Talk:Travel topics index/Archive 2004-2013

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Yes, this is a hopelessly inadequate page. Yes, "Travel topics" opens up a lot of slippery slopes. I'm completely boggled as to what to do with this stuff, so I'm kind of dumping it here so people don't have to edit the Main Page just to post a travel topic. --(WT-en) Evan 14:52, 6 Jan 2004 (EST)

I actually like this page. So far it looks like, well, a collection of general travel advice. Stuff that's useful no matter where you go. This has a definite place in a travelguide (especially a global one), and I am convinced that it can be maintained in a useful state. That said, I'd have one piece of Palm PDA based software that I think is a must-have for any traveller. Should I add a "Software and Electronics" subpage, or are there any objections? I do realize that there are a million applications for travelers; most are really redundant and/or useless. What I am talking about specifically is "Metro"; it's pretty unique afaik in that it has line maps for 100+ cities' subway systems. I have used it repeatedly (for example in Paris) and it's a lifesaver. And it's free too. :-) --(WT-en) Nils 11:26 March 10th, 2004 (CET)


I rolled back a number of external links on this page. I don't think that's what Travel topics is about. --(WT-en) Evan 21:48, 19 Jul 2004 (EDT)

It isn't. The links were spam. Yet another reason not to soak up our extlink policy O:-) -- (WT-en) Nils 05:15, 20 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Wikivoyage Expedition? Travellers' Tips? - Health[edit]

[Moved from Travellers' pub by (WT-en) Hypatia 18:02, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)]

Another thought: I've just been adding some Egypt-specific info regarding Stay Healthy on the Egypt page.... Was suddenly struck by the thought that a lot of general information could be unnecessarily duplicated in many parts of Wikivoyage in the future..... Without taking away the need for country / location-specific health information, would people consider it a worthwhile idea providing general advice and relevant links for a number of common travel ailments - things like dehydration, heat / sunstroke, some of the more obvious diseases, etc......? This could be set up as a Wikivoyage Expedition, I think... and we could link to the resulting information from within various other articles. It'd be great if we could get some contributors with a medical background to pitch in..... Although I think we might still have to include some warnings and caveats..... What do others think? (WT-en) Pjamescowie 08:17, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT)

I think this is a good idea. Someone has independently started Yellow fever and listed it under "Diseases" in Travel topics: perhaps this subheading could be replaced with "Health" and various other articles could be added. I should add a caveat to Yellow fever in fact. -- (WT-en) Hypatia 14:54, 19 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Shark Attack![edit]

Swept in from Project:Travellers' pub

On a few articles I've worked on, I've been somewhat concerned about hazardous fauna. For example, in Fremont, I didn't mention a great hike to the top of a nearby peak because I didn't really feel like adding commentary regarding the care and non-feeding of Mountain Lions. Or in the Eastern Sierra, one could mention the Lions, and also Black Bears and Rattlesnakes. In Banff and Alaska, the Grizzly Bear merits special attention.

Okay, the world is a dangerous place. So what? We have a section Stay safe in our templates to deal with these issues. But in the case of both Lions and Grizzlies, it would be helpful to do more than just say "watch out when hiking!" (For Lions, it's best to fight back, for Grizzlies, not so much) We could point to Wikipedia, but they only discuss being safe around the Lions, but not the Bears. We could include a small diatribe here in the text, but do we really want to have the same issues discussed in many articles? (The Lions are pervasive in the western half of the US and Canada. The Grizzlies are pervasive from Montana north).

It's almost as if we need a series of articles in a Stay Safe heirarchy. This could include dangerous fauna, hazards common to many places (driving in the desert issues; hiking near glaciers; tornados). But it would also really suck to try to maintain this stuff which is only peripherally related to our real purposes in life.

Any ideas or opinions about how to handle this? -- (WT-en) Colin 15:22, 24 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I don't think there is any reason to cover it any more than superficially. To cover it accurately can often be very difficult. Generally there is very little consensus other than give them lots of space and don't feed them. Wikivoyage does not exist in a vacuum, and much of this information can vary depending on local conditions. Most of these dangers have information available locally about them, so pointing people to that information is the best in my opinion. (IE "Be sure to stop at the ranger station and find out about hiking in cougar territory.") Where a danger is common for a region add a little bit about it in the Cope section is probably appropriate (I plan on adding a Black Bear comment to British Columbia.) You can then link back to it in your article. -- (WT-en) Webgeer 18:36, Sep 30, 2004 (EDT)
A black bear comment? I'd be more concerned with the Grizzlies and Cougars in BC. Black bears do more property damage though. -- (WT-en) Colin 20:18, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)
You're much more likely to encouter a black bear than a Grizzly (orders of magnitude more likely). Except in very exceptional circumstances cougars encouters are unheard of (Cougars are not really shouldn't be something you worry about unless there is a cougar that is behaving strangely in the area). Black bears should not be dismissed. A black bear can run faster than you, is stronger than you and is perfectly capable of killing you. In BC from 1978 to 1996 10 people were killed and 78 injured by black bears, 4 were killed and 34 were injured by Grizzlies, while 3 people were killed by cougars in that time period (for comparison 13 people were killed by moose, 36 people were killed by horses). This really shouldn't be over blown. These are really small hazards in the scheme of things. Almost all of the dangerous bear encounters happened in the back country. For most casual hikers, much more dangerous is going hiking without proper resources, getting lost, mosquitos, etc. I live in North Vancouver on the edge of popular hiking mountains. In the summer the search and rescue team goes in a couple of times a week to rescue people who got lost, got cought in the forest at nightfall, were injured (often doing something foolheardy), unprepared for a weather change, or other similar happening. There is probably on average 2 or 3 deaths a year in the area. As far back as I can remember none of these were as a result of an encounter with wildlife. -- (WT-en) Webgeer 02:10, Oct 1, 2004 (EDT)
I totally agree that traffic accidents are a far more serious source of danger. Really this came about by me thinking "there's this great hike in the hills near Fremont." And there is are two sources of danger doing that, one of which can kill. And I do think it overblown to add a warning about Mountain Lions to the Fremont article, but a simple one line reference with a link to a different article seems okay to me. And yeah, driving is the most likely way for any traveller to die, I think. But that's true everywhere (but should be emphasized anyway.) So this is more about making short references in articles to dangers one may not have considered. (Mountain Lions don't like to be seen; so not everyone knows Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of them in North America). Anyway, I think I'll try and make a sample in my sandbox to play with, and we'll see what people think. -- (WT-en) Colin 02:54, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Does Wikivoyage support template boxes that could be imported into multiple articles? So something like {{shark}} in the content would magically turn into a right-aligned floating box on dealing with Jaws. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:14, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Yes it does. See any stub. -(WT-en) phma 12:12, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Okay, so more seriously... does it make sense to have a page like "Dangerous Fauna" and then have a section per danger? I really don't like the idea of one article for each little annoyance. I'd prefer to make it country or continent specific though. So how about Dangerous Fauna of North America? Then, in a Stay Safe section, we could just add something like:

Dangerous fauna in this area include Lions, Grizzly Bears, and Hippies

-- (WT-en) Colin 20:26, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)

So I wrote one possibility up in my Sandbox as an example User:(WT-en) Cjensen/sandbox/Dangerous fauna of North America and I'm interested in feedback of all kinds. -- (WT-en) Colin 03:52, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Fauna is only dangerous if you don't respect its behaviour and habitat. A mention in the Stay Safe section sounds good but you could also put it in the Respect. For example: Some areas of New Zealand have problems with seals on (and off) the beaches. They will attack and bite people. But people can do the seals more harm by picking up their pups and taking them home because the pups look lonely or lost on the beach where they live. What's the more dangerous fauna - seal or human? Also I think Wildlife is a better term for WikiTravel's writing style. -- (WT-en) Huttite 08:24, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I agree that Wildlife is way better than fauna in matching our style, Would dropping dangerous from the page title help make it useful for non-dangerous animal info? -(WT-en) Colin 23:17, 4 Oct 2004 (EDT)

I'd like to wait a bit on this and see how the disease stuff (Malaria, Yellow fever, etc.) works out and then come back to this. -- (WT-en) Colin 02:42, 22 Dec 2004 (EST)

The 43 folders wiki is collecting travel tips. I wonder what would happen if I merged the 2 pages of travel tips? --(WT-en) DavidCary 13:05, 26 May 2005 (EDT)


I just added Project:List of itineraries to the Travel topics page -- it doesn't seem to me like the best place to put this topic, but it doesn't seem to be linked from anywhere else, and on the Main Page itineraries are being listed under the Travel Topics heading. If there is a better place to put this, please move it, but I would argue it should be given a prominent placement as suggested itineraries are an important part of planning any trip. -- (WT-en) Wrh2 03:32, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Should all Itineraries have {{traveltopic}} applied?


I just noticed someone added an article about Smoking under the Stay Healthy section. Somehow I do not think that is appropriate. I think it best fits under the Special needs etc... heading as smoking is a lifestyle choice that has health impacts, not a health issue. While I would hesitate to suggest it is in the same league as some of the other Special Needs etc. topics, the way smokers are being treated in some countries indicates that many health professionals think of smoking as a nicotine addiction and therefore a disability. The other alternative is to have a topic heading called Habits and Addictions or else have a Respect or Stay safe heading. -- (WT-en) Huttite 07:49, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Hi. We certainly consider it a health issue. That said I would suggest separating the article that Smoking points to currently into two articles, one Smoke-free zones or something like that for those of us who are interested in travelling to a country where we can go to a bar without having to put up with other people's smoke, and another, perhaps Smoking indoors for people who want to travel to someplace where they can smoke at each other to their heart's content. -- (WT-en) Mark 08:42, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I added the article. It put it under Stay Healthy because that is where it is in the destination articles. Either way we should see if we can agree on where to put and then make sure Smoking and the destinations are consistent. If we put it under Special needs at lest just on Travel Topics/Stay Healthy we should have a reference: Smoking: see Special Needs, also each destination.
But I do not consider it a special need not to get allergic reactions and lung cancer from passive smoking. --(WT-en) elgaard 09:35, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
About splitting it up. I do not think we can split it into just two articles. Maybe we can keep a the list somwhat sorted so smokers can read from the bottom (or top if we sort it that way). There is probably places with smoking in bars, but not restaurants. Smoking in hotel rooms, public transportation, etc can also be regulated.
Mysore (region) says "Smoking and alcohol drinking is not allowed in the village, except inside your room in the guesthouses."
India say: "Except in major cities (and only in trendy places or in high society) women do not smoke."
Bhutan goes further than just bars and restaurants: "The sale of tobacco products is totally banned (foreign tourists and NGOs are exempt, though it is illegal for them to sell tobacco to locals), and smoking in public areas is a fineable offence." --(WT-en) elgaard 09:50, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Then again I would be happy with For smokers and For non-smokers articles. There would be some overlap, but that would not be a problem. I think both articles would end up covering the same places but from different POV's (Ie for smokers: In XXX smoking is not allowed on trains and in restaurants, but tobacco is good and cheap and you can smoke in bars and outdoord). I just think we should wait until a smoker adds an article just for smokers. --(WT-en) elgaard 10:25, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Folk Art[edit]

I have been working lately on a number of pages for places that are known for "folk art," particularly American Indian (or, if you prefer, Native American) arts and crafts. The themes that keep coming up in those articles are so closely related that it seems to me as if there should be a folk-art topical page that people can refer to, to be aware of the folk art of other regions and also to keep from repeating some of the warnings about replicas, ripoffs, haggling, etc. How to haggle is at least covered in such a topical page, but I don't see most of the others I can think of. At the same time, I do not feel qualified to write a general folk-art page, although I know a lot about the specific Indian-art topic. Any suggestions on how to proceed? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 10:15, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)

We do have some travel topic pages for special interests (eg. Scuba diving), and I could also easily imagine a folk art itinerary looping through places of interest. But this is a bit of a thin line to walk: articles here should aim to provide information for travel, not just duplicating what Wikipedia says about the topic. When in doubt, plunge forward and we'll see how it turns out... (WT-en) Jpatokal 11:06, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Point well taken, but note that the Wikipedia article on the subject is a stub, and at that a rather extreme one given the potential richness of the topic. I may indeed "plunge forward" but would like to get a sense of what people would like to see and avoid. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 11:43, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Linking from destination guides to travel topics[edit]

moved to here from User talk:


You changed a few dozen pages so that they link from the word "haggle" to Haggling. We don't often link from destination guides to travel topics, and I'd rather we talk about it before making the change to dozens of articles. Please don't continue. --(WT-en) Evan 18:31, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)

Should I revert them?
How about topics such as altitude sickness, dengue fever/malaria/yellow fever, hitchhiking, pickpocketing, scams and scuba?

Do we need a "Topic:" namespace?[edit]

Since travel topics are different from normal articles, and also since some topic names might conflict with place names (see Hot springs), should we create a new namespace for travel topics? The advantages are that it would help with organization and make it more clear what was a topic and what was not, the disadvantage (that I can see) is that it might be a slippery slope that could lead to excuses to creating lots of other namespaces for itineraries and other such items. Thoughts? -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:48, 5 March 2006 (EST)

Not clear to me that setting up a namespace really solves a problem; looking at the list of topics on the main page here, "hot springs" seems like the only one with a potential need for disambiguation. OTOH, does it do any harm to set up such a namespace? The slippery-slope concern doesn't seem too compelling in this case. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 15:54, 5 March 2006 (EST)
I don't think there's a compelling need, as namespace conflicts are rare... and the software would, confusingly enough, actually consider Hot springs (topic) and Hot Springs (place) to be different articles. (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:42, 6 March 2006 (EST)
Perhaps this could be revisited in the future if there is any interest, and if we end up with a lot of travel topics. You're right that with less than a hundred articles there isn't currently a pressing need. -- (WT-en) Ryan 19:02, 8 March 2006 (EST)

Indicating Travel topics[edit]

I couldn't decide where to stick this, so I'll just bring it up here since it's related to the above. It was pointed out to me that folks are adding "This is a WikiTravel travel topic." type messages to the top of travel topic pages. At first I thought this was fine and dandy, but it turns out that there isn't a standard way to do this. Some folks are using isIn breadcrumbs, which I'm pretty sure we dont want, and some folks are just putting it in by hand, which is going to lead to inconsistant text and isn't machine-friendly. Comments? Suggestions? Links to where this has already been worked out? Thanks (WT-en) Majnoona 10:22, 21 April 2006 (EDT)

The only problem I see with using IsIn is that it doesn't work for articles that are also "in" a geographic region. Otherwise, it does exactly what breadcrumbs do on other sites, showing where the page sits in the site's logical hierarchy. The simplest alternative is a Template:Traveltopic, which would easily standardize the language on each page. Another option to consider is using MediaWiki's categories (and subcategories) feature to autogenerate the index to these articles (instead of the manually-updated Travel topics page). - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 10:36, 21 April 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, I really think tha using isIn will muddy the waters... I'm gong to go ahead and create a mediawiki template. Discussion can continue there. (WT-en) Majnoona 14:06, 21 April 2006 (EDT)

That's not a bug, that's a feature...[edit]

I've exploited the software oddity that Jpatokal notes to deal with the hot-springs issue; there is now a Hot Springs disambiguation page and a Hot springs topical page. This is a kluge, to be sure, but lacking a Project:consensus in favor of a namespace, it'll do for now. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 09:27, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Places to do $WHATEVER[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

