Wikivoyage talk:What is an article?/Archive 2014-2015

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Universities and colleges[edit]

Swept from the pub:

I have an idea: individual articles for universities and colleges. In the U.S., high school students visit their prospective universities to take tours and meet faculty so they can decide where to apply and learn what the campus is like. Also, faculty travel around giving talks at various universities or attending conferences.

It seems like it would be helpful to have pages for each university/college summarizing how to get there, how to get around campus, what's in the area, and maybe have some useful links like a campus map.

Any thoughts? --(WT-en) BigPeteB 18:44, 3 April 2011 (EDT)

Don't the university web sites already cover that? (WT-en) Pashley 18:57, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
I don't know if Wikivoyage really has much more to offer than the university websites. I think universities should be on our maps, because they are good landmarks, but if the school's website is not enough, then they should probably schedule a campus visit. Campuses with legitimate attractions are listed under those attractions in articles, but what sort of help could we offer prospective students beyond university websites? (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 19:36, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
Yeah, I agree with Pashley and ChubbyWimbus. Plus, we really don't even list universities and colleges in our articles unless they are of historical value in their own right or offer short term classes that a tourist might take, and it is well established that we are not here to help students choose a potential school. Why would we then turn around and make thousands of articles for them? (WT-en) texugo 21:03, 3 April 2011 (EDT)
In total support of not having Universities listed. One of my pet peeves is long lists of schools in articles. Utterly useless to almost all travellers. - (WT-en) Cardboardbird 22:19, 8 April 2011 (EDT)
A Studying abroad article has been suggested before Talk:Pakistani_students_coming_to_Finland. Certainly many students travel to study, either within their country or internationally. The international exchange is by no means all in one direction,"Third World" students going to Western countries, either. I'm at a Chinese university that has dozens of Africans, a fair number of French students and at least some Iranians, Americans and I'm not sure who else. Others have hordes of Indonesians, East Europeans, Americans, ...
I do think we need something on travel for study, but it is not clear what. (WT-en) Pashley 01:22, 9 April 2011 (EDT)
The Indian articles in particular seem to act as a magnet for academic institution listings and are often problematic. They sometimes start getting promotional then requiring management. Frankly unless they are of historical or similar interest such as possessing stand out museums, libraries of national or international significance, have significant architectural characteristics or are a significant in some in some other iconic way then they I think they should just be removed. I suggest that Cambridge University probably rates a mention, however the Wagga Wagga TAFE probably does not. I suggest that as we do not necessarily know of the individual 'iconic' status of any particular listing that all listings should be moved across to the articles discussion page and only come back into the article if the reason for listing is abundantly clear. In the case of lesser know institutions the re-listing should then be achieved by a consensus. Bangalore is a good example. That city is clearly notable as a research and learning centre, I do however question the value of listing out the individual but never-the-less notable individual institutions (as per WT is not a phone book or the yellow pages). Unless a visitor is actually going to visit them then the matter should be dealt with in article prose. I would value the opinion of others on this matter. -- (WT-en) felix 07:24, 9 May 2011 (EDT)

New discussion[edit]

The issue has come up at Talk:Shanghai#Universities. Also, User:Texugo just deleted a university listing in the Guilin article with the edit summary "How is this useful for the tourist?". I agree with the Guilin deletion, but uni listings are a general problem for the China articles and likely others. I am not sure what policy should be.
For China or any other non-English-speaking country there is an argument that we should list unis that employ foreign teachers; that would be useful information for some travellers. I think that in most cases is a fairly weak argument; it would be nearly impossible for such a list to be either complete or maintainable. However, listing a few that employ many foreigners or are particularly good places to work strikes me as reasonable. Pashley (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Regarding the one I deleted, it was the "Guilin University of Electronic Technology". If it offers short-term classes of interest to passers-thru, feel free to reinsert it (and describe the classes). I just didn't think it very likely and current practice has us remove any Learn listing that doesn't offer something a traveller can do without taking up long-term residence. With regard to listing schools "that employ many foreigners", that would seem to belong more in the Work section, but even there I wouldn't really support listing any school which a) requires any specific experience/qualifications beyond just being a typical native English speaker, or b) doesn't do short term (<=3month) contracts. Otherwise we could fill every Asia article with loads and loads of English schools. Texugo (talk) 19:51, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Basically, I agree with all you say, but I think there are some exceptions and quite a few borderline cases. For example, we give links to specialist foreign language universities at China#Language_Teaching and I feel strongly that those should stay. Others are more debatable; for example the list of unis at Zhuhai#Learn might be deleted or shortened but the first two are landmarks, Zhongshan is one of China's top schools, and all employ many foreign teachers. I'd keep the whole list and not add to it, but there is certainly room for discussion. Pashley (talk) 20:23, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Do we have an example of an article with a great "Learn" section in it? I looked at Chicago#Learn and it's basically a list of schools, which this discussion seems to indicate isn't what we want. It seems from this discussion that good "Learn" listings are basically "Do" listings (take a cooking class, attend a language school), and that this section tends to be mis-used to list every school in the city. Maybe if we could better define what this section should look like we can figure out the rules of what to include or not include, or even if we need a separate section at all? -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:32, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) Well if they are landmarks, i.e. interesting to see, they go in See. Just being a "top school" alone doesn't mean there is anything useful or even anything possible for a traveller to see/experience/learn there. And if there isn't, we don't need an actual listing for it at all - I don't think anything at Zhuhai#Learn should stay according to current practice; there's nothing for a tourist to gain from those listings. As for work opportunities, I think they way it is handled in the China article is fine - it handles it in a general way, with some specific examples but not with detailed listings. I don't think we should start putting any specific listings in city articles though, unless they clear the two criteria I mentioned above, i.e. that they are open to pretty much anyone, and that they specifically have short-term opportunities. Texugo (talk) 20:42, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Ryan, as far as I'm concerned it could be changed to a subsection of Do, but there are already so many subsections of Do (Itineraries, Sports, Event, etc.), and also depending on how you stretch it just about everything could be a subsection of do (eating or buying or sleeping is just as much doing something as learning is). Texugo (talk) 20:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I would consider Bangkok/Khao_San_Road#Learn to be approximately what we are looking for. Texugo (talk) 20:49, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It seems to be more the exception than the rule... most university campuses will have things to "see" or "do" (such as museums or theatre) but the actual course of study on offer will be multi-year and therefore outside our scope. Very few articles have a "learn" section which actually complies with the idea that this is for the traveller, not for long term students-in-residence. K7L (talk) 02:00, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Hold on, are we talking about listings or articles here? I don't think there's any question that universities don't get their own articles, is there? Powers (talk) 14:34, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I'd think we'd be talking about article sections or subsections here, not entire articles. == Learn == as a second-level header vs. listing the campus as something to == See == or == Do == as a === third-level subsection===. (Ignoring nonsense like Canton (New York) for the moment as, once you remove the universities, there's really no reason to go there.) K7L (talk) 14:51, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
There are also lots of places where we mention a uni as a landmark or center of a cheap food & bars area, e.g. Xiamen#Around_the_university. Also some where we link to unis, e.g. China#Language_Teaching. I think those should clearly stay, but in general unis should not get listings, let alone articles.
There are also places where we mention them under See, such as Shanghai/Minhang#Universities (which I wrote). I am much less certain about those, but I think they are at least marginally worthwhile. Pashley (talk) 15:19, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, K7L, but that's why I was confused, as this policy page doesn't seem pertinent. Powers (talk) 23:34, 3 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Ghost towns[edit]

Can one sleep in Glenrio? It's a ghost town and NRHP-listed historic district... but there's really nothing else nearby as "where to stick it". There are many of these towns which died almost overnight after Route 66 was bypassed. K7L (talk) 22:25, 20 October 2012 (CEST)


Discussion at Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion#Marriage_in_China raises questions about the scope of the project that seem much more general than just that article. They seem worth further discussion, and this is likely the appropriate place. Pashley (talk) 16:36, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

(now at Wikivoyage:Votes_for_deletion/March_2013#Marriage_in_China)

Among the strongest statements there:

  • Inas: I don't think Retiring abroad is a valid travel topic. It isn't about travel. We need to look to our goals here, not refer to these kind of non-mainstream articles to try and set precedents with them.
  • Me: As I see it, a very important aspect of the site is that it is for travellers, not just for tourists. Articles like Teaching English, Working abroad, Retiring abroad and War zone safety, all of which I have contributed to, are much more important and interesting to me than, say, Disneyland.

Personally, I'd say travel for any reason is quite obviously in scope — tourism, business travel, pilgrimages like Hajj, recreational travel for diving etc., working abroad, retiring abroad, studying abroad, ... — and so are travel topics that affect only a minority of travellers — Gay and lesbian travel, Travelling with children, etc.

