Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub

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Usage of the word "travel(l)er"[edit]

One of this site's heritages (is this a word?) from its time at that other place is the frequent use of the word traveler, often in the idiosyncratic spelling traveller. Now I know we don't have anything against our history or against that other site per se, but maybe we could distinguish ourselves some way or another. Our section headings are not what you would find in "any other old guidebook" and the spelling "traveller" was made to distinguish us to begin with, so maybe we could or should replace it with the word "voyager" or else use turns of phrase like "bon voyage" where appropriate? I know that the name was not a 100% free choice, but just as moon handbooks put moons all over their stuff, we might get ourselves a unique selling point out of something that started off as a second choice. And please don't let this descend into a flamewar, I am merely thinking out loud and will gladly retract the idea if consensus is that we should keep "travelling". Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:29, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I'd prefer our trademark to be exceptionally well-written travel guides rather than some contrived gimmick. As for the tradition of spelling "traveller" with two L's, I have no strong feelings about it either way but would note that the status quo does no harm and would take a monumental effort to undo (as we would want to preserve the double-L spelling in articles that take Commonwealth English, it would be difficult to assign this task to a bot). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:36, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I know that tampering with spelling or policies related to spelling is a touchy subject indeed and don't think changing the spelling (unless we do it globally for all articles, which would make it idiosyncratic again) would do much good. However I have seen, that in some places we use the word "traveler" instead of "visitor", "tourist" or other words for the apparent reason of the former name of this site. And as to contrived gimmicks versus good content: Why not both? maybe a contrived gimmick gets us an article in a newspaper or a mention on the interwebz and if we only gain one contributor through that, we have already won a little, haven't we? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:45, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually, if I'm not mistaken, we have traditionally avoided using the word "tourist", both because of its somewhat negative connotations in English as well as to be inclusive of other types of travellers i.e. business travellers, etc. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:51, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
As Andre has noted I don't think there is any value in tampering with article content, but if the suggestion is to do a bit of branding by making some project changes such as renaming "Travellers' pub" to "Voyagers' pub" then I don't see any harm. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:58, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense.. we are 'Wikivoyagers' after all. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:21, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Another word for "gimmickry" is "marketing". Let's please keep that in mind. And for those of you who don't know the show "Gypsy", make sure you listen to "You Gotta Have a Gimmick". Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:00, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Travellers are fine. How about writing articles that benefit them? PrinceGloria (talk) 05:35, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe the "traveller" in "Travellers' pub" was intended to refer to "wikitravellers" specifically, just to travellers in general. "Voyagers" is a much less euphonious and familiar word in English, though "voyageurs" is lovely and evocative in French. =) Powers (talk) 14:23, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Hobbitschuster's idea is a good and necessary one IF it's necessary to distinguish this series of guides from the Wikitravel ones AND we had a physical presence (in book stores, for example).

Since both are not true, the more important job to be done here is to boost our search engine (read Google in most markets) visibility.

What's being done to persuade Google that this isn't an inferior mirror site to be placed on the second and subsequent pages of search results?

Why have you preserved the inferior naming scheme and weird section headings you inherited? 118.101.139.200 01:15, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

In terms of why certain things about our article organization are the same, it might be more helpful to think of it as that other site being a inherited copy we had to leave behind when most of the editors came here to get away from the corporate dictators. "Inferior" and "weird" might be your opinion about the headers, but we are the ones who came up with the scheme, not those keeping the other site on life support, and a lot of us are rather fond of it. Texugo (talk) 01:29, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
It's understandable that you feel proud of your history and miffed that you were booted out, but you need to move on just as Canada did with its new and distinctive flag (and now even the naysayers concede that was a great move). It's no good having better articles (and maps!!!) if readers can't find you because Google is entirely blind to the quality and accuracy of your writings and just carries on thinking you're an inferior Johnny-come-lately copy, is it? 118.101.139.200 01:54, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
The Other Site maintains an outright hostile relationship towards Wikivoyage. Users who barely mention Wikivoyage somewhere at the site, are blocked indefinitely. We should, anyway, try synonyms for travel and traveller where appropriate; today, they are overused. As said, tourist is not always a good replacement, except in context such as Film and TV series tourism, where the intent is clearly travelling for pleasure. /Yvwv (talk) 01:50, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Use traveller, traveler, tourist, visitor, trip, excursion, expedition and any other word you can think of as relevant; and vary the use through articles. Do not just remove the word from articles, replace it with another relevant phrase. We cannot predict which word someone will use in a search engine. Using a single word too often in a page will actually reduce the search engine rating. --Traveler100 (talk) 04:44, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
On the sub-headings, they may be a little odd but I think they are short and to the point. However I do think each section should have an introductory sentence or two, not just with specifics for the location but to use other key words such as accommodation and restaurants. How about building a thesaurus to help people vary what words are used throughout the site. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:16, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I have just stumbled upon this page, and after a few minutes of shocked incredulity am now given to respond to the earlier comment "traveler, often in the idiosyncratic spelling traveller." Idiosyncratic?!? TraveLLer is the spelling as stated by the OED, which is the accepted reference for the definitions and spellings of English. It's up to other's foibles should they wish to use a different spelling, but to then claim preeminence and denigrate convention is, at best, laughable. —The preceding comment was added by 179.43.141.169 (talkcontribs)
The OED, whatever its merits and faults can not and in fact does not claim jurisdiction over American English. As this page claims to have a slight preference for American English as a "default" where other spellings wouldn't be self-evident (such as in an article on England), the spelling "traveller" is indeed idiosyncratic when it appears in the same text as "flavor" or "center". I hope that clears that up. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:07, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I think part of the issue is, as Powers intimates, 'voyager' sounds, unfortunately, rather clunky in English. Whilst I'm a big fan of the Baudelaire quote on my User Page and the effective arkeeting of this site, I'd rather we didn't end up making things sounds too contrived. Is there another way around this? --Nick talk 22:40, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Dealing with pages like xyz "travel"[edit]

We have a lot of pages with names such as historical travel. If we want to reduce our use of said word(s) maybe we could or should find alternatives? What are your thoughts? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:31, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Why do you think we should reduce the use of words like "Historical" in article titles? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:26, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I think Hobbitschuster was critizing the use of "travel", not "historical". As in X travel, Y travel, Z travel, etc. Texugo (talk) 00:17, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:26, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
How would you propose to retitle such articles, in that case? Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:29, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
It would seem that in some cases the word tourism is not entirely inappropriate... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:53, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not really seeing a problem that needs fixing here. Texugo (talk) 23:02, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the problem is one of distinguishing us from that other site, and thus maybe gaining recognition and/or search engine benefits... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Tag:emoji[edit]

What does this mean? It's an edit tag, for example in this edit history. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Special:Tags -- no longer used -- Japanese emoticon (smiley face)? - Matroc (talk) 04:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Someone's using emoticons that can't be seen?? Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The new Indian rupee or Indonesian rupiah symbols may also trigger this tag. —The preceding comment was added by 149.241.32.203 (talkcontribs)
It was from the telephone character. Often the insertion of emoji characters is an indication of vandalism, thus the tag. Kaldari (talk) 23:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Wikidata: Access to data from arbitrary items is coming[edit]

(Sorry for writing in English)

When using data from Wikidata on Wikipedia and other sister projects, there is currently a limitation in place that hinders some use cases: data can only be accessed from the corresponding item. So, for example, the Wikipedia article about Berlin can only get data from the Wikidata item about Berlin but not from the item about Germany. This had technical reasons. We are now removing this limitation. It is already done for French Wikisource and Dutch Wikipedia. Your project is one of the next ones:

  • 18. May: Farsi Wikipedia, English Wikivoyage, Hebrew Wikipedia
  • 1. June: Italian Wikipedia, all remaining Wikisource

We hope to have it rolled out nearly everywhere by the end of June 2015.

We invite you to play around with this new feature if you are one of the people who have been waiting for this for a long time. If you have technical issues/questions with this you can come to d:Wikidata:Contact the development team.

A note of caution: Please be careful with how many items you use for a single page. If it is too many pages, loading might get slow. We will have to see how the feature behaves in production to see where we need to tweak and how.

How to use it, once it is enabled:

Cheers Lydia Pintscher 15:19, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

So what are the consequences if we add an extra field to the {{listing}} template, something like {{see| name=Musée du Louvre | address=Place du Carrousel | lat=48.86106 | long=2.33562 | directions=Métro: Louvre | phone=+33 1 40-20-53-17 | wikidata=Q19675 }}? Would pulling any Wikidata information for an individual venue slow the servers too much? K7L (talk) 17:50, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like tempting server slowdown, according to what Lydia just said, since that template is used dozens of times on many pages. Texugo (talk) 18:43, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
True, though the number of listings with Wikidata entries is currently small for most destinations. In theory, though, someday, there could be an entry for every single one. Powers (talk) 18:55, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Wonderful!!! Now listings collaboration can really become a reality. There is still a lot of effort ahead, but we should definitely start experimenting on a particular article. I see the following tasks:
  • Identify what Wikidata properties we can reuse as listing properties (ex: latitude longitude URL etc)
  • Define new Wikidata properties if there is no match yet
  • Make the templates use these properties if a Wikidata identifier is specified
  • Make the listing editor read/from from Wikidata if a Wikidata identifier is specified. Should work on mobile too, as editing these properties in wikicode (source) will become impossible
  • Long-term: For properties that contain human language (like description or price), I suggest doing nothing for now, and when we have more experience, see whether using Wikidata for that too would bring us any benefit
  • Long-term: Create a Wikidata property like "See Listings" in "Timbuktu". While big Wikivoyages might not use it, smaller Wikivoyages might want to just write something like "==Eat=={{wikidata_eat}} ==Drink=={{wikidata_drink}}" to get started. In that case, localized description would probably have to be stored on Wikidata too.
Cheers! Syced (talk) 03:46, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Taking coordinates from Wikidata may not be practical because this will largely complicate the scripts for dynamic maps and any similar applications. There are only two easy thing to retrieve, the web-link and image. One could also retrieve links to Wikipedia and Commons if they are needed. Transferring phone numbers to Wikidata may be possible. However, the most important thing is also the most difficult one. The synchronization of web-links and images is by far less important than the synchronization of opening times and prices, so the whole thing is about these fields, not about anything else, which is rather unimportant (recall the template for opening hours; this is one place where it becomes extremely useful).
And question number one is: how to connect listings in different language versions? How to connect listings to existing Wikidata items? Some language versions have been adding links to Wikipedia or Wikidata IDs since years, so things are more or less prepared, and integration with Wikidata can start immediately. But English Wikivoyage has never tried this, and it will take a while before listings are ready for integration. --Alexander (talk) 06:19, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree for opening hours: A few months ago I suggested using the standard format that other Wikivoyages are using, but it had been decided against because it is less readable for humans without a graphical user interface. With inter-language listing collaboration now a reality, it might be time to reconsider the question :-) As for your question number one: Yes the English Wikivoyage is being Wikivoyages that have Wikipedia links, but anyway it is time to get started! I have added a "wikidata" property to the listings template, and I added the wikidata property to all listings of the See section of Tokyo/Roppongi. Let's use that page as a prototype to see how Wikidata fares performance-wise. Cheers! Syced (talk) 07:52, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Musings[edit]

  • Overcoming the limitation of working with the current page is a definite plus when accessing Wikidata using Lua....
  • List of Wikidata properties in French - I remember there was a list of properties in English but can't seem to find it now.
  • The current Module:wikibase can be used to obtain a limited number of properties such as lat/long/capital etc. (can easily add banner as well). Would it not then be reasonable to beef that module or another to perform future work?
  • I am under the impression that one would use a parser function {{#property:P36|from=Q183}} rather than calling a Lua Module directly {{#invoke:xxxxxxx|P36|from=Q183}}. One would still have to know the ID in order for either to work? Would then a call be needed to a Lua module to get the ID in the first place? .... {{#property:P36|from=Germany}} (Let process find the ID?) - Also would have to know the property (P numbers)
  • To get more than one data element probably would be easier to do with a single call to a Lua module.
  • Doing a quickbar or some infobox would also be rather simple though.
  • There may be an issue with timing and page parsing. (ie. numbering of listings and when that occurs - before or after you get the lat/long from Wikidata).
  • Putting listing information into Wikidata is an admirable idea; however, I am not as optimistic when it comes to sorting, updating, editing, duplicate names and parsing etc.
  • More to consider - All the best! ... Matroc (talk) 06:13, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

What about editing of listings with some entries from Wikidata (as long as the information on Wikidata is correct and up to date, there is no problem – those in the know can handle it, for others it's just magic), by the listing editor or by hand?

If what you see is just the item/property code, then you can probably replace it with correct information, but often you want to correct just part of it, you would prefer to have the current version available for editing.

And, of course, in most cases the edit should be done to the Wikidata object. Directing a random user to Wikidata (as is now done for iw-links) is very confusing. In some cases the information is correct, but corresponds to something other than what the listing is supposed to be about. We rely on random users much more than Wikipedia, especially regarding the listings.

--LPfi (talk) 08:32, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Opening Hours[edit]