Would it be unreasonable to start the potentially endless project of having pages dedicated to listing travel destinations for particular activities or phenomena? Instead of organized by place, organized by activity? Places to hike. Places to see Mexican wrestling. Locations of reported extraterrestrial activity. Great coral reefs for divers. Haunted houses. Tequila bars. Used record/bookstores. Etc. The point would not be to be exhaustive, which would be impossible, but rather to provide useful snapshots of the world for travellers interested in finding certain things or activities in whatever part of the world they head to.-- 06:03, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Yes, please! --(WT-en) Evan 08:29, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Yes, it's unreasonable, you mean? :-) I assume you mean "plunge forward," and I will put down the marker on an article on "Buying Folk Art" that I've been mentally organizing for a while. Note that there was a lukewarm reception for this idea in Talk:Travel topics, but now with an endorsement from Da Man ... -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 09:04, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I've been thinking about indexes a lot lately. Maybe there's a way we could make this sort of thing semi-automatic. Perhaps it should be possible to create an index page from a set of search results, with the index page editor personally vetting the results for relavancy and adding any other pages appropriate to the given index? Just a though. -- 09:52, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
This sounds like what categories are intended for — and unlike indexes they work automatically. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)


Note that Scuba diving has a slightly different format: places are listed at the top and a description of the activity itself is below. I think this would work better with some short reviews of the places in the article. For example (scuba diving):

(WT-en) Hypatia 03:17, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Go right ahead, the listing is barebones because I was too lazy to punch in descriptions. It should also be categorized by the type of diving, general difficulty level, etc. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'll do the ones I know or know of. (WT-en) Hypatia 02:38, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Localized travel topics[edit]

Okay, so travel topics are very real now, but I'm quite inclined to think that we should stick to geographical hierarchy whenever a topic is localized. In other words, geographical hierarchy is our preferred way of organizing the articles and travel topics such as Rail travel in North America and Hitchhiking in Japan, for instance, should be sub-articles of N. America and Japan, respectively (North America/Get around/Rail Travel, for instance), and not autonomous articles by themselves. I also think there should be at least some vague criteria (size?) as to when an article like that stops being a section of a (geographical) article and becomes a full article. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this too. Thanks, (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 16:47, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Bump. Seriously, I think that in many cases, creating separate articles on topics that are related to a specific place in our hierarchy might be preventing geographical articles to become more complete and consistent. My idea is that one of those topics should start as an article section and then moved to a separate article when it gets too big. Or at least, such topics should always be created as a link on the geographical article so that it won't exist detached from its place in hierarchy. (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 20:36, 11 April 2006 (EDT)

Imported from Talk:Japan

The issue is how much information does there need to be in a country's continent's "get around" section? The NA/ EU articles allow for the excessive amount of information to be available for travellers. This would be my idea for coming to a consensus:
  • Rail information should be in a country's "get around" section provided that there is little information that is available or that rail travel is of little use in that country.
  • If there is an excessive amount of information then explore the possibility (does not give a guarantee for the creation) of a [[Rail travel in xxx]] article.
The case for the European article (as an example) many travellers use rail to cross Europe. The information provided in the EU article would therefore be useful, because then the traveller knows what to expect in some cases of traveling by rail across Euroland.

(WT-en) Sapphire 13:41, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Obviously when I wrote that I was talking about rail articles, but I think it could and should be applied to all travel topics. The deciding factor should be something like this if you can answer yes to these three questions make the article. "Is this information vital and important to travelers?," "Is there an excessive amount of information on this country's page that this information would be enough to constitute a new article?" and "Would this information be easier for users to use and for editors and contributors to maintain if it had its own article?" (WT-en) Sapphire 21:40, 11 April 2006 (EDT)

Although I don't think the articles should be true subarticles (as in North America/Get around/Rail Travel, I agree that for most of the "____ing in ____" topics, it makes sense to treat them – via IsIn tags and linking – as sub-topics of geographic articles. I don't think it makes sense to shoehorn an article such as Hitchhiking in Japan into the "Get around" section of Japan, or Tornado safety into the "Stay safe" section of North America; at some point a topic gets big enough to be separated out, just like regions get separated out of large countries, and districts get separated from big cites. Yes, there's a chance that the existence of semi-autonomous articles like these slows the development of their would-be parent articles, but on the other hand, requiring them to remain part of geographic articles themselves would limit their development. I think Sapphire's criteria are good ones for deciding whether/when to break out a geographic sub-topic, and I support the idea of associating them with their geographic "parent" articles. - 11:06, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

Articles about diseases[edit]

Please see the discussion on Talk:Tropical diseases prior to creating new articles on diseases. The argument has been made in the past that it is a bit of a slippery slope to create articles for every specific health issue out there - this is a travel site, so there should be general guides, but it is not a medical encyclopedia. The suggested approach in the past has been to write a few paragraphs on the Tropical diseases page about vaccinations, precautions, symptoms, etc, and only if more detailed information is needed should a separate article be created. -- (WT-en) Ryan 01:53, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

Anybody home?[edit]

something wrong I think

Uh, can you be more specific? There are many people 'home' ;-) (WT-en) Majnoona 10:58, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Hi Maj - see the history on this page. There's a spambot that repeatedly spams it with phrases like "nice site" and such. I do believe the confused contributor above may be written in Python ;) -- (WT-en) Ryan 11:02, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Snake safety?[edit]

Wonder if there are enough destinations with venomous snakes to justify an article on this topic. On the one hand, I have seen some bad advice in some destination articles that needed to be revised, and some people get so freaky about rattlesnakes, etc., that they miss out on good stuff or spend their time at an attraction freaking out rather than enjoying it. OTOH, it might be hard to write a useful article on this subject that spans the areas of interest. There are also slippery-slope concerns, although I think they can be dealt with. Opinions? P.S. This inquiry was not occasioned by the mention of "Python" in the previous section. :-) -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 13:51, 5 August 2006 (EDT)

I do have a friend that will not leave America, because he thinks every country except for the US has killer snakes that are around every corner. Despite my friend's very annoying phobia I don't think it should really constitute an article. Also, if we let this slide someone may eventually come along and add Spider safety, Africanized bee safety, or my favorite Goat safety (for when a goat tries to eat you at a zoo or farm). -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 13:56, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
Well, the phenomenon you cite is exactly why I wonder if there should be such an article, because there are lots of people with this particular phobia. (I do not claim immunity myself; I had all sorts of trouble with it as a kid, and the first time I ever got rattled at on a hiking/climbing trip, I really freaked.) Fewer seem troubled by spiders or killer bees or goats. And realistically, there are parts of the world where snake safety really is an issue and snakebite is a significant cause of death. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 14:23, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
At one time I'd proposed having animal safety articles for major regions -- see (WT-en) example. I stopped working on it when Tropical diseases was written to wait and see if that would provide any helpful experience to guide the animal topics. I think regional articles (like Tropical diseases or Animals of the US) covering multiple issues are more useful than worldwide articles like (Cryptosporidium or Goat Safety) -- (WT-en) Colin 15:52, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
What exactly would Snake safety cover? True, a rattler's bit or cobra's could kill, but doesn't that kind of information fit better in a "stay safe" section or what about a generalized Animal safety, like Colin had suggested? I agree that information for treating a snake or goat bite (I was forced to give up my coat at the Cincinnati Zoo because a goat was hungry. That's the story behind the somewhat sarcastic comment.) but I think it would be wise to make that type of information in a generalized article. Maybe, I'm wrong and I'll gladly retract my objections, but I'd at least like to know what your vision for the article is(I.e. Which topics would be covered in the article?). -- (WT-en) Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 12:00, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Fair question, and I don't have a concise, well-thought-out answer yet, but I can imagine the following sections (not necessarily in this order):
  • Where might a traveler have snake encounters? This would both identify the "snaky" areas of the world, and give some sense of where, within those areas, encounters are most likely.
  • "Myth and Reality." Try to provide a realistic assessment of just how severe the risks are, and where -- many travelers have heard of the rattlesnakes of the American West and the unbelievable potency of Australia's venomous snakes, yet neither of these areas figures prominently in world snakebite totals, let alone fatal or life-threatening snakebites.
  • How to reduce the likelihood of snake encounters without cutting into your enjoyment of the trip. Brief discussion of snake habits, with some generalization, some specifics regarding types of dangerous snakes and the areas they inhabit. Things a hiker, climber, photographer, outhouse user, etc., can do to minimize unwanted encounters.
  • What to do if you do encounter a snake. This is actually a rather ticklish subject, because behaviors that a Texan has learned to help him defuse a rattlesnake encounter may be exactly the wrong thing to do if he's on a trip to southeast Asia. Some real expertise from around the world would be needed for this one.
  • How to get help if you do get bit. It's obviously not our place to give medical advice, but we can identify resources in some of the more significantly "snaky" countries and regions.
I'm just free-associating here, and these may not be the right topics. One definite goal, in any event, is to have a common resource that other articles can point to (as in Tornado safety). Does that help? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 12:44, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

General travel topic articles[edit]

Based on Bill's question above about a "snake safety" article, and based also on the fact that we don't currently have any concrete criteria for "what is a valid travel topic" other than "could this ever be useful to someone", I've been thinking about how we might handle travel topics better. I think the biggest problem is that there isn't really any organization for travel topics - with geographic articles the rule is to put information about an attraction into the parent article, and only when that info becomes "large and complex" (per the Project:What is an article? guidelines) should a new article be considered. In the case of travel topics we don't always have a general article, and as a result we get new articles on very specific subjects that sometimes only contain only a sentence or two.

To address this issue, would it be useful to create general travel topic articles that roughly correspond to the existing Wikivoyage article headings, and to then create a guideline that new travel topics should start out in the general parent topic article, and only be moved to a separate article when the information becomes large and complex? In Bill's example above the information about snake safety could start out in a "Travel safety" article. If we get a lot of information about safety involving animals (snake safety, bear safety, crocodile safety) we could perhaps move that information to a more general "Animal safety" article. If in the future we have details about safety with snakes in different countries, THEN we would create the more-specific "Snake safety" topic.

I haven't gone through all of the article headings, but here is an incomplete list of suggested general topic names, with the corresponding article heading and a list of existing travel topic articles that would fall under the topic heading:

Thoughts? Would anyone be opposed if I started creating a few of these high-level topics as examples? -- (WT-en) Ryan 14:52, 5 August 2006 (EDT)

(tumbleweeds roll by) Bumping this up onto the recent changes page again to give people one more chance to comment... -- (WT-en) Ryan 13:31, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Support. Although I'm not confident that it would actually prevent "useless" topics from coming about, I guess that would be an excellent way of organizing the current and future topics. -- (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 14:10, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
I definitely agree that having a better hierarchy wouldn't prevent "useless" topics from being created, but much like we redirect an article about a museum to the appropriate city article, having general topic articles would give us some place to redirect something like Students without having to debate whether or not to keep the article as something that "might be useful to someone". -- (WT-en) Ryan 14:26, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Would a "travel planning" topic also work as a general travel topic? That would give us somewhere to redirect things like "Last Minute Travel" that an anonymous contributor created but is currently up for vfd. -- (WT-en) Ryan 15:40, 29 August 2006 (EDT)



Weird modern religious structures[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

Take me to your cheerleader

So one of my many strange hobbies is visiting modern but extravagant religious structures, preferably bizarre ones built by dodgy cults: a few poster children include the Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya in Rangsit, the entirety of Guinsa and the Akshardham Cultural Complex here in Delhi. I'd like to tie these together as a Travel topic -- but can somebody think of a title that is descriptive and won't get me a fatwa? Modern religious structures is too bland and could include your neighborhood church... (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:20, 18 December 2006 (EST)

Cult architecture?
One man's cult is another's sect... and if (say) the Roman Catholic Church were to start building UFO reception centers like the Dhammakaya guys do, I'd be all for including them on the list. (WT-en) Jpatokal 04:08, 18 December 2006 (EST)
"Seeing unusual religious structures"? Leaving open the question of whether the structure is unusual, or the religion... -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 09:30, 18 December 2006 (EST)
The truly amazing thing here is the example of humans obsession with putting signs on everything. Do one really need a UFO sign on a building that is already UFO shaped? --(WT-en) Nick 04:11, 14 June 2008 (EDT)


So, the IsIn template includes RDF code that says, in part, "This article is about a place with the same name." Typically only destination guides can make that claim; travel topics are about a issue or an activity, but not a place (although the issue or activity might be tied to some place, like Discount airlines in Europe).

About one out of eight travel topics were using "IsIn" to closely related the travel topic with a destination. It wouldn't be that big a deal, but I've written other code that depends on only places being called places. So, I've removed the "IsIn" templates from travel topics, and replaced them with a "related" template, which is probably more appropriate.

If for some reason we want to have breadcrumb menus on travel topics, that's fine, but we have to do it a different way than using "IsIn". --(WT-en) Evan 22:28, 11 June 2007 (EDT)

Move to Wikivoyage: namespace?[edit]

Should this article be moved into the Wikivoyage namespace like Project:Itineraries? Or should Itineraries be moved out of the Wikivoyage namespace? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 15:50, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

I vote for the latter. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 16:31, 24 June 2007 (EDT)
Me too. See the first topic in discussion at Wikivoyage_talk:List_of_itineraries. (WT-en) Pashley 18:55, 24 June 2007 (EDT)
Me three. List of itineraries/phrasebooks should also be de-namespaced -- they're not meta-articles, they're actual information. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:07, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
I'd say this article should stay where it is and the lists — Project:List of phrasebooks and Project:List_of_itineraries — should definitely be de-namespaced. I wouldn't move Project:Itineraries since it is more of a how-to for writers than info for travellers. (WT-en) Pashley 07:11, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Itineraries and phrasebooks can and should be linked from the destination guides they're associated with. Travel topics cannot. That's why the first don't have a list in the main namespace, and the latter does. I'd rather this didn't change; I don't think "List of..." articles are that useful for the traveller. They're mainly useful for project organization. Unfortunately, we don't have another way to navigate to travel topics yet... any ideas on that? --(WT-en) Evan 10:54, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Travel topics cannot be linked from their associated destination guides? I don't understand. Why wouldn't it be possible to link Ohio prehistoric sites from Ohio? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:13, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Certainly travel topics can be linked to, but we don't want to overdo it. If every article that could linked to Pickpockets, Begging, Packing list and other generic articles, then we'd add an awful lot of links for not much value.
However I think that is unimportant. Jani has it right above: "List of itineraries/phrasebooks should also be de-namespaced -- they're not meta-articles, they're actual information." They are another way of seeing travel, and the more of those we can provide the better. (WT-en) Pashley 23:55, 7 August 2007 (EDT)
Where do we stand on this issue? Shall we de-namespace Project:Itineraries and Project:List of phrasebooks? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 00:12, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Go for it. (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:28, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Yes, but I think it is Project:List_of_itineraries and not Project:Itineraries that needs to be de-namespaced. (Isn't that last word a lovely example of the English rule that "All nouns can be verbed", by the way?) (WT-en) Pashley 00:36, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
I have now moved Project:List of itineraries to List of itineraries and Project:List of phrasebooks to List of phrasebooks. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:19, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Natural hazards[edit]

Swept in from the pub:

Shouldn't we have travel topics on earhquakes, volcanoes, etc. instead of putting info about them in the articles? (WT-en) Kie(WT-en) ltenketijä 20:11, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

  • Volcanoes have one, although it's mostly sightseeing info. Earthquakes don't, but realistically there is little to nothing a traveller can do to prepare for one. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:11, 9 September 2007 (EDT)
  • I'd love to see a world map summarising major hazards — typhoons and hurricanes in some areas, tornados in others, volcanic activity, earthquake risk, ... Maybe with some text or a table giving seasonal info. Volcanoes and quakes are not seasonal, but the various winds, flash floods, etc. are. (WT-en) Pashley 02:33, 10 September 2007 (EDT)
Retiring abroad has links to some info, since no-one wants to choose a spot under an active volcano. Those are single-hazard maps, though: one for earthquake risk, another for tropical storms, ... Also, they are mostly not licensed in a way we can use.
Any volunteers to create an all-hazards WV-style map? Having just gone through a Canadian winter, I'd include climate as a hazard; mark areas that routinely get, say, below -10 or above +40 °C. Pashley (talk) 14:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

New Year Travel[edit]

How stub can be a stub? :-)

Is it OK to move User:(WT-en) DenisYurkin/New Year Travel to the main namespace and add it to the Travel topics list? Or what needs to be added / fixed before doing that? (clearly, the intro before the first heading will be removed / placed elsewhere).