The only topics automatically excluded should be violations of Wikivoyage:Illegal activities policy or Wikivoyage:Sex_tourism_policy; personally, I'd scrap most of the latter, but that's a different discussion (Wikivoyage_talk:Sex_tourism_policy#Redux). Other topics might be excluded or merged somewhere on a case-by-case basis for being too fine-grained like Pakistani students coming to Finland. Pashley (talk) 17:06, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I suppose that raises the question of immigrant intent... at what point does this cease to be about visiting some place and become a discussion of life there as a resident or eventually a citizen? K7L (talk) 17:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My answer would be that immigration is obviously travel and obviously in scope. If someone wanted to write an article on immigration to one of the major immigrant destinations, say Immigrating to Australia, I'd say by all means plunge forward, though there might be questions like whether that should be one article and Immigrating to New Zealand another or both should be handled in one article.
I'd probably oppose something like Immigration for Pakistanis or Immigration to Ecuador on grounds of being too specialised. Pashley (talk) 17:34, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Our target is the traveller. This is a person who is visiting a destination, and is moving on, or home. In our guides we describe how to get there and back, things to see and do, and things a short term visitor may need or may assist them.
Some of that information is going to be of interest to someone who is moving there, sure. They can take advantage of it.
However, someone moving to a destination wants to know about immigrant visas, real estate agents, long term rentals, comparison of schools, areas to live, job sites.
There is no harm in a Retiring abroad article, as it can allow someone doing that to use our guides for the information here. However, one article doesn't set a precedent that we're a site for people moving, not travelling. --Inas (talk) 19:47, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Where we differ is in our definition of "traveller". I do not think that it necessarily implies short term or just things a tourist might see and do. Of course we should cover those, but also things like Guangzhou#The_Canton_Fair for the business visitor, China#Work_visas for the expat worker, Hajj for religious pilgrims, and so on. Pashley (talk) 20:30, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'd include the business traveller and pilgrims for sure, so we agree there. People travel for different reasons, and I don't want to only focus on one reason for travel.
However, if someone decides to pick up from Beijing and move to Shanghai, then they are moving or relocating. Sure, some of what they have to do involves travel, and they can reference our travel guides for that kind of information. We're not going to cover the issues exclusively related to their moving though. I don't mind the retiring abroad article, because it shows how you can use our travel guides for the travel part, and where you should look for the rest. I'd think if we start doing "Retiring in XX". "Immigrating to XX", or adding these sections to our destination guides, then we've gone beyond our scope. --Inas (talk) 22:12, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We cover travel within one's own city/region too--it's not just a question of crossing borders. If we're defining travel in the way that we mean it (i.e., not just movement), I'd call it one's physical exploration of the world. We limit the information in our destination guides (by section) mainly because they need to be digestible/printable. I don't see a need to limit our travel topics in terms of scope. If something is arguably in scope, I'd say we should opt for inclusion. --Peter Talk 23:04, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think traveling for any purpose, including immigration, is in scope, as long as we cover it mainly from a travel angle and don't offer legal advice and such. I'm concerned that if we limit the scope of this site too much, we would be limiting people's creativity and impoverishing the site somewhat. I learned something from turning off the guy who wrote Diamond rings in Antwerp some time ago, and the discussion that took place about that topic. I was afraid it was not really a travel topic but a topic about buying something. But why be so cramped as to turn off a productive new editor, as I did? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:31, 4 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Because we have to draw a line somewhere? We can't go accepting any old article someone wants to write just because we're afraid of scaring them off. LtPowers (talk) 00:18, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly. Having a scope will mean some topics will/must be excluded. The idea that anyone who can move is a traveler just doesn't cut it for me and I don't think it will for the average Wikivoyager either. We are EXCLUSIVELY a travel site, and I don't know why we can't just admit that without feeling bad/scared. We shouldn't be so wishy-washy. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 04:11, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
All of us agree that some articles are beyond the scope of a travel guide; that's not the question. For example, we routinely delete articles about a particular hotel, tour agency, or real estate agency, and we rarely allow articles about single attractions to remain up. We also delete encyclopedic articles about non-destinations, such as I did when I recently deleted an article about Abraham Lincoln.
The fundamental question, really, is "What is travel?" So when some of you are saying travel means you have to start from one place, go to another place, and eventually return to the place you started out from, what maximum time period are you proposing between the departure and return? Once we resolve this question, we can go on to consider what the limits of a travel topic can be. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:16, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think agree with Peter, and I certainly find myself strongly agreeing with ChubbyWimbus again. A traveller implies you are moving on. If you come to visit me in Sydney, and you tell me you are a traveller, than means at some stage you plan to proceed to another place. Maybe it is back to the other side of the world, and maybe it is just down the road. We can discuss whether than means you are staying for a week, six months, or on a two year working holiday, but fundamentally, at some stage you plan to move on, move home, move somewhere else. If we agree on that, it means that we aren't talking about immigration, and we aren't talking about real estate. --Inas (talk) 05:52, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If we do agree on that, then don't we have to delete Retiring abroad? By the way, I'm not at all sure I agree on that, but I do think it's the first question we should try to reach consensus on, so I'm happy to listen to whether everyone agrees with you, and if so, what they consider a maximum amount of time a person can stay (or at least be based) in one place (such as for work) and still be a traveler. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:50, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Well, personally I think Retiring abroad is okay as an entry page for a relocating retirees into our travel information (some of that may be relevant to them too!). My only issue with it comes if WVers quote it as a precedent that we cover the field, and start adding sections or articles for each destination. I hope we're strong enough to accept the one article without sliding down that slope. I don't think we need to state a time for how long you need to stay at a destination before becoming a resident rather than a traveller. Most of the time it isn't necessary. However, we should cover visitor visas not immigrant visas in our get in section. We should cover hotels and short term rentals, not leasing or buying property. We should cover local special purchases, and not the local discount furniture warehouse. It is an approach that keeps us focussed. --Inas (talk) 07:37, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Inas. Some of the information, for example hospitals are fine to list in articles because emergencies can happen while traveling, but if it goes beyond that and we have Taking your kids to the doctor in Argentina or Going to the Doctor in Burundi, I think we've gone beyond our scope.
That's why I don't think the Marriage in China article is within our scope however an article about Having Your Wedding Abroad is, because travelers definitely do have weddings in countries where neither the bride nor groom is a citizen and it is often a dual wedding-honeymoon adventure.
It may be important to add, that although we're establishing boundaries, the old rule still applies that if someone can justify their article and why it is useful for a traveler, then we may still permit the article. I don't think anyone is proposing that by established this scope that we no longer allow discussions/exceptions when deemed appropriate. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 08:56, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thats the problem - some find the need for clear hard boundaries and defining rules for scope, while others feel a lot more comfortable with grey area boundaries that have room to move and negotiate. Everything that I have encountered here on wikivoyage to date, specially where I have simply read and not added any content to state an opinion, suggests the latter.

There is something interesting with Inas and Chubby Wimbus's comments - which made me think of the self perception of many expats in foreign locations, is that they tend to think of themselves as travellers, and the example titles they offer as not being wikivoyage material are in fact prime expat subjects. I think to exclude anything to do with those subjects limits the scope of wikivoyage, unless there is a clear indicator somewhere in the introduction, or policy outline that makes the disctinction between the traveller and expat. There has been an extended range of materials published in the last 30 years relative to living in countires which is a an excellent resource for travellers as well. Having taken my children to doctors in Singapore and Indonesia a number of times when I was a traveller, and also as an expat, I consider information about such a subject in scope, whereever it might end up in - cope or elsewhere. However the subject of separating the expat and travellers needs I dont think is a useful way of finding some boundaries for scope. I suspect some leeway might be needed. I am interested in others opinions on this as well, and remain open to other ideas. That Marriage in China led to this particular thread is useful, there is a whole range of potential articles that need to be either identified as particular sorts of articles to exclude or include. I suspect a well defined separation between what the difference between expat and traveller might be, could help the project sats (talk) 09:41, 5 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

To play devil's advocate a bit, what if a contributor wrote a really great Going to the Doctor in Burundi article? Humorous, well-written, informative? What would the harm be in keeping it? --Peter Talk 00:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If the writer could justify its usefulness for the average traveler and it was for some reason complex or elaborate enough that it would overwhelm the Burundi article then it might stand as an exception, but I don't think we need articles about this topic for each country. If they can't do that, though, I don't think guilt about the effort put into it should be a factor in the decision to keep an article. Of course I would feel bad, but that's one of the reasons why defining our scope more succintly is important, so that we can avoid having to do that as much as possible. Addmittedly, my strongest feeling would likely be that I wished the user had spent that time working to improve the Burundi guide itself or one of its cities, even if the doctor article was deemed a keeper. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:08, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
A very good answer - and of the narrower scope advocacy, with the better hope that eds would provide more on the larger subject. I think of my experience with my childrens ailments in Kupang and Yogyakarta while in Indonesia at two different times, and I could see Cope as a section I could relate the issues about medical attetion for foreigners with children in there, without inflating the cope section unnecessarily, as long as a larger travelling in Indonesia with children, part of cope in Indonesia, could be a possibility sats (talk) 12:18, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I do not think "its usefulness for the average traveler" is a sensible criterion; travellers vary too much. There are all sorts of things that only female travellers, or only gays, or only people travelling with kids, or only expats staying in the country for months or years, or only people on short holidays, or ... care about. Within reason, we should try to cover as many as we have interested contributors for. There are also things that vary by origin; another African going to Burundi may not need to look at tropical diseases, but I would.
That said, I agree that we don;t want a hundred "Medical care in ..." articles. Pashley (talk) 12:29, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree we dont want a hundred medical care in - which is why i suggested such items can be incorporated in the 'copes' - however remembering the travel medicine peoples panic about the waterfalls area in northern argentina - there are specific locales that give the trop med people the panics - I do think they require identification as they are across the board for anyone venturing there. sats (talk) 13:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The problem with a standard of "usefulness to the average traveler" is that that could exclude articles about places like Antarctica and Mount Everest, which very few of the travelers and potential travelers who read this site will ever go to. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:35, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Some very old discussion Wikivoyage_talk:Votes_for_deletion#Policy_on_destinations_.22not_open_to_tourism.22. Pashley (talk) 15:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think our deletion policy on travel topics that stay at outline status would take care of this, right? And if someone wrote some basic information on "Going to a doctor in Burundi," our current policy would be to eventually merge the content to "stay healthy" and redirect the article. So I think what we're really talking about is a well-written article on a topic that seems a bit tangential to travel. I think we should keep those, as they do little to no harm, and a wider scope befits the wiki format—we can be huge. Our destination guides will always provide a clear focus, but if a more diverse set of travel topics serve as a way to bring in other contributors, adding CC content (which we can reuse in the destination guides), then I think that's a good thing. Put me in the inclusionist camp ;) --Peter Talk 16:04, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We have to have a scope. Travellers collect baseball cards, do we keep a well written article on baseball cards? Travellers whose computers crash may want recovery procedures for their PC. We have to have a line, Where do you think it should be? --Inas (talk) 19:38, 6 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Basically at the point where one can't make a good argument for why a topic is related to travel. I can't think of a good argument for a baseball cards article. --Peter Talk 06:29, 7 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
That, to me, sounds like a rule for exceptions rather than a scope. Surely there are topics that we don't actually need to have debates about. An example similar to the baseball cards: I like to collect Japan's Gotochi cards [1] and you can only purchase them at post offices of the prefecture of the card you want. If I created an article about this listing the significance of each card's image to the prefecture and maps of all the post offices with open/closing times, their policy on giving miniature cards, etc. it relates to travel but I'd say this sort of thing is outside our scope. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 15:21, 12 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
This is a very old discussion, but I would be willing to support such an article if it were entertaining and travel-related. Let's face it: A lot of what's in this guide is read by a lot of people who will never do the things they're reading about. If you can make an interesting travel topic on Gotochi cards, in my opinion, more power to you. Baseball cards are something else; what makes your proposed topic travel-related is that there's only one per prefecture, and you can get them only at each prefecture's post offices. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:10, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

