Wikivoyage talk:Listings

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Wheelchair accessible vehicles [tours][edit]

Swept in from the pub

Why can I not post about our wheelchair accessible vehicles in Orkney, Scotland? Its deleted as it is thought to be promotional. Is this less important that the other clearly commercial stuff that's on the site. we are a company that supports the work of a disability charity and I would have thought this would have been a valuable entry to a travel site —The preceding comment was added by Orkneyheritagetours (talkcontribs)

Orkneyheritagetours - There seems to have been some confusion on the part of one of our administrators. By way of offering a possible explanation, identifying and removing spam is a constant battle we fight on this site, and the vast majority of the time when a contributor's username clearly identifies him or her as the representative of a specific company, any contributions he or she makes end up being very clearly promotional. However, I reviewed your edit to Orkney Islands and that seems not to be the case here. My apologies for the inconvenience. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:47, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Also, preempting a possible response to me: though we do have a policy of not including value-added tours (i.e. those which don't offer anything more than what a traveller could hypothetically see or do on his or her own), I'm going to argue in favor of including this particular listing. It seems likely to me that this tour is value-added to its target market, being that the company offers experiences to travellers in wheelchairs that it would be difficult if not practically impossible for them to do on their own. I'm going to reinstate Orkneyheritagetours' edit on that basis. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:52, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Orkneyheritagetours, I'd love to see you bringing your knowledge here. We talked about disability-related themes a while ago, and one of the outcomes was that everyone thought that adding information related to a disability to some individual listings would be very helpful. If you felt like looking through listings for places you've visited, and adding information, that would be really helpful. Some of it's obvious, like "wheelchair ramp around back" or "has a Braille menu", but other useful pieces of information, such as "busy, energetic atmosphere with rock music pounding through the night", is very helpful to people with a variety of disabilities (hard of hearing, autism, anxiety) as well as other travelers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:31, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
If the listing is allowed by policy, then it's great that we add disability information. But if the tour isn't allowed by policy, then I don't see what disability information has to do with anything. From what I can see, this is a tour company adding their tour. Am I missing something? I would have thought most tours these days would cater for people with a wheelchair disability. --Inas (talk) 23:48, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that very few tour coaches can take people who are in a wheelchair and need to stay in the chair, unlike service buses which often have access ramps and a space to park a wheelchair. Most tour coaches have a few steps at the entrance. If the passenger can walk short distances then they might be able to take a tour with the wheelchair being stored in the boot. The policy says "If a traveller could fulfill the substance of the tour on their own, the tour should not be listed." A disabled traveller may find it much harder to "fulfill the substance of the tour" due to the route/terrain etc. AlasdairW (talk) 11:42, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I can think of situations for which the fact that the attraction offers a particular accommodation is what makes it worth listing. For example, if you're using a wheelchair, it's usually difficult to rent a wheelchair-accessible van when you arrive at your destination, and it's almost impossible to rent a vehicle with other adaptive equipment. If a business offered such equipment, then I would be inclined to list it specifically because of its unusual offerings, even if I wouldn't normally bother listing any other car-rental companies at that airport/train station. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:01, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Expat clubs?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I noticed this edit on Busan LINK that added an Expat Rugby club. Is this in scope? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:50, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

The wording "an expat rugby club open to all residents of Busan and surrounding provinces" might be an issue, as we´re looking for things which are open to voyagers - and not merely to residents. K7L (talk) 22:27, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm going to say that this is not relevant to travelers as per Wikivoyage:Listings#Relevance_to_travel Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:47, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Fax numbers[edit]

Is it time to purge fax numbers from Wikivoyage? Arguments in favour of doing so:

  1. It seems unlikely that a Traveller will use a fax to contact an establishment for the first time, if at all.
  2. Many establishments have taken their fax machines and numbers out of service due to lack of use. CBS News declared the fax machine to be obsolete in 2012.
  3. Verifying that fax numbers are still valid seems like a task that no-one is going to be interested in undertaking, so we are probably taking up space in our articles for invalid fax numbers that no-one will use anyway.

Are there any arguments against purging fax numbers? The first step in implementing this would be to remove the fax line from the templates. This would be easy. The second step would be to run a bit to delete fax numbers from existing listings, which would be beyond my abilities. Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 19:26, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Reports of the fax machine's obsolescence are greatly exaggerated, at least in certain sectors of the travel world. In my (recent) hotel industry job, the fax machine was used e.g. to send and receive credit card authorization forms for guests checking in with a card issued under someone else's name that they don't have in their physical possession (not as farfetched a scenario as it sounds; it happens frequently with business travellers using expense accounts, for example). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:31, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
It's also probably not worth the effort to remove fax numbers. We can revisit this in 5 years or so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:07, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
We do not have faxes where I live. --Traveler100 (talk) 21:28, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I support the idea of purging fax numbers. Sure, faxes are not yet fully obsolete. They are used on occasion to send credit card information as described above by AndreCarrotflower, and I'm sure there are other purposes too. But in such cases where they are used, you would always need to establish contact by another method first, and then send the fax with the information required to the number you are advised. To use the fax number on wikivoyage for general contact, to seek information or to make a reservation by this means would be a sure fire way to turn up and find you're sleeping in the stables. --Inas (talk) 21:44, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I support removing fax numbers. When I am updating a listing I sometimes check a fax number listed, and I don't recall any recent occasion where I found the fax number on the website. I last sent a fax nearly 10 years ago, and I have not had the ability to send a fax from home since I stopped using my Windows XP PC. In place of a fax I do occasionally email signed paperwork, but I recognise that some recipients prefer a fax for this. However I doubt anybody would use a fax for "first contact". AlasdairW (talk) 22:35, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I support the removal as well, and specifically agree with Inas. I have never used a fax machine in my life (24 yo), and probably never will.
On the other hand, actually going round removing them all seems a bit unnecessary. Can't the fax field just be removed from the listing template, then as listings get updated over time, individual numbers will magic themselves into obsolescence (just like a real fax machine!). --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:42, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I would support removing the fax field as a default field, though I don't feel strongly about this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:27, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I still see many hotels listing fax numbers on their own websites. As much as this technology deserves to die a peaceful death, it does look like quite a few businesses are keeping it alive on life support.
If there were a {{listing}} field that I'd want to see removed, it'd be the e-mail field as listing those here is getting those addresses signed up for a lot of unsolicited garbage - which is making the system much less usable for everyone. K7L (talk) 02:49, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I sometimes hesitate to publish an e-mail address in cleartext here, when the one on the site itself is garbled. On the other hand "info(at)example.com" is hardly much use to avoid spam - it is easy to gather addresses with algorithms better at inferring the true addresses than most people. And having an address you do not tell possible customers is little use. I suppose the only solution is filtering software. I had my current main address visible for ten years and have never got more than a handful of spam weekly past the filter (with few false positives, it seems). Not going to give up that provider! --LPfi (talk) 08:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Back to fax numbers[edit]

Let's set aside the question of email addresses, which should be addressed separately.

I eill make two proposals to move this along:

  1. remove the fax line from all listings templates, OR
  2. remove the fax line from all listings templates except the "Sleep" template, to address AndreCarrotflower's objection.

Existing fax numbers would be left for now, and we could revisit the issue later. Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 13:09, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

On reflection, I would actually prefer the second of those options. If fax numbers are still marginally useful for some accommodation listings, we should keep the option to add them open, even if for the vast majority of new listings the section will remain blank. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:19, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
The numbers are useful when verifying listings where we don't know whether the company is still in business. If a call to a number in the listing gives a wrong number or an intercept message ("the number you have reached is not in service...") that's one clue that the business is out of business... and that applies to both voice and fax numbers. If the company still exists but is temporarily (or seasonally) closed, the fax will still answer in its distinctively old-fashioned screeching way. I'm fine to follow the lead of the individual venues - if they list a 'fax' on their own website, I shall include it, if they don't I shan't call voice to ask them for a fax number as that can attract more 'junk fax' spam to an establishment. K7L (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
I accept that all the reasons here in favour of keeping fax numbers are legitimate in themselves. Sure, verifying a listing for a seasonal business that doesn't have a webpage, isn't on social, doesn't answer their phone or email in the off-season, but still has a fax turned on. Well, yep. That's a real reason. But the fact that we're having to stretch so far to find a reasons to keep it there, is really just telling us that it's time for this to go. Dig deep. --Inas (talk) 04:43, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
It's no stretch to say that, if the web page link is broken, one of the first things I'll try is to pick up the telephone (as Voice over IP is a penny a minute to most of North America) and try every number to see if any of them answer. A web page on some free service is likely to still be there long after it has been abandoned by its creators, but a telephone number will go dead as soon as the subscriber stops paying the monthly fees. K7L (talk) 05:11, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
I accept that giving them a call is a great idea if social, booking sites, etc all fail. Nothing wrong with picking up the phone, and noone is suggesting getting rid of phone numbers. But your use case of them being temporarily or seasonally closed, not answering the phone and email, but the fax still being on meaning that they are verified? That's a stretch, I'm afraid. Might happen. Legitimate. But a stretch. --Inas (talk) 05:25, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Consensus[edit]

Trying to settle this, do I have consensus to make the following change?

remove the fax line from all listings templates except the "Sleep" template -- existing fax numbers would be left for now, and we could revisit the issue later.

Ground Zero (talk) 20:51, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Fine by me. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:30, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't really care, as long as we're not subtracting information that's already there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:44, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Support. Since my earlier comments, I have found that faxes do still seem to be used by embassies (their websites often list them). However they use the general listing template, so may not be worth making an exception. AlasdairW (talk) 23:32, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I see no reason to do this. We're removing information just for the sake of doing so? K7L (talk) 01:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
No, we are not removing any information. We are removing the fax line from the template for new listings. Fax numbers that are already in listings will remain, whether they are valid or not. No information would be removed. Editors who feel that a fax number would be of use for a particular listing would be able to manually add the line in. Ground Zero (talk) 02:08, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I support this. —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:19, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

I have implemented this - removed the fax item from all listings templates except the "Sleep" template. Nurg (talk) 08:07, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

"Learn" listings[edit]

I know that we established a standard of having listings in the optional "Learn" section only for institutions that have ~2-week or shorter programs for non-matriculated students, but I don't see that anywhere on this project page, nor even on this talk page (it was presumably archived, possibly unwisely). And unfortunately, because Wikivoyage:Where you can stick it states without qualification that a college should be listed in "the Learn section of the City page", we have results like this. So if we have a policy, we had better be clear about it, unless we want new users in good faith to disregard existing consensuses that are both insufficiently documented and contradicted (at least implicitly) by seemingly authoritative pages. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:22, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I think that's a stupid policy (if it exists!) Education is one of the primary reasons for people to travel, especially for people of my age. Whether they be enrolled on a course for a single semester, or for an entire degree or other qualification, they're still travellers and should be able to see listings for appropriate universities and colleges in the relevant city article. That doesn't mean we should provide information about the courses or advice on how to enrol. I sometimes wonder if Wikivoyage is intended to be for all travellers, or whether it is just for holidaymakers...
However, this policy should be written down somewhere if it's genuine. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:46, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
To me, the issue with the edit is not that colleges were added, but that the colleges added aren't in the town. That and detailed information about public libraries for residents of the town tells me that an essential point was being missed: Wikivoyage is a guide for visitors to a place, not a guide for residents. Ground Zero (talk) 12:19, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Public libraries seem to be listed mostly as public-access Internet sites, ie: "connect", so that's a bit of an odd special case. K7L (talk) 14:11, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. If you look at the article, you'll see that I left in the library listing, but removed the information related to services for card-carrying residents of the city. Ground Zero (talk) 14:15, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Yep, so back to the issue at hand... --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:30, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I should add that I personally would be perfectly OK with listing every university/college everywhere, but a relatively narrow definition of "traveller" has been agreed upon so far, which doesn't include people who move somewhere, even for a semester abroad. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:34, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
I think we should list at the very least list major public universities in some capacity. Their mere presence if often extremely noteworthy - often noteworthy enough for its own line in the understand section. Erlangen would be a different town without FAU and León (Nicaragua) would be different without UNAN. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:53, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm getting a strange feeling of deja vu. We've agreed on multiple occasions that our normal guides should be useful to a traveller, rather than someone moving to study or work. This means that our sleep sections don't include how to buy real estate, or how to get a lease. Our work sections list opportunities work for someone passing through, and not how to get a job-for-life. Our learn sections generally target institutions that offer short courses (less than 3 months), and could be completed by a traveller passing through - and hopefully list courses that would be somehow unique to the destination (language, local cuisine etc). To the extent that it's a university town, with university bars, and university theatres, and where the university itself is an attraction, it can easily fit in our guide under the appropriate sections - Understand - See - Do - Drink. --Inas (talk) 06:00, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

The reason you're getting a strange feeling of deja vu is that it doesn't seem like anyone documented the results of our previous discussions in any clear way on any policy or guideline pages. I don't greatly care what standard we use in terms of which institutions of learning get listed where and which don't get listed, but whatever we decide on needs to be very clearly and consistently indicated on all relevant policy/guideline pages, which means Wikivoyage:Listings and Wikivoyage:Where you can stick it at a minimum. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:37, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, and while we're at it Wikivoyage:Big_city_article_template. There is some previous discussion on this, Wikivoyage_talk:Big_city_article_template#Learn_and_Work and Wikivoyage_talk:Big_city_article_template#Learn.
As you'll see, I do like the is it relevant to a traveller? test. I'd like to see a general guide that a traveller is a person who stays in one place for 3 months or less before moving on - and after that they are a temporary resident. That marries with most tourism visas issued by most countries, include Schengen, USA, Australia and others. You can't study for longer than six months without a student visa in Canada. You can't drive your car into another EU country for more than six months without being subject to local taxes, etc. I also like Peter's perspective, that in general a well curated article that reads well and make sense as a cohesive travel guide attracts less policy enforcement attention than those simply listing every university that would not be of interest to a traveller. I also think Travel Topics should be less rigorously policed that geographical articles, because they can be read only by those that are interested in them. --Inas (talk) 09:14, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I like 3 months a lot better than 2 weeks, because that covers special all-summer study programs which, while they can be very hard work, are certainly a different experience from regular college. I'd cover semesters abroad, too, however, because those are also clearly temporary and not long-term travel. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:38, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree with this. And in order to cover semesters abroad, we need to list universities and colleges that accept enrolments from international students. The déjà vu is happening because long discussions rarely get resolved (hence they get a rematch x months later), and if they do, the resolution often doesn't get enshrined into policy, creating confusion. Let's change that. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:46, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── these days doing an Erasmus is easier than visiting some of the remaining strange visa regime countries for holidays. Also yeah summer study programs Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:28, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Definitely, it's an amazing opportunity and makes this kind of travel (because it is travel, no matter how some may wish to narrowly define the concept) all the more common and is also one of the many reasons Brexit is a colossal misjudgement. Though Erasmus participant countries are still in the minority on the world stage. Any European wishing to study abroad in North America for instance has to go through normal immigration procedures. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:08, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Consensus?[edit]

Is our emerging consensus that in "Learn" sections, we list institutions of learning only if they offer courses lasting 3 months or less, plus universities that accept students for a single semester abroad? I'd be pleased with that. If we're agreed on this, we should insert a section in Wikivoyage:Listings that explicitly addresses a "Learn" section, mentions that it's optional in any template, and states that any institution listed in any "Learn" section must be explicitly described in its listing as accepting students for individual specified courses lasting 3 months or less and/or accepting students attending foreign universities for semesters abroad. We then need to add qualifying language to the relevant entry at where you can stick it and edit any template article, such as Wikivoyage:Big city article template, accordingly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:55, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

I think 3 months is good cutoff per the discussion above. Staying somewhere for 3 months is still not long enough to feel like you're living permanently. Gizza (roam) 12:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that all sounds about right. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:17, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Sounds good. Ground Zero (talk) 14:02, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Agree with that. I'd also like to add some floral words to encourage people to mention such courses that are unique or culturally relevant to the destination.. (without necessarily making that a policy limitation) --Inas (talk) 22:18, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I like the three month limit, and being clear that the course must accept foreign students (not necessarily just those already attending a university). However the wording should also reflect that this is the place to list the three hour course on baking the local variety of bread. It may be worth saying that listings for regular children's schools, tutors etc are not welcome. AlasdairW (talk) 23:05, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Agreed on all your points, AlasdairW, but are we turning against the idea of listing universities that accept a semester (~5 months) abroad? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:03, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek I would be happy with a longer minimum course length, but I didn't think that was being proposed. I would not object if allowed universities generally (but not schools or technical colleges), as universities tend to have many students from outside the area, and it would be great to encourage student editors, but this may be too big a step for some others. AlasdairW (talk) 21:30, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I hope not. That's pretty much the shortest course any university will offer. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:24, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Many universities offer summer semester courses that last anywhere from 2 to 9 or so weeks. But I think it's important for us to decide whether to include semesters abroad or not. I think we should. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:16, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Oh yes, that's true. And they're often specifically targetted at internationals, and are separate to the rest of university life (as regular students are mostly on summer vacation). I see no reason why institutions offering both kinds of courses shouldn't be listed. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I have visited a number of Universities in the last few years for a day. Either for work talking to professors and researchers, hobby or work getting to see an old book not yet scanned online, or for family visiting someone studying or helping someone decide where to study or just gone to look at the architecture. Now I agree do not want to start seeing large lists of every school and college but at least a mention and location points of key faculties can be interesting. Also agree with comments above about if it can be put it in the see or eat section, but end of the day people will always be adding listings of Universities. It is a reason for traveling to a city. Maybe should be added to the Understand section if no short study courses, as a city having a university does influence the character of the place. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:12, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes or no on semesters abroad?[edit]

It looks like we have a consensus to list any institution of learning that offers courses open to people who aren't in multi-year programs there and lasting anywhere from part of a single day to a whole summer.