--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 18:50, 13 June 2008 (EDT)

I don't see how this can be useful really, if it grows at all it will likely turn into a long and awkward list. The Hungary one that is linked from there makes a little more sense because it's specific, but this one seems too broad in scope. If you really wanted a broad one that covers the whole world, I could see maybe doing something more along the lines of "Popular New Years destinations" or something, where it points to large celebrations like NY Times Square, etc. But personally I think even that would be marginally useful – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 23:29, 13 June 2008 (EDT)
As for marginality: I believe that people seeking advice for their New Year trip are looking for something unthought-of / off-the-beaten-path rather than really popular destinations. I'm not sure about US, but New Year is definitely a major holiday (and a reason for an escapade from the motherland) for Russians, and judging by our several years of NY travel, also popular among Western Europeans. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:47, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

Shopping articles[edit]

(WT-en) What things cost[edit]

copied in from the vfd page

Evaluating every country on the local cost of two American products converted to the American dollar seems to me to be not only outside of our scope but also a rather myopic, biased and under-informative perspective. Plus, who is going to keep this thing up to date? BusinessWeek? Pricing information already given in the country articles and in the individual listings should already give the traveler a more reasonable idea of what to expect. Except, of course, for those thousands of people who travel the world smoking Marlboro Reds and eating nothing but Big Macs.

  • Delete. (WT-en) Texugo 21:00, 17 February 2008 (EST)
  • Wait and see. As it stands, this article is not a keeper. However, with a more thoughtfully chosen set of comparison items (if one is possible), I can imagine it as a valid travel topic under the "Buy" heading that actually assists the traveler -- which, after all, is what travel-topic articles are supposed to do. Let's give this one a little while to either take root or wither before deciding whether to delete it. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 21:12, 17 February 2008 (EST)
  • Delete. Unmaintainable list. Article is less than a month old and already more than 3 years outdated. Pack of Marlboro Reds will cost you around R20, not R14.70, Coke around R5.50, not R4.50 and a Big Mac I have no idea as I totally avoid the place. The buy section in every county is a far better place to explain local currency purchasing power. --(WT-en) Nick 14:42, 2 March 2008 (EST)
I agree with Nick here. This article is a nice idea, but totally unmaintainable. Delete. (WT-en) PerryPlanet 12:00, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
  • As it stands, delete, but the topic is valid. Rewrite? with some general summary info -- don't pay European or American prices in third world countries, eat local food to save money, cameras and electronics are cheaper in Singapore, etc. -- and have links to things like per capita GDP as an indicator of living costs and to the Business Week article. (WT-en) Pashley 20:49, 2 March 2008 (EST)
  • A friend of a friend, an economist at that, wrote a hilarious book called "Ten Times the Price of a Haircut". Great read on life as a UN/World Bank itinerant consultant, mostly about mismanagement and ill-conceived projects. Title is from a rule he suggests for the cost of girls anywhere. Should we include that? :-) (WT-en) Pashley 20:57, 2 March 2008 (EST)
  • Split into articles of destination countries quoted. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 08:31, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
I still don't see the point. When is someone going to need this article? What are they supposed to learn? It looks like common sense reiterated to me, and it's organized like a 9th grade essay. (WT-en) Texugo 01:38, 29 April 2008 (EDT)
  • Inclined to delete. Nice idea... but... either way, let's figure it out soon, this has been here a few months now – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 20:06, 17 May 2008 (EDT)
  • Discuss. I frequently see a need for 'price comparison across countries': how prices for electronics compare in US or Japan to Moscow; how prices for fashionwear compares in Milano to Moscow; how prices for jewelry or watches compare in Dubai to Moscow etc etc. How can we cater the needs like mine with Wikivoyage? --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 18:24, 13 June 2008 (EDT)
We've been discussing for 4 months now... there seems to be a consensus to delete as far as I can tell; I think that's what we should do in the next couple days unless you've got a really convincing argument for keeping it... so far there's been none. If electronics are notably cheap in Moscow, enough so that it makes it relevant to a traveler, then we should note it on the Moscow page... we don't need a separate article to do that – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:57, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
My first point is to have a global article where I can find that for electronics I should consider Japan, not Singapore or even Moscow; for fur coats, I should go to Greece, and for quality leatherwear--to Vienna or whatever.
My second point is that facts like "X is x2 cheaper in Moscow than in New York" are irrelevant in Moscow article (as such facts don't make Moscow an attractive destination), nor they are relevant in New York (as it's a wrong place for facts on Moscow).
I've made a stub with both examples of price comparison facts I find useful, and with a short outline of where to go for specific shopping: User:(WT-en) DenisYurkin/Shopping around the world. Facts I already listed are mostly trivial, but I'm sure the community can contribute with much more useful. Not sure my examples will help What things cost to survive, but we still need a place for a facts like I listed. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 05:06, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Right, except that we're Wikivoyage not Wikishopping. Nobody is reading our website to figure out where to go based on shopping, but they may consider picking up some electronics in Taiwan if they already happen to be going there and find out that they're cheaper than at home, which is why it makes sense to then mention that under "Buy" in Taiwan article. I understand where you're trying to go with your example there, in theory, but I really just don't see how it will be useful, in reality. I really can't see anyone looking at that and making travel decisions based on it – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 19:07, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
I think something along these lines is worth having. Consider the traveller going from Australia to Southeast Asia who wants a camera for the trip. Should he buy in Oz or Bangkok? How much would he save by starting his trip in Singapore and buying there? What about stereo equipment? Is that worth buying in Singapore or Hong Kong to bring home? (WT-en) Pashley 22:46, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
How about setting up an Incubator: namespace where we can place and discuss pages like the above--travel topics that are slippery slopes, but a clearly useful and maintainable form is still to be found--instead of just removing them? From previous history, Ferries in the Mediterranean and User:(WT-en) DenisYurkin/List of Ferries (and even maybe User:(WT-en) DenisYurkin/Paper travel guides?) might wait there for new ideas on how to make them up and running. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 06:25, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
It's not really about which namespace they're in, if we allow them we allow them. I think you should do what you're already doing... try to develop it in your user page sandbox, which others can add to as well if you let them know it's ok. Hopefully then once you start actually thinking them through you'll start to see which of the ideas actually have potential and which of them will just sit around as unrealized stubs for 10 years. Ferries in the Mediterranean is another good example... you argued it out of a successful deletion nearly 6 months ago but haven't touched it since... and it still contains absolutely no info that couldn't and shouldn't already be on the individual countries' get in/out sections. Like an itinerary, those kind of articles need someone with the desire and vision to write them, or at least give a solid base to build on, otherwise they won't really get touched and become useful.
Anyhow, we're off track now... we should be discussing the article up for VFD... Pashley has a point about buying a camera, but I think pieces of advice like that are better suited to a section on Urban backpacking, or under "prepare" in a RTW itinerary, etc. Trying to have one article that points to the best place to buy hundreds of different things or that tries to be a price comparison between countries is way out of scope IMO, and leads us to another one of those lovely unmaintainable lists. I don't think it's within our scope to advise people in general about where to buy a cheap business suit or a dvd player – unless it's something very particular about that destination, in which case it's better mentioned in that country's "buy" section, where people would expect to find it... nobody is looking for an article on WT that does price comparisons on dvd players to decide where to go; but if they're already headed to Singapore, let 'em know about it in "Buy" – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:30, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
1. Article on shopping and price comparison: I can't say for US, of course. For Russian travellers, shopping is an essential part of travel (especially when they travel to Europe and US)--and I think isn't also quite a case for some Europeans. As for Russia, many-many things are x2-x3 overpriced here, but not all of them--and it's not clear before you get to the brand's original country whether it'll be a huge saver to shop overseas or not. Things get worse when you don't look for specific brand, but for generic good-quality products like fashion footwear or formal suits--you can't easily go to online shops and find out that good-quality stuff can be bought times cheaper even if you don't know a single local brand in this country.
And yes, several popular travel guides published in Russia have a heavy section of shops worth visiting for a great value for money--for general-use products, not local souvenirs or regional gourmet specialties.
2. Incubator namespace: I believe that our mission (as editors at Wikivoyage) is to help anyone sharing useful info to find a maintainable and long-living place and form for every piece of content we receive and find useful. Nowadays we expect visionaries to come and share--but revert any info that don't fit well into article format (like totally removing personal or single-occurrence experiences), and we VFD pages that an original author couldn't find a right form for from the first attempt.
The idea of separate namespace is to allow "wait-and see", "decide-later" scenario--not immediately considering it as "officially allowed" in here.
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 17:23, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Re: 1... still think it's out of our scope, you could build a whole wiki around world shopping; but we're only debating the :en WT right now, :ru may well have more of an audience for shopping articles
Re: 2... our mission is... actually, I think that's just about the opposite of the spirit of non-goal #7; a travel guide without a discerning eye isn't a travel guide at all, it's a yellow pages.
My main point is that there's not much that I come across that is appropriate to WT and can't fit into our already existing guide structure. My goal is to try and avoid duplicating info across our site, unless absolutely necessary, which it almost never is IMO. The primary place for any info should always be the destination guides themselves. "Lists of..." types of articles IMO only start to suck info towards them that should be aimed at the guides; or worse, put in both, duplicating info that then needs to be kept in sync.
I actually like the original idea for this article, when the info is in the articles themselves, the way I did in Bangladesh#Buy... I think that's a great use of an infobox. LP also does this, and I think it's useful... not just in gauging how much you'll be spending in a country, but also for knowing that a bottle of water should cost Rs 10, and to punch anyone who asks for Rs 100.
So.... then the article was re-written into its current format, and as it stands now, I still think that everything in it (and that will likely be added to it in the future) has a place elsewhere... breaking it down: any relevant info in the opening section and "Cheaper countries" should be (and some already is) in Money#Costs. Info in the "Electronics" section should be primarily in the individual country articles, and then perhaps touched on in any appropriate itineraries, as I said above about Pashley's point on cameras.
I agree that vfd'ing this the day it was created was maybe a bit rash... it could have been discussed and guided on the talk page first into an appropriate focus or to a different place on the site. I have no problem letting some things sit around and see how they develop, much like Bill says above, but I'd just like to move this one along because a) it seems clear to me that there's better places for the info, and b) I know that you're allergic to conclusions :) – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 23:58, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
  1. I agree that this specific article in its current form is not maintainable or practical enough.
  2. What is the best place and way to continue this discussion on other forms of shopping/pricing-centric articles? (clearly a vfd discussion page is not a best place for that)
  3. At this point it looks logical to consider: (a) Shopping Destinations article -- places where people head primarily for shopping (I can name only a few destinations, but they do exist), (b) price comparison "Moscow vs rest of world" looks for me like the easiest way to plunge forward; pitifully such info will be available only on :ru (until we find a way to incorporate it to :en); (c) probably, Tips on Shopping article.
  4. Generally, between-the-lines thesis "this is non-goal at :en, try at :ru" alarms me--looks like Wikivoyage is still very westerner-centric.
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 19:39, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

Not Western-centric, traveler-centric, which was the conclusion of the conversation you just linked to as well. I'm not advocating that you create those on Russian WT, I personally would like to see them nowhere... but, I said that in response to you saying that it's something Russian's are very likely to find useful... so perhaps that will be one of the various differences between ru and en.

The best place to discuss further (and where this convo should be copied) is Talk:Travel topics. I'd also argue against a "Moscow against the rest of the world", since that would very logically just be placed at Moscow#Buy.

RE: "tips on shopping", we already have haggling... I'm struggling to think of more angles that can't be covered there that don't segue back into prices comparing. But for sure if you think of some bring it up at Talk:Travel topics.

So I'm thinking we delete, any other arguments for keeping? Last call... I think I may copy to Pashley's userspace in case she wishes to keep it for future thought? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 22:58, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

"Moscow against rest of the world": when you visit the rest of the world with Moscow as home region / Moscow prices as reference for comparison, it's more logical to seek info on prices and good deals in a specific region, not a one-article-cover-all "what things cost in Moscow" which give no idea on which products can be found in a specific country/city--whether overpriced in Russia or entirely not available. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 04:20, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
"Tips on shopping": travel destinations; duty-free air/port shops; tax-free shopping; "If you buy with a Singapore-only warranty, what can you do with this electronics at home?" to name a few. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 04:20, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Re: Moscow, I still don't see how that's different than what we just argued into deletion above, but if you feel strongly about it, write the article in your userspace and see what others think... I seem to be the only one who cares enough to keep arguing about this so I'll stop for now.
Re: Tips on shopping:
  • travel destinations = already addressed at length in above discussion
  • duty-free/tax free... what would you say beyond a one-liner "Most international airports have duty-free shops – tacky jewelry, souvenirs and vodka await you"? (That could go in Money#Costs btw, but if a concise "Shopping" article was ever created could go there instead)
  • country-specific warranties: yeah, useful... but not as a list... as a one-liner "Note that many products warranties are only valid in the country purchased, so you're up shit creek if it breaks back home".
I'm not saying "no way can we ever have an article on shopping", I personally would just like to see a tight, concise article, if one is created, that doesn't duplicate info that should be elsewhere, isn't full of useless fluff, and isn't a "list of" anything. So far, IMO, you've gathered about 2 sentences worth of semi-valuable info that doesn't fall into one of those traps. But again, if I'm alone here, I'll shut up – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 12:56, 12 July 2008 (EDT)
Delete. I've been leaning delete for a long time on this, but kept quiet since Sandy did a nice reworking of the article. But ultimately, I see any serious effort to analyze differences in the real costs of goods across countries to be beyond the scope of Wikivoyage. For more casual analysis, along the lines of "digital cameras are both more advanced and cheaper in Japan than elsewhere, so if you don't mind the Japanese interface, buy your cameras here," can just go in the country buy sections—I tend to think its best not to duplicate that info in a travel topic.
I could perhaps envision an article that broke down into sections by type of goods (i.e., clothes, high-tech goods, fine dining, accommodations, etc.) and listed some of the best (cheapest) places in the world to get them. Off the top of my head, I certainly couldn't write that, but I could suggest Hong Kong for clothes, Japan for high-tech, fine dining might actually be at best values in North America, and that's all I've got. Such an article would be much more specific, and more resembling a list of pointers. But as is, I'm coming down on delete. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 01:27, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

I've saved the deleted page in my personal sandbox under User:(WT-en) DenisYurkin/What things cost just to add context for understanding the above discussion. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 13:13, 29 July 2008 (EDT)

article(s) on shopping overall[edit]

OK, I'll ask it explicitly here: what would you guys find useful in an travel topic article on Shopping? (I ask for it after a long vfd discussion with (WT-en) cacahuate above) --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 02:19, 13 July 2008 (EDT)

Customs and Duty: Suggest discussion of "shopping" should be complemented by advice for wisely optimizing total costs of purchases and returning with them. Have written nearly all of the content of the "Buy" section for Saint Thomas (with considerable discussion of duty issues). But it's primarily oriented toward U.S. citizens. I'm not qualified to organize or address the topic for all countries/trade jurisdictions, but believe our readers deserve the best advice possible. Regards-john henne

Wow, that's really a great work! Jurisdictions behind, have you considered to write a section on packaging, optimizing and returning just overall, what applies for sure to almost every place in the world? I believe that Saint Thomas#Buy has almost enough content for it, it only takes to choose a subset that is applicable to everywhere. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 08:36, 22 July 2009 (EDT)
Regrets. I've paid little attention to this page, while making many additions and edits since July to the referenced write-up. I share your inclination that "Customs and Duty" could be a major topic, as might advice with how pack to to return "safely" with various kinds of purchases. "Saint Thomas" 'Buy" is now about six full pages, with much not about buying per se. Am about to be away from home for while, but will give thought on how to organize both subjects for everyone to contribute. john henne
Having studied the current "outline", these ideas popped-up:
- Under "Travel Documents", we could use discussion that helps folks avoid being faced with paying customs duty on valuables they own before a trip and take with them.
- Under "Buy", we might have a page that discusses a "shopping strategy", "Customs, exemptions and duty", and trade-offs of shipping return purchases.
- Under "Pack", perhaps a page that addresses a "trip strategy", items & capacity going, and packing kinds of items for return.
Agree that much written for Saint Thomas could be used. Some discussion may need to be hot-linked to other pages to be comprehensive. Am still concerned about quality coverage of the many jusrisdictions that levy duty on returning purchases and their different regulations and charges. Any suggestions? john henne 21 Dec.
The only suggestion I've got is to start with whatever content you are ready to share (probably with clearly stating that they apply to this and that specific jurisdiction etc)--and someone else will come up with more for other parts of the world. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 13:52, 22 December 2009 (EST)

With children[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

It would be convenient to categorise pages "XXX City with children". Also, have a look at the related project (only in French yet). --Josce, 16:31, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Agreed. here's a list of them. Perhaps we could group them together in a section under Travel topics? --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:34, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Or perhaps this?,GGGL:2006-45,GGGL:en&filter=0?
--(WT-en) DenisYurkin 11:47, 1 October 2008 (EDT)

Canada : Big statues article?[edit]

Canada has a lot of big statues across the nation. Why not make a article about it.? KEep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 21:33, 6 November 2008 (EST).

