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'''These are archived discussions that took place all over Europe pages.<br>To see current threads check [[Talk:Europe/Hierarchy]]'''
 
'''These are archived discussions that took place all over Europe pages.<br>To see current threads check [[Talk:Europe/Hierarchy]]'''
 
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** Turkey (country)
 
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== Important info about hierarchy of Europe ==
 
== Important info about hierarchy of Europe ==

Latest revision as of 19:33, 3 November 2009

These are archived discussions that took place all over Europe pages.
To see current threads check Talk:Europe/Hierarchy


Contents

Talk:Eastern Europe[edit]

Moved from Talk:Eastern Europe

I disagree with Professorbiscuit's move to squish the Baltic countries and Central Europe into "Eastern Europe", and I suspect many inhabitants of those countries would do so well. The definition of the term has changed since the wall came down: these days "Central Europe" is the countries that have joined the EU, and "Eastern Europe" is the bit that hasn't. Jpatokal 02:44, 16 Oct 2004 (EDT)

That's not necessarily the best definition, and possibly a bit confusing for the traveller (ie Italy="Western Europe", Slovenia ="Central Europe", Croatia="Eastern Europe", despite the fact that they almost have a common border). No geographical division of Europe is going to be perfect, but at least there are now maps up to give a rough idea. I had the new proposed ideas for the new Europe regions up on Talk:Europe for a while, and nobody objected. Also, a similar division of Europe is used by another famous of brand of travel guide. Not that I'm saying we should copy them, but it seems to serve them very well. Professorbiscuit 09:23, 16 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I second Jpatokal on that this division is incorrect. To me it smells political section into "east block" and "west block" from the cold war and has not much to do with tourism. Why not simply use the division adopted in Wikipedia ? Wojsyl 16:30, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)

Talk:Western Europe[edit]

Moved from Talk:Western Europe

Hi, Cyprus is not in Western Europe ! Yann 18:14, 22 Mar 2004 (EST)

Yes, I agree. I am changing the list of countries now because there are two major flaws: one - neither Cyrpus nor Malta are Western European, two - they are countries, not just islands. Putting them under islands and not under countries is insulting ;-) Ronline 02:59, 23 Mar 2004 (EST)

Talk:Central Europe[edit]

Moved from Talk:Central Europe

This should be called Estern Europe. Central Europe usually also includes Autria, Germany and Switzerland. Yann 18:57, 22 Mar 2004 (EST)

I see a big mistake being made here with the European hierarchy. Central Europe is a legitimate region of Europe and not a euphemism. The Visegrad 4 countries (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary) are more often than not considered part of Central Europe. Eastern Europe is actually, I believe, not a region of Europe in the sense of it being comparable to Central Europe. Eastern Europe is the broad (very broad) definition given to all former-Communist European countries, including Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Czechia, Hungary, Albania, etc. However, these countries have now been divided into regions: Central Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States (if we consider that a region) and the former Soviet Union (this can sometimes be called Eastern Europe, in the same way that Serbia and Montenegro used to be called Yugoslavia). Therefore we get:
Central Europe: for sure Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary. Also frequently includes Slovenia and Romania - Transylvania makes up the majority of Romania and is part of Central Europe. Slovenia is culturally part of Central Europe more than the Balkans.
Balkans: former Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, etc.
Former Soviet Union (can be called Eastern Europe): Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, European Russia
Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia
There remain two problems: the Baltic States and Germany/Austria, etc. The Baltic States can be split up, with Estonia being part of Northern Europe, with Finland and Sweden, and the rest being part of Central Europe. Now, with Germany and Austria, these are NOWADAYS not regarded as Central European countries, even though making them part of Central Europe is a fair defintion. However, people have this fear of grouping Germany together with Poland, Czechia, etc. This is possible. Why not?. These countries are in fact part of the same region.
Therefore, we can have:
Central Europe: Austria, Germany, perhaps Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Visegrad 4. Slovenia and Romania could be included, but it would be too many countries in one region.
Therefore, in my opinion, the best proposal would be to place Germany and Austria/Switzerland either in a separate region called "the Alps" for example, or even better, group them with Western Europe. OK, now probably Western Europe will seem to large a region, but this is not the case, because we can have:
Western Europe: DE, FR, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, Italy and maybe Spain, maybe UK and Ireland
Mediterranean: Maybe Spain, definitely Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, maybe Turkey
Northern Europe: Scandinavia, Faeroes, Iceland, Finland, maybe Estonia.
Therefore, the hierarchy problem is solved. Europe is divided into groups that are both politically fair and forward-looking, and more important, relevant to tourists. Tourists do visit Germany and Belgium together. They do visit Cyprus, Turkey and Greece together. They do visit