What is the proposed universal format of opening hours? I can see that as being a problem, considering the different ways hours are represented in French, Italian, and in English in different parts of the world. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:17, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is the hours format used by the French Wikivoyage. Day names are of course translated, see for instance the same format in Russian. Syced (talk) 11:10, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I listed what we might be able to reuse, property-by-property. Needless to see, feel free to edit :-) Syced (talk) 11:10, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Also consider that hours are not only different between languages, but they differ in complexity from establishment to establishment, with different days open, different holidays, some open only seasonally, etc. Some have the same hours each day, others have different hours on different days, and some with two (or occasionally even three) shifts per day, such as restaurants with separate breakfast/lunch/dinner hours. A WD element truly capable of holding all the information we need would probably have to be at least a 7-by-3 array of start/end-time pairs plus some additional way to handle the bits on seasonality and holidays, etc. Then, on the WV side, we would need a very smart template that would be able to read that info and collapse it to remove the redundancy, so that we can still say "Tu-Th 11AM-3PM and 6PM-11PM; Fr, Su 11AM-3PM and 6PM-1AM; Sa and holidays 11AM-1AM, closed Mondays" instead of taking 3-4 times as much space to list each day of the week separately, one after the other with its respective hours. Then, on top of all that complexity, it would have to be able to do all that in the various languages. Texugo (talk) 12:35, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
A restaurant might also have a bar which stays open into the wee hours, even though the kitchen closes early in the evening. Our "just list it once" policy for mixed entities like a hotel (sleep) with a restaurant (eat) that has a bar (drink) on a golf course (do) will make a mess when this bundle of related businesses on the same site each keeps different hours. K7L (talk) 13:54, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
That's another good point. Similarly shopping centers sometimes have different hours from their food courts, etc. Texugo (talk) 14:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
You need exactly one string to code whatever you want about working hours. For example, 109002000_20900200_309002000_409002000_509002000_609001700_7 would mean Mo-Fr 9-20, Sa 9-17, Su closed. Then you will also need to teach listing editor how to transform these numbers into human-readable templates, and you will need something like {{hours}} for the final display in the text. Months or seasons are trivial as well. When there are two different objects within one listing, you will need two strings with standard (and translated into different languages) identifiers such as 'restaurant', 'bar', or 'food-court'. Wikidata people may come up with other ideas, but even this "one-string-based" is the working solution that relies on the existing functionality of Wikidata only.
Of course, it is possible that one listing out of 1000 will have something very special. This listing can stay intact, while 99.9% other listings can be converted to standard format and shared on Wikidata, which would be a big step forward.
This is nothing but a very straight-forward coding. As I mentioned, the most difficult task is not this one, but finding connections between listings in different language versions and identifying existing Wikidata items where some of these listings belong. This requires joint effort of all editors who should understand what is going on and why it is needed. And this may be difficult to achieve. --Alexander (talk) 15:41, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
So how do I represent "Open weekends only from Victoria Day to Dominion Day, open daily from July 1 to Labour Day, then open when we feel like it until Thanksgiving. Closed for the winter, except for New Year's Eve and Winterlude, and if we're bored we usually go home early on Easter Sunday"? SnowBound DriveIn's showings of "Closed for the Winter" tend to be very seasonal; campgrounds, waterparks and tourism venues staffed by summer students are just as bad or worse. K7L (talk) 15:56, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry, but the majority of things are not like that, even in US and Canada. I said that we would likely end up with 0.1% exceptions. Even we have 1% of those, it does not matter. I created thousands of listings for different European countries, and I never ever wrote descriptions like the one you quoted. They all follow the bloody simple month-day-time scheme.
If "closed for the winter" has no particular definition of winter, this could be a standard string as well. --Alexander (talk) 16:02, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would also venture that your single string is not capable of encoding my above example of Tu-Th 11AM-3PM and 6PM-11PM; Fr, Su 11AM-3PM and 6PM-1AM; Sa and holidays 11AM-1AM, closed Mondays. And that example is not extreme in any way - loads of restaurant have stuff like this. It's not just some 0.1% or even 1%. Texugo (talk) 16:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
With a bit of creativity you will easily understand how to encode these working hours into a single string. Several time slots per day are abolutely no problem if your interpreter (Listing editor) takes this possibility into account. --Alexander (talk) 16:28, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I know it's easily possible to fit the information in a single string, although it would need be at least 3 times as long as yours to include the necessary minimum of possibilities for even single-entity restaurants. But the structure of the storage codification is not really what I was concerned about - the challenge would be to craft:
  • an interface that makes that complex code easily editable without learning a complex syntax and without precluding common possibilities, but also without forcing someone to enter 8:00-6:00 PM seven times just to get a simple Mo-Sa and holidays 8AM-6PM; and
  • a template that can take such a code and turn it back into the succinct, non-redundant form we customarily present that information in. Texugo (talk) 16:37, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Your text can be coded by a sequence of {{hours}} templates. Tu-Th "11AM-3PM and 6PM-11PM" becomes "{{hours|Tu|Th|11|AM|3|PM}} and {{hours|||6|PM|11|PM}}" Do I have to explain how to convert this sequence into the numerical string and back? --Alexander (talk) 17:35, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Notwithstanding the fact that your proposed "Hours" template doesn't seem to have an appropriate way to group together non-continuous days of the week (e.g. Fr and Su, etc.), that still doesn't even begin to get us there. That just gets us to the point where, in order to say
Tu-Th 11AM-3PM and 6PM-11PM; Fr, Su 11AM-3PM and 6PM-1AM; Sa and holidays 11AM-1AM, closed Mondays
we have to type
{{hours|Tu|Th|11|AM|3|PM}} and {{hours|||6|PM|11|PM}}; {{hours|Fr, Sa||11|AM|3|PM}} and {{hours|||6|PM|1|AM}}; {{hours|Sa and holidays|11|AM|1|AM}}, closed Mondays
There has to be a way to enter and edit this information that doesn't require a traveller to directly mess with all that code, and to get it stored properly in WD there would have to be further syntax to connect all that together the right way (commas, semicolons, "and", etc.), and it has to be adaptable and responsive to all the various levels of complexity common to our listings. I still think you're being a bit idealistic about this. Texugo (talk) 18:04, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I am not an expert in programming, but I did write the codes that support the whole flow of Russian WLM and WLE competitions and sort photos in a better way than any other country does. And I can seamlessly write "further syntax to connect all that together the right way (commas, semicolons, "and", etc.)", although I can't do it with Java/Lua for the Listing editor, but the algorithm behind this (and any other) change in syntax is absolutely trivial. Regarding the input, editors must use some type of markup, one or another. They can't write whatever they want, and a magic script that converts nonsense into formatted text is hard to craft indeed.
If you prefer writing 9:00-17:00 instead of 9|00|17|00, this is certainly doable. If you are an expert in Java and Lua, I would probably trust your opinion, but if you are not, I suggest that we stop this discussion now. An algorithm for changing syntax is very simple, and any simple algorithm can be turned into a code. --Alexander (talk) 18:21, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I am primarily suggesting that, pipes or colons, any arrangement where a user has to type that much markup every time is unacceptable. There would at the very least have to be a listing editor interface component which is both intuitive for a new user and flexible enough to handle the normal range of complexity our listings require. If you can do it, I'll be happy to see it and to be a part of the development process to the degree possible, but what I don't want to see is something that requires a significant learning curve, nor some partial solution which fails to adequately handle the full range of complexity possible. It's simply that what you have suggested so far does not to me seem to encompass all that is needed. It looks too complicated in terms of what it asks of the casual user, and too simple in terms of what kinds of hourly schedule it expects to encounter. Texugo (talk) 18:40, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, the worst thing would be to make it complicated for people to just type hours. I hope that whatever is done doesn't make it hard to do that and ignore any codes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:47, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
I would like to reiterate that the easy-to-share and reusable information does not come for free. You will have to make sure that opening hours follow one and the same format wherever this format can be applied. If you do not accept this restriction, you have to accept that certain features will never be available here and, in particular, Wikivoyage will be inferior to Foursquare, Tripadvisor and other websites where opening hours are fully machine-readable, which does not prevent regular users from modifying them. --Alexander (talk) 12:11, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, on Wikidata this information will be likely stored as the (still to be proposed) property Opening Hours and the qualifiers which dnote opening/closing, day of the week and some other standartized information.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:41, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
No problem. In cases when the hours description is so complex that it can not be expressed easily under the standard format, it can be left on English Wikivoyage as human text. For properties that exist as wikicode we should just use it and not load the value from Wikidata. No need to express everything in the standard format. If Wikidata can help hours collaboration on 90% of all listings, then it is already wonderful :-) Syced (talk) 02:41, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
There is the problem of updating. If the hours stay the same, but somebody notices a weird exception, this somebody should be able to do the correction in an obvious way, which should not involve reopening the old version of the page and manually copying the entry as previously autoformatted. --LPfi (talk) 11:32, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Weird exceptions lead to weird results. I don't understand your comment. Editors will always see something human-readable, so they can edit it and add some more human-readable text if appropriate. When the format is wrong, the information will not go to Wikidata. That's all about it. --Alexander (talk) 12:11, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I meant "weird" as in not well supported by the user interface, i.e. something that should be entered as free text (at least by the non-savvy).
The question is about what I see when I click "edit". Do I see the plain text version, the parseable format or a reference to Wikidata? If I get the first, then OK, but an edit will easily destroy the Wikidata entry or the Wikidata coupling (as there is no hint about what formats will be parseable or correctly parsed). If I get the second (e.g. the {{hours}} template or the "simple" string discussed above), I will have to hunt for some manual page. If I get a reference to Wikidata ("wikidata=Q19675"), then there is nothing obvious to edit. If I land on Wikidata, then I am confused, as this is another site.
As usual, the problem is to come up with a robust user interface, which does not scare away casual editors. There might be some "obvious" solution I cannot think of just now, but the templates and strings suggested require understanding we cannot presume.
--LPfi (talk) 13:47, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
My idea would be wikidata properties for Opening time and Closing time each with qualifier applies to. The qualifier could link to items for 'Mon', 'Tue', 'Wed', 'Thu', 'Fri', 'Sat', 'Sun', 'bank holidays', 'weekdays', 'Ramadan', etc. Each item can have multiple opening and closing times each with a different qualifier.
Opening time:9.30(applies to:weekdays)
Opening time:10.00(applies to:Sunday)(applies to:Saturday)
Closing time:17.00(applies to:weekdays)(applies to:Saturday)(applies to:Sunday)
This can record all the info needed. The info isn't in the french wikivoyage format because it is data. Formatting is something for the wikivoyage template to do. —The preceding comment was added by Filceolaire (talkcontribs)
That would indeed store the info, though it would not be a concise as some previous suggestions. What we really need to establish is that we can create a template that will read it and convert it to the simplified format we want. For example, using your example, the template would have to take
OT:6.30(M,T,W,Th,F)
OT:7.00(Sa,Su,h)
CT:10.00(M,T,W,Th,F,Sa,Su,h)
OT:12.00(M,T,W,Th,F,Sa,Su,h)
CT:3.00(M,T,W,Th,F)
OT:6.00(M,T,W,Th,F)
CT:10.30(M,T,W,Th)
CT:12.00(F,Sa,h)
CT:9.00(Su)
and turn it into:
M-Th 6:30AM-10AM, 12PM-3PM, 6PM-10:30PM; F 6:30AM-10AM, 12PM-3PM, 6PM-12PM; Sa and holidays, 7AM-10AM, 12PM-12AM; Su 7AM-10AM, 12PM-9PM.
This a rather complex conversion, logically speaking, and would definitely have to be done in lua because it would require the use of variables. Texugo (talk) 11:23, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

ease of understanding and use[edit]

Although from a purely database point of view I can see the logic of a central store of information that can be accessed by multiple wiki projects, I however am concerned that for the non expert this could become too complicated and totally unclear how data is added and edited in an article. This would not encourage new contributors. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:07, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Available now[edit]

Hey folks :) Arbitrary access has now been enabled for you. I hope you'll do awesome things with it that make your work here easier. Let me know if you encounter any issues please. --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 10:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Great! I have put it at use without loosing time, so now Wikidata arbitrary access is being used (experimentally) at Tokyo/Roppongi#See for the National Art Center listing. It works great! Syced (talk) 03:58, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Do we have an exhibition page for this on Wikivoyage?
This would be to discuss scenarios where we would leverage this new functionality. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:53, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it works great, and the image is not displayed because Joachim's code reads it directly from the Wikivoyage page, not from Wikidata. At the moment we can't take coordinates and images from Wikidata. Perhaps we can't do this at all. --Alexander (talk) 07:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It is interesting to see the National Art Center listing in Roppongi. It does raise the question of when it is appropriate to have the same details in multiple languages - the URL is now of the Japanese page when it used to be that for the English page. However this is a good start - we should pick a few smaller city pages to try this to see what happens. AlasdairW (talk) 22:49, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes I hesitated a lot before moving the URL, but since it is a single proof-of-concept on a single listing, I decided to use it for demonstration purposes. By the way, I proposed a new property on Wikidata to address the lack of localized official website info in Wikidata. In the future, how about showing the official URL if the listing and the wikicode don't have a more specifically English-language URL? Syced (talk) 05:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Syced, I would like to emphasize that neither name= nor image= fields can be read from Wikidata by the map script. Therefore, your example on the Tokyo page creates a "NoName" object without any thumbnail image. --Alexander (talk) 19:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I currently do not see any way to retrieve the wiki source text, including the imported data from Wikidata. Does anyone know of such an API call? - Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 12:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, Wikidata has its API, so you can retrieve everything you want by making this type of call. However, I am not sure that this is going to work on a larger scale, because you will have to make tens or even hundreds of calls to Wikidata in addition to loading the Wikivoyage page, so things will slow down dramatically. --Alexander (talk) 13:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I asked about performance at the Wikidata DEV page. Syced (talk) 04:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Is there something like &wikidata=expand, which would expand the Wikidata variables? I believe such a thing exists for templates. That would probably be more efficient than making a request for each listing, as the requests would be made on the Wikivoyage server side, and probably cached. Syced (talk) 09:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I just asked for &wikidata=expand at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T100399 Syced (talk) 07:31, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Phabricator reply: "Resolving this as declines, since the requested functionality can be covered otherwise" Syced (talk) 07:18, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I took the plunge and took a closer look at the issue at hand. In doing so, I wrote a Module with
perhaps the messiest code ever in Lua. I also texted with Syced a few times and spent quite a few long
hours getting familiar with Wikidata, Scribunto (Lua) and maps. (not an expert in either).
  • To make things short and sweet: The issue is basically one of parsing and having the Scribunto (Lua) Module get there first with the mostest.
  1. One can retrieve the decimal coordinates from Wikidata. They already appear to be in decimal format.
  2. One can retrieve the name= (Wikidata title or if no title its label from the Qnnn ID)
  3. One should be able to get an image from Wikidata and make it work as well. (Don't know if you are trying to get the image from (property) P18 or not?)
  4. Map script(s) are able to read the name and coordinates that are provided from Wikidata to the template.
    • NoName on the map icon will also show the correct name when clicked on.
    • Template:Marker and Template:See (etc.) appear to work for me correctly.
Proof of this can be found here at : Futzing with Wikidata
Have a great day and GO HAVE FUN! ;) -- Matroc (talk) 06:10, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
  • p.s. Happy Father's Day...

Matroc, that's great, but could you explain how you solved the problem? How does the map script know Wikidata values without making multiple calls to Wikidata from the script itself? Unfortunately, I don't know Lua well, so I can't immediately understand this from your code. --Alexander (talk) 11:10, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
--- Alexander I was trying to see if this was possible and prove that it could be done. It is a bit ugly code wise but could be improved upon greatly. Yes, there are multiple calls to Wikidata for each piece of information - I would like to see as few calls as possible to avoid computer load as well and hopefully achieve a faster outcome.
  • (I think one call to Wikidata to get the main Wikidata entity (record) and retrieve multiple parameters once; rather than calling Wikidata a number of times and only retrieve one piece at a time, would definitely be preferrable.)
  • At this time I am calling a Lua module to get the data for a parameter from Wikidata multiple times - ie. once for name, url, lat and long etc.
  • Then using safesubst to substitute (replace or fill in) the parameter in the listing. (Actually replacing the listing in the long run!)
Why do it that way? - This insures that the parameters in question are updated prior to any parsing that normally occurs for a listing. (Map icon and numbering were not working because parsing occurred before the information from Wikidata was actually available for map processing.). By using safesubst, that information becomes available before (map) parsing occurs.
One would end up with a completed listing with parameters filled in. - No more calling Wikidata for that listing as the information is now present and filled in
and can be edited by a user.
  • If it becomes necessary to reprocess and rebuild - Some kind of trigger may be needed to make that happen. One case would be what if Wikidata has changed some data for a particular entity.
Listing creation might also be possible using just one argument or parameter - the Qnnn (ID)...
These are just ideas and not all the answers or necessarily the full solution. This has been iterative programming at its worst :) - (матрос) -- Matroc (talk) 20:04, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Added note: To make this user/editor friendly it would be best to be able to use templates otherwise it would not really be a viable solution...

When is a country a country[edit]

Interesting to see a new page Liberland. My learnt something new for the day. Although I really do not want to get into a political battle here, I do not also want to see this site becoming a place to have political battles. Do we have a policy on recognised countries? --Traveler100 (talk) 16:00, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know if we have an official policy on the matter, but these crop up occasionally - see European microstates#Micronations for other examples. Since these are all unrecognized countries we usually tag them with the city template rather than the country template, and that may be the best option for Liberland as well, assuming the article develops - if it stays as just a skeleton then a redirect might make more sense. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
that is a reasonable solution. My test for a country would be: does it have an army; does it have a tax and fiscal system; and does it have a football (soccer) team. Scotland and ISIS only have 2 out of 3, do not know about Liberland. But I guess recognised by the UN would be the best guideline. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
We do also have articles of some other micronations. I don't see any problems in having places like these present on WV in a form or another, especially if they have something to see/experience; for instance the w:Principality of Hutt River. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
A demand for UN recognition knocks Taiwan out of the guide, a requirement for a standing army excludes Costa Rica. Are you sure you want to do this? (Y/N) K7L (talk) 16:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
No, that would be a bad idea, well over 10 countries in the world mostly in the Pacific and Caribbean lack an army. If an area immigration-wise is separated from the rest of the world and in practice has it's own requirements for crossing into the area, then we regard it as a country; therefore Taiwan, Kosovo, Hong Kong etc. but also Abkhasia etc. are regarded as countries. Then there are countries that don't have really have any border controls (out of personal experience Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and I believe, the Vatican), but we also count these as countries because they've been recognized by the UN. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a solution in search of a problem. I can't imagine there are very many country articles currently that belong elsewhere on the regions hierarchy, and those that do exist can easily be taken care of on a case-by-case basis. Creating or adjusting policy to respond to actual problems that have cropped up takes enough of our time and energy already; making new policy for the sake of making new policy is not something we should waste time doing. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:32, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry do not want to start a big policy discussion. I think the solution above has address the question and as you say, best addressed on a case by case basis. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:58, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Check out Sealand , which probably has more claim to independence than Liberland, but falls under United Kingdom Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Given that it is a piece of swampland on Croatia's border, it seems unlikely to have anything that a tourist guide may point tourists to. No hotels to stay in, no restaurants to dine in, no shops, pretty much nothing at all. What then is the point in having the article? —Tom Morris (talk) 21:02, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Two for the price of one[edit]

Three and a half years of work has drawn to a close: the final Buffalo district article, focusing on the East Side, has gone live, and not a moment too soon. The opportunity to write about what my hometown has to offer visitors has truly been a pleasure and a privilege, and I thank all of you for it. (Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere.)