We already have Big_things_in_Australia which I don't think is very interesting, but I suppose someone might. I'd say if you want to do the work, go ahead. (WT-en) Pashley 23:02, 9 November 2008 (EST)
Most of the Big things in Australia are kitsch, but for some they are a reason for travel, and people tick off how many they have seen (I must confess to having to suppress the urge to count when I read the list). I think the test should be, would the information be useful to someone to plan their travel? If so, its a valid travel topic. So, in this case, would people use the list of big things in Canada to plan their trip around Canada? I think they might. I'm just passing through BC and I might just swing by that big hockey stick.. --(WT-en) Inas 00:57, 10 November 2008 (EST)
Heh, thanks for your opinion(S) guys I will think about it and ask here if I have questions-Inas particularily. Keep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 18:02, 10 November 2008 (EST).

CANADA:Urban Shopping area's article?[edit]

Would be great for showcasing Canada's urban shopping areas (Bank in Ottawa, Yaletown in Vancouver, Stephen in Calgary, Yonge in Toronto, Old Town in Quebec, Barrington in Halifax, 104 St. in Edmonton, Ste-Catherine in Montréal, Portage Aven. in Winnipeg, etc.). Thoughts/??? Keep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 19:42, 8 November 2008 (EST).

This strikes me as pointless. Shopping areas should be covered in the cities. Some sort of overview, either in the Canada article or separately in a travel topic, would fit in our organisational scheme, but that also seems pointless. I've been to most of these and don't think they're anything special. An overview with links to things like Ottawa's Byward Market, Toronto's Kensington, etc. would be more interesting, but still dubious. (WT-en) Pashley 23:08, 9 November 2008 (EST)
I'm against this one too. I can't see this article doing anything but duplicating stuff that is better placed in the Buy sections of the respective destination articles. It makes no more sense than having a Sleep in Urban Canada topic article. I think even if you created it, it would get voted for deletion later. (WT-en) Texugo 00:21, 10 November 2008 (EST)
I think an overview of the more significant ones in the Canada article may be appropriate, especially since the list seems modest. --(WT-en) Inas 00:59, 10 November 2008 (EST)
I will probably do so if I know it won't get deleted. Keep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 18:03, 10 November 2008 (EST).
Its a wiki. I think the theory goes that it if works, it will stick and be improved. If what sounds like a good idea, ends up as ugliness, it will fade away or be replaced. If it works for Canada, it might be copied elsewhere. If it fails, then hopefully it won't. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but if it doesn't work, admit failure and move on.. --(WT-en) Inas 18:29, 10 November 2008 (EST)
I think I will try it out like a "beta" and if others like it-they can do it for their countries. I could see Australia and the United States and maybe the EU getting one. Anyways what it'd be is it split into provinces and then by city then the listings. The listings will be brief so that there is room for people to go into the city's articles. So it will by no means be really large. There'd be probably 4-6 listings for the 10 largest then everything else minimal. I will gather up some information and do it in a bit. Keep smiling, (WT-en) ee talk 18:34, 10 November 2008 (EST).

Scabies and Bed Bugs[edit]

Do you think this is an appropriate subject for Travel Topics? One of my buddies is a pest controller, while in Kentucky at a conference on pests, his room mate contracted a serious case of scabies from the bed covering, my friend escaped. Apparently his bed was not contaminated. This was at a high dollar, flagged, hotel. Since then bed bugs have become a major issue to travelers. I would think information on this subject and warnings from areas where it is prevalent would be welcome! Anyone up to the task? (WT-en) 2old 13:37, 17 February 2011 (EST)

I'd suggest starting this out in Travel health or one of that topic's sub-articles. Splitting it out into a separate article could then be discussed as the content developed. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 13:43, 17 February 2011 (EST)
Contribute to the pests article. /Yvwv (talk) 22:47, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

EAT / suggestions on finding a restaurant[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I've recently added* tips&suggestions on finding a good restaurant, which are region-specific (and therefore go into a respective region: Camargue in my case).

I wonder if:

  • there are any other attempts to suggest how to find a restaurant/cafe for a specific destination, not only to list specific places that are good at the time of research?
  • we can compile/define any recommendations applying to most locations, filing them into Eat travel topic or something similar?

(*) the text itself was written by a LonelyPlanet ThornTree forum member, cross-posted at Wikivoyage with his permission. --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 22:07, 15 November 2010 (EST)

No fine dining detectives here yet? :-) --(WT-en) DenisYurkin 14:42, 17 November 2010 (EST)

Not so inadequate a page[edit]

Sure it's still just a lengthy outline, but some of its listed articles are becoming well-defined...and when so, they're highly useful. A suggestion to improve usage of articles listed...without changing any title or its link, suggest appropriate writers supplement it with a very terse phrase of what it covers. Have done so with a few, especially where the original title/link was set before its needed or later scope was realized. Other suggestions? (WT-en) Hennejohn 15:55, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

Recent "Damage"[edit]

Main section now has what appears to be randomly/accidentally inserted text from a blog for hikers...while that "accident" has deleted references/links to "Itineraries" and "Phrasebooks". Don't feel qualified to correct the situation. (WT-en) Hennejohn 15:55, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

Can you clarify? Assuming you mean that there is random hiking content in the Travel topics article, from the history it looks like User:(WT-en) Pashley reverted it on April 3: [1]. Perhaps you're seeing cached content? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:05, 6 April 2012 (EDT)

Timeshare articles?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

We have extensive and creative experience with owning, using, and disposing of timeshares. I've tried to figure out this site but can't seem to find anyone to ask a few questions of.

1. Is there a timeshare category? It doesn't come up in any search.

2. Would people be interested in articles like

     Timeshare Swaps - Creative Timeshare Travel+ $0 Exchanges
     Vacation with eBay Timeshares
     Rent to Sell Your Timeshare
     How to Get HIGH DOLLARS for Your Timeshare

3. I understand the prohibition on self advertising and have no problem being total generic. We are a charity that accepts timeshare donations, but the only mention of anything would be in my bio contact email address. We just find that too many people are stuck and need a few creative ideas.

4. What page should we start with as a link?

5. If not, how do we start a new page? (WT-en) Drkenrich 15:10, 30 September 2011 (EDT)

I think a travel topic article on Timeshares might be a good starting point, if you would like to try your hand at writing one. But yes, of course, take note of the advice at Project:Don't tout and perhaps the apartment policy as well, and keep them in mind while drafting the article. Holiday villas might be a good article to look at for inspiration (although that article could certainly use some work as well). I'm curious to see what develops! --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:56, 30 September 2011 (EDT)

Layout 2[edit]

Looking at the travel topics page, it really looks messy and unprofessional. This list shows an enormous long list of topics, which aren't sorted out in any way. As already discussed above, I think we need two things to improve the situation:

  1. A breadcrumb navigation similar to destination articles
  2. A layout with fewer articles to improve navigation

I quickly tried sorting it category-style (WV-en) here, however, I think eventually we'll need to move to something like our German friends have done at the German-language Wikivoyage. They split up all topics in twelve categories. While I wouldn't pick exactly the same categories, I think these would make sense for us:

  • Preparing a trip
  • Reasons to travel
  • Going forward (basically Get in and around, could also be called Transportation)
  • Sights
  • Activities
  • Events
  • Communication
  • Food and drinks
  • Accommodation
  • Concerns
  • Itineraries

Itineraries could get its own category, while phrasebooks could be included within "communication". Phrasebooks could maybe also become its own category. I am not so good with wiki-software that I could create a mock-up, but the German WV perfectly shows what I mean. --Globe-trotter (talk) 17:41, 19 September 2012 (CEST)

Categories are made for this stuff. Making lists by hand always struck me as a little odd. --Inas (talk) 06:19, 21 September 2012 (CEST)
I notice that nearly all the proposed topics are covered in some, single articles focused on one travel mode, e.g., traveling by RV, bus touring, cruise ships and ocean cruising (exact titles not used). It might be quite clumsy to dis-assemble such articles, and place their content under these topics in a way that's effectively usable by readers. Regards, Hennejohn (talk) 02:59, 30 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I've plunged and added a new lay-out. Let me know your opinions. --Globe-trotter (talk) 19:12, 10 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Jan 2013 Layout change[edit]

It looks nice and is a large improvement from what we had. However, a few suggestions:

  • Color is really bland/monotonous...could different sections get different colors
  • Sub-sections of "General" should be alphabetized
  • For the continent sections, it might look better if the continent-wide destinations were in two columns across the top followed by the country-specific topics as they are now.
  • It may also be easier (format-wise, as the number to topics grows) to just list all destinations for a continent in two columns (like present format, but without the country sub-headers) and have a link at the bottom of each section to a page or category that is divided by country...for example, "View travel topics by country..." would link to "Travel topics in Europe" or "Category:Travel topics in Europe". If we create categories, this would easily allow topics to be found by location (not just country, but regions or cities) and topic (festivals, shopping, accommodation, transportation)

But, again, the current layout is nice and a big improvement. The above ideas, especially the last one, may not be appropriate until we have a much larger number of topics. AHeneen (talk) 19:16, 10 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I tried a new blue color, what do you think of it? I have alphabetized the sub-sections of General, which looks good. I tried to categorize the continent-wide topics like you describe, but it doesn't feel natural when I looked at it. So I just removed the double naming of continents for now, but we still might need some other solution for it. --Globe-trotter (talk) 02:27, 11 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Like the new layout. Two notes:

  • All text (however brief) besides article name has been removed. Suggest this may leave some searchers misled because some original titles were "in-elegantly" chosen, e.g., "Cruise ships" is also about cruising not just ships, "Fundamentals of flying" is for passengers rather than fledgling pilots.
  • As those more adept than I analyze the groupings of titles, some re-grouping might be useful. Will offer later suggestions.
Regards, Hennejohn (talk) 00:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Pages on particular religions[edit]

Two travel topics were created recently: Christian sites and events & Muslim sites and events. Most guidebooks will have a section on religion and possibly a list of religious sites or events. For example a guide to an entire continent might have a page or two about each major religion on the continent and list important pilgrimages, practices (and respect), sites, and events/celebrations. Having a travel topic page for a particular religion, therefore, seems to fit within the scope of travel. However, I'm not sure the templates which have been added are appropriate and am bringing this up here to get feedback on an appropriate template for such pages. As I'm writing this, I'm trying to finish and log off, so this isn't a complete assessment. The sections of travel topics about a particular religion should include:

  • overview — size, location, a few key details
  • history — not a 50,000 word copy-and-paste job from Wikipedia, but a few paragraphs to give readers some background
  • beliefs — an overview of beliefs, structure (clergy hierarchy), facilities (like for worship or meditation), etc
  • sites — this would list important sites (historical sites, fine architecture, seat of clergy, pilgrimage locations)
  • observances — observances, festivals, events, religious holidays/holy days. This section would also include implications for travelers, both good (food, crafts, spectacles associated with these events) and bad (businesses closed, certain locations crowded, etc)
  • cultural elements — various cultural subjects associated with a particular religion
  • respect — how should travelers behave around adherents of that religion or when visiting sites important to that religion
  • glossary — an overview & definitions for common terms associated with a particular religion

Travel topics concerning a particular religion would be a good asset, as placing beliefs/holiday/respect topics in various articles where needed can make it difficult to track down info about that religion or leave readers with an incomplete understanding because there is very little practical info on a page. I propose that the pages are simply named per the religion: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Jainism, Sufism, Sunni Islam, etc. These would be a great asset to link to from destination pages. For example, on a page where a Buddhist monastery is an important sight, a link to Buddhism would give the reader a better picture of the beliefs & practices associated with the sight, rather than having to hunt down that info on a country page or have only a paragraph or so about that religion mentioned on the page (info in inconsistent/fragmented among pages). Any thoughts/suggestions? AHeneen (talk) 11:39, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I can see the utility of a travel topic article explaining how to avoid offending adherents and providing a few practical details for recognition and dealing with people and places. Preferably written as a strictly non-partisan outsider's view, as the insider would not need the information. Details of actual belief systems and hierarchies are better kept in Wikipedia, where they can be accessed by a link. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:26, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Laid out for discussion by point below:[edit]

overview — size, location, a few key details
  • Distribution of the religion as a major religion of a country might be useful.
  • Actual numbers of adherents not of practical importance to the traveller • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:42, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
history — not a 50,000 word copy-and-paste job from Wikipedia, but a few paragraphs to give readers some background
beliefs — an overview of beliefs, structure (clergy hierarchy), facilities (like for worship or meditation), etc
  • 1 paragraph (roughly) and a link to Wikipedia should be sufficient. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:42, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
sites — this would list important sites (historical sites, fine architecture, seat of clergy, pilgrimage locations)
observances — observances, festivals, events, religious holidays/holy days. This section would also include implications for travelers, both good (food, crafts, spectacles associated with these events) and bad (businesses closed, certain locations crowded, etc)
  • This is where the bulk of the information should go. Things that are of practical interest to the traveller. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:42, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
cultural elements — various cultural subjects associated with a particular religion
respect — how should travelers behave around adherents of that religion or when visiting sites important to that religion
  • Yes, very useful. Details that apply in general. Specific items peculiar to a specific site should go in the destination article where the site is located. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:42, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Warnings about disproportionate reactions to perceived disrespect would also be useful where relevant. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:51, 12 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
glossary — an overview & definitions for common terms associated with a particular religion

Religions which do not have any direct practical effect on the ordinary traveller need not be mentioned.

