need to add a bunch of images, it would be better to shrink them. If there are only two high quality photos of a place, then it would be better to enlarge them. If the images are simply fantastic, better to enlarge them to show them off in the article. We already have some basic guidelines, so why try to restrict our own editorial decisions? Are we having a problem with this that I'm unaware of? --Peter Talk 15:59, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
So that users can have the option to choose what size to display the images at (especially if they are paying high mobile roaming charges or if they are limited to very poor 56k speeds in third world countries, etc) rather than have those "editorial decisions" foisted on them by ignorant editors.
I know that, if one has registered an account, one can set one's Preferences to show thumbnails (under the "Appearance" tab) to this range of sizes: 120px, 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px, 280px or 300px. That is just one reason why - unless they have a truly exceptional reason - editors should use thumbnails without pre-determined pixel width settings. (Anyone that wishes to see larger sizes, can just click on the bottom right corner to enlarge them right up to the maximum available native size.) -- Alice 23:06, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Another reason is that readers use devices with various resolutions. Our current default thumbnail width (220px) seems too small on my laptop, but about right on my iPad (held horizontally). What I'd really like is an option in the preferences for making thumbnails default to a certain fraction of the window or screen width. Failing that, I think we should stop forcing images to appear a fixed size (except when really necessary, e.g. for most maps, or in galleries), and increase the default thumbnail width to 300px. --Avenue (talk) 00:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I approve of setting a larger default thumb size than MediaWiki out of the box dose, say 300px, as travel images should be presented large enough to enjoy. If we set the default thumbnail size to 300px, we should also change the _user preference options_ to a range above and below that, so that the new default, say 300px, remains in the _middle_ of the range and users could choose smaller or larger. The relevant variable in LocalSettings.php on the server in which to set this range of thumnail size options is, I think, $wgThumbLimits. (And see also mw:Manual:FAQ#How_do_I_change_default_user_preferences.3F and mw:Manual:$wgDefaultUserOptions.) We could for example change this:
$wgThumbLimits = array(
to this:
$wgThumbLimits = array(
--Rogerhc (talk) 06:41, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
That limited range of defaults, biassed towards the large end, would negate one of the main reason for having the registered user facility for setting a default thumb size! Folks using third world connection speeds absolutely need the ability to set a much lower default size than you propose, Rogerhc.
If there is only a range of seven available (as at present) I would, therefore, propose:
$wgThumbLimits = array(
If a larger range is available, then this:
$wgThumbLimits = array(

-- Alice 20:25, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Good point. Something like that would do it. The default could be set larger than it is on Wikipedia, with user preferences offering larger and smaller choices. --Rogerhc (talk) 04:55, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Image sized as factor of default[edit]

I know that, if one has registered an account, one can set one's Preferences to show thumbnails (under the "Appearance" tab) to this range of sizes: 120px, 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px, 280px or 300px. That is just one reason why - unless they have a truly exceptional reason - editors should use thumbnails without pre-determined pixel width settings. (Anyone that wishes to see larger sizes, can just click on the bottom right corner to enlarge them right up to the maximum available native size.) What is the syntax, please, for setting thumbnail image sizes to be a factor of the default selected by the registered user? -- Alice 23:06, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Specify the size component as "upright=factor". (This only works if "thumb" is also specified - see the English Wikipedia documentation for details.) By the way, just specifying "upright" without the factor argument uses a default value of 0.75, which is a sensible default for images in portrait orientation. --Avenue (talk) 23:53, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your rapid and educational response, Avenue! What a pity there would be squeals if we added this as an inline link to the relevant Wikipedia article in our image "how-to" pages. -- Alice 00:19, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Inline links should be OK on project and talk pages, just not in mainspace articles. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:59, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
That's very interesting and useful to know, Peter. Is that clearly stated on a policy page anywhere? It's not that I do not believe you - just that I wish to have my ammunition all arranged before I gird up my loins and try and edit the policy page again... -- Alice 09:05, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
The rules for links refer to articles. Non-article pages have much less constraint. Generally if an edit complies with the Guiding principles, and does not contravene the other policies, it is OK. There is no rule that one may not use inline links on non-mainspace pages, therefore, providing they don't go against the guiding principles (and a few other policies like spamming, edit warring, threats etc which refer to the whole project, and would refer to the content of a link rather than the presence of a link in that context), there is no reason why a useful inline link should not be used in project space or on a talk page. If anyone knows of a policy or consensus that contradicts this interpretation, please let me know, as it should then be included in the policy directory. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
There is precedent for using inline links to technical pages on Wikipedia, Meta and Bugzilla. The proposed links look like they would be similar in intention. There is no point in going to great lengths to functionally duplicate a technical page on WV if a link will do the job, and WP, Meta etc tend to be kept up to date on those things, whereas we are a technical backwater. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
As an example: If you need to know how to use images, Wikmarkup, templates or HTML, you go to Wikipedia or Meta, where there is a large amount of information, written, on the whole, by experts. If you want to explain these things to someone else, it is useful to link to the relevant article or section. This is not appropriate in a travel guide article, but if it is in a discussion of how to do something on a talk page, or a description of how it should be done on a project page, it would be perfectly appropriate to provide the link where it is most useful. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
You're a Star, Peter! you've explained that utilitarian stance in such a lucid, comprehensive and rational way that nobody could fail to be persuaded - even my usual antagonists (I hope...)! -- Alice 20:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
As I feared, an admin (intent on "defending his patch") has now carelessly abused his special revert tools to (accidentally?) remove the relevant advice on how to size images by a factor of the default thumbnail size set by a registered user. -- Alice 01:37, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

I support Peter's reversion, as what you added amounts to a policy change for which there is no consensus. Nowhere has policy ever said that the reason thumbnails are suggested is so that the user can choose their own size in preferences.The reason thumbnails are suggested is so that all images have the same kind of frame and caption. We have, in policy and in practice, always been free to specify different sizes, with reasonable limits suggested on this page. This whole "must be a thumb so people can change the default size" thing is purely your own invention, hence should not be added to the policy page unless there is clear consensus.Texugo (talk) 02:00, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

An unexplained reversion, with an automatic edit summary and marked as a minor edit, could be seen as objectionable. I see Peter F. explained his reversion to Alice elsewhere, though.
On the substantive issue, while we should be able to specify different image sizes when necessary, I do think our policy and help pages should discourage editors from forcing readers to view images at a particular size without good reason. Why wouldn't we want to give travellers the opportunity to choose the image size that is most useful to them, e.g. for their current device or internet connection? It's accepted as good practice on other projects, and I don't see why Wikivoyage's readers should be given any less consideration. If our policies and help pages have been obtuse about this until now, that's all the more reason to change them. Also, where larger sized images are needed, I think we should generally encourage the use of "upright=factor" over exact sizes in pixels (as here), to allow travellers' preferences to affect those images too. --Avenue (talk) 14:21, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Having a thumbnail type size definition has advantages for people with slow connection, as they can choose a smaller image as standard, which does not work for specified pixel sizes. A single available size is not really enough, and a larger set of standard options allows the editors to exercise some control over the appearance of the page, while giving the users control over bandwidth usage. My previous suggestion of 3 standard sizes - landscape, portrait and panorama would give this facility, though some coding may be neccessary to implement it. A fourth standard image size for maps would probably be worth having too.
To go along with this there would have to be a facility to select display size from a list as currently available for thumb. This could either be mix and match ot selection of preset combinations. The existing thumb default size could be used for landscape or be an extra. I don't know how complicated this would be to implement, so if someone knows it would be too complex, please mention this. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
If going this route, we would need to change the defaults, and have defaults for different orientations (as discussed above). If I wasn't aware of this little bit in the preferences, it's fair to assume that our readers will not be too. It's a tricky issue to keep the pages looking nice for people with different resolutions, and that's something I've been pretty careful to curate in the articles I've put the most work into. It would also be very difficult to go through and remove all the sizing specifications, since virtually every single one of our thumbs uses them. --Peter Talk 18:42, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and almost all the articles I work on also have size specified thumbnails, so I would also have a lot of work to sort them out, but there would be no rush. In the long term I think it would be a good solution though, if it is not too difficult to implement. I still don't know how feasible it would be...
The preferences options could be made better known by advertising them. They could probably be preset for viewing on mobile phones, or by selecting a low bandwidth access option, though I dont know how this would be done. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:45, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm supportive of the idea of requesting larger defaults for thumbnails, and then encouraging use of the default size or scalable factors (via the "upright" parameter) as desired by authors. This would allow greater flexibility for different devices or user preferences. However, since odds are that 95+ percent of users do not have a thumbnail size preference specified, no such changes should be implemented until there is agreement to change the default thumbnail preference sizes and we get that change implemented. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:57, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a noble goal, but I'm not sure it will work well. Maps, for instance, usually must be precisely sized to ensure readability of the thumbnails. And once we have the maps sized with absolute pixel widths, then having photos scaled relative to a user's preferences can produce unattractive discrepancies between the sizes of photos and maps. We choose the photo image widths to harmonize well with infoboxes and maps, and using relative sizes may disrupt that. LtPowers (talk) 22:01, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm with Peterfitzgerald and LtPowers. I think it would have deleterious effects on the aesthetic and legibility of many of our pages, and I think the payoff in terms of users who would actually go in and mess with that setting would be absolutely negligible.Texugo (talk) 22:38, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Isn't the point that the pages could be made to look exactly the same as they do now, but users who wanted to would have the ability to modify display to meet their personal preferences without impacting everyone else? For example, if the default thumbnail size is 300px and you want a map to display at 600px, where today you would specify "600px", with the new approach you would said "upright=2", and nothing would change aesthetically. Then if a user is browsing the site on an iPad and prefers smaller images they could change their default thumbnail size to (for example) 200px and see images take up less screen real-estate, or if someone is visually impaired they could choose a 400px default to see larger images. It would obviously take some time to slowly begin using scalablity factors instead of hard-coded pixel sizes, but the added flexibility that this approach would allow seems like a change worth seriously considering. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:08, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
But then the map only displays at a legible resolution for users who have their thumbnail size set to 300px or higher. We also predicate certain decisions (like where to place images vertically and horizontally) on the presence or absence of other nearby images; not knowing the resolution makes that impossible. LtPowers (talk) 00:58, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
There are two things I'm not understanding:
  1. What do you feel this proposal changes for the default user (I don't think anything, but maybe I'm missing something)?
  2. Why this proposal wouldn't be a huge improvement for those users who have a reason for using images sized diffrently from the default.
To be clear: the vast majority of users will use the default, and we will continue to optimize pages for that default exactly as we do today, only instead of saying "450px" we would recommend using "upright=1.5x". As to the "legible resolution" argument, legibility is very, very dependent on the resolution of the user's screen and the user's eyesight. Using a 800x600 screen resolution will mean that a 400px image is enormous, whereas on a 1800x1440 screen it is teeny, so users of the lower resolution might want smaller images, while users of higher resolution may want larger images, and having an option to change image sizes will improve legibility in both cases. To your other point, no matter how careful we are with layout, vastly different screen resolutions cause all sorts of layout issues no matter how carefully an article is laid out. My argument for making this change is that if we implement this proposal, nothing changes for most users: we would still be optimizing image sizes to look good for the default thumbnail size that will be used by the vast majority of users (exactly as we do today, only using scaling factors), and all that this proposal would change is that we would provide an option for those users who have a reason for using something other than the default to do so. Finally, in the rare cases where we really, really do want an image to display at exactly 600px we could still do so, but that would be the exception, and in most cases we would just specify that image to scale at 2x normal (upright=2). -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:00, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's you that's missing anything, Ryan, and my proposed wording at Wikivoyage_talk:Image_policy#Thumb_alignment above makes it clear that if editors have a good reason to change the default details then they can still exercise their editorial judgement.
As to the print argument (which is a valid, if relatively minor, concern), it should not be beyond the wit of man to devise "print only templates" that would force the exact details (including pixel width, location and alignment of images and suppression of in-line links to sister projects in print versions) that an editor desires. -- Alice 05:54, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
My only issue here would be that I think the default image pixel size is overall too small. So, I think we should try and change the default in the MediaWiki configuration. Travel photos should be bigger than encylopedic photos in my view. If we use relative sizing, we limit our ability to make this change. If we're determined never to increase our default image size, I see no other harm in this proposal. --Inas (talk) 22:01, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree the default size of 220px is too small, and that it should be increased. I don't understand why this would be limited by a decision to use relative sizing. Our current practice of forcing specific image sizes, on the other hand, makes it difficult for us to increase image sizes globally if desired. --Avenue (talk) 22:25, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Firstly, I think that 90% issue in the image sizing is that 220px is to small in most usecases. So, mostly people increase this to 300px, etc, where it is more usable. If we change the default image size (which we should) to 300px, then no harm done. However, if we use relative image sizing, and then we make this change, out 1.5x relative size is going to grow disproportionately large. So, I think we should firstly try and get a consensus to lift the default image size. I think most of this issue will go away. Following that, we discourage image resizing of normal photos. We use px sizing for maps, where resolution make sense, and use relative sizing (sparingly for everything else). Certainly we should consider the issue of default image size before we even consider relative sizing. --Inas (talk) 22:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it would indeed be helpful to resolve to increase the default image size to 300px and also to publicise that registered users can make a selection in their preferences; we should also resolve to implement this increased range of defaults for registered users to select in their preferences:
$wgThumbLimits = array(
since there seems to have been no opposition whatever to this in the main section above, is there a bureaucrat reading this discussion that can now make the request to the WMF's technical team? -- Alice 22:53, 4 March 2013 (UTC)


Bureaucrat status has nothing to do with this. In any rate, I don't think we're ready for a tech request, since we haven't defined defaults as they would relate to differently composed images (wider, taller, etc.). --Peter Talk 23:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm afraid you're rather confused, User:Peterfitzgerald. There is only one default thumbnail size that can be set globally for non-logged on users and only one default thumbnail size that the user can change in their preferences (together with an "Image size limit"). Our proposal is to increase both that one default size and the range that the user can select from in their preferences, if they choose to do so. The net effect in most cases would probably be to accede to your personal preferences to display larger images. -- Alice 23:29, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Alice. Let's do this now. --Rogerhc (talk) 22:06, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Panorama pictures[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi guys! I've seen this nice panorama feature in German wikivoyage: [45] Is there a way how I can do the same with some simple template in English wikivoyage? Ml31415 (talk) 21:25, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

{{de:vorlage:panorama}} appears to be a version of Wikipedia's wide image {{w:template:panorama}}. I'm not sure if there are mediawiki:common.css changes that must be made before creating {{panorama}}. K7L (talk) 01:16, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your hint! I translated the template and adjusted the magnify icon. First proud use case: Nha Trang Ml31415 (talk) 03:55, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
It should be possible to print out Wikivoyage on paper. If an image is too wide, then it might be impossible to include the whole image on the same paper. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:32, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Should we put Template:Panorama into Category:Exclude in print? LtPowers (talk) 03:57, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to change default thumbnail size[edit]

Today: The discussion above is getting convoluted so I'm breaking this proposal into a separate thread. Currently the default thumbnail size appears to be 220px, and the available user preference options for default thumbnail size are 120px, 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px and 300px.

Proposal: Based on threads above:

  1. Our default thumbnail size should be 300px
  2. The seven available user preference options for thumbnails should be 120px, 150px, 200px, 250px, 300px, 400px, and 500px.

See mw:$wgThumbLimits, mw:Manual:FAQ#How_do_I_change_default_user_preferences.3F and mw:Manual:$wgDefaultUserOptions. for more information. Comments? Support? Opposition? -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support for the reasons I outlined earlier to give more consideration to our readers and more flexibility for editors. -- Alice 00:00, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Agree. This will reduce the incentive to change the sizing on every single image. --Inas (talk) 00:32, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I don't know that we need both 120 and 150. 350 is commonly used and seems like it would be a good option. LtPowers (talk) 01:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support #1 at least. 300px is a reasonable default thumbnail size for the desktop site. I don't have a strong opinion about the user options, as long as they range from at least 150px to 500px. --Avenue (talk) 01:14, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Question Why are you restricting the pick list to only seven? Do you think it is not technically possible to have a choice of ten thumbnail widths of 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px, 300px, 350px, 400px, 450px and 500px in that pick list? (For most users, they would only set their preference once, but some readers might want to change their preferences as often as they changed from using a big desktop monitor to a tiny tablet and back again.) -- Alice 02:49, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Let's not let this discussion drift too wide. Can we split into three parts. Firstly, can we agree the default pixel size. Then can we agree to use relative sizes except for maps and other images where exact pixels are required. Then can we discuss expanding the available list of preferences.
I see this as being the correct order to deal with the issues. The first needs to be dealt with before the second, by its nature. The last one if of lesser significance, since if only affects the relatively small number of people who change their default preference. --Inas (talk) 02:17, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I thought it would be easier to combine the default thumbnail size and the proposed change to thumbnail size options into a single bugzilla request since it affects the same configuration, but am happy to split those into separate efforts if desired. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:06, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I just trying to order the discussion, rather than the submit multiple bugzilla requests. There really is no urgency here at all, we're change a long-standing policy, and we may even get some pushback from tech. --Inas (talk) 03:55, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: This subsection has a bipartite specific proposal. It is not (and should not, in my view) be concerned with whether editors are either obliged to implement (or forbidden from implementing) specific switches in the Wikimedia image syntax when making edits.