Romania, Hungary and Czechia together. And, arguably, they visit Estonia, Sweden and Finland together. Ronline 02:58, 23 Mar 2004 (EST)

So this is the conversation that needs to be happening on Talk:Europe/Hierarchy. There's no point reasoning it out on each of the sub-pages (Central, Wester, etc), so could we move it over there where it can get hashed out and then have everyone working on it? thanks Majnoona 09:23, 23 Mar 2004 (EST)

Talk:Europe[edit]

Moved from Talk:Europe

Hierarchy[edit]

Hmm, what continental sections could we use


Can somebody give me a good reason why each country should only appear once? Example: Estonia is a Baltic state sometimes regarded as lying in Scandinavia and is a former Soviet republic, so not adding it under those three makes this list quite arbitrary. DhDh 13:50, 1 Jan 2004 (PST)

I see your point, and the fact that Wikitravel isn't paper-based means there can be multiple ways to get to a country article. On the other hand, I imagine we would have an overview map with the continental sections marked, and it would therefore make sense to be able to draw dividing lines. Matthewmayer 15:03, 1 Jan 2004 (PST)
A couple of things: Wikitravel is paper-based. OK, not -based, but we do want things to work on paper as well as on-line.
Second: I agree about maps. --Evan 15:23, 1 Jan 2004 (PST)

I agree with Dhum Dhum about the issues with Estonia and similar countries. I think we shouldn't really double up any countries, but if necessary, we should do so. Really, I think Estonia shouldn't be doubled up. I still have something against the name Scandinavia as a category - Scandinavia really only contains Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and maybe Iceland, but in no way really Finland and the rest of the countries listed there. I know Northern Europe probably sounds worse, but it's better in terms of category. In Northern Europe, we could list Estonia as well, and Finland, etc, because when people go to these places, they are more likely to couple these countries together (a lot of people visit Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland together, and then make two-day trips to Estonia, or maybe to the Faeroe Islands, but you can't really make all these countries Scandinavian). Anyway, I've sorted out the countries an alternative way at the Romanian Wikitravel, which is similar in terms of structure but just a bit different in terms of which countries go where (you can see it at ro:Europa. -- Ronline 17:17, 1 Jan 2004 (PST)

The problem with divisions like these is that they are based on different criteria: geological (eg. the Alps), political/cultural/geographical (eg. Western Europe) and historical (eg. the former Soviet Union), all heaped together. You are bound to get overlaps this way. I think there are two solutions to this problem: we either choose only one way to split up Europe -- but that will be a difficult choice, or we accept that there is overlap. I see no problem with applying the latter in the Europe article: we can have more than one map where regional borders are drawn following different criteria. I am convinced that an article about the Alps needs to have information on the French Alps, the Slovenian Alps and everything in between (because that's what I, as a traveller, would expect), otherwise you should just call it the Swiss Alps or something. The same goes for the former Soviet Union which by all means must include the Baltic States. Etc... DhDh.

Yes, I agree with overlap - it's a good thing sometimes. But, I think we should just sort out the categories in blocks of countries that tourists are bound to visit together (i.e. Central Europe, with Hungary, Poland, Czechia, etc. and Northern Europe, with Finland, Sweden, Norway, etc.). The only place where overlap would really occur is concerning the Baltic States, Northern Europe and the former USSR. So, it could be sorted out the following way:
I think the Baltic States category is unnecessary. With all respects for the Baltics, few people would actually visit these states alone, and they are too small a region to be classified alone. They are, however, very different from the former USSR - politically, economically and most of all culturally, which impacts on tourism. The Baltic States are very rarely classified as the former Soviet Union today - they will soon be part of the EU, they've moved past that stage. Among themselves, they're also very different, meaning that they can be broken up among other regions - Estonia could go with Northern Europe (it classifies itself as a Northern European country, and the vast majority of people visiting it actually make side trips from Finland, not from Russia or from Latvia, Poland, etc). Latvia and Lithuania could go in Central Europe - they're more likely to be in the same travel itinerary as Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, etc. So, finally, I think the categories should be arranged touristically (if that's a word ;-), which after all, shouldn't be hard to do.
Concerning the Alps region, I think it's also an unnecessary category - all those countries (except Slovenia) should go in Western Europe, since they're bound to be visited together (i.e. a lot of people visit France, Austria, Germany, Spain, etc in a Grand Tour of Europe). I think the Alps just further complicates the structure, also since a lot of the countries there aren't really Apline countries. France and Germany, for example, are mainly visited for other destinations than the Alps - it's really only Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein who are renowned for their Alpine destinations. Ronline 18:44, 2 Jan 2004 (EST)
I have no problem with overlap, but I would disagree with the claim that few people would visit Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia alone. There are several travel companies based in the United Kingdom which offer trips through these three countries alone - and I would argue that the majority of British people (possibly Western Europeans) think of them as the Baltic states. MykReeve 01:12, 03 Jan 2004 (GMT)
I visited (just) the three Baltic States last summer, and I had a Lonely Planet guidebook covering all three. I'd suggest keeping that category, they are different from many Eastern European countries and the former USSR. We could rename Scandinavia to 'Nordic countries' be be less ambiguous [1]. I think the aim with the categories should be to have categories narrow enough so that sensible generalisations can be made in the guidebook sections of the category page, but wide enough so that we're not just duplicating stuff in the country articles. 81.131.154.109 07:45, 3 Jan 2004 (EST)