Change to tagging travel topics.[edit]

As more travel topics are created a single page indexing them is going to be more difficult to manage. I therefore propose a slight change to the use of the {{traveltopic}} template and how travel topic pages look.

  • Addition of breadcrumbs
    • Consistent with most articles on Wikivoyage, much easier for new readers to understand Wikivoyage navigation.
    • Easier to find related topics than looking through large index page.
  • Removal of This article is a travel topic text from the top of the article.
    • Does not give you a real amount of useful information
    • takes up page space
  • Move {{traveltopic}} to bottom of pages
    • Consistent with other article type tags, less exceptions to the rules helps new contributors.

Solution is set up in {{traveltopic/sandbox}}. Intention is to allow a parameter in the template which works like isPartOf, defining any parent topic article. This also provides a useful hidden Category:Travel topics which helps identify travel topics that are not in the Travel topics index page. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:05, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

If it works as described I dont see a problem.
Would a single template be used for all breadcrumbed travel topic categories? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes it is a single template, just you add a different parameter to define where to place in the breadcrumb trail. Basically the solution is that the traveltopics template works like the isPartOf template. Currently I have set it so that if no parameter is added then it will display the existing text. So current pages will see no change until someone adds a parameter.--Traveler100 (talk) 12:19, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Is the parameter the next level up article name that the current article is in? (if you get my meaning) • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
For example Islam would have the parameter Cultural attractions, Jet lag would be Travel health. Both of which are travel topics that then have the top level parameter Travel topics. --Traveler100 (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If so can I suggest the template name should be Template:PartOfTopic, as this makes the parameter pretty obvious and less likely to be used wrongly. It is also an easy name to remember. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:46, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Good idea. Was only thinking of editing the existing template but then could do a redirect. This way can test on a few articles before switching.--Traveler100 (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
How would using this template differ from using the existing Template:IsPartOf? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:48, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Very little difference. But I think it is worth distinguishing location and topic articles. Only technical difference will be tracking of templates with missing or false parameters will be placed in a different Category:Articles needing attention. --Traveler100 (talk) 14:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Will it be possible to automate the changes? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:02, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I see you have started making changes. Are you aware that there are nearly 200 sub-articles of Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:06, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Difficult to totally automate as cannot from the content of the page identify what is the parent topic. I can do in steps with semi-automatic browser code. I do not think the is a rush to do this. Just work at it gradually. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:30, 10 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Done. I have index in Category:Travel topics all articles labelled as a travel topic and added a number of missing ones to Travel Topics. One I have not changed, as not sure what to do with, can be found at Category:Travel topic lacking parameter.--Traveler100 (talk) 17:43, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There are now sub-pages, and corresponding categories, for major subjects under travel topics. Currently not all sub-section articles contain all the travel topic articles in that category. It would be be good if a few volunteers go though the categories and see if they agree with the current classification. If so then we can start updating the sub-section pages.I would then like to start thinking about a new style main page.--Traveler100 (talk) 17:48, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Scuba diving topics look right. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:29, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Putting winter sports in skiing is probably the wrong way round. Skiing should go in winter sports, otherwise if there are other winter sports in an article it will go into two higher categories and this will be a problem with the breadcrumbs. As I understand it, any article lower in the hierarchy can only be part of one higher level article. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:36, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hiking, golf, cycling and buying all look OK. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:38, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't see any immediately obvious problems with: Calendar of events and festivals, Communication
  • I don't think Concerns is a useful name for a category, but cant think of a better one offhand.
  • Cultural attractions looks like a reasonable start.
  • Natural attractions looks fine.
  • Preparation is not a particularly helpful category name, but have nothing better to suggest.
  • Reasons to travel and Talk look OK.
  • Travels topics in Africa, Asia etc look like they may cause breadcrumb problems with multiple upward forks. I dont have a problem with them as categories per se, but dont think they should be used for breadcrumbs (ParOfTopic). • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:55, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Travel accomodation, Travel health, Travel transportation and Work look OK.
  • Travel activities - see above under the separate categories.
Better names may come up for some of the categories. This arrangement and categorisation looks like it will be useful, but some more feedback would help. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:05, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The Topic in Region, created by second parameter in PartOfTopic does not create a breadcrumb in the article. Good point on the winter sports, I think it can be easily fixed.--Traveler100 (talk) 20:20, 17 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Challenge to change of procedure[edit]

I strongly object to this major change. Breadcrumbs are for our Wikivoyage:Geographical hierarchy, and extending their use to travel topics, while potentially convenient, causes confusion -- especially when coupled with the loss of the hatnote explaining that the article is a travel topic. There are good reasons to keep the travel topics, itineraries, and phrasebooks separate visually from destination articles, but this wholesale change has virtually erased that distinction. LtPowers (talk) 13:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Go ahead, explain your points. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:14, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I thought I did. LtPowers (talk) 20:16, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think Peter is asking what "are (the) good reasons to keep the travel topics, itineraries, and phrasebooks separate visually" and how "this wholesale change has virtually erased that distinction". If the goal is simply to make a travel topic look different from a geographic article, perhaps there is some way to do that other than by having/not having breadcrumbs? Personally, I'm in favor of making the site easier to navigate and manage, and I think the breadcrumbs greatly improve navigation while the underlying categories improves management. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:26, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly so. Mea culpa, I assumed the meaning would be obvious. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:11, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Under the article page name, the first two words are travel topic, the rest of the breadcrumb also contains subject titles that do not in anyway look like regions. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:51, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sure, they look in no way like regions, except for being links at the top of a page on Wikivoyage, in blue text surrounded by direction arrows. LtPowers (talk) 20:16, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Quite so. Regions are not implied. The breadcrumb trail suggests an hierarchy to me, not necessarily a geographical hierarchy, just a logical arrangement of articles on a website, where moving up the line puts you on a page which logically includes the pages further down (up?) the tree. A breadcrumb trail is in effect a path along a logical tree from the least significant article (currently open) back up to the root. It is only our past usage on this site that suggests anything at all to do with physical geography, and that association can not be assumed for the casual user. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:26, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So, no good reasons to keep the travel topics, itineraries, and phrasebooks separate visually leap to the forefront of your mind right now? I think those are important distinctions for editors, since they will affect both the needed content, how it should be organised and the criteria for judging their status, but not for readers who are unlikely to be interested in the distinction at a practical level. -- Alice 22:23, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
If we want to make them look different, we can use a different text color somewhere. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:01, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
WP uses opt in title colours to distinguish between article quality classes. Colour can have asccessibility issues. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Is it likely that the average (non-editing) user even notices the different structure achieved by limiting breadcrumb navigation to the geographical hierarchy, and logically connects its presence to this subset of articles? If they do, can anyone say with confidence that it is recognised as a deliberate structural feature, rather than that those articles lacking the breadcrumb trail simply have not been completed, ot have no related articles to link them to? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:11, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't have the time (or the expertise) to conduct a master class in user interface design. The basic point is that it is important that a reader know what he is reading, and the more ways there are to visually signify that, the better. It is also important that user interface elements have a clearly defined purpose and meaning. Until now, breadcrumbs appeared only on articles that are part of our geographical hierarchy, so the breadcrumbs served as a unique interface element showing the actual physical relationship between various areas and communities. But now, that user interface feature has been overloaded for a completely different purpose: showing a conceptual hierarchy of travel topics. And there's no clear visual signifier -- like the previous hatnote -- to tell the user "Hey! This is different!" This is an extremely significant and wide-ranging change that should never have been implemented without a wider consensus than was demonstrated here. Only two people even commented! LtPowers (talk) 01:14, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is also a guiding principle of this wiki called Plunge forward. This has been followed here in good faith. An (to us, at least) obvious improvement was made which appears (to us) to fit in with the policies, to expand the structural formatting and article linkage in a useful way to the traveller. If there is a principle or specific policy which is infringed upon, please point it out. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:11, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Plunging forward is advised because most changes are easily reverted if deemed undesirable. This was a major change to one of the site's basic structural interface paradigms, it's just common freakin' courtesy to seek wider input before plunging in to a task of this significance. I didn't realize we needed a rule for that. LtPowers (talk) 16:17, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Is there an alternative navigation structure that would be preferable? If the choice is between nothing or breadcrumbs then I don't see any issue with the work that Traveler100 and others have done to improve navigation of our already-hierarchical travel topic structure, but there isn't any reason not to consider proposals for equally-usable alternatives. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • There are probably several options, including navboxes as used on Wikipedia, which provide the user with a selection of related articles, portals, which link the article back to a page which provides links to a range of related articles, a See also section, with links to related articles and/or categories which are nearly invisible to the ordinary reader, just to mention those familiar to Wikipedians. The breadcrumb trail system has the advantage of providing a hierarchical system which is particularly useful for our article structure, is reasonably intuitive to use, is immediately visible on opening the page, is inherently standardised in appearance, automatically points to the root category/article, is easy to create, as the tools are already installed, is familiar to our regular users and editors, takes up little space on the page and will probably be less controversial than the alternatives. I will concede that there may be some of our articles which do not comfortably fit into a hierarchical structure, either as they exist, or even conceptually, though I can't think of any offhand. These, when identified, can be omitted/removed from the breadcrumb system. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:11, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Perhaps we should consider alternative ways of drawing the reader's attention to the different article classes. On WP the colour of the title is used to distinguish between regular aticles and lists, and between articles by quality (stub, good, featured etc). This is an opt in feature, as there are accessibility issues, and mentioned mainly because it has been used, therefore is technically possible. A subtitle is also possible, as was/is our custom, by using the Traveltopic template to place a hatnote. The presence of the link to Travel topics at the root of the breadcrumb trail brings up the question of whether a second reference in a hatnote is redundant. This would be better assessed by getting a representative sample of unbiased outsider opinions, so I will not venture an opinion. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:38, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • It might be possible to make the root link in the breadcrumb trail stand out more - larger font, bolder, something in that line. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Peter wrote the following: "Is it likely that the average (non-editing) user even notices the different structure achieved by limiting breadcrumb navigation to the geographical hierarchy, and logically connects its presence to this subset of articles?" My answer would be no, it's not likely, nor would they be at all likely to impute any significance to the lack of such a structure. And for that matter, though perhaps I shouldn't admit this, I was an admin for at least a few months before I realized that those things were called breadcrumbs. Why are they so called, anyway? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:16, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Per w:Breadcrumb (navigation): "Breadcrumbs... allows users to keep track of their locations within programs or documents. The term comes from the trail of breadcrumbs left by Hansel and Gretel in the popular fairytale." -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:22, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • You "don't see any issue"? I have tried twice now to explain what the issues are; with what part of my explanation do you disagree? LtPowers (talk) 16:17, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I will attempt to put this as succinctly as possible, and maybe someone can try to explain where my reasoning fails. Our breadcrumb trails are established as referring to actual, physical relationships between geographic entities. To overload that meaning to refer to any hierarchical structure dilutes it and will be confusing for our readers. I am stunned that this is seen as no big deal, when the name of Template:Disambiguation was a major freak-out level crisis that had to be resolved immediately because "Wikipedians might get confused". LtPowers (talk) 16:17, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"To overload that meaning to refer to any hierarchical structure dilutes it and will be confusing for our readers". I think this is where people are disagreeing with you - Ikan and others have noted above that there does not seem to be any reason why readers would innately know that a breadcrumb trail is anything other than a navigational aid, and I think there is fairly broad disagreement that using breadcrumbs for travel topics will be confusing. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:48, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't understand. The knowledge doesn't have to be innate; it's learned. Why have breadcrumbs at all, if we don't expect our readers to learn what they are for?
The breadcrumb trail exists so that users can a) see at a glance that a destination guide is within our geographical hierarchy; b) see at a glance where the guide is in the hierarchy; c) easily return to a page that was previously read while drilling down in the hierarchy; and d) easily access unread pages that might have pertinent information in them. Of those goals, a) is not just irrelevant to travel topics, but extending it to travel topics harms the goal for destination articles; b) is marginally relevant to travel topics, but much less useful than for geographic articles; c) is possibly useful for travel topics, but I don't see any reason to believe our readers browse the topics in that fashion; and d) seems like it could be better implemented using the related pages function.
Our geographic articles and our travel topics are fundamentally different ways of seeing travel. They require different means of access and different interface elements, rather than trying to force one to fit the other's existing paradigm. Just because both can be organized hierarchically does not mean their different hierarchies have to be presented identically. LtPowers (talk) 21:28, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that these navigation procedures are not innate and need to be learned. However, Wikivoyage exists in the context of the world wide web and, in the same way that it is just plain daft to have silly little grey globes (or numbers that are incremented in a non-significant way) to indicate hyper links (rather than the almost universal convention of blue text that is underlined when a mouse tip is hovered over it), most web users have already come across breadcrumb trails on other websites.
LtPowers is also right in indicating that our Wikivoyage:Breadcrumb navigation article currently is misleading; I have an amended version prepared here: User:Alice/Kitchen/Breadcrumb navigation. Please feel free to edit it in such a way that it supports the use of breadcrumb navigation in Travel topics.
I do not agree that breadcrumb trails can or should only be used to refer to actual, physical relationships between geographic entities. That would be a highly esoteric concept to most of our potential readership.
I also do not agree with proposition (a). It will only be a tiny minority of readers (as opposed to editors) that are concerned to see at a glance where a destination guide exactly is within our geographical hierarchy. And in some cases of multi or transcontinental countries or regions (until and unless we can technically implement more than one breadcrumb trail), that glance at a single breadcrumb trail will be misleading, too.
Incidentally there is currently a bug in the implementation of both Template:IsPartOf and Template:PartOfTopic: instead of showing the final breadcrumb (the article itself) as a grey, non-hyperlink, it is showing as a blue, clickable hyperlink. -- Alice 22:31, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
"Our breadcrumb trails are established as referring to actual, physical relationships between geographic entities": This was the original purpose, but this does not preclude their use for other purposes if it is the best available option. Systems with identical or very similar appearance are generally used on websites to indicate hierarchy of pages within the site, and this is what most users will expect them to mean here. They will not generally go to the trouble of learning about a special local usage because there is no obvious reason for them to suspect that it exists. Their use for navigation in other local hierarchies is more likely to be accepted without question than to cause confusion. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:41, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, unless you have some usability data I'm not aware of, that's just speculation. Perhaps a stronger argument, though, is that the travel topics do not organize easily into a strict hierarchy like our geographical articles do. That alone seems like it's worth having some unique way of navigating the geographical hierarchy separate from navigating other parts of the site. LtPowers (talk) 02:11, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think travel topics aren't inherently arranged in a single hierarchy, so our breadcrumbs don't really fit. However, I think the idea of indicating the structure within the travel topic is a step forward. Having the manually editing list of travel topics and headings being the only place to find and review travel topics was flawed. Since the breadcrumbs have been there I have noticed several travel topics that I never knew existed. If we end up mapping the template to generate categories, or even to auto-build our Travel Topics page at the end of the day we are a step forward. --Inas (talk) 22:50, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Alice and I are in agreement. Is there any really important reason why breadcrumbs should refer only to geographic areas and not to topics? To me, it seems very neat to arrange topics according to categories that relate to the "Do," "See," Buy," and other standard sections of our "city" articles, or related topics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:21, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have enumerated multiple reasons, but I seem unable to get my point across. I am at a loss. I am stunned, and confused, at the widespread support this proposal is garnering, and why I'm completely unable to convey why it's a bad idea. LtPowers (talk) 00:24, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps it is because travel topics are such a hotch-potch mess of different topics and ideas, that we're clinging at any attempt at better organisation of them, even if it may not be a good solution. --Inas (talk) 00:26, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If it is not a good solution, it remains the best option that has been mentioned yet in this discussion, so better ideas would be worth pursuing. Currently we actually have the software to implement this system, and a set of "worse ideas", which I do not think should be used purely for the sake of keeping the best sub-optimal solution reserved for one part of the wiki. If there are better ways of organising either the geographical hierachy, travel topics (and other article classes) or both, let us hear about them, either as implementable with current software, or as concepts which would require programming. Without a better concept, we are unlikely to find a better solution. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:23, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I know zilch about categories and especially the way they are included in templates, so I would appreciate some oversight with this series of edits in case I have mistakenly buggered something up. -- Alice 09:45, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
The intention is that specific categories should not need to be stated in article but defined by templates. With this example the problem is where is the boundary between an itinerary and a topic. The original situation was that Travelling with children was a topic but the specific destination pages were itineraries. Do you think the Destination with children articles should be travel topics?--Traveler100 (talk) 12:41, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
And some of them are clearly itineraries as well.
The important thing is to enable our readers to find articles of interest easily (the search function obviously helps enormously with that) and subsidiary benefits of your new system include easier maintenance of pages that help with reader browsing and automatic categorisation. Is it better or worse that what we had before? Tons better. Is it perfect? No. Can we do better? Perhaps - but lets not revert to a worse system until we have found a better system to replace the current breadcrumb "innovation". This is a wiki. Some people need to get used to change and growth and simply ask "is the change better or worse on balance" and not "is the change perfect or academically sound". And that's not to have a dig at Sandy, whose opinions below I respect. It's just that they can not be considered in a vacuum of alternative concrete proposals. I see no reason to revert to a worse system until and unless we identify a better system. -- Alice 06:45, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
I have edited the templates to what I think fits with the current structure. The article is now an itinerary and a travel topic. Maybe this is the way to go with this type of page (there are some rail pages that are in a similar position. Currently the Topic in Region only goes down a couple of levels. Maybe as more articles fit into these categories we can make them deeper.--Traveler100 (talk) 07:31, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

