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Wikitravel talk:WikiSherpa

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Before anyone objects to this as excessively promotional, let me stress that it was not my idea. Rezendi 23:18, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

Yup, it was mine. Thank you for all the work you've done to make WT mobile ;) --Peter Talk 22:29, 6 January 2011 (EST)

Mobile version[edit]

swept from pub:

Back in November 2009 a mobile version (m.wikitravel.org) had been announced. Just recently I got to check it out and noticed some issues. The major one is that the search function is not working (or not set up?). Also in the footer it is still referring to the old CC 1.0 license. It is definitely helping the users to read wikitravel on a mobile device (which is not so unlikely for a traveler after all) although some pages are a pain in the a**, having to scroll half a minute to get to the desired information. So maybe after clearing the major bugs even some improvements are possible ... Who is taking care of this version or is there any way to contribute to this? --Sebindi 08:53, 27 April 2010 (EDT)

The mobile version was implemented by Internet Brands. You can see the announcement at shared:Wikitravel Shared:Travellers' pub#Announcement: Wikitravel Mobile version. IBSteph requested feedback in that thread. LtPowers 11:22, 27 April 2010 (EDT)

iTravelFree Maps[edit]

swept from pub:

Hi. Me again. Because Android and iPhone apps weren't enough to keep me busy, I spent today cooking up another new Wikitravel feature: page maps!

I figured since I'd already written code to convert listing addresses to lat/long coordinates, I might as well make all that useful information available. So go ahead and feast your eyes and mice at http://wetravelright.appspot.com/map, which shows the locations of 777 more-or-less-randomly selected Wikitravel pages.

You can browse around by clicking on those flags, or use the Search form to search all of Wikitravel. Here's an example of what it looks like when you zoom in from pages to listings: http://wetravelright.appspot.com/map?terms=Santa+Monica

...and, of course, you can click on the listing icons to view/edit their basic information, or get a link to the Wikitravel page they came from.

This is very much a pre-alpha release: I started it from scratch just today! So it's still a little balky, and right now the search only works on English-language pages. Also, I've only tested it on Firefox and Safari for Mac, and the address -> lat/long geocoding is imperfect. But even so, I think it's pretty useful as is, and I've got a whole bunch of new features, improvements, and tweaks in mind.

(Most of them will have to wait until June, though, 'cause next week I'm heading off to travel down the east coast of Australia. This also means you shouldn't expect much in the way of new iTravelFree Android/iPhone app releases for the next six weeks.)

Enjoy! (And let me know if and when and how it breaks.)

Rezendi 01:27, 30 April 2010 (EDT)

That's just awesome! After all, it's great in districtifying job--especially in identifying what was misplaced in a wrong district, like this: NH Constanz in Barceloneta.
And yes, ability to see a huge city immediately with its subdistricts on the same map would absolutely rock. --DenisYurkin 01:40, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Nice. I agree from an editing point of view, you can quickly see what is wrong. I would like to edit a WT page, get your app to geolocate all the addresses, then check them, then write it back to the article. How is that for a feature request! Enjoy your trip down the east coast. I hope the WT articles help you on your way. --inas 01:56, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
I am still opposed to automatic geolocating in articles, due to inherent inaccuracies in the process. But I have no problem with displaying them on the map in an application like this, as something is better than nothing. My major bug-fix request for Rezendi is to have the little arrow on the bottom of the listing icons point at the calculated location, rather than have the icons centered on the location. LtPowers 09:30, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Not proposing that. I am suggesting that if a district or small town an visually display the geocoding for the attractions, this can then be manually reviewed and accepted. I would like the ability to edit the geolocation of attractions via the map interface rather than the wiki interface. The current wiki interface involves cutting and pasting coordinates, with no sanity check at the end. I geocoded most of the Sydney/Darling Harbour attractions using a GPS standing out the front of them, and when viewed on this map there I see a couple of blatant errors with just a quick glance, and I wish I could just correct them via the map. --inas 19:34, 2 May 2010 (EDT)

iTravelFree Maps, redux[edit]

swept from pub:

Hi. I'm back from Australia and back working on apps and maps and stuff. In particular, I've got a much more robust Wikitravel maps interface working now, over at iTravelFree.net. You can browse around by clicking on those flags, or use the Search form to search all of Wikitravel.