In tandem with the East Side article, I've also wrapped up work on the closely related Historic Churches of Buffalo's East Side itinerary. It's the first itinerary article I've ever written for Wikivoyage — and as I envision creating several more in the future, I'd appreciate some feedback and/or pointers on what to do or not do the next time around.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:37, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Congratulations! Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:47, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Awesome work! :-) Syced (talk) 07:10, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Well done, indeed! Pashley (talk) 00:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Map layer flaw at 180th meridian[edit]

Tried to create map items for the Pacific War article. There are issues with displaying items on both sides of the 180th meridian. Seems like they are only displayed on the same hemisphere as the map center. Can this be fixed? /Yvwv (talk) 15:43, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Archived WT user page - an issue that I don't know where else to raise[edit]

There appears to be a problem concerning User:Gamweb, who - I gather - has been a contributor here before the migration and would like to have the WT page of his deleted. I don't know any of the details and just wanted to alert the people who know about this and ask them what to do. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:00, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Since ( I believe ) we no longer facilitate the linking of WV and WT accounts, this is technically a new user with no right to blank the page of the previous WT user. The main issue I see is that we do not want to establish precedence of 'ownership' by WT users of their legally migrated CC contributions. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:18, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I know, and agree, but this one is complicated by the presence of the user's real name on his (WT-en) userpage. He doesn't want it there, and he also seems confused and upset about the three different accounts he now has or appears to have, not to mention Wikitravel (which would be a fourth). Powers (talk) 16:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I think we should try to find a solution of keeping this user here and making him a constructive contributor. If he can successfully prove to be identical with his enWT user account (and I don't see any reason not to believe that), there should be a way to change the legacy use page in a way that addresses his concerns. Even if the merging of users is not possible any more, but that was - if I am not mistaken - never what he wanted in the first place. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
If it's the w:WP:REALNAME that's the issue, wouldn't he only have to show (possibly by contacting the OTRS helpdesk, if it's necessary to take this to private e-mail) that he owns the legal name? K7L (talk) 18:15, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. Every reasonable effort should be made to accommodate him in a way that's satisfactory to him. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:16, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Nurg has removed the user's real name from the imported (WT-en) page. That's an unusual step, and our German hosts raised issues in the past with modifying those templates. Are we okay with that? Powers (talk) 13:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The material is retained for author attribution purposes only; there is nothing in the CC license requiring we keep these user-space pages, and certainly it's not an issue as we have the user's permission in this case to remove it. K7L (talk) 14:36, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Readership[edit]

This data looks promising [1] with a more than 40% increase for all languages over the last year. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

German Wikivoyage more than doubled their pageviews in March and has kept them at that level for three months. What did they do? Powers (talk) 20:22, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
There was a banner proposal around that time over there. But it only affects a small number of pages as of now. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:48, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
It may be because Google now gives equal PageRank to Wikivoyage and Wikitravel. Kaldari (talk) 23:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The Germans left WT in 2006, so it's unlikely that there'd be much content duplicated between WT/WV in that language now. K7L (talk) 23:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I guess we too should have left earlier too :-) The good results of the German WV is a proof that openness and community wins in the long term. Syced (talk) 07:59, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Well both pages had longer time to diverge in terms of style as well as content. Plus if I am not mistaken German WT is even more visibly dead than English WT (where a quick look at some pages reveals that Spam and vandalism just crops up everywhere apropos of nothing) Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Kiwix hackathon[edit]

Kiwix is an offline wiki reader. I am currently participating in a Kiwix hackathon whose goal is to make wiki-specific Kiwix-based apps, for instance a Wikivoyage app (with Wikivoyage Play Store branding etc). Currently there is a single Kiwix app in which users have to download ZIM files, which is a bit user-unfriendly and difficult to market. The hackathon is mostly Android programming. Anyone interested in joining? :-) http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Hackathon_Mobile_2015 Ideas welcome too! Syced (talk) 02:23, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Great would be nice :-) Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:11, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Pywikibot compat will no longer be supported - Please migrate to pywikibot core[edit]

Sorry for English, I hope someone translates this.
Pywikibot (then "Pywikipediabot") was started back in 2002. In 2007 a new branch (formerly known as "rewrite", now called "core") was started from scratch using the MediaWiki API. The developers of Pywikibot have decided to stop supporting the compat version of Pywikibot due to bad performance and architectural errors that make it hard to update, compared to core. If you are using pywikibot compat it is likely your code will break due to upcoming MediaWiki API changes (e.g. T101524). It is highly recommended you migrate to the core framework. There is a migration guide, and please contact us if you have any problem.

There is an upcoming MediaWiki API breaking change that compat will not be updated for. If your bot's name is in this list, your bot will most likely break.

Thank you,
The Pywikibot development team, 19:30, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Google problems, part umpteen[edit]

Posting this here rather than at Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition for greater visibility.

In connection with some travelling I'm planning to do next month, I just ran a Google search for the term "champaign urbana wikivoyage". The first result that came up was WT's Champaign-Urbana travel guide. It was one of those deals where Google decided to "includ[e] results for 'champaign urbana wikitravel' with the clickable option below of "search[ing] only for 'champaign urbana wikivoyage'".

Is this something the SEO folks are aware of? There could very well be many people searching specifically for WV articles yet directed to WT.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:49, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

The algorithm at google seems to be severely flawed. Is there anything we can do about issues like that? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:20, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Google is filtering the Champaign-Urbana article as a duplicate of the WT article, so what seems to be happening is that the best result for your search query is an article that was filtered out of the Google index as a dup, so Google automatically suggests the article that it thinks is the original. Searching with the same pattern for other articles that aren't filtered as dups (example "Yosemite wikivoyage") seems to work as expected. Someone else may know better, but I don't think there is any quick fix to this problem - it is one that will simply fade away slowly as our articles develop and Google begins to view them as unique content. For those wanting to expedite that process:
  • See this thread for a discussion of how much rewriting was necessary for Google to no longer view the Yosemite article as a dup.
  • Make sure that there are incoming wiki links (not plain text or external links) from other Wikivoyage articles that mention the destination or travel topic - internal links are a signal to Google that an article is important, just don't abuse that fact by making dozens of same-subject wikilinks in a single article.
  • Make sure the corresponding Wikipedia article has a link to the Wikivoyage article - links from Wikipedia are a valuable signal to Google that our article is important.
-- Ryan • (talk) • 19:01, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Strangely, "champaign urbana voyage" puts us first. Google weights URLs heavily, so whatever synonym algorithm Google uses bumps us for "voyage", bumps WT for "travel", but doesn't seem to use "wikivoyage" in its dictionary analysis of search query terms. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:09, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Are we absolutely certain that links from Wikipedia matter? Because all URLs at Wikipedia are set to 'nofollow' (to discourage spam and SEO manipulation at Wikipedia), and Google respects that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:45, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Internal links are not nofollow. Check the link attributes on this link for an example: w:Main Page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:56, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
And are we sure that Google follows links in this format ok (without the "http") – href="//en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Whangarei". Nurg (talk) 02:45, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
MediaWiki inserts the http:// or https:// itself (to match the URL type of the currently-viewed page) before Google sees the page. Interwiki links do not get "nofollow", something which has come up as an issue before with the use of these links to promote for-profit Wikia Inc. Links from Wikipedia do matter; it's a top-ten website and search engines tend to favour its results rather heavily. We also should be doing more to convince Wikipedians to edit here, if we are to grow. K7L (talk) 18:46, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Anyone know if there is a way to tell how many articles at "usable" status or higher do not have a link from Wikipedia? Nurg (talk) 08:31, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
K7L, are you sure about that? I looked at the page source for a destination article and it was exactly as Nurg quoted: no http: or https:, just the double slash. Powers (talk) 14:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Since Wikipedia is on forced-HTTPS now, those templates could be changed to use HTTPS directly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:16, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Expanded "Paleontology in West Virginia" draft and query about linking to Wikipedia[edit]

Hey, I'm that guy who's working on a travel guide to collecting fossils by US state. I've started a user-space draft and substantially expanded its independent fossil collection section. The section lists and links to various cities in West Virginia along with a brief summary of what fossils can be found near each of them, so that potential travelers can decide which destination seems to be the most inviting. Since most fossil hunters obviously don't have every single individual kind of prehistoric life form memorized, I think the article would benefit from linking their names to their Wikipedia articles.

However, I noticed that the Help pages on external linking sends mixed signals regarding whether or not this is acceptable. Some pages seem to imply that it's never or almost never a good idea to link to Wikipedia articles while others seem okay with it as long as it's of interest to the traveler. I was wondering if anyone could advise me whether or not my intended linking is appropriate (the intended Wikipedia links are almost all internal red links right now) and provide general feedback on how the draft is taking shape. Abyssal (talk) 20:35, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

A generalized Paleontology / Natural history / Fossils article would be useful, with links to important sites and museums. /Yvwv (talk) 20:55, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
I intend to write one, don't worry. Abyssal (talk) 22:09, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
As for the external links to Wikipedia... I think we rather recently had that issue and it ended up with: There is no consensus to change so we keep the current policy how ever flawed it may be. Also, there is a slippery slope argument to be made. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:39, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
But it's not even clear what that policy is. Abyssal (talk) 22:08, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
There should only be one link per article to Wikipedia, which you already have - from there the reader can navigate on WP to get any background info that they want. Rather than linking, try giving brief description of some of the fossils e.g. blastoids (which look like small hickory nuts). Normally we only link to cities, states etc, and occasionally to travel topics.
I see that your article links to Bethany (West Virginia), but I can't find anything about fossils in that article. Please start by putting the details as a See or Do listing there. AlasdairW (talk) 22:11, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Your draft looks very good already, full of great information! The only drawback I'm seeing so far is that you have lots of red links on the names of animals and plants, and your blue link on "mammoths" goes to Mammoth Lakes, California. You can italicize or bold the names of important varieties of fossilized life, but they should not be linked. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:20, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I also agree that looks great and there should not be links to WP. In my opinion, the article would benefit from having coordinates added, either as part of Do or See templates or Marker. Like that the interactive map of the state can be added with all the sites in it. Danapit (talk) 07:15, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm on the fence about this "topic". You clearly have a lot of knowledge about the topic, and of course it will be useful to those interested in collecting fossils, but is a collector's guide within scope? Do we want hobby guides? That's why I had suggested sticking to Paleotourism with information about museums with the best specimens, visible dig sites, etc. to keep it travel-focused. This focus of how to pursue fossils as a collector seems out of scope. Would we have articles about places to scout your own gold/diamonds/etc? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:07, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why listing places to find fossils is more out of scope than places to scuba dive. Abyssal (talk) 15:14, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I think fossils are a fine issue to cover, when the vantage point is primarily travel and not primarily natural history. (Explaining geologic terms or saying a rough time range instead of the era can go a long way in doing so, imho). But there is a lot to be said for a general topic before we make topics for individual US states. Not that the latter would not be needed at some point. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:44, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I intend to write a general paleontology article if the completed state draft is well-received. My current tentative goal would be an article on paleontology, paleontology in the US overall and then an article for each US state. This would be a book-length endeavor and the community's general lukewarm reception of the idea makes me hesitant to invest too much effort. I don't want to write the state draft and then the general paleontology article and then the article and then maybe a few more state articles only to have the community end up concluding that this project isn't suitable for Wikivoyage after all and everything get deleted.
Also, I get the impression that the community has a very specific and somewhat narrow vision for what its content should be like and I have concerns that there may end up being significant "artistic differences" between my own vision for the project and the kind of thing that might actually be acceptable to the community so I'm trying to proceed as cautiously as I can. Abyssal (talk) 18:15, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
There have indeed been arguments about how broad "travel" is, but I can't see why travel-related articles about fossil-collecting that include needed background would be out of scope. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:22, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I think articles on fossil collecting would be a good addition since it requires travel to get to the fossil sites, but I share the concerns of others that have led to a lukewarm reception. In particular, if a destination is a great place for fossil collecting, or has a great fossil collection, that info should definitely be mentioned in the existing destination article, and I think there is a fear that lots of great info is going to be added to just the topic articles, while the destination article is what most users are most likely to read. Second, lots of people propose creating detailed hierarchies of topic articles, whether about sailing, scuba diving, or other subjects, and the majority of the time those efforts tend to be abandoned before completion, hence the guidance to always start out with a general article that is subdivided as the content grows ("Fossil collecting" → "Fossil Collecting in the Eastern USA" → etc). It is highly unlikely that any content you add would be deleted, but if dozens of articles were created but left unfinished for some reason, it would create a significant amount of work for others to then merge that content back into something manageable, hence the caution and suggestions to focus on existing destination articles and on an initial broad topic article rather than immediately diving down to the detail of state-level articles. Again, I'd encourage you to proceed, but would reiterate that starting broadly and ensuring that destination articles also contain relevant information would help to instill confidence in this project. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:33, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with everything Ryan posted above. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:11, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

(indent) There's a huge difference between scuba diving, which no one disputes is something travelers do as a travel activity versus collecting things, which may require traveling but is not itself a travel topic. I think most of the support seems to be simply because someone wants to create the article. Will we also have a guide on where to find the best gold? Seashells? Arrowheads? Dolls? Postcards? Paleotourism sounds like a topic, while paleontology could go in a lot of different directions, not all of which are congruent with our goals. I like the topic, but my concerns still stand. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 17:32, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree that traveling for scuba diving is significantly different from traveling for fossil collecting, rock collecting, seashell collecting, or in search of Native American heritage. There may be fewer people doing the latter, but if popularity was our sole measure of article-worthiness then some of our best articles about little-visited destinations would need to go away (note that with regards to postcards or dolls, I'm not sure that travel specifically for the purpose of retrieving either item is actually something that people do, so I'd be hesitant about those examples).
To a larger point, I think we need to be very careful about telling people what not to contribute, and should instead try to find ways that allow people to contribute in areas that they are interested in - for example, an article on doll collecting may not make sense, but including listings for doll museums or doll stores in articles would make sense. In this case, Abyssal clearly has an interest in contributing fossil-related info, and we definitely want that info in destination articles, but if it also ends up in a general guide for fossil collecting, I see no harm. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:51, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't care if the activity is popular or not. I just don't know that collecting seashells or fossils constitutes as travel. As for postcards, there are countries where people do/must travel to get certain postcards like Japan's Gotochi cards. To get a specific prefecture's card, you MUST buy it at a post office within that prefecture [2]. I could write a guide to collecting them, with information about the cards, the mini-cards, what post offices have Saturday, Sunday, and holiday hours for those traveling on these common travel days, possibly websites where people trade the cards for those who cannot go to the location, etc. BUT would an article about these cards meet our goals? Would you say they do? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 11:16, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Websites where people who can't travel trade collectables are obviously not germane to this site. However, I would hold that you could create a valid travel topic about Gotochi card collecting. I know you've disagreed with this in the past. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:29, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I think I would feel more comfortable with the fossil hunting portion if it was not solely that. If the focus was on museums or other places that feature unique fossils/the most complete/ holotypes / "best specimens" of particular species, famous dig sites that can be viewed, etc. and THEN include places to do it yourself it would seem to have a travel-focus. But a "Where to pan for gold"-type article just seems like it's left the realm of travel. Abbyssal, could you perhaps expand the "See" section to say specifically what is noteworthy about those locations and the fossils that are on display there? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 14:44, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
If you have a look at the article draft, sections for museums and other attraction are included already. Still, I don't see any difference between traveling for diving or for fossil digging. Both are valid travel topics. The latter can even be done without any special equipment and qualification. I am happy for the diversity in travel topics and we should be careful not to be too keen to discourage new contributors, who have slightly different interests. As for Paleotourism, this term is very unspecific and broad, it can also include prehistory or archeology. Danapit (talk) 16:20, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I think that these could go either way. I'd be surprised if you really "must" go to a post office to get a gotochi card (ever heard of eBay before?), but an itinerary that takes you past to each prefecture to get a complete set (or a couple of itineraries, since that might be a long trip) would be a fabulous travel idea. Similarly, you can "collect" fossils without leaving your home, but you can't "hunt" them without traveling. It's just a matter of focus and the approach you take to writing the pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Pictures of food[edit]

Is it OK to add pictures of food at restaurants mentioned on Wikivoyage? I already have several pictures of food, from Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Stockholm, Munich, Nice, and other cities too, but not all of the restaurants are already mentioned on Wikivoyage. JIP (talk) 20:56, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