Turkey and Russia really should not be in the Europe section. Russia is really an asian nation (even if parts west of the Urals get lumped in with Europe now and then); and while I know that Turkey technically has a tiny bit that's European, it really is a mid-eastern country. If anything, include them in the special note at the end. But they're really not European nations. -nils 23:20, 8 JAN 2004 (CET)

Russia spans two continents. St Petersburg and Moscow are European cities really, not Asian. Anyway, we can link through both from the Europe and Asia articles. Matthewmayer 17:48, 8 Jan 2004 (EST)

The British Isles[edit]

I think this page would be more userfriendly if the Irish page was separate from the British isles; for Irish users at least. Whatever about the political history of the names we just do not view ourselves as being part of the British isles -rather we see ourselves part of Europe.

Actually, the United Kingdom is a political area but the British Isles is a geographic area which does include Ireland. The Irish users can probably go directly to the Ireland page, but other users are going to expect to be able to navigate to it from British Isles.

[2]. Majnoona


The British Isles is the name we use for the cluster of islands off the northwest edge of Europe. No matter some Irish people's distaste for any meager association with the UK, Ireland just isn't tucked somewhere between Austria and Switzerland. It's in this island group.
The traveller comes first on Wikitravel. We need to call a spade a spade. We're not going to make a map that shows Ireland anchored off the coast of France, and we're not going to bowlderize the geographical hierarchy just so two countries who don't like each other don't get mentioned on the same page. This isn't kindergarten -- it's a travel guide. --Evan 11:01, 19 Jan 2004 (EST)

Well it just goes to show how stupid people who contribute to this site are.Again i see people excusing the incorrect interpretation of the term "British Isles".If Ireland is not part of Britain including Northern Ireland how the hell can it be part of the "British Isles"It has never been part of Britain see Act of Union 1800.N Ireland is not part of Britain either.From a factual point of view you are all wrong.

Hierarchy (2)[edit]

I am more than unhappy with this seemingly random division of Europe. Just to give one example: Belgium is not considered part of Western Europe, while Cyprus, lying in the extreme Southeast is. If I'm a traveller and the traveller comes first, I would be more than confused with this kind of hierarchy. In the next few days I'll try to work out an alternative proposal. Dhum Dhum Akubra 12:03, 21 Mar 2004 (EST)

I agree, go for it.-- maybe create Talk:Europe/Hierarchy? I know we'll always have more than one index to European countries, which is a good thing, but I'd like to see at least one "common sense" traveller-oriented version-- ie where Cyprus is not west of Belgium. Majnoona 13:28, 21 Mar 2004 (EST)
So, I agree about the hierarchy. I'll do another pass on Talk:Europe/Hierarchy. --Evan 15:30, 21 Mar 2004 (EST)~
Hey, so I've noticed Yann and maybe others doing a lot of moving, reorging the Europe pages. Could we maybe hash it out on the

Talk:Europe/Hierarchy page before doing stuff? I just dont want it to turn to edit wars and rollbacks. Maybe just agree on round of changes and then makes them go... otherwise it seems like duplicate work Majnoona 20:32, 22 Mar 2004 (EST)

New continent format[edit]