As a number of people have objected to pages being created with little content other than indexing topics, the question is what is a better method? The current Travel topics index page is difficult to use when looking for a topic and visually not very pleasing. Also keeping this up to date is a challenge. The original reason for the breadcrumb method being introduced was to aid cleaning up the travel topics and was used at the time to add all topics to the main page. Classification is not easy but if the breadcrumbs are removed due to objections should we also remove the subtitles on the Travel Topic main page too, maybe just an alphabetical list? Yes the hierarchy is not perfect but what is a better solution? --Traveler100 (talk) 09:47, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think classification is fine, but it cannot be strictly hierarchical, and there's no need to create intermediary index pages unless they're going to have some sort of relevant content (like, say, Low-cost airlines). LtPowers (talk) 15:46, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm with Traveler100 - in lieu of an alternate proposal, the hierarchical structure in place now is better than nothing. I'm 100% in favor of any alternative that people can agree to, but I'm opposed to tearing down an existing organizational structure, albeit an imperfect one, without a proposal for something that will take its place. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Another objector[edit]

I'm coming into the discussion late. My opinion is very strong support for LtPowers' position; the proposal to use breadcrumbs for travel topics strikes me as rather obviously wrong.

Ikan Kekek asks "Is there any really important reason why breadcrumbs should refer only to geographic areas and not to topics?" I am flabbergasted that it is necessary to spell this out, but I will. The topics do not naturally form a hierarchy, so trying to impose an hierarchical organisation on them is just a mistake.

The existing breadcrumb system encounters all sorts of problems when the hierarchy is ambiguous; Talk:Turkey#Who.27s_your_daddy.3F is one example. We waste a lot of time on those.

Cycling can be a reason for travel (group with diving, mountaineering, etc), a form of transport (with train, car, etc.), an activity at destinations (with museums?), and other things. There is absolutely no reason to imagine these relations are mainly hierarchical, or that there is only one hierarchical relation involved. (Pashley) 13:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

There are other mechanisms for organising travel topics which seem worth discussing — using categories or {{related}} tags, for example. I am not convinced any change is actually necessary and am not inclined to favour categories because they are not a familiar mechanism to me, but these seem worth discussing at least. In my view, breadcrumbs do not even pass that first hurdle; not even worth considering. Pashley (talk) 16:26, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Good job, Pashley. I understand your point of view and the basis for your objections. If you'd like to go for "related" tags, I will support you in that. I do think that some type of coherent organization is good, though, so I wouldn't want to return to the way things were. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:07, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Another option is a related topics sidebar. We've shied away from such things in favor of Template:Related, but perhaps having a list of related topics at ready hand would assuage some of the concerns with navigation ease? LtPowers (talk) 02:12, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think the best way of handling the issue is to have a template of links at the bottom of travel. For example: w:Template:Tourism and w:Template:Adventure travel as used at w:Safari. Using such template makes navigation withing categories much easier and is much more understandable to new WV users, who may not understand the concept of breadcrumb navigation or look at the sidebar for related topics. AHeneen (talk) 02:59, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My feeling is that any way of relating topics, to keep them in some kind of coherent relationship, is worth considering. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:01, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The breadcrumbs are not a perfect solution for travel topics but it is a better situation that what the previous status was with just a link back to a list of most (but not all) of the travel topics. The index page is not going to work in an expanding and growing site. The index page also implies a hierarchy which has been inserted with a few extra levels into the breadcrumb text. That it has limitations and that topics could be placed in more that one sub-topic is an argument that could also be applied to destination articles. With destinations most are organised politically, some geographically and there are attempts at ethnically. That Russia and Turkey cannot be placed in two regions and how the Canary Islands and Greenland are organised could be discussed for months is no reason to stop using breadcrumbs for all destination articles, same goes for Travel Topics. Could it be done better is something that should be discussed, but please positive suggestions not just this is not how we have done things in the past. Adding related to links on the side would be a good start. The uses of categories independent of those controlled by templates is a difficult one. It is a better way of organising articles in that you can place an article in more that one category, but seeing how it can get out of control on Wikipedia I can understand not wanting to do that on Wikivoyage. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:49, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
First, I think you deserve our gratitude for doing a great deal of work to rationalize what had been a disorderly hodge-podge of travel topics. Second, I agree strongly that "because that's how it's been done" is not a good argument in the face of evidence that some change may either improve the site or even be necessary because of its growth. Whatever is ultimately decided - for now - on this organizational question, I want you on board to present your way of thinking about it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:05, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My objection above, & support for LtPowers objections, stand. I cannot see that breadcrumbs are even close to appropriate for travel topics because the topics are not naturally hierarchical.
This has led to creation of various pseudo-articles which apparently exist only to fill gaps in the hierarchy. I have proposed deletion of all I have found, see Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion#Topics_in_South_America. Pashley (talk) 18:49, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm fine with any usable organizational structure, but I don't think we should go back to essentially having no organizational structure for the reasons Traveler100 states above. If there is an alternative proposal for organizing topics, including topics like the scuba diving topics (which are hierarchical) then let's talk about it, but in lieu of such a proposal then I don't see how getting rid of the current structure makes things better. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:57, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
What structure do you mean? As far as I can tell we've got multiple parallel hierarchies filled with content-less lists of travel topics like Topics in United States of America and Reasons to travel -- pages for which there was never any consensus, I might add. They do not meet our 'what is an article' policy. LtPowers (talk) 20:25, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, it is those contentless articles I am objecting to. For a start, I want to delete all the "Topics in ..." articles; discussion at Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion#Topics_in_South_America. I see absolutely no point to having them.
I agree that there should be links in both directions between, for example, Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay and both articles below it like specific dive sites and ones above it like Scuba diving and South Africa. I do not think anyone is arguing against that; the only question is how to manage the linking.
In general, I agree with LtPowers that breadcrumbs should be reserved for the geographical hierarchy, that they are wrong for the more complex often non-hierarchical relations between travel topics. That said, I could live with some explicitly limited exceptions where topics have a clearly hierarchical relationship. For example, looking at the breadcrumbs for Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, I find:
Travel topics > Travel activities > Sport > Water sport > Scuba diving > Diving in South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay
Part of that, "Scuba diving > Diving in South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay" you can make a decent case for as an exception. I'd prefer "South Africa > Diving in South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay", tying it in to the existing breadcrumb structure.
I do strongly object to two things, though: bogus hierarchy and unnecessary articles. Sure, SCUBA is a water sport but it is also a reason for travel, an activity with safety concerns, and sometimes a study-of-nature or cultural activity. We should resit the temptation to squeeze these relations into a hierarchy.
Articles like Topics in Africa] and water sport have apparently been created only to group other articles. I'd say the "topics in .." articles are utterly useless and should obviously go. The others seem worth discussion; I see lots of problems, most notably that it is hard to imagine a reader who looks here for Sports and that the classifications don't work — e.g. Travel activities groups urban backpacking and cross-country skiing under Camping and has Scuba and horseback riding under "other activities", not sports — but they might be worth keeping. Pashley (talk) 14:18, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In the above, I just mean that I do not see the point of articles like Sports, not that I am about to vfd them all. In general, I am an inclusionist; almost anything that relates to travel and that someone wants to work on is fine by me. See my comments at Wikivoyage_talk:What_is_an_article?#Scope and arguably unnecessary articles I have created such as On the trail of Kipling's Kim or Retiring abroad.
Despite that general attitude, I do feel strongly that all the "topics in ..." articles should go. Pashley (talk) 14:36, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that "Topics in..." is an unnatural construct apparently only created as a place to bundle otherwise unrelated topics. I also think that "Sports" is a little too generic to be a useful travel topic. People travel for s specific sport, except in special cases like the Olympic games, though I could possibly be persuaded that "Travelling for sport" might make it at a stretch.
On the other hand I maintain that a breadcrumb trail is an example of a common generic internet device for linking back down a logical tree, and has no inherent connection with geography. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:23, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would also argue for Scuba diving>Diving in South Africa rather than South Africa>Diving in South Africa, though both are adequately logical, mainly because Scuba diving contains a large list of country level destinations, and is the repository for a large number of listings which don't have a better home yet. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:34, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Follow up[edit]

As I see it, consensus was not achieved for using breadcrumbs on travel topics. Despite that, I see that many topic articles now have them. My inclination is to just delete them all, but I suspect this should be a controversial change so I am asking for other opinions first. Pashley (talk) 02:32, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I concur with your assessment. Template:PartOfTopic should be VfD'd. LtPowers (talk) 14:32, 11 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I actually had the text for Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion written, but did not save it because the vfd page is not the place for policy discussion. This is, so I'm trying to re-open discussion here.
As I see it, adding topic breadcrumbs was a mistake for reasons given above and should be corrected, especially since it is a major change made without consensus. Pashley (talk) 01:45, 14 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is certainly no consensus to use them on topic pages, so a VfD should be fine, unless you're anticipating that a consensus to use them will develop. LtPowers (talk) 02:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Travel Topic index page style[edit]

Wondering what people think about changing the start page of travel topics? Currently we have a long list of topics. Factual, but visually not inviting. How about just showing the main topics with a little text and an image? Something along these lines: Travel topics/sandbox. Don't critic the detail of the sandbox, still needs a great deal of work. The question is about the principle. Yes, it does not show as much information but does look more like a travel guide than the index to an academic book.--Traveler100 (talk) 19:32, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'd be in favour of broadly keeping the current layout but adding the kind of text you have in that sandbox underneath the relevant main headings and also making it more visually attractive with some pretty pictures like you have done, Traveler100. -- Alice 22:46, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Have you looked at how Wikipedia portals are constructed? Some of the ideas and formatting may be appropriate for the Travel topics page. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:19, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have added a drop down list. It would be good if people could add some better text to the main topics. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:58, 23 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Topics in ...[edit]

There are currently a whole collection of articles with names of the form "Topics in ..." and a bunch of categories with "Category:Topics in ..". I believe all of them should be deleted. Previous discussion is at Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/August_2013#Topics_in_South_America and Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion#Travel_topics_by_country.

There are objections to my suggestion of massive deletion. For example, Ryan wrote above:

"in lieu of an alternate proposal, the hierarchical structure in place now is better than nothing. I'm 100% in favor of any alternative that people can agree to, but I'm opposed to tearing down an existing organizational structure, albeit an imperfect one, without a proposal for something that will take its place."

As I see it, there are at least two distinct issues here & it is quite important to keep them separate.

One is the actual "current structure", as proposed at #Change_to_tagging_travel_topics. above, discussed there, implemented with a bunch of PartOfTopic tags, and visible as the current breadcrumb trails on travel topic articles. As I see it, we need further discussion on both that and possible alternatives to it. In the meanwhile, I agree with Ryan; that structure should be kept, at least until/unless we find something better.

The other is the imaginary structure created by a whole lot of "Topics in ..." articles that are utterly useless. If topics have breadcrumbs, then the breadcrumb for Diving in South Africa should probably point to Scuba diving, but if we were to point it elsewhere, there is absolutely no advantage to using Topics in South Africa instead of just South Africa. There is a decent argument for having a topic hierarchy different from the geographic hierarchy (I'm not convinced yet, but I see the point). I see no argument at all for duplicating chunks of the geographic hierarchy with a parallel "Topics in ..." hierarchy.

This section is for discussion of that pseudo-hierarchy; I think it should lead to wholesale deletion. Pashley (talk) 02:45, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I find it a little difficult to separate the two issues as they are basically related to helping users discover topics they may be interested in, but I see that to move forward and improve the situation maybe the best way is to split the issues.
The main goal is that when someone is investigating a specific region, as well as looking at locations in that region they can also see the topics related to that region. As it is I think the Travel topics index page is visually pleasing, not easy to find things and difficult to maintain.
Note the main point of the breadcrumb plus the second hierarchy by region is not for navigating up the trail but for going down the trail. Question is, what is the best way to go from a region page to a list of topic for that region.--Traveler100 (talk) 05:36, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Generally, I either know what topic I am interested in, say Scuba diving, or I know the region I am interested in, say Western Australia. The current arrangement for Scuba diving would be sufficient, starting from the lists of travel topics in Travel topics>Scuba diving>Scuba diving in West Australia etc for the first case, and a transcluded list of travel topics in West Australia, also transcluded to the Travel Topics page as a section, would give me the information for the second case. Are there other cases that are likely to be common? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:35, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Possible solutions.

