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Wikitravel talk:Cooperation

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Moved from travellers' pub by Evan

Wikitravel/Wikipedia cooperation[edit]

Are Wikitravellers interested in cooperation in certain areas with Wikipedia? While the licenses of the two projects are incompatible, there are some ways the two projects can work together, eliminating duplicate effort while allowing each project to focus on its own goals. Two ways I can think of:

  1. Appropriate interlinking: Wikitravel is not an encyclopedia, so detailed encyclopedia-type articles about travel destinations are offtopic. Likewise, Wikipedia is not a travel guide, so encyclopedia articles about places shouldn't include pub suggestions and hotel price comparisons. However, Wikipedia could provide a wealth of background information for travellers, while Wikitravel would be very helpful to Wikipedia readers looking for specific travel information. Also, given Wikipedia's popularity, it could result in a steady influx of new Wikitravellers.
  2. Image sharing: Many images in an encyclopedia would be appropriate for a travel guide, and vice versa. Licensing problems could be avoided by the contributor of the image making it available under a dual license, GNU Free Documentation License/Atrribution-ShareAlike. Putting images in the public domain is another option, and one that several Wikipedians have chosen.

Opinions? -- Stephen Gilbert

Stephen, this is an excellent point to bring up. It's right that our license is incompatible with the GFDL -- those who haven't should read Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL -- and that it's going to be a hassle to coordinate effort. I think that the sole consolation is that the overlap is kind of thin.
That said, our current policy is to allow people to copy their own articles and images from Wikpedia to Wikitravel. They're implicitly dual-licensing their work that way. The big problem is that dual licensing isn't commutative -- if you dual-license an image, I have to pick one license and stick with it. People downstream from me can only use that license. So, images can't cross back and forth between Wikitravel and Wikipedia over and over, just once.
Lastly, we're a young site, and we're still trying to figure out our internal standards and practices. I think it might be a little early to see how they work with external ones. Just my opinion, though. -- Evan 14:12, 12 Aug 2003 (PDT)
I agree with Stephen on Interlinking. Interlinking for appropriate subject matter would provide the traveller with the option to pursue specific subjects in more depth. For instance the country material from the CIA Worldbook has been massaged on wikipedia to provide detailed information on economic and political information. It seems superfluous to duplicate that work here. For example New Zealand is developing on wikitravel but is well developed here. Why duplicate the effort when the pages can be complementary. Tiles 14:17, 12 Aug 2003 (PDT)
I think we always had that in mind. A few caveats: Wikipedia has a lot of great background info, in much the same way the CIA Worldbook does, but, this is not the same thing as a travel guide. The CIA info is partly a placeholder and partly a starting point, but not at all a guide in and of itself. All Wikitravellers should be very aware of what a wonderful resource Wikipedia provides (and I can see quite a lot of people finding out about one via the other), but it needs to be treated like any outside link. Wikitravel has a distinctly different goal than Wikipedia, enough that there should be little or no 'dupilcate' content between the two-- though there may be many cases where information is adapted for one or the other.Majnoona

>> Lastly, we're a young site, and we're still trying to figure out our internal standards and practices. I think it might be a little early to see how they work with external ones. <<

Absolutely. Projects like this should evolve gradually and naturally. I also agree with Maj that, at least at this point, Wikipedia should be treated as any other external resource. However, it's worth considering a semi-official relationship in the future, if only to reject the idea. It would be wonderful if each Wikipedia article about a place had a prominant link to "[place name] Travel Guide".

As for the CIA Factbook, if I had been here a week earlier, I would have advised against importing it, given the experience we had with doing so for Wikipedia. We thought it would be good early on because it would give us an article for every country, and we could work the data into proper articles. However, the process took years, and it still isn't finished yet. Also, once the articles were edited, we had no way of automatically updating the data when a new edition of the Factbook came out. Finally, given our Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals, most of the CIA data just doesn't fit. A travel guide doesn't need to provide detailed statistics showing the number of seats each party holds in government, or a list of all the treaties and international organizations to which the country is party. Providing a link to the Factbook entry would allow someone to find this information easily, without creating an out-of-date fork. However, some of the info would be good as a placeholder: the introductory paragraph, the flag and Quick Facts box, and the map, perhaps.

This isn't meant as an insult against you guys who did the importing; I was one of the first people to do so over at Wikipedia. :) -- Stephen Gilbert

So, it took me a while, but I finally starting grokking what you meant by "interlinking". That's the feature of the MediaWiki software that's mostly used for interlanguage links right now on Wikipedia, right? So that if there's an article about Napoleon on the English Wikipedia, and one on the, uh, Swahili Wikipedia, there can be links between those two articles. That's a pretty cool feature, and, in fact, I think having links between equivalent pages on Wikitravel and Wikipedia might be nice. I'll put it on my TODO list to enable it for Wikitravel, and write up a page on how to use it.
I have a teensy problem with linking to Wikipedia articles, however, which is that I want Wikitravel articles to be complete in and of themselves. I'd hate to see a Wikitravel article that said, "Everything you need to know about France is here, except that there's a good bagel place in Lyon." I think that links to Wikipedia articles are good resources; I'd be saddened if Wikitravellers leaned on them too much, and made weaker Wikitravel articles because of it. I think we have the job of extracting information that's important for travellers from a lot of different resources, and not making everyone do the same research. It's falling down on our job to just link to resources about France without doing some winnowing, selecting, and editing. Does that make any sense? -- Evan 19:48, 13 Aug 2003 (PDT)
Yes, that makes perfect sense. Wikipedia has had similiar problems, with some people providing an external link and saying "For information on topic X, see this web page". If the information is relevent and encyclopedic, put it in the encyclopedia! Likewise, Wikitravel articles should provide all relevent information for travellers, including such things as the history and politics of countries. I don't think anyone wants Wikitravel to be degraded to Wikipedia's "travel suplement". If some people do what you fear and lean too heavily on Wikipedia links, we'll just do what we do with all substandard pages on a wiki: edit, replace and expand the content. -- Stephen Gilbert 20:22, 16 Aug 2003 (PDT)

Would it be better to have magic links that are displayed in the header (such as with interlanguage links), or inline links (such as links to Wiktionary on Wikipedia and links to Wikipedia on Wiktionary). --Maveric149 17:28, 15 Aug 2003 (PDT)

The magic interlanguage header links are already enables in the software, although the code needs a little modification to be useful here. If you look at the top of this page, you'll see I've added an interlang link to the "Paris" article at the French Wikipedia (just as an example; I'll remove it a bit later).

fr:Paris

MediaWiki is still designed specifically for Wikipedia, so this installation assumes that this is the English Wikipedia and that http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris is the French version of this page. I suggest holding off on using these links this early in Wikitravel's development. As Maj pointed out, it's a simple matter to link to Wikipedia articles like we would link to any other website. -- Stephen Gilbert 20:22, 16 Aug 2003 (PDT)

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