More on scope[edit]

Finally piping in with an opinion on this one, and I come down on the side of Inas and ChubbyWimbus. Obviously things like retiring abroad, working abroad, and marrying abroad are partially travel-related (in scope) and partially about living in a place as a resident (out-of-scope). Retiring abroad and Working abroad are both useful articles which cover the general travel-related side and give some helpful research tips for the rest, without going into excessive detail, as there are no "Retiring in X" or "Working in X" articles. In exactly the same way, I think Marriage in China should be retooled as Marrying abroad, covering the general requirements essentially common to all destinations (certificate of marriageability, document translation, visa types) and giving some general research tips for finding more specific information offsite.Texugo (talk) 11:36, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'll come down, unsurprisingly, on the other side. Inas writes "Our target is the traveller. This is a person who is visiting a destination, and is moving on, or home." I would define "traveller" much more broadly. I think there are at least four types of travel, all obviously in scope:

  • the typical tourist, visiting for a few days or weeks, staying in hotels or B&Bs, seeing the sights, ...
  • the traveller with a purpose, perhaps business or a pilgrimage, generally more concerned with how to get things done than what to see
  • the medium-term traveller, perhaps taking months for Istanbul to New Delhi over land or a whole Gap year or WWOOF; concerns like learning the language or staying healthy in difficult conditions become more important.
  • the long term expatriate or travel-as-a-lifestyle type interested in things like Retiring abroad or Teaching English to support himself or herself in interesting places, or in Cruising on small craft as a long-term thing

As I see it, all these plus various more specialised interests like diving, travel with kids or LGBT travel are definitely in scope, though of course not all readers or all writers are interested in all of them.

It does not matter that, for example, I am almost entirely uninterested in the first two, though I did write much of Hajj (mostly for pilgrims) and Overland Kunming to Hong Kong (mostly for backpacker tourists) and have contributed to various destination guides. Mostly, though, I find the tourist-oriented stuff profoundly boring, but that is at worst a harmless eccentricity. There are lots of other writers who are quite willing to deal with that, so I can concentrate on the last category, where most of my interest lies.

The notion that living as an expatriate — typically spending one or more years in a job abroad or retiring abroad, and of course using that as a base for further travel — is somehow "not travel" or "immigration" or "out of scope" strikes me as both obviously absurd and seriously offensive. Certainly most of that is of little interest for many readers & writers, and that is fine, but please do not even try to tell me that most of the travellers I know are not travellers!

I think a fair number of prolific contributors — at least me, Jani, Ikan and the guy in Japan who contributed a lot to Teaching English — are expatriates, and we should be actively looking for more like that, not trying to exclude expat-oriented topics. Pashley (talk) 14:50, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Oh, and expats do move on. Of the people I knew in China over the last ten years, many are still there, either in the same place or a different city, some have gone home and others are all over the world. A Brit in an Aussie grad school and others in new jobs, Americans in Ethiopia & Vietnam, Aussie in Cambodia, Kiwi in Taiwan, Canadian in Japan, Brits in Egypt & Thailand, Irishwoman in Georgia (country), ... Pashley (talk) 15:33, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Are you then proposing that we should start including anything that could help someone live in places permanently or semi-permanently, such as real estate agents, employment agencies, lawyer services specializing in foreigners, etc.? I am an expat too, having lived 8 years in Japan, having gotten married there and subsequently immigrated to Brazil where I´ve been for a year. I consider myself a traveller, of course, but I don't really categorize the marriage, job hunt, or apartment hunt as "travel experiences" of the type I would turn to a travel guide for help with. Texugo (talk) 15:28, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I am not certain what to propose, just that calling expats "not travellers" is not even close to correct. There is a real problem with scope and I do not have a solution.
To me, things like the mainly-for-expats advice at China#Work or Japan#Work, for example, are clearly in scope; for that matter I'd like to see a general travel topic on Working holiday programs around the world as well as the specific stuff in the Japan article.
How much expat-oriented stuff is appropriate? Which parts belong in specialised articles like Teaching English rather than as clutter in destination guides? Those are hard questions & I see no obvious solutions. Pashley (talk) 15:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
With respect, Pashley, I don't see living as an expatriate as inherently more travel-oriented than simply living. Yes, one has to travel in order to get to one's new residence, but once there, one is no longer really traveling -- not until one begins to move on to the next destination. The needs of expats are inherently different from those of short-term travelers. We have Retiring abroad because it's about the process of getting there, not about simply being an expatriate. I think the scope problem is a common inherent sense that once one puts down roots, one can no longer really be said to be traveling. At that point, one is looking for different information than one would normally find in a travel guide. LtPowers (talk) 17:56, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I do think the expat life is more travel-oriented. For one thing spending, say, five years in Shanghai seems as much travel as flying in for five days. Sure, it is different too, and parts of it may be beyond our scope, but by no means all.
Then there are the stopovers on the (typically employer-provided & annual) trips home. On various China-Ottawa trips spread over a decade, I stopped in Hong Kong, Taipei, Dubai, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Vancouver & Toronto.
Finally, there are the trips from an overseas base. I visited Indonesia and Malaysia while working in Singapore, Egypt when I lived in Saudi Arabia, Thailand & India while in transit between overseas jobs, and quite a few places in China while living in other places there. My expat ten-year-old was thrilled when a school trip took her to a country, Cyprus, that neither mom nor dad had been to. Most of that would have been impossible if I stayed in Canada, and it is all travel. Pashley (talk) 18:45, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Expat living is not necessarily travel-related—you might be moving somewhere because you want to be closer to family, or want to live in a country where wages are higher. But certain expats are expats principally because they want to see the world and travel to places that require a base further from where they grew up. Retiring, teaching, and studying abroad are classic examples of how to do this. I'm trying to move to Central Asia now, and the intent is decidedly to enable myself to travel throughout the region over time.
Also, you can travel while staying more or less in one place. "Be a tourist in your own city" is a common enough concept to have become a cliche, and while I've pretty much finished my hometown, anywhere else I've lived for a serious amount of time, I've spent the whole time traveling around my surroundings: going to all the sorts of places we stick in see, do, buy, eat, drink—and even hotels to take advantage of their facilities...
So what am I getting at? I think it's just that we should be open-minded about different perspectives on travel, and err on the side of inclusion. Ridiculous stuff usually won't have any trouble getting a firm delete response at vfd. --Peter Talk 20:23, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

We have got to draw the line somewhere. Do we really want...