I am perfectly happy to let the first part stand stet: Our default thumbnail size should be 300px

In this situation where I have had no answer to my question of "Do you think it is not technically possible to have a choice of ten thumbnail widths of 150px, 180px, 200px, 220px, 250px, 300px, 350px, 400px, 450px and 500px in that pick list?" I would like an immediate change to the second part so that instead of reading "The seven available user preference options for thumbnails should be 120px, 150px, 200px, 250px, 300px, 400px, and 500px." it instead reads: "We request WMF technicians to allow a pick list of ten thumbnail widths of 120px, 150px, 180px, 220px, 260px, 300px, 350px, 400px, 450px and 500px in user preferences and, if that is disallowed, change instead to 120px, 150px, 200px, 250px, 300px, 400px, and 500px".

This change would, I hope, allow LtPowers and others to give their support to these two narrow and precise proposals. I hope that there is nobody out there opposed to allowing a wider range of default thumbnail sizes for registered readers to pick from in their preferences. -- Alice 06:47, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm certainly happy with that. --Inas (talk) 07:38, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to understand completely: These would be defaults and could be manually deviated from in exceptional cases, correct? Because I've noticed some panorama pics set at 600px which didn't take up the entire page and looked good. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:25, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
May I reiterate that, personally, I would never seek to dictate to either readers or editors what size images in our articles should display at. Hence my very careful wording here. This subsection has two very specific (and restricted) proposals. It is not (and should not, in my view) be concerned with whether editors are either obliged to implement (or forbidden from implementing) specific switches in the Wikimedia image syntax when making edits but merely about the default display size of thumbnails that have no specific size set and the reader is not logged on and (secondly) the range (or choice) of preferences that a registered reader can pick from to change that "default" default thumbnail size. Whatever is decided here has no direct bearing whatever on the question of whether it is a good, bad or indifferent idea whether to set specific image sizes either in terms of absolute pixels (px) or as a factor of those defaults!
PS: Panoramas can be problematic for narrow screens; that's partly why I have been recently experimenting with a template Template:wide image to display them with a caption, a restricted image width (and, consequently, height) but with a horizontal scrollbar and a "click-to-enlarge-icon in the lower right corner here: -- Alice 08:43, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Add larger size choices, eg 400px, 500px and 600px, to let our travel photos blossom on new and larger high resolution screens. We could simply add these three choices to the current seven choices that currently top out at 300px, and set a larger default of, say, 300px. I see no reason why 10 choices would cause any trouble at all. :-) Rogerhc (talk) 23:15, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems like we'll all be happy with a larger image size. Has there been any request submitted though? -- Torty3 (talk) 03:25, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Are we dead set on 300px as default? I would recommend a slightly smaller default, otherwise the formatting for a lot of short articles that are well illustrated will get messed up. Using 270px would prevent that problem from occurring for display resolutions under 1400. If I sound overly specific, chalk it up to the fact that I've patrolled thousands of articles here over the years ;) --Peter Talk 21:51, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

The difference between 270 and 300 is small. If it helps prevent a big problem, by all means make it 270 default. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:21, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Support - (270 is fine, if that makes such a difference.) I'm really wondering how many of our visitors actually log on from such very slow connections. I'm not thát worried about that group, because larger images have limited effect on usability of the site. Most images are illustrative, if they load slowly it doesn't mean you can't use the rest of the article. (Text is loaded first on Wikimedia projects, right?). I also wonder how many people actually change their settings for images (I never have, guess I should as I always find the images too small.) Including large selection seizes for new high resolution screens seems smart though. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:42, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
  • My concern re:270 v 300 is that images will get squeezed together if they are all displayed at 300, when currently the average px setting is 260-270. --Peter Talk 23:46, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Per above, let's submit a bug request to have:

  1. default en.WV image size set to 270px, and
  2. range of user preference options set to 120px, 150px, 180px, 220px, 270px, 300px, 350px, 400px, 450px and 500px.

Please add your support (or provide reasons if you object) below. --Rogerhc (talk) 00:27, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. Default at 270, per Peter's last two comments above, and expanded user preference range per above. --Rogerhc (talk) 00:46, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons I outlined earlier to give more consideration to our readers and more flexibility for editors and also reduce server and editor work. -- Alice 04:54, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support as per the above proposal. This should greatly improve our user experience. --Nick (talk) 18:07, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Bug request #47332 filed April 17, 2013. --Rogerhc (talk) 19:41, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Bug rejected April 17 for server load and storage reasons:

(Tomasz W. Kozlowski quoting Antoine "hashar" Musso)--

[we don't configure] different thumbnail sizes per wiki for the following reasons:

  • we keep thumbnails forever currently, the more we have the more disk

space it takes

  • different sizes lower the cache hit rate which in turns cause...
  • ... a CPU cost on the cluster to generate a thumbnail, varying the sizes cause more and more thumbnails generations
  • whenever a file is updated, we have to purge each thumbnails ever generated.

--Rogerhc (talk) 02:45, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

As I read the above, both change requests have been rejected and there is no point in further discussion of either.
Taking that and other discussion above into account, I have gone ahead and made changes at Wikivoyage:How_to_add_an_image#Sizing. Comment solicited, probably on that article's talk page. Pashley (talk) 15:13, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Pashley. The bug request the WMF team referenced when turning down our request makes it pretty clear they won't change the default thumbnail size for a wiki. It's too bad. -Shaundd (talk) 15:50, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
You may well both be right, but the way I read and understand the reasons for the rejection, I believe they did not consider at all whether to fulfill the first request to change the default thumbnail size (rather than vary and expand the range of user-selected preferences - they're two entirely different and separate things).For clarity, that's why I would still like to submit my proposed bug report as outlined below. -- Alice 16:02, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree the bit posted above isn't clear, but the Bugzilla report (47332) for our request references a request by Hebrew WP to change their default thumbnail size (41712). The request by he:wp was turned down for performance reasons. I'm pretty sure they considered both aspects of our request and rejected both. -Shaundd (talk) 17:32, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Pashley - until the default thumbnail size is changed I don't think it is a good idea to encourage use of multiple formats for image sizing (both "300px" and "upgright=1.3") as it is essentially the worst of both worlds - default thumbnail sizing will look too small for the majority of users who haven't specified a preference, and we'll also have a mix of hard-coded and relative image sizing. We should standardize on one format (with rare exceptions if warranted), and then use that throughout the site, rather than promoting two different formats. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:49, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I may not have been clear enough either here or at Wikivoyage:How_to_add_an_image#Sizing.
What I was trying to say here is that I consider further discussion of changes to thumbnail size utterly pointless. My reading is that tech staff (rightly, in my view) rejected that. End of story.
What I was trying to say on the image page is that we already "standardize on one format (with rare exceptions if warranted)", using what I have been doing in for some time. The one format is "thumb" alone, with neither relative nor absolute size specified. Any further discussion of that should go on that talk page, though. Pashley (talk) 18:05, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, since the changes to the "How to add an image" page are essentially policy changes I think this is still the right place for the discussion. Most of the star articles I looked at specify sizes for all images, and discussion above seems to indicate a preference for 270-300px (the agreement seems to be that the default of 220px is too small), so I don't think the statement that we already standardize on the "thumb" (alone) format is correct. Similarly, adding statements about fixed image sizing like "These should be used sparingly since they override any preference the user has set" is counter to what is actually done in most articles. Again, until we can either get the default thumbnail size changed, or we can agree on a single standard and then update the site to reflect that, I think we should stick to the status quo and not encourage editors to combine fixed and relative sizing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:05, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I feel like I'm in wonderland again.
Shouldn't policy guide practice rather than the other way around?
What is the point of registered users setting their thumbnail width preferences if everyone is just going to override them willy-nilly?
The existing practice came about through ignorance - not through any rational discussion of connnection speeds, screen widths or data roaming costs! -- Alice 20:40, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I've requested clarification on Bugzilla: 47332 to try to better understand why the request to change the default image size was rejected. It seems to me that if performance is a concern then that concern exists whether we change the default or whether we manually specify "thumb|270px" (or something relative) for all images, so I'd like to clarify whether or not changing the default really is out of the question or not. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:28, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Well done! This important issue has been swinging in the breeze, unresolved for too long. We desperately need to look better for most while preserving the option for roaming and low-bandwidth readers to see a less visually intensive version. --W. Frankemailtalk 17:07, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the performance issue surely exists also when we would manually set all our thumbs to "thumb|270px". Now, Wikivoyage is currently small enough for the WMF tech team to hardly notice, I guess, but I'm pretty sure they would object if the enwp community or other large wikis would come up with the same plan. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:27, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Renewed proposal to change default thumbnail size[edit]

More than 2 months have gone by with no community objections and just because the second proposal to expand the range of user preferences available has (understandably) been declined does not mean that we should not submit the first as a stand-alone proposal.


Per above, let's submit a bug request to have:

the default en.WV image size for unregistered users (and those registered users who have not changed their thumbnail image preferences from the default) to be set to 270px.
Please add your support (or provide reasons if you object) below.

-- Alice 12:59, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Support. 220px is too small for a travel guide. Even 270 is probably too small. LtPowers (talk) 02:22, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I think 270px is a good compromise to allow short articles to be well-illustrated, while not going so small as to make the pictures "unreadable." I usually use 270-300px for images, tending towards 270. --Peter Talk 06:34, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As I read the above "[we don't configure] different thumbnail sizes per wiki", this has already been rejected and we should not waste energy trying to resurrect it.
Also, I do not think it is needed; thumbnails are supposed to be small. Users can always click for the big image. Editors can use "thumb|400px" or some such where needed. (My opinion here can be discounted some, though not entirely ignored. I don't work on graphics and am certainly not an expert on anything to do with visual presentation.) Pashley (talk) 13:57, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
If the images are not intelligible/beautiful in-article, that's poor design, and also we aim to have our content stand-alone (you can't click through when printed). While this request may go unfulfilled, it still is nice, I think, to demonstrate that we have a consensus for the idea. That way, if the WMF's position changes at some point (for example if a larger wiki—*ahem* en.w—decides they want a similar change), we'll be set to make the change. --Peter Talk 18:33, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Images are more important for travel than for an encyclopedia. Thus we should have a larger default setting here. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
See also Wikivoyage_talk:How_to_add_an_image#Adding_text.3F. 23:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 270px has never been commonly used as a thumbnail size on any project. Generating thousands of images just for use on en.wv is a waste of resources. The size should be a size that is already widely in use, such as 250px or 300px. See also this RfC on Kaldari (talk) 18:56, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
That's an interesting and relevant Rfc that you reference @Kaldari:. There was no real coherent opposition to the use of the relative image syntax using "upright" and factors of it (once it had been explained above) other than the default was too small, so without prejudice to that (the two issues are only mildly connected), I now propose that we submit as a stand-alone proposal:

Per above, let's submit a bug request to have:

the default en.WV image size for unregistered users (and those registered users who have not changed their thumbnail image preferences from the default) to be set to 300px.
Please add your support (or provide reasons if you object) below.
--118.93nzp (talk) 20:55, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Policy for photos of businesses should be relaxed[edit]

In my opinion, the Photos of businesses policy is too harshly worded. There are many good reasons to include a photo of an individual commercial venue, including but not limited to:

  • the photo being the only image from the city/district with a proper license and of decent quality
  • the photo giving a better overall view of the city/district than other available photos
  • the specific venue being culturally important
  • the specific venue having a unique visual appearance

A better policy would be:

Prefer images of public areas or streets, rather than individual commercial venues. An image of a commercial venue could be useful if it provides more useful information for a traveller, than a written description, or another image, would do. Do not add an image of a venue only for promotion, and certainly do not display an image of an individual business in large size. A venue not being worth mentioning in text, is probably not a suitable motif for a photograph either. See Wikivoyage:Don't tout.

What do you think? /Yvwv (talk) 18:12, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't see the difference. What you describe is the same policy, just written in a way that's more difficult to read. Globe-trotter (talk) 13:55, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
The previous policy said that photos of individual businesses should be deleted, with few exceptions. This policy says that photos of individual businesses should be deleted if they are promotional. /Yvwv (talk) 14:06, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
The newer wording is more nuanced and better in my opinion. Brevity is good - but not at the risk of imprecision, confusion or obfuscation. -- Alice 21:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Globe-trotter—the main change that seemed clear to me was a loss of clarity. The original wording, which I've restored, makes the conditions under which we do allow photos of businesses clear. And I don't see a reason to change those conditions. --Peter Talk 23:18, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
A clear policy is not necessarily a good policy. If this policy was to be adopted strictly, we would need to delete several of the photos currently on Wikivoyage, many of them not added for commercial promotion. /Yvwv (talk) 22:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Please point to the specific photos you have in mind and the contexts in which they are used, so that we can discuss them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:03, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
The issue here is with business each seeking to promote their own business by posting a photo. The policy needs to continue to give us a stick to delete these photos, without having to argue the nuances of whether they are promotional in each case. Again, coming back to Ikan Kekek's point, lets see an image that would not be allowed under the current policy that we would want to see in our articles? --Inas (talk) 22:31, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I prefer the existing policy. In general, photos of business premises should not be used. Then we can talk about exceptions. Pashley (talk) 20:36, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I also like the existing policy. There are plenty of other things that can be used to illustrate articles besides businesses. Kaldari (talk) 18:58, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

View on Wikipedia's city collages[edit]

Swept in from the pub

[[Image:Rostov.jpg|200px|thumb|Example of city collage for [[Rostov-on-Don]].]] I've been adding images from Wikipedia to cities the last few days (mostly remote Russian cities since they're an interest of mine). Anyway, for many larger cities Wikipedia have created a collage with important buildings and street scenes. I have always thought they would be great for Wikivoyage and that they fit into our vision of creating a more attractive looking guide but I'd like some input on this. And I feel a tiny bit bad about "stealing" them from WP! ;) --Jonte-- (talk) 00:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I have no opinion, but I'll mention Wikivoyage:Image_policy#Montages as the current position.--Inas (talk) 00:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
There does seam to b be a lot of historic policies on this site that are putting a damper on new contributors enthusiasm. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:11, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps it's time for some sort of review in order to make it clear just what Wikivoyage's values are and what sort of 'spirit' we're aiming for? I'm quite a new user and must confess I don't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Wikivoyage's guidelines. Given the fact that at present we're looking at a Main Page consisting almost wholly of images, I don't think that montages would be particularly damaging; in fact, you could say they provide particularly good value in terms of space used. However, I would say that taking them straight from Wikipedia is not a good idea. As (see above and below) we attempt to insert more links between that site and this one, users will not want to see what, at first glance, looks like a page they have just left.

Personally, I think that travel guides have to look a bit 'glossy' because travel is (in the majority of cases) an aspirational thing. In order to retain the reader's interest and to supplement the text I personally feel that images are very important. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 13:05, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

It's probably neatest if we discuss the policy at Wikivoyage talk:Image policy. I have some views, but I'll discuss them there. Please join me; it's important for Wikivoyage to be flexible, as long as the change serves the traveler. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:52, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Discussion started at Wikivoyage_talk:Image_policy#Montages. Please participate there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) First and always: The traveller comes first, then see Goals and non-goals. New goals and non-goals can be added by consensus, removing either a goal or a non-goal would be theoretically possible, bur likely to be extremely contentious. The rest is commentary. If you can show that a change is in the spirit of a goal and not a non-goal, it is likely to get some support. Details of how to do it are another matter, and there is considerable inertia to be overcome to change something like formatting and layout, as we try to keep article style moderately consistent, and changes make for a lot of work to update the whole site. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:16, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Parallel discussion on this page (not swept)[edit]

Wikivoyage's policy on Montages is under discussion in the Travellers' pub right now. I suggested it would be neatest to continue the discussion here. Current policy reads as follows:

"Wikivoyage does not use montages, or really any type of image other than maps or simple photography. Montages are problematic in particular for a travel guide, because their aesthetic reminds of a travel brochure, or some other promotional, rather than informational, material."

