Wikivoyage talk:Routebox navigation

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Welcome![edit]

Welcome to the Wikimedia family! I'm from the English Wikipedia, home of the flagship road project WikiProject U.S. Roads. Because of the efforts of our project and others, we have a lot of highway shields and images that are available on Commons, that are made to the government specifications. We have most of the shields for the United States and several for roads worldwide, so if you can't find it, feel free to drop a note on my talk page, here or at the English Wikipedia, and I'll see if I can find it. If not, we can get them made (and there is a bot that will mass-generate shields, if that is necessary).

We also have over 15,000 road articles that you can link to as well. Many of them are complete with a route description, complete history, and a list of major junctions (for example, w:en:California State Route 57), though some are admittedly lacking. The articles in the United States, Croatia, and Ontario, Canada are typically in good shape, whereas the articles elsewhere do tend to be substandard.

If you have any questions, or need anything, let me know! --Rschen7754 00:38, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Criteria for route inclusion[edit]

It seems to me that the criteria for inclusion are too restrictive:

  • 4 destinations: The only highways into Lakeview (Oregon) are US 395 and Oregon 140. Highway 140 leads to only Klamath Falls and Medford, on the west, and to a tee junction with US 95 (31 miles north of Winnemucca) on the east. But it is the only reasonable way to get to Lakeview from southwest Oregon, so it should be listed, IMO. (Question: should we list Winnemucca on the 140-east part of the Lakeview route box? 140-to-95 is the most direct route there.)
  • Trains in Western US: These trains do have regular schedules. If I were flying into San Francisco and I wanted to see San Jose and Sacramento, I should be able to see in the route boxes (as I can in the Get In section) that that I can get to those locations by CalTrain and Capitol Corridor Amtrak. It's probably true that over 99 percent of people coming to San Jose use freeways, but most of those trips are not the kind where Wikivoyage would be consulted. Peter Chastain (talk) 20:08, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Over time, I have come to mostly agree with you, on the first point at least. I suppose I didn't realize how this initiative was going to really take off, especially in the US articles, and now it does seem rather odd to leave out certain routes because they don't go far. On the second point, I'm not really clear on what policy point you are addressing. I don't see any reason why trains in the western US would be a problem provided they are given nice, appropriate, properly sized logos.Texugo (talk) 21:04, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
True, though on the other side of the token we shouldn't have w:en:California State Route 282 in a routebox. --Rschen7754 21:14, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Which Wikivoyage page lists it? I agree. The issue is not whether Route 282 is important, but whether it is a primary way into a particular location. That can be discussed only in the context of that location. Peter Chastain (talk) 21:25, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
In my Oregon Rte 140 examle, above, should we show only the western direction (since 140 to the east does not actually go through any listed destinations)? My point about trains is in response to, "...listing a passenger train route through the western US is considered too much detail since 99% of travellers go by car in the region". Can we use the official Amtrak and regional (e.g., CalTrain) logos without worrying about copyright? Peter Chastain (talk) 21:25, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
[edit-conflict]I was confused about why there would be any question about whether trains in the western U.S. should be added, but decided to look at the page...maybe the OP was referring to something? Yep...in the "Criteria for route inclusion" section: "For example, listing a passenger train route through the western US is considered too much detail since 99% of travellers go by car in the region, and trains in the region don't have regular service which allows for hop-on hop-off use." I disagree with that statement and think it should be removed. The following line about not listing roads in Central Africa is not appropriate either, since listing a route in the region is useful just to know that there is a route in the direction of travel someone wants to go. AHeneen (talk) 21:28, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Amtrak's logos are copyrighted, but last year we had some efforts to create text-only versions. Not sure what happened with those. LtPowers (talk) 01:30, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Those icons I made are together here in one .svg (I'm not sure if it has been altered, it shouldn't have the text running outside the boxes.). The only one that has been implemented is Amtrak Northeast Regional. The others will have to be extracted from the svg and uploaded separately. Texugo (talk) 01:40, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
The wonkiness is somewhat expected; MediaWiki's SVG renderer can only render certain fonts; if you used one not on the approved list, it will substitute another. LtPowers (talk) 01:46, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
You're converting the text to path, right? --Rschen7754 03:00, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
It should be converting text to path, yes. I don´t remember which font it is, but I imagine it is that Blue Highway font that was always recommended at WT. At any rate, I suppose it should appear correctly when someone downloads the svg to make individual files out of it.Texugo (talk) 10:20, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Traditionally we haven't converted text to path for maps, in order to make it easier to modify for other languages; in a case like this, that's obviously less important. Texugo, it will work fine when someone downloads the SVG as long as they have Blue Highway installed. =) LtPowers (talk) 15:04, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, listen to LtPowers. I don´t think I know what I´m talking about converting text to path. I just assumed you meant scalable or something.Texugo (talk) 15:18, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Non-route use of routebox[edit]