  1. Breadcrumbs (and associated categories) by topic and secondary trail by region (topics in)
    1. Remove long lists of related pages on left side of country pages and replace with single link to Topics in .. page. (think about how long the list is for United States of America)
    2. Replace current Travel topic index page with something like Travel topics/sandbox. (Highlights some, rest of in drop down section).
  2. Move list to region pages' section
    1. Create section in country and other region pages call Travel topics that lists the topics for that region.
    2. Remove duplication in Travel topics
  3. Move list to region pages' related pages
    1. Add full list of travel topics as {{related}} pages.
    2. Remove duplication in Travel topics
  4. Make topics in a template
    1. Only have one list to maintain
    2. add to region pages and Travel topics page.
  5. Add a normally collapsed "Related topics" box at the bottom of an article which contains links to topics in that region. (this may be the same as the previous option, but it is not clear as no details are given there)
    1. This could contain a transcluded list for topics related to that region, which could also be transcluded into the main Travel Topics article, reducing maintenance work.
    2. The main Travel Topics article could be structured like a WP portal.
    3. The existing geographical hierarchy is used
    4. The controversial "Topics in" articles could become the transcludable lists by renaming them as sub-articles and possibly adjusting the format —The preceding comment (item 5) was added by Pbsouthwood (talkcontribs)
  1. Use category tree in articles
    1. Article used the IsTopicOf to define subject and region.
    2. region page and Travel topic index page use category tree display. eg (press the + sign)

Among other ways, the site can be considered as a database, a way of storing, indexing and interconnecting information. A really basic principle in database design is to avoid storing the same information twice. Use it as many times as necessary, but keep only one copy. Ignoring this leads to problems, in particular to more maintenance work since updates need to be done in several places and to inconsistencies when some updates are muffed. Problems are inevitable if the data is long-lived and manually updated.
We already have some such problems, where an article is tagged 'vfd' or 'itinerary' or 'travel topic' but not mentioned on the index page, or there are region articles with breadcrumbs that point to Elbonia but that are not linked from the Elbonia article, or vice versa for any of those. These are manageable, but if we could automate things to make them impossible, that would be good.
As I see it, all of the following ways of duplicating information are simply mistakes. We should fix them.
Duplicating existing lists of topics in a region, either within the region article or, even worse, in a separate index. Just link instead.
It might also be possible to create a list for each country, transclude it into the country article, then build the overall topics index by transcluding all those lists, but that looks like too much work. Also, there are countries with no topic articles and not all topics are country-specific.
Duplicating part of the geographic hierarchy with a parallel "Topics in ..." hierarchy. Just delete all such articles and categories.
Duplicating any part of our structure with a system of categories, unless those categories can be automatically maintained.
The last one can be ignored in this discussion; I only mention it for completeness.
To actually make a positive proposal, I have been adding lines like this to the 'Other destinations' section of country articles for some time.
China had over 40 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as of 2012.
Recently I added this in South_America#Other_destinations
See also the sections on South America in the UNESCO World Heritage List and our list of travel topic articles.
I'd say we should expand that to include itineraries and suggest in the style manual that such a line be added in all continent and country articles. Then get rid of the 'Itineraries' heading in some templates. Pashley (talk) 11:30, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I've just been reading this thread with interest, as I have no fully-formed opinion on the question at hand. Your post seems quite helpful in clarifying options, though. Just one small point: I would suggest not using "our," if you are. Instead, use "Wikivoyage's." It's longer, but it avoids the pitfall of using a first-person pronoun - unless we decide that's no longer an important prohibition (in which case, the pronoun policy page needs to be edited). Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:54, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would think that is a perfectly valid use of "our" when it refers to Wikivoyagers, per the explicit exception of "when speaking of wikiyogers as a whole" on the first-person pronoun policy page. Texugo (talk) 12:00, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Agree the current duplication of lists is not a very satisfactory method. We need a method that allows discovery of articles by various routes but with minimum maintenance. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:06, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Pashley's analysis in principle, and with Traveler100's comment above. How can we do this? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:29, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The category tree method looks promising, but it appears to have duplications and gaps. Is that due to poor categorization? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:38, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Gaps it should not have, but unless we are going to go with the strict hierarchy we are trying to avoid, certain topics should be under more than one category, I would think. I floated the categories to the right above, just to see how it looks, since that way it can be opened without pushing the rest of the article down with a big blank space beside it. Texugo (talk) 13:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
When you open the top level, there are four categories which are also trees (+), which are repeated lower down with no sub-categories. Surely this is unneccessary duplication? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have checked and the problem is with the "Topics in" articles, deleting them would get rid of the problem. They are redundant with this system (good!) • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:28, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Are you saying delete the articles but keep the categories? I still want to delete both.
As far as possible, categories should be kept independent. It is a design mistake to create, for example, a category for Topics_in_Australia when it is easier to just tag those articles as 'travel topic' and 'Australia'. If there are n country tags and m article type tags, you need only n+m of the normal tags but n*m of the combination categories.
I was overruled in this sort of argument over tags like 'cityoutline' or 'regionguide' versus just independent tags for article type and status, and I am not currently prepared to go back and attempt to fix that, but I will resist making the same mistake again here. Pashley (talk) 14:29, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The problem with that argument, and the reason it was overruled in the other case too, is that while it sounds well and good, mediawiki has no way to combine categories, no way to search for articles with two given categories, so the whole functionality of being able to see a list of "travel topics in australia" (or city outlines) would be completely unavailable. Texugo (talk) 14:40, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Some comments from the vfd discussion for Topics in South America that seem worth repeating here:

(start quote)

  • Keep for now. These topics were created after discussion at Talk:Travel_topics#Change_to_tagging_travel_topics., so let's revisit that discussion and work out a better organizational structure for travel topics (if needed) rather than deleting portions of the hierarchy created from that discussion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:02, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, that discussion did not reach consensus which I think is necessary before major changes to how the site is organised.
Also, these articles are not "portions of the hierarchy created from that discussion"; it does not discuss creation of articles like this and, if you look at a low-level article such as Golf in Argentina, the breadcrumb trail does not use these articles; it is
Travel topics > Travel activities > Sport > Golf > Golf in Argentina
That is, creating or deleting these articles does not affect the breadcrumbs discussed on the page you link. Pashley (talk) 19:15, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
By the way, search shows there are many more "Topics in ..." articles. I'd say delete them all, but am not adding vfd tags until this discussion is resolved. Pashley (talk) 19:24, 25 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

(end quote)

As I see it, the breadcrumbs and the tags that create them are worth discussion. These are not; all of these articles and all the associated categories should just be deleted. Then we can get on with useful discussion. Pashley (talk) 17:00, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Just to clarify my comment above, if people want to get rid of the "Topics in ..." articles I don't object, but I have concerns about deleting them without replacing the functionality and also about using the VFD page as a way to simply hack out portions of a working hierarchy while also leaving portions of that hierarchy in place (such as just the South America "Topics in" pages while leaving all other continents) - if someone was using the VFD page to break up a geographic region we would tell them to use the appropriate talk page, and this discussion is very analogous.
Of all the solutions proposed above to address the current issue, either the category tree and/or the "See also" in the relevant "other destinations" sections make the most sense to me, but I admit to not fully understanding the other proposals. Regarding the "see also" solution, where will the "See also" link point to if the relevant "topics in" page is deleted? Also, what will happen to the existing regional lists on the Travel topics page? I would like to see the Travel topics page kept mostly as-is even if some of the "Topics in" pages are de-linked, but it's not clear to me what others are suggesting. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:46, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I pretty much agree with you, Ryan. Maybe I do not understand some of the suggestions properly, but it seems to me that it is being suggested to keep the breadcrumbs but get rid of the pages and categories, which makes no sense, since the breadcrumb relies on the existence of the pages. Texugo (talk) 17:53, 9 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I was never really satisfied with the "Topic in .." solution (even though I did it) so think it is worth exploring alternatives. The main subject breadcrumbs I however think is worth keeping as it helps keep track of what topics are available. I am tending toward the idea of a subpage of a country with travel topics entries which is then transcluded into a see also section in the article. Need to do some experiments. --Traveler100 (talk) 05:05, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think that "Topics in ..." articles should be phased out as a workable replacement is substituted. The principle of minimum depth of hierarchies should be applied. I am in favour of using breadcrumbs where they are a logically obvious solution, and the category tree option shows promise and should be investigated further, as it is a semi-automated way of creating links in a logical way, as long as each article is correctly categorized in the first place. A logical and parsimonious category structure, with no over-categorizing, is needed here. "Topics in ..." categories may be necessary. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:00, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Why would we need "a subpage ... which is then transcluded"? What is wrong with just, for example Travel_topics#Canada? Pashley (talk) 11:50, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think the idea is to have a subpage which is transcluded into more than one article as a section, which means you only have to update one page. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:46, 10 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Keep roughly the current structure of the Travel topics page and you only have to update one page. Put links like Travel_topics#Asia wherever they are needed. Pashley (talk) 02:07, 16 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We will also need Travel topics#Southeast Asia, Travel topics#Japan and equivalents. At least down to country level. Possibly down to city level in some cases. This would require a complicated layout for the main travel topics page, with linkable headers or anchors for each subsection. Each topic will generally have to be referenced by region and by topic type. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:36, 16 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
After all the work that has been done on the main page and with pagebanner, surly we should be looking for a better layout title page for travel topics, particularly as this area is going to grow. --Traveler100 (talk) 04:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the current layout could get difficult to navigate as the page gets more content and the content has to be located in more places on the page. I think we should consider using something like Wikipedia portals, and Category trees, but I don't have any specific ideas at this stage. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:57, 16 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]


There is no consensus to keep at Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion#Travel topics by country, so in two days most of these "Topics in..." articles will likely be deleted. Since that will significantly affect the current topic organizational structure, can we clarify what exactly should be done when those pages are deleted? I assume all links will be changed to plain text, and any breadcrumbs using these pages would be deleted. Deletion of the corresponding categories (example: Category:Topics in Australia) should be a separate discussion, right? Similarly, Template:PartOfTopic will need to be updated to reflect that regional structures are not allowed. Anything else that will need to be done?

Also, the discussion above seems to show some agreement that we need a better organizational structure for travel topics than just a long list on a "Travel topics" page, but thus far there isn't a proposal that people are agreeing on. Any further thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:03, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

is on my to do list but do have a life outside Wikivoyage. Below a proposal for edit and comments.--Traveler100 (talk) 04:18, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  1. Travel topic page to have two tabs like the German page.
    1. Main tab , something like Travel topics/sandbox
    2. Second tab, a list of all topic similar to existing Travel topics
  2. Topics in ... pages deleted
  3. Topics to keep existing (is maybe slightly re-organized) subject breadcrumbs.
  4. Keep PartOfTopic template as is
    1. second country parameter used to maintain hidden categories (helps keep page index organized)
  5. List of topics by country as sub-page of country or sub-pages of travel topics.
    1. topics in sub-pages transcluded into travel topic index page and country pages (possibly also in continent region page)
    2. Topics in sub-pages build so they are in collapses mode when transluded.
I suggest that whoever takes on the task of deleting the articles should make sure that the deletions do not cause chaos down the line. If in doubt, label the page as pending deletion after necessary fixes. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:57, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Comments on the latest list of proposals:
  • Why two tabs? Also not sure what you mean by tabs.
  • I quite like the Travel topics/sandbox version, but obviously the links to the "Topics in" pages will have to go. Also I think that many users will not immediately understand that they must click on the (+) to expand the list. There should be a labeled button for this if possible, or at least instructions.
  • Topics in pages deleted. Yes, after the information has been transferred to whatever new system is to be used.
  • Breadcrumbs to be used where logically and intuitively useful.
  • PartOfTopic can stay, no objection, modify if useful to tie in with rest of development.
  • List of topics by country as sub-page: I would like to see an example of how this is to be used. Is it better than using a category tree?
  • Collapsible list when transcluded seems like a good way to keep unobtrusive. (like a WP collapsible navbox?)
  • Would all of these features be used together? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:24, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Some of the "Topics in ..." articles are now gone. Should the rest go too? Wikivoyage_talk:Votes_for_deletion#Other_.22topics_in_....22_articles. Pashley (talk) 22:06, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed solution[edit]

Tabs is like this Adding the content below to country pages

Travel topics in Australia

Question is, in which section and should it be right justified? --Traveler100 (talk) 13:40, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Not right justified; that would be ugly.
It is not just travel topics; we should have similar links for itineraries and UNESCO sites in country articles & ones above them in the hierarchy. Maybe add a section for related articles? I'd prefer it in the text, but the sidebar is also possible.
I still do not see any good reason why this is better than just using a link to Travel topics#Australia, but I have no strong objection to it either. Pashley (talk) 14:03, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
What do you mean by right justified? I know right aligned, right float, and justified, but not right justified. A web search suggests that this is not a standard term.• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:57, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think the point is to have one place to edit, but you can display it wherever you need, and having a collapsible box display in the article means you dont have to leave the article to see what topics are associated, so you don't lose your place. The boxes would be small, so wouldn't take much bandwidth anyway, but are the contents downloaded with the page already or only downloaded when you click on expand?
Both the tabs as used on de: and the general layout of the Travel Topics main page are OK with me. Finer details of formatting, colours and styles don't bother me at this stage.
Is this any advantage over using category trees? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:30, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The category tree has the advantage that you add to the list by editing the new article you arre adding, while the subpage translcusion means updating another page. The advantage of the subpage method is that it will probably be easier understood how to edit my most people. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:08, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
On the other hand, the advantage of the category is that you don't have to edit it, it updates automatically. With a suitable template it should be easy enough. Which would be the least maintenance in the long haul?• • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:45, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Why would right-justified be "ugly"? If you float it to the right, then when you expand it, it just makes room for itself allowing the text to flow around it, instead of pushing all the content down and leaving a big white space. Texugo (talk) 16:11, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Would adding the "travel topics in" list fit well in the Understand section? --Traveler100 (talk) 20:01, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Please feel free to improve the tab format at Travel topics/sandbox and the header Travel topics/tabheader. Does the content need improvement or could we make this the main page and Travel topics the secondary tab page? --Traveler100 (talk) 20:01, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There may be some pushback on the tab UI since it's inconsistent with other pages on the site - if tabs are needed I'd suggest starting a larger discussion about where else on the site they might be useful and what the implementation rules should be, but in this case I don't think we necessarily need them. I'm happy to support any solution people will agree to, but if there is objection to tabs then I'd suggest that something like Travel topics/sandbox with the "expand" links would be sufficient without the second tab, which merely presents the same data in a different format. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:07, 20 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Tabs could be a good way to organize help pages and MoS. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:45, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So are the changes to Australia and New Zealand a solution? Feel free to edit with a better solution (but please not just a negative comment of I do not like). --Traveler100 (talk) 17:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I like the idea, but would suggest the following:
  1. I think category trees make more sense here. If we use sub-pages then separate sub-pages would be needed for each level of the hierarchy ("Topics in North America" > "Topics in the USA" > "Topics in the Midwest" > "Topics in Ohio"), editors would need to know to add the topic to the correct page, and potentially each page in the hierarchy would need an update when a new topic is created. A category tree would require that we just ensure travel topics are categorized properly, and all articles that use any category tree in the hierarchy would update automatically.
  2. The UI could use some cleanup (the table is a bit kludgy), but that's easy to do once there is agreement on using this approach.
  3. We should agree on placement for these sections within articles - a separate "See also" section might solicit contributions that we don't want, so what about just floating it (closed) at the top of the "Understand" section?
  4. I like the inclusion in the Travel topics page - that should help keep that page organized.
Overall I like where this is going, and hopefully we can come to some agreement on implementing it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:00, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I also think category trees make much more sense here. Texugo (talk) 18:21, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Am I correct in assuming that we can package the category tree in a template where the only parameter is the category name, and that the category name can be chosen to patterned on the article name (Category:Topics in Articlename), so as default the template can use the article name to call the category by concatenating "Topic in " with the output of the Travel topics index/Archive 2004-2013 magic word, which makes the whole process of adding the category tree trivial? It would also mean that if we want to change the format at any stage this would only require editing the template. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:23, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If we go with either of the two solutions below then we would definitely create a template so that we can keep the UI and functionality consistent across articles. Your example of defaulting to "Topics in article name" for the category (or the comparable implementation for a sub-page) would be an easy customization so that any article using this functionality could just do something like {{relatedTopics}}. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:29, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The way I see it, using category trees would require us to keep all the travel topics correctly categorized using logical category names based on a simple rule, and the rest would be simple and largely self tending. Since we would probably want to keep our categories tidy anyway, I don't see a down side. Am I missing anything? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:05, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm having a bit of trouble understanding exactly what's being proposed here, but I'm not clear how creating a bunch of nearly-empty categories is any better than creating a bunch of nearly-empty mainspace pages. Also, I'm not clear on whether this proposal is strictly hierarchical or not; if it is, how do you account for articles that can fit into more than one hierarchy? Or articles that don't fit into any hierarchy? LtPowers (talk) 20:50, 21 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This is just my take on it, but nearly empty mainspace pages will be seen more often by users than nearly empty categories. Users will be less likely to look for a category, and if they do, will probably be unsurprised to find some nearly empty. As the display of the category trees is expected to be in the geographical hierarchy, I would expect the relevant categories to follow the same hierarchy. These proposals are mostly about listing related topics in a useful and user-friendly place in mainspace geographical articles. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Have added a second parameter to {{topicsin}} so you can define the depth of the tree. In the pages Australia and New Zealand have added as a test. Is no levels expanded the best thing to do or expand out a level? Any preference to where it should be added on the page?--Traveler100 (talk) 15:49, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I was thinking that the expanded trees would go on the 'Travel topics' main article, and collapsed trees into the 'See also' sections of regional and destination articles, though I also think that the sections might be better called 'Related topics' or 'Local topics'. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:29, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think having a whole sentence to explain that you can click on the + is a bit wordy/ugly. If we go with category trees (and I think we should), we might want to go with the more intuitive arrows or something else intuitive instead of the unrefined [+] [x] [-]. See mw:Extension:CategoryTree#Usage. Texugo (talk) 17:44, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Certainly worth considering. Nicer looking than the [+] [x] [-], but are they really more intuitive? More importantly, are they intuitive enough? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 20:08, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think so, and that is why they were changed on WP, and we use similar icons on our recent changes page. I think it is certainly intuitive enough, given that the very worst case scenario is that the user clicks on the title instead and is taken to the category page itself, which I don't think is really a horrible avoid-at-all-costs kind of problem. Texugo (talk) 20:28, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Fair enough. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 21:21, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]