I threw together a new Europe page in my sandbox, http://wikitravel.org/en/article/User:Professorbiscuit/Sandbox/Europe Would anyone be opposed to adopting this style for continents? Professorbiscuit 17:23, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Cities! I want cities.  ;) -- Mark 17:49, 11 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I know Greece is part of the European Union, but since when has it ever been considered part of Western Europe, rather than a part of the Balkans? I don't understand its inclusion with Western European states on the Europe page at all. Does that make Cyprus part of Western Europe on the same reasoning? I think not. While I'm on this, the Eastern Europe division is way too large and unwieldy - I think we should divide it into Eastern Europe (Hungary northwards to the Baltic) and the Balkans (south of Hungary down to Greece.... Any comments? Pjamescowie 12:16, 4 Nov 2004 (EST)
I agree completely! Divide Eastern Europe into the Balkans and (possibly) the Baltic States. Anybody else? -nick 23:11, 11 Nov 2004 (EST)

I'm a bit confuzed with the current division. Where's the Central Europe? Wouldn't it be easier and more logic to use the official Regions of Europe?

I agree that a Central Europe region needs to be created. My proposal, following Wikipedia, is to move Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary into this. Jpatokal 05:57, 16 Nov 2004 (EST)
Agree with Jpatokal. Use Wikipedia and don't invent new artificial divisions. Wojsyl 16:35, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)
I too Agree with Jpatokal. Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
Take a look at Talk:Europe/Hierarchy#Proposed_solution, where I posted a map proposing to divide Europe into 5 intuitive regions: Western, Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern. Comments Welcome. Wojsyl 14:13, 2 Jan 2005 (EST)
The problem, of course, with all divisions of Europe is that they are arbitary and a bit confusing. There are no "official regions of Europe", and I feel that adding too many more regions will merely cause difficulty. I suggested the current five divisions for several reasons.
  • They are similar to the divisions used by a well-known brand of travel book (cough <<lonely planet>> cough). Not that we have to copy them, but the average traveller in Europe is familiar with these books, and will recognise the divisions.
I assume you are referring to the Western Europe guide. [3]. However Lonley planet also publishes a guide called Central Europe. [4] In it it lists the countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland. But as you said we should not copy them. Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
  • The 7 plus or minus 2 rule. Five categories make more sense than 9.
I can agree with you on this one. But the Wikipedia article mentions only five regions. If we only want five regions I would preferr we scrape the British Isles instead of central Europe. Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
  • Having travelled a lot in Europe, I believe that the "Eastern" countries do have many in common; they are generally cheaper to travel in and are post-communist societies. The other regions do have things in common, as well.
While for example Vienna may have some things in common with Paris, it has a lot more in common with Prague or Budapest. Central Europe as proposed by Jpatokal has a common heritage that can be felt everywhere. Architecture, traditions, food, words, ... Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
  • It saves us from pointless arguments as "Is Hungary a part of the Balkans? How about Romania? And so on.
I personally think that the way Wikipedia categorizes the regions of Europe is a quite good one. If you we don't want to argue about to whom Hungary belongs we would have to remove all destinctions. But that's probably not what we want. As far as Hungary is concerned, both Wikipedia (w:Hungary) as well as Britannica define it as a central European Country. As far as Romania is concerned Wikipedia (w:Romania) defines it as a southeastern european country and the Britannica defines it as belonging to the Balkan.Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
  • Most importantly, they are the easiest for the traveller, for a combination of the reasons above. I strongly believe that the European regional divisions be left as they are. Professorbiscuit 14:11, 16 Nov 2004 (EST)
While less regions are a good thing, they have to be devided up if parts of a region are just too different. This is the case with Europe as a whole. That's why we are having this discussion. However as mentioned earlier by myself, Vienna is different from Paris, but very similar to Prague. Therefore we must have a region called central Europe. Fido 15:07, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)

annoying - unaware of facts[edit]

It is indeed annoying to see that a country like Slovenia, between Vienna and Venice, is categorised as "eastern Europe". Meanwhile a Balkan state like Greece is categorised as part of Western Europe. Which cold war muppet is acting without any awareness of historical and political contexts?