Should be fine if it is an example of regional food Germany#Typical dishes or a specific special dish of a local restaurant (Dayton#Eat). --Traveler100 (talk) 21:01, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Of course we allow food pictures! We used to have an entire hierarchy of image categories on WT Shared just for food. However, I would suggest keeping the images representative of the destination's cuisine rather than focusing on the specific restaurant at which the picture was taken (unless the dish is particularly notable as a specialty of that establishment). Powers (talk) 21:05, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
The question (as I read it) is not can we show pictures of food, but rather can we show pictures of food identified at listed restaurants? I think some high end restaurants have a policy around taking pictures and publishing their dishes. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:36, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
In the hypothetical case of a restaurant's no-photographing-the-food policy being violated and the resultant picture being placed on Commons (or here), the dispute is between the individual photographer and the restaurant. To my knowledge - and I don't think I'm wrong about this - there's no legal precedent for preemptively claiming copyright ownership of the image of food before it's even been cooked. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:42, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems like a very edge case of a restauranteur taking exception to an image of their served food being placed on Commons. Since pictures of food are not known to be covered by copyright in any jurisdiction, I would say it is a non-issue at this point in time --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:51, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
New York times article on how annoying the practice of food photography is, and how little legal structure there is around it. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:53, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I think that just as a matter of good faith, we should honor any request by a restaurant to remove an image identified as being one of its food, if they so request. Otherwise, there is no problem as long as posting the photo isn't regarded as unduly promotional. I think, for example, that a photo of a Katz's pastrami sandwich, given that it's of a famous New York food served at a truly legendary restaurant that's highly respected by both New Yorkers and visitors, would be fine, but a photo of a tuna melt at Joe Schmo's Diner in Anywheresville would not be OK to post, as it's not special and Joe Schmo's Diner doesn't merit the publicity. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:10, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Each listing has an optional "image=" parameter. Usually we put an image of the outside or entrance of the restaurant, but if a dish is more representative (for instance if this restaurant is famous and recommended for this particular dish), I think that using a picture of that dish is a good idea. For instance the listing for Mère Poularde could have the picture of their world-famous omelette. I agree with the others that we should not worry about copyright on food pictures until a restaurant contact us (which I doubt will ever happen). Cheers! Syced (talk) 08:29, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
The image parameter in a listing is a very different thing from an image that's shown in an article. Images meant to identify a business on a map aren't governed strictly by the don't tout concerns applicable to articles. To give one example, it's perfectly reasonable to use a very recognizable company logo in the image parameter of a listing, but usually not reasonable at all to feature it in an article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:50, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Unless these were shot as works for hire, the original copyright belongs to the photographer. We are more lax with "promotional images" in the {{listing|image...}} tags, but there is no clear policy. A picture of the establishment or a specific product closely associated with that venue may be reasonable in the "image=" field (where it would usually be avoided for the article page images) but endless repetition of a corporate logo (such as the "Golden Arches" for food or the "Great Sign" for inns) adds nothing useful. A picture of a hamburger, a glass of soda/pop or a slice of pizza could be just about any restaurant, so adds nothing descriptive, but that place in Montréal that just makes bagels has a close association to Montréal bagels as a distinctive identifier. If a food item is closely associated with a geographic region (such as Buffalo being hunted for their wings), then a photo of that item in the main article body (preferably in a vendor-neutral fashion) is reasonable and expected. K7L (talk) 13:46, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

What I would be wanting is to simply display pictures of food at restaurants that I've already added to Wikivoyage. I have taken all the pictures myself (and of course eaten the food myself too), and I don't think the restaurants would mind. I usually photograph every single restaurant dish I ever eat, except for normal lunch restaurants on a normal working day. I'm not planning on adding every single photograph of a restaurant dish I have eaten on Wikivoyage, just ones at restaurants already on Wikivoyage, and even then only one picture per restaurant. Case in point: The discussion here seems to have mentioned authentic local cuisine. As a specific case, when I was in Munich in late May, I took pictures of local Bavarian sausage dishes at the Augustiner-Keller and at Bratwurst Glöckl, and also of a hamburger at restaurant La Cucaracha. The Bavarian sausages fit well into the local cuisine, but the hamburger does not fit at all. Am I still allowed to add a picture of the hamburger, because I photographed and ate it in Munich, and there's already a listing of La Cucaracha, even though Mexican-themed hamburgers are nowhere near authentic Bavarian cuisine? JIP (talk) 21:15, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

There isn't a rule as to what food you are 'allowed' to show in an article. That said, it would be preferable to use pictures that are representative of the destination in question as well as not overwhelming the article with them.
FYI, you should check out Bavarian_cuisine that currently doesn't have many images and could probably use some of your photos. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:31, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
One of the things that our friends at de-WV do better (as of now) is their coverage on food and cuisine. We might want to create some equivalents of their article on that topic in the next few months... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:36, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed on Bavarian cuisine as a good article for pictures of Bavarian Würste, but it's definitely fine to put a picture of a Wurst from a famous Brauhaus either in the Munich article or the article for the relevant district within Munich. I don't think a photo of a hamburger in Munich is likely to be relevant to any WV article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:50, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, this is awkward...[edit]

Guy who's doing the fossil collecting series here. I've been using a book called Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States by Jasper Burns as my primary source for fossil sites in West Virginia. I've actually been considering visiting one of these sites and decided to scope the place out on Google maps. I found that the area depicted in the book had apparently overgrown considerably and it's difficult to tell exactly how much rock is even exposed there now. It's likely there are still some fossils to be found there, but it doesn't look like the site is the prime collecting ground promised by Burns in his book any more.

I thought that this book was published fairly recently, maybe around 2005 or so, but it actually dates back to 1991. I've lost a lot of confidence in it's reliability as a source of specific fossil sites and I'm not sure how to proceed. It's likely that even if fossils aren't available at the exact site Burns discusses that similar fossils can still be found in the local areas. Is it okay to list it like that? Like "Such-and-such fossils" were reportedly available at [specific location in area] in 1991, but if this exposure is no longer available or productive try searching for other rock exposures in the local area like road cuts or quarries"?

I'd hate to lead someone astray if fossils aren't available at specific localities but that's kind of the nature of the game. Sometimes land gets bought by private owners, or grows up, or gets played out, or is only avilable seasonally. There really aren't any guarantees. On one hand, the more specific I am, the more likely the information is to be misleading and outdated. On the other, the more general it is, the less immediately useful it is. I was wondering if you guys had an opinion on what the proper balance would be. Abyssal (talk) 18:39, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

It's a wiki. Sooner or later someone who's been there will set the record straight. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:57, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

United States Botanic Garden quandary[edit]

So, After deciding "Hey, I have contributed to wikipedia for awhile, AND contributed to Openstreetmapp for awhile now, looking through the WikiMedia projects, Wikivoyage seems like a great place for me to help out" I ended up doing just that. One of the places I had in mind when I first decided to contribute here was one of my favorite tourist attractions in Washington, D.C., the United States Botanic Garden. I had expected that There would be something on it here, but nope, nada. I started looking by going to DC's page, then navigating to the National Mall's page Not finding the gardens listed, I was a bit confused at first, then I saw how on the map, the mall stops just before the area where the gardens should be. So, then I navigated to the adjacent district, Waterfront. It wasn't there either. I searched for pages with the phrase "United States Botanic Garden" and then "United States Botanical Garden" and got no results. Now I intend to add the place myself, But I am not sure where to place it. It seems llike a logical thing to place in the Mall, because it is just right there on the end of the southern line of museums, right across from the National Museum of the American Indian, and what is a botanical garden if not a sort of museum for living plants? Also, I imagine tourists to the area would be more likely to associate the gardens with the Mall than with the Waterfront area. So what I'm asking is if it's ok to list the United States Botanic Garden on the Mall's page even if that little green area marking out the Mall's designated area. Responses would be appreciated, Thanks! Sarr Cat (talk) 21:58, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

If the garden is at least partially located within the boundaries of the Washington, D.C./National Mall, or on the border of that district, then listing it in that article makes perfect sense. If it's wholly located in another district you could consider adding a brief mention in the Mall article (something like "other attractions, such as the National Botanical Garden, are located within a short walk from the Mall on the Waterfront"), with the full listing in the Waterfront article. In general it's best to list destinations within the article for the area in which they are geographically located. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:41, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
The Botanic Garden has already been listed at Capitol Hill for some time (it's also on the static map for that district). It's listed as "U.S. Botanic Garden", which might be why your search results didn't turn up anything. Eco84 (talk) 23:11, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Ok, that make sense, thanks for the response! Sarr Cat (talk) 23:15, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I just knew there was no way User:Peterfitzgerald had omitted such an important listing. =) Powers (talk) 23:21, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Could add 'alt=United States Botanic Garden' to the listing - imagine search would find it then -- or change the name field and use U.S. Botanic Garden as alt field. Just a thought. - Matroc (talk) 01:34, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea to me! Which name should take precedence in this situation? Does WV have a policy on that? Sarr Cat (talk) 05:42, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
If the official name is "United States Botanic Garden", please feel free to simply edit the listing to make that the name. It's completely reasonable and not a big deal to make that kind of change. Unless you have a reason to think it would be controversial, do it any time you like in any article where it's appropriate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:55, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Ok, making the change now! :) Sarr Cat (talk) 06:10, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
When you wonder whether a POI (Point Of Interest) already exists or not on Wikivoyage English, here is the first thing I would recommend to do:
  • Go to http://maps.wikivoyage-ev.org/w/gpxmap.php?lang=en
  • Zoom to your region and select a zone of about 10 articles around the place
  • Press the "Download GPX file" button in the upper left
  • Open the GPX file with any maps program or app (for instance OsmAnd)
  • You now have a map showing all POIs in the area. You can easily find the POI, even if it is in the wrong neighbour.
This is also a great tool to spot what POIs should be moved from an article to another. All of this only works for POIs with latitude/longitude though. Cheers! Syced (talk) 06:27, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

NEW APP! Wikivoyage offline on your Android[edit]

Wikivoyage on your phone! Get it from Google Play Store now!

  • 100% offline
  • Works out-of-the-box
  • Whole world, only 918MB including maps/images
  • Click on a POI to open it in your GPS app

Please report any bug. This app has a huge potential: Once the app is rock-solid, it might become a way to attract new editors to Wikivoyage. But first we need your feedback! Currently known issues: 1) Welcome page is broken 2) Articles have no table of contents 3) Large images/maps are off to the left Syced (talk) 06:58, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Do the dynamic maps also work in offline mode? If so then that would be a nice feature. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:07, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah offline dynamic maps would be awesome, unfortunately the Kiwix engine does not support that yet. At least we should embed a "frozen" version of the dynamic maps. For now, the best is to generate a GPX file for the area using http://maps.wikivoyage-ev.org/w/gpxmap.php?lang=en before leaving home. Syced (talk) 07:57, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, so basically it just holds static maps (images) if they exist?
Actually given that we have the geo-coordinates of listings, perhaps we can just leverage the mobile Google Apps... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:44, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Clicking on a listing opens your favorite maps app. But showing all listings on a single map requires either implementing a GPX algorithm in Kiwix, or using "frozen" maps. Syced (talk) 06:08, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Dynamic to static maps within Kiwix[edit]

This problem has been solved by the amazing people at Kiwix per [3]. That means a static version of our dynamic maps will be in the files :-) Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:39, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Reading the bug report, it doesn't say that it will render Dynamic maps into Static maps. It just says that it will use Static maps if the 'staticmap' attribute is used. AFAIK this attribute is not used very much. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:40, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I was emailed by the lead of Kiwix who said he fixed it and the dynamic maps should be there as static in the July edition. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:20, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
If correct then that would be very interesting. The same technique could generate Static maps for our print view as well. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:01, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Andrewssi2 is correct, we have to create/maintain staticmap attributes on our side. Kiwix will include a static map only when there is such a staticmap attribute. I wrote the DoraStone script for this purpose, but unfortunately a bug on my machine prevents me from using it. Anyone willing to become the project leader for that script? Thanks! Syced (talk) 07:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Please test the new banners[edit]

Hi all!

Sumit is implementing banners into Mediawiki itself. It will be rolled out to Wikivoyage when finished, so your early feedback would be appreciated :-) Here is a test page: http://pagebanner.wmflabs.org/wiki/Spain

  • Done: Notice the breadcrumb and badges (star/unesco/otbp/dotm/ftt). Wikidata integration also works.
  • In progress: The index is being developed right now, with drop-downs, and not visible yet. Mobile banners (which is one of the main benefits of implementing banners inside Mediawiki) are not implemented yet.

Thanks for your feedback! Syced (talk) 03:05, 12 June 2015 (UTC)


What are we expected to provide feedback on? In the example shown there doesn't appear to have even Wikidata integration yet. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:06, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Cool, it looks like progress is being made. It's hard to test it much though without a ToC and, like Andrewssi2 said, there doesn't appear to be Wikidata integration yet. One thing I noticed in a test edit [4] is the standard Wikimedia ToC appears if sections are added -- I assume the standard ToC will be turned off once the horizontal ToC is developed?
Another thing I noticed was the banner doesn't display properly when previewing an edit: it's broken down into it parts (i.e., the pagename appears first, then the banner and then the badges). It's not a biggie since it displays properly once the page is saved but it looks odd in the preview. Cheers -Shaundd (talk) 04:23, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi all, a few clarifications from my side, regarding the pagebanner extension:
  • Wikidata integration is enabled, but since wikidata cannot be linked to a test wiki, the test wiki has its own wikibase repository. If you see New York it is fetching a banner from item page Q2, a wikidata item on the test wiki itself. The item Q2 about New York is having a Wikivoyage Banner property P2 with a value set to a valid banner on commons Manhattan Wikivoyage Banner.jpg, just like on the real wikidata wiki, to mock the entire setup.
  • "No banners on preview" is still a task to be achieved and is being tracked in the bug T100983.
  • The TOC development is in progress, and yes the default TOC will be disabled once the drop-down TOCs are enabled.
  • Pages that do not have {{PAGEBANNER}} or an associated wikidata item with a banner statement, automatically get a default banner. Thanks! --Sumit.iitp (talk) 08:42, 12 June 2015 (UTC)
Note: - There is no single default default banner in use on en.wikivoyage - believe there are 10+. Would only a single default banner (perhaps Pagebanner default.jpg) be used in the future -- Matroc (talk) 16:47, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: Banners now have a table of content, with sub-items (hovering Eat shows a sub-menu with Budget, Mid-range, Splurge). Live example: http://pagebanner.wmflabs.org/wiki/Roppongi Syced (talk) 09:10, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Wow, that looks smart! Great job :) When can we implement them? Danapit (talk) 09:19, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
The dropdown menus made me smile. Powers (talk) 15:13, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, the functionality seems to be coming along nicely. What additional feedback would be useful? Or would it be best to just keep an eye on things and then report any issues when it's in a more complete state? -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:29, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Great to have the subheadings accessible from the TOC again! ϒpsilon (talk) 15:47, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Has anyone tried this on the 'droids, tablets, assorted Apple toys or whatever other mobile gadget the kids use these days? K7L (talk) 18:40, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Seems to work with Android tablets. ϒpsilon (talk) 05:17, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I was trying with a smartphone, it's Samsung S_something (don't laugh at me, I don't even know what type I have) with Andoid system. Sadly, I didn't find a way to switch it to mobile version and in the desktop version the banner was really microscopic - I could somehow get the drop-down menu, but I didn't have enough fine motorics to select some particular submenu, however I could successfuly open a random submenu. That's good! Danapit (talk) 12:06, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Mobile is the next task, actually! :-) You can follow Sumit's progress and next tasks on the workboard. Syced (talk) 10:23, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Syced, btw, we still have another problem with the page banners. The bot that was run from time to time to transfer wikivoyage banners to wikidata is not available any more (the operator probably retired). Is there a chance to somehow add this task to this project as anoter work package? Danapit (talk) 18:22, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
You are very right, it is quite a big problem. We should prepare a very clear description of the task, and post it to a place where bot developers hang out. Syced (talk) 03:03, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I'll try to write it down. Once finished, we can discuss where to put it. Danapit (talk) 18:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #3—2015[edit]

10:44, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Number of Cities in each country/state/region[edit]

This is just my opinion, but I don't think that 9 cities is a large enough number to show the best of a country/state/region. I think this should be increased, but that's just me. If anyone agrees, reply here. Donny (talk) 22:58, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