I don't agree that montages are problematic because they look promotional. I have another problem with them: Each of the photos in a collage such as the one pictured here is tiny, too small to view well. Whether that's effectively promotional, I doubt, but it is not effectively informational, in my opinion.

But let's please discuss this further. I don't think that "because their aesthetic reminds of a travel brochure" is by itself a good reason to prohibit them, though I may be open to persuasion on this.

Are we not promoting travel? Promoting to some extent each destination we have an article for? I don't have a problem with a montage per se as long as it serves a useful purpose better than the separate images would. Perhaps this should be the criterion - does a montage do a better job than individual images? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
There may be special purposes for which a montage is better, but in general, I think they are too cluttered, lacking in detail, require a lot of work to make, and are not very flexible for editing. However, for some purposes thay may work very well, better than a group of images or single image, and then we should use them. The montage will have to be high resolution and of very good quality to be worth using, and it may be difficult to convince enough people of its superiority to other options. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:30, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I think for an article in its early stages with little text then a single montage image on the page make sense. Images should not outweigh textual information but should awaken people interest to the location. However as an article grows in size towards a good feature article then single location/subject images should be added. --Traveler100 (talk) 14:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Traveler100 here. I think that montages can be useful in certain situations - I'm not sure a blanket ban on them is necessary. For articles which only have a couple of general images, a montage could be useful to define the page, however as the page grows in detail, individual images will come to the fore. There are issues with sizing, so in the long term, separate pictures are preferable. I don't think that montages particularly scream 'Thomas Cook' to me and in fact I'd suggest that they help to 'share excitement' to the reader. One caveat: I don't think that we should use the Wikipedia montages if possible, as we do not want to seem a clone of that site. --Nicholasjf21 (talk) 14:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
We should not copy existing montages from Wikipedia. Wikivoyage (as well as any other wiki) is too often confused with Wikipedia. We need some level of distinction.
Otherwise, I am not against montages that convey the nature of the city and its main, most important attractions. The picture designed for Rostov-on-Don is a sublime example of the opposite. In my opinion, it should not appear in a travel guide. --Alexander (talk) 15:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I was the one who started the discussion at the Travellers' pub. To me, apart from the pure facutal information, one of Wikivoyage's goals should be to entice people about travel and destinations, not by "selling" but more as a way to broaden the horizon of travellers'. After all there's voyage in Wikivoyage. Creating a quick overlook of what a destination offers is one way to do this. I see a use of montages as an lead image to a destination, in the same way we quite often use a panorama or an image of a iconic landmark. What can be problematic however is that we miss out important aspects of a destination. For example, the montages on WP are made up by images of buildings. However, as we all know a city is much more then just a collection of buildings. How do we for example show the jazz culture of New Orleans in an image/montage? I am very much in favour of using images and multimedia to entice our readers - issues with printing and low bandwith connections can be solved by technical means - so I would argue for a change in our image policy. With that said I can see a few problems that we need to sort out before hand, especially how to showcase "non-physical" aspects of a destination. --Jonte-- (talk) 15:55, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for participating in this discussion. I support allowing montages, but I think they should be used judiciously, and only when they are the most effective way to show a set of different iconic images, to take your word. I don't think there's an important reason for a single montage to be comprehensive, though. Where it could make sense is in articles about destinations that should feature so many photos that more normal-sized thumbnails wouldn't easily fit in the allotted space. And as mentioned above, for a montage to work, the individual photos have to be of extremely high resolution, such that salient features are easily visible; otherwise, they defeat the whole purpose, which is to provide information and attract the viewer. This article under construction might benefit from some montages, though I think many of the thumbnails are too small: Diving in Barbados/Cobblers Reef. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:07, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd allow but discourage them, as they force the individual subimages into a fixed, inflexible layout which might not work optimally on a small mobile device. We should also avoid inclusion of prepared foods, hôtel rooms or products for sale so that the image does not become too blatantly promotional. K7L (talk) 19:33, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I think montages don't really work for a travel guide. They show everything that exists in a place, so it's fine for an encyclopedia. But to me, a single iconic image of a particular landmark can really make a destination shine. Putting it together as just one of the images in a montage is less effective for making one enthusiastic about the destination. Globe-trotter (talk) 23:33, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I dislike them in pretty much all cases. Don't like the frozen formatting, don't like the small size of each individual image, I don't like the idiosyncratic looks of montages, varying borders between the images etc. I think a lot of the proponents of montages are mostly people who feel some kind of artistic pride in how spiffy their own montage turned out. And I think montages are less informative in almost all cases. They are also very difficult to write captions for, making for very long captions half composed of phrases like "upper right" and "second from the bottom" and not leaving any room for anything but the name of the things; no room for the usual tidbits of lively writing, because that would make the caption that much longer. The alternative is to have no caption or a generic "most famous sights of" caption, which I do not find informative at all. I also think having a montage may encourage duplicate photos of things. One picture of a sight in the montage and yet another bigger one in the See section for more detail and a more informative caption. Overall, I simply don't think a montages are a very good use of real estate. Texugo (talk) 23:37, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Great! A clear consensus that I agree with. Allow but discourage (and point out the disadvantages for 56k users on the policy page) -- Alice 23:40, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
If we use a montage we should try to make sure the source images are available. That way if we want to spread out the images as the article grows, or even rearrange the montage, we can. There is something un-wiki about having a preformatted mix of images, much like a preformatted mix of text. --Inas (talk) 00:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
That's an important point. We don't want to be restricted to montages if an article grows and has a lot of space for larger thumbnails of individual sights.
One point that was made above that I'd like to address is this one, but K7L:
"We should also avoid inclusion of prepared foods, hôtel rooms or products for sale so that the image does not become too blatantly promotional."
Do you mean only in montages? Because while I agree that hotel rooms normally should not be shown at all, prepared foods and products for sale can be iconic. Some good examples: In the Kota Bharu article, I inserted a thumbnail of a photo of wau bulan (a type of traditional kite) for sale. Kota Bharu is famous for these kites. Similarly, the Naples article would be impoverished by the loss of a thumbnail of la vera pizza napoletana, though the photo should probably be larger and I will now delete Wikipedia links I'm seeing in that article... Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:57, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Yuck! Still can't stand montages, per Texugo reasonings and more. Don't see any added benefit at all, they are nearly always tacky – cacahuate talk 03:03, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Should we discuss galleries here, too, or start a separate thread about them? I usually dislike them, too, and for the same reason I have a problem with montages: Because the thumbnails tend to be too small to get a good look at the images. There may be exceptions, though, where the images are clear enough and the number of important images to show on a page is too great to easily show them as separate 300px or even 200px thumbnails. On the other hand, if we completely nix galleries, what do we do with an article like Diving in Barbados/Cobblers Reef? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Peter started a discussion about galleries a few weeks ago: #Galleries. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:45, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm also not a fan of montages. Having a few single photos of interesting places/things is much more effective in getting my imagination going about a place than a montage full of pictures. In many cases, the montages actually make me feel more like all the cities are the same. They seem to diminish the intrigue of all the pictures when they're all mashed together. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:22, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Please keep any discussion of montages and galleries seperate as they are very different. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:56, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
If we had all the source images, I'm sure Southampton would be better with those images spread out down the page. --Inas (talk) 00:16, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, the Southampton article is a good example. Looking at it as it is, it just looks like a bunch of buildings mashed together. Each picture loses its luster in the montage. I lose interest before I can even be bothered to read what each image depicts. If the same pictures were spread around the article, places that are 'just buildings' in the montage would then stand out as unique places of interest. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 05:45, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a guideline suggesting that a montage should only be used when:
  • It is clearly better for its purpose than individual images.
  • It consists of a logically connected set of images that do not function correctly for the desired purpose if separated
  • It is useful and shows sufficient detail at the chosen/available resolution/image size.
  • Other possible additional or alternative conditions...
This should reduce use of montages to those which are actually desirable (if any). I don't like blanket bans on principle, as they go against the general philosophy of a wiki, and may conflict with our guiding principles in specific cases. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:19, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
The general philosophy of a wiki is that everything is editable and derivable. So a montage without the source images is very unwiki, because I can't rearrange it, distribute the original images, use one of the images in another article, etc. I certainly support your conditions, but I also think the availability of the individual images is the dealbreaker. --Inas (talk) 22:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I accept your point, Quite happy to add the requirement for availability of original images. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:15, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Audio files[edit]

I think we should consider allowing audio files for pronunciation in phrasebooks and article titles. We could put in a note that they cannot serve as a replacement for a pseudo-phoneticization, but they would be a really useful addition for online users. Thoughts? --Peter Talk 21:04, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

That sounds like a nice idea, and one that I think is already in use on other WMF sites. As long as we didn't remove the present phoneticization, as you say, I think this would be an excellent addition to Wikivoyage. --Nick (talk) 21:12, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
New thought: Perhaps we could record whole articles in some cases - from what I've heard audio travel guides can be popular. They might be particularly good for itineraries that are navigable on foot...? --Nick (talk) 21:41, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
That could be really cool for our itineraries! --Peter Talk 21:49, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Two great ideas. The latter might contribute to road safety by keeping drivers' eyes on the road. -- Alice 22:13, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I think need to strictly enforce that any audio must mirror the text. I don't think we're quite ready for audio only audiotours. --Inas (talk) 22:19, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I would agree that, at least for the moment, it should be a faithful reading of the text (except where obviously impossible eg: 'as on the map...'), which would also help with accessibility. Perhaps we could consider separate 'audiotours' as a long term goal to put on the roadmap. --Nick (talk) 22:23, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd be leery of pure audiotours (why not write them down), but something like The Wire Tour would be pretty cool as an mp3. I've done the itinerary with friends, but it would be hard to navigate and drive by yourself. --Peter Talk 22:48, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't have an opinion on audio files for phrasebooks or city names, but having an audio file as a recording of an entire article strikes me as a bad idea for two reasons: first, our content changes frequently and the audio file would thus get quickly out of date. Second, if having audio versions of articles is something we want to do I think we'd be better off including a toolbar link to an online reader service, or developing that as a Mediawiki plugin. In either case, provided the audio was downloadable, we would save manual work and provide better quality content by utilizing automated tools. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Our best itineraries have seen little change since being "finished," and generally have fewer things that require updating. Look at these [46][47][48]—from the time they were essentially completed, there has been very little change that would affect a traveler using an outdated audio version. An entrance fee in Chicago is the only important difference I see in those three articles, despite 3-4 years passing. To your second point—I'm not familiar with online reader services, so I'm not sure what you mean. Save us which manual work? --Peter Talk 01:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Tools for converting text-to-speech are becoming standard parts of operating systems - Android phones now include text-to-speech, and w:Speech synthesis#Internet has other examples. Given the reality that "reading" a web page is quickly becoming a task that computers are capable of doing, it seems that if we want audio versions of pages that it would be more productive to develop a plugin or other tool that will produce automated, computer-generated versions of our guides, rather than trying to keep manually-recorded versions up-to-date. If the idea of audio versions of guides gains support then manually recording a few guides for some star itineraries that are "finished" would be a way to get things started, but if the goal is to have audio guides for a significant number of itineraries or other articles then putting the effort into developing tools to automatically generate an audio version of the latest content would make more sense to me rather than devoting significant resources to manually recording (and re-recording as guides are updated). -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:16, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
There is a tendency to avoid creating "A day/night/weekend in X" as itinerary as we already have many of these which mostly end up just overlapping the main city/region article for X. An audio tour which covers a narrow area (such as "downtown" or "old town") in ,mp3 / .ogg might be a good reason to make an exception, as the landmarks do need to run in geographical order (instead of splitting by category - see, do... - or price - or listing alphabetically). K7L (talk) 22:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I think if we were to narrate articles, itineraries should be our main priority, as I think they could work well. This might be something to annex to an expedition and see where it takes us. --Nick (talk) 23:05, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Here's a quick, un-edited idea of what a narrated itinerary might sound like. I very quickly recorded the first bit of The Wire Tour, mentioned by Peter above. I dare say my British accent doesn't really fit this subject and I'm sure some of the pronunciations are wrong, but this is the sort of thing (when done to the end of an itinerary!) I think we could achieve. PS It's quite late here, hence the pseudo-whisper! --Nick (talk) 01:20, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Most enjoyable! And you have a very clear and evocative voice, Nick. Thanks for the terrific exemplar! -- Alice 01:42, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Very cool! It's something of a cliche to have British accented audio narrations at tourist traps, which provides some ironic humor in this tour of such decidedly non-touristy places. But then again, two of the main characters were played by English actors affecting American accents! --Peter Talk 01:48, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Haha! You're both very kind! :) --Nick (talk) 01:49, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

I think that audio files would be very useful for helping people pronounce phrasebook phrases and destinations with "odd" names. The Wire Tour illustration has opened my ears to other possibilities, but I am not entirely clear how this would work as a Wiki for most itineraries. Maybe we could come up with a way of making each sentence a separate audio file and then automatically combining them into a single file. That way an edit could be done by just re-recording a single sentence if something (opening times etc) changed. There is still the drawback of different speakers - which is a bit like have handwritten rather than typed articles.

For phrasebooks and destination names, I would suggest the following guidelines:

  • Audio files must be a recording of pure speech, with no significant background sounds.
  • Audio files must exactly reproduce the text that is written in the article.
  • Files must in Ogg format and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (and follow any policies there).
  • Files should be less than 15 seconds long.
  • Music files are expressly forbidden
  • Audio files must only play when the user selects then and must not be set to autoplay when the page is loaded.
  • Audio files must not be used in Buy, Eat or Sleep listings.