If your answer is yes in all cases, you have a very different definition of travel guide than I do. If your answer is yes in some cases but not others, please explain the logic of where you draw the line. My answer is no, no, no, no, no, no... I can perhaps envision a single article for each topic, with generalities and pointers on how to find that information from more appropriate sources, as has been done with Retiring abroad and Working abroad, but I think that is the extent of overlap with our scope. Texugo (talk) 20:59, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think everyone's answer to that question is no. --Peter Talk 22:07, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I fully agree with LtPowers and Texugo. Even if some people travel to X and settle there as expatriates or immigrants, the most people traveling to X will leave X in a few days or weeks. Most countries have a 90 day limit on staying in the country and if you stay longer you need to get a visa - because they don't consider you to be "just a tourist" if you stay longer than that. Of course the sections "Work" and "Study" can and should include some information and some links when he or she can find more information about that, but most who are looking for travel information will have little or no use of the details of the school system in X, how to invest in X and so on. Sure people who stay in a place for months or years also go and see places, eat and drink local specialties, use local transportation and certainly need to know about the culture and the risks in X. How should I put it: they are travelers too, but they are not "only" travelers. And the part of their daily life that goes beyond the scope of a normal traveler is IMO somehow unnecessary to present in detail here. Travel topics are useful when the topic is the reason why (a lot of people) go to X in the first place - like for example African flora and fauna - AND there are too many specific details to include the content in the country/district/city article of the place. Ypsilon (talk) 22:13, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My general answer to Texugo's question is none of the above, though there might be exceptions in specific cases.
For example, I created the Marriage in China article, if only because an enthusiastic new user had written a bunch of text on the topic; it clearly did not belong in the China article but moving it seemed better to me than just deleting. I also argued, not passionately, against the vfd, more from a general inclusivist attitude — I see little harm in having extra articles around provided someone-or-other will be interested in the topic and the text is either at least minimally coherent or being worked on — than because I cared about that article.
Similarly, I have worked on Driving in China, which covers driving licenses in some detail. That article also seems justified to me; the traffic and the rule system are complex enough (e.g. driving the wrong way down the shoulder of a divided highway is common and International Driver's Permits are not accepted) that there is a fair bit to say & it does not belong in the China article because it is of zero interest to most travellers.
In general, though, I think the rules should be:
  1. Skip such topics entirely if there is nothing particularly unusual or complicated about the country/topic combination. See Wikivoyage:No advice from Captain Obvious.
  2. Deal with most cases within the main country article, driving licenses or bank accounts under "Cope", work permits under "Work" and so on.
  3. Consider a separate article only if all these conditions are met:
The country/topic combination is complicated or unusual enough to require a long explanation.
The combination seems likely to matter to a significant group of users. (not Pakistani students in Finland, for example.)
We already have enough text to be inconvenient in the main article.
At least one user has enough knowledge of and/or enthusiasm for the topic that there seems to be hope of a decent article.
If all of those apply, plunge forward. Pashley (talk) 23:22, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Good points are being made in this discussion, from various points of view. I think Pashley has the right balance, and one crucial though impossible-to-define-with-a-bright-line point is "The combination seems likely to matter to a significant group of users." So therefore, International study in the United States of America could be a justifiable topic (and I think it would); International study in Togo is never likely to be justifiable. We shouldn't be overly leery of making judgment calls. Not everything has to be decided based on whether it's a slippery slope or not. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:17, 16 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
P.S. For the record, I am an American living in New York, not an expatriate. I did spend two years living in Malaysia as a child, and while I was certainly a resident of a village and part of the community while I was there, I was also a foreigner, and traveled extensively on the way to and from Malaysia, plus two trips to Indonesia during my stay. I also traveled fairly extensively within Peninsular Malaysia and spent a good deal of time staying at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where many expatriates lived but others were shorter-term guests. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:20, 16 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, lots of good points here. There are many factors to weigh up, and a simplistic bright line between in-scope and out-of-scope topics would be counterproductive. On the whole, I agree with Pashley's proposed rules. I think people have made this point before, but to complement the emphasis on covering topics within the main country article where possible, I'd suggest we should also make sure we cover the general travel topic before delving into the details for particular countries. For example, before creating an International study in the United States of America topic article, check to see if there is a general International study article. Add any widely applicable content there first, and only create the US subtopic if enough specialised material remains. --Avenue (talk) 01:16, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It seems odd to define our scope without even resorting to the touchstone travel.
Of all the attempts I've seen to reason this the 3-month-rule works the best.
It helps us confine our Get-in information to visas typically sought by travellers
It confines our Learn information to short courses, rather than full degree programs and enrolling children in elementary schools.
It confines our Sleep section to short-term accommodation, and not leases or property purchases
It confines our Buy section to items you should take with you, and not items to set up a home.
Of course, much of this information will still be useful to people staying longer than three months. Much of it will be even useful to people touring around their own city. However it removes from our scope about buying property, getting residence permits, finding primary schools, buying whitegoods, etc.
I think Pashley's suggested guidelines aren't enough to be helpful. I agree that likely to matter to a significant group of users is fairly arbitrary, and it poses a more difficult questions (what is significant, and who are our users?) than the helpful to the traveller question we started with. Similarly not obvious is already policy, and deal with in the main article if we can is also fairly clearly how a travel guide works. --Inas (talk) 03:47, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion above seems to be hitting on two areas: travel topics and our standard geographic hierarchy articles. With respect to the geographic hierarchy I think we want to stay focused on the core audience, which is the short-term visitor, and not clutter up articles with some of the things Inas mentions. However, I don't see any harm in being fairly permissive with travel topics and don't think it hurts us to keep some articles that are aimed at more specific audiences, such as long term visitors (my opinion on this subject has changed over the years). Whether to keep a travel topic is a subjective decision for all but the most obvious topics, and while I think there is agreement that if someone created skeletons for the examples Texugo cited that they would all be deletion candidates, I also think that if someone develops a mostly-complete article about something like marriage in China or Renting a motorhome in New Zealand that we might want to err on the side of being too permissive rather than too restrictive, unless there is a compelling reason to delete/merge such as the article duplicating content that should be elsewhere or being too promotional. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:09, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, all I'd say to that, is that we may be resigning ourselves to a hodge-podge of travel topics, without structure or cohesion. I admire the recent work that has been done to bring some order to the mess that is our travel topics. I don't think we are there yet. With Marriage in China, you'd want to see stubs for how to get married in each country. There are peculiar rules and processes for this everywhere. Unless we want to cover the field, we should find a better home for such articles. We already take up a fair amount of time debating these issues when they arise in vfd. It isn't fair to people putting the effort in to writing them to not point them to a defined scope. --Inas (talk) 04:23, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. That's precisely why I don't like having a policy of erring on the side of inclusion just because someone shows interest, because it's much more hurtful/angering for us to turn the other cheek while someone creates and develops an article only to have another user find it sometime, nominate it, and leave everyone drowning in weak arguments or non-arguments and endless debates only to have the article deleted anyway.
I like the limit as a general guideline as well. I see no convincing argument that expats as a group are travelers. Instead, what I read above is that they are travelers when they are traveling. That's no different than people who live in the same house their whole lives and travel from there. Expats are not travelers when they're eating, sleeping, and pooping in their home just because they're a foreigner. Like anyone anywhere, they can become travelers at any time; when they're traveling. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 17:11, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I assume you are talking about the 3-month limit, and I also think it's a great rule of thumb, for exactly the reasons Inas states. Texugo (talk) 17:27, 19 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the 3-month concept is what I was talking about. It's a reasonable rule of thumb I think. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:21, 20 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Airports: Another Thought[edit]

Swept to Wikivoyage talk:Airport Expedition --Inas (talk) 02:34, 20 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Lists of Bus Routes[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hey Wikivoyagers, I'm a long time Wikpedia editor this is my first Wikivoyage edit but with a big ask. On English Wikipedia we have numerous lists of Bus Routes which are never going to be encyclopaedia articles but they could be expanded into tour guide articles in the manner that Bus travel in Israel has been. On WP these articles are highly controversial and have been the subject of substantial fighting regarding creation/deletion - they don't generally fit our policies and guideline (they're not notable in an encyclopaedia sense, wikipedia is not a directory of routes, Wikipedia is not a travel guide.) However they appear to fit with some of your policies and aims such as your aim to be useful for online access by travellers on the road. Ideally I would like to know what level of objection there would be to moving these articles from Wikipedia to Wikivoyage with the aim that those searching for such information would be better served having it amongst the other travel information they might also be looking for? Your thoughts are welcomed either here or at [Wikipedia] Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:32, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with the idea in part, but looking at the Wikipedia discussion I'd like to suggest that it makes most sense to import them only in two cases:
  1. If we're going to expand them into an article on popular tourist routes. (For example, an article explaining exactly which bus numbers, stops, and transfers to use to get to Wicked Awesome Tourist Site from Well-Known and Easily Accessible Landmark.)
  2. If the information is difficult to find, spread out over many pages, confusing, or not available in English on the bus operator site.
In cases where the information is easily accessible on the operator sites (for example from the operator in my home region, the PVTA), we risk having information fall out of date. For example, I'll note that the train schedule information on Selçuk was at least two years out of date when I corrected it, and bus schedules tend to change far more often than those of trains. —Quintucket (talk) 21:18, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Quintucket, I'd agree entirely, The usual arguments to these are that. The bus enthusiasts promise to keep it up to date and that as they aren't schedules but only route lists they change far less frequently. I would however say on part 1- it may have been the case on wikitravel that only Wicked Awesome Tourist Site or Well-Known and Easily Accessible Landmark should be navigated from but now you're on wikimedia there are a lot less limits. Wikimedia's purpose is to "to collect and develop the world's knowledge and to make it available to everyone for free, for any purpose." If sleepy rural village is a potential tourist site even if it's not Wicked Awesome then there are no technical limits to allowing that - it's perhaps a point for wider consideration on what wikivoyage can cover as long as it's covering minor things in a travel-centric voice as opposed to wikipedia's encyclopaedic voice.Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:09, 23 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yellow, Stuart. Would you please provide a link to the article in question (not just the talk page) so that we can have a look at it? Without having seen it, my reaction would be that a mere list of bus routes would not constitute a Wikivoyage article under Wikivoyage:What is an article?, but it is possible that a particular route or series of routes could be so interesting that an article about them could work as a travel topic or itinerary, as Quintucket suggests: See Travel topics for a list of existing travel topics and some guidelines. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:22, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Ikan, there are 600 (either routes themselves which could do with being condensed to a list or lists themselves) or so contained within Category:bus_routes the problem isn't with a specific one or two of these but the majority that aren't encyclopaedic (as in carefully researched subjects) - many are simple databases containing village or points of interest and the routes that get there. A example currently looking to be deleted (although it's survived twice before) is List_of_bus_routes_in_Central_Suffolk. 13:09, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I have had a quick look at the project and found two lists of lists, one covering England and one covering New York New Youk - I Don't know if I missed others. I have some experience of using buses in England, and looked at a few of the lists, of which this one forKent seemed typical. From a traveller's point of view the list in numeric order of route number is not very useful, but England has an excellent public transport planner, which will give precise directions and times for buses between any two postcodes, complete with directions to the bus stop. However if members of the project can spare some time, there are many destination articles that could usefully have bus details (routes, frequency and prices) added to get in and get around. There are also a few city bus routes which could usefully be written up as an itinerary, describing the sites on the route and giving an alternative to taking a coach tour, e.g. the 24 in Paris. AlasdairW (talk) 23:14, 22 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I had this exact same question. I've made a bold move after looking at the NOT list and added "routine schedules". We had a massive cull at Wikipedia, about a dozen or so local bus schedule articles deleted. Some editors recommended transwiki, but others, like myself, argued it would make our problems now your problem. The reason why Wikipedians were not keen on keeping them was largely because of our 'NOTGUIDE' policy, but also that they're nearly impossible to maintain once the original creator loses interest. The schedules are changed all the time. I doubt anyone would use WikiVoyage to look at local bus schedules especially since they'd likely find outdated information. After looking at your approach which is having a local transportation section with an official link the actual schedule, I did not think transwiki would be a great precedent for Wikipedia editors to have. The fact that your policy already says, "Transport systems and stations" would suggest why would you have a standalone article about the bus routes, but not the stations or actual systems. I think routine schedules would be a fine addition that would help Wikipedians know that transwiki would be a bad idea, while allowing editors here at their discretion to keep non-routine schedules/routes to have their own standalone article if warranted, while getting rid of towns will under 10k people posting their local bus schedules. Thoughts? Mkdw (talk) 09:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

We also have made it a point to not include bus timetables, for the same reasons. The articles we do have that are focused only on transport are travel topics, and those tend to be a little bit more limited in scope. Take a look at everything in the right column here for an idea of what those are like. Otherwise, we put the information in the destination guides itself, and try to keep it from growing into something unmaintainable/overwhelming. --Peter Talk 23:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC) - From: Wikivoyage talk:Policies [reply]

Sodom and Gomorrah[edit]