What about universities that accept students enrolled in other universities for a semester abroad? Some of us think we should list such schools. I think that would be a very good service for us to provide for anyone who wants to plan a combination of learning plus travel. But it's unclear to me whether we have a consensus behind such listings.

One alternative would be to list such schools only in the dedicated article about studying abroad, but that would be unhelpful to someone reading an article about a particular city and thinking about how they might be able to live there for a few months without moving there and getting a work permit (not everyone reading this site will know that we have a separate article about studying abroad, nor what title to look for - I searched for "university abroad" and "college abroad" first and found nothing, so maybe I should create redirects but that's a bit beside the point I'm making). So what do you all think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:41, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

  • Yea. Semesters abroad are a fairly American thing as far as I know. I don't think that they are commonplace in other countries. However, I see no problem including universities that offer them in our listings. Ground Zero (talk) 21:47, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes, obviously. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:50, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Over here exchange programs of a year are more common than those for a semester, I think (and many Finnish students plan studying a year elsewhere). Having such a year abroad is still more of a travel experience than about settling abroad. I see no reason not to serve those who want that experience, as long as we keep it reasonably short and do not add other listings relevant only to them. Even a sentence or three about degree studies could fit, if the university is relevant for foreigners. Studying abroad will quickly become unwieldy if we try to include several dozens of universities there, so it is not a real alternative. --LPfi (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Semesters abroad are very common in Europe. Just see w:Erasmus program. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:37, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
But that's the thing - every university offers an exchange of some description to some students of other universities. Every university accepts foreign students, international or from neighbouring towns/states. You could write an entire guide page for each university. You could say the same thing about working abroad. When people work abroad for two years, it's also often more of a travel experience than a work experience. You have to pick your courses, find a place to stay on campus or find a share room with other students. It really is a whole guide by itself. --Inas (talk) 04:06, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
So how do you think we should handle things in destination guides? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:23, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
The universities themselves give a lot of advice on practical matters, so we do not have to write whole guides. For city guides I think the main points are that there is a university, its general orientation, something about its character, language of tuition, directions for further information, noteworthy shorter courses and programmes, and special caveats (scarcity of housing, high costs, odd requirements, what have you). I think that can be written in one paragraph (and perhaps the info should be trimmed to fit). General costs of studying, exam structure etc. can be handled in a few paragraphs in the country page. --LPfi (talk) 06:58, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for those thoughts, very helpful. What limitations should we put on what kinds of educational institutions can be listed in "Learn" sections? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:05, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I think a travel guide on Studying in the European Union (or some such) would have value. In city travel guides mentioning the existence of a university and some general details on it should be enough. Just mention whether it has one confined campus or is spread throughout the city, which specialties it has and so on. No need to regurgitate whether a Diplom takes five years or a Master one or whatever... Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:29, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
What kinds of educational institutions shouldn't be listed in "Learn"? Obviously, nothing below college level (no high schools, etc.). No community colleges, I imagine. I also definitely think we don't want to list campuses of fraudulent or highly questionable for-profit universities like University of Phoenix. Any other limitation? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:57, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
No high schools or community colleges is a good start. Weeding out fraudulent institutions will be a challenge. I understand that in the US there are accreditation bodies. Can we say something like "In the US, the institution must be accredited by a national body"? I don't think U of Phoenix has campuses, but I could be wrong. Ground Zero (talk) 21:30, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I would exclude corporate inhouse or customer training (no courses on servicing Model X cars), and highly specialised vocational post graduate courses. People looking for such courses usually only have a very limited choice of locations, and the city is unlikely to be much of a factor in making the choice. I would also exclude courses that have residential or employment entry requirements. If we are going to require accreditation, then this requirement should not apply to shorter courses - it is not really a factor in choosing a one week watercolour painting course. AlasdairW (talk) 23:35, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Weeding out fraudulent institutions is made easier if we adopt a blanket policy of banning the listing of for-profit colleges in "Learn" sections. I don't think I completely agree with excluding specialized graduate-level courses. There are summer music institutes for the creme de la creme of students and young professionals that are and should be listed, although some of them could be listed in "Do", rather than "Learn", because they generally give performances open to the public, and sometimes, master classes open to the public. Similarly, summer art institutes have shows that are normally open to the public. But I don't think it's the least bit wrong to list such programs in "Learn", and the location is absolutely a factor in choosing such programs. When I was in graduate school and had a fellowship that paid for certain kinds of professional expenses, I chose to go to master class programs in France and Italy, rather than California and Quebec, because since the fellowship covered my travel to and from the classes and tuition and a per diem during the classes, I could spend a little of my own money to spend a few weeks simply being a tourist in France and Italy. Some of the same teachers I was most interested in working with taught at Domaine Forget in Quebec (province, not the city) as well as Nice. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I had specialist medical colleges in mind when saying "highly specialised vocational" courses, but the issue applies to other fields like engineering - the sort of course where most students are sent by their employers. In music, I might exclude a course on instrument tuning or manufacture, but not one on playing the instrument. AlasdairW (talk) 00:36, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm really failing to understand this now.. Surely it's the community college offering that language course or the local cooking or beading course that's the real reason for the learn section. And now we're talking about accreditation of graduate programs. I think we're really taking an odd path. I've seen nothing in any guide to convince me that we can cover university courses for travellers well. And as much as I usually object to slippery slope arguments, catering for long stays (multi-year) really risks adding lots of information to a guides that won't be of use to the average visitor who is looking to visit the leaning tower rather than take on a multi-year degree program. If we really want to do this, I think we need to look a Staying longer sub-article, where we can start moving the information for ex-pats, long term students, people relocating temporarily for work, etc --Inas (talk) 00:26, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't think it's at all obvious that community colleges would offer short-term courses for non-matriculated students. If they do, of course they should be listed. But I don't see anyone suggesting that we should list multi-year programs. The question is whether to list colleges that host semesters or possibly a year abroad, nothing longer.
As for whether we can cover the programs comprehensively, I don't think that's necessary, either. I think that, for example, in the guide for New York City, it should be mentioned which colleges give courses (such as in their extension divisions) for non-matriculated students and which ones host a semester or year abroad, and then templated listings should be given for those colleges in the appropriate district guide. They don't in any way need to be comprehensive, just a remark that, for example, Columbia, NYU or perhaps Fordham, St. John's and X, Y or Z CUNY school is popular for people doing a semester abroad in New York. If people want more details, they can go to the link provided for the university's website, but at least they have some idea of what to look into if temporarily living in New York while studying is interesting to them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:33, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
It's risky to generalise; there's a community college in Chicoutimi-Jonquière which is famous for a three-week French language immersion course (which we do briefly mention) but there are three other community colleges in the same region which we ignore as the rest of the programming primarily serves locals. Universities will usually be mentioned somewhere (for the architecture, museums or concert halls if nothing else) but the viewpoint will be skewed toward the short-term voyager and not the expatriates. K7L (talk) 14:30, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Is someone doing a semester abroad an expatriate? I don't think so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:48, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
What's so complicated about a single listing for "xyz college; main campus in abc street specialties include blablabla they offer summer courses in thisandthat for more see the website". We have listings for restaurants that attract less visitors than some unis. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:46, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Completely agree with Hobbitschuster. This is being massively overthought. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:09, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
If the University attracts visitors it belongs in See not Learn. We want stuff in Learn that a traveller can learn. In my view, Ikan Kekek perhaps inadvertently gives it away, when he talks about appealing to those interested in studying for a semester while temporarily living in New York. So, they're not a traveller. We don't want to write for temporary residents in our main guides. Are they an ex-pat? Well, maybe - but we don't need to demonstrate that. Once they are going there for six months or longer and enrolled in a uni, they not a traveller anymore. --Inas (talk) 09:11, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
That's what was decided before, but so far, the rest of the participants in this thread don't seem to agree that someone spending 6 months somewhere is no longer a traveller. Even on a 2-week trip somewhere, I can feel like I'm living somewhere temporarily because the local shopkeepers get to know me and I've already become somewhat of a regular there. That's especially true if I'm staying in an AirBNB, rather than a hotel, but even living in a hotel can work that way if I have refrigerator space and get to know the baker, the cheesemonger, the fruit store clerks, the waitress at the local coffee shop, etc. So does that make a 2-week trip no longer travel? My feeling is that if you are going somewhere for a fixed amount of time, within reason, you are not really moving there and therefore still a traveler. Then the question is, how long an amount of time is within reason? And I think that either less than a year or less than 6 months are reasonable. Less than a year covers a year abroad to study, since that year won't include the summer months, and less than 6 months covers a semester abroad. Either way, I'm glad that you're not invoking the previous draconian view that courses we cover have to be 2 weeks or shorter. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:26, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
I think it does not matter much whether we choose six or twelve months, at least for universities, as the one semester and one year programmes usually are quite similar (so no extra text is needed for the one year ones) and both tend to be arranged. As most universities arrange at least some relevant courses or programmes, they are usually best listed at Learn, and people will know to look there also when just wanting to look at the architecture or visit a concert. And using the books of the library is probably "Learn". The universities should in many cases also be mentioned in Understand, but the listing should not be there. --LPfi (talk) 18:15, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Ikan Kekek, I count five participants in the thread above that agreed with the 3-month rule. I'm really not convinced that this anyone can identify as a traveller, thing. It doesn't give us enough scope to keep things focussed. As you point out, you can still list the universities under this rule, because most will offer at least one course that fits, and people can follow the links. it means that we don't need to add the clutter to cater for temporary residents. LPfi, are you suggesting that concerts at universities should be listed under Learn? What's the rationale for that? Why would with throw them in with the cooking courses, and not with the other concert venues in Do? --Inas (talk) 05:31, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

I certainly don't think people are always travelers in the place where they live. I laid out my thoughts above, which are that in some ways, you can have the feeling of living somewhere temporarily in the space of 2-3 weeks. I've experienced this. You do it by staying in an apartment or residential hotel and frequenting certain places where you become recognized as a regular. The other side of my argument would be that where your permanent address is matters, but that I think most of us would accept that 4 or even 2 straight years of living somewhere most of the time is longer than the kind of temporary stay we want to cover under our usual umbrella of traveling. So something between 3 weeks and 2 years would be our limit. I proposed 6 months above but I'm also fine with a year. If there's a decision to eliminate years abroad and semesters abroad from our general definition of "travel", I won't argue vehemently, but if other participants in this thread agree with you, they haven't said so. I realize we decide things by consensus, generally not by voting, but if voting is the clearest way to gauge opinion, we can have a vote as a starting point for a clearer discussion. So I'll start another subthread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:03, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
Inas, I am not saying concerts should be listed under Learn, but we try to list an institution under just one heading, and those who happen to know about the concert will find the university under Learn, but not as likely under See. Few universities are foremost known for their concerts. What about the concert series given in museums and churches, should they be listed separately under Do, instead of (as I have done) mentioning them in the See listing? (This does not really belong here, I'd be glad for a pointer to a discussion elsewhere.) --LPfi (talk) 18:22, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
If the university runs a concert series, or has museums or churches, they can and should be listed under the appropriate sections. Putting them under learn is just making them hidden. --Inas (talk) 22:52, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
So this is different from hotels with restaurant and nightclub and arranging snowmobile safaris? The guideline should probably be amended, to show when separate listings are appropriate. --LPfi (talk) 14:36, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

Handle cities differently from country articles?[edit]

Perhaps we should change our approach somewhat, to retain "Learn" (and "Work") as a separate section for national-level articles (where there are unique considerations like obtaining student visas) but stop creating separate "Learn" sections in individual city or rural destinations.

For the city-level article, we should treat a college or university campus as one thing to "see" (or "do", if there are activities) and list it in that section as one complex listing, with subitems for the individual points of interest on campus, ie:

==Do==

  • Anyville College, 123 Scholar Street
    • School of Hard Knocks art gallery
    • Comedy of Errors theatre and opera house
    • Campus tour
    • Intramural sports...

That would keep the listings for the same campus together, but in the same section as the rest of the stuff to "see" or "do". We have plenty of articles for specks on a map like Potsdam (New York) and Canton (New York) which never should have been created, but which exist just because of a university or two operating a campus in the village. Listing the campus visit with the rest of the activities seems to work there. K7L (talk) 13:36, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

But that treats the uni as a tourist attraction, and not as a learning institution. Your example listing does nothing to inform readers whether they can go and study there and whether there are short- or medium-term courses that they could enrol in as a traveller. Plus there are plenty of universities and colleges which offer courses to overseas students but which have little or nothing going for them as far as casual visitors might be concerned. We shouldn't be clogging up the 'see' or 'do' sections with these. To be honest, I have yet to see a 'learn' (or 'work') section anywhere on any article that is so clogged with useless information that we should be contemplating removing them all. If anything, they tend to be on the sparse side. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:04, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Look at Edinburgh#Learn. Currently only The University of Edinburgh has see listings (and those are in Edinburgh/Old Town). The language schools only belong in a learn section (would this now be a sub-section of do?). It also doesn't address the question of whether to list in the main huge city article or the districts (and many large universities span several districts). AlasdairW (talk) 23:29, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that information is necessarily excessive (if that is what you were suggesting), given Edinburgh's capital city status and long history as a centre for culture and learning. I guess the answer to the district question could change based on the city's real size. For a compact city like Edinburgh that isn't really that 'huge' in the grand scheme of things, a single coherent learn section at the city level would make sense, but for genuine metropolises where even the universities number in the dozens, putting all but the largest and most prestigious into district articles would seem more intuitive. But that would require article-by-article consideration. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:59, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Vote[edit]

As I stated above, most things on this site are decided by consensus, so a simple majority opinion will not carry the day, but it looks like a vote will at least clarify the state of opinion.