How about if we disagree? ;-) I'd be happy with the nice round number of 10, but it would create a lot of unnecessary work on all sorts of pages where the list of 9 was thrashed out on the talk page. If people would like to change from 9 to 10, I would support it, but I think making the list longer than 10 in non-bottom-level region articles risks making it cumbersome. Remember that there is no limit to how many cities can be listed in bottom-level regional articles, though if the list gets super-long, a further subdivision of the region might be worth considering. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:14, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I prefer keeping the limit at 9 per the 7 + 2 rule. Personally I believe that if there is a big gap between say, the seventh most important city in the region and the eighth and ninth most important cities, the eighth and ninth cities should be removed too. Prioritizing is a key element in writing a travel guide. What you leave out is just as important as what you include. We have to guide the reader in a particular direction. Travel articles lose value when they are very open-ended and just an indiscriminate collection of information. Gizza (t)(c) 02:23, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I see the 7 + 2 rule as being used as a pretext to split province/states into regions which are split into more regions, just to have no more than nine villages in each. Most of these intermediate region articles are very empty and not particularly useful to the voyageur. K7L (talk) 17:46, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps we need a "Beef up the Regions Expedition" - :) Matroc (talk) 19:10, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
If we disagree, so be it. I was just stating my mind, what I thought; doesn't mean it has to be right, but I was just saying. Didn't mean for it to go this far into conversation. Sorry for stating an opinion. Donny (talk) 21:20, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I do see the problem. While Rio San Juan Region is a distinctive region with even some cultural traits (even more so if you discount Juigalpa and other places that were tacked onto it), regions along the line of Eastern County X or the regions that were more or less copied from de-WV (without much of the content) and contain one city anybody not living within a hundred kilometer radius from the place has ever heard of, are hard to write good non-stubby articles about. Maybe we should rethink our coverage on a number of small and tiny places that may be interesting for travel but also be a series of "village/suburban entity A is almost a carbon copy of village/suburban entity B as is village/suburban entity C" ad nauseam. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:41, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
It's never wrong to state an opinion, unless the opinion is something purely inflammatory or something (which this of course is not). Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:45, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Eastern County X should be a bottom-level article, not a region. Prince Edward County as a municipality would be one example. K7L (talk) 14:24, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I believe the 7+/-2 rule is serving as well, however unnerving it can get at times. If anything, I'd propose taking a more favourable look at articles on entire regions whose individual destinations will never make for a really meaty guide, but we can write a bottom-level guide for them taken as a whole. PrinceGloria (talk) 14:34, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I think regardless of the number of towns in regions, many of our bottom level regions need a thorough sweeping, as do many of the places that are only listed in our bottom level regions. In many cases combining several regions seems to me to be the way to go. In other cases there may simply not be enough substance to keep a certain article as a standalone "city" guide... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:36, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
What the heck is Eastern Country X? Donny (talk) 17:34, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
A generic name for bottom level region like this one Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:52, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Oh...kay. Donny (talk) 00:27, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
What I want to say with that is that we have too many small bottom level regions with hardly anything in them, that often link to even stubbier stubs for the "cities" they are composed of Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:18, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Um...oh...kay. Donny (talk) 00:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
If you're not grokking what Hobbitschuster is saying, you're more than welcome to bow out of the discussion, but as it is now your tone is bordering on uncivil. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:34, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Donny is a young man who started editing WV just this year and has made less than a thousand edits so far, and is a student in high school. I've never lived in the US and may be missing some verbal nuances of what Donny says (and I had to look up what "grokking" meant), but I'm not reading his comments as bordering on uncivil. I'm just wondering if we old hands can cut a bit more slack and be more positively encouraging for a young man and relative newcomer who is learning the ways of our site. Nurg (talk) 08:18, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I do actually understand what Hobbitschuster is saying, but it's like its being figuratively thrown at me. Thank you Nurg for the backup. I never should of started this, but I just thought the whole "7 plus/minus 2" rule was restrictive on country and state articles only. And I could use without the fancy lingo like "grok", thank you. Donny (talk) 22:23, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
That rule applies to all non-bottom-level region articles. Let's keep in mind that it's often easy to misread tone online. I actually thought you were being uncivil, but it doesn't sound like you meant to be. On the other hand, having to look up a word now and then doesn't seem like a big deal to me, and it's OK for all of us to try harder to seem calm and collegial. I know I'm sometimes guilty of getting irritated too easily, myself. In the end, this is just a travel guide, and unless we give grossly dangerous advice somewhere, mistakes here are unlikely to get anyone killed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:36, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how any of our advice could even possibly get non-stupid people killed. Well maybe apart from using the racist slur nickname of a certain NFL team. But back to the topic at hand: Are some floor level sub-sub-sub-sub-regions excessive subdivisions and if so how should we handle them instead? Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:47, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Gotcha, guys. I thought it applied to the broader articles, but if it applies to lower level articles as well, then let it be. And some sub-sub-sub regions are excessive. My guess to handle them is to list them in the articles one level above from it. Just a guess. Don't have to go with it. Donny (talk) 12:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. What do you want to list in the article one level above from them? regions? Cities? Something else entirely? Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:34, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I thought that would've been vague, but I meant list things in each city in the region articles if the city itself is so small it would make a stub article. Say if Katy, Texas would end up as a stub if created, list the local hotels, restaurants and attractions in the region it is located, which in this case would be Greater Houston/Harris County/etc. I'm just stating if it would end up as a stub, which it is not, I don't think. Donny (talk) 16:02, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) Donny: What you're suggesting sounds like what we already do in some cases. Take a look at Rural Montgomery County. Theoretically we could break down that article into its constituent cities, but they would most likely all be stubs. Instead, we treat it as if it were a city itself, including listings in the See, Eat, Drink, Sleep, etc. sections. —The preceding comment was added by AndreCarrotflower (talkcontribs)

I wouldn't want to see individual listings for food and lodging being pushed into the region articles; that creates an awkward precedent where every owner of a five-room motel in the middle of nowhere tries to list it in United States of America#Sleep just to get a higher placement in the hierarchy - they might even try to promote themselves by listing the same property at multiple levels of region/subregion/locality. That gets spammy quickly. Better to create articles which cover a small city surrounded by individually-listed regional villages (like Cobourg) or a large rural area (like Prince Edward County) and put all the country motels and B&B houses there. K7L (talk) 17:10, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
K7L, the proposal as I understand it isn't to simply allow listings in region articles willy-nilly. It's to take second-from-the-bottom level region articles whose bottom-level articles are all stubs, and convert them into bottom-level city articles with listings and the whole bit (and, I imagine, the bottom-level stubs redirected to their parent article). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:35, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
That's reasonable, if the article is converted from a region to a city/locality destination page first. The proposal needs to be more clearly worded, however, as it looks at first glance like an invitation to stick purely-local listings for businesses in rural villages into the region article while it remains at region level... and that would encourage a lot of spam. K7L (talk) 17:45, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Since this went further than I wanted it to, with just a simple question, I'm out. This is the end of my participation in the conversation. Donny (talk) 17:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I like the idea, though I am not sure whether calling the default bottom level place "city" helps a lot in that. Maybe we should create a new category along the lines of "rural destination" (which could than also include my earlier "island" proposal for places like Sylt which are currently "cities"). Nevertheless, this is a line of thinking that merits further discussion / movement in that direction imho Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:36, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
To clarify: islands should if they are a distinct unit (unlike islands you can get in by subway and through fifteen different bridges or tunnels) and are decidedly non urban should be covered as one single "rural destination" if and where it makes sense. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:41, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd suggest "locality" as the general term for a bottom level (city-level) article which may contain any of {one individual city, a small city surrounded by rural villages, a cluster of small towns, a small village surrounded by parkland or open space, a large rural area}.
"Island" should not be treated differently as an article type. If an island contains a city (like Montréal), use the huge city template; if it just contains one borough (like Manhattan, what do you expect for $24?) it's probably a district, if it contains a large (Anticosti-sized) rural area, treat it like any similar large rural area. If an island is split between two countries (like Hispaniola), create two country-level articles and put the two pieces in them. If there are a thousand islands ranging in size from "individual private cottage" to "small, under-1000 person rural farm village", then expect to group these multiple small points to something of usable size (not a thousand articles with one listing in each). K7L (talk) 14:47, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Manhattan is not a district. It's a borough with a bunch of different neighborhoods that are covered separately as districts. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:45, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

(starting at the left end again) I do agree that not all islands should be treated differently because they are islands. But often enough treating one island or a group of islands as a single entity just makes organic sense. take for example Ometepe. While it does have two "cities" (Moyogalpa and Altagracia) many people stay in neither town but instead somewhere else on the island, e.g. the Maderas side of the island. Maybe we could cover that under a (clumsily named) header like "Maderas side of Ometepe". The whole article would probably get too long if we listed all accommodation (including that in Altagracia and Moyogalpa) in one place but it would make even less sense to give an article to every speck on the map the size of Redford (New York). Maybe there are even articles about "Paper towns" that somebody created in a blatant copvyo of some map or other... Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:23, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Routeboxes for High speed rail lines[edit]

I have seen several routeboxes in articles on the USA, mostly related to streets running through the place and have also seen similar things for Autobahns on de-WV. Now as many people traveling those parts of the world where they exist will probably take high speed rail, maybe we should create or improve routeboxes for high speed rail lines. Now as I see it the problem for those lines - at least in Germany - is that they don't have any specific wide known name. The line itself is usually called something incredibly bland along the lines of "Neubaustrecke Frankfurt-Köln" and the trains running on them are usually referred to by their termini (e.g. ICE Hamburg-München) and only rarely by any number they may officially have. I know this is at least somewhat different for Japan and France where at least the lines have names like "LGV Atlantique" or "Tohoku-Shinkansen". Any thoughts on the issue? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:37, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

I think we had a few of these in Japan, at least they existed when the data was brought over from WT to WV in 2012. K7L (talk) 17:18, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
We have route boxes also for rail routes, at least the Trans-Siberian, Australian long-distance trains and the Korea Train eXpress. Feel free to add such ones to the German articles too if you like. As train lines do not have names (the ICE trains themselves do, if I remember correctly), then I think it's just fine to write them in the form "ICE Hamburg-München". ϒpsilon (talk) 17:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
We do indeed have them for Japan. If I am not mistaken (almost) all named trains were "de-named" shortly after the "ICE Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen" (whose name and number were of course immediately revoked) crashed near Eschede, killing 101 people. Maybe some "ICE-Sprinter" still have names though. The problem is that I do not know how to design a routebox and where to take the image(s) from. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:29, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
I have now experimented a bit on the articles on Limburg an der Lahn and Siegburg. Mostly because they don't have all that many ICE-trains stopping there to begin with. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:10, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

A further thought: Wouldn't it be a good idea to create a template like we have for listings where you can just add the information more easily? one box for the logo, another for the directions/termini and than the next major and minor stops in either direction. As it stands now it is rather finicky to implement. Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Could I please get feedback whether the routeboxes I have added are done correctly and whether I can proceed in the same vein? (If you want to check out which lines pass through a town, just search for the station on de-WP and look at "Fernverkehr") Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Status usable and above; again.[edit]

If you look at Wikivoyage:Article status and the list provided there, you will see, that there are disproportionately few regions and countries in one of the two higher categories. As a matter of fact Singapore as the only "star country" is dealt with rather like a huge city, so we could argue there are no star countries in the actual meaning of the term at all. the recent guidification of Germany is the result of a lot of hard work, that interestingly enough changed very little about the article itself but greatly improved coverage on places like North Hesse. Now I somewhat understand the rationale that in order to make something "star" or "guide" there has to at least be some coverage on the ranks of the latter beneath it. But this creates strange situations rather very often. While Nauru was the first country to get "guide" status, places like Germany or France whose coverage has probably a lot more value to the traveler are usable or were "outline" until recently. Is it even possible to get a country to guide status without lots and lots of work (whereas elevating a city to guide status can be done in a couple of days at the most)? Or does it only work for small countries that don't need to be further subdivided? And bearing all that in mind doesn't it shine a different light on our stubby outline bottom level regions? Maybe we should put the same note that we put on itineraries there as well, that the article will be deleted within such and such if no further content is added. Printed travel guides sometimes mention the name of a place within a normal text or only say that a place exists. Of course we are not necessarily bound by the same limitations, but maybe instead of a bottom level region that links to twelve stubby outline articles on hamlets nobody has ever heard of, we could transform those into articles that cover the whole region as one? In short the whole issue is complicated and I hope this is the right place to raise it, as I would like to draw attention to something which I see as good intentions going horribly wrong. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Thousand Islands was converted in this manner, it was originally intended as a sub-region of Northern New York even though there's nothing under it but a handful of under-1000 population villages, parkland, cottages and a few once-impressive castles which are not large enough for their own individual articles. It is now a bottom-level destination which doesn't align well with the structure above it (as it's divided by an international boundary) and the only sign it was ever a pointless sub-region is the bizarre inclusion of a "Talk" section.
That said, the itinerary-style "this will be deleted if it doesn't expand beyond outline in a year" position is hard to justify, given our reticence to delete real places. Maybe United States of America should be deleted if Washida County (Oklahoma)#Connect doesn't improve in a hurry, maybe not. Most likely, it would just make things more difficult for the next person trying to fix the issue, as they'd have to start over from zero. (Admittedly, we *did* delete Underground Railroad once, but that's a hopeless basket case of an itinerary which, almost by definition, will never be complete.) At some points, New York State is a mess of subregions inside regions inside a region that vary from comprehensive to empty shells or utter rubbish, much of it created to avoid more than 7+2 cities per region. That is likely preventing a federated state-level page from being guide, star or anything else as we have great coverage at both ends (Buffalo/Rochester and NYC) and widely-variable coverage in the middle. Nonetheless, if some of the subregions are empty shells or placeholders just to list more articles beneath them, we should merge, not delete, as these are nominally real places. K7L (talk) 18:21, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps Underground Railroad should be converted into a travel topic? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:43, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Well I think the bottom-up approach is harmful if the bottom is empty. It may be in some cases that our bottom level regions are "rotten boroughs" just like the British constituencies of the early 19th century where 20 people got 2 representatives because their hamlet used to be important in 1256. But I think in most cases floor level subregions were created because the "technically existing places" within it were getting "too many" (even though most of them were stubby outlines) and now we have to bear the cross of trying to fill something that is mostly empty in reality. I know that it is not an easy issue to fix, that's why I raised it here to get input from as many people as possible. Maybe thousand-islandification of a bunch of rural floor-level sub-sub-subregions is a good idea.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:57, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
I personally think that articles about small and unimportant places should be merged as far as possible. One article about a region is much better than a collection of stubs. On the other hand, it is often difficult to find the best way to split things into articles before you starting writing about a region. But I think it is perfectly fine to put information into the region article and transform all its constituent destinations into redirects. --Alexander (talk) 14:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I think this is really two separate topics. No stubby bottom-level region should be keeping any country of significant size from being a Guide or a Star. The United States of America was recently promoted to Guide despite hundreds of problematic region articles. Powers (talk) 14:52, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Yet many people protested we were "moving to fast" when Germany was made guide, because Middle Franconia could have a bit more content. Seeing that while we do have way way way too many outline cities, there are quite a sizable number of cities and districts that have reached "guide" status or above, whereas for countries we have one star, that is actually a huge city. One guide about a small country (Nauru if I am not mistaken) and two countries whose promotion to guide came only recently after an effort to do exactly that, mostly from a "letter of the law" standpoint. For regions it is even worse. We have uncountable bare outlines (which we should deal with, one way or the other) and only one star region, Bali and twenty guide regions, mostly in the Asia-Pacific area. One of which Northern Territory has a redlink "other destination" by the way. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:22, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
To compare Nauru and Germany, I would say that it makes sense that Nauru (a smaller country with less attractions) would be easier to promote than Germany (assuming that both countries had knowledgeable contributors). I don't see an issue there. Some countries are larger than others. Some countries have more tourist attractions than others. Likewise, it was easier to get Singapore to guide and star status. What is the issue? As far as I know, no nation has dissolved as a result of not being a star article on Wikivoyage, and there is nothing logical about saying that France or Germany must be given guide status before Nauru. No nation or region has any privilege over another. If you are arguing that the content in the Nauru article is all fluff and not useful, then you should propose the demotion of Nauru not the promotion of Germany. I don't think anyone would oppose a star region simply because there are a few stub/outline articles at the lowest level. Personally, I'd rather see stubs and outlines than haphazardly merged content that is often seemingly placed at random into other articles, making them difficult to locate. If the region is directly above the lowest level, then I don't see a problem with mentioning that although some articles below remain outlines they are not among the major destinations of the region and that coverage is in fact quite stellar if that is the truth. There is nothing wrong with just letting outlines be. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:48, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
For all I care the "small country that has guide status" could be Vatican City. For some reason it is Nauru. And what I want to say is that our criteria are either laughably lenient for small countries (they don't have to get hundreds of subregions with thousands of cities in them, sometimes needlessly complicated by the love for redlinks some regions seem to have) or ridiculously strict for big(ger) countries. If you look at Germany and the places that immediately come to mind (Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt) our coverage on these places already serves the traveler well. If you think about Nauru most people's initial reaction would be "Is that an actual place?". I think the issue is one of a cat biting its own tail. Of course the immediate subregions are somewhat important. However, the major cities (and in some cases the major "other destinations") are more important to most travelers. Most travelers don't go to Delaware, they go to New York City. Currently our criteria make Northern Delaware out to be more important for the status of the US than Manhattan which is - quite frankly - ridiculous. I don't have a quick fix and the last thing I would want is for Nauru to lose its probably deserved status (heck had somebody made the effort to bring Tuvalu up to guide, I would now be bashing that place instead), but I do think that something about the current system is broken and needs to be fixed. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

(indent) Don't the regional articles only need to be at usable status? That's not such a high bar. I still don't understand why you think Germany or the United States deserve privilege over smaller countries? Vatican City is a compact city-state. It's smaller and has less attractions than any single top 9 city in Germany. Why is it "unfair" that it is easier to promote Vatican City than the entire nation of Germany or the even greater United States where each state is like a country? Also the idea that because Germany receives more tourists than the Pacific Islands that they should be held back on that basis? Looking at the Nauru article, it looks rather scant and probably could be moved to usable, but it must be on the grounds of its own content; It is offensive to use arbitrary criteria such as "Germany receives more visitors and is more well known and is just overall a better country than Nauru/Tuvalu/(any Pacific Island Nation) therefore, those nations should never have a higher status than Germany".