The muppet you're looking for is User:Professorbiscuit. Jpatokal 20:17, 11 Jan 2005 (EST)
Whilst "cold war muppet" is certainly amongst my favourite insults I've heard in a while, I'm beginning to get sick of people whingeing about the Europe divisions. For the slow learners amongst you, this site is called "WikiTravel". Note the "wiki" bit. It's not called "Professor Biscuit's Travel", so if you hate it so much then edit the damn page. Call the area from Vladivostok to Geneva "Central Europe" if you feel so inclined.
Perhaps if even half the amount of time that's been spent complaining on the pointless subject of how to divide best Europe into a bunch of pretty colours had been spent writing actual destination guides, the whole site would be a lot better. To the above Mr. Anonymous, if you feel the need to insult people because they think Slovenia is in eastern rather than central Europe, you should perhaps grow up a little. If you feel a desperate need to discuss geopolitics with me, leave it on my talk page or email me. Professorbiscuit 19:32, 19 Jan 2005 (EST)
The reason so much ink is being spilled on this is that it's a controversial topic and it would be nice to come to a compromise that most people can agree on. Such consensus was not achieved before the current division was implemented... Jpatokal 21:40, 19 Jan 2005 (EST)
Oh, come on. I left around a month for people to raise objections before I plunged forward and made the changes. To be honest, I'm beginning to take the continual insults and insinuations personally, especially when I have not done a thing wrong. Calling me a muppet is out of line, Jpatokal, especially since you are an admin. You should apologise. I'm washing my hands of this godforsaken Europe page, and it is a shame that people that people should be hounded for such ridiculous reasons. Professorbiscuit 13:39, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)
The "muppet" thing was Mr. Anonymous's wording, not mine, and I was just pointing to you as the author of the current layout — so sorry if I caused offence. Jpatokal 21:29, 23 Jan 2005 (EST)

Obviously it is quite controversial if it heats things up almost to a flame war. To put stop to this, I'm going to edit the related pages to reflect what I've proposed at Talk:Europe/Hierarchy#Proposed_solution if no one objects. Wojsyl 18:24, 23 Jan 2005 (EST)

  • I support this. Jpatokal 21:29, 23 Jan 2005 (EST)

Talk:Europe/Hierarchy[edit]

Moved from Talk:Europe/Hierarchy

Hierarchy[edit]

This is a proposed hierarchy for the countries in Europe. Feel free to edit.

  • British Isles (section)
    • United Kingdom (country)
    • Ireland (country)
    • Channel Islands, Isle of Man (territories)
  • Iberian Peninsula (section)
    • Portugal (country)
    • Spain (country)
    • Andorra (country)
    • Gibraltar (territory)
  • France (country and section!)
  • Benelux (section)
    • Belgium (country)
    • The Netherlands (country)
    • Luxembourg (country)
  • Scandinavia (section)
    • Norway (country)
    • Denmark (country)
    • Sweden (country)
    • Finland (country)
    • Iceland (country)
    • Faroe Islands (territory)
  • Central Europe (section)
    • Germany (country)
    • Switzerland (country)
    • Austria (country)
    • Liechtenstein (country)
    • Italy [+ Vatican City] (countries)
    • San Marino (country)
    • Malta (country)
  • Eastern Europe (section)
    • Poland (country)
    • Hungary (country)
    • Czech Republic (country)
    • Slovakia (country)
    • Russia (country)
    • Belarus (country)
    • Ukraine (country)
    • Moldova (country)
  • Baltic states (section)
    • Estonia (country)
    • Latvia (country)
    • Lithuania (country)
  • Balkans (section)
    • Slovenia (country)
    • Croatia (country)
    • Bosnia & Herzegovina (country)
    • Serbia & Montenegro (country)
    • Albania (country)
    • Bulgaria (country)
    • Romania (country)
    • FYRO Macedonia (country)
  • Eastern Mediterranean (section)
    • Greece (country)
    • Turkey (country)
    • Cyprus (country)

Important info about hierarchy of Europe[edit]

I see a big mistake being made here with the European hierarchy. Central Europe is a legitimate region of Europe and not a euphemism. The Visegrad 4 countries (Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary) are more often than not considered part of Central Europe. Eastern Europe is actually, I believe, not a region of Europe in the sense of it being comparable to Central Europe. Eastern Europe is the broad (very broad) definition given to all former-Communist European countries, including Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Czechia, Hungary, Albania, etc. However, these countries have now been divided into regions: Central Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States (if we consider that a region) and the former Soviet Union (this can sometimes be called Eastern Europe, in the same way that Serbia and Montenegro used to be called Yugoslavia). Therefore we get:

Central Europe: for sure Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary. Also frequently includes Slovenia and Romania - Transylvania makes up the majority of Romania and is part of Central Europe. Slovenia is culturally part of Central Europe more than the Balkans.

Balkans: former Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, etc.

Former Soviet Union (can be called Eastern Europe): Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, European Russia

Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia

There remain two problems: the Baltic States and Germany/Austria, etc. The Baltic States can be split up, with Estonia being part of Northern Europe, with Finland and Sweden, and the rest being part of Central Europe. Now, with Germany and Austria, these are NOWADAYS not regarded as Central European countries, even though making them part of Central Europe is a fair defintion. However, people have this fear of grouping Germany together with Poland, Czechia, etc. This is possible. Why not?. These countries are in fact part of the same region.