In your opinion, should "Learn" sections cover:

A. Courses of some length shorter than 3 months only (specify maximum length)?

B. Courses of 3 months or shorter only?

C. 1 semester abroad or less?

D. 1 year abroad or less?

I vote for D. for the record, but I'd be happy with any answer from B. to D., as long as we can come to a clear consensus and then clearly state it on all relevant pages. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:02, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

I vote C but would accept D. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:52, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
D --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:13, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
I'd vote D, but I think it often is easy to include hints about less relevant options, while giving more detail about those likely to interest many travellers. --LPfi (talk) 18:27, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

This isn't really about length. And the above vote dramatically oversimplified the arguments and the impact of allowing long visits may have on the site if this sets a precedent. It's about the type of course that can be done by a traveller. I thought 3 months was a good rule of thumb, because it's easy to work with and for everyone to understand/enforce. But now we seem to have taken that a step further, and made it all about length. But it's more about the features of the course that make it appropriate to a traveller. Degree courses, no - clearly involve large decision making processes beyond this site. Exchange courses with a home institution, no - you need to already be enrolled in a home institution with exchange privileges so it's not generally open. Direct admission short courses, yes. You can visit a place and do them. --Inas (talk) 22:52, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

I understand your point of view. I would point out that in the United States, you can get university credits for many summer courses that don't require matriculation. For example, I recall transferring to my undergraduate school (SUNY at Purchase) 14.5 credits from Boston University that I received simply for enrolling in summer courses at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute when I was in high school. Those summer courses lasted 8 weeks apiece. I also got college credit from University of Colorado because I chose to register for a course in orchestration while I was at Aspen Music Festival for 9 weeks. Those credits, too, were transferred to Purchase. I'm not sure my points are specifically relevant to the distinction you're making, but I thought I'd mention them, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:41, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I think D is most reasonable but would accept C as a compromise if necessary. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:00, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
  • D, but I would also be happy with B or C. In part this is because universities will advertise 1 year long courses, but shorter periods abroad may be arranged through the "home" university, and not be obvious on the website. I think it is also worth thinking about the travel caused by studying away from home. The first time I made an overnight trip on my own as a teenager was going to a university interview, and when I was studying relatives travelled to visit me. I also think that when you arrive at the start of a three course in a strange city, you start out like a traveller and may refer to our guides, before ideally going on to update them. AlasdairW (talk) 23:02, 20 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks to those who voted. Anyone else? I don't think this vote has yet established any kind of clear consensus. Perhaps I should post to requests for comment. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:21, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
Well since almost everybody has voted for D as their first choice, I would say the consensus is pretty clear. Yes, I'm biased... The only thing really missing is more participation, so please do put in a request. The results may seem clearer if it were one user = one vote = one option, rather than this 'second and third choice' malarky. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:27, 24 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm not trying to stand in the way of a clear consensus. But I'm still making the point that we're changing the direction of our site to cater for people who are staying somewhere for a year. I haven't seen a strong reason for doing that, apart from people happen to think it's a good idea. Whereas on the contrary side, I see strong reasons, that I haven't seen anyone counter. My concern is once we make this change, we really can't exclude anything from our guides on the basis that it doesn't cater for a visitor anymore. Because a visitor living somewhere for a year is a resident. And we no longer become a travel guide, but just a city guide. I think this is a pretty big change, and I'd like a strong consensus that's what we want to be, before we become a yelp. Of course, if we could find a way to maintain our travel focus, but just have a one liner for universities in the town the same way we list consulates, I'd be happy with that. It's boring, but you can just skip over it. --Inas (talk) 02:41, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't know where this assumption is coming from that because we've decided to expand our scope to encompass students who are staying somewhere for a year, then necessarily we must also begin catering to everyone who is staying somewhere for a year. Implicit in many of the arguments made above by others, I think, is the position that the specific needs and circumstances of students are differentiated from, let's say, expats or long-term business travellers in a way that's more apropos to the preexisting scope of this site. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:33, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, I don't know where the assumption that a student resident needs are relevant to a travel site, but not a business resident came from either. If a year-long resident is a traveller, than why wouldn't any year-long resident be one?
Let me throw up a hypothentical. Two neighbouring shops. One shop offers a bag-wash laundry. The neighbouring shop offers washing machine rental. If I were editing an article today, then I'd delete the washing machine hire, and leave the laundry. One clearly relevant to a traveller and not the other. But if I was a student moving somewhere for a year, a whitegoods hire place may be just what I need. --Inas (talk) 04:35, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I vote for C, though don't mind B or D. Gizza (roam) 05:01, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Inas, I don't understand your hypothetical. You're talking about renting a washing machine? I don't know of such a situation. When I was a student, I either used on-campus coin-op laundromats or lived in a place that had a washing machine, but we're certainly not going to have listings of long-term rentals of anything on this site. Then again, I don't know what a "whitegoods hire place" is. I would have thought that would mean a place to rent bedclothes, not a washing machine, but do people rent sheets and pillowcases often?
The idea of letting people know about opportunities for study-abroad programs would just be information they could use to plan all the details we won't cover. Similarly, some articles have "Work" sections that give people who might want to travel somewhere to work there basic information about what kind of jobs they might be able to do. If, for example, there is ample work for line chefs in the summer, that might be mentioned, but we won't be listing professional knife shops. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:28, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
"Of course, if we could find a way to maintain our travel focus, but just have a one liner for universities in the town the same way we list consulates, I'd be happy with that." - User:Inas. Is anyone suggesting we do anything other than that? Okay maybe one line is unrealistic, but everything that needs to be covered at the city level could probably be done in a couple of sentences per learn listing.
I can't see anyone suggesting that our articles should become guides for "how to live as a student / businessperson for one year in Xtown", and suggesting otherwise is just indulging in a slippery slope fantasy. Nothing being proposed here fundamentally changes what Wikivoyage is all about. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:08, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, I'm having difficult deciphering what people are wanting. I'm trying really hard not to make a slippery slope argument. But similarly, having a vote for how long a course have to be isn't helping me here - because people aren't actually suggesting wording, or making a argument. There are some arguments above saying that year long students are actually still travellers. I'm trying to counter that argument, because that does change the essence of what a traveller is - that is someone who is visiting for a short period, and them moving on or returning home. --Inas (talk) 05:35, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
We're talking about "Learn" listings. Allowing "Learn" listings that cover any of these lengths of time would not have any effect on listings in other sections of any article. We aren't going to start listing car dealerships, real estate agents who provide houses or apartments for sale or 1- or 2-year leases, furniture stores, or any other establishments that would be listed in other sections and are of interest only to long-term residents. I think "Learn" and "Work" are different from other sections because the information in them can be used to plan an educational or work trip to a particular place, whereas all of the other establishments I mentioned (and many others) are of use only after you've already arrived and plan to stay for long enough to benefit from them. Does that make sense? Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:52, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
So, are you're arguing that work and learn sections are for different categories of people to all the other sections in the guide? If so, why would we want to do that? Why wouldn't just make the learn and work sections about things travellers can learn, and places travellers can work. Why build a travel guide, but identify two sections with a different appeal? --Inas (talk) 09:57, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Because people interested in travelling are likely to be the people interested in staying abroad for a longer time, and when planning to do that they benefit from our travelling info. Thus we can serve a significant part of our readership better by small additions. This is mostly the same argument that makes Retiring abroad and similar articles appropriate. --LPfi (talk) 10:28, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. And that's also why we have Studying abroad and Working abroad. The "Learn" listings should be concise, referring readers (implicitly - we don't want "See website for more information" in listings) to the universities' websites and contact information for further details, and in the "Work" section, it would be uncommon to have any listings at all. The topic articles mentioned above can offer more details on the kinds of issues involved with longer stays that we will continue not to cover in destination articles. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:08, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Agreed on that. I can envisage in the future it being beneficial to have more topic articles on study and work that are nationally or regionally specific, so that kind of information is kept out of destination articles. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:15, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── everybody, even visitors to Erlangen is served by the information that FAU exists, is kind of a big deal and what its specialties are. Similar things apply for Berlin with its three main universities (Humboldt, Technische, Freie) and countless smaller ones. Does every traveler to Erlangen have a burning desire to read about the Huguenots? Does every visitor to Berlin want to learn about its fractured history and strained modern day finances? No. But knowing thus can enhance a trip. And similar things apply for universities, even if you do not study there. And if during or after a trip you think the campus is kinda nice, wouldn't it be good to know whether the university in question offers Erasmus or the likes? Or whether it even offers the studies you're after? And from my experience 90% of Erasmus people are very much travelers in that they don't really "settle down" at the new place, often stay only half a year and usually live in accommodation that isn't part of the general housing market. Many Erasmus students come home with little to no language knowledge beyond that which they had when they left... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:14, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

[aside] That's really a shame. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:39, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
You see, I thought we had Studying abroad, Retiring abroad and Working abroad precisely to keep that information out of our main guides. So, if we want to avoid slippery slope arguments, lets avoid setting up the slope. Travel topics can have a broader scope than our guides.
We've resisted adding retiring information to every guide. We've resisted adding job sites to every guide. But now, we're going add university information to every guide? However, If every visitor to Erlangen benefits from knowing a university exists, then lets just add it - that's a no-brainer. I don't think we should exclude a university that forms part of the fabric of a city - even if it only offers 3-year degrees.
I'd suggest wording such like - Learn - add information here about institutions and courses that a traveller may be interested in attending or that provide a cultural background to the place that will help the traveller have an understanding of it. --Inas (talk) 22:16, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
What kind of information are you considering OK to include and not OK to include in "Learn" listings? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:52, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
People who don't care for the "learn" section can just skip it. As it is a top level subsection, one can close it on mobile or have it closed by default (unless the subsections with three =) Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:28, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

One month on[edit]

So this thread died again, and on the surface nothing was resolved. That could be because it turned out our opinions seemed to be too fractured after the 'vote'. I know votes are not formal things here, but I really think the results would have been clearer if everyone was only allowed to pick one option, at least for a first round.

However it is still clear to me looking back that there was a prevailing consensus to at least list 'Learn' institution that offer courses lasting months rather than the previous 2 week limit. Even if we couldn't agree on what the upper limit should be (i.e. how many months), it does appear that the majority thought the 2 week thing was too short. If my understanding of a consensus is correct, that is something we can knock on the head as decided, and hopefully build on to work out what our new upper limit should be.

So, in the intervening month, has anybody had any new thoughts? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:07, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

I agree we should move forward in some way. Discussions getting stuck in nothingness is incredibly frustrating... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:03, 31 March 2018 (UTC)
I lost the thread of this discussion and stopped being involved. Coming back to it now, it looks to me like the general feeling is for D. That's probably not how I would have voted if I had voted, but it does look to me like it's pretty close to a consensus. I would say plunge ahead with this option and settle the issue. Ground Zero (talk) 20:26, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Consensus[edit]

So is there any objection to me declaring a consensus for option D? Or would we rather continue discussing this for another two months and not do anything to change a policy that no longer seems to be working the way we want it to? Ground Zero (talk) 01:47, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

No objection from me, obvs. The most important thing is for a few more people to take a minute and say yea or nay on whether there's a consensus. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:56, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I obviously support, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:25, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
No objection... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:46, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

I've tried to capture what I think is the consensus, and added it to the article. As with any Wikivoyage policy or guide, it's not written in stone, and discussion is always open for further changes. Ground Zero (talk) 23:30, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Wikidata listing fields[edit]

Can we please make these default fields? I can never remember where they go. I think this is a problem, because we disallow inline links but have nowhere to go to even explain to people where to add such fields to listings. If the fields appeared by default, the problem would disappear. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:39, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

If you click 'add listing', rather than going to the edit window, they're included by default. However, I agree they should also be there when you click on one of the listing icons in the edit window. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:48, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't know that, but there's no reason for that discrepancy. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:26, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Anyone else have an opinion? I'd plunge forward on this, but I don't have any experience in editing templates. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:09, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
I've tried to do this, and to make the fax line optional per the discussion above, but can't figure it out. I'm working on a phone, but will be back to a computer later in the month and will try again. Ground Zero (talk) 19:59, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
A phone? I'm posting this from my toaster. Hopefully it doesn't land buttered side down. :)
The see/do/buy/eat/drink/sleep buttons which appear above the edit window are created using Javascript, see MediaWiki:Common.js and (more specifically) the lines after "var LISTING_TOOLBAR_ITEMS" which look something like:
post: ' | alt= | url= | email=\n| address= | lat= | long= | directions=\n| phone= | tollfree= | fax=\n| hours= | price=\n| lastedit=' + CURRENT_LAST_EDIT_DATE + '\n| content=\n}}' // text to be inserted
This appears several times, with only one minor variation ('sleep' has 'checkin'/'checkout' times which aren't on the others). Presumably the change would leave something like:
post: ' | alt= | url= | email=\n| address= | lat= | long= | directions=\n| phone= | tollfree= \n| wikipedia= | wikidata=\n| hours= | price=\n| lastedit=' + CURRENT_LAST_EDIT_DATE + '\n| content=\n}}' // text to be inserted
for most of these - with the slight difference for the hours to check in/out of lodging. K7L (talk) 05:07, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Great. Would you like to try the edit? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:08, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
No, we have administrators for that. I'm certain one of them could edit Mediawiki:Common.js if required. K7L (talk) 12:55, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
I didn't realize you had to be an admin to make that kind of edit. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:18, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
Mediawiki:Common.js is not protected - anyone can edit it. Nurg (talk) 01:22, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
That would be a frightening concept if it were true, but no. Anything in the Mediawiki: namespace is permanently full-protected; this is hard-coded right into the MediaWiki PHP core code and cannot be changed from the user interface. These pages control key portions of the wiki interface and a malicious edit in the wrong place could potentially render the site unusable - for instance, a malicious .js could hide everything on the page, replace it with something else or even auto-redirect the user completely off the site. K7L (talk) 04:09, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for the correction. Nurg (talk) 07:49, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
I have added wikipedia & wikidata. Not in the position that K7L suggested, but in the same position as (I believe) the 'add listing' function adds them. Nurg (talk) 08:31, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
Super! Now we need to edit the relevant pages dealing with Wikipedia listings. -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:42, 3 March 2018 (UTC)
I've proposed new language at Wikivoyage talk:Links to Wikipedia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:28, 3 March 2018 (UTC)

Missing "add listing" buttons[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Las Vegas seems to be missing the "add listing" buttons that are present in most city articles. Does anyone know why? —Granger (talk · contribs) 07:50, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Working for me now. But I have had problems a few times in last day or so trying to use the edit button on listings. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:39, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Look here. I had this problem before. In Las Vegas I changed the heading "Cities" into "Other cities", and the problem disappeared. --FredTC (talk) 11:25, 30 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. I wonder if someone with enough coding knowledge would be able to edit MediaWiki:Gadget-ListingEditor.js so it works in a less hacky way (maybe by checking for Template:outlinecity, Template:usablecity, etc.) to avoid this kind of problem. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:10, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Add a "default address info" field to listings[edit]

Swept in from the pub

So we have for whichever reason agreed not to list most postcodes and the city or district something is in in the "address" field of listings. I don't want to re-discuss this shaky agreement, but am instead proposing the following, given that having this default address info is a good thing for certain machine reading applications or for inputting the information into certain programs...

