Merge and redirectTexugo 04:21, 27 September 2009 (EDT)
Keep for all three lakes discussed above. I have just done a quick check. Lake Louise, Loch Lomond and Lake Garda are all on Wikitravel. I think they, and surely many others, establish a precedent.Shep 08:49, 27 September 2009 (EDT)
Keep all three. None of these articles violate what WT:Bodies of water was designed to combat—they are not encyclopedia articles about lakes themselves, rather they are destination articles, with plenty of overnight options. Bracciano and Bolsena each group the villages ringing a lake into one valid "city" article, akin to how we use a city template for small, inhabited islands. There are thousands of such lake-resort/lakeside community destinations around the world, many of them much smaller than Tahoe, and the majority of them deserving a travel article (like Lake Placid). Trasimeno seems clearly a valid region article, and I'm not sure that it conflicts with the existing hierarchy in any way. And even if it did overlap other regions at the same level of the hierarchy, that is allowed, and is very often a sensible way of organizing travel content. The Chesapeake Bay and Navajo Nation articles clearly overlap all sorts of regions, but it would not be sensible to omit such well-known and coherent travel destinations from Wikitravel out of a desire to keep the geographical hierarchy more simple—a certain amount of complexity is necessary and IMO not a problem. --PeterTalk 14:21, 27 September 2009 (EDT)
Keep - but review the region.
I disagree with much of the reasoning above for keeping the three lake articles.
If the the reason for the bodies of water guideline is that we don't want encyclopaedic articles about bodies of water, it would be extremely simple to just put that in the guideline. There are many people who contributed to the guideline, and trying to assess their reasoning rather than following the text is the wrong way to proceed. The text of the guideline is quite clear, and we should follow the guideline, or fix the guideline.
I also don't agree that because there are other examples of a type of article, that we have established a precedent. There are lots of things that slip through the cracks for want of attention, and other articles which we just keep even though they are against policy (some just because they are good articles and useful to a traveller). I don't think that means that a precedent is stronger than a policy or guideline. We shouldn't let Wikitravel documentation descend into unwritten policies, precedents, and conventions. If we think an article is good enough to establish a precedent, we should change the policy or guideline. To do anything else means that new users who want to follow the guidelines, don't have a clue where to look, and discussions here and elsewhere become excessively complex pointing to other examples, rather than building better guidelines.
I don't think the fact that we allow regions that don't fit into the regional hierarchy, means that we should assume we keep regions that don't. Sure, we allow regions that don't fit into the hierarchy, but there should be a strong presumption against them rising to any more than just disamb articles. We should make new regions that don't form part of the hierarchy redirect/disamb articles, unless there really is additional information significant to the traveller that can't be sensibly placed anywhere other than the region. I see bare and poorly developed regions are a significant problem on WT, and we shouldn't add to it by encouraging other full regional articles. In this particular case, isn't clear whether the articles are going to end up as regional articles, containing towns, or city template based articles in themselves.
That said, this article seems to me to describe a land region named after the lake, rather than the lake itself, and Shep's arguments that it is a common name for the land region seem convincing to me. However, we should be careful that this article doesn't end up just a bare region. If this is a real grouping for a number of smaller towns, perhaps the towns themselves could be redirected to this region, if they all have something in common, and are close together? Or perhaps we could rethink the regional hierarchy in this area? If it is a clear region that the towns belong to, perhaps it should be part of the hierarchy? --inas 20:26, 27 September 2009 (EDT)
Ian, your rebuttal is borderline incomprehensible to me. 1) If the text of the guideline is quite clear, then why were we having this discussion (where I made it clear that I disagree with your reading of the policy, for that matter). Anyway, I've updated the policy in a way that will hopefully make more sense. 2) The examples I cited are hardly articles that slipped through the cracks, they are examples that should make it obvious that we should have destination guides named after lakes, provided (as the policy has always said), they are about the land destination surrounding the lake, rather than the water itself. 3) I have no idea why there should be a strong presumption against region articles just because they are not a part of our hierarchy, which exists for navigational purposes. If a region is a valid travel region, we travelers a disservice to arbitrarily refuse to write travel content about it. Moreover, bare and poorly developed articles are far more likely for regions created out of navigational convenience (like Northern X) than something coherent like a specific resort lake. --PeterTalk 01:27, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
I'm not familiar enough with the Italian lakes in question to be able to comment on the specifics, but I just wanted to chime in my support for Peter's interpretation of the policy. If a lake is a sensible destination/region -- and the pattern of having small communities dotted around a lake surrounded by mountains is quite common -- then there's no reason why the lake should not be a destination/region. Jpatokal 01:30, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Agree much with Inas. For me the bodies of water policy reads that, if at all possible, we avoid having articles about them, instead preferring to redirect. Yes we know there are exceptions to the bodies of water guideline out there, but they all either have reasons to be exceptions, or they need to be re-examined. The ones already mentioned seem to have valid reasons:
Lake Placid is the name of the town, so is actually not an exception at all.