I think this is inappropriate use of the routebox. In addition to the fact that the icon used is quite tacky and its consituent 8 coats-of-arms are complete unidentifiable at this size, it does not actually represent any particular route, not even a true ring, and it strongly reminds me of the webring fad of 10-15 years ago. What do others think? Texugo (talk) 23:01, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Not a can of worms I'd like to open. If it's not a real route, I wouldn't use the routebox. LtPowers (talk) 23:21, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
OK. I'm going to go ahead and remove these. I think it is pretty clear that the routeboxes are meant for routes and not regional itineraries.Texugo (talk) 23:49, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
The image used for the route itself was fairly poor quality and much too tall. We may need to set standards here about how large a route's image should be. For example, is Geelong#Go_next too large? I think it's fine, but is too large next to the M1 route shield. Maybe a solution is just to standardise the height in all the images. JamesA >talk 01:19, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually that example contains the exact two sizes recommended on the policy page, although the M1 route shield is uncharacteristically short. I definitely don't believe the larger of the two could be made any smaller and still fit things like "Transcontinental Railway" legibly. There have been some other non-standard sizes made though, which I am not a fan of, such as the green Japanese highway icons (see Nagoya or Hamamatsu for example). Those could be trimmed down to the recommended 100x25 size and look better next to the rail icons.Texugo (talk) 01:38, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, I would venture that the standard height should be 25px.Texugo (talk) 01:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Maximum height of 25px looks about right to me. Some may be shorter. LtPowers (talk) 13:47, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

routebox link parameter[edit]

There are a number of articles that add a link to the image name in routeboxes, for example Adrian (Texas). I had made a change to the template to track references to images that do not exist, but this link syntax causes problems. Any objections to adding an additional parameter to create a link on the route icon? --Traveler100 (talk) 09:26, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't know if that's an intuitive way to link, honestly. I mean, it makes sense, but it's inconsistent with the way clicking on images works for 99% of our routeboxes. So either 1) a reader will know from other routeboxes that clicking on the route icon goes to the image description page, and not bother clicking on Route 66, or 2) a reader will know that clicking on the Route 66 icon goes to that itinerary, and get confused when it doesn't work on other routeboxes. LtPowers (talk) 14:15, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
So are you saying remove the link function from existing pages that have found ways round this? --Traveler100 (talk) 14:43, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm thinking it's possible we should discourage that particular use. If we decide to keep it, then not only should we systematize it as you suggest, we should find a way to make it clearer and more intuitive. LtPowers (talk) 15:55, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Rules for assigning major and minor destinations[edit]

I don't like the way the rules are currently worded. In particular, this line:

The minor destination in each direction should always be the next place along the route for which we have an article.

This is not a logical rule in cases where the next city along the route is a major city. For example, here's a routebox from Hapeville, Georgia:


Routes through Routebox navigation
ChattanoogaAtlanta  N I-75.svg S  MaconGainesville
MontgomeryEast Point  W I-85.svg E  AtlantaGreenville
AshevilleAtlanta  N US 19.svg S  GriffinAlbany
ChattanoogaAtlanta  N US 41.svg S  GriffinMacon


How does it make any sense to list Atlanta as a minor destination along the way to Chattanooga, Greenville, or Asheville? It would make a lot more sense to simply skip the minor destination step like this:


Routes through Routebox navigation
Atlanta  N I-75.svg S  MaconGainesville
MontgomeryEast Point  W I-85.svg E  Atlanta
Atlanta  N US 19.svg S  GriffinAlbany
Atlanta  N US 41.svg S  GriffinMacon


An alternative option can be seen in action on any of the pages for cities near Chicago—they've gone and bolded the word Chicago even though it's in the minor destination spot rather than let Chicago be a non-bolded destination on the way to Milwaukee (or wherever). This is better than nothing, but I don't see it as a perfect solution because you'll still end up with some major cities being listed as "on the way" to a smaller city. Compounding the problem is this rule:

If the route goes for 2 hours' travel time or more without a major city, the next biggest city in the region should be used to break it up.

In the western United States, two hours is nothing. Having to pick a "major destination" from the cities within a two-hour drive is laughable. For the article I've been working on at Wendover, that would mean the route box should list Salt Lake City as a minor destination and then list some town in Wyoming as a major destination you can go to if you drive past Salt Lake. I think it's much better the way I have it now, with Salt Lake City as the major destination and no minor in between—an accurate representation of what you'll find driving east from Wendover along I-80.

So anyway, here's what I'm getting at as far as how to fix the rules:

I propose that we eliminate the 2-hour rule altogether and amend the minor destinations rule to say that it can be left blank if the next city along that route is a major city.

Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 09:25, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