Anyway, my proposal is as follows: Have a field named "default address" or "postcode/town" or something of the sorts, which does not show up on the page unless a registered user explicitly opts in. That way those who complain about "clutter" with "useless" and "redundant" info won't have the problem but we enhance machine readability and those who wish to have this information can opt in. What do you think? Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:32, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

In theory, I am supportive, but have no idea how / whether this could be implemented in practice. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:59, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I thought we had agreed that postcodes should be included whenever they were useful (e.g., it identifies a small area, or it helps you find the "10 High Street" that you want, and not the wrong but nearby "10 High Street"). Is this question about when they're not really useful (e.g., everything in the town/on the page is in the same postcode)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:11, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I suppose so. It is for the case when the postcode is not useful for human readers (otherwise it should be shown) but necessary for finding the address by pasting it into some app, which does not otherwise know the context. --LPfi (talk) 07:43, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we're talking about making it useful for external apps and other websites. The human eye doesn't need to see the postcode 75001 in every listing in the 1st Arrondissement, but computers often do in order to make sense of the information. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:21, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

If the consensus to use postcodes wherever they are not identical for all listings in the article does indeed exist, it is not yet borne out by what some copy-editors do.... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:31, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Does that consensus exist? It doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. San Rafael and Chapel Hill each have more than one postal code, but I don't see what use those postal codes would be to travellers unless they're trying to send something in the mail. —Granger (talk · contribs) 22:53, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
The use of postal codes differs around the world. In Australia putting the postcode isn't actually ever useful unless your sending a letter. Bu in the United Kingdom, the postcode is more important than the name or the street address. It's the default to navigate somewhere these days. And every place is different. --Inas (talk) 23:01, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Some addresses exist more than once in a city and can only be distinguished by postal code. Search for "Goethestraße Berlin" for just one example. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:02, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not taking a position on how we should format addresses in Germany. I'm just saying that I don't think we should have a global policy of including postal codes in listings for all cities that cover more than one postal code. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:07, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
If we develop such a policy, every single address in New York City will need to include a zip code. But I want to know more about what is actually being proposed here. Is it that postal codes would be included in every address but by default invisible, with a toggle switch clearly shown that enables readers to see them? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:07, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
You should keep Wikidata in mind: in WD address (P969) means street + ZIP code + town. I think there is no simple way to extract ZIP code and town to make them invisible. --RolandUnger (talk) 08:35, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
A lot of us really don't know much about Wikidata, myself included. But I'm not sure I understand why the number in a Wikidata address is of any significance to whether we can see addresses in Wikivoyage listings. Please explain. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:10, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
If we export or import addresses via Wikidata (and I think this has been proposed, perhaps even implemented in some language versions), then what the Wikidata "property" includes, and its format, are important. If address, zip and town were different properties, it would be easy to get them one by one and show the ones we want. It seems we have to show all three if we import the address from Wikidata, unless we want to do parsing, which probably is too complicated for the general case. --LPfi (talk) 13:21, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
The property P969 was proposed by the English Wikivoyage community and contains: “full street address that the subject is located at. Include building number through to post code.” To learn about Wikidata entries look to some examples: Q42016015, Q2981, Q9188. I think the proposal of P969 was done because there is only a single address parameter in the listing template. Separate items like street names are only possible if there are [Wikipedia] articles about the street of interest. --RolandUnger (talk) 15:00, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Accessibility[edit]

For some destinations, this parameter would be useful. It would be similar to the price one. Selfie City (talk) 19:33, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Mention it in prose. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
A handy 'wheelchair accessible' symbol would be better in the long run, however. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:23, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
This is more what I mean: accessibility in how easy to get to, not as in wheelchairs. I'm going to use listing code from Livermore now as an example, with a minor tweak:

* {{see | name=Los Vaqueros Reservoir | alt= | url= | email= | address=Los Vaqueros Road | lat=37.809100 | long=-121.747012 | directions= | phone= | tollfree= | fax= | hours= | price=free | lastedit=2017-12-27 | content=Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an expanded reservoir to the north of Livermore. There are hike-able grounds around the lake, although these are sometimes closed for the bald eagles that occasionally settle in the area. The Los Vaqueros watershed comprises 19,300 acres (78 km²) of open space surrounding the 1,500-acre (6.1 km²) reservoir. Water is pumped into the reservoir from a Delta intake on Old River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta when salinity is low, and used for drinking water when salinity in the Delta is too high. The Watershed also serves as a weather data collection site for Mallory Ridge weather station located at the top of the ridge above the Marina. The station has a remote access water station (RAWS), which is maintained by the Los Vaqueros Watershed Staff and linked to the National Fire Weather System. Other benefits of the reservoir include water storage for drought or emergencies, a protected open space, and recreation. There are 55 miles (89 km) of hiking trails in the watershed. The watershed is open for fishing, hiking and other activities year-round. Electric rental boats are available, but no outside boats can be launched on the lake. No swimming is allowed in the reservoir. }}

Accessibility would be the same as price, so it the code would now look like this:

* {{see | name=Los Vaqueros Reservoir | alt= | url= | email= | address=Los Vaqueros Road | lat=37.809100 | long=-121.747012 | directions= | phone= | tollfree= | fax= | hours= | price=free | accessibility= | lastedit=2017-12-27 | content=Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an expanded reservoir to the north of Livermore. There are hike-able grounds around the lake, although these are sometimes closed for the bald eagles that occasionally settle in the area. The Los Vaqueros watershed comprises 19,300 acres (78 km²) of open space surrounding the 1,500-acre (6.1 km²) reservoir. Water is pumped into the reservoir from a Delta intake on Old River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta when salinity is low, and used for drinking water when salinity in the Delta is too high. The Watershed also serves as a weather data collection site for Mallory Ridge weather station located at the top of the ridge above the Marina. The station has a remote access water station (RAWS), which is maintained by the Los Vaqueros Watershed Staff and linked to the National Fire Weather System. Other benefits of the reservoir include water storage for drought or emergencies, a protected open space, and recreation. There are 55 miles (89 km) of hiking trails in the watershed. The watershed is open for fishing, hiking and other activities year-round. Electric rental boats are available, but no outside boats can be launched on the lake. No swimming is allowed in the reservoir. }}

Notice the "accessibility" one next to "price". Now here's how the listing would look as a result in visual mode:

  • 1 Los Vaqueros Reservoir, Los Vaqueros Road. Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an expanded reservoir to the north of Livermore. There are hike-able grounds around the lake, although these are sometimes closed for the bald eagles that occasionally settle in the area. The Los Vaqueros watershed comprises 19,300 acres (78 km²) of open space surrounding the 1,500-acre (6.1 km²) reservoir. Water is pumped into the reservoir from a Delta intake on Old River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta when salinity is low, and used for drinking water when salinity in the Delta is too high. The Watershed also serves as a weather data collection site for Mallory Ridge weather station located at the top of the ridge above the Marina. The station has a remote access water station (RAWS), which is maintained by the Los Vaqueros Watershed Staff and linked to the National Fire Weather System. Other benefits of the reservoir include water storage for drought or emergencies, a protected open space, and recreation. There are 55 miles (89 km) of hiking trails in the watershed. The watershed is open for fishing, hiking and other activities year-round. Electric rental boats are available, but no outside boats can be launched on the lake. No swimming is allowed in the reservoir. Accessibility: fairly easy. free.

Does that make sense now? This would make it very easy to assign accessibility information about how to get to a place. What I've got in mind for this parameter, particularly, is Geographic records, which could do with this parameter to simply and standardize formatting. Also, I think at least some of the description came from w:Los Vaqueros Watershed and/or w:Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Selfie City (talk) 22:34, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Oh, well in that case, I don't see the need for an additional parameter. In fact, I don't really know what "fairly easy" is supposed to mean and who that information is for. Regardless of that, why couldn't the information you want to convey be done in the content? As unrelated to this discussion it seemingly is, I would still support a field for information about an attraction's accessibility to mobility-impaired travellers. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:38, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

It means that it's a pretty easy place to reach: it means you can easily get there by roads, etc. Selfie City (talk) 22:45, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Is that not what the directions field is for, at least that is where you would say how accessible it is. Also somewhere may be "fairly easy" to access in a car, but a long slog if you have to walk there - "but 7 miles from town centre on the A123" is more useful information. AlasdairW (talk) 22:54, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I can't see how introducing a pseudo-standardized value judgment about how "accessible" something is (which if you are coming from a United States without a car standpoint will be "poor" most of the time) is superior to simply saying it in prose. If it is a five mile slog uphill without shade say so. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:59, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the above. Accessibility can be judged objectively as easy or difficult for people with mobility issues; for everyone else, it doesn't really make any sense. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:46, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
And not even for them. A place can be easily accessed, only that there is a passage or lift too narrow for a wheelchair. If there is a standard, then you can use it objectively, but that standard will be relevant only for some with mobility issues. The too narrow lift will make the place "inaccessible" regardless of how easy it is for everybody not in a wheelchair. --LPfi (talk) 10:04, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Local guides[edit]

Swept in from the pub

We normally don't list local guides (persons) or Wikivoyage:Tours unless they provide something that can't be done as easily independently (for instance, a "fishing charter" is a guide and a boat, while a Chornobyl tour crosses into an exclusion zone which isn't accessible outside the tour). What, then, do we do with Internet platforms like these: http://www.cbc.ca/life/travel/passport-hotel-reservation-date-with-a-local-the-case-for-talking-to-strangers-while-travelling-1.4633380 which are basically forums (fora?) to connect voyagers to local guides in individual cities? Do we list the sites in a travel topic, much like we'd list ride sharing sites or home stay networks in those respective articles? K7L (talk) 15:19, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Star attractions[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Our friends from the Russian Wikivoyage project have star attractions I discovered a few minutes ago. This indicates must see attractions such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome, and is displayed as a star icon between the attraction's marker and its title/name. A few examples in the Russian Wikivoyage page on Moskow.

I personally find this a convenient sorting method because there currently is no hierarchy in "See" or "Do" attractions (note: according to Wikivoyage guidelines, these should be ordered alphabetically and not in order of perceived signficance). For travelers who have limited time to spend in a particular destination, it makes it easier to plan a day with most of the "highlights" of the destination rather than walking from fountain to park, and eventually leaving without seeing the city's gem that turned out to be at the bottom of the "See" listings.

Is there a reason the English Wikivoyage doesn't have this functionality? ArticCynda (talk) 13:43, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

The "must see" attractions are often mentioned in the overview paragraphs of the See sections, for cities like Moscow already in the city article (while the listings are in the district articles). For minor places the star attractions are usually mentioned already in the lead section. --LPfi (talk) 14:54, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
In some cities like Siena, there's a longstanding consensus on what the main sights are. But try getting agreement on where a list of the main sights ends in New York, London or Rome. Sure, a few may be obvious, but when you go beyond that, you run into huge problems. I'd absolutely say the same is true of Paris. In Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomph are probably obvious, but after that, will you get agreement on the following? The Tuileries, Musee d'Orsay, Pont Neuf, Sacree Coeur (mostly for the view), Cluny, the Sorbonne, Les Invalides, Musee Guimet, the Musees Picasso and Rodin, Place Vendome, the Sainte-Chapelle...the list of possible main sights is quite long, and they will be rated differently by different people, depending on their interests and tastes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:10, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
I follow your logic, but the people writing articles are already forming a consensus, for example by choosing which attractions to deliberately omit. And clearly the Russians can come to a consensus on the matter, so why can't/wouldn't we? ArticCynda (talk) 19:36, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Because we don't want to waste time debating it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:51, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
We could adapt the English Wikipedia's rule for disputed external links, which is basically that disputed links are immediately removed, until there's a consensus to restore them. In the case of the Parisian example, that would mean starring whatever "obvious" items people agree upon, and nothing else (until people agreed upon more). It doesn't require much time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:07, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree, that seems a good idea to reach a consensus. Suggesting the following work flow:
  • a star can be added to any attraction
  • that star can be removed at any time, after which a discussion must be opened on the talk page
  • the star is only reinstated when a consensus is reached
@Ikan Kekek, is that a good compromise to your time waste concerns? ArticCynda (talk) 10:59, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure I like the idea in the first place. It's a cinch for people to find "Top 10" lists for the world's most visited cities, but most of them are districted on en.voy, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:24, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
That's an odd point of view because I would think that marking star attractions is particularly useful to districted cities, which tend to lose a proper overview of where attractions/landmarks with the highest value to the average traveler are located. I'm not fundamentally opposed to making lists, I usually only have a day or two to spend in a city, so I always make lists of attractions/landmarks I really want to visit in a city, making optimal use of my time there. ArticCynda (talk) 17:16, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
ArticCynda, it would be less work if the discussion only has to be started if someone wants to restore the star. So I add the star (5 seconds), you remove it (5 seconds), and I decide you're right (or that I don't care enough to object to the removal), and we're done already.
If, on the other hand, I add a star, you remove it, and someone (maybe me, maybe someone else) wants to advocate for including the dispute star, then *that* person should start the discussion. That approach means that the burden on the person disagreeing with a star remains low, and we stay efficient when everyone agrees. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the input WhatamIdoing, it would indeed be more efficient but the problem with this approach is that it leads to jojo effects. For example, consider user A who adds a star to an attraction. User B doesn't agree and removes the star, but then doesn't open a discussion on the talk page. User C reviews the article a day later and also thinks that attraction deserves a star, but unaware of the previous star/destar cycle immediately adds a star again, because there is no evidence on the talk page of a star/destar cycle. By opening a debate the moment the star is removed, that problem is solved because user C can reasonably be expected to check the talk page before making such modifications. ArticCynda (talk) 09:03, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
User C probably isn't going to check the talk page before plunging forward to add the star, either. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:14, 21 May 2018 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek's point about the debatability of what constitutes star attractions is well taken, but I'd go a little bit further with it and say that each individual reader is going to have their own personal list of star attractions, and none of those lists are invalid or "wrong". For instance, the question of what place a visitor to Manhattan would gravitate to before any other would depend entirely on their own personal interests. Nature lovers might head to Inwood Hill Park; aficionados of medieval art might make a beeline for the Cloisters; immigrant history buffs might head to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side; those poor saps still unsophisticated enough to be unironically impressed by Disneyfied corporate-driven faux-placemaking would likely head to Times Square. Wikivoyage should be in the business of recognizing the individuality and diverse interests of its readership - and we largely already do that, by categorizing "See" sections by broad themes such as "Art", "Museums", "Parks", etc. - rather than trying to find the rough average among them. Especially if that means we end up funneling readers to the same handful of obvious cliché attractions that other guidebooks highlight. For a small fry like Wikivoyage to carve out a niche in a world of Lonely Planets and Frommer'ses means we have to offer something different than our competitors, not ape them. Plus, designating certain attractions as "stars" in an at least partially arbitrary way smacks of touting, anyway. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:07, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
On the face of it, I agree with this. Some people visit New York to go to bars and nightclubs in Williamsburg, Bushwick and the Lower East Side, others go to all the art museums, others go to parks, others just like to walk around different neighborhoods. It's possible in individual entries to suggest that something is a highlight, and it's also possible to highlight some sights in the summary in the "See" sections of districted cities, but except where it's really obvious and uncontroversial what the main sights are (as in my example of Siena), I don't think we want to have a separate section expressly called "Main sights", let alone a particular arbitrary number of them. I mean, let's look at New York a little more. Is the Empire State Building a top-10 sight? It's certainly a major landmark, but the Chrysler Building and various other shorter skyscrapers are more beautiful, plus it won't be worth it to many people to pay a lot of money to go to the top of a skyscraper and probably see a hazy view. Just to take one example. I think it would be less controversial as a top-20 sight, but let's not spend time debating which sights in what order should be specially featured. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:48, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
These are strong arguments, AndreCarrotflower and Ikan Kekek, and convinced me that assigning stars to attractions wouldn't be as good of an idea as I originally thought it would be. It is indeed a better strategy to emphasize on value or importance in the description rather than assiging a binary score. As far as I'm concerned, this discussion may be closed! ArticCynda (talk) 20:25, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
I am really late to this, but I have learned that if you want to highlight a particular listing, use a picture. Pictures make the listing so much more noticeable, just like a "starred" or "featured" mechanism would. And like Ikan mentioned, bubbling up truly amazing listings to the parent article (and bolding them) is also a great idea. This is a writing focused site, so almost every problem can be solved with better copy, and not always better technology. --ButteBag (talk) 19:22, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
That last sentence is a beautiful summary, ButteBag, if previous comments wouldn't have convinced me already, then that would have done it! ArticCynda (talk) 07:29, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Recommended ages as a field for See and Do listings[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I've added some listings around south-east Wisconsin and realized that some venues are suitable for families with children and some are more suitable for older kids or adults. I think there be value in adding an age range/recommended ages field to see and do listings.

Examples: a playspace built specifically for kids under 6, an escape room which explicitly calls out that they don't recommend kids under 13 attempt it, a museum with interactive features designed for ages 6 to 12, an art museum that isn't designed with children in mind (doesn't forbid them, just doesn't have things specifically tailored towards children/is geared more towards adults), a museum that showcases torture methods/devices or sex toys throughout history.