Travel topics in Australia

Right aligned form for placing in articles (opposite):

Click on the + to expand the list of articles on

Topics in Australia

Category tree, collapsed:

Topics in Australia

A more complex category tree, expanded one level:

Topics in North America

Changing the main topics page[edit]

I would like to change the main Travel topics page to the content that is currently at Travel topics/sandbox. Any major objections? If the change is made what method should be used. I can move the current page to say Travel topic full list then copy and past the content of sandbox to the travel topics page; or some admin person could be kind enough to delete the redirect then move the sandbox page so that the history is kept. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:53, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Good work on new Travel topics page. --Saqib (talk) 15:58, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That page looks great. I'd be happy to see it implemented. :) --Nick talk 19:33, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would like to see the display boxes in the sandbox all the same width, and all the images the same width, so they make neater columns. On Chrome some of the boxes are narrower than the column width and the images vary in width and height.
Agree but having difficulty solving that one. It happens when you have a wide screen and the text in the box gets close to a single line. The box is set to be 95% the width of the outerpage boundary but appears to have a limit. If anyone has an idea how to solve this please have a go.--Traveler100 (talk) 20:38, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Actually the easiest way to fix the box width issue is to add more text in the display boxes for a subject. So please every one, plunge forward and improve the text content of the page. --Traveler100 (talk) 04:56, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
For the height and width of any given pair of topic boxes to display the same for arbitrary screen width I think the length of the content is going to have to be the same for the two adjoining boxes.
  • Can this be done by introducing padding to force the text to the same length?
  • Can this be done by a parameter in the template? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:26, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Need Extension:StringFunctions added to the site. (I cannot do that). --Traveler100 (talk) 08:49, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It can be done by brute force, but it is inelegant. It does look much better though, and I have cropped a few of the images to standard 3:2 aspect ratio, which also looks much neater. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:42, 23 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
All images but one are now 3:2, and line up nicely in the columns. The remaining image for Safety is subject of a dispute. User:Fry1989 from commons claims that the revised image is identical with the old one and has nominated it for deletion on Commons. Fry1989 has been requested to show how the original image can be made to display as required, but has not yet responded.
The size of the topic boxes has been forced by an inelegant kludge which puts the "more" link in odd places. This needs work. I am not sure of the most efficient method, but if all else fails, an additional text field after the link which can be filled with invisible text could work.
A slightly more elegant solution has been added to the template. This uses an extra parameter for the padding. and the 'more' link reverts to the correct place
Your various opinions on the appearance of the proposed replacement page are invited. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:39, 25 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Nice job, looking better. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:29, 25 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I also would prefer the main border to have the same style as the section boxes, and if the tab style could be harmonized that would be the cherry on top.
The collapsed category trees make the page look very neat, but it may be helpful to include a brief explanation of how to expand them. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:50, 22 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Are people fine with going ahead now with the page swap? --Traveler100 (talk) 06:38, 26 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

OK with me. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:04, 26 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Problems with current setup[edit]

The new version does look a whole lot better and obviously a lot of work has gone into it (bravo!) but there are problems.

For one thing, most travel topics now have breadcrumbs. As I say above at #Follow_up, I do not think consensus was ever achieved for that change and in my not-so-humble opinion they should all be removed. Discussion on that probably belongs at the link above.

Then we currently have two pages Travel topics and Travel topics index. Shouldn't there be only one? Presumably at Travel topics, parallel to Itineraries and Phrasebooks.

The current article format strikes me as hard to edit, full of complex formatting. This is somewhat contrary to the general wiki idea which eliminates even HTML header tags and replaces them with == and the like. Is there a way to get some of the visual benefits without the complexity? To make it easier to edit?

(I'm a conservative and curmudgeon on such issues. For example, to me any use of font tags in HTML (except in CSS style definitions) is wrong. I once upset folk on a tech writer mailing list by arguing that allowing users to insert hard page breaks in a word processor indicated a design error; the system should be smart enough to do it right with only structure tags.)

As I said earlier, I added a link at South_America#Other_destinations to Travel topics#South America. I suggest such links should be in most country and continent articles. However, they don't work as links to the current article format, so someone removed my link. They replaced it with an "Understand" section that looks like this:

Topics in South America

Apart from the fact that this is not an understand section (easily fixed), this strikes me as remarkably ugly. I want the original simple link in text back. Pashley (talk) 03:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

A link to Travel_topics_index#South_America still leads to a page section, but not to a list. As I see it, anything that makes a reader deal with categories is quite clearly broken. Readers should see text, graphics and links. Tables and lists are fine, but readers should not have to deal with the category structure. Pashley (talk) 03:40, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The advantage to using categories is that they are automatically organised, A manually edited list of links requires every link to be manually added, deleted, changed or otherwise corrected, every time a relevant change is made. this is a lot of work, and most of the lists will almost always be out of date. With the category system, as long as the article is in the correct category/ies, it will automatically update. To me this is a huge benefit.
I understand your objection to exposing the reader to links which connect to categories, and we should look into the possibility of suppressing the links to the categories and only keeping the text as a non-link, so that you can only click through to the actual topic articles. It might be possible to code this in the template, but it needs a person with better understanding of the code than me. The effect I am looking for is for all the italic links in the category tree to be enabled, and the others to be disabled and displayed in black. In your example:
You would then not be able to click directly to Category:Topics in South America, only to Salsa dancing in Latin America
You would be able to open the subtree for Category:Topics in Argentina, using the triangle, but not click through to it, only to Golf in Argentina
This style of category tree would also be suitable for use in the Travel topics page, at the bottom left of each box.
Unfinished may be a better term then broken in this case. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:49, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Some pages are not intended for frequent editing by general users, like the Main page. The Travel topics page is one of these. These pages should be optimized for reading, even if it makes the editing require a bit more skill. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:58, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Good points, Peter.
I am definitely not objecting to the use of categories in organising the site; that is clearly a fine idea. Some good work, which I admire & appreciate, has been done there. As you say, the main advantage is that a category tree can be kept updated automatically.
My objection is to the current user interface, exposing the reader to the category tree structure in more-or-less raw form. Pashley (talk) 13:05, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have asked about the possibility of disabling the links to categories at mediawiki, as there was nothing obvious to show how it could be done. Is there anything other than the direct links to categories that you dislike about the tree system? I got the impression that regular HTML formatting could be applied to adjust the appearance, but to me it looks OK as it is. Maybe if we get rid of the category links, it would be worth normalising the font of the page links? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 14:41, 10 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Some time ago I added this text to China#Other_destinations:
China had over 40 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as of 2012.
Several things about that are reasonably simple: the editing involved in creating it, the appearance in the text of the China page, and the results presented to a user who clicks on it. As I see it, we really need something similarly simple for Travel Topics and for Itineraries.
Currently Itineraries#China works but neither Travel topics#China (which used to work) nor Travel topics index#China does. I am not wedded to that format; anything that has all three types of simplicity is fine by me, but I feel very strongly that breaking those links without creating a simple replacement was an error.
Once we have a solution, the collaboration of the month (or perhaps a bot) could add all three links to all country and continent articles. This would provide a useful improvement to the navigation. Pashley (talk) 14:55, 11 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Bump! In my view, the current setup definitely looks much better than the old one but if we look at it as a method of linking, it is rather obviously and quite seriously broken. Since linking is a basic & essential navigational tool, I think that means either these changes should be reverted (shame to waste all that work) or the page urgently needs fixing (not sure how). Pashley (talk) 20:19, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
One solution would be to use proper linkable headings, e.g. ==South America== ===Brazil=== in the main Travel Topics article and have it link to a subpage "Travel topics/By subtopic" for the newer and differently organised list. Pashley (talk) 20:28, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • Re-bump. As I see it, this is badly broken and fairly important, but I'm reluctant to try fixing it myself because I do not have the time and cannot see a way to repair it without undoing some basically good work by others. Does anyone have a better solution? If not, I'll go ahead with fixes when I have time, likely a few weeks hence. Pashley (talk) 14:59, 18 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Made some changes to give you indexable sub-titles. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:26, 18 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. That does work. However, having to link to "Travel_topics_index#Topics_in_China" instead of just "Travel_topics#China" is annoying; could we lose either of the apparently unnecessary substrings without breaking anything? Pashley (talk) 20:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Destination-specific travel topics[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I've noticed there are a lot of articles considered "Travel Topics" that are in fact just an expansion on a given destination article, or are in fact a destination-article in themselves. The (star-topic) Chicago skyline guide is, in a way, just a huge expansion of multiple See listings; while Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay (also a star) can be considered a "specialized" destination article, dealing with a specific destination but only listing one kind of activity to be done there. In my opinion, it'll be much for the benefit of our users if the Chicago article was PartOf Chicago and the diving article a PartOf South Africa. Therefore, I would like to suggest creating a new type of article – "Specialized Destination Articles", which are hierarchically destination articles, but their content only deals with one kind of activity or attraction for a given destination. For convenience, these articles can only relate to destinations smaller than countries (e.g. the two aforementioned articles, but Driving in Australia would still be a travel topic, since it's very general). Additional examples for such specialized articles may include Cycling in Copenhagen, Literary London as well as moving Judaean Desert#Hiking trails (written by me) to a new article. What do you think? Tamuz (talk) 22:30, 29 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Interesting suggestion, I'm intrigued to see how this discussion will play itself out, but right off the bat this is something I'd probably not oppose outright. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:04, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Sounds like a good idea to me. Nicolas1981 (talk) 00:10, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In general we've always requested that such destination-specific information start out in the parent article (London, Copenhagen, etc) and only be moved to a separate article once it gets too extensive for the main article. Otherwise one of two things tend to happen: we get a lot of incomplete topic articles that then need to be merged back into the main article, or we get detailed topic articles without a good summary of that information in the main article. That said, splitting out detailed information into its own article is a fairly common practice, just err on the side of caution - don't split until warranted, and try to make the topic article as broad as possible (ie Cycling in Denmark would be preferable to Cycling in Copenhagen, if such a broad topic makes sense). -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:28, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
@Tamuz, I don't see how this would significantly differ from the status quo except by changing the hierarchy. Could you explain for example, why Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay should be PartOf the Western Cape rather than PartOfTopic Diving in South Africa? Also how you propose the local topics be linked from the destinations they are PartOf, and where applicable other nearby destinations they are not directly PartOf, like all the destinations in the Cape Peninsula and the coast and nearby hinterland of False Bay such as Hout Bay, Camps Bay, Simon's Town, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Rooi-els etc, but are relevant to travelers visiting that destination? Also, how do you propose the connection between Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay and other diving articles such as Diving in South Africa and Scuba Diving should be handled? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:05, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
@Ryan I agree completely. Even if my suggestion does get consensus, that doesn't mean people should start creating Hiking around Moscow, not until Moscow#Do starts overflowing with hiking trails.
@Peter The main differences from the current state are (a) that these articles will not be listed under Travel topics (but naturally there should still be a link from the travel topic Diving in South Africa to the Specialized-Destination article Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay); and (b) users will have an easier time navigating back from that diving article to its parents Western Cape <- South Africa, which I think should be more convenient, since most people probably wouldn't go from, say, America to South Africa just for a few-day diving safari - they'd probably want to visit other attractions while they're there. Also, in general, I think it'd be more intuitive if travel topics deal mainly with general guidelines and suggestions, while destination articles focus on technical details such as locations, prices, etc... . In my opinion, that diving article currently feels de facto much more like a destination article than a travel topic. Tamuz (talk) 14:19, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Dive guides are already considered to be their own distinct article type, with their own template and proposed status criteria. Texugo (talk) 15:04, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
But hierarchically they're still a PartOf a travel topic, while in fact they're a destination, which is IMO both confusing and somewhat less convenient for navigation. And, of course, that's just the dive sites at this point, while I'd really like to get Judaean Desert#Hiking trails into its own Hiking in the Judaean Desert article, which I really think should be a PartOf Judaean Desert and not of Hiking and backpacking in Israel. Note that the hiking-in-Israel article is definitely a travel topic since it just lists general guidelines, while Judaean Desert#Hiking trails gives you only destination-specific technical information (path description, arrival info, etc...). Tamuz (talk) 17:44, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) Hmm, that's news to me. Maybe we should generalize that to incorporate other types of articles as Tamuz is suggesting. LtPowers (talk) 17:45, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed. Come to think of it, Texugo's message does in fact seem to confirm there's a need for a destination-activity-specific article template; and why should diving be any different from hiking, or skiing, or cycling? Tamuz (talk) 17:50, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This discussion needs to be combined with the one here, as one will affect the other. Texugo (talk) 19:15, 30 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would like to know at what level the articles are to be integrated into the geographical hierarchy, as to the best of my understanding, it does not allow a destination to be PartOf more than one higher level region, and I expect that a large number of these destination/topics will overlap more than one conventional destination. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay is just the one I am most familiar with, and it is most definitely part of several destinations (maybe 10 or more) at more than one level (at least three) in the geographical hierarchy. I don't object to the concept, but also don't see how it can be integrated with the current hierarchy, breadcrumb system and general policy on articles. I predict unforeseen consequences may complicate this issue, we need a fairly precise and detailed analysis of how it can be done and whether the current software will support the proposed changes. A graph or two may clarify the proposal. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:48, 31 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Texugo, I guess the discussion you linked to does propose several options that solve the problem I noted, though in a different way than I proposed. These collapsible lists of Topics-In look like a very good idea. I did see that that discussion has been inactive for the past week. Has it just been abandoned? If so, I'll send a message there and try to revive it.
Additionally, there could be an advantage in viewing these topics-in articles as destination articles, at least in terms of their article-templates. The Dive-Site template looks pretty much like a destination template, and it would be good if articles such as Hiking-in, Cycling-in, etc... would also have a template like this, not as some vague convention but as an actual policy. Tamuz (talk) 22:06, 1 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]