Swept in from the pub

May I ask why all of my hard work has been deleted? GomorrahCVB (talk) 02:14, 1 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"The mission of Wikivoyage is to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide." — Wikivoyage:Goals and non-goals. Sodom and Gomorrah no longer exist, so are irrelevant as travellers can not visit there. We only create one joke article per year, and that article has already been decided: Narnia. See Wikivoyage:Joke articles. JamesA >talk 02:53, 1 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Ghost towns[edit]

That opens the question of how to handle ghost towns. Things that "no longer exist" may be valid topics, if there's anything to see, but can you sleep there? Amboy and Glenrio have articles, even though Route 66 is fictional and has not existed since 1985. One used to be able to sleep there, long ago. (Glenrio is further complicated by being divided by the state line.) w:The Lost Villages differ as they're just plain gone and would likely be subject to our bodies of water policy along with Atlantis. Whatever structures were preserved are in Morrisburg or Ingleside, so we list them there and leave Aultsville and Moulinette as redlinks. w:Mount Sodom exists in the Judean Desert Nature Reserve, which would be a valid park article were it created (we have Judean Desert but nothing on the mountain or the park). Tourist ghost towns like Val-Jalbert in Québec are relevant to travel, but are they cities, large parks or merely something to be lumped into the closest town still extant (Roberval) or the larger region (Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean)? Admittedly our coverage of Chicoutimi-Jonquière westward to Mistassini is all but non-existent at the moment, but eventually we will need to put ghost towns and small villages with one sole attraction somewhere. K7L (talk) 14:28, 2 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

This is were I think there is a need to review current policy. The restriction on only if you can sleep there should be reassessed. I think there should be a type of article for attractions; whether they are ghost towns, historic sites, large museums or amusement parks. These are things people want to visit and sometimes deserve more that a few lines in a Do and See listing. --Traveler100 (talk) 18:40, 2 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There are some extremely large amusement parks that were judged to be destinations meriting their own article, and historical sites can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis like parks. But why would there need to be a separate article about a museum here, given that we can link to the museum's own website? Are you thinking only of the largest and most famous museums, like the Louvre, which most people know about, anyway? Please give some examples of museums you think might deserve their own article, and why, so that we can talk about it.
In terms of ghost towns, it doesn't bother me for there to be articles about them because, though unoccupied, they were towns. It would probably be good to develop general guidelines about when it's most appropriate to list them, though.
And an aside here: Route 66 is not fictional, unless things have changed since I visited Albuquerque in 2007 and stayed in a motel that was right on Route 66, called Central Avenue on that stretch. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:51, 2 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Right off the bat, one of the Buffalo district articles (Buffalo/South Buffalo) will be chock full of "See", "Do", "Eat" and "Drink" listings but will have no "Sleep" listings. I think that a strict interpretation of the sleep test in the case of South Buffalo, which would judge it not to be worthy of its own article, would be completely nonsensical. That being the case, I think the sleep test is a good way to get an idea of whether a destination deserves its own article, but it's certainly not foolproof. Frankly, I was under the impression that all of that was already understood. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:42, 2 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The "Can you sleep there?" rule is a rule of thumb only. It was never intended to be a hard-and-fast rule, and certainly never to determine whether a specific article is valid or not. It was intended to apply to classes of articles -- you sleep in cities and districts and resorts, and maybe the occasional large airport, but not in museums and restaurants and monuments. Even Wikivoyage:Article templates acknowledges that some valid articles (say, Manhattan/Central Park) may not have any place to (legally) rest your head -- that doesn't make them invalid articles. LtPowers (talk) 14:33, 3 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Can you sleep there?[edit]

The "sleep test" is, I feel, being misapplied. The original wording (changed in this edit) was as follows:

A common test to determine whether a subject gets its own article is the "can you sleep there?" test. While there are numerous hotels and other lodging options in a city like London, you can't sleep in a museum or park within that city; such parks and museums should thus be listed as attractions within an article about the city.

To me, that clearly indicates that the intent was to distinguish between types of locations (specifically, between destinations, which get articles, and attractions, which don't). I don't see any indication here that the sleep test was designed to identify destinations that shouldn't have articles simply because you can't purchase accommodations or erect a tent within the destination's borders.

But despite this, there seems to be an undercurrent of opinion that a place without hotels or campgrounds is a place that can only be written about in articles about nearby communities, and never in its own article. That doesn't make any sense to me. The absence of accommodations may make visiting a place more difficult, but it doesn't make it not a destination. It's as much a destination as any other community; you just may have to look into couchsurfing or short-term rentals or staying with acquaintances or sleeping under a bridge or in your car or ...

The point is, it's not "can you sleep there in rented accommodations?"; it's "is it a place that has facilities intended for sleeping?"

-- LtPowers (talk) 12:50, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I think the issue with destinations that don't have accommodation isn't that you can't sleep there, but that it's an indication the destination is too un-noteworthy to warrant an article. Having articles for every single 'settlement' on Earth would turn this site into a mess and not be useful for travellers at all. If a town is so small that it doesn't have a hotel, motel or campground, maybe it would be better off being described briefly in the larger region article.
On the other hand, that's not always the case. I can think of a few noteworthy destinations that don't have accommodation, many of which I've created articles about. I'm just thinking out loud as to some of the issues we face in terms of "what is an article". James Atalk 13:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
But the town that precipitated this discussion, Middlefield (Connecticut), was thought to not have accommodations only because of a local ordinance, having nothing to do with the noteworthiness of the destination. LtPowers (talk) 14:09, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The sleep test was not a sole criteria in my vote to delete, but rather a factor in addition to the fact that the town is pop.4000, less than 5 miles from a bigger destination and is unlikely to ever contain so much information that it can't be covered satisfactorily there. Texugo (talk) 14:25, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
What Texugo said. It's a nice, clear test and deletion rationale that informs our decisions, but the vfd process (and discussion generally) provides an opportunity to check whether a destination without accommodations should be redirected elsewhere. Middlefield does not seem a very noteworthy travel destination, and could easily be summarized in the get out section of Middletown, but a vfd requires a deletion rationale per policy, so I changed my vote to keep when it was proven wrong. Were we discussing this at Talk:Connecticut River Valley, I'd still recommend the merge & redirect as a matter of content organization. --Peter Talk 16:24, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think that's misguided. Why Middletown? Just because it's "close"? Do the two share cultural or economic or historical traits? Is Middlefield a common day-trip from Middletown, or is it more often associated with another locality? 20 miles isn't all that "close" in my book. LtPowers (talk) 18:30, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Besides which, we've been over this before: Go Next is intended for links to other travel guides, not for including travel content that we don't feel like putting in its own article. LtPowers (talk) 18:33, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Google maps puts it at 4.6 miles. Texugo (talk) 18:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see why you think Go next can only include links to articles. If there's, say, a reservoir just outside a town where you can go swimming, why not just put a bolded item in Go next that mentions that, and tells you which road to take? I've certainly used the section for that purpose before. Everything noteworthy to travel should have a page where it can be described, but that's not necessarily a new article. The "Can you sleep there?" test helps weed out places that are not noteworthy enough to warrant so much detail. We're a travel site, not a place site. --Peter Talk 20:03, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In Connecticut, 4.6 miles gets you to the next town, and the next town often merits some kind of article. Connecticut is not like some state like Utah or Nebraska that has a lot of wide-open spaces. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:52, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The case of Middlefield has already been conceded, but I question the notion that the sleep test is being mis-applied, both in this case and in general. Even in Connecticut, if that next tiny spot on the map really does have no place you can sleep and/or has nothing of interest to the traveller, it is definitely worth stopping to consider whether we need such a whole article for that community or whether whatever truly worthwhile content there might be more visible if covered in an adjacent city article. Texugo (talk) 23:59, 5 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If the sleep rule were only applied to article types, as LtPowers suggests, I'm afraid the hundreds of of pop.150 communities everywhere would be left without any clear deletion/redirection rationale. Texugo (talk) 00:08, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If a place has nothing of interest, there indeed shouldn't be an article about it. That's different from merely a "Can you sleep there?" test. I guess I agree with you, though, in this sense: I think that there are places that deserve articles even though there's no place to sleep there, but I think they are exceptions. And if they're exceptions, the rule is that you normally should be able to sleep somewhere which is regarded as an article-worthy destination on Wikivoyage. But that's not always enough, either, as local laws in some countries in Europe allow anyone to pitch a tent on any open land and camp there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:22, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Right. It's a rule of thumb, only; it is not deterministic either for keeping or removing an article. Any number of unusual situations (like local ordinances) can disrupt a literal reading of the sleep test. Obviously not every crossroads in the country needs an article. But if you've got a defined community with at least two listings, I think there should be a strong presumption in favor of having an article. Peter: If there's a reservoir just outside town for swimming, then put it in Do, not Go Next. LtPowers (talk) 12:30, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My take on the matter is that it would be a mistake to consider the sleep test a hard-and-fast rule rather than merely one of many litmus tests (albeit an unusually reliable one) used to determine whether a destination merits its own article. There are exceptions, Manhattan/Central Park being a quintessential and oft-cited one.
Given the wording of the "Can you sleep there?" section of this article as it is currently, a Wikivoyager who wants to nominate an article for deletion using a failed sleep test as his sole deletion rationale has policy on his side. Therefore, I think, the wording of this article needs to be changed to reflect that there are exceptions.
I would not go as far as LtPowers is going, however, in saying that the sleep test should be used only to distinguish between types of destinations, rather than noteworthy/non-noteworthy destinations. As another commenter mentioned, having an article for every podunk town in existence doesn't serve the needs of the traveler very well.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:05, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]


I think the cases where a destination doesn't pass the sleep test but still merits an article are very rare and much more often worth calling a referendum on the vfd page to either delete or get consensus for such exception. Yes, they might end up as an exception, but if we don't allow the sleep test to be a good reason to put something on the vfd page and talk about it, things will start slipping under the radar. Just having a couple of other listings is not good enough. Someone could make an article about Skellytown, Texas, pop. 451, and put listings for the (only) city park and the city hall and call it good, but I can tell you for certain that it is not somewhere tourists need or want to go. Unless there is something of unquestionable interest to the traveller, when that "no place to sleep" flag goes up, it is almost always worth taking another look, and the vfd page is the only place to do that where it won't get lost and left floating for months or years. Texugo (talk) 16:09, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