Some of these maybe are on the restictive side, but we need to discourage corporate jingles in hotel listings etc.AlasdairW (talk) 23:25, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

I am OK with the above guidelines, only I would limit audio files to only phrasebooks and article titles, for now at least. Like AlasdairW, I am not sure how well it would work anywhere else. Texugo (talk) 00:09, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we're as clever as those who devised the code napoleon. The English speaking tradition has not been to say "everything is forbidden except what is explicitly licensed". Such an approach stimeys innovation and leads to wikilawyering. I don't think we need to be so prescriptive and restrictive. All we need right now at this stage of our development is "Audio and Video files must not be used in Buy, Drink, Eat or Sleep listings. Files must only play when the user selects them and must not be set to autoplay when the page is loaded". Let's trust our admins to use their own judgement and stamp on any obvious abuses - the longer the lists we make of what folks can and can't do with audio, the more difficult it will be for an admin to uphold their decision because the miscreant will just turn round and say (justifiably) "Waaaaaah, that wasn't on the list!" -- Alice 00:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it would be wiser to wade into it more slowly, given that it is completely new territory for us. If we find it works well, we can always expand later, so I'll stick with Peter's original suggestion of phrasebooks and article titles. We may run into some issues we aren't expecting, such as how to evaluate the correctness of non-native speakers recording phrases and such -- not every second-year Chinese or French student pronounces things as accurately as they think they do, and if we are going to do this right, we need to be able to ensure that our audio clips are accurate and professional. Texugo (talk) 00:32, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we should stick with phrasebooks and titles for the moment, however, like Alice, I also think we shouldn't be quite so prescriptive or definite about what we're not going to allow - let's stick with what we do want for the moment as otherwise, should we come round to the idea of recorded itineraries (or anything else) we'll have to fight to repeal what we previously set down. Let's just say that, for the moment, single words are the way forward and we'll leave other things for further discussion. --Nick (talk) 00:43, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I think at the very minimum we should make it clear that we are allowing audio files for pronunciation purposes only. Texugo (talk) 01:16, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with you there - I just didn't want to see some extremely strict rules implemented on this topic just yet. --Nick (talk) 01:19, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Are people saying we should not allow audio narrations for existing itineraries? I don't see the harm, and I'd love to have one for The Wire Tour at least, since it would help for driving. I guess I could make one for myself and not share it on the site, but what's the advantage in not sharing it? --Peter Talk 19:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of this idea yet. Too easy for it to get out of date/out of sync with the article, not editable except in full, and ogg format isn't exactly something you just throw on your ipod, and streaming audio to a mobile phone is not cheap in many countries. Texugo (talk) 19:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
My suggested addition to policy remains limited to: "Audio and Video files must not be used in Buy, Drink, Eat or Sleep listings. Files must only play when the user selects them and must not be set to autoplay when the page is loaded" and, if implemented, that would remove your latter two objections. User:Peterfitzgerald has already suggested that audio itineraries be limited to relatively stable and mature articles, but perhaps an audio 'rider' of "This audio may have become outdated by later changes to the text of our Wikivoyage article from the eighth of March twenty-thirteen on which this was based." could be added right at the start of each recording?
User:Peterfitzgerald: Most are not, but since AlasdairW's suggestions included a 15 second limit supported by Texugo, it would be nice if they could both specifically clarify if their attitudes have changed during the course of this discussion. -- Alice 19:36, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The audio 'rider' that Alice has suggested sounds fair. It's simple and easy to do and if people are willing to do it, I don't see the harm. I think audio itineraries do have plenty of potential as long as they are of high quality and reflect WV's values. --Nick (talk) 20:13, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Nope I'll stick by my comments and by Ryan's last comments above that it would be better to focus on machine reading tools than to try to keep updated recordings of things. I don't think full recordings of articles are a very wiki-like thing at all, much like the last points made in the montage discussion above. Texugo (talk) 20:15, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
It would probably be better to focus on fairly 'stable' articles when recording, but I don't think it's impossible or harmful. In fact, Wikipedia has a project reading articles that's currently on-going and, whilst we are not Wikipedia and do not follow all its customs, I don't think we can dismiss the idea as 'un-Wiki'. --Nick (talk) 20:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't think the WP version is very wiki either (nor does it appear to be terribly popular). I think with respect to reading full articles, we are just looking at a huge distraction with problematic and only very marginally useful results. Texugo (talk) 20:37, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
That's sort of like saying a printout isn't very wiki. Yes, it would be a snapshot, but I don't understand why providing one would be harmful in any way. And remember, this is something being proposed only for star itineraries that are not likely to change in a meaningful way in the short term. What's the good reason to ban this? --Peter Talk 21:30, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify my objections, I don't want my concerns to be seen as advocating that we "ban" audio versions of articles, but if this is something that people want to be used on more than just a couple of article then I'd worry about having to devote resources to creating and updating audio articles and feel strongly that we should automate the process rather than doing it manually. That said, if someone wants to try this out on a select handful of articles then we should encourage a limited experiment, and we can then revisit how useful it is and whether we want to broaden the scope. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:00, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I don't think that is quite a fair analogy. The difference is that with text, a change of any size can be made by anyone and a perfect printout can be carried away from it immediately, but to carry away updated audio after a change, the whole thing must be re-recorded. Even the WP project specifically states than any edits to audio must be done by the original reader or else the whole thing must be recorded. Anyway, given that there are only 3 star itineraries, I can`t complain too much about a test run on those, but I fail to see much real utility in this and think that our efforts would be better spent in other areas. Texugo (talk) 22:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

(reindent} There are three drivers I see here.

  1. As part of Access Expedition I would like to see as many of our guides read in audio as possible. If the audio gets hopelessly out of date, and we have to delete it, we're no worse off then we were without any audio. As long as the people who do the audio accept that this is the case, then we're no worse off. The automated process just isn't there yet. The downside I see is spam and quality filtering being very time consuming. For that reason, I support limiting to star guides for now. Possibly each section has a separate audio file would make it easier to update, and maintain. I know that this is a marginal audience. Perhaps we could try to engage with some vision groups to see how we could actually make this useful to their needs?
  2. For phrasebooks and single words that are difficult to pronounce, this is quite straightforward. It's helpful to everyone, and we should include it.
  3. For itineraries that we want other people to follow, then recording is quite a different proposition. We'd want a stop the tape now and drive/walk to. I think this requires a bit more thought as to what we want to achieve here, and how we do it well. Again, limiting this to star itineraries for now should allow us to refine or dump this process. --Inas (talk) 22:28, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

How many images is too many?[edit]

I know dive guides tend to have a lot of pictures and all, and we sort of have an unofficial blanket exception for using galleries in such articles, but isn't having 193 images in one article at least 500% more than necessary? Ignoring for the moment that several of them also seem to violate our people in photos and montage policies, do we actually consider it acceptable to load an article with this many images? Texugo (talk) 22:48, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes. No. LtPowers (talk) 23:17, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I think Peter S. has already suggested to the author to move out most photos to a gallery subpage a la Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle/Gallery. But yes, that page would be unloadable on many internet cafe connections! --Peter Talk 03:05, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Even on a special gallery page, does this one location really warrant so many pictures? It's just a subpage of a larger dive site. Texugo (talk) 03:08, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
It wouldn't for a usual destination guide, but it would be OK if the images have a specific function (like helping identify species on the dive or something like that?). I'm not a diver, though, so I don't really know. An ever so slightly similar example would be the Chicago skyline guide, which uses a bunch of big images for a specific function, rather than general illustration. --Peter Talk 03:16, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Peter Southwoods proposal for a gallery sub-page (with a "size" warning) will work just fine here. The primary author is providing us with a rather unique resource here. -- Alice 04:58, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
But, ok, even considering only the 25 images of types of coral, are they 25 types that can only be seen at Cobbler's reef? Anywhere off Barbados? Anywhere in the Carribean? Anywhere in the North Atlantic? Anywhere in the world? Wouldn't it fit better with our other practices of non-duplication to cut down on stuff that is not unique to this site? Texugo (talk) 12:43, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Also, does a dive site need 10-20 aerial shots? Multiple shots of the same beaches from different angles, photos of divers which otherwise don't show anything much? Texugo (talk) 12:49, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
A lot of the shots would be better suited to a travelogue than a travel guide, as they seem to recount a specific person's experiences. Those are the ones that trouble me the most. LtPowers (talk) 13:35, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree that there are more images than are necessary on the Cobbler's Reef article, but I have avoided interfering with its development in the interests of finding out where it may go. The contributor is new to WV and to wiki culture in general, and is approaching the structure of the article differently to how I do it, and I think that an alternative layout and approach to content for a diving topic is interesting and refreshing. I do not advocate such high bandwidth pages as a general policy, but would like to see whay comes out of this one. I think that as it develops some of the pictures will be removed or replaced, and a sub-page gallery will be needed. My suggestion would be to make tactful constructive suggestions on the talk page for changes that would actually improve the article. I am intentionally minimizing my influence there as I don't want to force the development to my own preconceptions. As Alice says, this is becoming a rather interesting and unique resource, and I don't want to chase the contributor away. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:14, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Short videos[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I was a bit bold and just added a 2 minute video to Lancaster (Pennsylvania), so I might as well do it here also.

A Walk up Main Street, Adamstown, Pennsylvania, video (2 minutes)

I've done a couple of these historic districts as videos on Wikipedia and figure that Adamstown, PA is much better known than Delta, PA, or (the soon to be released) Wellsville, PA. My main question is whether Wikivoyage would be interested in this type of "video" if I were to get into better known topics such as "A walk up Broadway, NYC", "A walk on the National Mall, DC" or maybe even "A tour of the Kremlin"?

Please let me know either here or on my Wikipedia talk page.

Smallbones (talk) 19:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Since videos can't be watched when our guides are printed. I doubt if it would be a good idea to introduce videos in the articles. --Saqib (talk) 19:33, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
For this type of video, any frame can be shown as a photo from Commons, so the video can easily be changed into a single photo for printing. I'm more surprised, however, by the implied policy that everything here must be printable. I know WP:NOTPRINT doesn't apply here directly, but it seems like a surprising departure. Is audio allowed here? gif files? External links? Smallbones (talk) 20:07, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The policy of "neutrality of medium" is explicit here, not implied, though I can't find the page right now. To answer your questions: Audio: No. Images: Upload them to Wikimedia Commons, then link them as thumbnails. External links: Please read the external links page for guidelines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Nice video: appropriate music, well lit and a steady camera. Personally, I don't think that the inability to print a video should no more veto video embedding than the inability of blind people to see still images should veto their use.
However, even though I'm probably one of the more aged editors here, I'm usually ahead of the curve here in my opinions and (remembering what happened to another editor's earlier introduction of a non-still image file about penguin calls) I wouldn't hold your breath. --W. Franke-mailtalk 20:22, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The basic idea sounds really cool! Seriously! Sadly I'm afraid it can't be implemented here for the above mentioned reasons. Your idea also got me thinking more about the combination WV+video. How about making 2-5 minute video guides highlighting the most important points of interest of our destinations a bit like an extremely short version of Lonely Planet's Globe Trekker episodes. They'd be uploaded to YouTube where also people who've never heard about Wikivoyage could find them (and subsequently come here to read the rest, get more and more interested, eventually become contributors themselves and...). Comments? ϒpsilon (talk) 20:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Great promotional idea! It's no good having great articles if few people read them. Terrific! --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:00, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
As you know, Frank, this site operates on consensus, and you also know how to try to change consensus. I'm not convinced it's so important for everything in this guide to be printable, myself, as online reading is increasingly standard. Would you like to reopen a discussion about that? What would be the right talk page for such a discussion? I like your idea, too, Ypsilon. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:37, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Sometime in the last 7 years, this consensus thing got twisted back to front. At the beginning we were able to plunge forward and do new things and only if there was a consensus not to do something did we have to halt progress. Now it seems that consensus is needed to make any change, however much this benefits the traveller, or however much it seems obvious. A prime example of this negative attitude is our current image policy. This really isn't the Wiki way. --W. Franke-mailtalk 20:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I may not be as longtime an editor on this site as you are, but I think what you're trying to do - unilaterally buck an established consensus instead of trying to change it with an argument in a discussion - is not the Wiki way. So please stop freelancing and engage in a discussion. I would like to reopen this, too - the right way. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:02, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Can you point me towards that strong-verging-on-unanimous consensus discussion not to have video? This is the only mention I could find: Wikivoyage_talk:Image_policy#Audio_files The way I read that, it tailed off inconclusively like too many of our recent discussions. This "consensus of stasis" needs to be reversed so that we have less of the Germanic attitude of "what is not specifically allowed is forbidden"! --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:28, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Image policy#Other media - " not use other media files like digital sound clips or video images.". As Ikan noted, your tendency to make contentious changes for the sake (apparently) of making a point is counter-productive to actually implementing the change you want to see put in place. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:35, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Ryan, where do you think the best place for reopening this discussion is, Wikivoyage talk:Goals and non-goals or Wikivoyage talk:Image policy? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:39, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The broader discussion about whether the emphasis on print is still relevant as an overriding goal and whether it is implemented at the expense of our online presence is probably best done at Wikivoyage talk:Goals and non-goals, but if we're just discussing the specific point about whether videos should be allowed, and if so what standards should govern their inclusion then the image policy talk page would make sense to me. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I too think that's a discussion worth re-opening. I get why we want our guides to be easily printable, but I don't see why that should prevent us from having /additional/ multimedia features online. If, as Smallbones says, a short video like this could be easily replaced with a single picture, no-one loses anything when printing. I guess we'd need a separate discussion about when and how video's (or whatever else) are wanted in an article, but let's not throw out a whole concept like this, because it doesn't print. Thanks for bringing it to the table, Smallbones :-) And Ypsilon, I like your idea, although I imagine it will be hard, as it would have to be pretty cool productions.JuliasTravels (talk) 21:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Not the least bit interested in re-opening this discussion at this point. There are just too many variables and it's nearly guaranteed that the vast majority of videos uploaded are going to be cheesy in some way or other. I wouldn't even really want to consider allowing them unless we developed and enforced extremely professional, very consistent, and very high-quality standards which define a Wikivoyage-style of making videos for use in our articles, with very clearly established purposes and goals which included strict guidelines on content, titling styles and fonts, scene-changing, people in videos, music/sound/narration, credits, length and format restrictions, etc. etc. I really don't mean to criticize the video posted above, since it's fine for what it is, but even that one is not acceptable to me, not least because it is actually not even a video but a somewhat glorified slideshow of still shots with some zoom and pan added to them, containing zero actual video footage (and I don't think we are necessarily after new ways to squeeze in more still shots). Still, I cannot help imagine that most submissions will be much worse, either with cheesy music or cheesy fonts or cheesy scene change effects or something else cheesy. Let's face it, lots of people can take good pictures but the overwhelming majority of the editing public at large generally does not know how to make high quality, professionally edited videos, despite what they may think. I don't think arguing about this is going to be a very good use of our time at this point. There is way too much cheese on that pizza. Texugo (talk) 22:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Like our travel writing, this is a subjective call of judgement. If you don't like a video and think it's not useful to travellers, then you have the same right to remove it from an article as you do with any other file or piece of writing you think is cheesy - no substantive difference.
I do think it would be useful to give some positive and helpful guidance as you suggest. --W. Franke-mailtalk 22:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, before reading this, I started a discussion at Wikivoyage talk:Image policy#Proposal to allow video files. You make good points. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

This is a really nice video (and I mean it, I enjoyed it), but in the end it is just a collection of steady images set to some music. Frankly, to me it doesn't really make much difference. I'd rather have more pics in the article and a good map than videos. Moreover, try to update a video like that, especially if well-cut and really set to music (rather than just having music in the background while the pics change every 5 secs). I would be against allowing such not to waste people's creative energy on making those. That said, if you enjoy doing those, there is nothing to prevents you from making those and uploading to Commons and YouTube. PrinceGloria (talk) 04:56, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I, for one, think we need to take the scope of the question beyond merely allowing video files, and instead rethink the entire part of our policy that discourages content that a) isn't easily translatable to the print format and b) encourages, or rather over-encourages, articles that are short in length and light on non-textual bells and whistles that would take a long time to load on a slow Internet connection.
I think of it in terms of a simple cost/benefit analysis. Perhaps when we began on Wikitravel in 2003, there were large swaths of the world where high-speed Internet was unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Nowadays, however, this is true in far, far fewer cases than ten years ago—most places at least have Internet cafés where decent connections are available. There's certainly some remnant of that segment of our readership that benefits noticeably from our policy favoring quick-loading pages, but let's contrast that with the much larger segment that does have reliable access to affordable high-speed Internet, and is struck by the frankly boring look to much of our website, particularly compared to Tripadvisor and other travel-related sites. The new Main Page that we introduced earlier this year, with the banner images, was a step in the right direction—but at the same time, it violates the spirit of our less-is-more images policy, which, though it's gradually fallen by the wayside over the past years, is technically still in effect. If nothing else, we should reconcile those two things.
I think it's a mistake to deprive our site of the kind of visual pizzazz and innovative features that might potentially make Wikivoyage stand out from the pack and give our struggling readership levels a little boost (especially absent any solution to our massive SEO issues) in order to spoon-feed a relatively small number of travelers who happen to be visiting places that are true backwaters and didn't have the foresight to print off the pages they needed in advance. Sometimes when I surf our site I have to be reminded that this is 2013, not the '90s. A lot about Wikivoyage looks so old-school that I half-wonder where the cutesy little animated GIF icons, "Under Construction" clip-art, and web counters are.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:23, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
I do agree with Andrew here - we need to be remember that, unlike Wikipedia, Wikivoyage exists in a market swamped by free travel guides. Yes, ours comes with a community and yes, it's a friendly, not-for-profit one at that, but to the end-user who simply wants a travel guide, that is of little importance. I am certainly not saying that we are unprepared to change - in the time I've been on here I've seen several very large changes to Wikivoyage but, as has been said, it still looks quite 'old school'. Whilst the Media-Wiki software is responsible for a lot of the aesthetics, I believe that more could be done. The world today is a lot more connected than it was when this site began and we need to keep up - prioritising offline use for an online travel guide when books still abound and print-outs will convey most (if not all) the necessary information feels like we are pandering to something of a niche audience.
In truth, there is no 'magic wand' (at least as yet) that we can wave and boost our Google rankings - the best way to get more people through the door is to make Wikivoyage better than the rest. Yes, our coverage is wider than some other sites, but a lot of it is either very limited or focussed on *ahem* sub-prime tourism destinations. I think WV needs some sort of unique selling point, something that we don't presently have (Feel free to disagree!). Could videos go some way to filling the gap or are there any other ideas?
We do have a lot of very high-quality content on here, but we need to display it in the best possible light - easily navigable but exciting and different. At present we remain very similar to a (much) more popular site that holds a grudge against us - not the best position to be in. To counter the other site we need to pull out all the stops and try every possible technique (including short, specially selected videos) to give this site the 'razzmatazz' it needs to flourish. The pagebanners that are now present on almost every page are a great example of the sort of innovations that we require; if we want WV to grow in the future we need to embrace what is available at present. :) --Nick talk 01:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
A house on Main Street, Adamstown, PA
Video from Wikimedia Commons
A Walk up Main Street, Adamstown, Pennsylvania (2:09 minutes) 13 MB
From the objections I understand, I've revised the proposed video presentation/link (see right). The photo is printable just like any other photo, the link to the video on Commons will add essentially nothing to upload times - only readers who click the link will see the video in any way. I don't think you should expect too much from this type of video right away - I think it might be of use in limited articles, and I'm not about to run around the world making them. On the other hand, I could very well do - and would enjoy doing - similar things with the Boston and Baltimore Heritage Trails, Independence Park in Philadelphia, or maybe a short battlefield tour at Gettysburg. I'd think the traveller and WV could very well benefit from these. Smallbones (talk) 03:10, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to allow video files[edit]

This is a spinoff of the discussion at Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub#Short videos.