This new map is faster; can automatically load district and neighbourhood subpages (see this Montreal example); lets you search the listings on the map, and filter them by category (See, Do, Eat, Drink, Sleep, etc.); and lets you search by Wikitravel language.

It still has its quirks and weirdnesses - this is a beta release, at best - but I think it's pretty useful. Let me know what you think, and what needs fixing.

(Meanwhile, if I may blow my own horn, my Wikitravel-gateway app iTravelFree just passed the 10,000-download mark on the Android Market, where it boasts a four-star user rating, and the iPhone version is garnering some nice App Store reviews too. Check them out - they're both absolutely free! And I should be updating both with new tweaks and features pretty soon.)

Rezendi 14:08, 14 June 2010 (EDT)

Props mate, unfortunately my phone is not smart enough to try it out, but I applaud your work. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:20, 18 June 2010 (EDT)

Offline edits with iTravelFree[edit]

swept from pub:

So the new version of the iTravelFree app for Android/iPhone was meant to support offline Wikitravel editing as well as offline reading. And it still sorta does, but the new reCAPTCHA requirement for anonymous edits complicates matters somewhat.

How it works:

  1. Users download the app, and enter a valid email address in its Settings screen.
  2. The app now includes facilities that allow users to edit Wikitravel section text, add listings, and edit listings even when offline. (When online, they can upload them right away.)
  3. When they next launch the app, they'll be asked if they want to upload any pending edits.
  4. The edits are uploaded to the iTravel server, which tries to apply them to Wikitravel. It then sends the user an email indicating whether it succeeded or not.
  5. It might fail if, for instance, the old text has been changed by someone else. It will fail for all edits right now, due to the reCAPTCHA. (And due to a Google App Engine bug that currently prevents me from logging in to Wikitravel from the iTravel server.)
  6. However, the email includes the old text, the new text, and a link to the appropriate Wikitravel edit page - so it's still vaguely useful, in that you can sketch out edits when offline, then upload them from your phone, and then go to your computer, check email, and apply those changes with a few clicks and copy-pastes.

That said, it would be nice if either the reCAPTCHA was removed for anonymous edits, or Google were to fix the bug that prevents me from logging in programmatically...

Anyway, the new Android and iPhone versions of the app (v2.41 and v2.6, respectively) are now available. They're free, as ever. (There are paid versions, too, but they're basically identical; this is guiltware.)

Do bear in mind it's still very much in beta test... but it's (hopefully!) getting more polished with every release.

Hope it's helpful!

Rezendi 11:17, 28 July 2010 (EDT)

eta: Oh, yeah, and I've also tweaked the app to highlight Wikitravel's Star Articles - they're now available directly from the app's search screen, via a dedicated menu option (Android) or a very visible button (iPhone).

Getting an Android phone next week, can't wait to finally try this. Captcha' on anon edits is a mistake, should only be for sign ups, we're trying to get it fixed, but as you may know, Internet Brands is not the most responsive monkey in the jungle --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:34, 28 July 2010 (EDT)
In case anyone's curious, today I seem to have successfully implemented editing-from-the-app, despite the CAPTCHA wall... Rezendi 19:47, 22 August 2010 (EDT)
I've just got an Android phone in the last few days so I've started playing around with iTravelfree. First reaction - this is absolutely brilliant. Congratulations Rezendi you've done an amazing job with this. I think as more and more people get smart phones over the next year or so this will give Wikitravel a major lift as this application moves the whole project onto a level where it becomes properly useful for travellers (I certainly never had the desire to print of a sheaf of A4 on my destination and then cart it about with me on my trip). The maps feature seems to work well though it does highlight the importance of putting as much address detail as possible (and ideally geo-codes too) into listings. One thought - would it be possible to have the "alt" section from the listings template moved up a page? For example, if I click on "See" on a well-formatted travel guide, I will just see a list of attraction names, some of which might not give much of a clue as to what the attraction actually is. So if the information from the "alt" field was there, I might have more of an idea whether or not I want to click on that attraction to find out more. I haven't tried editing with it yet, either on- or off-line, but I'll let you know any feedback as and when I do. Again, really well done Rezendi! Tarr3n 05:37, 16 September 2010 (EDT)

iTravelFree page[edit]

swept from pub:

I've gone and created a first draft of a Wikitravel:iTravelFree article for my iTravelFree app/service. (And before anyone objects to this as excessively promotional, let me stress that it was not my idea!) Rezendi 23:22, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

Wikitravel + OpenStreetMaps > iTravelFree[edit]

swept from pub:

The latest Android version of my iTravelFree app (Android Market link) allows users to download an OpenStreetMap map for later offline use (with mapped Wikitravel listings optionally superimposed on them.) I'll soon be adding this capability to the iPhone version as well. Right now only a small number of maps are available - in particular, London and Paris - but that list will grow. This feature is very much in beta test; I'd appreciate it if people would a) try it and provide feedback b) suggest other maps that should be made available. As the name suggests, the app is completely free, though a paid version with some additional features does exist. Thanks! Rezendi 21:30, 19 February 2011 (EST)

Great news! What do you mean--"suggest other maps that should be made available", for testing purposes (as for normal use as wide coverage as possible is required)?
BTW, with [1] there's no more plans on Google Maps offline--what happened? --DenisYurkin 02:37, 20 February 2011 (EST)
So far I've only made a small number of prebuilt map packs available. (Users can roll their own, too, but it's a complicated procedure.) As for Google Maps caching, unfortunately that would be a violation of their terms of service. Rezendi

Undesirable elimination of empty fields[edit]

I just noticed this edit, and realized that iTravelFree erases all tags for fields that happen to be empty. I think this should be fixed. The tags should stay there, empty or not because they represent info that should be added and, if people happen to click on edit (section) instead using the listing editor wizard, they may not otherwise know how to add that information.

Also, not entirely sure, but on a test edit of the above, iTravelFree seemed to assume I was at the restaurant I edited, and added the coordinates in there without my telling it to, and I'm 150km away from there. Good thing I noticed-- other people maybe be inadvertently adding incorrect coordinates... texugo 21:58, 11 October 2011 (EDT)

API?[edit]

SWEPT IN FROM THE PUB:

I've resumed work on my Wikitravel:iTravelFree Android/iOS app - the next version will include Foursquare data as well as Wikitravel and Wikipedia - and its Wikitravel maps mash-up, and it occurred to me that some of the server-side stuff I do might be useful to others. In particular, I parse out Wikitravel pages into their constituent sections and listings, work out parent/child relationships using both breadcrumbs and internal links, convert addresses into lat/long coordinates, etc. It wouldn't be that much work for me to create a API that let developers access not just individual pages but individual sections and listings within pages, and the parent/child relationships between pages.

But it wouldn't be a trivial job either. And if a bunch of people wanted to use it extensively, the bandwidth costs would quickly become nontrivial. (I'm using Google App Engine, which ain't cheap.) So would anyone out there be interested in such an API? And if so, would it be a Creative Commons terms-of-service violation to charge its users enough to defray my costs for it? Rezendi 16:34, 2 January 2012 (EST)

Although I think charging for the service would be entirely possible under the licence, I think the derived information would also be CC-BY-SA. Arguably, it should be put back into the main guide. --Inas 17:39, 2 January 2012 (EST)

iTravelFree is dead; long live WikiSherpa[edit]

SWEPT IN FROM THE PUB

A quick note: I've renamed my Android/iOS Wikitravel app from iTravelFree to Wikitravel:WikiSherpa, mostly due to an irritating trademark dispute (don't ask.) Of greater interest to most is that, thanks to ever-cheapening bandwidth, it's now possible to download a complete offline snapshot of Wikitravel, and all associated Wikipedia pages, on the free version of the app. (The only difference between the free and paid version now is that the latter is ad-free; the income covers my bandwidth and App Engine costs.) Enjoy! And, as ever, any comments or suggestions are most welcome. Rezendi 08:03, 31 March 2012 (EDT)

Cool, I'll check it out and let you know how things are working ;) --Peter Talk 19:13, 31 March 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for the app, dude, it's really helpful! I'm traveling now in south america and use your app every day. —The preceding comment was added by 190.234.100.117 (talkcontribs)
Very cool. I was using it on the weekend and being able to read WT while offline (no cell coverage) was very handy. - Shaund 20:42, 13 April 2012 (EDT)

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