Unless the venue specifically calls an age range out, I understand the age range would be subjective to the editors opinion however I think there is already precedence for this because eat and drink price ranges already are subjective. Obviously parents know their kid best and can decide whether a venue is appropriate. You could call out these things in the description, but having a dedicated/default field in the listing template might encourage editors to consider what ages the venue is tailored toward. I think this would help the traveler make a decision about frequenting a venue. I have no idea how to add fields to listings or how large an undertaking this change would be. DethDestroyerOfWords (talk) 20:52, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Just put it in "content". I don't want a field, because it will be inapplicable in many cases. And no need to specify exact ages; it's enough to say "Younger children may be bored" or "Some content, such as x and y, may be inappropriate for children". Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:25, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek, the description of the attraction will usually already give clues about the suitability for specific ages. Having specific fields for this is unnecessary, because the same could be said about access/suitability for wheelchairs, visitors with heart conditions or pacemakers, pregnant women, and so on. The resulting wild growth of rarely used fields would be confusing. ArticCynda (talk) 09:24, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I added age information just the other day. It's a factory tour (awesome, if you're into that kind of thing) that prohibits anyone under the age of 13. I think that putting it into the main description was adequate. I've similarly noted that a few restaurants are notoriously (and intentionally, as a marketing strategy) unfriendly to children. Child-oriented attractions should also get notes about which ages are most appropriate (e.g., "Toddlers usually congregate in the sandbox, but older kids will be excited by the 12-meter-high playground structure").
IMO the main reason to put such information in a separate field would be making it machine-readable. If someone wants to be able to systematically extract all listings that might be appropriate for <age>, then we'd need a separate field. I don't think that is likely to happen in the foreseeable future. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:30, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Embassies and consulates - collapsed list[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Although I see the reason for listing all diplomatic missions I do find them annoying taking up so much of the page. One of those topics you are not at all interested in, until you really need it. Proposing to collapse the list, here is an example on London article. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:51, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

  • I like the collapsing function. Great idea. Ground Zero (talk) 11:07, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree, for long embassy lists like this it's a clear improvement in the online version. My only concern is the print/offline version—when I used the "Download as PDF" link from the London article, the list stayed collapsed, so none of the embassies show up in the PDF. Is there a way to make it so that the table is collapsed by default for online viewers but is expanded when you use the PDF feature? —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:46, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Excellent idea. This is probably applicable to some other sections, too. I could see using it in some long articles like United States of America. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:11, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
This is already being done for the national capital cities, Sarajevo is a fine example with map markers, telephone, fax, email etc. ArticCynda (talk) 16:47, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Collapsed content has some accessibility issues. I think it's better to avoid it, in general. If it's not important enough to display, maybe we could consider putting it in a sub-page? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:32, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
What are the accessibility issues? --Traveler100 (talk) 20:59, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
It being left out from PDF:s mentioned above is one. Uncollapsing it may may be difficult in some situations, and it may confuse the web browser (internal links can lead astray, as the correct position is often computed before collapsing). The foremost problem I have experienced is the temptation to include too much content as it is not cluttering the view for most editors. It is still downloaded no matter how bad and expensive your connection is, and without javascript all of it is shown. --LPfi (talk) 07:06, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
These are valid issues that need to be addressed. It seems to me that making a sub page with only embassies and consulates for each national capital city is a bit overkill, though. Would it be possible to modify the PDF renderer to make it expand collapsed sections first before rendering them? ArticCynda (talk) 07:33, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Why would it be overkill? Making a separate page is easy. And, of course, you would not need that for capital cities with only a handful of them (our article on Mbabane of Swaziland lists two). Non-capitals with loads of consulates could use the same solution. But then we have the issue about people overlooking printing/downloading those separate pages. Modifying the PDF renderer should be easy, but that depends on how it is coded (if we are lucky we just need to mark the sections for printing), and does not address the other issues. --LPfi (talk) 08:36, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Overkill was probably not the correct word, I'm rather skeptical about how such a separate page can be cleanly linked/integrated into the main national capital page. But if a good solution for that can be found, I'll definitely reconsider my objection against sub pages as a solution to the problem. ArticCynda (talk) 20:02, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

Wikidata functionalities[edit]

Occasionally, I add Wikidata items to listings. When doing that, it would be interesting if I could export coordinates from here directly to Wikidata with a click (remote editing).

As I'm not really I regular Wikivoyage contributor, I avoid overwriting existing values (for any field). Coordinates tend to be slightly different and urls not necessarily as pretty. It would be good if one could just import new values for empty fields from Wikidata (or maybe you want to display them automatically).Jura1 (talk) 09:20, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

bdi template[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I'm seeing this template proliferate in edits such as this one. Has anyone approved this template for Wikivoyage? If so, why, and don't we want to maintain Wikivoyage listing templates instead of allowing this irregular structure? Is there a way to disable the bdi template on this site? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:00, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

That edit is worrying. These are listings being moved from one article to another but loosing their listing template. Suspect being copied and passed a different way and getting these html tags. --Traveler100 (talk) 20:45, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
What on earth is that? Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:53, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
It is a HTML element to help write pages with languages were the text is written in a different direction, i.e. right to left. I think it is being added automatically by someone copying from the display "read" page on an article into the edit input of another. --Traveler100 (talk) 20:58, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
A quick chat with Mr Google suggests that these have been copied without attribution from another website. The next admin passing by should probably treat it as a copyright violation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:21, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
The presence of the word "edit" but without edit function at the end of the entries supports this interpretation. It is quite likely that they have been copid from a free licenced site, as the original was editable, but there is no apparent attribution, so they do look like copyright violations. Are they all from the same editor? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 02:12, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
The edit summary on the example indicates that it was a badly done copy paste from within Wikivoyage (specified "move from main Kathmandu article"), so probably a good faith effort to improve the wiki by a person who does not know how to copy content correctly. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 02:22, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
I checked, The listings have been copied and pasted from the main Kathmandu article, and then deleted from it, so it looks like this is a good faith districtification attempt gone wrong, The edit summaries are descriptive. The edits are tagged for Visual Editor, so maybe it is a problem with Visual Editor not handling the listings correctly. @WhatamIdoing: this is yout turf, I don't use VE at all. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 02:46, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Working as designed. If you copy formatted (HTML) text from a website, then you get formatted text. If you want the wikitext, you have to open the page in an editor (the visual editor or any wikitext editor) before you copy it. (The most common failure is someone copying a paragraph that contains ref tags, and ending up with a link to the source page's ref section, labeled [12] (or whatever number that ref was on the source page), instead of copying the contents of the ref. Fortunately, we won't see much of that here.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:37, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
So just a well meaning IP editor not knowing the proper way to do it. No harm intended, not much done. Just some new distractors (the <bdi> tags) and a slight mess to clean up? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:35, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
Since someone has investigated and determined that there is a free license for the content, then, yes, it looks that way to me, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:56, 17 July 2018 (UTC)

Link to listings[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Recently I saw a link to an article listing. Unfortunately I cannot find it anymore. I personally think, that this is a very useful feature and thus would like to know how to do that. Example: Link to Sugar Loaf Mountain: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Rio_de_Janeiro/Zona_Sul#See#Sugar_Loaf_Mountain does not work. Any idea how to do that correctly. Thanks. --Renek78 (talk) 09:57, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

You can use the wikidata ID, so Rio de Janeiro/Zona Sul#Q210722.Andree.sk (talk) 10:12, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Andree.sk! That's a nice solution. What about if there is no Wikidata ID? --Renek78 (talk) 10:14, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Looks like that even simpler Rio de Janeiro/Zona Sul#Sugar_Loaf_Mountain works (I think the latter comes from the marker name) :-) Andree.sk (talk) 10:15, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
@Renek78: if there is no Wikidata item associated with the attraction yet, then please create the Wikidata item and add it to the attraction. If the attraction is important enough to link to, it is definitely important enough to have a Wikidata record. ArticCynda (talk) 10:22, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Exactly that is what I saw in the other article! Thank you very much! Need to write this down somewhere. But to create Wikidata items is the best solution for sure!--Renek78 (talk) 10:27, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By the way: To me this type of linking should be used to link top sights from the main article to the district article. For example the Eiffel tower as a top sight is mentioned in the main Paris article under See. From there a link to the appropriate district listing should be placed, e.g. Paris/7th_arrondissement#Q243 (or Paris/7th_arrondissement#La_Tour_Eiffel as the worse alternative). What do others think?--Renek78 (talk) 10:27, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

One more comment: All additional information, e.g. phone number, website, opening hours, etc. should only be stated in the district listing. On the main page (of Paris, for example) only a one-sentencer with the link may be sufficient. This would be a clean distinction between the (superficial) overview and (detailed) district article listing in my opinion.--Renek78 (talk) 10:38, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I very much agree with that point of view. Ideally, the See and Do sections of city articles should be written in a summarizing style with a length no more than a standard A4 page. Their goal is to give an overview of what there is to see or do in the city, and make extensive use of links to the respective district articles to point readers to the right sub articles. Wikidata items are the perfect identifiers since they're static and also easily resolvable for other sites linking to Wikivoyage (in a similar fashion as DOIs). ArticCynda (talk) 11:37, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Interesting. This is very useful, I wish I had known about it before. In the past I have always linked to the section containing in the listing. Selfie City (talk) 13:57, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Selfie City, I think so, too. It is nowhere documented either. At least I couldn't find any information.--Renek78 (talk) 15:09, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
I originally set this up so that links could be made from pages on Wikipedia about attractions could be created to listings. That is documented at Wikivoyage:Links from Wikipedia#Links to listings and w:Template:Wikivoyage#Links to listings, but have since used it to link between Wikivoyage article, like at Scotland#Castles. But good point needs to be documented somewhere else too. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:15, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
Feel free to improve in this explanation. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:23, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
Just now I have set up the See listings of Paris in the way as described above. Furthermore I added a comment in the source code to explain, which information should be added to this section. Do you guys see room for improvement or could this be the way to go for all huge city/country articles in the future?--Renek78 (talk) 21:20, 21 July 2018 (UTC)
The problem with this is when two listings have the same Wikidata link. The solution is to remove the Wikidata link which you don't want to link to, but two listings with the same data link could still be problem: see the two Ohlone listings in Hiking in the East Bay. Selfie City (talk) 02:18, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Regarding duplicate listing in the same article, they are generally discouraged. In the Ohlone example this is not the case however, one listing and the Wikipedia article is about the park, the other listing is about a trail. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:53, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
The inverse problem also exists; there's an underground railroad museum in Boston which consists of two buildings, which were originally a school and a church. As each of the buildings has its own entry on a national historic register, each has its own independent Wikipedia and Wikidata entries (with just a redirect if one searches for the museum's name). Our underground railroad itinerary treats the museum as a single entity (so our listing is the museum, not one of the individual constituent buildings). That makes linking from {{listing}} here back to WP and WD awkward. K7L (talk) 03:12, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Sometimes it is also desirable to be able to point to the same listing multiple times in the same article, for instance, to point the traveler to a railway station that is closest to an attraction in the See section, and again to another attraction in the Do section. ArticCynda (talk) 08:46, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Is this a problem? The Wikidata link should be only in the main listing for the park, railway station or whatever. Linking to the main listing (with the anchor) from many places should raise no issues. One should just be careful not to give the Wikidata ID for the park as wikidata= in a listing for the trail. Usually the temptation to do so hints on bad organisation of the article, so the discussion should be based on cases where we genuinely need the same wikidata parameter in more than one place. In some cases the solution is to create a Wikidata item for the subordinate entity we want to describe. --LPfi (talk) 10:44, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Is it possible to automatically retrieve coordinates for all POIs with a "Wikipedia" article data field?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

At Hebvoy I'm currently looking into double checking that all the major POIs are included in our most sought after articles by checking if the top watched articles on Wikipedia about tourist attractions definitly are included in our our most sought after articles on Wikivoyage. I have started testing this first with Israel destinations (which I am much more familiar with).

Thanks to the new tools which lets one compile lists of articles based on page view statistics I have created the following list. Please note that all the 490 items, which currently only include the fields "name", "Wikipedia", "Lat" and "Long" have been created manually so far and mostly include coordinates I need to fix manually one by one.

Is it possible to automatically retrieve the coordinates for all the 490 POIs based on the "Wikipedia" data field? (which would then maybe be able to get that data from Wikidata) ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 14:17, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

You should use Wikidata field instead of Wikipedia because it is impossible to get coordinates from Wikipedia. And if you use Wikidata then you must not specify Wikipedia because you can fetch it from Wikidata. --RolandUnger (talk) 16:04, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
RolandUnger - thanks for the tip. That shouldn't be too big of a deal for me to add the wikidata field when creating such a list... nevertheless, is there any way to fill up all the "long" + "lat" fields automatically for all the 490 POIs, based on what exists for those data fields in wikidata, once the wikidata field exists? (is there a button anywhere that does this sort of "magic" all at once? Face-smile.svg) ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 16:39, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
On this wiki, I used a bot to add (to listings) wikidata derived from the wikipedia parameter, and afterwards modified {{marker}} and Module:map to fetch lat/long/image acc. to the markers wikidata... So only the second part is automagical. In theory, probably also wikidata can be found via some lua calls and SPARQL, but I'd that's quite an "expensive" operation to do on each edit... Andree.sk (talk) 20:00, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes marker was modified to include the wikidata id; however, it does not work correctly with the geo map. A marker with just the wikidata id (no lat or long parameters) will not appear on the geo map though lat and long parameters may exist in wikidata. Mentioned this on the {{marker}} talk page. -- Matroc (talk) 20:36, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
You can also lookup the wikidata ID using the article's title on the wiki you are physically working on and then retrieve the coordinates and other wikidata information then go from there. To do this with a Lua module would have certain limits because of limited processing time allowed. I think I did a limit test and it was around 3-400 module calls. -- Matroc (talk) 20:19, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


@ Matroc @ Andree.sk Ok, so i guess what I was initailly looking for (a "magical button" or simply "magic" Face-smile.svg) does not exist here for this purpose... but meanwhile I have had an alternative idea which I think would solve what I am trying to acheive here... Is it possible to simply disply specific parameters that exist at Wikidata for "Lat" and "Long" right next to the name of each of the 490 items on this list by manipulating the listing template to temporarliy display that info by default? If that would be possible, I could then easily copy and paste all that data to Notepand and manipulate it there (with "Find & Replace") so that there would be wikicode for each item that looks something like this: * {{see | name=Masada | lat=31.315278 | long=35.353611 }}

The only question is... how does one get a template to temporarily display specific parameters fetched from wikidata for each listing? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 21:10, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

This is a game changer![edit]

ויקיג'אנקי -- added section on your talk page - put together quick function that works on en wikivoyage or can be added to. 1st argument is a list of names each separated by a newline (return). Function run twice - 1) to produce just text and 2) using safesubst to produce actual markers (actually listing type see in examples).