Current policy is laid out at the end of the "Image policy" page: "One of Wikivoyage's goals is to have Wikivoyage articles useful as printed pages. We therefore do not use other media files like digital sound clips or video images."

I do think that we should keep articles in a format that's useful as a printout, but I disagree with the conclusion and would also argue that online reading is increasingly becoming the standard, especially for sites about travel that are frequently consulted on smartphones while taking a train, sitting in a cafe, or walking on a street. So the crux of my proposal is that materials useful to travellers that can't be printed - such as short videos (or, possibly, sound clips, though that suggestion was recently shot down) - should be allowable, and that we should discuss creating new guidelines governing what kind and how many such files can be used or linked to. I would argue that allowing a video now and then doesn't decrease the quality of the printed pages; it just adds additional content that benefits those travellers who have access to the internet. And I think the risk of not keeping up with online technical capabilities that can make or/and keep this site cutting-edge is a lot greater than someone's mild disappointment at not being able to see a video from a printout. This is, after all, a website, not a book, and the external links many pages are replete with aren't clickable from a printout, either, but we include them at least in part because they are useful to people reading online. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:16, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Texugo made a lot of good points about video quality and so on in a reply to the thread in the Pub before I posted this, so I'm having very strong second thoughts about reopening this discussion, but have at it, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:20, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Here is what I posted in the pub:
Not the least bit interested in re-opening this discussion at this point. There are just too many variables and it's nearly guaranteed that the vast majority of videos uploaded are going to be cheesy in some way or other. I wouldn't even really want to consider allowing them unless we developed and enforced extremely professional, very consistent, and very high-quality standards which define a Wikivoyage-style of making videos for use in our articles, with very clearly established purposes and goals which included strict guidelines on content, titling styles and fonts, scene-changing, people in videos, music/sound/narration, credits, length and format restrictions, etc. etc. I really don't mean to criticize the video posted above (now at Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub#Short videos), since it's fine for what it is, but even that one is not acceptable to me, not least because it is actually not even a video but a somewhat glorified slideshow of still shots with some zoom and pan added to them, containing zero actual video footage (and I don't think we are necessarily after new ways to squeeze in more still shots). Still, I cannot help imagine that most submissions will be much worse, either with cheesy music or cheesy fonts or cheesy scene change effects or something else cheesy. Let's face it, lots of people can take good pictures but the overwhelming majority of the editing public at large generally does not know how to make high quality, professionally edited videos, despite what they may think. I don't think arguing about this is going to be a very good use of our time at this point. There is way too much cheese on that pizza. Texugo (talk) 22:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not clear on what kind of video content is envisioned. If it's truly "additional content", then it's either not necessary for the traveler, or it should be in our guides in text and pictures. If it just duplicates our text content, then I don't see the point. LtPowers (talk) 22:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I would be cautiously in favour of allowing video content on here. The way the internet is used has changed rather a lot since the dawn of WV/WT and, with the advent of smartphones, people increasingly 'take the web with them'; even full of rich content, whilst apps offer the opportunity to download and keep our content on a local device. As a subject, travel is particular well-suited to video content and I'm sure we could do a lot of very imaginative and exciting things with it: video content can take the user to a destination like no other medium. That is not to say that we should do away with our current policy of making guides printable. When users are in an area without internet coverage, nothing beats a paper copy, whilst we should maintain a usable page on those travellers who just use dead tree guides out of preference. If what Smallbones suggests in the original discussion is correct, that shouldn't be a problem - the videos can be replaced by stills.
Despite this, to my mind, video content would (at least initially) need to be tightly controlled. I think we would need both a time limit and particular guidelines about content - we don't want a 30 minute personal documentary (although that might be good for our (as yet) non-existent YouTube account) and we'd have to discuss our thoughts on commentaries. In truth, I think it might be good, at first, to approve all videos centrally. A very slow process - yes - but at least initially that's what we want. I'd advocate the creation of a Video Expedition to oversee this process to stem the flow of keen but misguided efforts that we're likely to get. This would be a very work-intensive method, but probably what we'd need here.
A YouTube channel was also mentioned in the original Pub conversation, which I think was an excellent idea, though that too would need further discussion about content guidelines and the like, although overall control would probably be easier on an external site ,though licences might be tricky. Perhaps this is the easier short-term solution?
Overall: a good idea, but one that will take a lot of time and effort - I do have some sympathy with Texugo's view above! --Nick talk 22:33, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
While not part of my central argument, I do take issue with the notion that people have started taking smartphones everywhere. While that may be true for travel close to home, people travelling further afield still do not generally have use of their smart phones. Your iPhone is probably not going to just work when you're riding a rickety bus across Morocco or you pause between Khmer temple ruins, and if you are outside your carrier's range and you do have a signal, especially in a foreign country, you could easily run up a couple of thousand dollars` worth of roaming charges. I don't think we can safely assume people will generally have smartphone access. Texugo (talk) 22:46, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
LtPowers, nothing on this site is actually "necessary for the traveler," as shown by the fact that people have traveled for thousands of years before this site existed. So, at the risk of being overly literal and perhaps misunderstanding what you really mean, I don't think necessity is the proper yardstick; rather, the potential usefulness of a medium is the question. And it's obvious to me that 4-dimensionality (3 dimensions plus time) is neither replicable in text nor fully in photos, either. As film has existed for over 100 years, it seems strange to need to argue for its capabilities, but some thoughts that comes to mind are that it can show sculptures, buildings, performances, and street scenes effectively. None of this addresses other substantive objections to allowing videos on this site, or the good points that have been made about complications involved in potentially allowing them, but dismissing an entire medium just seems strange to me.
Texugo, I agree that there are still plenty of places where internet access is unavailable, but that's the direction we're going in, and the issue to me is not that we should make these guides useless in printed form, but that it should be OK to add more web-only content for those who have access. Newspapers do this, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:48, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I think perhaps part of LtPowers' point is that aside from showing what things look like in motion, the video should not contain any additional information that is not already in the article. If the other information is important, it should already be in text and/or images in the article. If it's not important, well then it's not important and we don't need it. Texugo (talk) 22:53, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
If that's what he means, I agree with him. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:57, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I too agree! For that reason, I'd probably be against commentaries in videos on here (not necessarily on YouTube though). I think the value of videos is in their illustrative, immersive quality, much like the one posted in the Pub. As I said above, I really am not saying we should abandon paper compatibility - it's a very important part of what we do and whilst iPhones might be useful tools in some parts of the world, paper rules in others. Videos would be an extra element for the online audience; much like external links, banner images and editing. --Nick talk 23:03, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
A few ideas for guidelines (sorry if this a bit quick!):
  1. All videos must (initially) be approved centrally - this reduces the patrolling load and ensures a light stream of video content; rather than a torrent.
  2. No audio except ambient noise. Silent videos are acceptable - might sound a little puritanical but this removes concerns about informative commentaries and cheesy background music/copyvios.
  3. Captions should only be used to describe what is being seen: they should not give any additional information that is not in the article - all info kept within the article.
  4. Videos should be of at least 360p quality - we don't want any pixellated content.
  5. Videos should not focus on people - let's keep this about the destination.
  6. Videos should not be longer than 3 minutes - we don't want an epic.
These are just a few opening ideas and are all open to debate. I can foresee a few cases where there would need to be exceptions to the above as well, but I'd hope that they're a starting point. Finally, what do we think of slideshows? --Nick talk 23:22, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The thing I dislike about video is that they are very unwiki like. They can take a long time to review. Editing them or changing them is complex, and can't be done on the site. My idea of a wiki is someone writes a sentence, someone else adds, updates, or changes it. This isn't the case of a video tour. Once someone has done a video tour, it can only really ever be replaced by another.
However, this is quite different for a short video of something that makes more sense in motion. For example a 5 sec video of Splash Mountain may add more meaning than a still shot. And the still shot is still meaningful for those who don't or can't hit play. I think I'm agreeing with Ikan Kekek again. Video where it serves a purpose in explaining something that can't be explained in text or a still. So no tours, no commentary, but scenes that have an inherent time element, I would support. --Inas (talk) 23:25, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
A couple of thoughts on your draft guidelines, Nick: How would you suggest central approval be accomplished? Also, if we allow videos, I think it's OK if they focus on people as long as the people are shown performing or, say, eagle hunting or playing an unusual sport. I also think that Inas has given very good guidelines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:38, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest launching a Video Expedition or similar to approve the videos initially: an approval time of just a few days would probably be sufficient; it would only be a temporary measure and eventually we'd wind it down: I just think we would want to avoid the sudden explosion in implementation that we saw with the page banner images. I agree that people are ok in those instances - I probably need to fix the wording on that one. I was trying to prevent people from using their family holiday videos or featuring a presenter. I also agree with everything that Inas said. :) --Nick talk 23:45, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
If you propose to eventually wind down the expedition, how would you suggest approval of videos afterwards? I would think that we would leave the expedition open, as with the Airport expedition, and revive discussion whenever that's useful. By the way, I think that's an excellent precedent, as the consensus on what kinds of airports merit articles and how they should be structured has made it much easier to determine which new articles should be merged or redirected. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree - the Airport expedition has worked well! I meant rather that I would wind down the tight approval process once we were a little further on. The video expedition would remain open for discussion purposes. --Nick talk 23:56, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
The speed at which this conversation is moving forward makes me very uncomfortable. I really doubt I and possibly LtPowers are the only ones who think this is not at all a good idea. I am quite convinced that the standards necessary are much too high for this to really get anywhere, and I am not at all willing to stick amateurish video everywhere, or anywhere. Texugo (talk) 00:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think anyone would disagree with you that it is a bad idea to link to or otherwise use poor-quality videos. Is the precedent on using image files that are on Commons a good or bad one, in your opinion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please see my previous comment: images are one thing and just about anyone can take a pleasing photograph these days. Creating well-edited, sharp, professional-looking video, however, is quite a different endeavor, and I would be very surprised if there were even a tiny handful of videos already on commons that are both appropriate and professional enough to use here. Texugo (talk) 01:32, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm with Texugo in that I don't think it's yet time to create an expedition—we need to at least have some agreement that videos are ever something we want. For that we need some examples! The video that Smallbones created is nice, but doesn't provide anything other than images, which we already allow, are printable, and much more editable/swappable (more wiki). The one use of videos that immediately jumps out to me is instructional how-to guides to using Wikivoyage. But I'm not coming up with any uses for destination guides that wouldn't be better done otherwise. So... examples, please? Lastly, is the extra load time placed on the page the same as for any old thumbnail? --Peter Talk 01:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)


I don't think an outright ban is appropriate since there will always be use cases where a video would be valuable, but at the same time I think it makes sense to write any policy on video usage very strictly since this is a wiki, and as noted above a video isn't something that lends itself well to collaboration. If a video adds value to an article that could not be matched by text or photos then this might be an experiment worth trying, but I think that if we're going to move in this direction we want to start out sparingly, following some of the guidelines that Nick has proposed. I'd also suggest a limitation similar to the following: "Videos should be used sparingly, they should only be used in cases where a photo or text would not suffice, and they should provide significant added value for the article in question. Examples of situations where a video might enhance an article include a rocket launch in the Cape Canaveral article, a hula performance in the Hawaii article (provided appropriate model releases are obtained), or a geyser eruption in the Yellowstone National Park article." -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) :We effectively already have an outright ban. I would not agree with changing the currently policy to your wording unless we establish and agree upon the need for any video at all. Texugo (talk) 01:41, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I think Peter asks an important question about load time and I don't know the answer to it. The other thing I get from his post is that it's one thing to give theoretical examples of useful videos, as you just did, but quite another to actually present a video that fulfills them. But what is the best way to issue a challenge for videographers to submit videos that might convince the doubtful that it could be worth ever allowing videos on this site, other than through an expedition? Should a challenge be issued in the Pub? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:38, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That would be up to the people who are for the idea, I'm afraid. An expedition implies that it is already something we have decided we want to do, which we have not. And as for issuing a challenge, why would the unconvinced have any interest in issuing a challenge to encourage something they oppose in the first place? Texugo (talk) 01:47, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Hold it, Texugo: Are you opposed to including video even if, in your opinion, it's high-quality and adds an element that can't be added any other way? I thought your objection was based mainly on the idea that most videos are amateurish. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:52, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
To Texugo's points on video quality: Perhaps a side benefit we can engender, by adopting exacting standards for approval of video clips, is to prompt talented people to meet the challenge to do great work.
I think we've reached a point of agreement that unless the work is really good, really adds something that couldn't be added a different way, and is of value if printed as a still, it shouldn't be considered for approval. So that's the challenge we need to put out to the public, and I think the challenge should include details on what constitutes good video production. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:43, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree. We don't wants poor video. We don't want video that just duplicates content that can be expressed just as well with stills and text. However, if someone want to go ahead and demonstrate some value, then they should, and we can discuss again. We can't cut a proposal off at the knees, because of an assumption that the video that is going to be added is poor quality. Ten years ago to think that a holiday snap would have made a travel guide would be unthinkable. These days, we're taking them on a phone. Video quality is heading the same direction. --Inas (talk) 01:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Video editing quality, however, is not. And no, like Peter said, I am not convinced there is any video that would add anything we truly need that could not be better covered another way. And like LtPowers said, I am unclear on what the purpose would be. Are we trying as much as possible to recreate the experience of being there? Because that is not really what a travel guide is for and seems somewhat beside our goals in the same way that encyclopedia detail in text does. Texugo (talk) 02:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I seem to have caused a bit of an upset by plunging forward and saying what I would do - sorry! My suggestions are purely hypothetical at this stage: I won't be creating an expedition or adding videos to any article any time soon. What I had hoped was, that by laying out some fairly strict ground rules, some qualms about Wikivoyage becoming a repository for people's holiday videos that were recorded with a potato would be removed. Either way, I'm sorry if anybody thought I was running away with this; I was merely trying to show that this is viable and lay out how it might be carried out.

As for examples, here are a few I found on Commons. I dare say purpose-made footage would be better...

The Strokkur geyser in Iceland, video (12 seconds).
The space shuttle Endeavour launches from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station, video (21 seconds).
Climbing the Eiffel Tower.
A parade in Kim-Il-Sung Square, Pyongyang, video (61 seconds).
'Mind the gap' on the London Underground.