For the first issue, I think the solution which has been used is to simply leave the minor destination blank, since there is no minor destination before Atlanta. However, the Hapeville page says it is part of Metro Atlanta while the page hierarchy lists it as part of Atlanta and the districts of Atlanta list Hapeville as part of South Atlanta. The page's hierarchy needs fixed. There's no instructions for what to do for destinations that are in a major city (use the neighboring neighborhood/district?). On a related note, are there no minor towns between Atlanta & Macon that could be used? Gainesville isn't a very appropriate choice for major destination...I-75 should probably use Macon & Valdosta. While not WV policy, I think the officially-designated control cities should be used (in most cases) as major destinations on Interstate highways in the U.S. AHeneen (talk) 12:04, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually, as far as I know, the way things have been done around Chicago is the correct way to do it. The "minor" field should have the next destination of any size for which we have an article, in bold if it can be considered a major destination, and without bold if not. In the presentation of the routebox on the page itself, there is no insinuation that the first destination in any direction is simply "on the way to somewhere" and therefore less important. There is never any reason to show less than two destinations in any direction unless the next destination is the end of the road.
As for the "2-hour" rule, it's just a general guideline which does have to be stretched in some regions, but just because the next destination designated as major (that city in Wyoming) is not as big as the next destination (Salt Lake City, which should be in bold), it doesn't mean that we are implying they are the same size or something, just that there isn't another standout notable place between them. If you leave it off, it looks like there is nothing at all beyond Salt Lake City. Think of driving east out of Wendover and you see one of those distance signs. It would probably show how far to Salt Lake City and the next important destination after that (at least). We try to do the same thing.
Also, AHeneen is correct in that we typically try to use officially designated control cities when possible. Texugo (talk) 13:51, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, in that first sample routebox posted, Atlanta should be bolded manually because it's a major destination, even though it's in the "minor" slot in the template. LtPowers (talk) 00:32, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Questions that occur while reading through the replies:

  1. If the minor destination is always supposed to be the next destination and nothing else no matter what, why is it even labeled as the "minor" destination? Shouldn't the parameter be "nextr1=" instead of "minorr1="?
  2. Is there a reason the rules don't mention using officially designated control cities for U.S. Interstates? Was it actually decided to leave that off the policy page, or is it just something no one has bothered to add?
  3. I can accept if everyone wants to use Chicago-style bolding, but I still don't see any purpose to the 2-hour rule. What's important about two hours travel time? It seems like a rather arbitrary cut-off.

Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 05:45, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

  1. Because the template was roughed out using certain parameter names before edge cases were identified and addressed.
  2. I don't think we ever had consensus to use official control cities except as a guideline, though I favored doing so personally.
  3. The 2-hour rule is a rule of thumb to break up long stretches of highway with no truly major destinations. Yes, it's arbitrary; any such cut-off would be arbitrary. LtPowers (talk) 13:17, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but why do we need any such cut-off? What's the worst that could happen if we simply deleted that rule? We've already got the rule about junction cities counting as major destinations. There's only so far you can travel without reaching a junction with another major route, and the places where you could travel the farthest without reaching one are the same sparsely populated areas where people are already stretching the 2-hour rule. Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 03:25, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Not all junctions exist within destinations, at least not destinations we'd write about. The intent of the rule is to make sure the reader who is skipping quickly along a route doesn't have to page through a dozen articles before getting to their destination. LtPowers (talk) 12:54, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Because it helps to keep things framed regionally, especially for lesser roads which may in fact have zero "truly important" destinations. Take US385 for example. Between Odessa, Texas and Deadwood, South Dakota, there are no important destinations at all. Adding in junctions with interstates would only add a small town in eastern Colorado and another in far west Nebraska, and it would just be bizarre to say the road leaves Odessa for random small town X two states away. We want to keep things framed regionally, adjusting the scale to choose the more regionally important stops along the way. People break up long drives of 3 hours or longer, and it is helpful for us to highlight where the more important stops may be, whatever the size. Texugo (talk) 12:55, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

How close does a highway have to come?[edit]

Eco84, who does truly yeoman's work on routeboxes, just removed I-88 from the Cooperstown article and replaced with the obscure State Route 28. I-88 passes a few miles to the south of Cooperstown and is the main access point for the village; is it really worth removing it from the I-88 sequence and making it that much harder for browsers to find? I'm sure travelers will see "Cooperstown" on the exit signs along I-88. LtPowers (talk) 13:48, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

In cases where the route pass near but not through, I would say destinations should be included in the route if:
  • there is at least one dedicated exit for that town, i.e. signage along the route
  • the route is the main means of access for that town
  • there is no other destination between the exit from the route and the town
  • the town is not more than 10 minutes or so from the route
Texugo (talk) 14:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
It's a 23 minute drive from getting off I-88 to the middle of Cooperstown. There's one small village between I-88 and Cooperstown. Maybe it doesn't qualify. Still, under those criteria, I'm not sure Rochester should be listed in I-90 routeboxes, which seems absurd. LtPowers (talk) 18:16, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Didn't mean to step on any toes, I was inserting Oneonta (New York) into the routebox (which is right along the interstate), and had noticed just how far Cooperstown was from I-88; traveling north its about one-third of the way from Oneonta (I-88) to Mohawk (I-90/Thruway). NY-28 could be listed as a junction from the next town east (it would be pointless listing the junction from Oneonta since NY-28 already goes through there). With regards to Rochester, last I checked it wasn't listed on I-90 routeboxes. It theoretically could be listed if Rochester was treated as a major destination along I-90; it would probably show up as "Rochester via I-490". Eco84 (talk) 18:35, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Well it used to do exactly that; see http://wikitravel.org/en/Syracuse_%28New_York%29, for instance. Maybe I'm just not entirely on board with putting on relatively minor state routes like 28. Major state routes like 104, 17, and 5 are one thing, but the minor ones seem superfluous. Would that mean that some small villages don't have routeboxes at all? Maybe so, but I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing. The more routes we have covered in the routeboxes, the harder they are to maintain. LtPowers (talk) 02:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