Therefore, we can have:

Central Europe: Austria, Germany, perhaps Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Visegrad 4. Slovenia and Romania could be included, but it would be too many countries in one region.

Therefore, in my opinion, the best proposal would be to place Germany and Austria/Switzerland either in a separate region called "the Alps" for example, or even better, group them with Western Europe. OK, now probably Western Europe will seem to large a region, but this is not the case, because we can have:

Western Europe: DE, FR, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, Italy and maybe Spain, maybe UK and Ireland
Mediterranean: Maybe Spain, definitely Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, maybe Turkey
Northern Europe: Scandinavia, Faeroes, Iceland, Finland, maybe Estonia.

Therefore, the hierarchy problem is solved. Europe is divided into groups that are both politically fair and forward-looking, and more important, relevant to tourists. Tourists do visit Germany and Belgium together. They do visit Cyprus, Turkey and Greece together. They do visit Romania, Hungary and Czechia together. And, arguably, they visit Estonia, Sweden and Finland together. Ronline 02:58, 23 Mar 2004 (EST)

We need a Mediterranean Europe page. From climate, food and culture point of view, this makes sense. Putting Italy in Central Europe doesn't. It would also include Spain, Portugal, Malta, maybe Greece. Yann 08:30, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
Yeah, I would tend to think that that might be useful. The main thing of course is helping travlers find the article about their destination. -- Mark 09:11, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
Exactly! Wikitravel is supposed to be for travellers. But the more I look at this discussion and the previous one at Talk:Europe, I get the feeling that we're more or less talking alongside each other. We cannot ignore the fact that Europe, being a patchwork of countries, cultures and peoples, is very hard to divide in regions.
Can we divide Europe along political lines? I don't think so. During the last 10-15 years we have seen major shifts in politics - simply said: a substantial number of countries have gone from communism to capitalism. And even now political borders are changing (cfr. the EU).
Along cultural lines then? Maybe a little bit easier, but not much. We have seen a lot of cultural exchanges in the past years. Speaking for my home country, I wonder if there still is a Belgian identity. The larger cities resemble the towers of Babel, with all those different languages you hear. (And these people are not only tourists. They live here.)
So what can we use? As said before, Wikitravel is for travellers, and we should group countries that people tend to visit together. The main "problem" (at least, some view it as such) is that in this respect, quite a few countries belong to different "groups". Speaking again for Belgium, it is true that people who visit us also visit the Netherlands. Or Germany. Or France. The point I'm making is that, if we want to make it easy for travellers to find the article(s) of their destination, we will have to make overlaps.
I realize some people around here are a bit afraid of that. I don't understand why. A region is a container for subjects on a lower level (be it countries, other regions, whatever...). If a given country is contained within a region, it means that it has affinities with the other countries within that region (which can and should be explained in that article). And if that same country is contained within another region, it simply means that it has (other) affinities with the countries in that region (which can and should be explained in that article). To me, creating "exclusive" regions (containig countries belonging exclusively to that region) is creating problems.
So, I have made a hierarchy of Europe, based on ("inclusive") regions which can be defined as broadly as wanted. I'd be glad to know what you think of them:
  • Northern Europe (section)
    • Iceland (country)
    • Faroe Islands (territory)
    • Scandinavia (region)
      • Norway (country)
      • Sweden (country)
      • Finland (country)
      • Denmark (country)
    • Estonia (country)
  • Northwestern Europe (section)
    • British Isles (region)
      • Ireland (country)
      • United Kingdom (country)
      • Channel Islands (territory)
      • etc...
    • Denmark (country)
    • Germany (country)
    • Benelux (region)
      • Netherlands (country)
      • Belgium (country)
      • Luxembourg (country)
    • Switzerland (country)
    • Liechtenstein (country)
    • Austria (country)
  • Central Europe (section)
    • Germany (country)
    • Poland (country)
    • Czech Republic (country)
    • Slovakia (country)
    • Switzerland (country)
    • Liechtenstein (country)
    • Austria (country)
    • Slovenia (country)
    • Hungary (country)
    • Romania (country)
  • Eastern Europe (section)
    • Russia (country)
    • Baltic States (region)
      • Estonia (country)
      • Latvia (country)
      • Lithuania (country)
    • Belarus (country)
    • Ukraine (country)
    • Moldova (country)
    • Romania (country)
  • Southwestern Europe (section)
    • Belgium (country)
    • Luxembourg (country)
    • France (country)
    • Switzerland (country)
    • Iberian Peninsula (region)
      • Andorra (country)
      • Portugal (country)
      • Spain (country)
      • Gibraltar (territory)