  • {{see | name=Masada | lat=31.315555555556 | long=35.353888888889 | image=Israel-2013-Aerial 21-Masada.jpg | wikipedia=Masada | wikidata=Q186312}}
  • {{see | name=Haifa | lat=32.8 | long=34.983333333333 | image=Haifa Shrine and Port.jpg | wikipedia=Haifa | wikidata=Q41621}}
  • {{see | name=Jerusalem | lat=31.783333333333 | long=35.216666666667 | image=Jerusalem Dome of the rock BW 14.JPG | wikipedia=Jerusalem | wikidata=Q1218}}
  • {{see | name=Akko | lat=32.926111111111 | long=35.083888888889 | image=Acre - Akko Tower.jpg | wikipedia=Acre, Israel | wikidata=Q126084}}
  • 2 Masada. Masada (Q186312) on Wikidata Masada on Wikipedia
  • 3 Haifa. Haifa (Q41621) on Wikidata Haifa on Wikipedia
  • 4 Jerusalem. Jerusalem (Q1218) on Wikidata Jerusalem on Wikipedia
  • 5 Akko. Acre (Q126084) on Wikidata Acre, Israel on Wikipedia

-- Matroc (talk) 04:37, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks Matroc! Using the module created by Matroc I managed to use it at Wikipedia in order to quite easily re-create the initial list with coordinates given to almost all POIs (except for POIs about festivals). This of course would be a game changer for any Wikivoyager whom wants to make sure that articles about specific countries here in Wikivoyage do indeed contain all the most popular tourist attractions (based on page view statistics at Wikipedia). Anyone interested in having me help them do the same for other countries is more than welcome to send me a message on my talk page. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 09:26, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Handling of tour companies[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hi there. Could you please give some input on the handling of tour companies and especially in the case of Mitzpe Ramon. Cheers Ceever (talk) 15:31, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Hi. Have you taken a look at WV:Tour? The basic thrust of that page is that tours are allowed as long as they add value to a visit, or don't merely replicate what somebody could do by themselves. The rules of don't tout apply too, of course. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:34, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Revisit ban on listing free walking tours?[edit]

Have a look at Talk:Arequipa#Regarding Reversion of Downtown Walking Tour. Do you think PsamatheM's argument is a good one? Is there a workable way to put a bit more flexibility into Wikivoyage's tour listing policy? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:18, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

To briefly clarify why I’m kicking-up a bit (again) is not about one particular listing but it highlights that if such listings are being removed then it is a significant loss to travellers using the WV resource. I’m not arguing that every walking tour should be allowed but that common sense and flexibility be used appropriately. This particular “Walking Tour” is more a moving lecture on a massive range of historical factors that caused Arequipa to become the city it is today. It would never be undertaken by an independent traveller as it is not visiting major “sites” (e.g. the tour spends some time outside a residential house of no note beyond that it has not been properly finished and illustrates aspects of constuction relevant to earthquakes (thus the section of the talk about volcanic and earthquake influences is given outside the house).PsamatheM (talk) 22:23, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
I believe that WV has so many outstanding work needed that to spend time debating an individual listing in a single location is not good use of time. The policy needs to be interpreted in a more flexible manner. In reality, in this example, nobody is ever going to write a WV article covering what this tour covers and if they did would as many people read it as attend the tour (30+ people on the tour I took and they run twice a day, 7 days a week). But if they did and if people read it then find, some travellers love reading articles, other enjoy walking and listening to a talk - accomodate both types of traveller. But I emphasise it’s about the policy being ridgedly adhered to I’m having issues with as I strongly believe thisnis preventing the inclusion of information of value to travellers.PsamatheM (talk) 22:23, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
In reality I don’t thing a strict policy to be implemented would work as it is a continuous range with no obvious set “line” to allow/disallow. Some “Walking Tours” will clearly be of no massive value e.g. itinery round 6 famous landmarks. But others will and no “rule” can accomodate both and there will always be exceptions and it is a waste of resource to start debating the merits in grey areas. My thoughts would that the term ”Guideline” be used rather than “Policy” and that far more flexibility be shown by those who undertake policing of listings.PsamatheM (talk) 22:31, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it's possible the policy as-is already supports adding this walking tour. It mentions that one can ask for exceptions on the article's talk page: "If you ... feel that an exception is warranted, please use the talk page." Would this not qualify?
For the record, I think the tour would be great to add to Arequipa if it really is added value for the traveler. Failing that, the policy should be amended to allow it. However, I don't think that's necessary, per that clause in the policy, supported by the "prime directive" of ttcf. ARR8 (talk) 23:26, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
My worry is more about the longer term than the particular tour (which as you say probably is allowed by the policy except its name includes “Walking Tour”. My worry is that many other potentially useful listings are being reverted and contributors less forthright than me are acceoting “policy” and the traveller and the WV project are the losers. Hence I think the policy would need changes even if only to recognise that the “policy is more of a broad guideline.PsamatheM (talk) 00:47, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I believe that WV needs both the “significant contributors” (e.g. those who take on projects even though they might not know the area to put pages into better state) as well as occasional contributors e.g. those travelling who discover something they think others would find worthwhile and use WV as the means to publish that info. This “occasional contributor” will not bother posting “should I/shouldn’t I” on the Talk page and monitoring, presenting a case, etc. - like I said in my rant, I’m travelling and have got better things to do - my focus is my travels not WV. And it is the occasional traveller (as well as locals) who can provide much of the raw local information the project needs (new listings, clearing out closed down listings, etc.). And as a traveller during my 3 days in Arequipa I noticed several changes needed to the page. PsamatheM (talk) 00:47, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I agree with ARR8 that PsamatheM's tour is permitted by the current policy, at least after discussion. But I also agree with PsamatheM that asking an occasional contributor to start a discussion before adding a walking tour may be too high a barrier to contribution. I think it seems reasonable to rewrite the policy to give more emphasis to the fact that there's room for judgement calls and exceptions. We could also adjust it to indicate that it's okay to plunge forward and make an exception without first starting a discussion on the talk page. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:00, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I would actually suggest simply editing the tour listing policy to make any free tour an exception, as long as there is no pressure brought to bear on travelers to give a large tip at the end of the "free" tour. My feeling is, if a tour is free, any value you get from it is a bonus, and therefore, though not in the sense given in Wikivoyage, it is value added. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:07, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I think that the large majority of walking tours are offered on the understanding that the guide will be tipped. People don't do things for free. Well, other than write travel guides and encyclopaedias and dictionaries. But these are things we oddballs can do sitting on our sofas. I doubt that many of the free walking tours are being offered by people who don't want tips. I think that walking tours, generally, should be allowed, as long as the listing does not tout for them, just like hotels and restaurants. Ground Zero (talk) 03:48, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I believe there are actual free walking tours in New York given by volunteers, though as a New York City native, I've understandably never taken one. I think it's fine for people to tip and even to be expected to tip. It's if they are pressured to give crazy big tips that it's no longer "free" and should be subject to the same restrictions as any other tour listing, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:55, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Basically, my feeling is that a few years ago, in our zeal to do away with tour touting, we threw the baby out with the bathwater a bit. I think it's reasonable to have a different standard for listing tours by tour agencies than walking tours by volunteers who either donate their services or just take reasonable tips. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:02, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm not big on the idea of treating free tours differently from paid ones. What if there's a tour that costs a dollar (or local currency)? That's value added for almost everyone. But then what about two-dollar tours, or ten, or fifty, or, conversely, fifty-cent tours, or one-cent, etc.? I think this is best left up to the discretion of the editor - let the "free market" handle it. If someone feels that a specific ten-dollar walking tour has phenomenal added value, compared to an available free tour with only mediocre value, then that should be the one we allow them to add. I feel that if we relax the requirements for walking tours, as seems to be the emerging consensus, we do it across the board. ARR8 (talk) 04:09, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Is there an emerging consensus to relax the requirements for all walking tours, regardless of charge? I don't think I would support that, as I fear it would lead to the kind of uncontrolled proliferation of tour listings we used to waste an inordinate amount of time judging for suitability before the tour policy was adopted. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:14, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Of course, I don't actually know the problems that led to needing the policy in the first place. If "let editors decide" has proven to be too laissez-faire, and we need a firm yardstick we can point to and say "You can't add that tour because..." (it's not free, not value added, etc.) then you can disregard my inclination above. In an ideal editing environment, that would be my opinion. ARR8 (talk) 04:21, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
To be precise, the policy change I'm proposing is to eliminate restrictions on listing free tours, as long as "free" doesn't mean "pressure customers for large tips, so that 'free' is a misnomer". All other tours would have to meet the current definition of "value added" or be added as an exception by agreement on an article's talk page. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:30, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'd support that proposal. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 04:43, 4 December 2018 (UTC)

I support it too. Ground Zero's proposal sounds good to me too, though I wasn't here before the current policy was implemented so I can't really judge whether evaluating the listings would become a waste of the community's time. —Granger (talk · contribs) 05:47, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I just don't see "as long as "free" doesn't mean "pressure customers for large tips, so that 'free' is a misnomer"" as being an enforceable rule. Also, whether I pay a tip to ensure that the guide gets paid, or pay a fixed price, shouldn't matter. (Let's not imagine that those free walking tours of cities in Europe and South America as being volunteer-run.) Further, this would continue to exclude the amazing London Walks, which, at £10, are one of the best things to do in London. Ground Zero (talk) 13:02, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I think the free/tips and assessing the pressure to tip and the amount of tip as being very difficult to assess. How much somebody feels “pressured” will to an extent depend on the individual and two people on the same tour might easily report the tip expectation differently. My own feeling is it might be better to look at how interesting and useful the tour would be to those travelling. In some regards “Guides work on a tips only basis” is just a different business model from a fixed charge for the tour. As with other listings that have a fixed cost, balance the “touting” vs “usefulness”.PsamatheM (talk) 14:22, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
One bit of the policy I saw about a tour covering the same as a WV Guide I felt inappropriate. Reading a guide is very different from having somebody explain something. When a real person is taking the tour you can ask questions and the tour guide adjusts what they say according to the audience. Written guides are not as flexible and I feel provide something different or complimentary.PsamatheM (talk) 14:22, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
(Sorry for my ongoing waffle and re-explanations). Whilst I am 110% against commercialism and what the WT stie has become, I do think the priority should be about making life easier for and providing information to those travelling. Commercial listings are (rightly) already allowed (restaurants, hotels, etc.) and these are useful. Similarly, free/tips/fixed price seems less relevant that whether it is useful information for those travelling. A Walking Tour for S/10 is a commercial venture just as a hotel or restaurant is. Most travellers will find a hotel/food even without WV listings but many might not find out about e.g. walking tours and similar without WV listings. Another example, I really wanted to visit one area around Arequipa but could not find any operators going there; eventually was told of one who might but that was after Sat midday so I faced having to wait until Mon (and then maybe faced being told “no”). Had that operator added a listing e.g. “We are the only ...” they could have fallen foul of the touting (I’ve seen edits along those line with comments “No touting”). Commercial or not I would have appreciated a listing to help me find the tour I was looking for. Hence my opinion it should be more about usefulness for those travelling. (I’m not great at explaining my thoughts so sorry about my long posts and repetition). PsamatheM (talk) 14:46, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Au contraire, you explain your thoughts clearly. I just don't know whether it will work any better to judge tour listings on a pure "ueefulness" scale now than it used to years ago. If anything, there's liable to be way more touting to sift through now, if we push the door ajar, because the site is a lot more visible than it was before the fork and move to Wikimedia. Also, Wikivoyage made a decision a long time ago to favor individual travelers over those who prefer to take guided tours, and I think that emphasis is OK as a site choice. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:09, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that a walking tour is inconsistent with being an independent traveller. I think we shouldn't try to accomodate package tours, bus tours, etc., which would be outside of a mandate to inform independent travellers. Ground Zero (talk) 17:45, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Is your thought that we should allow listings for any walking tour that doesn't include any provided non-walking transportation to or from any point, with participants left to their own devices in getting to and from the starting and finishing spots? That's a proposal with clear boundaries, and we could consider it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:17, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
In my opinion best not to pigeon hole “independent travellers”. At the moment I arrived in Peru on a one way ticket, booking hostels as and when I move on, no idea what I’m doing tomorrow yet today I took a bus tour - mainly because I didn’t have the energy to climb up to the ruins. It was a rubbish tour but it got me to the ruins and I ignored the guide and it was cheap. Because I took such a tour does that mean I’m not an “Independent Traveller”? PsamatheM (talk) 02:29, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I think walking tours should be preferred over bus tours; anyone can take tourists around in a bus to see things, but on a walking tour, generally tour guides have to really know a lot to be interesting. Maybe policy should say "yes" to walking tours and "no" to bus tours, unless the bus tour follows the current guidelines (e.g. a bus tour is required to visit the place, etc.) --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:33, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
PsamatheM, I totally respect your point, but I agree with Selfie that we have to draw the line somewhere, and if drawing the line at "free" vs. not free is for several reasons not a good idea, I think Selfie's proposal above is a good one. Besides, it's usually not too difficult to find bus tour listings through web searches, as there are usually various companies providing them, and/or they are highly visible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:47, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'd like to add that I think most boat tours are — literally — are in the same "boat" as bus tours. You can get your own boat or hire someone to take it somewhere for you. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:53, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Well, we have a different policy toward boat tours, and I think the reason for that is that it's a lot easier to arrange your own surface transportation, whether by taking local/regional non-tourist buses or renting your own vehicle, than by renting a boat. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:03, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
My point was not arguing that bus tours should or should not be allowed but rather that setting policy according to what I regard as a wrong opinion about what Independent Travellers do would create bad policy. This is where I think the whole listings “policy” thing has to be more open to exceptions as the world is a big place and to have a single policy to accomodate everything in every town or city in every country is never going to work and is going to be too restrictive for occasional contributors (i.e. starting a Talk Page discussion, reaching concensus, etc.). I am absolutely sure that somewhere there is a bus tour that warrants a listing for an independent traveller and when somebody takes that tour and adds a listing only to have it deleted because of “policy” then goodbye another potential contributor and useful information. I’d say that unless there are clear violations of a few basic rules e.g. no touting, assume the best and is really unsure, question the contributor if possible rather than just revert because of policy rule. I believe the project needs to encourage and embrace contributions to help it grow.PsamatheM (talk) 03:16, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I'd be in favour of starting off by permitting walking tours, and, to address non-land situations, swimming tours ;-).
Let's treat bus tours as a separate discussion. For example, while it is easy to say, "let's allow bus day tours, but then there would be situations like the Colca Canyon tour from Arequipa. It's an overnight thing that a lot of independent travellers do because it's really impractical to try to do it by local transport. But then where do you draw the line between that and the seven-day, seven-city Kontiki tour?
But I do think these issues are best addressed through policy discussions. It doesn't take too long hanging around Wikivoyage to see tour companies trying to use this site to promote their services to the exclusion of their competitors. Policy discussions do take time, but a free-for-all approach would result in a much less objective guide. Ground Zero (talk) 03:30, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I agree --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:31, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I think the status quo is fine. It seems to me that an overarching principle that underpins many different policies on this site is that Wikivoyage aims to be a self-contained source of information: a place where, ideally, travellers can find out all they need to find out about a given place, without having to turn to other sources. You see that reflected in pages like Wikivoyage:Guide articles, which says that in order to attain such a high rank, articles should be written such that "not only would you not need to consult another guide, you'd really have no reason to want to: it's all here". You see it in places like Wikivoyage:External links, where "other travel guides, including audio guides, audio tours, virtual tours and webcams" are specifically cited as things that should not be linked to. And our tour policy, as it currently stands, is another manifestation of that "one-stop shop" philosophy. As a travel guide, our responsibility is to deliver content to readers - in other words, to be the tour guide, not to pass the buck to some other tour guide and let him or her do our work for us. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:07, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
When somebody has written a guide that covers all the aspects the tour that kicked of this discussion covers and when that guide answers questions interactively (as a tour guide can) and when everybody is using that guide instead of taking the tour then I’ll agree to the listing being deleted. But given how rarely these types of city pages get updated, that guide is not going to be written in the foreseeable future (probably not ever given the wide range of subjects the tour covers). And given that this tour is of interest to some independent travellers and given that the listing was deleted because of the policy you regard as meeting the needs of the project then this means independent travellers would not get useful information because of a global policy. And being unable to publish such useful knowledge will result in the project being marginalised and of being of less use to independent travellers. If the WV project is about enforcing global policies in a strict fashion then it is not being aimed at helping independent travellers and probably does not justify the effort many put in.PsamatheM (talk) 04:28, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
If we gave too many external links to other sources and listed too many tours, there would be little if any incentive for anyone to post the information here. Also, keep in mind that there will always be some users who get upset over whatever boundaries there are on this site. This is a travel guide that's designed for independent travelers. We can and should debate about how well it in fact serves the kind of travelers who don't gravitate toward all-inclusive vacations or typical bus tours and how to enable it to serve them better, and I'm glad you're helping to do that. But when you've been around this site for as long as I have, I just can't tell you how many times we've had people upset because they couldn't get their political (worse, racial) point of view in here, their detailed historical or legal facts, the business(es) they wanted to promote, their tour, their uncited accusations of violent crimes being committed by hoteliers, etc., etc. There will always have to be some guidelines. There is some flexibility, as is shown by the likelihood of a reversion of my initial deletion of the particular walking tour you added to the Arequipa article, and we may yet change the site policy on walking tours in some way, but it just is a fact of life that someone, somehow will have an edit reverted, get upset and leave. And that's not always a bad thing, either, as some people are just not temperamentally suited to participating in a collectively-authored site with site rules that already exist when they join up. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:46, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I echo what Ikan wrote and would also add that, despite what PsamatheM seems to think, there's plenty of content being added to our city guides all the time - at a faster and faster rate each year as the site grows - so his fears about "the project being marginalised and of being of less use to independent travellers" are the product of short-term thinking. In the meantime, the Arequipa article will be just fine without the tour listing. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:53, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
AndreCarrotflower, please have a look at Talk:Arequipa. There's been a consensus to make an exception for the walking tour in that article. See if you agree or disagree with the argument for it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:59, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm a firm "no" on changing the policy, but if this particular tour is the exception that proves the rule, so be it. (And if that's all this boils down to, then it's really a non-issue. We've always been willing to make exceptions to policy in cases where exceptions prove rules. That's part of ttcf.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 05:08, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I also wanted to reopen the discussion of walking tours more generally. My experience has been that we have automatically deleted "free" walking tours for the last few years. I never really supported that, but I think that whatever we do, some kind of clear boundaries are necessary, though always allowing for exceptions if consensus is reached in discussions on particular articles' talk pages. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:21, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
As stated above, free walking tours are very rarely free. They are working for tips. To eliminate an "honest" walking tour charging twenty bucks, but permitting the one that puts the pressure on at the end, seems ugly to me (but I don't come from a tipping culture).
We already have an exception to our tour policy if the traveller can't achieve the same thing independently. That seems like a reasonable barrier. Personally, I'm not convinced that this tour makes the cut, but if others think that it does, I have no objection to allowing it after a discussion. --Inas (talk) 08:24, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I'd welcome your participation at Talk:Arequipa if you'd like to ask more questions about why it would be nearly impossible for an individual traveler to do the tour on their own. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:56, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
At the very least, let's stop the practice of automatically deleting all walking tours on sight. If a walking tour looks value-added and there aren't red flags or excessive tout-iness, I think there's no reason to remove it (and I think that's consistent with the current policy, which only says that "most" walking tours are disallowed, not all). I hope we can also find consensus to add an exception for free walking tours or for walking tours in general. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:58, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
To Inas's point, I've been on a few free walking tours that I would say were really free. Some seemed to make their money from tips, but still didn't pressure participants to tip. Others seemed to make their money by functioning as advertisements for other things (for instance, the guide mentioned a paid tour that we could choose to take later the same day if we wanted, or the tour visited some shops along the way where we could choose to make a purchase but were not pressured to). —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:05, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
My own opinion is that most of the time the “free” is irrelevant as it becomes more about a business model (there will be volunteer operated exceptions, but often those running a couple of 3 hr tours need to eat, pay tent, etc.). I agree with your “If a walking tour looks value-added and there aren't red flags or excessive tout-iness”. I suspect the assessment of value add may be best judged by people having taken the tour whilst the “red flags” should be immediately obvious.PsamatheM (talk) 15:56, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I’m unsure about adding thoughts midway back in the body of this discussion (where they are relevant) or to add to the end making them part of the discussion but... re Colca tours (Arequipa) I would say at best a generic “listing” (or paragraph) but you can’t miss them and nigh on impossible to distinguish between operators and agents and there is a listing mentioning them anyway. But those tours do raise an interesting aspect where independent organised cannot legally undertake a tour. I believe Colca tours go though a protected reserve and would an independent organised trip be allowed to stop (must certainly apply tonother areas in not the Lagunas). Under such circumstances a tour becomes obligatory for all travellers so listing becomes more justified.PsamatheM (talk) 16:05, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Re my comments on updates a contributors earlier in this discussion: Some time ago I used to add a fair bit of content and I was back then disappointed an the numbers of pages that I would class as “embarrasing” and in need of significant work. Now I’m travelling and in a good position to add/update as I find things, I’m similarly disappointed. Some of the “advice” I’ve seen conflicts with others I’ve talked with think is the case (e.g. safety anf people running hostels) but then the WV content is rather old (though I’m not going to update things like safety advice without more definative knowledge). My feeling is that the project should be “taking off” far more than it is. Please don’t mistake my disagreement with policy as my not liking having an edit revoked.PsamatheM (talk) 16:17, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Re duscussion on exceptions on talk pages. In the example that started this discussion, just look at the grief and timscales over a single listing (that is still not restored - I’m not going to restore it as deciding concensus is beyong my WV experience). Such delays and justifications would almost certaing discourage a significant number of occasional contributors.PsamatheM (talk) 16:17, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Re: “external links”: I would question as to whether this aspiration can under some circumstances get in the way of providing information to travellers. There are vast numbers of external links added without anybody questioning them (hotels, restaurants, train stations, etc. In listings). And a tour does not necessarily need an external link (the one that started this discussion included no external links).PsamatheM (talk) 16:26, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Re: Self contained: technology has limitations and different people manage different media with varying enthusiasm. A long text article (once written) might appeal to some but would not be read by others. Similarly, in the example of the tour that started this discussion, through the talk, people would ask wuestions in aspects that interested them or that they had not fully understood. This different means if oresentation is more acesible to some and cannot always be replaced by e,g, written text. Different media can be complementary and I feel that different methods of oresenting information should be embraced rather than constrained to e,g. Written text/pictures/duagrams. Hence a tour has many benefits to some and telling them about it to my mind does not weaken the WV dtive to be self-contained.PsamatheM (talk) 16:26, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
It's only been 2 days since your tour listing was removed for discussion, and the only reason it hasn't been restored yet is to make sure we have a consensus behind re-adding the listing. If none of the potential detractors are expressing any opposition, we can restore the listing today. I'm glad you aren't too impatient to let discussion play out, and I'm not sure we want to cater to users who aren't willing to tolerate the workings of consensus on a Wiki. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:29, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I was not trying to comment on the delay (the significant discussions here probably make it feel longer), just highlight that for an occasional contributor it would represent a significant discouragement to bothering to add a single listing. And, a complete guess but would the Arequipa Talk thread have attracted enough comment to get to a consensus without the discussions here about policy directing people to the specific discussion. My worry is that a lot of info that WV must depend (e.g. new stuff, updates as things change) probably comes from those travelling and many of those will not be regular contributors and thus I feel it is important they not be discouraged.PsamatheM (talk) 18:46, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, another thought about “consensus” under circumstances as per the Arequipa listing and my concerns about discouraging occasional contributors. Could consensus work where a marginal/questionable listing/content is left in place whilst the Talk Page discussions occur? Where it’s obviously not appropriate content fine, remove immediately, but for the more marginal ones, rather than remove then discuss instead discuss then remove/leave. Worst case is the marginal content remains in place a few days but it’s marginal so not too serious an issue for a few days and it would maybe be far less “discouraging”. Maybe a little more work for whoever notes the potential issue but maybe has offsetting positives.PsamatheM (talk) 18:54, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I didn't think it was marginal because in the last several years, my experience is that a decision was made to remove all "free" walking tours on sight. That's the reason for this thread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:55, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I know how discouraging it can feel to have edits reverted or changed as you are writing them. This policy Wikivoyage:Welcome,_copyeditors#Give_articles_a_chance_to_develop was trying to address that issue. We also have Wikivoyage:Quick_contribution_guide which tries to direct single time quick contributions. Perhaps it's worth putting something there? But ultimately, if we want to be the kind of guide that contains the attractions in a place, then we may not be able to list every tour that goes there. And if we're going to include some, we need to find a line. That line is currently to list tours if there are required to see the attractions. --Inas (talk) 21:55, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