Your point about the Delaware subregions may be valid, but I really cannot see why you think it would be at all reasonable to establish some sort of anti-Pacific Island Policy to disallow status upgrades even when, as you say, their higher statuses are "probably deserved". If it's not about content, it just seems prejudicial. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:37, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

It could be Kosovo for all I care. The entire point I am trying to make is that small countries by virtue of being small (in fact Vatican City is a "city" in our hierarchy) can get to higher statuses more easily than bigger countries. Which appears to be counter-intuitive as well as counterproductive. I mean, there is no rule over at WP that says an article can't get one of their status thingies if it links to a sub-par article. The word "outline" means to me, that while it may be apparent where this page could be going (it is "lined out") there is not all that much content present. Now, you can't really argue that that's the case for all of the regions and countries that are currently classified as such, mostly due to some of their subregions having an issue. Heck the whole continent of Europe is supposedly an outline. Whereas Antarctica is "usable". There is no systemic bias for or against countries in any specific part of the world (though you could argue, that there is actually systemic bias against the US as there appear to be more bare-outline subdivisions and small places nobody has ever heard about) but there is a systemic bias in favor of small countries. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:05, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So, in theory, Grand Bruit could be promoted were we to catalogue absolutely everything in that particular ghost town, but getting Trans-Canada Highway beyond "usable" is going to be 8030km (plus all the alternate routes) and uphill both ways? K7L (talk) 17:08, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Just an aside: Rome/Vatican is a district article, not a city article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:15, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course it is easier for smaller countries to get to a higher status level. For example I think the current content the Nauru article is close to 100% of what can be written about the island unless we start listing plumbers and painters. Actually I expanded the article a while back using Italian WV, Wikipedia and other online sources and whatever travel-relevant stuff I could find I added to the article. So of course the article is a guide. In the same way, listing all ten things that are potentially of interest to a traveler in a small village brings it up to guide status but listing just ten random things in Manhattan would maybe not make that article even usable.
But it's far from impossible to get countries to guide or star status. Actually now when I look closer at the requirements it's surprisingly easy to get a country to Guide status. (1.) The article itself should look tidy and give readers information about culture, prominent attractions etc. (2.) The articles —18 at most— listed in Cities and Other destinations need to be Usable or better, roughly having some useful info in Get in, See, Eat and Sleep. (3.) The immediate subregions (usually not more than ten) have to be at usable status. This means that the most important city and other destination have to be Usable and some attractions and ways to get in should be mentioned. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d be several countries at usable or outline level that could be upgraded to guide level right now.
Star status obviously has more strict requirements — we need to remember that out of 20000+ articles we have about 20+ stars. For this (1.) a country article needs to be perfect and all the destinations and subregions have to be guides or better. The latter means that (2.) each subregion of the region should in itself be in a good shape, (3,) the 10-18 cities and other destinations listed in each subregion should all to be usable and better and (4.) the regions below should be at least usable ie. have one usable city and other destination and mention attractions and ways of getting in.
What I’m saying is that in order to turn USA into a Star article it’s not necessary to dive down all the way to the subregions of Delaware (but a bit of work on regions higher up in the hierarchy is still required) ϒpsilon (talk) 21:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
So might it be a good idea to start a "country guide status expedition" to check which country comply with "letter of the law" interpretation for usable or guide status and promote / demote them accordingly and/or set in motion the appropriate mechanisms to do the work that needs to be done to do so? I for one would gladly sign up for that. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:58, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
(unindent) It was mentioned that for purposes of the status of the United States of America article, Northern Delaware is more important than Manhattan. This is incorrect.
First, I should point out that the U.S. article has been promoted to Guide, correctly, despite the fact that Northern Delaware (and, indeed, many subregions of states) are at Outline status.
Second, let's look at the criteria for Star (not even Guide, but Star). For a country, that means all of its subregions and linked cities must be at Guide status. That means (for purposes of this discussion) Mid-Atlantic and New York City must be at Guide status. For Mid-Atlantic to be a guide, New York City and Delaware must be Usable. (But we already require NYC to be Guide, so that's redundant.) For Delaware to be Usable, there is no requirement that Northern Delaware be any status at all; it could be a Stub and Delaware could still be promoted to Usable if it met the other requirements. For New York City to be a Guide, however, Manhattan has to be at least Usable.
So, we can see that in order for the United States article to be a Star, Manhattan has to be at least Usable, while Northern Delaware need only be a Stub. Thus, Manhattan is more important than Northern Delaware for determining the U.S.'s article status.
-- Powers (talk) 00:02, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
For the United States of America to be a star, New York State has to at least be usable. You've been telling us since we moved here in 2012 that it is not because a few pages under it aren't up to snuff. NYS is therefore still languishing in outline status. Delaware is also not usable in its current state, although that may be for reasons other than the hollow shell county-level subregions. Certainly, articles being held back in rank because of issues on lower levels are an issue, although "just barely usable" for NY and DE might be enough to prevent those states holding the country-level article back. (I haven't looked at every state, my guess is the results will be widely variable, as always.) K7L (talk) 00:55, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Isn't part of the problem also that while you can (technically) make a city usable in no time by giving it a rough "get in" section (Interstate X and Y run through town. The next airport is in Z from where you can take Interstate X) and one listing each for "eat" and "sleep" whereas regions have to have much much more just to be considered "usable"? Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Close. This supposedly "usable" article for an "adventurous voyageur" must contain some way to get in, something to see or do, somewhere to eat and somewhere to sleep. Four listings would cover it. Content barely meets Wikivoyage:What is an article? Usable nonetheless. Personally, I'd usually prefer to wait until each section of a destination page contains some usable information (and preferably not CVB promotional copypasta or badly-misformatted content) before marking a page 'usable', but the actual criteria set the bar really low for a city/locality to be "usable". Region pages are an entirely different ball of wax, as we hold them back unless the primary destinations under them are usable. All that's holding Grand Bruit back is a lack of somewhere to eat (the place is a ghost town) but getting New York State out of "outline" status looks to be a multiyear task? K7L (talk) 17:01, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
A multi-year task, yes, because Peter isn't here to get Adirondacks up to Usable. Would you like to take a stab at it? Or is it your contention that having a crappy Adirondacks article is no reason to consider the NYS article less than usable? Powers (talk) 19:56, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if Peter knows that W. Frank and his associates all currently have indefinite bans. Nurg (talk) 00:28, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Dunno, but Adirondacks doesn't look unsalvageable - even if Lake Placid, Lake George, Saranac Lake and Malone are the only towns under it to fare any better than "outline". w:Adirondack Park seems to have good info which could be used to fill out Adirondacks#Understand? Maybe New York State can be spared instead of giving up and redirecting the state to Joisey (which is usable). K7L (talk) 19:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

Is there a tool for finding short or extremely short articles that basically only consist of the standard section headings? If so, we should maybe find them and either delete, merge (if there is even a single sentence to merge) redirect or fill them with content. Bare outlines do no good for anybody. Especially not for the voyager. Maybe just maybe this would also reduce or altogether eliminate some forms of page creation vandalism... Or at least make it more easily detectable as bare outlines become a rarer sight. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)

A set of lists of articles without custom banners sorted by size was produced last November. I expect that a lot of the articles that are so short that there is not much content is in Wikivoyage:Banner expedition/Banner suggestions - List 7, but this will include also loads of good short articles. AlasdairW (talk) 21:43, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
There's also Special:Shortpages, but it tends to fill with disambiguation pages which are short but perfectly valid. Special:Preferences has an option to show links to stubby/no-content pages (below a size threshold) in a different colour. Neither is ideal. K7L (talk) 22:44, 21 June 2015 (UTC)
When talking about "guides" for states and other large areas, I think we need to keep in mind that rules like "all regions must be usable" are a product of our own policy-making. In the case of countries, for example, this rule sometimes means that we have coverage far better than any commercially printed guidebook, and still voluntarily put a mere "usable" qualification on it.
For a region to get up to usable status, the most important of its sub-regions also must be usable, and if there's a level under those, more usable subregions under them. And with our breadcrumbs often already well-developed, the guide status of large countries is often indeed held back by not-yet-usable low level regions. Articles everyone would agree are not that important, but which are often plentiful when the country is large and developed. What we might need to do, rather than change the whole way we deal with regions and breadcrumbs, is give ourselves some leeway in providing guide status to countries etc, when perhaps not all regular criteria are met, but we can agree that it's as good a guide as any commercially printed one. JuliasTravels (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Well if we can and should go against the plain text reading of the letter of the law of our policy, why don't we just change the plain text of our policies? I do think most people here agree to some degree that Redford (New York) should not hold any article back in getting a better status and neither should Sauerland-Siegerland (which is not really an organic region to begin with) but it still crops up every time we try to elevate the status of a country. The amount of work and effort that is needed and the amount of time that is spent on discussing minutiae of a imho partially outdated and misguided policy are staggering. There once was an argument against creating a certain type of airport article (which to be fair would be a category of a handful at best) along the lines "how could this ever become a star?". Well now I ask the same about country articles "How could they ever become a star?" Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Because the policy is quite fair enough for the large majority of regions, and for small countries too. It's mostly countries, where it falls short, and then only really the countries and very large regions where we have good coverage on almost all places of interest to travellers. We're only really talking about a few dozen articles where things are that complicated, I think. I say we should give such articles, like the US and Germany, the benefit of the doubt. Large country? At least as good as a commercial guide? That's a guide to me. The fact that country articles are very very hard to bring to star status is an inherent result of our system. I don't find that very problematic, and it's good to have a few really high standards :) The fact that we advertise our great coverage of some countries as "usable" instead of "guide" is much more misleading. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I had previously made a suggestion that it might be useful to have two statuses for region/country articles - one for the article content and one for the complete region/country - which I think would make more sense and be more useful for both users and editors who currently struggle with the fact that a very complete article might be tagged as "usable" because an obscure destination article in its hierarchy is incomplete. Essentially "This article about the USA is at guide status. Our overall coverage for the USA is at usable status", or something similar to that. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:38, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
That's an option, and I'd be fine with it. Although it's probably still too pessimistic about the value of our total coverage for a traveller. Say I'd buy a RoughGuide or LP for the USA; would our total coverage be less usable than that book? If not, I feel it's perfectly correct to just call our USA article a guide, without any devaluation. Just my opinion though. JuliasTravels (talk) 14:55, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I would be strongly against making any change to policy based on what is essentially a fallacy. I don't believe any extant guide is being unfairly held back due to some obscure destination that hasn't been sufficiently developed. Can we have some concrete examples, please, with explanations of how the great-grandparent article is being held back, rather than off-hand references to tiny hamlets that aren't really affecting much of anything? Powers (talk) 16:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose our barely-usable Adirondacks park article holding back the entire state as {{outlineregion}} would be the obvious example. This is the sort of thing that makes any comparisons between WV and printed guidebooks awkward. The commercial publication will be consistent - whether good or bad; if it's a paragraph for every town and small city, it stays at that predictable level cross-province, cross-state or cross-country. WV varies from very extensive, detailed coverage to merely skeletal rubbish and back pseudorandomly. Buffalo are all herded and in place, Rochester and the Finger Lakes well in hand, Syracuse usable but nothing special, Rome (New York) a pointless outline created just so they could have a separate article from Utica, Albany is likely adequate and NYC is a well-polished Big Apple. Huge variation, and that's just one beaten path through one state. That's just looking at city-level pages, bring the endless pile of region and subregion pages into this and many are Central New York-like skeletons with just a list of cities or counties (and counties are usually the wrong size to be useful divisions to us, as they are one or two cities and a few villages). How does one evaluate the quality of coverage of a country as a whole, if the constituent pieces are, well, "all over the map" in terms of development? K7L (talk) 16:43, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is a top-level subregion of New York (state), and one of the most important thereto. If it's in poor condition, then how can we be said to have a usable guide to the state as a whole? Powers (talk) 17:33, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Adirondacks is not great but adequate. Admittedly, it's an odd special case as it's a subregion (because of Lake Placid, Lake George and Saranac Lake being under it as small incorporated villages within the park boundary), it's a major state park and it (presumably the park itself) is one of the listed destinations. Certainly, if every "top-level subregion of New York (state)" can hold the whole state back, it might be best to give up now as there are a pile of intermediate regions and subregions between NYS and its individual destination cities, many of which are just 7+2 lists of cities and towns with no other real content, and they only seem to be increasing in number. If this were just about Adirondack chairs, NYS might be usable right now, or very close to it. K7L (talk) 17:41, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Let's not forget that while this discussion as such seems to be a major drain on resources, it gets some article that (for whatever reason) gets chosen as the example a lot of attention and improves our coverage of the place. I think the Adirondacks are a problematic place insofar as they are mostly rural, positively huge but still contain a couple of places people heard of (and be it only for a certain Ice Hockey game). We have a tendency to do badly for places that are not easily organizable into cities and districts. Plus if I am not mistaken, there are also a couple of bodies of water within the park which does not make matters easier. That being said, I think in New York state and elsewhere a large amount of the county level articles will have to go. Either by merging or by redirecting or by treating them as if they were a single city. No guide, printed or on any other medium (including stone tablets and DVDs) covers every tiny speck on the map and some guides cover some places in a couple of lines tops. Whatever happened to the advice to cover some places only in the "go next" section of the next nearby destination we do cover? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:28, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
I get the general thrust of your argument. I'm not sure whether I agree with it. But on your specific point on [[Rome (New York}]], it isn't part of Utica, so I don't think it's pointless for it to have its own article; it's just that no-one has posted enough information in it. I had thought New York City was still Usable, but I see that it's a Guide, so big congratulations to those who made that possible! Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:46, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) At the moment, I believe Adirondacks can and should be upgraded to Usable, which allows New York (state) to be Usable. Perhaps we can discuss a more clear-cut case instead. Powers (talk) 01:09, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