Okay, I just noticed that Buffalo doesn't have a routebox listing for the Thruway (I-90). This despite the fact that Buffalo is a control city for I-90! I have to click through to Cheektowaga to get on the I-90 line -- and the I-90 line in Cheektowaga omits the control city Buffalo! Something is wrong if this is the result we get from following the letter of our rules. LtPowers (talk) 13:42, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I'd say even the rules of thumb I proposed just above are something to be interpreted more and more loosely the larger the city we're talking about, and that we should err of the side of inclusion. Texugo (talk) 14:19, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Inserting "END" into the routebox even if there are two or more destinations ahead[edit]

I've always only listed "END" as a major destination if a route ends in the next town/city, which I assumed was policy? I bring this up because of this edit, which reinserted an "END" I had removed even though the route has both a major and minor destination ahead. Eco84 (talk) 18:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Hmm, I may have been overly hasty on that. Still, it seems kind of useful to me, but maybe it's not. LtPowers (talk) 02:08, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

When north/south is actually south/north[edit]

Just how set in stone is our rule about destinations to the north of a city/town always being listed on the left? Many routes run in a more southwest/northeast direction, and often times they're already listed as south/north on the routeboxes (admittedly a crapload of those were probably edited that way by me, but I don't think I'm the only one guilty of this). To take the most extreme example I can think of right now, I think it would look ridiculous to list I-95 as north/south through the state of Connecticut; official directions aside, it really functions as a de-facto west/east route through that state, with the "southbound" lanes heading in a westerly direction. Changing the directions from south/north to north/south would also result in it clashing with the Amtrak Northeast Regional routeboxes that were added in awhile ago (not by me), whcih uses southwest/northeast as its directions. Eco84 (talk) 20:20, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Putting N on the left and S on the right is arbitrary, so I see no problem switching them if it helps keep it in synch with other routes in the same routebox. In fact, I did exactly that in the Buffalo article. You can see here that I inserted a comment to make it clear what I was doing, and that the variation from the standard was intentional. LtPowers (talk) 02:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, there is one problem, now that I think about it... would you reverse I-95 all the way from Florida because it goes west-east in Connecticut? If not, then at the transition, it will suddenly flip and make it harder for a reader to follow if they're browsing along the routeboxes. For U.S. 62 in Buffalo, that's not a problem because it's a west-east route until it hits Pennsylvania, so switching to S-N keeps the order the same. LtPowers (talk) 02:21, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I-80 control cities[edit]

Anyone have an authoritative list of official control cities for the interstates? I found this webpage, but I'm not sure I trust it. For example, I don't see why two different small towns in the same region of Wyoming (Evanston and Rock Springs) would both be control cities.
I bring it up because I find it weird that we're using Rock Springs as a control city, but not Elko. They're similar towns in terms of size, importance along the route, and proximity to larger cities. I realize there's some ambiguity in the rules for assigning major destinations, but no consistent application would treat these two cities differently. Personally, I would prefer demoting Rock Springs rather than promoting Elko. I know for a fact that the I-80 signage in Salt Lake uses mileage for Reno and Cheyenne, skipping both. Plus, our Rock Springs article contains just one hotel listing and no restaurants, so it's not like we've got a compelling case for stopping there over any other town in the succession. Thoughts?
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 11:08, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

AASHTO's official list isn't available for free online; they want you to buy the whole book for $30. However, from reading Wikipedia, it seems that AASHTO's recommendations aren't always followed; it's up to the individual states, though they mostly follow the recommendations in order to maintain continuity. That said, I looked on Google Maps. In Utah, it seems they use Cheyenne as the eastern control city, but within Wyoming both Evanston and Rock Springs appear on control signs. So, for example, if you get on I-80 at Evanston, the signs say "Salt Lake" and "Rock Springs", while in Rock Springs they say "Green River" (!) and "Rawlins" (!).
For our purposes, we don't need to follow any official scheme slavishly. The problem is that Salt Lake City and Cheyenne are many hours apart; that's usually longer than we like to go between major cities. But of course, none of the towns along I-80 between them are all that major. Sometimes you just have to pick one; maybe Rock City is as good as any. It's an art, not a science.
LtPowers (talk) 19:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
I've generally found the list fairly accurate, with the caveat that it is from 2002. --Rschen7754 20:29, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Alright, but the drive between Reno and Salt Lake City is about 8 or 9 hours, depending on stoppage time, so are you arguing for Elko as a major city? Actually, if we attempted to follow the two hour rule, we would need another major city just to bridge the distance from Reno to Elko, let alone Salt Lake. The problem I have with designating a major city just for the sake of breaking up the drive time is that it doesn't help the traveler at all. They could stop at any town if they just want to break up the drive; what good is it to pretend there's something different about the small town two hours down the road? As I said before, our Rock Springs article doesn't even have a restaurant listing. How does it help you on your road trip to know that Rock Springs is a little ways down the road as opposed to Rawlins, Green River, or whatever other town is listed in the minor spot? It seems to me that the bolded city down the road should be used to indicate more or better amenities than what you can find at any random stop. If it takes 4 hours, 6 hours, or 8 hours to get to the next one, I think the traveler would rather be told so than be told they're driving towards the major destination of Rock Springs.
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 09:16, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Well we also have a goal of trying to minimize clicks. The more minor destinations there are between major ones, the more clicks are required to page through them, since you can only see one minor destination (in each direction) at a time. Obviously, the two-hour guideline can and must be expanded for the low-density Western states compared to the high-density East, but it still seems like leaving the major cities as just Reno, Salt Lake, and Cheyenne may be too few. As for your specifics, I've seen a list of significant cities on I-80 that includes both Elko and Rock Springs. Knowing nothing about them, I can't say if it's good or bad to include them. Powers (talk) 14:27, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Who exactly is clicking through routeboxes with a specific destination in mind instead of just typing it in the search bar? I can see clicking through routeboxes just to see what's there, but that would require more clicks, not fewer, if you can't skip very far from one major destination to the next.
Side note: I've just noticed there's an article between Evanston and Green River that's basically about a specific hotel. Is that supposed to be there?
Thatotherpersontalkcontribs 10:56, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
You've asked similar questions before, but it's clear none of our answers are satisfying to you. I'm not sure what else I can say here. On the topic of Little America, I would suggest that much of that text would be best merged to Southwest Wyoming. Not sure what to do about the hotel itself; it depends on what other settlements are around. Powers (talk) 19:46, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Routeboxes for High speed rail lines[edit]