Nick talk 02:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I would tend to keep the guide as simple as possible and not become cluttered with a ton of videos and for that matter images (guess that makes me a minimalist). I remember the Michelin and Fodor guides from way back when and they only had certain basic images, maps etc. If I am interested; I would surf the net so to speak for more information. Yet; on the other hand, they can be somewhat of an added bonus. So why not create a sub-page to a guide page that would contain galleries of photos, videos, amplified text and related web links on it. (I think that could be done tastefully - hopefully anyhow)... The main guide page could have a link to that sub-page... ps. where do I post my nude sunbathing video at Playa Sant Sebastià in Barcelona (only kidding - Cheers! - Have a great day!) Matroc (talk) 03:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Nick. The parade is not sufficiently visible, at this resolution. I like the geyser, though, and I think it's a good example that would seem to fulfill the criteria we've discussed. However, I'll be interested to see critiques by others whose standards may be more exacting than mine.
Matroc, this is the net, so why wouldn't we want to make use of its capabilities? People like photos, and using several well-chosen photos makes a destination seem more attractive. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:40, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the examples. Of all of them, I'd say the geyser one fits. It makes me want to book my ticket to Iceland right now, the way that no still image would. And the still image would still look good in a static page, should you care not to click, or if you are printing. I'm not so sure of the others, they seem a bit encyclopaedic, and the corresponding still image isn't as meaningful. --Inas (talk) 03:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I am firmly against allowing videos for the following reasons:

  1. As has been said before, most videos people make from their travels are rubbish. And even if they aren't rubbish to one person, who will put it in (hopefully not the original author), they will be to many others. Making a really good video from a travel destination is not easy. I've got a friend who does that really well, but he has many years of cumulative experience of his team behind it, plus a large house's worth of equipment (video drones, van with steadicam etc.), and he spends a few days per a 2-minute clip.
  2. It is VERY hard to set out rules that would REALLY work and be relevant. Unless there is a very firmly, precisely set video standard (i.e. what should be in the video being defined), it is all a murky area left out to subjective interpretation. And I know from my own example that if people feel strongly about something, they will defend it to no end as long as they've got a gate open. And by allowing videos, even with strict rules, we are opening the gates to people who think they have found / made the best video EVAAAAAH.
  3. While I am all for more images, as a picture tells a thousand words, I do not think that videos tell enough words more than pictures for them to be merited. Some of the above examples are really unique, but, again writing clear rules that would guarantee only such images can be included and not random collections of photos set to music or somebody's exploits with a cameraphone would be close to impossible. I am quite ready to lose to marginal benefit some really unique videos could bring to WV to prevent the unavoidable wave of cheese that would come with it should the gate be opened.
  4. At the very end, this is not a Nazi state, but a community. If we agree some individual videos are really great and indispensable, we can include them against the general guideline, by consensus in each article's talk page. We are not trying to build an unfallible civil law system here, so we an have a rule that forbids inserting videos, and then agree on individual exceptions rather than try to write the exceptions into the rule.

Kindest, PrinceGloria (talk) 05:27, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the two first examples there, of the geyser and the shuttle launch, actually would improve the quality of our guides (provided it doesn't lead to a loading time hit for slow connections). They both show major attractions that are brief, recurring events, the impact of which is much better understood via a video (or animated graphic). I'm a little at pains as to how to frame a policy that would allow for them, but still weed out the enormous amount of potential videos that would be a less desirable redundancy of our regularly scheduled wiki content.
One thing that I think we should be clear about is that information that a traveler would need should never be added in video format, since travelers would miss out on that content in printed form and on low bandwidth connections. Speaking of which, would offline copies via mobile apps wind up downloading video files in guides? That would be another potential downside. --Peter Talk 06:29, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
(ec):I see no harm in developing a proposed manual of style for videos as part of a discussion of whether they may be included in the project. If acceptable and workable standards come out of it, then the concept of whether to allow them becomes a useful discussion. If we can't come up with an acceptable and workable set of standards, the point becomes moot. So why not leave the people who support the inclusion of video to propose and develop a manual of style, and those who have objections can make reasoned objections when the proposed guidelines appear to be inadequate? "Not invented here" is generally a poor argument among rational people. "Can't be done" requires supporting evidence, just like "Can be done".
I don't see where videos are in conflict with fundamental principles of this project, so if they can be shown to be useful, viable, patrollable etc. they may be proposed for consensus. Rules that forbid everything unless specifically permitted go against the concept of plunging forward, and are actually more an indication of a repressive or totalitarian regime than I would be comfortable with.
Having said that all, I don't expect a large number of videos that will be worth allowing, as the points made above about most people being unable to record and edit quality video at present are probably correct. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:00, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
A couple of suggestions for a video policy:
  • Proposed videos get loaded to Commons, proposed on a Video Expedition page and vetted before linking in Wikivoyage. The usual consensus process can be applied in a similar way to Star article, DOTM etc. If there are so many good videos that we become overloaded, we can come up with a different procedure. Don't hold your breath for this...
  • If there is a need for more control, we could store the acceptable videos in a new namespace and only allow videos stored there to be linked from our articles. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we need an expedition. I also agree with the concerns mentioned and with the idea that very few suitable video's are to be expected. Sure, we have to set a very high standard, in order to /not/ end up with cheesy amateur video's. However, I think we should be wary of excluding video as a rule out of fear for bad proposals or for printing reasons. Not so long ago, there were equally many very poor still pictures: times change, we should think ahead. I would have no problem though with a policy stating that only professional, high-quality videos will be allowed and that those that do not live up to the standard we're after will be removed, subject to community discussion. Now about such standards, what are the general thoughts about the original video that brought up this discussion? For the record, I think it a pity to directly remove that one experimental video from the article it was posted in, while the maker started an honest discussion in the pub. We allow experimental templates to remain even on star articles for long long times without consensus if old community members place them, but a new idea like this by someone else is cut out right away.. JuliasTravels (talk) 08:23, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

[Unindent] The original video is virtually a slide show, and a good one with classical music I like. But I think it would help more readers if several of the photos were linked as still thumbnails and inserted into the article, and the rest were collectively linked to as a category in Commons on the sidebar (if they aren't already). Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:07, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

We are unlikely to get many professional videos, Professionals tend to want money for their products, by definition.
High quality will have to be defined in this context, which will not be easy. I would recommend that each proposed video be submitted for approval and only linked after community approval by consensus, as the initial procedure, until the quality standard and other conditions of inclusion have stabilized. A few proposals will accelerate the guidelines by giving real examples to work with. Non-approved videos could be unlinked without discussion, but with an explanatory edit summary. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:57, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
That sounds quite reasonable. In the meantime, though, what about the geyser video? Would it be acceptable to link that, providing that it does not greatly increase the loading time for the relevant page? I gather from Texugo's previous comments that his answer would be no, because he doesn't see what useful purpose can be served by even really high-quality videos. And I would say, the idea is not to vicariously experience a place but just to get a little taste of some aspect of it in 4-d. I don't think that watching that video will make anyone think they were actually there, or cause them to be less, rather than more interested in traveling there (unless they're afraid of geysers, in which case, it may have done them a useful service, anyway). The point of a travel site is not to be a virtual reality site, but I don't see that approving very carefully selected video clips has any chance of making it one. If that ever really becomes a danger, we should deal with it then. It's not like anyone proposed starting pages with 24-hour cams webcasting from Times Square or something, and that surely would not be OK to include or link from this site. I don't want it to seem like I'm pooh-poohing concerns about video quality and relevance; I completely respect those. But I think we should be flexible enough to consider the possibility of a high-quality video adding something to the online experience of our readers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:18, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, We have a test case.
  • Where do you want to put the link?
  • I looked at the clip, it is short, shows the attraction objectively, and quality looks OK to me. I don't know how it affects load time. My guess is that it doesn't load the whole clip until you click on it, in which case probably very small effect. I don't have any objections based on what I know so far. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 10:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
If a consensus develops, the video could be inserted into Upcountry Árnessýsla, an outline article that also needs to have photos and ideally a customized pagebanner added, and could use some copy-editing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
That looks like an appropriate application. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

(Indent) I'm still not convinced the videos are necessary. Are the videos supposed to be viewable right here? I'm taken to a new window asking if I want to save it. I can't watch them. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I can view them right here by simply clicking on the play arrow (Chrome) if you are using IE8 you will probaply have a problem, I could never get an ogv file to play on IE8. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm really still against it, per PrinceGloria's point #2 above: once we allow videos, we'll have people inserting and defending all manner of crap. A strict set of criteria could help to weed out some of the more egregriously cheesy stuff, but as PrinceGloria said, it would be virtually impossible to create criteria that didn't still leave a lot of very subjective gray area for cheesy or amateurish work to ooze in. There are still too many variables, and I think the type of person that makes and uploads this type of video clip tends to be very proud and very defensive of their work, however cheesy or amateurish it may seem to others. I think it far better not to open that can of worms. In addition to all that, with regard to the geyser video, I don't actually think it is a terribly well done or well-framed video. It's too up-close and focused only on the base, and I get the impression that the frame rate is rather low. A single photo, vertically framed to show the geyser in the full height of its eruption, would give a better impression of size and surroundings. The other videos are, in addition to any other problems, too encyclopedic, as someone said, and the space shuttle program is now historical. Texugo (talk) 11:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I respect your point of view. I figure that we can revisit this some years in the future, if a significant quantity of higher-quality videos warrant doing so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
In addition to Texugo's concerns, I don't think I could ever support videos if I can't even watch them. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I would suggest you consider using a browser other than IE, but I know that a lot of other readers probably use it, too. I think I can confidently predict that either IE will fix this problem, or people will eventually stop using it. Let's remember that Netscape was the dominant browser at one point. Things change. But for now, the limitations of IE are a relevant consideration. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I can see a limited application for certain videos, but I agree it would have to be tightly controlled. The geyser video is close, but it was not shot from a tripod, and as Texugo notes it's framed too closely. (The framerate and resolution seem good to me though.) LtPowers (talk) 13:22, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
There may be add-ons for IE8 to view ogvs, but I decided to rather go with a browser which would run on XP and was still getting support. Later versions of IE may work, but I have not tried them, and if you want to stay with XP you can't use them anyway.
I would accept the quality of the geyser video as good enough. It shows enough to be helpful and is sufficiently short and specific that it could easily be replaced by a better one at some stage. I think the article would be improved by its presence, but accept the consensus if it is against it on technical quality. Frame rate and resolution are standards that can be objectively applied. Does anyone have recommendations for minima? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:31, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I am not keen on seeing loads of videos, but I think that a few may be a useful addition to the site. I would like to see all videos approved on a central page (allow 1-2 weeks for discussion) before they are linked. Ideally this should start with a text script, and the video is only uploaded if the script is approved. The main use I see is in the rare case of explaining how to do something that is difficult to describe in words - something like how to eat with chopsticks (I am sure that there are better examples). I would like to see the length in seconds and size (in Mb) of videos given in the caption, so that I know whether it is worth watching on a slow or expensive connection. The video must be watchable with no sound (in libraries etc), and music should only be present if it is part of the scene, not as a backgound. A few how to videos could also be created for using and editing the site like how to edit and upload a banner. AlasdairW (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Convenience break[edit]

I'm very glad I stopped by today to see if there was any follow up on my question/bold step/video insertion of yesterday. Frankly I'm taken aback at all the discussion, and haven't been able to get through more than half of it so far!

I won't try to address every objection, and if the consensus is that videos don't belong here that's ok with me. I just thought short, non-jerky, tasteful (I hope) videos of the "A Walk through ..." type would be a natural here. Many of the objections could likely be addressed with appropriate technology. For example the idea of having easily accessible content in poorly connected places (I'm thinking of Laos and Nepal) is great and a technical solution might be just having a text-only version for those situations (and an easily available selection mechanism). This is something like the mobile app in Wikipedia and I'd guess the techies at WMF could come up with something very quickly. Another solution suggested above, a linked sub-page having photos, video, external links, etc on it, could be implemented by us, probably without any help from WMF techies. The material on the main article page could be all text, if that is useful, and easily accessible and printable. I do think however that at least 90% of the pageviews here probably come from Europe and the US where folks have good connections and want to view online and just inserting more photos, video, etc. would be very useful for these readers. It's up to you guys which approach (or no new approach) you'd want to take.

Keeping up quality is certainly something you'd want to do. I hate the usual herky-jerky handheld stuff, and most bastardized local-guide commentary that I'd expect on most tourist video would drive me up a wall. Even worse would be commercialized "this is a great hotel, great restaurant" type of thing. Somehow though, I'd think that this could be easily regulated here. The comments about which techniques (or fonts!) to use, or sending in a script beforehand for pre-approval would not work, or would tend to freeze video here in an antique state.

Briefly, my suggestion here is to get together a committee/project/excursion with at least 5 members, have them set up some general rules, and let everybody know it's an experiment that might be stopped at any time. For the first month, let them approve say up to 4 videos for insertion. If there are no objections to the quality from the general editorship, let them approve up to 8 the next month, and let them keep on increasing the limit as long as the general editorship thinks it's going well. The subpage idea (where needed) would be the easiest way to implement it in the short term. Worse-comes-to-worst, after six months WV will have to delete about 100 videos. Low risk, and, I believe, high potential return.

I'll watch more carefully this time, to see what you think.

All the best,

Smallbones (talk) 01:57, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

The strange part is Wikipedia is trying to allow and develop all forms of information to spread better knowledge to everybody. But especially some people limiting videos in one part of Wikipedia sounds like some anarchy thing. Wikivoyage is likely be the prime place of videos so future travelers have glimps of his or her intended travel destination through short videos here in WV section. On TV channels everywhere they show tons of travel destinations in short or long forms which actually eases the travelers initial assumption on travel plans so in WV videos are absolute ingredient to improve the quality of information of pages here. Orgio89 (talk) 06:29, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your perspective, but how do you propose mitigating the concerns some of us have about video usage? LtPowers (talk) 20:27, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
If any video did not breach copyright law then let that be in WV. Even pixelerated poor quality of video does not matter. WV is all about travel and travelers interest. If some groups of travelers in Europe want to see that stinky flower of Amazon they'll never complain about poor quality of Stinky Flower video in an Amazon travel page, if groups of Asian travelers really want to see that really boring 200 year old buildings in some old European city then let that old black and white strange video be in that city's WV page. It is all about content delivery to the traveler. All editors of WV are only servants to the travelers not the kings themselves. WV is only supposed to serve for travelers interest not limiting the travelers destination learning possibility! For any of 99% of world travelers who never witness live rocket launch at Florida NASA site any of those Shuttle launch videos will still never bother them when he or she check out that Florida destinations pages here. Orgio89 (talk) 00:20, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
That is what our link to the respective page/category on Commons is for. We strive to build quality guides here and quality does matter very much. Even if I am ever convinced that we really need videos, I will never accept "any video no matter how crappy is better than no video". Texugo (talk) 00:33, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Then only 2 restriction might better apply in current situation that 1. No copyright breaching on videos, 2. No pixelerated video, Maybe 3-d no less than 360p resolution. Editors in WV likely need to deliver richer content of a destination for a traveler rather than shrinking his or her destination learning window. Orgio89 (talk) 00:40, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Today there are over 2 billion smartphones in use everywhere and most of them have GPS which means prime travel tool except communication use. And many of smartphone users will very easily take pictures of Destination A page in WV and he or she might take video of that optional getting around suggestions video in that page with their smartphone camera. So actually printing out of a WV page consideration might be little too old nowadays but smartphone full copying of a page has over 2 billion chances at the moment. Orgio89 (talk) 01:06, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Those shaky cellphone videos are especially something we should avoid, and at any rate, please go back and read this whole thread. You are kind of repeating stuff that has already been brought up and responded to. Texugo (talk) 01:34, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Re-opening discussion after a long hiatus. I'd be in favour of allowing links to sound or video with some clear restrictions. I'm not certain what restrictions would be needed, but here is my first cut:
  • Only links to material on Commons. That saves us worrying about licenses & copyright status; Commons already has clear policies & enforcement rules for those.
  • Only supplemental stuff; if it can be handled well with text & photos, it should be. Things like a sound file for language teaching or video for an intrinsically dynamic event like a Shuttle launch or a dance performance can be provided, though there should be text as well. Stuff like a powerpoint presentation of the points of interest somewhere or a video walk through the streets should not even be considered.
  • The one exception to both the above is if somewhere like a museum of some town's tourist bureau has a good video; we could link to that but not embed it here.
  • Quality is an issue. I'm not sure if the 360px restriction suggested above is the right one, but we need something.
  • Length, too. 3 minutes sounds about right, or maybe just 2?
Comments? Or has everything worth saying been covered already? Pashley (talk) 18:58, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Locally uploading photographs of copyrighted buildings[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I would like to upload my own photographs of copyrighted buildings (in Qatar) as a means of working around 'freedom of panorama' restrictions. I couldn't find any pages explaining how to upload directly to Wikivoyage, and so I uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons, which apparently is not the correct way to go about this.

Is there someone here who can explain how to upload directly to Wikivoyage, or possibly even how to move the existing images from Wikimedia Commons to Wikivoyage?