It's been over a week with no new comments. A few proposals have been made, the two main ones being to (a) change the policy to allow free walking tours, and (b) change the policy to allow walking tours in general. Proposal (a) has gotten significant opposition; proposal (b) has gotten clear opposition from AndreCarrotflower but support or an ambiguous response from everyone else. Can we find consensus to allow walking tours? Of course if it turns out to lead to too much touting or other problems, we can always change our minds later. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:00, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

  • Support (b). Thanks for bringing this up again. Ground Zero (talk) 12:41, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

No new comments in a while, but in the discussion above there's been general support and little opposition to the proposal. I'm editing the policy accordingly. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:11, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

Discussion after policy change[edit]

I'm not sure it's good to allow all walking tours. Maybe it should be specified that "Walking tours may be listed, provided that the value added over an individual taking a walk by themselves is clearly indicated and no motorized transportation is included or offered by the organizers for any part of the tour". Then we could see how this plays out and revisit it if we don't like the results. Maybe my proposed language is too specific, but I don't think we want a bunch of totally generic listings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:31, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
No. I think we discussed walking tours that are truly valuable. The current changed wording allows tours that give nothing more than you get by walking around by yourself with a leaflet in your hands. That the value added should be clearly stated is a good point. --LPfi (talk) 09:29, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
How are we ever going to evaluate walking tours based on Ikan Kekek's proposed wording? I think it's trying to fix a problem that we don't have, and is too cumbersome to put into a policy. Ground Zero (talk) 12:20, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
No, you misunderstand: We don't evaluate generically listed tours through independent research; whoever posts the listing has to include some kind of language explaining the value added. That value added could be that the guides are trained historians, for example, or that they will show people buildings that are off the beaten path, or whatever (there are a million and one possibilities), but something should be included to explain why it's better than someone walking through a place by themselves. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:30, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
But why do we think that this is a problem we have to address through policy? Do we have a policy about restaurants that serve food that isn't as good as food you'd cook at home? We have a general policy about not including places that aren't worth going to -- we leave them out. Why don't we just add walking tours to the list of examples there? Ground Zero (talk) 13:50, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
At the very least, we need to specify that no motorized vehicles can be included in the tour, because any tour agency could claim that if they bus people somewhere and then they walk a little, it's a "walking tour". But the reason is that this guide is expressly designed for people who want to take their own initiative - in other words, mainly independent travelers. I don't think we want to open the floodgates this wide to tour operators. If we do, wait and see whether our articles get overwhelmed with low-quality listings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:00, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
"No motor vehicles" makes sense. Ground Zero (talk) 14:10, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm okay with "no motor vehicles" and/or the other aspects of Ikan Kekek's suggested wording. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:53, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
I am happy with Ikan's wording. (I don't think that we should exclude tours that make use of scheduled public transport - "we will take the train to the lake and walk back into town along the river", but the transport is not "included".) In particular, I would like to be able to add the walks organised by local history societies. AlasdairW (talk) 22:36, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Agreed on historical societies. Sure, I'm fine with taking public transportation and then walking. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:23, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Good point about public transportation. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:40, 8 January 2019 (UTC)

Discussion/vote on new language?[edit]

Do you prefer any of these or have another proposal?

1. "Walking tours may be listed, provided that the listing explains how they are superior to an individual taking a walk by themselves and no motorized transportation is included or offered by the organizers for any part of the tour. Taking public transit to or from the walking tour is fine."

2."Walking tours may be listed, provided that no motorized transportation is included or offered by the organizers for any part of the tour. Taking public transit to or from the walking tour is fine."

3. Current language: "This policy doesn't prohibit walking tours."

I prefer #1, though #2 is also better (because more specific) than the current language, and seems to be fairly popular in the thread above. I found a form of words to substitute for "value added", so as not to suggest these sentences apply to walking tours:

Tours can be listed on Wikivoyage as long as they constitute a value-added activity. If a traveller could fulfill the substance of the tour on their own, the tour should not be listed.

Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:27, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

  • I think #1 is the only one including the main point, that worthless tours should not be listed. The policy on not listing boring places does not work for these tours without that language, as somebody has to take that tour and find it boring for it to be removed. --LPfi (talk) 20:51, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  • I prefer #1, but would be happy with #2. AlasdairW (talk) 21:36, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Wording #1 is redundant to our general policy about not including places that aren't worth going to -- we leave them out. See Wikivoyage:Avoid negative reviews. Since the point is already covered more effectively there, let's not add more policy that could just confuse contributors. I support #2. Ground Zero (talk) 23:15, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
    The problem is that the tour can be listed by a tout, and then cannot be removed by us who do not know this particular tour (unless there are plenty of tour listings with better descriptions). Restaurants are often easier, as locals will know them. Locals seldom take these tours, so whom should we ask? --LPfi (talk) 23:43, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
Ground Zero, do you really think it's too much to ask whomever adds a walking tour listing to make at least some kind of statement of how the tour is better than just walking without a tour? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:43, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Because all contributions here are effectively anonymous (Ground Zero isn't even my real name), we don't ever know whether a contributor is a tout or a traveller giving useful information. We can only tell if something sounds like touting. I don't see how a tout assuring us that his/her walking tour is informative, entertaining and stays crunchy in milk makes the listing any more or less worthy of having. We rely on the word of the contributor that the information they provide is accurate anyway. A clever tout doesn't use hyperbole, and will tell us what we want to hear. As with restaurant listings; as with hotel listings; as with rutabaga festival listings. Ground Zero (talk) 02:26, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
You're right, but I think it's still worth asking for, so we don't have loads of undifferentiated listings. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:49, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • The current language seems fine to me. #2, in my eyes, just spells out what "walking tour" means, and #1 seems to impose a requirement we don't have anywhere else; would we remove a hotel if it were added with no details beyond its name? And if we would, then we can do that with tours, as well, without writing it here. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 15:55, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Hotel listings with no description are very commonly removed. But what you and Ground Zero are ignoring is that all travelers need someplace to stay, but a walking tour is optional. So in no way does a hotel have to be more than generic to be listed, but you really want every and all walking tours listed, no matter what? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:19, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
If we get too many listings, wouldn't we just take the ones out that provide useful info? It really seems like we're imagining problems that we don't have. If someone starts loading dozens of walking tours into an article, sure, let's discuss that. I will even say, "Ikan Kekek was right". It seems really unlikely to happen, so it's not worth putting in cumbersome easy-to-dodge rules into the policy. Ground Zero (talk) 01:05, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
So far, it doesn't look like there's a consensus behind any modification of the current language, so this is likely to be what happens, but I would observe that it's in any case extremely easy to evade the guidelines on touting: All that a business or marketer has to do is give positive descriptions to a bunch of mediocre-or-worse hotels or restaurants that don't obviously run afoul of the guidelines. I think you'd agree that "because they can be evaded" is not a great reason not to have guidelines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:09, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
But having existing rules that address bad tours is justification for not adding more rules that will not be effective. A bad tour is a bad tour. A listing without information is a listing without information. We can take them out without another rule. Ground Zero (talk) 01:16, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm okay with any of the three wordings. 1 and 2 strike me as almost equivalent, because the extra guidance in 1 is basically redundant with other parts of the policy. —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:47, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I prefer #2. I'd say I'm okay with us including walking tour listings in our articles, but perhaps the number of walking tours listed per article should be limited (perhaps, to 3 listings per article or so? Maybe this could be included in policy text.) --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:29, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I continue to be against the inclusion of any non-value-added tours. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:57, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Revisit ban on listing walking tours?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

We're having a lively discussion on the topic of walking tours at Wikivoyage talk:Listings#Revisit ban on listing free walking tours? I'd like wider participation because there may be a consensus for some kind of change starting to develop, and I think it's important for more people, especially long-timers who remember what things were like before the tour policy was instituted, to take part. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:22, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

New language on walking tours - please participate[edit]