We shouldn't be VfDing real places anyway; they should never be deleted, but rather redirected if we decide we don't want an article. LtPowers (talk) 17:50, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose my point is that we regularly do VdF real places because there is no other centralized place for discussing cases for real place articles which might better be merged or redirected. It doesn't do to just put a message on the talk page of the article because those can sit around for years before anyone notices. The merge tag is almost equally ineffective for pulling together a discussion, and people can add or remove merge tags almost without anyone noticing, depending on their personal decision on the subject. Texugo (talk) 18:25, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I won't deny that a number of people misplace merge discussions at VfD, but that doesn't mean it's a practice we should be encouraging. LtPowers (talk) 23:54, 6 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I would go as far to say that, in cases where it is not totally clear that a merge is the answer, we should be encouraging that practice, at least until such time as we create a better centralized place for such discussions. While Middlefield turned out to merit an article, many of such articles do end up being redirected after some discussion. As I said, if we can't put them on the vfd page, we can't put them anywhere, and they'll just languish indefinitely in merge purgatory or, more likely I think, won't even get tagged at all. Texugo (talk) 01:25, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Wikivoyage:Requests for comment, or a note in the Pub, should be sufficient. Let's not clutter up VfD with non-deletion discussions. LtPowers (talk) 13:51, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The problem with that is that while technically redirecting a page may not be deleting the page title, these discussions are quite often about deleting content. If someone were to create the Skellytown article I mentioned above, I would not want to merge the content with a nearby town - it's not that relevant. Texugo (talk) 14:46, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Why, is the park infested with mosquitoes or something? LtPowers (talk) 17:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Because it is tiny and entirely unnoteworthy and no-one in their right mind would recommend going there from a neighboring town to see it. Texugo (talk) 17:48, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well if it's that obvious, then you don't really need a discussion, do you? LtPowers (talk) 19:25, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Regardless of how you like my analogy, I am quite comfortable with the way we typically vfd these things when there is doubt or disagreement, as it ensures we take care of things quickly. While I often check through this page to see what's new in the discussions, I don't often open up every single discussion in the RfC list or Category:Not an article to see what's new, and I doubt many do that. I don't think we should have to do that to ensure these get taken care of. Like the actual deletion nominations, these "don't deserve their own article" nominations should be resolvable within a couple of weeks' discussion and not hang around in the ether indefinitely. Texugo (talk) 20:53, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Then you need to start a discussion at Wikivoyage talk:Votes for deletion, because that's a major change to the purpose of the page. LtPowers (talk) 21:18, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It is not a change to the established practice though. Texugo (talk) 22:17, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So despite what is plainly stated on the page, and what we remind people of every time they do it, you think it should be accepted practice just because it's "established"? LtPowers (talk) 22:24, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yep, essentially. The vfd page basically serves as our place to work out any case where it's not clear whether something should get its own article, and "merge and redirect" has always been a quite common possible outcome. Look at it this way: if we left it solely to the discretion of whoever comes across such doubtful articles for real places as to whether to redirect/delete content or redirect/merge content, that case of Middlefield for which you fought so hard to keep may very well have been redirected with no content saved, without ever having come to your attention at all. Texugo (talk) 15:37, 8 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not suggesting that anyone who comes across a doubtful article has to make the decision without input from the rest of us; I'm saying that there's a better place for that discussion than on a page that is intended for discussing the deletion of articles. If you want to institute a program that would require a formalized VfD-type discussion before merging and redirecting, then you should propose it, but I don't think it's a good idea. LtPowers (talk) 17:54, 8 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
We just fundamentally disagree. You say there's a better place for it, but I say that is not so: the talk page by itself if worthless for calling attention to the discussion, RfC is low-traffic and decentralized (requiring opening up every respective discussion page every time to see what's new), and neither route guarantees that things will be resolved in a timely manner and not languish for months or years. How could it not be easier to use one page for discussions of all pages whose fate is questioned? Texugo (talk) 22:05, 8 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It very well might be simpler, if implemented properly. We require VfDs for all but the most obvious and blatant deletions (which we call speedy deletions), in part because only admins can actually perform the deletion operation. That's not so for merges and redirects; we've never required discussion of these operations, but allowing them at VfD would imply that they should be discussed unless blatantly obvious. Furthermore, it implies that only admins can perform the merge and redirect, which is not true, nor should it ever be true. That's why I'm saying, if you want to do this, it needs to be formally proposed as a change to current site operations -- so that we can institute rules that work for merging and redirecting instead of piggybacking on rules that are designed for deletion operations. LtPowers (talk) 01:54, 9 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I haven't done the stats, but I think you would find that merge/redirect results account for more than half of what vfd page is currently used for. Custom would say that the page is used for this. It is the go-to page when you don't know what to do with an article. We've tried to fight it, we've rewritten the instructions, but people are still walking on the grass rather than taking the path. Time to put a path on that well worn section of grass. --Inas (talk) 01:19, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

But we just got a bunch of new folks who didn't know about the grass, and are still learning about the proper path, which still has plenty of capacity. Furthermore, the more people walk through the grass, the more work there is for the groundskeepers. LtPowers (talk) 14:12, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If we all chip in and buy a few sheep, the grass won't have to be cut as often, plus we'll have great composting opportunities. Texugo (talk) 14:34, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps we should import this template. Pashley (talk) 20:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Theme parks (again)[edit]

A new user re-created the Six Flags Magic Mountain article, which was redirected back in 2007. Our current policy on theme parks is Wikivoyage:What is an article#Exceptions: "Big free-standing theme parks like Disneyland or Cedar Point...but not amusement parks in or next to a city, such as Coney Island or Tivoli." Two questions:

  1. By my reading Magic Mountain should be a candidate for its own aticle - it's way outside of Los Angeles, is a popular destination both for Southern Californians and roller-coaster enthusiasts from elsewhere, and there's enough content in the current article that it is unwieldy as part of the Valencia (California) article.
  2. Going a bit further, is our current policy too restrictive? For some of these huge parks that attract non-locals and have enough activities to warrant a full day trip (or longer) should we really be redirecting the article to whatever happens to be the local municipality? For a similar example see Knott's Berry Farm, which is awkwardly shoehorned into Buena Park. Would it make sense to change the exception for theme parks to something like "Big free-standing theme parks like Disneyland or Cedar Point that attract out-of-town visitors and require a full-day (or more) to visit"? I don't see that it does us any harm to have articles for some of these parks, while trying to fit them into city articles is confusing for both readers and editors.

Thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:53, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