Swept in from the pub

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

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

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

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

N-S convention exceptions[edit]

When I implemented US Route 62 routeboxes through Western New York, I encountered a conundrum.

See, U.S. Route 62 is (as an even-numbered route) normally an east-west route. It starts in Texas, and it's east-west all the way from Texas through Ohio. At the Pennsylvania border, the signage changes to north-south (with eastbound becoming northbound), which it maintains through PA and NY to the Canadian border at Niagara Falls.

Our convention is that north is on the left in routeboxes, and south on the right. This caused two problems with US-62: one, it means the routebox direction reverses at the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. It goes from west-east in Ohio to north-south in Pennsylvania, even though a driver on the road traveling east would see signs change from "east" to "north". This means if a reader is following the routeboxes through Ohio by clicking on right-hand destinations, s/he will have to switch to left-hand destinations upon entering Pennsylvania.

This struck me as confusing. Fortunately, reversing the usual north-south convention in order to maintain the directionality of the road allowed me to keep Buffalo on the same side of the routebox for both I-90 (east-west) and US-62 (south-north). That solved the other problem -- that using the north-left convention put some of the same destinations on opposite sides of the routebox depending on what route one was looking at.

So on the whole, I believe US-62 is such a unique situation that an exception to our north-south convention is warranted. But the routeboxes were recently switched back to the north-left convention, despite my having left an HTML comment explaining my reasoning for the exception.

So I bring the conundrum here, for comments. I think there's a strong case for an exception here. Do you?

-- Powers (talk) 02:09, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

This topic actually grew out of a discussion on my talk page which I have linked for reference. To recap my position, I don't see it as a significant problem when the same destination city shows up on different sides of a routebox for two or more different routes. The purpose of the routeboxes are to enable travellers who plan on taking a particular route to know which destinations he or she will pass through from Point A to Point B. That being the case, someone following the US 62 route from destination to destination needn't concern him- or herself with the I-90 line, and vice versa. I grant that it looks messy, but to me the functionality of the routeboxes - which work better when displayed in an intuitive direction, with west or north to the left - supersedes that in importance. Similarly, for cases such as US 62 where the signed direction changes from east-west to north-south at some arbitrary point along the way, it's a much lesser evil for there to be one instance of the reader needing to switch from one side of the routebox to the other, than for multiple different destinations to have their routeboxes oriented in non-intuitive ways (or, worse, to have south-left routes coexisting with north-left ones on the same routebox). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2016 (UTC)
If I may, what's intuitive about north-left? West-left, sure, but north-left seems arbitrary. We could just as easily have gone with south-left, couldn't we? Powers (talk) 02:52, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Revisiting the four destination minimum[edit]