No objection to taking these "usable". As Ontario is still usable with Algonquin Provincial Park and one park island at outline (but all other main cities and other destinations usable or better), holding NYS at "outline" now seems a bit excessive. That said, this example was illustrative of how the specific location placement of one weak article in the hierarchy can have a huge impact on how severely its 'unusability' propagates up the chain. Rome (New York)#Sleep is blank, so the destination article is not at all usable; no one cares as that holds back only Central New York, a skeletal subregion on which nothing actually depends. What would happen if instead Saranac Lake#Sleep were missing or unusable? It's a tiny place (pop 5000, a sixth the size of small-city Rome NY) but the Adirondacks are parkland and Saranac is the largest teeming metropolis in that geographically-huge region (which says little, as Lake George has 4000 people and Lake Placid about 3000, all of these are tiny; the area is otherwise protected parkland). Saranac Lake at outline therefore could readily pull Adirondacks down to outline, and because Adirondacks is a huge state park (and not just another pointless subregion for the pile) it's an important "other destination" in New York (state) and listed among "Other destinations" in the parent Mid-Atlantic region. Mid-Atlantic *must* be usable for USA to be guide, so if the next editor who came along were to knock Saranac down to outline and consider Adirondacks to be an important "other destination" in the Mid-Atlantic region, in theory that could pull the region and the entire country down a notch for want of a good bed for the night in a tiny pop-5000 village in a 19 million person federated state. It's hypothetical, but simply returning Saranac Lake to outline could be more damaging to the nation than leaving Montana at outline (the current status quo, which nonetheless allowed the Republic to survive in better-than-usable condition to see another day). Why? Montana's placement in the hierarchy makes it less important to the USA than Alaska. All of this is based on articles which have either recently changed status or are ready to be changed; the outcomes are hypothetical but entirely plausible. The results can be quite counter-intuitive and hard to follow at times, but this seems to be the way things work because of the way our complex article status system is structured. K7L (talk) 16:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I couldn't have said it any better. And I guess similar issues are keeping Europe (and many of its countries) at outline as well... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:04, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
The theoretical problem of our system is quite clear. Still however, we're probably talking about a (few) dozen articles that are unnecessarily held back in practice, if that. Rather than changing a policy that works well enough for our thousands of region articles, I suggest we use common sense and consensus to just promote that handful of articles. If there's too much fear of overruling policy, we could even add a line in our policy about the possibility of an exception per consensus, when an article technically doesn't fully meet our criteria, but is clearly a good guide in practice. We only need a real policy-changing discussion if the actual problem would apply to many articles. So far, there's no actual list. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:20, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
So if this is a minor issue that only crops up in rare cases, why is Mexico an outline? Why is Switzerland? Why is Poland? Why are all continents except Antarctica and Oceania? Why is Sweden an outline and why is China? Why is Nicaragua usable and Costa Rica not? And that's not even getting into regions... I do think the issue is anything but minor... Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Why shouldn't they be? What is your basis for the contention that we ought to, at this moment in time, have outstanding guides, up and down the hierarchy, for every country on the planet? Of course that's our eventual goal, but perhaps you've overestimated the number of people contributing here.
Anyway, K7L, I think perhaps part of the problem here is the occasional use of a Region article as an Other Destination at higher levels of the hierarchy. If we strictly kept those O.D's to Parks and Cities (that is, leaf-node articles), the perceived difficulty of getting a Country article to Usable would disappear. Would you agree with that assessment?
-- Powers (talk) 18:38, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's not necessarily that our coverage on those places is bad, it is more often than not that the rules prevent us from upgrading them and showing how great our coverage on those places really is. Does anybody here really think the article on Antarctica serves the voyager better than that on Europe? If you do think so, I would like to hear your reasoning. If you do not think so, why does the article status not reflect that? It appears as if in our current system we inherently discriminate against places with "more in them" be it in terms of touristic interest, number of visitors or number of destinations. Which is imho all too bad, because those places are naturally the ones people will search for first. Not Nauru or Antarctica. Wouldn't it be great if at some point in the (not too distant) future, we could feature a "country of the month" or something to that extent? While we do have outstanding coverage on some cities (and even - dare I say it - a very small number of rural destinations that are handled in some "creative" way), our coverage on countries is just as good, yet not recognized. Anyway, I do think I made my point... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:46, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
It's only natural that places with more stuff in them are harder to improve. Consider two cities: one with a couple of hotels, two big attractions, and a handful of restaurants; and a large city with dozens of each and public transit and nightlife. The latter will be harder to elevate in status simply because it has more stuff to write about. There's no reason regions and countries shouldn't suffer from the same natural disparity. Powers (talk) 23:38, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Because this status box is right on every article page (not on the talk page, Wikipedia-style) and is voyageur-facing, it's unclear what the intention of a broad "This region travel guide to Canada or Mexico is an outline" disclaimer is intended to accomplish; is it a warning to the voyager that the information is too badly incomplete to be relied upon, or is it simply maintenance categorisation for use by the small minority of Wikivoyageurs actively editing and generating new content? A box on a region article also doesn't make clear what exactly is be fixed; it might be something on the page itself, it might be something one or more levels down the hierarchy. At least Talk:New York (state) had a good list where you said what was holding the page in outline status from 2012-2015, but most of the others don't indicate what's wrong. It's manageable for bottom-level destinations (nowhere to sleep in Rome is clear enough) but the only way to see why Mexico is an outline is to click through the whole enchilada. K7L (talk) 17:42, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Not to mention that it is irritating. Just like the "this page has some issues" that the majority of WP pages seem to have nowadays... If a high level article is an "outline" I as a reader am constantly looking for errors and what is missing, and that is clearly not in the best interest of our readers and not in the best interest of the page as it discourages using our guides and making them useful... Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:52, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I should think we would want to have our readers looking for problems (and, hopefully, fixing them). Powers (talk) 19:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
We don't want our readers getting the impression are bad or unreliable, especially when they are demonstrably not. That's the issue more than one person has had with the "this page has issues" tag on WP.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the articles being held back because of some outline destination perhaps really should be held back. If Adirondacks is an important parkland people might want to visit and Saranac Lake is one of the biggest places over there, not giving any advice on where to sleep is not good (I see the article is fixed now).

As Europe was mentioned above and the Nordic countries one of the lacking parts, I checked whether it would be easy to fix. It turned out there is nearly no information on Sweden's national parks (also Gotland is an outline). The Nordic countries is an important part of Europe and nature is one of the big attractions over here. Could we say we have adequate coverage if e.g. Laponia (said to be the largest wilderness in Europe) is an outline?

We do have good coverage on Europe for most visitors, but the question is what status we want to advertise if some key destinations are outlines (if it really is some tiny place that is holding a country back, wouldn't that be easy to fix?).

--LPfi (talk) 12:03, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

If I look at a page and see This article on Montana is an outline with a mountain of problems that doesn't tell me what's wrong. Is it the page itself (a safe assumption on WP, which doesn't tag pages as bad due to issues on a subtopic on some other page, but not necessarily here)? Is it the major cities (they look OK)? The subregions (maybe, but a subregion shouldn't hold a parent in outline, even if it is an issue at higher levels like promotion of usable pages to guide)? The "other destinations" (which look pretty bad, and a couple even red-link)? The list of small towns, places like Glendive (again a mess, but not enough to pull the whole state down)? One has to wade through multiple articles and multiple levels of article to even try to guess what's going on, and even then it isn't clear which are the "important" destinations and "principal cities" that can make or break an entire federated state. Montana's parent (US Rocky Mountains) had two states out of four in "outline" status, with no explanation as to what was wrong in each. This system is confusing enough for seasoned Wikivoyagers, how on Earth is some random user reading this for the first time to guess what is meant by "Montana is an outline"? K7L (talk) 13:01, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
One problem is that the outline template, saying one could help, links to Geographical hierarchy, Outline articles, Article templates, Where you can stick it, Plunge forward and How to edit a page, but not to the criteria. Those are found by following a link in the last paragraph of the second linked page ("outline") and clicking the right item in the second list.
Having the "you can help" text link specific instructions would make doing the appropriate changes much easier. I am not sure what page should be linked as the main instruction page. For the problem discussed, the criteria are important, but perhaps some of the other pages could prominently link to those and have better general instructions. If the problem is not the page itself, but some of the linked pages, one could list a few key problem destinations in the template itself:
This [region article] is an outline and it or some of the linked pages needs to be improved. Please plunge forward with e.g. [[some key outline]] or [[some other key outline]].
When most listed destinations are fixed somebody should evaluate what still needs to be done. If all problem pages are listed, this should be noted "Please plunge forward with X and Y, which are the last to hold this guide back at outline status".
--LPfi (talk) 18:54, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd wondered if a 'bot script could follow all of the dependencies on lower-level articles and generate a skeleton of a table like the one LtPowers had on Talk:New York (state)#Destination article statuses but it doesn't look feasible. A usable region "has links to the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better), and a Get in section describing all of the typical ways to get there. The most prominent attractions are identified with directions." That raises the question to determine what is "important" or "prominent", which must be done manually at every level of the hierarchy. That could be a hugely time-consuming process; Canada is outline because, while British Columbia, Ontario and Québec are usable, many smaller provinces are not. It would take much further iteration to determine what's wrong with each province (or group of provinces or territories, as some are clustered into subregions to keep this to nine) as this requires navigating multiple levels and guessing which subtopics are "important".
The Montana example I'd mentioned is odd as removing things might get it to "usable", in a manner fully consistent with policy. The subregions only need to be "outline". The major cities need to be usable; what's there now is a list of nine main cities (which are usable) and many small towns (mostly articles of poor quality). Blow away all but the nine main cities (as Wikivoyage:Avoid long lists says they belong in the subregions anyway) and the article just improved. The "other destinations" are a dog's breakfast. Glacier and Jellystone are guide, or "smarter than the average bear", but the list of individual towns at the Yellowstone park gates is largely rubbish. Discard it. Lewis and Clark Trail is an outline itinerary across multiple states, which could be moved out of "other destinations" to some other section. Most of the other "other destinations" are small national parks which might not even meet Wikivoyage:What is an article? as city-sized or region-sized entities that need a park article - move them to "Do" or to their respective villages. Voilà, nine cities and two other destinations which are actually usable and a bunch of rubbish holding the state back has been swept elsewhere. Not particularly obvious to anyone without a good rules lawyer on retainer (what? you expect to reach 'usable' just by removing stuff?) but entirely technically valid. Neither a random new user seeing "this region is an outline" nor an automated process would've seen that coming, as there's more to this than just following the tree to see if the foundation roots are usable.
Usability of regions in Wikivoyage is confusing and hard to follow. There's no easy way to get a list, for every outline region, of which pages are holding that region back. K7L (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Alright; lots of good arguments are being made. Now let's get back to Hobbitschuster's core point that we might reconsider: while our coverage of many countries is still incomplete, many of them are in practice usable for a large part of the travellers that head there. Perhaps we shouldn't talk about the whole system of promoting articles, but rather about changing the wording and criteria for making a country usable. I do think there would be a lot of merit to upgrading rather well-developed country articles with missing regions or towns that see relatively few travellers. That said, I don't think all examples mentioned by Hobbitschuster would qualify. For any country article to be usable, I think all nine cities and all other destinations should be usable, plus a good bunch more. And that should be a full list, not a stripped one, in order to allow travel choices. In my mind, that would bring us to the same usability as many of the thinner commercially printed guides aiming at the huge numbers of 2 or 3 week highlight holidays - and then we would still only call it usable. Most of the articles mentioned by Hobbitschuster (like Sweden, Poland and Costa Rica) still wouldn't qualify, but it would make it much more feasible to get them there. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:42, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I think the usable status is the core issue. Especially a the country level. If some places cannot easily be promoted to it, we may need a more concentrated effort... Costa Rica for one is really the place in Central America where "everybody" goes... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:31, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
JuliasTravels, maybe you could help me understand the point a little better. What is it about the status of some other page (e.g., a city page) that makes me unable to use this page (e.g., a country page)? I've just looked at Montana, and I'm pretty sure that – using only that page, and the primary sources it links to – I could find a way to get there, find something to eat, figure out something to do or see, and figure out that a lot of people go camping there (that's when you stay in a really cheap motel, right?  ;-) .
If saying that an individual page is "usable" is not meant to indicate people are "able to use" that page, but instead that people are able to use a whole bunch of related pages, then perhaps we need a new term of the art for this concept, like "Good topic" or "Developed cluster". WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Our guides are hierarchical and recursive. Our guide to Montana includes all of the articles "beneath" it in the hierarchy.
JuliasTravels, your proposal is the same as the current requirements for Usable status for Countries, and more restrictive than our current requirements for Regions.
-- Powers (talk) 19:38, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Subheading to make reading and contributing easier[edit]

I just made this sub headline to make it easier to find the bottom... If I am not mistaken, the extreme points of the debate are on the one hand those who say "only the article at hand itself should matter" for usable or any other status. And on the other hand there is the (maybe just theoretical) extreme position of "Every article on levels of the hierarchy beneath the one in question has to be at least as good for the top level article to be promoted"... I see reason in both arguments and most likely the end result (if there is any change in policy at all) will be in the middle of the two, but I tend more towards the first extreme... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:42, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

I also tend towards the former. I'm mostly thinking about a practical-editing issue: It would be nice to have "the page status" reflect the status of "the page", rather than "the page and all sub-pages" (or sub-sub pages), so that it's easier to figure out which page actually needs work. Also, it seems illogical to say that Page X is 'bad', despite being obviously in great shape, because there are problems on Pages Y and Z.
However, I like the idea of being able to identify a topic that is well-developed, beyond the individual page. That's an advantage to the current approach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
One possible solution to that would be two status designations, one concerning only the quality of the page at hand and the other concerning the overall coverage... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:09, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
It isn't even "X is bad because there are problems on Pages Y and Z." It's X is bad, and we're going to leave you to guess what's holding it back. Maybe Y is the important "other destination" that's blocking the 'critical path' while Z is a subregion we don't care about; maybe it's the other way around. Have fun trying to guess which ones are "the region's major cities and other destinations (the most important of which must be at usable status or better)" and which really don't matter. K7L (talk) 16:43, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
I've taken a Dominion Day look through the top-level Canada articles and posted status at Talk:Canada#Destination article statuses, following the basic.format from the NYS list. Ouch. Half of the provinces (and none of the territories) are 'usable', although the nine main cities are in good shape. If I understand correctly, Terra Nova and Yoho National Parks at 'outline' are doing more harm to Canada than Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the three Maritime provinces and the three territories being unusable? K7L (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Not to step on anybody's toes, but how relevant are the territories really in the great scheme of things? From what I know areas are "territories" that are mostly vast expanses of empty nothingness that are furthermore rather remote. At least that's the case for Caribbean Nicaragua and as far as I heard the same is true for Arctic Canada, isn't it? As for the "other destinations"... Are they really important enough to be listed at the country level? But thanks a bunch for the work; I hope we can get continental Anglo-America (yep, that's a grand total of two countries) up to guide soon ;-)Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:38, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not just the territories, which are way off the beaten path... as many provinces are at 'outline' as at 'usable', and those are relevant. Nova Scotia is not Nunavut. The "other destinations" tend to be large national/provincial parks, ghost towns, Disney-size amusement parks, pioneer villages, individual UNESCO sites, gaping canyons, landmarks, mountain ranges and geographic features like Niagara Falls. They're usually not major cities (or they would be listed there instead) or the upper level of subregions (which already have their place) - regions randomly taken from further down the hierarchy and park articles are the obvious candidates, with possibly the occasional itinerary. What else is one to put in "other destinations"? Nonetheless, a badly-written national park article, linked at country level, could (according to the criteria) do more damage than an entire "outline" province. K7L (talk) 23:01, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I guess Novia Scotia is kind of important. Not least because it was one of the first territories in today's Canada to be settled and one of the founding provinces... I think other destinations should not be regions at the same time. If something is listed as a "other destination" it should be a "city" with unusual properties (thousand islands or islands like Sylt) a park or some other place that is neither a city in the traditional sense nor a region according to WV. Hobbitschuster (talk) 09:41, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I like the idea of two separate statuses – one for the page at hand, and one for the general collection. Among other benefits, it would help contributors know whether the 'problem' at Canada is actually at Canada, or if that page is fine and the 'problem' is at one or more pages that it links to. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:13, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Whatever the solution may be, I am in favor of making the rationale for this specific status of this specific page clearer at all pages, especially "outlines" high up in the regional hierarchy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:24, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I can't say I like the concept of multiple statuses, unless it's phrased as one. While it makes sense to somehow upgrade countries or regions that de facto meet most travellers' needs, even when they don't fully meet our criteria, we shouldn't pretend an Tuscany guide can ever be a good guide (or even usable) without a usable article for Pisa, Florence and Lucca. Yes, it's useful to know where the flaws are, but even a star region article will still have not a single listing to eat or sleep (as per our policy), and people don't plan trips to Tuscany without picking more specific destinations. JuliasTravels (talk) 18:56, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Some people do. When going to some places (Nicaragua for one) I like just going to a place and looking at a couple of places to stay and eat before committing. (Of course pre-booking is not necessary unless it is semana santa high season). So I would probably only need a couple of listing in total to get a feel for what's on offer for what prices. They are however essential for places where pre-booking is the rule (Germany for one). And as to "star regions" we really can't tell what they are supposed to look like, as Bali is currently the only entry in this category and will probably be for a long time hence. The same goes for star countries which currently is a category of one (Singapore). This is partly why I keep raising the issue and why other are also looking for some reform to the letter and or interpretation of policy... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:08, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're kidding ourselves if we separate the status of a region / country article from the usability if its main destinations. Sure, a seasoned traveller outside of high season may not make a single reservation, but we've always contained that a destination needs a few listings to be "usable". As far as I'm concerned, that few listings rule for the major destinations within a region must remain a bare minimum for any region article to be called usable. I also don't think that's where the problem is. My point is that we don't need to create two statuses for one article to mention the weak points. We should make a judgement call on whether or not our coverage of a region is good enough to be called usable or guide status. I'm perfectly fine with a coverage being called "guide" level when some less popular sub-regions are outlines. It's not okay to solely judge a region status on the region article itself, though. JuliasTravels (talk) 19:39, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
My main point of contention with the current policy is its inherent fuzziness. While we now have (thanks to the good work of, among others User:Traveler100 and User:LtPowers) Lists of what is needed for certain status upgrades for articles about - say Germany or Canada - there is really nothing but guesswork for many other articles. Add onto that that some of our articles would long qualify for higher status yet still sit at outline (as evidenced by my recent foray into the status of districts) and you got yourself confused readers and contributors, which imho should never be the result of anything... best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I would say our coverage on Tuscany would not be good with just the page Tuscany being good. I think this is exactly what our criteria are reflecting. I think few people go to Nicaragua without wanting some information on specific towns (although seemingly some do), so our criteria make sense. The problem is the less than perfect wording in the templates and our not keeping track of where our coverage is lacking.
For the latter, I think anybody trying to get a page upgraded and finding some criteria not fulfilled should have a way to state their findings in an obvious place, either in the template itself or at the talk page. If this can be done with a bot, it would help a lot, but as we are evaluating the guides by hand, stating what we do find would be very little extra work. We only need a (semi?)standardized way to do it.
--LPfi (talk) 19:48, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I like to have coverage for Nicaragua before deciding where to go. I don't need hotel listings. If I see in the article on Rivas that most people only pass through (and from my own experience with good reason given what is close by), I won't plan more than one day there, tops. However, I won't need any number of eat or sleep listings which are - for good reason - emphasized in our current criteria for cities. But evaluating every hamlet in North Hesse to ascertain whether our coverage on Germany merits this status or another is quite frankly not useful to anybody. Especially as most often the narrowest and hardest to fulfill interpretation of our article statuses are applied... I think I am repeating myself, but the number of outlinecountries is a bug, not a feature. We just have to see where the bug is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Again, find an outline country whose coverage -- including subarticles -- is worthy of being called "usable" and we can talk. Without specifics, we're just going in circles. Powers (talk) 23:15, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I think we're talking past each other. On the one hand, we have multiple people saying, "I personally can wikt:use this page, all by itself, to plan a trip, so it's kind of silly to say that this page is not 'usable'", and you're saying "Show me a page whose subpages meet the criteria, even though your whole point is that the state of the subpages is irrelevant to whether you can use this page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

