Talk:On the trail of Marco Polo

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Where to put Marco Polo[edit]

(discussion moved from travellers pub)

I'm living in China and reading Marco Polo. Methinks it is obvious his route should go in some itinerary and I'm willing to do it, but where? My first thought was a separate Marco Polo's route. But would that need some other title because the single quote will cause parsing problems? Thinking about it, I suspect I should just make it a section of Silk Road. Other opinions? (WT-en) Pashley 06:51, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

A related problem. I would like to quote Polo's book extensively, perhaps beyond the limits allowed by "fair use". The version I have is from Project Gutenberg. Labelling says copyright is expired in the US, but they don't know about other countries. Their license info is here [1]. Is that OK in relation to Wikivoyage licensing? Of course I would give attribution. (WT-en) Pashley 07:02, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

I think Silk Road is a good choice, he's certainly the most famous European to trod that road. As a rule of thumb, if it's public domain in the US, it's almost certainly public domain in the rest of world — for Wikivoyage, the most important thing is legal status in Canada, where the rule is that copyright is valid for 50 years after the author's death. ref (WT-en) Jpatokal 07:21, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
Does Canadian law even matter with IB being the owner? Evan, where is IB based? - (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 09:07, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
That rule of thumb is incorrect. US copyrights on new material last just short of forever, but because they used to be based on the date of creation, anything created before 1923 is irretrievably PD here. The EU now sets expiration at 70 years after the creator's death, which means anything created by someone who was still alive in 1936 is still protected there. That can easily reach back into the late 1800s. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 07:57, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
About copyright - I think the original book was written more than 500 years ago. No country has copyright protection that long. However, you will be quoting from a translation I guess. In that case what is relevant is when the translated version was written. If the translated version was published in the US, then you only need to worry about copyright protection in the US. That said, I am hard put to think of any way in which one can quote so extensively from a book in a Wikivoyage guide that it will end up infringing copyright. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 07:23, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
Pashley: I really like the idea of making a separate itinerary for Marco Polo's route. There's a definite sub-culture of travellers who love following historical routes; it would make a good itinerary. I'd say In the footsteps of Marco Polo would be a nice title, and would be a good model for other such articles: In the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, In the footsteps of Napoleon, In the footsteps of Alexander. However, I think there's a PBS series called In the footsteps of Alexander, and a Google search shows a couple of other TV shows with similar names, so it might be better to think of another title pattern. "On the trail of X"? "Following X's route"?
I think the copyright issue should be more or less moot if the book is in Gutenberg; as Ravikiran points out, the main issue is the translation, and if it's in PG it's probably quite old. (However, I think there are a few countries that have "perpetual" copyright on some works -- most notably the King James Bible in Great Britain, which is under crown copyright with no expiration.)
I think it's important to concentrate on practical instructions for modern-day travellers following the route rather than describe the historical travels. My feeling is that a full copy of Marco Polo's book would be unwarranted; excerpts of more than a few sentences would probably be overkill, too. --(WT-en) Evan 08:47, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

The Gutenberg file says "Including the unabridged third edition (1903) of Henry Yule's annotated translation, as revised by Henri Cordier; together with Cordier's later volume of notes and addenda (1920)". So US copyright has expired, as Gutenberg claim. Does that make it public domain by Wikivoyage rules?

That's good enough, especially since you'll be excerpting rather than copying the whole thing. --(WT-en) Evan 10:16, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

It wouldn't even have occurred to me to put "practical instructions for modern-day travellers" in here; those would be covered in country articles or Silk Road. I'm thinking of a historic itinerary mainly for help in considering a route. My thought was to lay out his route with some quotes about various places and links to the cities he visited — either the modern city entry if there is one, as for Hangzhou and Quanzhou, or the nearest current city if the one he visited is long since gone as many are. (WT-en) Pashley 10:04, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

Yes, that's how any good itinerary should work; with links to the destination guides for listed destinations. When I said "practical instructions for modern-day travellers following the route", I meant that we should list modern-day cities and approximations to the route. --(WT-en) Evan 10:16, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

OK, I'll start it as On the trail of Marco Polo. We can rename later if need be. (WT-en) Pashley 10:21, 6 June 2006 (EDT)


Henry Yule died in 1880 or 1889 (depending on whom you ask), and Henri Cordier died in 1925, placing their translations and annotations and updates in the Public Domain in the EU and wherever else the life+70 rule is in effect. And since the revision you're using was published in 1920 (i.e. before 1923), it's also PD in the USA. Go for it, dude. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 11:22, 6 June 2006 (EDT)

Marco Polo[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

As discussed here earlier, I've done On the trail of Marco Polo. So far, I'm the only editor. I think it is finished. Others please look, comment, perhaps improve. (WT-en) Pashley 05:15, 18 June 2006 (EDT)

Wow! Very nice! I enjoyed this very much. A map would be great (but they are so hard to do in my estimation). Nice work! (WT-en) OldPine 08:57, 18 June 2006 (EDT)
Great job! It will take some time to read it. A map would be good to follow the route. But take some rest before. (WT-en) Jan 09:54, 18 June 2006 (EDT)
Just to add some more praise—this is a really cool article. I hadn't seen it before! Just a suggestion: some photos would help break up all that text and make the article easier on the eyes. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:06, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Great itinerary!! I just finished the book and it makes your mind dream of older worlds and amazing travels!! The article is very complete, but it is lacking pictures, and most of all maps! Sorry to state the obvious and don't fix it myself, I just hope that someone has the time to do it because this route is worth it :) -- 00:35, 2 April 2009 (EDT)

Quotation format[edit]

I've just wasted some time undoing edits that had changed things in quotations from Yule and Cordier. We cannot do that. Either quote it the way the original author wrote it, or make changes indicated with square brackets or "...", but don't change the original text! I know those quotes were right; I used cut-and-paste from the book to put them in.

I also feel fairly strongly that setting off quotations with a different typeface like this:

In Asia and Eastern Europe scarcely a dog might bark without Mongol leave, from the borders of Poland... to... the Yellow Sea. The vast empire which Chinghiz* had conquered .. was splitting up into several great monarchies... and wars on a vast scale were already brewing.

Is much better than merely using quotation marks like this:

"In Asia and Eastern Europe scarcely a dog might bark without Mongol leave, from the borders of Poland... to... the Yellow Sea. The vast empire which Chinghiz* had conquered .. was splitting up into several great monarchies... and wars on a vast scale were already brewing."

Other opinions on that? (WT-en) Pashley 12:12, 10 November 2008 (EST)

I'm in full agreement. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:25, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Changed them back. (WT-en) Pashley 20:27, 12 November 2008 (EST)


This is tagged as usable. I think it is at least guide, but as the main author I am biased. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 16:42, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Map translation?[edit]

This is reasonable map, but it is in Russian. Would anyone care to translate it? Or do another in English? Pashley (talk) 22:00, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

I nominated that map for deletion as it's lacking any sort of information that could tell us whether it was in the public domain or not. Would File:Polo's journey.svg work for you? LtPowers (talk) 22:30, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. Searching Commons for "Marco Polo" did not turn that up. Pashley (talk) 22:42, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I find using categories works better. There are several other maps in commons:Category:Maps of Marco Polo's travels that might work even better. LtPowers (talk) 02:16, 24 April 2013 (UTC)