This was discussed as least once before, but can we amend the four destination minimum policy? I'm not sure how an edit like this one, deleting an Interstate highway that is probably the most traveled route into the destination in question, simply because we currently only have two articles for cities along said route, serves the traveler at all. Eco84 (talk) 01:04, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. There are a few things in Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation#Criteria for route inclusion which are arbitrary or make no sense. If two roads are going to the same places, why not just show I-44.svgOklahoma State Highway 66.svg the same way we'd show a concurrency, with the numbers side-by-side on a single entry? The small road often is high street/main street, is a scenic road or is of some historical significance to travel; should we remove the 1000 Islands Parkway just because it was bypassed by the busiest, most boring freeway in the nation? The suggestion to list no roads if "...the vast majority of travellers see the area by bus or hired car" is bizarre. If we're talking Schefferville or Iqaluit (where the street name "Road to Nowhere" is literal - there is no way out of town by road) sure, but - even in an impoverished land . . . buses and hired cars run on roads!
A requirement that a route should have at least 4 destinations for which we have articles is also flawed. Sometimes a village will be (like a tiny wayside station on a busy rail line) built right on the beaten path. Wawa, for instance, is on the Trans-Canada Highway. Conversely, a moderately-important city might be off the main corridor and need a small branch highway - like Ontario 115.svg branches off Ontario 401.svg and the beaten-path Windsor-Quebec Corridor just to extend Toronto-Oshawa traffic to Peterborough (Ontario). It's a short stub of a road, but it's the main road in. Length as criterion would remove it but favour a longer, narrower road to a more distant destination - Ontario 7.svg to Ottawa, anyone? The same issue exists in Ottawa with Ontario 416.svg, 75km (45 miles) of rather boring highway which fails the "four listed destinations" criterion handily but is the main road to the motorway. K7L (talk) 20:29, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if it's the main road to a destination, because that's what the Get In section is for. "Go Next" is for alternative destinations; there is no point in listing a route, then, that has no (or virtually no) other destinations on it. Powers (talk) 20:39, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I-37.svg runs from Corpus Christi to San Antonio. That's not four destinations, but it is a valid 'next' article as San Antonio is a sensible destination to "go next" from Corpus Christi. The bar should be that the road have at least one 'next' destination worth visiting; 'four' is arbitrary. K7L (talk) 12:31, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Four destinations might be a good guideline when deciding if a route should be included, but we shouldn't be dogmatically applying rules when common sense says an exception is warranted, and in this case an exception definitely makes sense. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:47, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Seems like Corpus Christi should be listed in San Antonio#Go next, and vice versa. But that doesn't mean they should be included in the routebox. The routeboxes are intended to allow navigation along a route; if the route only has two destinations, there's no point using the routebox to navigate between them. Powers (talk) 20:22, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
My impression is that the arbitrary criteria exist for cases where there are an unmanageably large number of possible routes and (on 7±2 grounds) we're trying to avoid listing them all. For instance, Chicago#By rail historically was a crossroads with tracks going every which way. Conversely, I-37 might be the only motorway out of Corpus Christi and certainly Amqui has just two roads (no freeway) and a rail line. Where the options are already limited, why would we want or need to arbitrarily limit them further? K7L (talk) 17:31, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm not quite following. If there's only one route out of a city, and that route only goes to one or two other places, what purpose does the routebox serve? Powers (talk) 19:14, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
The routebox provides consistency — so the user can have the same experience whether the route has two cities or ten. I think it potentially increases confusion for readers if some routes are in the route box and others are described in the text of Get out just because of an arbitrary cut-off we decided (before routeboxes were substantially rolled out). Moreso, I believe another one of our rules is something listed in Get in shouldn’t be listed in Get out — so it’s entirely possible the next destination down the road may not be listed in Get out because it was already covered in Get in.
I still think four destinations is a good guideline, but I agree with Ryan that common sense should prevail when circumstances warrant it. In K7L’s Peterborough (Ontario) example, taking the 115 out would mean the busiest highway in and out of the city wouldn’t be in the route box but two highways that are used as much for local traffic as long distance travel would be. I think someone planning a trip but not familiar with our rules would find that odd and confusing. -Shaundd (talk) 22:03, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I feel like I'm not getting my point across. Routeboxes are not designed for planning routes; they're a (site) navigation tool, designed to allow the reader to navigate quickly along a known route and see all of the destinations along that route. A routebox that connects just two destinations is completely, 100% useless for that purpose. Powers (talk) 20:25, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
I afraid I don't understand how a route that connects just two destinations is always 100% useless. If all people ever did was travel one highway and didn't need to get off of it, maybe that could be true. I don't think that holds up in reality. Using the Peterborough example again, the "route" from Toronto to Peterborough is take the 401 to Clarington and then take the 115. Strictly following the four destination rule would mean the 115 should not be included in a routebox. Using your logic, a user wouldn't be able to navigate along a known route simply because of our arbitrary four destination limit. Again, I think the four destination limit is a good guideline, but it should be applied with flexibility to suit the situation.
I also don't think our definition of a "route" is very intuitive to casual readers of the site. With so many secondary state and provincial highways being listed in a routebox, I think the typical user isn't going to understand why key highways like the I-37 in San Antonio/Corpus Cristi or the 115 in Peterborough are missing. I suspect our routebox looks like a list of all the highways (and rail lines, etc. where applicable) in and out of town so a casual reader would expect key highways, regardless of the number of destinations on them, be included. -Shaundd (talk) 00:41, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
There are only two destinations. If the reader knows they're traveling on 115, then they know they're traveling between Peterborough and Clarington, because those are the only two destinations (though I see the Kawartha Lakes redlink appears in the routeboxes currently, it shouldn't according to our guidelines). The routebox is thus unnecessary. If, for some reason, they don't know 115's termini, the "Go next" sections of each article can (and should) certainly inform them that each is easily accessible from the other. What purpose does the routebox serve? What is the use case?
As to your second point, I think unfortunately the number of routes listed has exceeded the original vision for this feature. Some editors, in order to ensure that every destination had a routebox, began placing relatively minor non-freeway state and provincial routes into routeboxes; this then requires that those routes be listed in the boxes for even large destinations with freeway access (because otherwise the chain is broken). This clutters up the routeboxes. I would favor being more restrictive about what routes we include; not every article needs a routebox, only those with major cross-regional routes going through them.
-- Powers (talk) 21:16, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree the scope of routeboxes has expanded beyond the original concept, but I like how the usage has evolved and I'm guessing others do too. If it's working, maybe we should be adjusting the rules to suit current usage. I'm not sure what the downside is.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on whether a two destination highway should be included in a routebox. Sure, someone travelling Toronto to Peterborough should know that at Clarington you exit the 401 and take the 115. But why alter the user experience (routebox to not in a routebox) just because a highway doesn't have a minimum # of destinations? There's also no guarantee the link the user needs will even be in the Go next section -- in the case of Peterborough and the 115, I wouldn't think to list Clarington in Go next because it's not really the next place to stop at if you're leaving Peterborough. Anyway, I'll stop flogging the horse here. I just think the routebox provides a more consistent and easier user experience to navigate routes and those key short purpose-built connectors -- which do form part of a known route between destinations -- should be included in them. -Shaundd (talk) 15:59, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree with Shaundd. As they are currently used on the site, routeboxes are used to show the major routes through a destination, regardless of how many stops there are along that route. If there is an interstate passing through a city my expectation would be that it should be included in the routebox, and I believe that's true for the majority of the site's readers and editors. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:54, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
I realize how some editors are using the routeboxes, but it's not correct. I believe the overproliferation is making the routeboxes appear cluttered and confusing. Less is more. Remember that the routeboxes were implemented as an alternative to having route-based articles. They are not intended to replace comprehensive "Go next" or "Get in" sections. Including routes just because they go through a city without considering whether the route is one worth using as a path to browse the site could lead to those sections being neglected. Powers (talk) 21:30, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Replacing "Autobahn" with the less well known "E" symbol[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Have a look at edits like this one, where the Autobahns in the routebox were replaced by the European routes (symbolized by E). Now, I am not a car person (as might be well known already), but nobody in Germany ever talks about the E whatsitsface. People only ever refer to the Autobahn A something. Often shortened to A something. And the A numbers are ubiquitous in signage whereas the E numbers show up erratically at best. I propose to change those back and if possible formulate / clarify policy on routeboxes in that regard. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:14, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