JuliasTravels, it should be easy to phrase the status in a single line: "This is {a decent} page in {an incomplete} topic." Swap in whichever status is most appropriate for those two words.

Hobbitschuster, would you be satisfied if the higher level areas were required to declare, on their talk pages, exactly which subpages were keeping the page at outline status? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Maps - tools lab is down[edit]

  • see Details here. Thought everyone should know this and hopefully they will not have any difficulty restoring systems etc. -- Matroc (talk) 21:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
It was down all day yesterday but thankfully it's now partially back. The Mapnik layer still doesn't load. ϒpsilon (talk) 08:12, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
And once again no maps. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:26, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I have changed the server address to WV-ev.org. Now the full-screen maps works. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 19:25, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Joachim! - Matroc (talk) 20:38, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Vielen Dank! I'm doing some work on the districts of Seoul and the absence of the map functionality has been really annoying. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:44, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I have temporarily changed the template mapframe. Please check spelling. - Template will be reset when WMF tiles server is back online. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 04:42, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Labs are up and working since yesterday morning, but the map tiles remain unavailable. Mey2008, Syced or perhaps someone else, do you have an idea whom to ask? I believe it will not recover by its own. --Alexander (talk) 11:05, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

The tiles server is also running again. I have reset the temporarily modified templates. --- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 11:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
https://tools.wmflabs.org/wikivoyage/w/poimap2.php?lat=43.96&lon=-74.33&zoom=8&layer=OB&lang=en&name=Adirondacks gives me "504 Gateway Time-out nginx/1.4.6 (Ubuntu)" and the {{mapframe}}s are also timing out after a very long delay. K7L (talk) 17:17, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Seems to be working OK now. Syced (talk) 02:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, still lacks zoom level 17 for the colored Mapnik layer. Some other Mapnik zoom levels have partially gaps. Well, wait and see. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 14:55, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
@Atsirlin try running "php unzip.php" on tool labs in case the map scripts needs an update. (I think you have the access if wikitech:User:Atsirlin is the same user as you.) If that fails, since I don't monitor that tool so often, would you give me a ping? --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 14:35, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Zhuyifei1999, I have access, but the problem is not on our side. The Wikivoyage tool runs smoothly, but it fails to get Mapnik tiles from some other repository on tools.wmflabs.org. And I don't even understand where this repository is, and who may be responsible. So annoying... --Alexander (talk) 17:03, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
Checking the page source and Mey's comment below shows tiles.wmflabs.org as the source, but the host is undocumented. Searched "tiles" instead and found wikitech:Nova_Resource:Maps. cURL'ed all the instances and found maps-tiles3 gives the same output as tiles.wmflabs.org. So very likely the admins on wikitech:Nova Resource:Maps are who to find. --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 03:53, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

I hear that this is resolved, but it's possible that a few files were lost. wikitech:Incident_documentation/20150617-LabsNFSOutage says that they had to restore from week-old backups. (I don't know much about this, but I can help you figure out who to ask if you need more help.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:53, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

The Wikivoyage scripts are restored properly. The problem is the map tiles server. This applies to all users, even Wikipedia. It lacks all the tiles to the zoom levels 3, 6, and 17. This only applies the https addresses: e.g. https://tiles.wmflabs.org/osm/17/x/y.png. But even in other zoom levels are missing several tiles. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 05:12, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

HTTPS[edit]

22:00, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Edit button for sections seems confused[edit]

It seems the edit-button for subsections is confused. If I click the "edit" function for any topic in the Pub, I get the edit window for another topic. Any thoughts? JuliasTravels (talk) 08:42, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Odd. I tried out several threads here in the pub, both level 2 and level 3 headings, and it doesn't happen to me. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:02, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It usually happens when a section has been added or removed between loading the page and clicking the edit link – as the edit function works by section numbers instead of by section headings. Going back to the page and again clicking the section edit link should get you the right section (at least for me the page is checked and refreshed when I hit "back"). Perhaps you need to explicitly reload the page. --LPfi (talk) 09:40, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems fine now :) Nevermind then! JuliasTravels (talk) 09:38, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
When this happens, just refresh the page and try again. Some sections were probably moved by someone. Cheers! Syced (talk) 13:51, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

WT links in Wikipedia[edit]

I just noticed a link to WT in Wikipedia (here) and I guess there are many others. I unfortunately have no time to fix them right now, but any volunteer for the task? That's one of the only easy ways we have to increase WV traffic, so not doing it would be a shame.

  • Go to https://www.wikipedia.org and for EACH language's wikipedia (there are many):
  • Find the search box, type "wikitravel" in it and type Enter
  • Ignore any article which is actually about Wikitravel itself
  • Open each article that contains a link to WT
  • Find and click the Edit button or press Alt+Shift+e
  • Press CTRL-f and find the WT link
  • Find the equivalent article on WV
  • Replace the WT URL with the WV URL

Please let us know as an answer here what languages' Wikipedias you have processed, so that work is not duplicated, thanks a lot! Syced (talk) 06:18, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

I suggest to use this link for the second step (using the equivalent link for each language). --Andyrom75 (talk) 06:41, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to ask the question, but does our status as a sister project allow us to do this?
I would guess that under normal circumstances Wikipedia wouldn't appreciate a website changing the links of a competitor to their own. I hope that I'm wrong in this instance. Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Such changes have been already performed in the past in thousands of occurrences in several languages, and if I'm recalling it correctly, it has been discussed here on en:voy as well.
Briefly, (just for example) if an article of a city mention the WT external link as a source of information, it can be easily substitute it with the equivalent in the same language adding maybe the one related to the official language of that city (e.g. in fr:w Moscow article, the WT link could be replaced with the fr:voy and maybe ru:voy ones). Clearly, be sure that the page exists and use internal wikilink instead of external links that between sister projects doesn't make a lot of sense.--Andyrom75 (talk) 07:47, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
This was likely done once, a couple of years ago. See Wikivoyage talk:Search Expedition. Many of the WT links which were left behind are on talk or project pages, where changing other people's comments was likely deliberately avoided. Certainly, WP doesn't want links in articles to point to an external, commercial site where that site merely mirrors content already in one of WMF's own projects, as that sort of external link is spammy. They also wouldn't want a wiki or other user-editable content cited as a reliable source for anything, so the only place these should occur in actual articles (other than the pages about WV and WT) is in "external links". K7L (talk) 16:12, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I would still be quite upset if somebody did such semi-automatic link changes in my home wiki (at least if I were not active here). Changing external links to sister project links providing the same information should not controversial (in articles), but if the WT article is more complete or contains some key information absent from our article, then it surely is. --LPfi (talk) 12:16, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
There were a rare few languages which were problematic because they didn't fork during the main WT to WV transition; Japanese was one, so links to WT in that language were often left alone. User boxes claiming "user so-and-so edits on Japan WT" were the usual issue, although some other rarely-edited languages were affected. K7L (talk) 12:51, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I looked through en.wp's list. There were very few in articles, and even fewer that should be converted. Either it was pointless spam (usually claiming to be a reliable source) or a link to WT was actually required (e.g., for copyright/license attribution). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:24, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
It seems sv-wp has quite a lot of links (in the External links section). Was that one of the problematic ones? The normal sister project links should go to the Swedish versions of the projects (where most pages are stubs), so the voy:en links probably have to be treated (although not formatted) as normal external links. For destinations where our version is at least as good as WT changing the links should be no problem, as long as the edit summary is adequate, but I suppose WT can be better in some cases. Does anybody have a bot that could see whether any substantial edits have been done on WT after the fork? --LPfi (talk) 20:51, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I see no need to have a bot look at WT, as any links to sv: which were left unchanged were likely missed by mistake. Swedish was one of the first half-dozen or so languages for m:Wikivoyage#Creation, so there's no reason to keep a link to basically the same content on a competing external project. Finnish is one of the problem ones (like Japanese, there is no WV) and maybe Swedish was presumed (inadvertently and incorrectly) to be part of that same issue? Certainly, any of the languages which were created on WV late (such as Chinese) are worth verifying to make sure the external links were changed to point here. K7L (talk) 21:25, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
"On a competing external project" with an antipathetic attitude toward the WMF and a history of real-world legal antagonism, no less. That's a salient point that, IMO, overrides any comparatively minor concerns about tampering with WP article content (a line of thinking that smacks of article ownership issues anyway). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:55, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Outline districts[edit]

As you might have noticed, I have taken a look at this page on WV and promoted some of the districts to usable level, that were clearly worth promoting. This enables us to see those districts that are really problematic and approach the issue accordingly (redraw district lines or add listings). Now I am far from done and probably won't ever work my way through three hundred-ish pages on my own, but I don't say you should stop what you are doing now to come help me. Just a general reminder, that you can and should check whether the status of a place (especially for bottom level places like districts) is still up to date and to change it accordingly. It is really not all that much work, if you are working on the page anyway and greatly helps identify pages with real problems. Best wishes. Oh and ps: Should I have promoted a district erroneously please revert. I tried to err on the side of caution, but one or two errors might have occurred. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:57, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this - it's good to keep them up-to date; especially considering the criteria for some of our features. --Nick talk 22:34, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
No problem. I think sometimes a district that is too empty for too long might point at a need to redraw district lines.... Not always, maybe even not in most cases but sometimes.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:40, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I have now had a look at all or at least most of the outline districts. There are some 200 still left at outline status. Maybe in a year or so reevaluating them (and the ones newly created in the time since than) may be in order. Furthermore some of the districts sitting at "outline" could well have been promoted to guide right away, but I wanted to avoid such a potentially controversial move. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:29, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Spelling in articles that mention places in the US and British Commonwealth cultural spheres alike[edit]

There have recently been issues about spelling (I myself am probably not entirely innocent to say the least). Our general policy appears to be rather straightforward at first glance (though it has by no means been without controversy, again I am not innocent on that front). But now I think there may be an issue that does not have a good solution either way.

While I favor American spelling on the account of it being slightly more phonetic and less "French" in the spelling of "center" and "flavor", the thing I favor more is internal consistency. So if an article is spelled entirely and consistently in British English (even if that goes against policy) that is fine with me.

However, there remains the issue what we do with travel topics or itineraries or other articles that cover countries where British spelling applies and other countries where Websterian English applies. Say for example an article about travel related organizations/organisations from Australia and the US. If we spell stuff British in the parts that are about the Commonwealth and American for the parts that are about America or her allies, the overall consistency and uniform "feel" of the article is lost (no small thing in a well written article, if you ask me) if we apply one spelling throughout the advocates of the spelling we did not chose will be (understandably) angry. How do we extricate us from this quagmire? Or is this a total non-issue that only a handful of users even notice, let alone care about? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:03, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I was under the impression that our site favored U.S. English unless a clear-cut, unambiguous case could be made for some other dialect. If that's true, then it would seem to me that any article that dealt with multiple different dialect areas would default to U.S. English. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:17, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
Mostly a non-issue. See Wikivoyage_talk:Spelling#Suggestion. Also Emerson: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, ...". Pashley (talk) 00:28, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If the article is started in British, Australian or Canadian English, I see no strong reason to change that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:00, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
But what if an article didn't start in any specific variety per se but was written by more than one author in more than one dialect to begin with? And if consistency were unimportant, why not start spelling everything with our very own spelling? After all, some newspapers in Germany actually did that when they disliked some of the changes to the German orthography that were made starting in 1998. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:03, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
If some spelling variant or destinations using one of them dominate, then a person copywriting should probably use that. Otherwise using US spelling or the variant one is confident with should probably be OK. This is hardly a big issue, unless somebody starts searching for this kind of articles and changes them according to his preferences also where some other variant would be the natural choice. --LPfi (talk) 16:20, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Happy Fourth of July to all Americans around here[edit]

While I am not an American and probably something like half the regulars here aren't either, I still wanted to wish the United States Happy Birthday and by extension all those who celebrate it a nice day. Have a good one! —The preceding comment was added by Hobbitschuster (talkcontribs)

Freedom of Panorama in Europe in 2015[edit]

Please read the article on Wikimedia, this EU proposal may affect photographs we can use on Wikivoyage. Although the page does not make it clear why the non-commercial clause would cause problems. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:06, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

Local uploads should be no problem, but one has to be prepared to transfer images from Wikimedia Commons because people there are very eager to delete things without ever looking at the file usage and thinking about consequences. --Alexander (talk) 11:34, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
Non-commercial is a problem because our guides are intended to be used commercially, as are all Wikimedia projects. Powers (talk) 15:19, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
In some cases we can use fair use provisions, but these do not allow keeping a public collection for possible use. The images we now use can perhaps be moved here, stored locally and stay in our articles, but I cannot upload photos without inserting them in an article. When I write an article I will not be able to choose from not yet used images, as those will be only in private collections – and possibly not even there, if people doubt they will come to any use and therefore (in some specific cases) do not make the effort needed to get a good image. --LPfi (talk) 16:43, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
The current fair use provisions (in Finland, supposedly in much of EU) allow using images in news and when writing about a work. I think there is no way to use the image of a building just as illustration – except that buildings are subject of the freedom of panorama. One might get by by telling something about the architecture, but maybe not, and I do not want to consult a lawyer every time I want to insert an image or change the prose. --LPfi (talk) 16:51, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
In short the proposal sucks and who ever proposed it clearly did not have the best of the majority of Europeans in mind... Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:36, 5 July 2015 (UTC)
LPfi, I would be surprised if those were the only possible fair use provisions. In the U.S., at least, so-called 'editorial' use of images is allowed for just about any publication, including travel guides. Powers (talk) 22:58, 5 July 2015 (UTC)