There are an awful lot of these, many rather large and quite busy, in China; see Shenzhen#See and Hong_Kong#Theme_parks for some examples. Currently they are dealt with (mostly? only?) in city articles. I do not think we want to slide down a slope that leads to a lot of them getting their own articles. Pashley (talk) 18:13, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm undecided on this, but why do you think we shouldn't? The paramount question, as always, is: Does a separate article best serve the traveler? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:33, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Partly, it is the old destination/attraction distinction. People do plan a trip to Disneyland & perhaps a day trip to Magic Mountain, so those work as destinations. A museum or park you just visit on a trip to the city doesn't. Partly, it is a question of size. The Louvre, the Smithsonian or the British Museum might rate separate articles, and Central Park has one, just because there is a lot to say about those.
But I think those have to remain exceptions; not every museum or theme park rates a separate article. We want most things covered in the city or region articles because that is easier for the reader/traveller. Pashley (talk) 18:46, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
(edit conflict) To clarify my own thoughts, I don't think we should encourage skeletons for every theme park that might meet these criteria since we could end up with a lot of questionable skeletons, but I also think the site has grown to a point where we shouldn't be discouraging someone who wants to create a detailed article about a huge amusement park that draws millions of visitors (Magic Mountain draws 2.5 million yearly) and is complex enough that there is enough content to support a separate article. Perhaps adding a note to the "exceptions" section noting that "exception" articles that are not developed beyond skeleton status are candidates for redirection to the containing city/region would make sense? -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:54, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
The only reason that huge amusement parks (or Heathrow-sized airports) are being split into their own articles is because the content has grown in size beyond what can be reasonably fit into a section of the host city article. If there's nothing there beyond a skeleton, there's no need for the separate article. K7L (talk) 22:56, 13 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, Ryan. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think our old rule of thumb can still be useful here: Can you sleep there? Disneyland has its own hotels, as well as third-party hotels that are right outside its gates and intended almost exclusively for the use of Disneyland visitors. Cedar Point has lots of hotels nearby that are only useful for visitors to Cedar Point, and even Darien Lake has its own hotel and campground and thus its own article. (You can't go based only on size; smaller but more remote parks may have more need for an article than larger but less remote ones). LtPowers (talk) 18:42, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I think the issue is that the "can you sleep there" test won't always work - neither Magic Mountain nor Cedar Point have their own lodgings and both are located next to reasonably-sized cities (Valencia and Sandusky, respectively), so Saqib's interpretation was that a standalone article should be disallowed. However, in both cases there is clearly a lot to say about the parks, there is a great deal of interest from travelers, AND we have authors who have plunged forward to start creating content, so it seems that our policies either need clarification or adjustment beyond "can you sleep there". I would suggest removing the caveat and updating the park exception to be "Big free-standing theme parks like Disneyland or Cedar Point that attract out-of-town visitors and require a full-day (or more) to visit" would remove any ambiguity, and combined with a caveat that "exception" articles be redirected if they don't contain sufficient content to be more than just a skeleton would hopefully address concerns about a proliferation of questionable articles. If there are ways to further limit this proposal to only those huge parks that attract millions of travelers that would be great, but I think our current guideline needs a minor tweak. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:57, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Huh, Cedar Point is closer to Sandusky proper than I remembered. Regardless, though, Cedar Point does have its own accommodations -- a campground and two hotels -- and so I think meets the sleep test. LtPowers (talk) 19:26, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I haven't been to Cedar Point since 90s, so the hotels may be new, but what about places like Magic Mountain? There are plenty of nearby hotels, but they serve both park and other traffic. Is there some tweak to the wording that could be proposed that would make it clear that an article about this park should be allowed, or do we really want to force that content into the Valencia (California) article? The latter approach seems very wrong to me, particularly if we have editors who are writing detailed content about the park's rides, amenities, ticket prices, etc. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
In this case, I'm not sure we need separate articles, do we? Is there much of anything to do in Valencia that isn't related to Magic Mountain somehow? LtPowers (talk) 01:04, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Couldn't the exact same argument be made about Lake Buena Vista? Just as we wouldn't put the Disney World article in that city article, I don't see why would we do so with other huge parks. The city and the park are logically separate subjects (you can't eat at any park restaurants or use park amenities without paying park admission, for example) and should be treated as such, rather than trying to describe the city's bars and activities in an article that is also providing detailed information about ticket prices, ride details, and park amenities. Can you describe the advantage you see in combining the two, and why we would do so when we can easily create separate articles? -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:11, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm looking at the Valencia article and I don't see much there that would require separation from in-park amenities. The single restaurant appears to be closed (the only location listed on its website is elsewhere, with a different phone number), and the park doesn't have any internal hotels. So the Eat and Buy sections in Valencia would be devoid of listings, as would the Sleep and probably Drink sections of the park article. The only Drink listing between the two is extremely weak anyway. There's nothing in Valencia's See or Do sections except the park. So why have two articles with largely empty sections when together they actually form a full article with each section filled in?
The Lake Buena Vista article is used to hold listings that are not on Disney property (it currently needs significant cleanup in that respect); if we combined them we'd have to make LBV a district of Walt Disney World or something, since the main article shouldn't contain hotel/restaurant listings. So we'd still have a LBV article, it'd just be called Walt Disney World/Lake Buena Vista or something. LtPowers (talk) 01:23, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that "Can you sleep there?" has never been a cut-and-dried rule that determines whether a place has a separate article or not, but rather, only the usual case. A destination, even if one for a daytrip, that requires a really long, involved treatment should get its own article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:42, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure what I think on this subject, but did want to point out that it would be very weird if our policy ended up allowing some Six Flags parks and not others, since they are all relatively similar in size and scope. Texugo (talk) 11:19, 15 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I've updated the "Exceptions" section to make it clearer that exceptions should always start out as sub-sections of existing articles, which I believe reflects current consensus [2] and hopefully addresses Pashley's concerns. Following the guidance that the attraction is "huge and complex" and that the content would overload the city article, the Magic Mountain article seems to be OK based on our current guidelines, and I don't think anyone is explicitly arguing against its existence in this discussion if I'm interpreting people's statements correctly. Finally, on the broader point of allowing theme park articles, if I'm reading Texugo's point correctly, I also think it would be weird if our current policy was read to exclude huge parks that lack a hotel or aren't located out in the boonies, so if that's how it is being read then I would suggest that further clarification is probably needed. -- Ryan • (talk) • 04:01, 16 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. I agree with Ikan Kekek and Ryan that I don't think anybody has any problem with properly fleshed out articles on any travel topic. It's important that these huge and complex attractions start out within geographical articles, so we don't just generate sparse articles. --Inas (talk) 00:46, 19 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't have a problem with the basic guidance, but I still have concerns about Valencia and Magic Mountain specifically, as the latter seems to completely dominate the former in a way that Cedar Point does not with Sandusky. But that could be just due to lack of development of the Valencia article. LtPowers (talk) 13:51, 22 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

If there's nothing there...[edit]

I'm a little unsure about this edit, replacing there should not be articles about individual:

  • Small towns, villages, and unincorporated hamlets which have very few—if any—defining features that would attract a tourist. Any particulars of these small communities can be mentioned in larger regional articles or in the Go Next section at the end of a city article.


  • Tiny or sparsely populated villages and hamlets that have no defining features that would attract a tourist. Their names can be redirected to a nearby or surrounding community, or a group of such communities can be covered in a single article (like Rural Montgomery County).

If there is indeed nothing, why would we need/want to create the group, the redirect or anything else? As far as I know, pointless redirects like Toronto (Prince Edward Island) are merely a device to avoid VfD on something already extant which never should've been created because there's nothing there. This should not be an invitation to create new redirects for every w:Agloe, New York-sized speck on a map if there's nothing to see or do.

If there's nothing there, just skip the place and move on.

It's the tiny village with one listing that we need to address... usually by giving it a subsection in the closest city which does have an article. K7L (talk) 15:49, 23 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Feel free to adjust as necessary. Primarily I wanted to remove the erroneous advice to list anything without its own article in the Go Next section, as well as moderate the advice against creating articles. A small town with "few" defining features often makes a fine article, so we shouldn't be including such articles on a list of don'ts. However, a redirect might not be pointless if the name of the location might be commonly searched; that's why I included that option. LtPowers (talk) 20:39, 24 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]
And one day someone will create it. I've created many of the suburbs of Sydney as redirects to the region. Not so much for the benefits of search, but in case someone comes along and wants to add information for "their suburb", they will get a redirect to the district. --Inas (talk) 22:09, 24 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Index articles?[edit]

Internal wikilinks are good for search engine optimisation (SEO) so we should consider whether to encourage additional articles with many such links. There is some discussion at Wikivoyage_talk:Search_Expedition#Index_articles.

One of my attempts to add such an article (ASEAN) has been almost unanimously rejected; everyone but me thought it should be redirected. See Talk:ASEAN. I can see the arguments for that, but my feeling is that, provided the main destination articles are adequate, adding extra ones which improve SEO and provide background info useful to some travellers is obviously desirable. I would not only keep that article but create quite a few more like it — the Schengen Area and Gulf Co-operation Council would be obvious examples since they affect visas.

The issue is clearly broader than a single article or just SEO considerations, so I am raising it here. I'd like an exception written into "what is an article" that clearly encourages development of such things. Pashley (talk) 15:04, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Hmm... My first thought is: Are we so desperate for SEO that we need to create articles about anything that can link two or more geographic locations? I know that's not the proposal, but these seem to be stretches to me in regards to how they are travel-oriented. At the moment, I can't see anything about ASEAN that is useful to a traveler. I don't think people who research ASEAN are looking for travel info. In looking at the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf on Wikipedia (which is admittedly rather outdated and uninformal), there appears to be nothing there that a traveler would need to know. How will these serve the travelers exactly? ChubbyWimbus (talk) 16:11, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
European Union and the Schengen area might be of use as they have characteristics (such as a common currency or common customs or immigration controls) which do affect the traveller in some manner. A list of airport codes or location identifiers might be worth bringing here so that we don't need to link to WP in every {{IATA}} and {{ICAO}} tag. In our current structure, though, anything that isn't geographically an area (city,region), a linear path (itinerary) or disambiguation ends up as a travel topic as it fits nowhere else. K7L (talk) 16:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
There are often effects on travellers. ASEAN already has an open skies agreement which has had major effects on flights in the region and they are talking about a common visa system like Schengen. Saudi Arabia has very restrictive visa policies but Gulf citizens get an exemption; see Saudi_Arabia#Get_in. Pashley (talk) 17:36, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
An open sky agreement does effect travelers in a very indirect manner. No-one is going to plan their vacation on the basis of an open skies agreement.
Schengen is relevant because it has real practical travel implications today. ASEAN is only vaguely aspirational in that respect. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:03, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Some things do not fit in the usual country/region/city structure or as itineraries or travel topics. Many of those do work as extrahierarchical regions; valid regions that do not fit into our division scheme. Examples include boundary-spanning areas like Andes or Lake Tai and historical areas like Bactria. Pashley (talk) 18:08, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Is there really any SEO difference between a search term that has its own article vs. a search term that redirects to another article? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Quite likely not.
But there is an obvious difference between having an article like ASEAN be just a redirect (one link) versus an article with links to Southeast Asia, to all the countries involved, to visa since it affects those, and to Low-cost airlines in Asia. Of course the effect of one such article on search ranking is tiny, but every little bit helps. What I am saying here is that we should be actively looking for opportunities to create more such articles. Pashley (talk) 05:01, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I'm usually pretty liberal in my views of what an appropriate article can be, but I think we should be very clear on what articles of this type we would be willing to approve. ASEAN is a region; the Arab League is an association of culturally somewhat similar places (although, really, just how similar is Somalia to Lebanon?); the Gulf Cooperation Council is an association of Gulf Emirates; the association of former Soviet states (I am too lazy to look the name up right now) has historical as well as cultural relevance. So all of those are arguable. But are you really proposing to have ostensibly travel-related articles about the Organization of American States, Mercosur/Mercosul, the Organization of African Unity, the British Commonwealth, the North American Free Trade Association, the G-8, La Francophonie, NATO, etc., etc., etc.? Where would you stop, and why would we want all these non-travel-related articles just for SEO? If SEO is all we want, we could also create articles with definitions of "nation," "state," "county," "region," "city," "town," "park," "ocean," etc., and link everything possible to them - which I don't think any of us would like to do. So I think the rationale and limits for what you're proposing are of crucial importance. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Even the ones Ikan suggests as arguable are, in my opinion, not really very travel-relevant. The more pertinent question brought up above is: do we set our scope and then do the best SEO we can to suit it, or do we set SEO as our end goal and start expanding our scope and loosening our focus to suit it? If it's the former, and I would argue that it must be, then this whole SEO argument holds no water. Texugo (talk) 13:59, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I think you're right, Texugo, but I'm willing to listen to an argument; I just don't think I've seen a clear one yet. And we obviously agree that the argument has to be based on content, not just SEO. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
British Commonwealth (or the historic British Empire) would be viable as itinerary, w:All-Red Route partially describes a route from UK through the Suez Canal and onward to India, Burma, Hong Kong and Australia/New Zealand. Continue that route across the Pacific to "Gastown" (Vancouver) then cross-Canada and back to England from Halifax or St. John's and one would have a Britannic Empire-themed tour du monde. No need to use the modern entities if historic ones are notable, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; Содружество Независимых Государств) could be covered as the former Soviet Union and Soviet bloc at the height of the Cold War, starting at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and the Iron Curtain, continuing eastward to Vladivostok. K7L (talk) 15:53, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I must say I am amazed that I have to argue this; to me it seems blatantly obvious that such articles, judiciously chosen, are a Good Thing(TM) and ASEAN is a good first example.