For Germany the Autobahn numbers are much more useful for driving, in my experience only in Belgium are they commonly seen on road signs. --Traveler100 (talk) 04:17, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
There's room for both the Autobahn numbers and European route numbers in the routebox. ϒpsilon (talk) 06:15, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree; both would be fine (and is commonly seen on signs in the Netherlands as well), but removing the A-numbers is not a good idea. When asking directions, getting traffic updates or just discussing routes with locals, A-numbers are usually far more useful than E-numbers. I've left User:Iceandsnow, who has been making these changes, a message to draw his attention to this discussion so he can weigh in. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:28, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Is there a policy / information / whatever page on routeboxes? Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I believe it's this one: Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:10, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I would like to insert something along the lines of "if possible and practical, use route names and symbols that are used at the destination". Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:25, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Please do. Sweden, Norway and Denmark are as far as I know the only countries where roads can have only the E-number and nothing else. Nevertheless, elsewhere the E-numbers are in general always showed on road signs and maps alongside national route numbers. In Germany I remember them on many (if not necessarily all) Autobahn signs alongside the A-numbers. So, I'd say, let's keep both. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:26, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Changes to Routeboxes[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Like this one or that one. What should we do about them? Leave as is? Change? Change policy? Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:07, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation spells out what our policies are and why. The edits you cited go against that policy and should be reverted. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:08, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes Done -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:35, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
On a side note, I think this is something that we could consider allowing, at least in some cases. I've had some instances, where I'd have liked to add in an extra destination in between. Mostly where there are two important stations on the route quite close and I can't decide which one to put as next major destination. Drat70 (talk) 01:38, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Directions - only cardinal directions allowed?[edit]

So the "directions" examples all go with "N" and "S". I think that in many cases it would make more sense to list the termini instead. Is this prohibited by current policy, is policy silent or this or should we include examples to encourage people to add termini in the "directions" field? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:36, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

I've never seen control cities or endpoints used instead of cardinal directions in {{routebox}}es, even for roads like the QEW where the whole darned thing is a horseshoe wrapped around one end of a lake. K7L (talk) 18:51, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

What do we do when a route officially has no shield (and therefore cannot have an icon)?[edit]

I'd really like to put a routebox on Tuktoyaktuk, but the only road out of town - the Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway - officially does not have a shield or other graphic identifier. What do we do in this situation? (This also affects the other end of the road, in Inuvik.) The routebox will be easy to code: no branches, no crossroads, settlements only at the ends of its 138km length, and a junction only at its southern end - I just need to know what to put in the middle of the entry. --Robkelk (talk) 23:42, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

For now, I've used File:No image.svg, but it looks ugly:

Routes through Tuktoyaktuk
END  N No image.svg S  ENDS at NWT-8.svg Inuvik


--Robkelk (talk) 00:19, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

I'd say just make something up. I certainly sorta kinda did for ICE routes or Romantic Road or Main Donau Kanal Hobbitschuster (talk) 01:12, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Per Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation#Criteria for route inclusion, a route needs to pass through at least four bottom-level destinations for which we have articles in order to be included in a routebox. The Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway only includes two, so the question is moot. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:33, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure what to make of that; four looks to be an arbitrary number which was stuffed into Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation without explanation when that page was originally created in 2008. There was discussion of Wikivoyage talk:Routebox navigation#Revisiting the four destination minimum two years ago, but no clear consensus as often the biggest road isn't necessarily always going to be the one passing through the most cities and towns. It depends on the destination. K7L (talk) 05:38, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation#Criteria for route inclusion says "should", not "must" - in all documentation in all locations on the Internet for many decades, that means it's a recommendation, not a hard-and-fast rule. And this is the only ground route to or from the destination; leaving it out would leave out important travel information. --Robkelk (talk) 16:57, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
No information is being left out. Inuvik#Go next and Tuktoyaktuk#By road both include the same information as the routebox - more, actually. The routebox is merely a supplement to the "Go next" section, a purely optional one, that helps travellers on a particular route know what cities and towns they'll be passing through, which in the case of a road explicitly named "Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway" equates to advice from Captain Obvious. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:48, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
There is an error in the template, if no image was give it used to show US road sign. Need to investigate the problem. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:18, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
OK so the logic as changed in the last year so that if no image is given it will not work, it used to support no image as long as there were major direction. Probably broke a number of routeboxs that has no images. Could change it but not sure about the other reasons for the change. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:15, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Routes through Tuktoyaktuk
END  N US blank wide.svg S  ENDS at NWT-8.svg Inuvik


Above sandbox version, having no image parameter. If others fine with this can set back so template allows no image and displays a line if a mijorl_ parameter exists. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:21, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
That seems to put the article in a maintenance category, Category:Routeboxes needing image.
Routes through Metropolitan Tuktoyaktuk
END  N · Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway · S  ENDS at NWT-8.svg Inuvik
It'd also be better to have the route name appear (if there is no logo or number shield) instead of just leaving a blank icon. K7L (talk) 03:22, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
There is an option for link1 parameter if there is an article on the route (See Unalakleet and Rüdesheim as examples) or caption1 parameter if no page or want to override the link name. Have now changed routebox so will allow no entry for image, but does need entry for major left. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:36, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Roadsign footers[edit]

Swept in from the pub

This has been bugging me. What is the rationale for the standard footer showing highways through a locality? It's covered by "Get in" where relevant, but that's often not the best travel route; indeed WV advises against taking a car into many big cities. Accepted it is also used for railways and ferries etc, but less often, and appropriately so. There are plenty of examples where it's helpful, but mostly it feels like a knee-jerk, falsely prioritising King Car. The example that set me off was the airport article for London Stansted, since what you don't do is drive there, experience it then drive on elsewhere. I suggest these footers should be used where they tell the traveller something he / she doesn't already know and would find useful; they shouldn't be an automatic add-on. Grahamsands (talk) 10:36, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

The purpose of routeboxes are to list in sequential order all the destinations that will be passed by a traveller on a particular route. Also, routeboxes do not only list roads; see Boston for an example of a multimodal one. Please see Wikivoyage:Routebox navigation for more information about routeboxes. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:11, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
I have tried to create a routebox for Main Donau Kanal and Romantic Road. We might also wish to create one for Elbe Radweg Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:39, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

"Destinations under 1 million people should generally not exceed 5 listings."[edit]

I find this a pointless and arbitrary limit which, in practice, a bunch of articles break. This only came to my attention due to a minor disagreement with 87.74.178.74 on Bristol, where I don't see that enforcing such a rule and cutting out a route helps travellers. If anything, Bristol needs more routeboxes: railways aren't even mentioned.

Since a city that has well under a million people can easily have more than five major roads, railways, ferry lines, cycle routes etc, I propose removing this sentence. The routebox template is already limited to nine routes by design.

Anyone object? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:53, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

Yeah I think this (like some aspects of the de facto standard like using compass directions for the endpoints instead of cities) are due to this being written with U.S. highways in mind. And if you have a U.S. metro area under a million, it is unlikely there are more than five interstates. But this is not how every city on the planet works. Besides, what exactly would be the "million people" for purposes of this threshold? London/City of London anybody? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:23, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
Looks like a silly and arbitrary policy to me. I don't understand it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:59, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
I don't see a reason for this policy. We should probably just abolish. There should be as many listings as necessary. The dog2 (talk) 22:14, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
The limit of 5 entries seems quite arbitrary, but I think the reasoning behind it is avoiding bloated route boxes. I only just started playing with route boxes out of curiosity, but so far I see their usefulness in the Go next section as a digital sign post pointing travelers towards the next destination(s) that can be reached from the current one. Ideally I'd like to see a suggested connection route to all of the destinations listed under Go next, but not every possible route to them. So my feeling is that 2 or 3 entries of each type (ICE/train/light rail, bus/coach, bike, car) should be sufficient for most destinations. For example I'd want to see the fastest ICE connection from the main station of the destination to the country's capital city or next main city on top, followed by 1 or 2 regional rail links to the next closest destinations we have articles for. 87.74.178.74 09:23, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
I think we have a consensus. If no-one objects, let's delete this policy within 24 hours or so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:03, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Done. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:59, 16 August 2020 (UTC)