These criteria are the suggestion of User:Pbsouthwood and do not constitute a consensus on this subject. Discussion by any interested parties is invited.
Star quality articles have been written to these criteria. This can be considered consensus by those who cared enough to comment during the nomination process. This does not mean these guidelines are all that will ever be needed, or that they cannot be improved, but does indicate that they are a good place to start.
Some of the dive sites must be of Guide standard or higher.
Most of the dive sites must be of Usable standard of higher.
Information should be provided in most of the headings.
Sufficient information should be provided that a competent diver with some local knowledge can use the guide and most included dive site sub-articles to plan a safe dive at the relevant site. (involvement of a local guide may be required where appropriate)
A diver unfamiliar with the region should be able to decide if it will be to his/her liking, and within his/her competence/skills/fitness to dive in the region at a typical site.
The diver should also be able to decide on what personal equipment to bring, and what to rent or buy when visiting the region.
The diver should be able to plan for emergencies, both medical and equipment related, and know what support is available in both these fields.
Pricing need not be in great detail, but it should be possible to use the guide to contact suppliers of ordinary recreational diving equipment and services most convenient to the region (If such exists - offshore atolls may have no facilities whatsoever. In this case refer to the most appropriate major centre)
Standard template used or other appropriate layout complying with the Wikitravel style conventions.
Correct English usage: Spelling, grammar, consistent with either local English usage or UK or US English conventions.
Correct technical terminology understandable by native English speaking recreational divers.
All sections of the template contain substantial and useful information unless not applicable to the region, in which case this should be specified.
Leader paragraph explains what the article is about and who it is for.
Basic geographic extent of the region is stated.
Some information is provided on the physical geography of the region.
Extent of the region is clearly defined. (a map or other illustration is sufficient)
Major landforms defining the region are mentioned and named and if necessary, explained.
Topography of both underwater and land is described. Some form of relief map drawing or illustration should be present.
Climate, weather and sea conditions
If applicable, a description of the regional climate, weather systems, oceanogrphy in terms of tides, currents, seasonal water condition variations, max and min values
If applicable, a description of the regional marine/aquatic ecology.
Special equipment and training required or recommended for diving in the region, both general and sub-region specific.
Explain any special procedures or precautions to avoid ecological or archaeological damage.
Any local legislation affecting diving in the region is explained sufficiently to allow a reasonably prudent diver to confidently avoid contravention. Information must be accurate and current.
List of emergency contact phone numbers for the region, and where there is no appropriate emergency service within the region, contact details for the most appropriate services outside the region.
These numbers should include where possible: Recompression chamber facilities, Hospital, Clinic or doctor, Diving medical practitioner (specialist), DAN local contact number, Police, Ambulance, Fire department, any specialist rescue organisations that may be of use, Sea rescue/Coastguard.
A listing of Dive schools, Dive shops, Air filling facilities, Scuba and cylinder service facilities, Dive charter boats, liveaboards, etc IN the region should be provided. Any known idiosyncracies or specialist abilities (such as affiliated training agency, or foreign languages spoken) should be mentioned.
If there is no representative of any specific class of service business in the region, the nearest convenient agency outside the region should be listed, with approximate distance and any other critical information.
It is not necessary to list every dive school, shop, charter business, air filling station, or equipment service agent in the region, but at least one reputable representative of each of these classes should be listed with adequate contact information. If dry suits are recommended in the region, a dry-suit repair agent should be listed.
List names of dive schools in the region
List names of dive shops in the region
List names of places that rent dive gear
List names of operators, charter boats, liveaboards operating in or from the area.
List names of people or organisations which service and repair: Scuba regulators, BCDs, Cylinders, Drysuits.
List contact details of places listed in "Learn", "Buy", "Rent", "Do" and "Fix". Use the Other listings insertion template.
Explains how to get around the region to dive sites and launch areas as a diver with dive equipment. Options of private and public transport as available should be discussed.
A comprehensive description of regional hazards, the risks connected to them, and appropriate mitigation where applicable.
Information should apply to a significant percentage of the sites in the region.
Hazards specific to only a few sites should be covered in the dive site sub-articles.
See (Listing of dive sites)
Number of dive sites listed should be appropriate to region size. In general a region should not contain less than one city or other significant destination unit. Sites which would ordinarily be reached on a day excursion from a destination such as a city would be in one dive guide, even if there are a large number of them. Alternatively, unless there is a good reason, such as the conditions are very different from the nearest other sites, it would not be appropriate to have a regional guide for a smaller number of sites than about 5, even if the sites are on different islands or near different cities.
A guide should not cross national borders except in special circumstances.
If there are more than 100 local sites in the region, the number of sites may be limited to 100, and/or this number used for the percentage calculations. This condition is intended to prevent an area with large number of dive sites becoming too difficult to get to star level.
At least three listed local dive sites must be at star standard (unless there are fewer than three sites in the region, in which case all must be of star standard.
At least 90% of locally known named sites should be listed (or 100, whichever is less).
At least 50% of the listed sites should be of guide standard or better (or 50, whichever is less).