  • They aren't even close to "non-travel-related" in Ikan's phrase or "not really very travel-relevant" in Texugo's. A Google search for " schengen", for example, turns up 180 mentions; ASEAN gets 48. Schengen and the Gulf Council already affect visas, and ASEAN will soon. ASEAN already has important effects on flight cost, the Eurozone on currency concerns, and so on.
  • Modularity is also a Good Thing; having separate articles for ASEAN or Schengen simplifies already quite long articles like Southeast Asia or Europe, giving readers a choice of whether to look at the details or not. Of course this is a judgment call; overdoing the modularity can be as much a problem for readability and navigation as overdoing an emphasis on complete standalone articles.
In most of these cases, I'd say the modularity argument wins. e.g. Low-cost airlines in Asia has the text "In South-East Asia, an ASEAN-wide open skies agreement is in the works, but in the rest of the continent ..." That needs either an inline explanation of "ASEAN" (a very bad idea, duplicating text elsewhere & cluttering the airlines article) or a link. It could link to an ASEAN section of the SE Asia article, but that will become problematic when Papua New Guinea (not within our definition of SE Asia) joins. Similarly, the Schipol and Frankfurt airport articles mention Schengen.
  • There are clear SEO benefits.
  • At worst having separate articles for these means a bit more maintenance work and makes it marginally harder for some users to find the info — of course the SE Asia article needs a one-liner comment on ASEAN and a link — but I do not see any real problems there.

Is that clear enough? Pashley (talk) 16:05, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I think the main issue of contention is that everyone repeatedly claims ASEAN is not travel related, and you repeatedly say it is.
Today ASEAN has no effect on visas today. It actually does nothing at all that a traveler needs to know about. Behind the scenes political agreements about aviation fuel pricing and open skies are nothing the traveler needs to concern when planning a trip.
Schengen, for the record, is completely travel related and still the WV link only redirects to the Europe page. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
No, Pashley, it's not clear enough, because you don't indicate where you'd draw the line. Would you propose an article about NATO? The OAS? the OAU? Mercosur/Mercosul? NAFTA? Where would you draw the line, and what logic would you use? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
To me, we should not create anticipatory articles based on what ASEAN wants to do or says they're going to do. The current ASEAN doesn't seem to be much more useful than OPEC would as a travel topic. We would definitely need to set some sort of scope that is traveler-focused and not just SEO-focused. SEO-focused just sounds like creating a bunch of links that will likely annoy and confuse visitors (who are probably not even travelers if they're looking up ASEAN) rather than help travelers. As an aside, there are tons of articles with blank or unfilled "Go next" sections that can be filled in if we are just trying to get cross-article links. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 07:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
All good points. I'll note that whenever I see "Sleep" listings for hotels that are "scheduled to open in May," or whatever, I comment the listings out or revert them (depending on how touty they are), because who cares until they're open for business and taking reservations? On the same basis, ChubbyWimbus' remarks about "anticipatory articles" are logically sound. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:40, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Since Pashley feels strongly about this, how would a different article called something like World Economic Regions (or something better) that would list ASEAN, NAFTA, African Union and basically any similar political/economic associations and their potential travel implications? This would remove the problem of creating extra confusing regions as well as providing (maybe?) the SEO benefits that Pashley has listed? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:22, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Such an article would seemingly be encyclopedic, rather than travel-related. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:55, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I'm looking for a 'better' accommodation for this. My position is still that this is not a travel relevant subject. Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:20, 3 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Any further thoughts? It seems like everyone but Pashley agrees that this is not travel-related enough to warrant an article. If this conversation is dying, I'd like to merge and redirect ASEAN to Southeast Asia as suggested, before this slips away and gets kept by default. Texugo (talk) 13:35, 11 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
This page is for discussion of changes to Wikivoyage:What is an article?. It is not the votes for deletion page and not an appropriate venue to propose deletion of individual pages. K7L (talk) 17:48, 11 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
There is no vfd call, but much discussion at Talk:ASEAN. Everyone but me seems to think a merge & redirect is correct. Pashley (talk) 17:55, 11 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Also bear in mind that a VfD discussion is not needed in the case of a merge suggestion. We just need to agree somewhere on what to do in this case, since it was contested. The discussion at Talk:ASEAN got stalled by this proposal to loosen our scope to include economic agreements, so this needs to be wrapped up to get back to that particular case, that's all. Texugo (talk) 18:40, 11 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Can we now wrap Talk:ASEAN up? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:44, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Any further thoughts or action on this topic? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:42, 6 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Another look at this article reveals that there is still zero traveler relevant content. This is not surprising seeing as it is just an economic forum and not a region in a practical sense. I will make a proposal on the VFD page. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:07, 7 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Transport Systems[edit]

The issue of local transport systems/networks has been raised before, but it was never fully discussed on this page. At times, articles have been created for particularly large local transport systems or in cases where a wealth of information exists for a particular topic. London Underground is probably the best example of such a page and, before it was merged into London, it existed as a large, fairly thorough independent article. Could we now decide on whether or not these are desirable? A number of people seemed to think that the LU article was useful and, as Altfish points out, as long as sufficient info is left on the main destination page, this could provide even more information for our users. Whether we wished to organise it as London Underground or Transport in London is debatable, but could there not be space within WV for articles of this kind? Let me know what you think! :) --Nick talk 19:50, 20 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]

This should only be done for the largest, most used fixed systems. London Underground is manageable, but creating local bus schedule information for each city would be a bad idea as there's no way we'd be able to keep all that info up to date.K7L (talk) 20:00, 20 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I could imagine a separate article for New York Subway, too, as the system overwhelms and confuses a lot of visitors (and often, with weekend and late-night diversions, New Yorkers). I know these types of articles have been rejected in the past, but I think they're OK if someone wants to write them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:06, 20 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
The problem is the same as with airport articles: If the information is relevant to the traveler, it should be in the destination article; and if the information is not in the destination article, is it worth writing a separate article on it? Powers (talk) 00:37, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
That's a salient point. What info is relevant enough for travellers to know but not relevant enough to include in the city guide? I can understand airport articles a little more because a single airport often serves a whole region and thus a separate article saves a degree of repetition, and huge airport are self-contained with restaurants and accomodations, and people sometimes spend far too long waiting at them, but that doesn't really apply to the local subway. Texugo (talk) 00:59, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
It's a question of size. If an article on something like Heathrow Airport is too large to fit into the parent city, it's split out. K7L (talk) 02:11, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Right. And in the same way, a more comprehensive article about the Tube might also be good to split from the London article. Citing airport articles as a problem, when they have been accepted for large, complex airports, tends to strengthen and not weaken the argument in support of articles for large, complex public transit systems. I do get Texugo's point about the differences between airports and subways, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]


wiaa lands the user at the top of this page. I think it could be useful to have a direct shortcut to Wikivoyage:What_is_an_article?#The_test_for_destination-style_articles, especially as people we need to point this out to are often newbies. WV:TEST, perhaps? WV:CYST? (Can you sleep there?) WV:SLEEPTHERE? ϒpsilon (talk) 16:41, 13 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

"WV:CYST" is an unfortunate acronym, so I'd be more in favor of "WV:SLEEPTHERE". The latter is longer and thus not quite as good for a shortcut, but it's more obvious to those who would see the word "cyst" and not figure out that it's an acronym instead of a reference to a medical issue. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:54, 13 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]
OK, let's make it WV:SLEEPTHERE, then. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:21, 13 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Bodies of water?[edit]

I find the item 'Bodies of Water' in the list of 'what doesn't get an article' rather confusing, especially since Wikivoyage:Bodies_of_water gives plenty of ways in which they could be accommodated, especially with respect to extra-regions.

Is there a better way of describing the article-worthiness for this? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:37, 26 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This policy already points out that it's complicated and directs to the Bodies of Water page. But even that latter page admits: "We don't write destination guide articles about bodies of water", so its presence on the list of things that don't get articles seems fine to me. Powers (talk) 02:21, 27 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I thought my request above was to improve the description, and made no mention of removing it? I do try and write these things as brief as I can...
So.... we currently have confusion about how a 'body of water' article could be defined, and saying 'its complicated' is rather lazy.
I would actually suggest moving it up into the list of 'What does get an article', and say something like:
How would that be? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:02, 27 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
What about just using the nutshell summary from Project:Bodies of water? "Bodies of water such as lakes and rivers do not get their own article on Wikivoyage, with the exception of land regions named after a body of water such as Lake Tahoe. See Project:Bodies of water for more details." -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:12, 27 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
That seems better to me. I don't think we want to make it a general rule that bodies of water get articles. Powers (talk) 21:44, 28 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Happy to use that. Do we need more voices or is that consensus enough? Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:27, 29 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Would prefer "Bodies of water such as lakes and rivers do not get their own destination (city,region) article on Wikivoyage, with the exception of land regions named after a body of water such as Lake Tahoe. See Project:Bodies of water for more details." . The Bodies of water article then explains the use of Extraregion, Itinerary and Travel Topic. --Traveler100 (talk) 12:00, 29 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not really liking the addition of "do not get their own destination (city,region) article" to the text above. Please bear in mind that this will guide new users who may not understand the differences between article types as well as you, and it will be confusing. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:31, 30 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I see your point but I was more concerned about people on this site who take such sentences too literally ad written in stone and start removing all articles on bodies of water. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:00, 30 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The exception clause should prevent that, although as seen recently in Vfd the due process for deletion has in any case been respected. Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:32, 30 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
The exception in the statement is about regions hat just happen to be the names of body of water. What the nutshell statement fails to cover is the use of Itineraries, Travel Topics and Extra Regions. It does not have to state all that but should reference more specific guidelines on how to write an article that is based around a body of water. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:19, 30 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]