Many thanks, StellarD (talk) 11:06, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

StellarD, you can upload the file here: Special:Upload and this might be the category to put them to: Category:Photos of copyrighted works. Danapit (talk) 11:32, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Danapit, this is exactly what I was looking for. StellarD (talk) 11:46, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
No, no, please don't add Category:Photos of copyrighted works directly! All photos of non-free works uploaded locally should include Template:Non-free image, and that takes care of the categorization! If there are any files so categorized without transcluding the template, that needs to be fixed! LtPowers (talk) 00:05, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I hope I haven't created a mess here. I uploaded the files before LtPowers commented, but didn't add them to Category:Photos of copyrighted works because I didn't see where to do that, which it seems is just as well. They now appear in Category:GFDL_files – is this where they should be? And if not, how do I move them? Thanks, StellarD (talk) 07:37, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
You add a category with the following syntax: [[Category:Some category name]]. But, as noted, please don't do that in this case. The category addition should be handled by the addition of Template:Non-free image. The syntax for that is more complex, but you can see an example of it on the Template page under "Template use". LtPowers (talk) 16:05, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Would it be possible to update documentation (probably on the upload page) so that it is clear how and when to add categories and when not? --Danapit (talk) 06:51, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
We never add categories manually. On files or on article pages. Until recently we didn't even use categories at all. Categories should be completely invisible to the average casual user, so we don't even mention them on the upload form; it would only confuse people. The Upload form does link to the non-free content policy, which clearly specifies that Template:Non-free image be added to the image description page. LtPowers (talk) 14:14, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I see. Recently I have uploaded some candidates for featured articles banners and I added the category Category:DotM banners manually. Was that wrong, as well? How else does such photo get to a desired category? Danapit (talk) 15:40, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Welcome to the wonderful world of wikis. I was unaware of that category, and obviously whoever first used it was unaware that we should only assign categories via templates. The solution here is to create a template that would go on the file description page of such files, rather than manually categorizing each of them. Either that, or delete the category, as I don't quite see its utility, especially since DotM banners should be deleted once they're no longer in use. LtPowers (talk) 17:43, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, scratch that last part, as I forgot we keep the banners in the DotM archives. =) I'm still not sure we need the category, though. LtPowers (talk) 17:44, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Upright image sizes[edit]

To my knowledge, upright image sizes are currently not allowed on this site, at least until the default size of thumbnails is potentially enlarged, but possibly not even after that. Can we please have a definitive clarification on this, because User: and other IPs, etc., of the same user have repeatedly introduced such image sizes in edits like this one. I believe 118 is intentionally acting against policy, but he claims there has never been an actual prohibition against upright image sizes.

For the record, I think that upright image sizes are a good idea in most instances, but that it's more important to respect the consensus decision-making process than to change pixel dimensions to upright dimensions. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:02, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

To the best of my knowledge consensus has always been that we would switch to relative image sizing (upright parameters) only after changing the default thumbnail size, and that "upright" should not be used presently as we would then have to update all upright parameters after the default size is changed since "upright" means size relative to the default thumbnail size. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:17, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Ryan: That notion of a required change to the upright parameter if we ever succeed in changing our default to either 250px or 300px is just plain wrong.
If it is appropriate, by way of example, for a lead image to be larger than subsequent images, that relationship will hold good if "upright=1.3" is set for the lead image, whether subsequent images without sizing are displayed at a default of 220px (as currently), or changed to 250px or 300px). -- 22:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
If the default is 220px, then currently upright=1.3 will be used to display an image in the size that we want (~300px). As soon as the default is changed upright=1.3 means that same image is 390px, so we then have to go back and update all images using "upright" to remove the relative size parameter. Hence the consensus to get the default updated first, and the animosity towards the ongoing efforts to randomly sprinkle "upright" tags throughout the site. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:44, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Gentlemen, I'm afraid that the notion that respecting registered editors thumbnail default width sizes has ever been prohibited on this site (or on its predecessor, Wikitravel) is completely untrue.
If you examine the history of what should never have become a contentious issue, many of our most experienced editors were unaware of the concept of relative image sizing until last year - even though the software had update the image syntax possibilities many years ago.
Unfortunately the "upright" syntax was then linked (unnecessarily and unhelpfully in my view) with a proposal to both vary the range of default thumbnail sizes that registered users could prefer and increase the default thumbnail size that was displayed both to un-registered users (or users that had not logged in) and to registered users that had not changed their width preferences (ie the majority of readers).
Now that it is quite clear that neither the range nor default size will be changed in the near future, it is becoming increasingly urgent that we do not continue to make monkeys out of our registered readers by flouting the wishes of some users to have larger thumbnail image sizes displayed and the wishes of some users to have smaller thumbnail image sizes displayed.
I defy either of you to provide any diffs that show that the question was ever raised - never mind a consensus obtained to ban an integral software feature - before the very recent campaign to enforce bizarre and inconsistent fixed image widths regardless of users explicitly expressed preferences. -- 22:53, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Image alignment[edit]

Since there seems to be some disagreement regarding the placement of images in articles and the appropriate alignments for those images, I would like to propose we codify some guidelines.

I think we're all agreed that right-alignment is preferred. The question before us, then, is whether to allow alternative alignments and if so, how strong of a justification is needed in case an alternative alignment is desired.

As a start, here's some proposed wording:

By default, images on Wikivoyage articles should be right-aligned. Sometimes, though, it may be better to left-align or center an image. For example, images that are much wider than they are tall (e.g., panorama photos, or the occasional map) should usually be centered. Left-alignment may be used to break up a long string of right-aligned images, to ensure that images appear close to the text that describes them, or to avoid visual conflict with infoboxes.
Don't left-align an image just to be able to squeeze more images into an article. Also avoid left-aligning an image if doing so would push a section heading or items in a bulleted list to the right; this can be confusing for the reader. Also do not place a left-aligned image directly underneath a section header, as it causes the first paragraph to be pushed to the right.
But most importantly, don't overuse alternative alignments. If in doubt, leave it right-aligned; that helps ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and prevents many formatting issues.

-- Powers (talk) 20:24, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

I recall in previous discussions that people have brought up some kind of problem that results when right-aligned images are printed. Would someone please address this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:59, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
I like this.
We should consider broadening it as well. In my view, at least 90% of images should have "thumb" as the only tag. both default right alignment and default thumbnail size. The "don't overuse" advice should apply to all exceptions to that. Pashley (talk) 21:04, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Left image.PNG
All the avoids and don'ts above are absolutely right on, so I don't see any reason to reiterate the arguments behind all those, and though I've never been a fan of using extra panoramas in addition to the banner, I'm not of a mind to fight them at the moment, and I agree that they usually look better centered even though they break the flow. However, as for allowing left alignment for the specific purposes mentioned, some of us would still argue (and have several times) that left alignment can just about always be problematic for several additional reasons. I am not arguing that there should never ever be any exception ever, but left-aligning out of aesthetic preference can so easily backfire: the biggest problem that occurs to me is that due to varying screen and font sizes, the person left-aligning (to break up a string of right-aligned images or to get away from a text box) unintentionally creates awful-looking layouts for some other users, where the images squeeze the text into a meandering river, pinches it at points (like the illustration at right), chops it up, moves all of a paragraph to the right except for the last couple of words which wrap back under the picture on the left, or any number of other unfortunate effects which are unpredictable and typically unapparent to the person doing the alignment. To avoid this, I suggest that we that we essentially continue with the practice that has brought us to where we are, namely that we always right align, and any exceptions would require the talk page to be used to explain what other extenuating circumstance there may be, some special reason for not doing it the normal way, other that "i like it better this way".
As has been pointed out in previous discussions, left-alignment has always been controversial, and I contend that, despite the fact that it (very unfortunately) never got written on a policy page, our status quo is nevertheless represented by our very long-standing practice of only right-aligning, as evidenced by the fact that we have made left-aligning not only rare, but overwhelmingly so — Currently, a mere fraction of a percent of existing articles have any left-alignment, including only a small handful that would even pass LtPowers' wording above (mostly put in place by LtPowers or AndreCarrotflower) plus a few dozen more which clearly don't even meet the wording above. Most existing instances have popped up since the move to WMF, and would have been corrected by now had LtPowers and AndreCarrotflower not started taking issue with people correcting them. As the status quo, right-alignment-only is the default we should fall back on if we can't get a new consensus out of this new thread here, in accordance with our normal status-quo bias. As the proposed policy would be opening a door and endorsing left-alignment for a wide range of our better developed articles, it represents a sitewide change, which means it does in fact require a consensus here to go through. Failing that, we must fall back on the way it's always been done: the same policy that brought us to very nearly 100% right-alignment.
If you are new to discussions on this subject, please thoroughly read these relatively recent discussions before joining in with your views: here, here, here and above. Texugo (talk) 01:04, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
For every case where extremely skinny window widths causes problems with left-aligned images, I can find one where it causes problems with right-aligned images too. I don't think that's a valid reason to avoid them. Powers (talk) 02:33, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Except that we aren't comparing right-alignment with left in isolation - left alignment would never occur in isolation even according to your proposal. What we are comparing is right with alternating-right-and-left, and there is no question that the latter presents many types of problem which the former does not. Moreover, even if we were talking about left in isolation, there are a whole class of problems which arise specifically from aligning images on the same side we align text on, which are thus unique to left alignment. Texugo (talk) 11:27, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I think the proposed text is a step in the right direction. Yes, right-alignment is the preference and we use it by default. Everyone agrees. However, consensus as far as I can see it is indeed a right side preference, and a strong preference at that, but not the use of right-alignment exclusively. In fact, policy says little about this and offers several alignment possibilities. I would strongly oppose any move towards a policy that will prohibit left alignment (in my eyes thát would be a change in policy). I understand the concerns, and it's good to discuss the specific problems, but it would be silly to deny ourselves the option in the few cases where it does help layout. I also think we shouldn't want to make rules stricter than they need be and allow editors a little bit of leeway where we can (also to keep Wikivoyage fun). It works well enough on other large wikis (including Wikipedia) and hasn't at all led to layout mess here. Of course individual images can always be discussed in order to find the best solution. Looking at written policy and the number of valued editors who consider the status quo to allow left-side alignment in a few selected cases, it seems obvious that we don't want to move towards right-alignment only. When a small group of editors feels so strongly, opposing left-alignment, and "corrects" it, of course the practice becomes an almost 100% right-alignment. That doesn't make it policy though, and it's not a strong base to argue "right-only" alignment as a common practice, in my eyes. If we're going to end this discussion, what we need is indeed a policy text we can all live with, allowing for the exceptions we are after, but also addressing the concerns Texugo has. I can feel your frustration, Texugo, but are there any changes to the proposed wording that would bring us closer to an acceptable middle ground with some allowed use of non-right images? JuliasTravels (talk) 12:14, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
As I said, I'm not necessarily after "no exceptions ever", but I am strongly in favor of "no exceptions without justification/consensus". And if you think closing off the remaining 00.05% or so of articles with left alignments would represent a "change in policy", then it should be very very easy to see how expressly endorsing it for the first time and allowing that percentage to grow from 00.05% or so to upwards of 20 or 30% of our articles would represent a change in policy orders of magnitude greater. Failing a new consensus to start explicitly endorsing it, preserving the status quo has to mean keeping it as least as exceedingly rare as it has always been, and the only way I know to do that is to say "we don't use left-alignment unless exception is discussed". I am happy with that status quo.
Though it would not be nearly enough to make it acceptable to me, changes to the proposed wording that would bring us closer would definitely have to include some other don'ts in addition to the ones already given:
  • never squeeze the text on both sides, which means:
  • never put pictures in parallel
  • never put a picture across from a text box
  • never let a picture on one side start before the picture or text box on the other has finished
(if you feel like you have to do so, you are actually using left-alignment "just to be able to squeeze more images into an article", which is already included in the don'ts above)
  • never have the first picture in a section be on the left unless the first thing is a text box on the right
  • never set picture sizes in a section with mixed alignment, always use the default thumb size
  • never put multiple left-aligned images in a row
  • if there is not enough material to correctly use at least 2-3 left aligned images, don't use any - an article with 12 images on the right and one lonely one on the left looks odd and could likely be reworked easily to follow our preference of images on the right
  • don't whine or revert if someone comes along and makes it work without left-alignment — that is our stated preference, after all
Texugo (talk) 13:36, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Way too many "nevers" in there. Why do you take such a hardline stance? In particular, left-aligning to avoid a textbox is sometimes necessary, and right-aligning an image that starts near a textbox also has problems; why are the left-aligned problems more important to avoid in your view than the right-aligned problems? Powers (talk) 13:46, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Again you are trying to compare right with left instead of right with right+left. I'm not trying to avoid problems of left more than problems of right. I am trying to avoid problems of left and right together squeezing the text unpredictably or creating other layout problems. And remember, "don'ts", "nevers" and "avoids" can always be superseded by a bit of discussion on the relevant talk page to make an exception if there is some convincing reason to do otherwise. Texugo (talk) 13:54, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, the number of "nevers" needed to prevent common problems is the main reason I oppose endorsing any left-alignment at all. Texugo (talk) 14:02, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, we agree on the "nevers" at least then :-) Any policy consisting of a long list of "nevers" is highly uninviting, especially for new editors, and brings almost any discussion to the trenches from the start. I fail to see why we need them though, if we can set a good bunch of ground rules. We don't even need "never" as an outcome, we want "rarely". That should be possible. For my understanding, are there more regular users that share this hard line opposition to any left-side alignment, that we know of? JuliasTravels (talk) 14:11, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Frame them as "nevers", frame them as "don't", frame them as "avoids", whatever. They are ever bit as important and no less flexible than the "don't" and "avoids" already given in the proposed wording. Stop focusing on me "being hard-line" and address the specific problems I am trying to avoid. Texugo (talk) 14:17, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, Julia, you appear not to have read up on previous discussions, as I recommended. I am not the only one. Texugo (talk) 14:31, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh but I did, and I usually do too, when I join a discussion :-) I saw a bunch of people who understand and share some or all of the concerns, and you might add me to that list, but most seem to want to work towards a middle way, without long lists of don't or avoids or however you put them. I might be wrong though. Rather than wanting to put you in any corner, however, my thought was that we should get their eyes on this discussion too. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:41, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Considering that my preferred way is none and LtPowers et al's preferred way would be endorsing them to a large degree, I think the middle way might actually be endorsing left-alignment (my side's concession) but having substantial guidance including all the above "things to avoid" (the other side's concession). I would consider that to already be a considerable compromise on the part of both sides, one that I might grudgingly be convinced to accept, whereas the original proposed wording would just represent a total defeat for those sharing my perspective. Perhaps the guidance could be condensed in a way that still encompasses all our concerns in fewer words though. I'll see if I can combine my ideas with LtPowers' proposed wording in a more succinct way, and then we'll see if it is something both sides would be willing to compromise for. Texugo (talk) 15:00, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Your proposed way is far too restrictive. Leaving the status quo of "prefer" right alignment leaves the last word with the author of the page, where it belongs, where "avoid" and "don't" is just being needlessly inflexible. You're trying to fix something that isn't broken when you approach a topic and offer this as your only contribution to a page which needs expansion in other, more constructive ways. K7L (talk) 15:53, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I support Texugo's proposal and would even support an unconditional ban on left-aligning pictures, they just look outright wrong IMHO (I mean, look at Kaunas#See!) even if there isn't a text box squeezing the text from the right like in the screenshot above. If someone would necessarily need to put a picture exactly where there's already a text box and for some reason the textbox can't be moved, the case can always be discussed on the particular article's talk page. There's often plenty of space for "surplus" pictures of sights towards the end of the article, where there's a list of restaurants, bars and hotels (no pictures of individual businesses) and Stay safe etc. that often could need a little more color. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:11, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
"Avoids" and "don'ts" are a standard part of any manual of style, and there is no more reason to leave this style choice up to a given contributor's discretion than there is to abandon rules for anything else we have standardized. If you look through the small list of currently existing left-alignments, most of what you'll see constitutes a whole menagerie of different bad formatting choices, and it is easily possible for us to generalize about what's wrong with them and state that as guidance in our style guide - LtPowers' wording captures a few of those generalizations, and my observations capture a few others. That's it. That does not make it "needlessly inflexible".
It is a big and unprecedented step for me to admit that I might endorse any left-alignment at all, so I would humbly ask you to seriously consider whether you could give a few steps too, so we could meet in the middle somewhere around this wording:
By default, we prefer that images in Wikivoyage articles be right-aligned. Occasionally, though, it may be better to left-align or center an image. For example, images that are much wider than they are tall (e.g., panorama photos, or the occasional map) should usually be centered. Left-alignment may be used to break up a long string of right-aligned images, to ensure that images appear close to the text that describes them, or to avoid visual conflict with infoboxes. Layouts are finicky, and what looks good on your screen can sometimes look bad for someone else, so if you opt for non-standard alignments, here are a few guidelines to consider:
  • Use the default thumb size and avoid having objects overlap the same vertical space as those on the other side; this helps prevent the text from being squeezed from both sides.
  • Don't use left-alignment just to squeeze more images into an article. A likely indicator that you're doing so is that vertical overlap seems necessary.
  • In a given section, put the first object (whether image or text box) to the right, especially if directly underneath the section header, and alternate right-left-right-left.
  • Avoid left-aligning an image if doing so would push any section heading or items in a bulleted list to the right; this can be confusing for the reader.
  • If there isn’t enough material to warrant more than one left-alignment in an article, it probably isn’t worth it.
  • Most importantly, don't overuse alternative alignments. If in doubt, leave it right-aligned; that helps ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and prevents many formatting issues.
While I would still favor, as Ypsilon put it, an "unconditional ban on left-aligned images". I might be persuaded to support something like the above as a compromise, if left-alignment supporters could be persuaded to get behind it. There are not any further items in this new proposed wording that I'd at all be willing to part with, though the wording itself could of course be tweaked. Texugo (talk) 16:28, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I know you don't like the thank button so I won't use it ;-) I think I could roughly live with this, even with the text, so kudos for trying to find the words. As for the Kaunas example Ypsilon mentions, we probably all agree that's not the most successful use of left-alignment. It's clearly trying to put too many images in one section. JuliasTravels (talk) 16:42, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Why do people think I don't like the thank-you button? It was the little pink heart icon for sending kittens that I didn't like. Texugo (talk) 17:13, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Haha, okay, that's a typical example of misunderstandings leading their own life. I never even heard of any kittens here hehe.. Anyway, I'll keep it in mind, sorry :-) JuliasTravels (talk) 17:21, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I've seen a "lovely" kitten here exactly once :P. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:14, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh my God. A left-aligned kitten. I just puked in my mouth a little, haha... Texugo (talk) 18:16, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
What's there now as policy already is a compromise, presumably between no layout restrictions at one extreme and forcing everything to the right of the tea party on the other. No need to change that. K7L (talk) 20:57, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
K7L has a good point; my proposal was a compromise proposal, attempting to balance Texugo's concerns with the ability of editors to make our articles look better. That said, Texugo's proposed wording is mostly very good. I'm curious about the reasons for requesting strict left-right-left-right alternation, and for requiring the default thumbnail size (which we all know is way too small, especially for maps). Powers (talk) 21:26, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Incredibly, it seems like we might finally be getting somewhere after more than two years of bickering about this. To answer your questions, I phrased it as right-left-right-left alternation, but the underlying point was that there not be two or more left-aligned images in a row — if there are two or more in a row, it would basically mean you're doing it out of personal preference anyway, rather than with the legitimate purpose of breaking up a long string of righthand images. As for requiring the default size, I didn't mean it so much as a requirement, but I agree with what Pashley said far above, that the vast majority of images in general should be the default size, and I think it should apply even moreso in cases of mixed alignment for two reasons: 1) if you boost the sizes of images on both sides, you inevitably increase the likelihood of bad layout/pinched text on some screens, and 2) if there are different-sized images on both sides, with the text wrapping willy-nilly, the resulting overall layout looks pretty random. I might not mind so terribly if it were softened slightly to "Try to stick to the default thumb size", but I do think it's an important point. Texugo (talk) 22:26, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to let go of that first idea. I get what you're trying to say, but I'm afraid it may hurt the layout you're trying to protect rather than help, in some cases. Breaking up a long list of images is mostly a visual effect. Once that's necessary, we should go with the best available arrangement, taking into account the blocks of text. That might be left-right alternation, it might also be a few on the left and then back to the right (e.g. doing one long section left aligned and then going back to the default). The right choice would depend on so many things that I don't think we should try to catch it in a rule. If you have a particular "bad example" in mind, we could look for a way to include that, trying to explain what we are and are not after. We could also do that on an individual case base though, for the time being, and see if it really poses a problem or not. I agree with the thumb size, although I think it's covered in other policies. It shouldn't be a hard requirement but I'm fine with reminding people of our preference in that. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:09, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, as I stated, there are not really any further points I am willing to just give up, though we might find another compromise on that point. Perhaps I should have explained a little further to say that the exhortation to alternate alignments also serves to help keep left-alignments to a minimum, precluding unnecessary formatting possibilities like R-L-L-L-L-L-L and helping to keep the threshold low for when an article can sustain left-alignment. The reason I feel strongly that they should still be kept to a minimum even within any article where left-alignment has been opted for is that there are still other types of formatting problems unique to left-alignment alone that I was unable to address with any of the other guidance. A common one, for example, is the situation where you've arranged so that you see an image on the left and a paragraph sitting neatly beside it, while someone whose screen, font, or browser size is the tiniest notch different sees an image to the left with a paragraph beside but with just the last word or two cut off and brought all the way back to the left margin under the picture — I think everyone can agree that this is an instance of poor layout. I could not think of any concrete guidelines to specifically help us avoid common problems like this, but the least we can do is to minimize opportunities for them to occur. As for a compromise, hmmmm. I think I'd accept dropping that altogether and strengthening the wording of the last item somewhat and combining it with the penultimate item, perhaps like this:

By default, we prefer that images in Wikivoyage articles be right-aligned. Occasionally, though, it may be better to left-align or center an image. For example, images that are much wider than they are tall (e.g., panorama photos, or the occasional map) should usually be centered. Left-alignment may be used to break up a long string of right-aligned images, to ensure that images appear close to the text that describes them, or to avoid visual conflict with infoboxes. Layouts are finicky, and what looks good on your screen can sometimes look bad for someone else, so if you do opt for non-standard alignments, here are a few guidelines to be considered, in order to help ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and to prevent many formatting issues:
  • Try to stick to the default thumb size and avoid having objects overlap the same vertical space as those on the other side; this helps prevent the text from being squeezed from both sides.
  • Don't use left-alignment just to squeeze more images into an article. A likely indicator that you're doing so is that vertical overlap seems necessary.
  • In a given section, put the first object (whether image or text box) to the right, especially if directly underneath the section header.
  • Avoid left-aligning an image if doing so would push any section heading or items in a bulleted list to the right; this can be confusing for the reader.
  • Any given layout should endeavor to use as few left alignments as possible, and if no more than one makes sense, prefer none. When in doubt, leave it right-aligned.

Added bonus: 5 bullets instead of 6. Would that be more acceptable to you? Texugo (talk) 11:44, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

That last bullet was the only place we explained why we prefer right-alignment; I'd like to keep that in some form. Powers (talk) 13:26, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't notice that I moved your phrase "to help ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and to prevent many formatting issues" from the last bullet point to the end of the first paragraph, since it applies more generally. Is that ok? Texugo (talk) 13:52, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, I hadn't noticed. Apologies. I'm fine with this. Powers (talk) 02:32, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Another possibility would be to refashion it as a stand-alone sentence after the bullet points, to sort of cap off the section. Texugo (talk) 14:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

By default, we prefer that images in Wikivoyage articles be right-aligned. Occasionally, though, it may be better to left-align or center an image. For example, images that are much wider than they are tall (e.g., panorama photos, or the occasional map) should usually be centered. Left-alignment may be used to break up a long string of right-aligned images, to ensure that images appear close to the text that describes them, or to avoid visual conflict with infoboxes. Layouts are finicky, and what looks good on your screen can often look bad on someone else's, so if you do opt for non-standard alignments, here are a few guidelines to consider:
  • Try to stick to the default thumb size and avoid having objects overlap the same vertical space as those on the other side; this helps prevent the text from being squeezed from both sides.
  • Don't use left-alignment just to squeeze more images into an article. A likely indicator that you're doing so is that vertical overlap seems necessary.
  • In a given section, put the first object (whether image or text box) to the right, especially if directly underneath the section header.
  • Avoid left-aligning an image if doing so would push any section heading or items in a bulleted list to the right; this can be confusing for the reader.
  • Any given layout should endeavor to use as few left alignments as possible, and if no more than one makes sense, prefer none. When in doubt, leave it right-aligned.
Following these guidelines will help to ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and prevent many unforeseeable formatting issues.

Like this? Texugo (talk) 18:57, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Powers just directed me to this discussion; sorry for being a latecomer.
Let me start by saying that despite the fact that my name has come up as a habitual left-aligner, I don't really have strong feelings on the subject. After I came to Wikivoyage and started editing Buffalo but before I began districting it, there were issues with the density of photographs on the Buffalo article. The proposed wording of the new policy says "don't use left-alignment just to squeeze more images into an article", but the issue with Buffalo at that time was a bit different - certain sections of the article (specifically, #Architecture) were crammed with photographs that I had previously taken for a separate, unfinished writing project and repurposed for Wikivoyage, but other sections were longer in terms of text while containing few or no images. Not having any idea at that time that we preferred one alignment over another, the solution that I came up with was to left-align some of the images in the sections that were densely packed with them. However, after the district articles went up, there was less of a need for this measure as the photographs were then spread over eight different articles. You'll notice now that there are no left-aligned images in any article that I've written, with the possible exception of the three unfinished district article templates in my userspace that will, rest assured, be corrected before being transferred to mainspace.
As to the proposed policy, I would support it as long as we allow for left-aligned images in exceptional cases (i.e. if we reject the unconditional ban Ypsilon proposes), subject to consensus on each individual article's Talk page. I would also be in favor of a complete ban on centered images, which strike me as never necessary.
On a perhaps only tangentially related topic, in my opinion we should seriously consider abandoning or softening the "minimal use of images" clause of the current policy. Given that we reformatted the Main Page about a year ago with huge, high-resolution banner images that take up the vast majority of the page as well as other graphical elements to emphasize visual pizzazz, and also given the fact that high-speed internet is much more prevalent worldwide than it was when policy was written, to doggedly continue to enforce a text-heavy, aesthetically boring format for the articles (for ease of page loading on slow connections, I assume) seems to be an unnecessary hindrance and more than a bit hypocritical.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:45, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

[Unindent]On the tangent: We can continue that discussion in a separate thread, with reference to Wikivoyage talk:Image policy#Guidelines for "minimal use" of photos and Wikivoyage talk:Image policy#How many images is too many? further up this page. My understanding is that "minimal use" does not really mean "minimal," just not an insane number, but I agree that it would be good to rephrase the policy to reflect actual (and visually good) practice. I'll see you at the new thread, if you'd like to start one.

I should also say that I have watched this discussion with interest and I'm happy to see agreement forming, but I've never had strong views one way or the other about which side images should be on. As long as it looks good, it's all the same to me, but I do understand the arguments that have been made about that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:37, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Hopefully we can avoid confounding the minimal-use policy with this separate policy proposal. Might I ask your opinion on the last proposed wording just above? Texugo (talk) 00:07, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
As I said, so long as we reject any unconditional ban on left-aligned images, I'm all for it. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:11, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I also like the proposed text, as long we have some kind of understanding amongst us where we want it to lead. I don't think I've ever used left-aligned images, and I won't mind "correcting" most of the instances where it'll be used; by users unaware of the issues behind this policy and in cases clearly covered by this new policy. I'm fine with making sure we don't get to any "30%" rate of left-alignment, that you seemed to fear, Texugo :-) However, in the light of "keeping it fun" I also hope that we can avoid any "left-alignment-policing" when good editors and long articles are concerned, and where it might boil down to a judgement call. That's the one problem I see; layout is essentially a matter of preferences, and whether or not a long list of pictures needs some breaking up is a call. It's perfectly fine to bring up issues, but I do ask that in those few cases where people put lots of work in an article and then feel they need a left-alignment, and it's not clearly against any conditions we've agreed upon here, we'll let it go and allow them. I really hope that would get us in any serious percentages (as it would mean many long articles ;-)) but I'm pretty sure it will not, and if it ever threatens to, we'll fix it. Is that workable? JuliasTravels (talk) 09:21, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I actually think it's workable, or at least won't cause any more fights over aesthetics than our minimal image policy or the question of which banner/images to use, which is to say a manageable very few. I'm not actually that concerned about the instances where LtPowers or AndreCarrotflower or another competent user have used them, for example, as long as they conform to the proposed wording. I just want to have this concrete criteria to back me up in order to correct the more egregious and problematic instances that crop up, which seem to be the majority of cases, and have something to point to when new users come in and start trying to do it inappropriately. LtPowers, can you support this last wording too? Texugo (talk) 11:16, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Largely, although I do have a concern about the vertical-space requirement. Requiring no vertical overlap seems to conflict with one of the stated goals of left-alignment, to avoid infobox conflicts. But to resolve this, we may need some case studies. Powers (talk) 14:27, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Would adding a "when possible" to the end of that phrase alleviate your concerns for the time being? Texugo (talk) 14:29, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
On second thought, I would prefer to just change the word "objects". How about this:
  • Try to stick to the default thumb size and avoid having images overlap the same vertical space as images on the other side; this helps prevent the text from being squeezed from both sides.
That way it doesn't include other kinds of boxes in its prohibition (though I still believe it should be avoided when possible). What do you say? Texugo (talk) 15:12, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, I think the concern is still valid for images. That's one of the main reasons I'd want to move an image to the left; if I have two images that apply to nearby blocks of text. To avoid the "squeezing" issue, perhaps we could suggest that the left-aligned image come first? Powers (talk) 18:12, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't see what putting the left aligned image first would do, except to be more likely to interfere with headers or have people left-aligning an image after only one line of text. And it is still best to steer away from vertical overlap when at all possible, or else you can get weird one- or two- line spikes of text sticking between images that are close but not quite touching, which is also makes for a pretty poor layout. Would you be more amenable to my first suggestion of "when possible"? Texugo (talk) 18:33, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure what I was thinking. Maybe my confusion is because the issue of two images occupying the same horizontal line is dependent on resolution. If the images are adjacent (in the wikicode) to two different paragraphs, then they will separate vertically as the window width shrinks, which is when the potential layout issues arise. Actually a good rule of thumb for all "floating" page elements (TOC, infoboxes, right- and left-aligned images) is to make sure there isn't more than one consecutively without intervening text. Powers (talk) 01:20, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm....I'm not really seeing how that helps us move forward on this. Is one of my suggested compromises workable? Yes, it is somewhat dependent on resolution, as are many of the potential layout problems involved here, but the lower the chance of squeezing both sides at once, the better our chance of avoiding poor layouts like the above screenshot, so it's better to try and avoid it than to just be silent on the matter. You didn't exactly answer: would you be more amenable to my first suggestion of avoiding vertical overlap "when possible"? Texugo (talk) 11:21, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Frankly, I don't think this particular wording matters much. It's all about bad layout concerns, and I think when that's the case the image placements (whatever they are) should be changed, even when a particular arrangement is theoretically allowed under policy. For me, when possible is okay, if it's not used as a stick in the handful of cases where vertical overlap does no harm. I think we're really talking about a few individual cases anyway, it's easy enough to discuss those on their talkpages if need be. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:33, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I was saying, Texugo, that if we provide advice to not put more than two images consecutively, regardless of alignment, then following that advice is likely to prevent more bad layout issues than advising against overlap, which is resolution-dependent. (In other words, there's no way to objectively say "these two images overlap vertically".) Powers (talk) 14:50, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Consecutively placed images are a completely different issue and do not present the same potential layout problem of having a mere line or two of text show up between them. Moreover, a huge percentage of our pages already have consecutively placed right-aligned images, and they do not create any serious layout problem in particular since they do not interact with the left-alignment of the text. If a person left-aligning, whatever their screensize, follows the advice to avoid vertical overlap as they see it on their screen, there is still a lower chance of problems than there would be without that advice. And if someone else comes along with a different screen and sees it as overlapping, the advice is there to suggest fixing it further and thus further reducing the chance of a bad layout for others. It's not an ideal situation, but it's still far better than not advising against it at all and then having no policy basis to help us avoid arguments when we try to fix the screenshot above. Texugo (talk) 15:15, 20 February 2014 (UTC)