Wikivoyage:Image policy

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Using images from Wikimedia Commons

You can link images directly from Wikimedia Commons simply by including the file name as if the image was included locally.

Local media

You should not re-upload files from Wikimedia Commons to Wikivoyage, unless they are going to be deleted on Commons and used on Wikivoyage according to the Wikivoyage:Non-free content exemption doctrine, or is one of a few categories that we prefer to keep local.

The banners for our Destinations of the month (DoTM, OtBP and FTT) should be uploaded locally, to allow better local control.

Minimal use of images

Don't get overexcited adding images to articles. Travellers may be using Wikivoyage from networks with low bandwidth, or with a cost for every MB used. Several travellers may be sharing the one poor mobile data connection. A traveller using the Wi-Fi on a bus or train may only have a few MB of free data allowance for a long journey.

Minimal use of images doesn't mean none. Instead, it means enough images to illustrate the text and show some of the highlights but not so many as to overwhelm the text and turn the article into a photo gallery.

More specifically:

  • Short articles (less than 3,000 bytes) should usually have no more than 1–2 images, including a map.
  • For longer articles, 1 image per screen (1,000–2,000 bytes) is generally adequate.
  • Images should be distributed throughout an article, not bunched up in any section.
  • Try to avoid having more than 2 or at most 3 successive images without space between them.
  • Make sure no images extend below the end of an article (with typical page or browser window widths).

Attribution and watermarks

Images with watermarks cannot be used on this site, unless the watermark is an essential reason to choose that image. We do not use bylines either.

Photographers are credited on the file description page, and giving some photographers more credit than others might violate the CC BY-SA licence used for many images. The author can be mentioned in the caption of historic images, paintings and the like, when it is deemed to be of interest for the reader.

Image sizes

Uploading high-quality source images is encouraged. When displayed, pictures can be automatically scaled to smaller thumbnails; see Wikivoyage:How to add an image for details.

Image alignment

By default images in Wikivoyage articles should 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:

  • 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. When in doubt, leave it right-aligned.
  • Test the layout with different browser window widths, at least down to 640px. If possible, also test with a mobile phone.

Following these guidelines will help to ensure the article doesn't have too many images, and prevent many unforeseeable formatting issues.

Montages and galleries

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 is reminiscent of a travel brochure, or some other promotional, rather than informational, material.

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). Image galleries should not be used solely as a way to include a large number of different pictures in a destination article; we aim for a § Minimal use of images.

Galleries are welcome on Wikimedia Commons, and can be linked from the article (explicitly or via Wikidata, or both).

Present-day status

Prefer pictures which are representative for what a location looks like today. Avoid obsolete pictures, which for instance depict buildings which have been torn down. They can be considered in historical travel articles, if the context is clear to the reader.

Photos of businesses

See also: Wikivoyage:Listings#Images, Wikivoyage:Don't tout

As a general rule, photos of individual businesses, especially those seen to be promotional, will be removed. 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. In the former case, identifying the individual business is not necessary.

If a business has its latitude and longitude specified through either the {{marker}} template or one of the {{listing}} templates (including {{see}}, {{do}}, {{buy}}, {{eat}}, {{drink}}, and {{sleep}}), it is possible to add a photo of that business to the dynamic map using the |image= parameter. Purely promotional images, such as logos for each location of identical chain restaurants and hotels, are best avoided; the content needs to be useful to the traveller.

People in photos

Don't upload photos of yourself or your travel companions posing in front of stuff. You do look cute, but these types of photos don't really belong in a travel guide.

See also the official guideline on photographs of identifiable people at Wikimedia Commons.

Images for user pages

User page photos and graphics like maps of where you have been should be uploaded to Commons. Be sure to add the template {{User page image}} to the image when uploading so that it is clear the image is for your user page. Such images must be licensed for general use, but can be deleted if unused and seen not otherwise to be in scope, or if the number of personal images is out of proportion with your activity on WMF projects (such as Wikivoyage).

Buildings and artworks in photos

Buildings and artworks like paintings and statues are copyrighted by the creator, with the copyright expiring only 70 years or so after the creator's death. However, in many countries, you are allowed to publish pictures of architecture and artwork on permanent public display, and license those photos for editorial and commercial use (including Wikimedia Commons) without committing copyright infringement. See c:Commons:Freedom of Panorama for an extensive discussion, including details of the law in many countries, and c:Commons:Copyright rules by territory for more details on individual countries.

For images already uploaded to Wikimedia Commons with plausible copyright information, there should not be any copyright problems and you can use them on Wikivoyage.

If your image – or an image by somebody licensing their photo with an acceptable licence – is not permissible on Commons because it is a photo of a copyrighted work of art or architecture, it may be OK to upload here under our Exemption Doctrine Policy and use it under "fair use" statutes.

Image formats

Images should be in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG - for photographs
  • PNG - for text, static maps, or computer-generated images
  • SVG - for icons and "source maps"

We prefer to display static maps in a PNG format, rather than an SVG format. Since Wikivoyage is configured to automatically convert embedded SVG files to PNG files when viewing a page, there is no need to convert a source map. When including images, always choose to embed an SVG over a pre-converted raster image, if available, so that it can be scaled to any size needed. See Wikivoyage:How to draw static maps for more information on source maps.

For vector-format files, we prefer SVG, but other vector formats (Adobe Illustrator, PostScript) are better than nothing.

Animated Gifs should not be used in any Wikivoyage article.

Other media

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, with two exceptions:

  • Audio files for pronunciation may be used in phrasebooks.
  • Audio files for place name pronunciation may be used in destination articles in the Understand section. Such files should not be used alone, but as a supplement to pseudo-phoneticization (our preferred pronunciation help). Audio file usage is limited to the article's destination name itself. See Caldas da Rainha#Understand for an example of usage.

See also