    • Monaco (country)
    • Italy (country)
    • San Marino (country)
    • Vatican City (country)
  • Balkans (section)
    • Hungary (country)
    • Romania (country)
    • Slovenia (country)
    • Croatia (country)
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina (country)
    • Serbia and Montenegro (country)
    • Albania (country)
    • Macedonia (country)
    • Bulgaria (country)
    • Greece (country)
    • Turkey (country)
  • Mediterranean Europe (section)
    • Portugal (country)
    • Spain (country)
    • Gibraltar (territory)
    • France (country)
    • Monaco (country)
    • Italy (country)
    • Greece (country)
    • Turkey (country)
    • Malta (country)
    • Cyprus (country)
Dhum Dhum Akubra 10:31, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
The overlaps work fine for me! What are the arguments against them? Like I said this is about helping the traveler find the destination page that he or she wants right? -- Mark 12:15, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
Overlaps are definitely a good idea as it will help people find the destination they're looking for. That said, I think it would be good for each country to have a primary section for two reasons - 1. so that (when it gets implemented) each page can have a breadcrumb navigation bar (eg Europe > Mediterranean Europe > Spain), and 2. so that we can have a clickable map of Europe with the sections highlighted, so a visitor can easily visualise the hierarchy we have developed.
Overlaps make it hard for us to make maps. They make it hard to know where to put information, and they cause duplicate information. I'd prefer to avoid them when possible. --Evan 21:14, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
I almost hate to point this out, but all of these arguments sound like they favor contributors over travelers. -- Mark 03:12, 25 Mar 2004 (EST)
I'd like to have traditional English names for sections of Europe wherever possible. I don't think there's much of a point to Northwestern Europe or Southwestern Europe. I've never heard of these things. They're made up, and they don't help travelers find what they're looking for. --Evan 21:14, 24 Mar 2004 (EST)
OK, this makes sense to me. Since the hireachy is about helping travelers find information about their destinations, then perhaps areas that travelers won't recognize aren't all that useful. -- Mark 03:12, 25 Mar 2004 (EST)
Some remarks/questions:
Breadcrumb navigation: unless my understanding of this is completely wrong I suppose this gives readers an easy way to move up to the previous level or down to the next level. If this gets automated, is there anything against having, say "Europe -> Balkans -> Greece -> Athens" (if you followed the Balkans link) and "Europe -> Mediterranean Europe -> Greece -> Athens" (if you followed the Mediterranean Europe link)?
Clickable maps: I see the problem with these. But if we are going to have them, at least something needs to be changed in the software. I don't have an immediate answer to it right now, but at this point I think we shouldn't rule out a complete incompatibility with overlaps. Every problem should have its solution, right?
Duplicate information: I don't really see the problem. Let's take the example of Greece again (Balkans and Mediterranean Europe). The Balkans article talks about the countries belonging to that region and what binds them together. In it can be explained why Greece, following a certain number of criteria, belongs to that region. On the other hand, and following other criteria, Greece belongs to Mediterranean Europe. Part of that article can explain why. To me, that is not duplicate information.
Northwestern/Southwestern Europe: Yes, it's true that these names are not widespread. I split them up because otherwise "Western Europe" would have become too heavy. And I more or less did it along linguistic lines (Latin vs. Germanic languages). On the other hand, and referring again to the clickable maps, they would show immediately what is meant by these names.
Dhum Dhum Akubra 12:40, 25 Mar 2004 (EST)

My suggestion is to use the KISS system. Keep it simple, stupid. Forget a hundred artificial sections. There are so many definitions, none set in stone and some that keep changing around depending on who uses them and what for. For example, Western Europe was everything west of the iron curtain - nowadays it's harder to make the distinction. Where does it start? East of Germany? West of Germany? You're bound to have many, many overlaps - Central Europe definitely includes Germany, for example; but what else. Poland? France? We will never find a "perfect definition".

Hence let's just use "travel"-like destinations:

  • British Isles (easily defined, and have a common "theme/culture")
  • Scnadinavia (dito)
  • Continental Europe (everything on the "mainland", ie. excluding Scandinavia and British Isles but including denmark)
  • Alpine Nations (everything that touches the Alps)
  • North Sea states (everything that touches the North Sea)
  • Baltic Sea states (same, for baltic sea)
  • Mediterranean states (same, for mediterranean sea)

That's it. Plain, simple, straight forward. We also have a "European countries by alphabet", and hoepfully maybe some day a map (clickable or not doesn't matter, as long as it's labelled) and a "European Union" page. (The is very important because it's relevant to travellers; but I seem to remember we had that discussion before and agreed it's OK.)