Swept in from the pub

We reconsidered walking tour listings, and the result so far is to open the floodgates for all walking tours. I've proposed new language, and I'd like more participation in the discussion at Wikivoyage talk:Listings#Discussion/vote on new language? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:42, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Bullet list - Accessibility fix[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There was a question a few weeks ago about leaving blank lines or not between listings (not sure where it has been archived now). As pointed out at the time having a blank line basically creates separate bullet listings which can be an issue with some screen reading software for sight impaired readers, as well as being mess HTML for search engine bots. As an information to all, I will be running a bot over pages to fix this. I will start slowly and check a number of them but eventually will let it run by itself over all articles. Please check out a few edits marked Listings Accessibility, it should be a simple safe edit but there is always the change an odd syntax format turns up I have not thought of. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:49, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this; it's long overdue. One thing I'd suggest - I recall someone saying that the listing template close tags (}}) on their own line also break up the list. Could the bot remove the newline before those? ARR8 (talk | contribs) 17:26, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Would like conformation of that before making the extra edit. Slight more difficult an edit to do safely in batch, though not much, but would be just about every page on the site as this is what the listing editor creates. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:51, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I've tested it and it doesn't seem to make a difference. So, nevermind for now. Maybe it only happens under some circumstances. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 18:01, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I think I said in some discussion that the "}}" on its own line separates the listings visibly enough for the edit mode, so that removing the blank line is no problem. Perhaps it was this comment ARR8 (mis)remembered. So it should indeed be kept. --LPfi (talk) 20:47, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
The listings templates automatically put }} on a separate line, so I always assumed that to be the preferred format. If it's not, the templates should be changed. Ground Zero (talk) 21:13, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for doing this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 13:18, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
This is good to do for the most part; however, it is their software and not ours that is the problem and should be brought to their attention if possible. Just a note that remembering when different browsers interpreted code and sites had to accommodate for their difference created problems in the past (less likely I think today). I am just concerned about going down any future rabbit holes. In this case it is ok to do -- Matroc (talk) 09:16, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
Who is "they", in your claim that "it is their software...that is the problem"? (It can't be the people who expect websites to follow HTML standards, such as the makers of screen reader software.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:21, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
It was mentioned above that it could be screen reading software - I have no argument with removing extra blank lines at all period. (There must be no blank lines between list items. Blank lines terminate a list, splitting it into two separate lists_wikimedia). With ordered lists this is definitely proven; unordered lists on the other hand shouldn't be affected as much as each listing would then become a separate list wouldn't it? I did not find anything about lists and blank lines in w3.org in the past though I am not so inclined to use them. As for HTML interpretation even an ul with multiple li with separating lines appear to render correctly and two such lists would join with if only one blank line existed between them. I am not arguing with removing a blank line and probably should be our style or standard if it will resolve the issue at hand. Mediawiki does its interpretation and already removes them. Interesting thought, I wonder if it isn't following HTML standards? -- Best wishes and have a Great day! -- Matroc (talk) 20:51, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
The problem is that the MediaWiki software (our software) substitutes the blank line in a wikitext unordered list with "</ul><ul>" in the HTML it outputs. We cannot blame a voice HTML reader to read two consecutive lists as two separate lists. The visual difference is small with most browsers (a little more vertical space?), as there usually are other visual clues when the lists are meant to be separate, but those other clues may be lost when reading aloud. There is really no point in telling how the lists are visually separated when you have your own means of telling by your voice they are separate. --LPfi (talk) 22:23, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you LPfi and WhatamIdoing for explanation(s) and clarification. After looking at some source code and page source(s) it now makes better sense to me. Again, thank you -- Matroc (talk) 05:44, 15 January 2019 (UTC)
For those interested (which may be only me ;-), whether and how much vertical space you see between two adjacent links depends upon local formatting (e.g., what we put in MediaWiki:Common.css). After years of fixing this mistake, I can see the very small difference, but I suspect that most people don't notice it.
ARR8, after you finish here, I wonder whether you could do this at the other language editions of Wikivoyage? It would ideally happen everywhere. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:19, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
Ping User:Traveler100, whom I assume you meant. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 04:55, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
The bot has run through all destination pages on English Wikivoyage. There were about 10 pages it could not edit, some issue with large in-page mapmasks, but strangely not all with mapmasks. But it appears to just hang, not make any edits. One edit blanked a page but I think that must have been a network or server error not to do with the bot code. I guess I could do it on other language pages. Do you think the existing user pages of Traveler100bot on these sites which just links to the English page be enough? With the exception of German I cannot write any native language information stating what is happening. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:41, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
If you have a list of those 10 pages, I can edit by hand if desired. -- Matroc (talk) 09:45, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Other Wikivoyages[edit]

We can ask some of the other Wikivoyages for a quick answer here. User:Atsirlin is an admin at the Russian, User:Yuriy kosygin is at Chinese, User:RolandUnger and User:DerFussi at German and Italian, User:Globe-trotter at Dutch, User:Texugo at Portuguese, User:Zerabat at Spanish, User:ויקיג'אנקי at Hebrew, and User:Handrian at Greek. (I'm not sure how many others are active editors here.)

Hello, friends,

Matroc is offering a bot/script that will fix a small technical problem with HTML in your articles. This problem is caused by unnecessary blank lines between items in bulleted lists. See w:en:WP:LISTGAP for information. The English Wikivoyage had a lot of pages with this problem, but it might be a smaller problem elsewhere.

It's a pretty safe script. There's no significant risk of corrupting pages, and we ran it here without any problems. (I'd bet that it's the same code that's been used without complaint at the English Wikipedia for years.) This should be a one-time fix. The only "problem" is that your watchlists will get busy if you have a lot of pages with these errors.

Do you want Matroc to fix these errors for your community? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

  • @WhatamIdoing: I am not sure if there is such a problem with the Chinese Wikivoyage, but I will try to find attention to this issue.--Yuriy kosygin (talk) 18:09, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks you for the ping, but we removed most of the bullet lists years ago. They are simply not needed when we have these nice color boxes with the map markers. --Alexander (talk) 19:53, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
We simply modified the template to show an empty color box when there are no coordinates. --Alexander (talk) 07:59, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
We will not change list at the German Wikivoyage. The main cause is maintenance work of endless lists to remove mistakes. --RolandUnger (talk) 05:40, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

Problem articles[edit]

I am running this over AWB script. It however stalls on a number of articles. Anyone an idea why this is happening? Articles include: Saint Petersburg/South, Saint Petersburg/North, Ljubljana, Katowice, Tusheti, Cheltenham, Madison, Dallas/North Dallas and Dallas/South Dallas. They all have in-page Mapmasks. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:59, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Adding Guide Michelin stars to restaurant listings?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Wikipedia has an entry on many of the restaurants listing in Guide Michelin, including information of number of stars (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frantz%C3%A9n). Could this be imported into Wikivoyage? Perhaps via the wikidata-item. In that way we do not have to manually change information about stars. Also, in the same way we could import information about dress code and if a restaurant has closed down. Many listings of restaurants are not up to date, and with this we could at lest get the top tier a bit more organized. --Jonte-- (talk) 08:06, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

A link to the Wikipedia article for the restaurant should be given in its Wikivoyage listing, but I wouldn't suggest copying or importing all the content of the Wikipedia article to Wikivoyage, because it includes historical information that's relevant for an encyclopedia but not really relevant to a visitor, who would usually be more interested in how good the restaurant is, what their specialties are, what the ambiance is like, how long in advance they need reservations in order to guarantee a table, how much it costs and possibly whether it has a dress code. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:15, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I think the idea is to to import certain specific details from the Wikidata item, not to copy the whole Wikipedia article. I think importing some information via Wikidata a good idea—at least the Michelin rating. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:19, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Using Wikidata to check for closed-down POIs is an intriguing idea too, not limited to Michelin reviewed restaurants or even to restaurants at all. Does Wikidata include statements about whether a place is closed down? If so, a bot could check for Wikivoyage listings connected to Wikidata items that say the place is closed. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:23, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I should really wait a few minutes while I keep researching before pressing enter. I found wikidata:Property:P5817, which is what would help us detect closed POIs, but unfortunately I don't think it's used widely enough to be useful. I'm still interested in the idea of importing Michelin stars though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:31, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Why via Wikidata? I don't understand. The information we want is in the Wikipedia article, right? Please explain. Also, while Michelin is still considered quite reliable for France, it's to my knowledge never been considered reliable for Italy and is not very reliable for the U.S., so I don't think Wikivoyage should have some kind of Michelin star icon or something; instead, the number of Michelin stars should be given in prose in the "content" tab, just as the number of New York Times stars would be so given for New York-area restaurants, etc. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:33, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Guide Michelin is the most comprehensive would-wide rating system there is for high-end restaurants. It is not limited to France. To my understanding the list on Wikipedia covers most, if not all, restaurants featured in this category. And to be clear, I only meant importing data items, which we could generate automatic. In the same way including a wikidata link adds coordinates. --Jonte-- (talk) 09:35, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I didn't say Michelin didn't cover restaurants in other countries; I said that their ratings are not considered reliable for Italy. To elaborate, if you ask Italians, they will tell you that Michelin highly rates restaurants in Italy whose cuisine is more similar to French food, rather than the cucina tipica most prized in Italy. And their ratings are also not very reliable in the U.S. On food discussion groups, Americans believe their standards are lower in the U.S. than they are in France, and some Americans believe that they simply don't understand cuisines not similar to French or Japanese cuisine all that well. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:48, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) To clarify, the information about Michelin stars is on both Wikidata and Wikipedia. If we import it via Wikidata, I assume it can be done automatically (or semi-automatically using the listing editor). I don't know if that can be done via Wikipedia. Of course if Michelin isn't reliable enough to be worth including in this way then that's a different story. —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:50, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
It's absolutely good to mention in the description, but I don't think we should adopt Michelin stars as some kind of Wikivoyage icon. For one thing, that would mean promoting a commercial guidebook on a non-profit site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:55, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
So if I understand correctly, the Michelin stars are still interesting in the USA, Italy etc., but not important enough worldwide to have their dedicated place/icon in the listing template, and fetching them with bot or via the listing editor is feasible only if there is such a dedicated place (inserting text in the "content" field would be awkward and error prone). What could be done is to have a "hidden" field (showing up when editing), which would notify the editor on Michelin star status in case Wikidata knows the restaurant has or has had stars. If using the listing editor, the field would automatically be up to date, otherwise depending on last bot run. --LPfi (talk) 10:18, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Sure, that would be fine, although it's possible it might confuse some editors. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:11, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
But back to the earlier point - what about the ratings of other guides that are better regarded in their own country, and that adopt multiple formats? Eg in Britain I'd argue for primacy of Good Food Guide and place less trust in Michelin. GFG is a commercial publication but relies on reader input backed by incognito inspectors, who always pay for their meals. They never accept payment or hospitality for listings and are somewhat kindred spirits to WV. But there are other candidate publications and we don't want edit wars over which of several ratings to import. Grahamsands (talk) 16:37, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
If it's the general feeling among people knowledgeable about restaurants in Britain that the Good Food Guide is most reliable, their ratings should be mentioned in restaurant descriptions on this site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:48, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I suppose it is no problem for an editor to mention whatever rating feels relevant (unless others think it is not), and also easy for the listing editor or a bot to treat different countries differently, but the listing editor or a bot acting on some rating requires it to be machine readable and combined with the Wikidata ID. If there are several reliable ratings available on Wikidata, the system should probably be built to support them all (I suppose they are not too many). --LPfi (talk) 19:24, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Sleep prices[edit]

It is increasingly common that hotels and other accommodations do not post standard prices, but just prices for a specific stay, perhaps booked in a specific way. Still it is good to have a grasp about the prices at a destination before doing the booking. Are there good practices in how to infer common rates? Should one just check a couple of dates in workdays and weekdays, now and after a month, in different season? Sometimes you know what dates are special (in season, big festival, ...), sometimes not. Should one refrain from trying to state the price level when one does not have local knowledge? Should one leave prices out for individual venues that do not post standard prices? --LPfi (talk) 09:38, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

I usually try to find the bottom end of the price range by looking for a Sunday 3-6 months hence in off season. For a northern hemisphere city, today (in May) I would look at Sundays in November. Sunday is usually the least busy night in a hotel, as weekend leisure travellers have left, and business traveller have not arrived. I always give the resulting price as "from". AlasdairW (talk) 13:39, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Can a hotel bar be listed separately from the hotel?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Some hotels have a restaurant or a bar which is an attraction in its own right; it might be famous for fine dining or its rooftop view. Should that venue deserve a listing under the eat or drink section? /Yvwv (talk) 23:28, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

I think so, as an exception to the general rule against listing the same business twice. Wikivoyage:Don't tout says "exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if, for example, a hotel has a famous, separately named bar or restaurant that also draws significant numbers of non-resident customers". —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:51, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Mx. Granger. I suggest considering the state of the page overall. If there are already a lot of listings in the page, then I suggest picking just one place, and then mentioning the existence of the other aspects in the description. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:05, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I would list a rooftop bar separately, regardless of whether it's part of a hotel, because usually, most people who patronize it are not guests at the hotel. Basically, if it's an attraction in its own right and a majority of its patrons are not guests at the hotel, list it separately. We do that in district guides to Manhattan a bunch of times, such as for Jean-Georges and Ai Fiori. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:20, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Zooming out, I think it's time to abandon the "no double listings" policy. It's a needlessly draconian way of responding to a problem that 1) often isn't actually a problem, and 2) even when it is, is already covered by other policies. Because it's not just hotel bars that can be separate attractions in their own right. In an earlier discussion I mentioned the example of a place in my hometown that's famous for artisan wood-fired pizzas equally as much as craft cocktails, and wondered why we needed to limit the listing to either "Eat" or "Drink", thus forcing half of our readers who might be interested in the place to seek it out in a section totally unrelated to what they're looking for. Not only is that a scenario in which a double listing would be appropriate, but also we Wikivoyagers are not fools, and we can tell the difference between that and touting, which would still be against policy even if double listings weren't. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 11:54, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I disagree. I think double (or triple, whatever) listings should still be exceptions, and so noted. And it's not an issue of "we Wikivoyagers", but often of new users who don't know the site culture yet. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:19, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I also have to reluctantly disagree, for the same reasons. It's one thing to make an exception for a fairly unique place that's a worthwhile travel destination as both a restaurant and lodging (for example). But restaurant+bar is such a ubiquitous combination that permitting those would easily lead to many listings getting duplicated. While it sucks to have to choose one or the other, I think we should trust readers to be smart enough to realize that the "Eat" and "Drink" sections have some amount of overlap. --Bigpeteb (talk) 16:56, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not just talking about an average restaurant-bar combo. I'm talking about places that offer two or more distinct experiences that are usually enjoyed singly rather than in combination with each other, and just so happen to be located under the same roof. That's something that varies from restaurant to restaurant: for example, it's certainly nothing unusual to go to a neighborhood corner bar and order a bucket of chicken wings or a burger to go with your beer, but at the restaurant that I mentioned above, you're generally either there for the cocktails or the pizza but not both at the same time, the bar and the dining room are distinctly physically separate from each other, etc. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:06, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I think that's a situation that does call for two listings, and the listings should include exactly the statement that you just made - that the bar and restaurant are in separate locations and that a customer normally goes to one or the other. I don't think any policy change is needed for two listings in this kind of case. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:10, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Wow... That's a pretty good question. I might have to go with add it to both. I'm not much of a Whiz in this. Arep Ticous 02:33, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
This question comes up quiet often, and I think the general consensus is that for a hostel or hotel bar to be listed separately to the hotel/hostel it should be: A. a bar that would be notable even if it wasn't in the hotel/hostel and B.open to travelers who are not checked into the hotel/hostel.
For example where a hotel bar in a rural area that is the only notable bar in the area, a popular skybar in a major city open to everyone; or a notable bar that is next to a hotel but has the same owner.
We generally avoid listing businesses multiple times mainly because it takes up too much space, gives a business an unfair presence in an article and frequently touts will list a business under as many/all sections of an article, but editors have some discretion
Policy changes are a headache for everyone and the "no double listings" rule is enforced frequently against touts.--Billbarrelrider (talk) 07:05, 4 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree fully. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:56, 4 June 2019 (UTC)

Listings editor but for prose?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I'm curious if anyone has ideas for building a tool like the listings editor, but for writing instead. The listings editor really makes editing a breeze; but ultimately, I feel like folks come here for the writing and not a list of POI's. I mean the listings are great, but I'm wishing we also had some kind of tool to help elevate our writing to the same level.

Is there any way, for example, in a parent article to display every "See" listing in all child articles? Some way of visualizing that? That could help authors write up meta sections in Region articles, which are often lacking. It would be a great help to travellers deciding which of the 47 listings spread across 8 bottom level pages are worth their time to explore...

Just one idea, maybe it's no good, idk. What do you think? Thanks! --ButteBag (talk) 00:16, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

What would you suggest that the visual editor doesn't provide? You can write prose to your heart's content? Prose by its nature doesn't have the structure of a listing editor. --Inas (talk) 06:01, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
It seems ButteBag suggests the editor providing information that could be transformed into prose. What I am doing is to keep the child articles open in separate tabs and copy as needed. If there is a large tree of children, then some more advanced solution would help a lot, but writing the tool would be non-trivial. The tool should compile and present the available attractions in some nice way. It could also notice when top attractions are missing from the proper child article and help adding them there. I am not sure adding these features to an editor is the best way. It could be a script at toollab and you could copy content to be pasted into the edit window for editing. The tool as I can imagine it, made with a reasonable amount of work, would be mostly for seasoned editors not too afraid of technicalilies. --LPfi (talk) 10:12, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, with some effort you can grab all the listings (See) from various child articles, sort them and then transform them to some prose-like format for further selection/editing (not outputting data in listing template format). I would do this type of work in a Sandbox using a Lua Module, the general page editor and final copy to some article page. -- Matroc (talk) 07:11, 22 June 2019 (UTC)