At least 75% of the listed sites should be of usable standard or better. (or 75, whichever is less)
All listed sites should at least be described to outline level, unless newly discovered or potential sites, and not yet explored, or up to 5% of listed sites known to be dived, but information is not available.
(these numbers are only for guidance, if there is a good reason to differ, explain and go by consensus after discussion on the Star nominations page)
listing of dive sites should normally provide a paragraph describing each site in general terms. No great detail is required. Try to distinguish the site from its neighbours.
GPS position data or other means of identifying position accurately without local knowledge. This can often be found by using Google Earth. Maps from Google Earth are not acceptable for copyright reasons.
All subheadings contain useful information unless the subheading does not apply to the site, in which case it is not shown.
At least one photograph of marine organism or feature of the site.
The site should be a sub-article of a regional dive guide. (if there are very few sites in the region the sites may be included in the regional guide to a number not exceeding 9).
For photos which are needed in the text of the article to illustrate specific aspects, but are too many to keep against the right margin, an alternative is to use small galleries of 3 images wide within the main text at the appropriate place. This looks neater than an overlong column at the right. This is acceptable practice as it has been used in Star articles such as Singapore#Eat. The width has been limited to 3 images as the display on narrow screens with 4 or more images per row is problematic, but check if this has changed.
A diver competent to dive the site but without any local knowledge should be able to plan a safe and enjoyable dive using the information provided (in conjunction with a regional diving guide if applicable.)
Conditions during the dive should come as no surprise.
A map showing the position and layout of the site in some detail, preferably to scale.
Reason/s why one would choose to dive the site.
GPS position for the site. Should put a diver at least somewhere on the site, specify where if possible
Alternative range and bearing or cross bearings to well defined and reasonably close landmarks. Photos of landmarks desirable.
distance from launch site or harbour for boat access (km or N.miles). Distance should be along the usual route, not as the crow flies.
Optional image of whatever the site is named after. (particularly desirable for wreck sites, where a photo or painting of the vessel or a similar vessel is preferred.)
Explanation of origin of the site name, translation if applicable.
Maximum depth to be expected on the site
If applicable, shallowest point of the site
Average depth of a dive can be added if it will be useful.
Range of visibility to be expected when conditions are generally considered suitable for diving.
Description of the layout of the site
General idea of slope, profile and rugosity
Description of major features and landmarks
Condition of wreckage if applicable
Only for rocky reefs
Type of rock, (geological age, name of formation optional)
Strike and dip optional if applicable
What weather conditions will result in good diving conditions.
Any specific weather conditions which will result in unpleasant or hazardous diving conditions.
Any special oceanographic or weather conditions the site is known for. (sudden offshore winds, upwellings, currents, plankton blooms, thermoclines etc) if applicable
Information sufficient to allow a reasonably competent diver with a moderate understanding of the local weather and climate to forecast conditions during a planned dive over a short period (3 to 4 hours) when on site.
Generally only for shore access dives
Facilities must be in close walking range of parking area or entry points
Facilities appropriate to divers and accompanying family only.(parking, ablution, fast food, dive services, picnic areas, security, beach, shade, etc)
Adequate directions to reach the site
A map or aerial photo indicating the position of entry/exit areas (only for shore entry ) if the main site map is not sufficient.
Sufficient text for a person who has no local knowledge at all to find the site and identify any access areas with confidence.
Photos of the standard entry and exit points if applicable.
Location of slipway/harbour/launch site/pickup area.
Distance of boat ride and/or duration of boat ride.
Marine life and/or Features
Photos of at least three organisms or features one may reasonably expect to see at the site
Photos of organisms that are special in some way may be included even if not frequently seen, but it should not be suggested that a visitor is likely to see them
Description of what a diver may see during a dive
if the photos were not taken at the site this should be mentioned.
advice on photographic equipment (macro/wide angle, need for external lighting) if appropriate.
photographic opportunities that may be expected or hoped for if applicable.
generally at least one suggested or recommended route, with an indication of what the diver may expect to see. This may be a drift dive if applicable. "Follow the divemaster" is not really a route and will only be accepted if there are really good reasons, which are adequately explained.
Some indication should be given of how long a dive on the route will take, and if it is a long route, an approximate distance. This is not essential if it is shown to scale on a map.
Site specific hazards of any kind, including access hazards if applicable. "No site specific hazards known" is null default, and implies that the local hazards are adequately described in the regional article.
Comprehensive listing of site related hazards (not regional hazards already in regional guide, ordinary diving hazards nor obvious sea/weather condition hazards). Advice on mitigation is optional.
security problems and land based hazards may also be mentioned if applicable. (theft/mugging risk, animals stealing food etc)
Skills, competence or certification level required for diving at the site, if any.
Skills recommended for diving at the site, if any.
"No special skills required/recommended" is null default, this implies that a person trained to dive in the region will be able to handle the normal conditions for diving at the site.
any equipment beyond the standard equipment listed for the region in the regional guide, either reqired or recommended for the site for safety of convenience. Reason should be specified if not obvious.
"No special equipment required/recommended" is null default, and implies that divers trained to dive in the region, or who have some experience diving in the region will know what is needed.