Lake Louise is very remote with no logical nearest town to direct to, yet is a popular destination with its own places to sleep.
Lake Garda is a very large lake which borders three provinces, has attractions around it, but no single community big enough to warrant an article, so no logical place to redirect or disambiguate. This is the treat-all-the-villages-as-one-city example that Peter was looking for.
Since even our geographical hierachy states that exceptions need to be made on a case by case basis let's look at the three at hand:
Lake Bolsena - Has two town articles (Montefiascone and Latera which is no further away but not mentioned in the current article). Has one town, Bolsena which could probably do with its own article, having a castle, a cathedral with an interesting story, a theater, and several dozen restaurants and places to sleep. Has one small village worth mentioning in the Get out section of nearby Montefiascone because it has a castle and provides access to a small island. I don't see any information that wouldn't fit nicely into another article, given a disambig page, so I don't see any reason to make this an exception from current body of water policy on the basis of anything other than possibly naming a subregion after this lake. On that point, the question as to whether this article should stand as a valid region article can be answered by asking "Can (and should) the province of Viterbo be subdivided into regions, and would this be a logical component of that subdivision without causing overlap?"
Lake Bracciano - Currently has no articles of cities around the lake, but Bracciano is a city of 15,500, well deserving of an article, and we can redirect there. We can put info about enjoying the lake in the new city article, with the much smaller Anguillara Sabazia and Trevignano Romano covered briefly in the Get out section. Again, I see no reason we can't follow the disambig and redirect guideline. If, as above, we decide that subdividing Viterbo is necessary, this could possibly make a logical region with no overlap, though I'm not sure it would contain anything at all besides the aforementioned city article.
Lake Trasimeno could very well be a valid region article at some point. However, right now Umbria is not subdivided into regions, so, as in cases where someone creates a lone district article for an otherwise undivided city, I think it needs to be nothing but a disambig page, at least until such time as someone justifies and proposes subdistricting. The current article contains nothing but links to cities anyway, and is essentially already the disambig page I would have it be, except that it has a region template.
To respond to Peter's position about overlap, I agree that a little overlap doesn't hurt sometimes, but our guidelines still encourage us to avoid it when possible. So far the few exceptions we have made have been on a very case-by-case basis, sometimes hotly contested, and only about very large and famous regions which cross multiple macro-regions or countries. Many of the exceptions we have made have resulted in what are basically glorified disambig pages with little extra information. I really think what you are proposing is a slippery slope. If we start making exceptions for any little ol' lake with a couple of villages on it, we undermine both the bodies of water policy and the geographical hierarchy guidelines, and we'll end up with hundreds of new lake articles that overlap, confuse breadcrumb navigation, contain little information that couldn't be included elsewhere, and invite further rule-stretching to include rivers, etc. I get the feeling that you essentially disagree with the bodies of water policy, which is your right and we can of course discuss in the appropriate place and possibly make some changes. But as Inas said, the current policy is pretty clear on avoiding such articles if at all possible. In the above cases, I think it is very easy to avoid. Texugo 00:29, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Lake Bolsena: I'm least sure of this one, but WP lists seven comuni on the shores of the lake, so it should be a fine region article. Lake Bracciano is small, as are the communities around it, which is why Shep recommended they be covered within one article. I haven't been there, so I'm happy to trust his judgment—and I certainly don't see a compelling reason not to (other than some arbitrary discrimination against articles with the word "lake" in the title?). Lake Trasimeno is a valid region article already, and is not suggested as a region in a subdivision of Umbria, nor should it be, as it would only be listed as an other destination on whatever parent region article. It's clearly a travel destination, and I'm baffled as to how this undermines the geographical hierarchy, confuses breadcrumb information, or otherwise creates any problems of overlap. It's a coherent travel destination, it can sustain a good travel article, and travelers heading there would be well served by an article for the lake region. --PeterTalk 01:27, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Wow! If I had known that writing for Wikitravel was going to lead to so much debate I'd have read a good book instead. Anyway, I am happy to go along with the consensus, if there is one.Shep 13:43, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
This is a debate we had to have - because the relationship between wikitravel and bodies of water has always been odd, and it is good to see the points of view come out. Please don't feel you have to wait on the sideline for a consensus, a new opinion I'm sure would be valued by all. Hopefully we can get a better guideline as a result. --inas 19:09, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
I wrote the two lake articles thinking that it was a logical way to present the locations in the area. I'm trying to increase coverage of Lazio and as I noted above most places around the lakes do not really merit an article on their own. But I do think Wikitravel should avoid articles such as the present one on Lake Trasimeno, which is not much help to anyone, with no information and listings of cities that have no articles!Shep 01:06, 29 September 2009 (EDT)
This discussion is currently on hold because it sparked a larger discussion here. Please chime in there. Texugo 01:53, 1 October 2009 (EDT)
Result: Keep. No consensus for deletion. LtPowers 15:51, 7 March 2010 (EST)