Wikivoyage is not an ordinary travel guidebook. Although our articles resemble the traditional paper travel guidebooks in their structure, they are filled with interactive content which enables our readers to easily navigate to the most relevant information for them through links, listings which are visually displayed on the included dynamic maps, and our readers are eve capable of expanding the Wikivoyage articles from their mobile devices while they are on the go. How does it work?
First, you'll need to locate the article you are interested in expanding. You can do this by using the search bar in the upper right corner of any page (where it says "Search Wikivoyage"), an interactive map or simply navigating through the links from one article to another - for example, through the geographical hierarchy.
Once you'll find the article you plan to expand, the next question you might ask yourself is what other things should I make sure are included in the article besides text?
- Most destination articles include a dynamic map. You can load an expanded version of the dynamic map for most destination articles in three ways - either by clicking on the little map icon with the magnifying glass located on the top right side of the page (just above the horizontal banner image), or by clicking on the icon inside the small dynamic map that already appears in the article, or by clicking on one of the colored boxes (with the number inside) next to each listing in the article. Any of these actions will open a map which would display all the listings mentioned in that article. If you click on a colored square, the map will be centered on the listing that you selected, while if you click the map icon, the map would should most areas of he city/town/village.
- Images are associated with many of the listings included in the article. In order to see the images load the dynamic map and click one of the objects on the map: as a result the name of the attraction/business located at the spot would be displayed with its photo (if a photo was associated with that attraction/business). Being able to quickly see a visual representation of the prominent attractions/businesses in the city/town/village help the readers quickly understand what is available, and where those places are located in the city, and in addition to visually evaluate various things as well.
- All the guides contain a lot of cross-references. If somewhere in the text another city is mentioned, its name will be highlighted in blue - if you click on the blue link you'll be able to go directly to the expanded article that covers that city in detail. At the end of each article, in the "Nearby" section, we usually write about prominent attractions located near the city which are recommended to visit while you are in the area.
The Wikivoyage articles were designed to be used while travelers are on the go yet without an internet connection. How should one take this information with them while being offline?
- Firstly, in the left panel there is a "Download as PDF" link. Clicking on it would allow you to turn any article into a PDF file, which you can then download to your mobile device or print. You can also use the "Print version" link in the same left if you are interested in sending specific pages straight to the printer.
- Secondly, you can load the coordinates of listing into the memory of your mobile device. To do this, at any destination article click on the GPX icon at the top right and save the GPX file locally. If you use the "OsmAnd" application, all you'll need to do is to save this file to the OsmAnd/tracks folder, and all the listings from that Wikivoyage article would appear on top of the already loaded maps.
- Alternatively, you can install the Kiwix application so that you'll be able to download and load the entire site offline - you can download either the very large compressed zip version that contains both text and images or compressed zip version that contains only text.
Like any resource which is based on crowd-sourcing, Wikivoyage will always be a work in progress project, that constantly evolves. Wikivoyage contains quite a few articles that could be considered finished, many articles that are still under construction, and many more whom are only in early writing stages. Although we try to have articles for most of the prominent destinations world wide, there are bound to be articles of prominent places we have not written yet as well. We try to classify all articles by their current quality in order to more easily locate the articles that mostly need to be worked. In order to see what the current status of a specific article is see the status bar at the bottom of the article - if it says that an article is a "Star Article" or a "Guide article", usually this means that these are the Wikivoyage community has put most efforts into, and in many instances it might actually mean that the article is as good as an article in a commercial travel guidebook. There aren't many articles like that though, and at this point in time we can't yet compete with the well written expensive travel guides from the store that has been written over many years by hundreds of paid writers.
Our goal on Wikivoyage is a little different. Wikivoyage is a project written collaboratively by independent travelers for independent travelers, and as such, it is capable of having useful information about much more than just the information about the biggest tourist attractions in each country which usually appears in most of the travel guide books one can buy at the store. Does this mean that we do not write about the biggest tourist attractions in each country? No, we definitly write about them in high detail, but in additional we try to supply our readers with additional useful information which you would usually not find in the traditional travel guide books.
Read our guides and do not hesitate to complement them with additional information that might benefit the readers. Good luck!
- Landing page — are a short editing instruction.