|This page in a nutshell: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when a trying to find your way around a new city, it's more like a million. A clear and simple map can save hours or even days of hassle.|
What are maps on Wikivoyage?
Maps fall into two categories:
- Static maps are pictures, crafted to give an overview of a distinct area.
- Dynamic maps are rendered at the same time as the page, and superimpose locations from the article's listings onto the map. The map area can be moved as well as zoomed in and out.
Why are maps required?
Articles do not require maps to begin with, but will add invaluable context to the traveller as the article develops.
Maps are also recommended when taking a destination article to 'Guide' status, as well as required for 'Star' status.
What type of map should be used in an article?
There are no absolute rules, however dynamic maps are best used on 'bottom level' (i.e. City, City District, National Park) articles, where listings may change frequently. A dynamic map helps little if there are no item listings with geo-coordinates, or if no longitude/latitude parameters are provided for the destination. Country or Region level articles are usually best served by a well designed static map.
- Continental - static map
- Region with multiple Countries - static map
- Country level – static map
- Subnational region (with subregions) – static map preferred
- City article with districts – static map preferred
- City article with no sub-districts – suitable for a dynamic map
- City district article – suitable for a dynamic map
- Park article – case by case judgement
- Travel topic – case by case judgement
- Itinerary – often dynamic using appropriate markers and GeoJSON tracks if needed, but use case by case judgement
Should I replace a static map with a dynamic map?
The short answer is 'probably not'. Wikivoyage pages are designed for offline use, and therefore static maps are more useful in that regard. If a static map is extremely outdated to the extent that it no longer reflects most of the current information, then replacing with a dynamic map can be suggested on the article's discussion page.
Should I replace a dynamic map with a static map?
The short answer is also 'probably not'. If you can spend the effort to create a static map that is demonstrably superior to the dynamic map then go for it. Consider creating a static map which complements the dynamic map, for instance showing the main central sights and is placed below the dynamic map.
For Country and Region level articles, a static map should work much better given that there should be no individual listings on those.
Should I remove maps completely?
No. Maps help the traveller. Removing them does not help the traveller.
If a dynamic map displays the wrong area, then it should be adjusted to the correct geographical coordinates.
What if the map doesn't fit with my page layout?
You can consider the following:
- Move the map to a different section - "Get around" is best, but it can be moved if that works better.
- Change the dimensions - default dimensions are preferred, but it is not a big deal to change them if that works better for your page layout.
Remember that your display, settings and browser window size are irrelevant when planning page layout: plan the layout to look good in most typical settings and to work for nearly anybody.