A traveller goes either to one country (then sections aren't needed, just pick the country by alphabet) or he will make a tour of nearby countries (then a map is needed). And for those who are looking for a "regional feel" or "topic", we have the sections I list above. Alpine for those who want skiing/mountains, for example. This could be augmented by articles about regions or multi-country vacations (similar to the one about the landroute from Europe to Asia).

If "Continental Europe" is too big, divide it between "East" and "West" (use the eastern border of Germany as the divide). I do not like this, however; I feel it's a "cold war" leftover more than anything and it introduces too much complexity.

List special cases under the appropriate countries (Example: Gibraltar in the article for UK/England, but maybe link it from Spain as well). Don't list them all in the lists. Nobody really cares that, for example, Vatican City is a sovereign nation. People will look for the pope under "italy -> rome". Likewise, I seriously doubt anybody says "Hey let's make a vacation in the Balkans". They want Greece, or (former) Yusgoslavia, or maybe "any country at the Adriatic sea". Travel guide - not an encyclopedia. Leave that to our buddies at wikipedia.org.

And a final note about breadcrumb navigation: Simply do it like so: "Europe > Germany > Frankfurt". No further abstraction is needed.

--Nils 20:15, 25 Mar 2004 (EST)

Do you think 5 sections would be too few?

  • British Isles
  • Scandinavia and Northern Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Southern and Mediterranean Europe

Matthewmayer 21:11, 25 Mar 2004 (EST)

Five sections seem fair, but ...
Just keep it in line with wikipedia's grouping, which is correct, moreover keeps it simple and away of cold war political and regional divisions:
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Northern Europe
  • Southern Europe
  • Central Europe
Why would anyone want to reinvent the division here ?
Wojsyl 16:24, 27 Dec 2004 (EST)
Seriously, there is nothing 'official' about Wikipedia's Europe divisions. They were arbitrarily made-up. There is no argument in saying that we have to do things the way they do. Professorbiscuit 09:37, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)
Not at all. And being 'not official' does not mean that they're not good. And we are free to use the divisions worked out there. They are simple, clear, non controversial, not biased, well explained, historically and culturally correct and above all: easy to understand and accept. What do we need more. Does anyone object against using it here ? Wojsyl 10:38, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)


Well, I do, obviously. Firstly, the maps of the regions took a long time to make, and noone objected to the new divisions before they were put up. Most importantly, the current distinctions make more sense to the the traveller. The countries "Eastern Europe" (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, etc.) make much more sense of a traveller's destination than a "Central European" tour comprising Switzerland and Slovakia. Wikipedia may have the more politically correct distinctions, but they make no sense here. This is not the place for political point-scoring for Irish people who object to the term "British Isles" and Polish people who don't want to be in "Eastern Europe". Professorbiscuit 13:58, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)


No, sorry, they do not make more sense to the traveller. On the contrary, they are misguiding but what's even worse, they show arogance and no respect to people living there. Very much unlike a real traveller's attitude and certainly not something we should be promoting.
The argument about the effort put into making the map is fair and I understand that you can be emotionally tied to it, but hey, the sooner we correct it the less work will be involved in future corrections. I would suggest using the map from Wikipedia. It shows the division quite clearly. Wojsyl 15:45, 28 Dec 2004 (EST)

Talk:Poland[edit]

Moved from Talk:Poland

Poland lays in Central Europe[edit]

AFAIK Poland was always considered as being in Central Europe, not in Eastern. Just look at the map (and do not forget about European part of Russia) Also Poland is in Central European time zone (same as Paris) -- oposed to Ukraine which is in Eastern European TZ.

Also see here:

JanSlupski 14:51, 17 Dec 2004 (EST)

Ok, found the discussion in the Talk:Europe now. Polish people rather would say that Poland is in Central Europe. But if rest of the world name it Eastern, I have to accept ;) JanSlupski 16:17, 17 Dec 2004 (EST)

Not really, I think this is a major mistake with division of Europe (and particularly definition of Eastern Europe) here on WikiT and needs to be corrected asap. Wojsyl 02:46, 8 Jan 2005 (EST)

Idetrorce[edit]

very interesting, but I don't agree with you Idetrorce

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