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We often have to use '''measurements''' in Wikitravel — for the distances between places, for the altitude of mountains, for the temperature of deserts, for the volume of a glass of beer. This style guideline gives some suggestions for how to specify and format measurements.
+
{{Shortcut|[[unit]]}}
 +
We often have to use '''measurements''' in Wikitravel — for the distances between places, for the altitude of mountains, for the temperature of deserts, for the volume of a glass of beer. This style guideline explains how to specify and format measurements.
  
 
==Use local units of measurement==
 
==Use local units of measurement==
 +
{{Shortcut|[[SI]]}}
 +
When showing a measurement, use the '''local system of units''' for the destination you're describing. This is the system that travellers will see on road signs, local maps, menus, food packages, weather reports, etc.
  
When showing a measurement, use the '''local system of units''' for the destination you're describing. This is the system that travelers will see on road signs, local maps, menus, food packages, weather reports, etc.
+
For most of the world, this is the {{o||'''metric system''' (SI)}}.  
  
For most of the world, this is the '''metric system'''. For the [[United States of America]], it's the '''"U.S. standard"''' system (miles, gallons, pounds), which is similar to the '''Imperial''' system of the [[United Kingdom]]. In some cases, the systems are mixed — for example, in the [[United Kingdom]], road distances are measured in miles and beer served by the pint, while meat and canned goods, for example, are measured in (kilo)grams. Milk is measured in both pints ''and'' litres. We favor accuracy over consistency.  
+
However, for the [[United States of America]], it's the ''"US standard"'' system of units—similar to, but certainly not the same as, the ''imperial'' system of the [[United Kingdom]]. In some cases, the systems are mixed—for example, in the UK, road distances are measured in miles and beer served by the pint, while meat and canned goods are measured in (kilo)grams. Milk is measured in both pints (in [[England]] and [[Wales]]) ''and'' litres (in [[Scotland]]). We favour accuracy over consistency.  
  
The chief difference between the U.S. standard system and the Imperial system is in the sizes of the pint and the gallon. The U.S. measures are 20% smaller than the Imperial measures. That means you get more drunk on a British pint, and you get fewer miles to the gallon on American roads!
+
The chief difference between the US system of units and the imperial system is in the sizes of the pint and the gallon. The US measures are 20% smaller than the imperial measures. That means you get more drunk on a British pint, and you get fewer miles to the gallon on American roads!
  
If the measurement spans multiple countries, use metric.
+
If the measurements span multiple countries, {{o||'''use metric'''}}.
  
For articles that don't deal with a particular destination (like travel topics), use metric.
+
For articles that don't deal with a particular destination (like most travel topics), {{o||'''use metric'''}}.
  
 
==Provide conversions==
 
==Provide conversions==
 +
{{Shortcut|[[conv]]}}
 +
It's easier for travellers to understand measurements if they're converted to their own country's units. For this reason, it's best to provide '''conversions''' for measurements into both metric (SI) and US styles, the two systems most widely used in the English-speaking world.
  
It's easier for travelers to understand measurements if they're converted to their own country's units. For this reason, it's best to provide '''conversions''' for measurements into both metric and imperial, the two systems most widely used in the English-speaking world.
+
If the preferred units are metric, try to provide US style measurements in parentheses after. If the preferred units are US Standard, always provide metric measurements in parentheses afterwards.  
  
If the preferred units are metric, provide imperial measurements in parentheses after. If the preferred units are imperial, provide metric measurements in parentheses. If for some reason the local unit is neither metric nor imperial, provide first metric then imperial in parentheses afterwards.
+
If for some reason the local unit is neither metric nor US, try to provide ''first'' metric, ''then'' US (separated by a comma and a space) enclosed in the same parentheses afterwards.
  
 
Don't repeat conversions unnecessarily.
 
Don't repeat conversions unnecessarily.
  
 
===Accuracy===
 
===Accuracy===
There is no need to convert between units to the nth decimal place. If you convert between units only state the conversion to the same number of significant digits as the original measure. If you want to show decimal places or be more accurate than a single unit allows, consider going down to a smaller unit. Remember, these measurements are going to be used by travellers, not scientists.
+
{{Shortcut|[[acc]]}}
 +
There is no need to convert between units to unnecessarily precise decimal places. If you convert between units only state the conversion to the same number of significant digits as the original measure. If you want to show decimal places or be more accurate than a single unit allows, consider going down to a smaller unit. Remember, these measurements are going to be used by travellers, not scientists.
  
==Examples==
+
To indicate {{o||''approximately''}}, use the un-italicised abbreviation "{{o||c.}} " (followed by a space) rather than ''circa'', ''ca.'', or  ''approx.''
  
The following are some examples of good practice for measurements.
+
==Avoid orphaned units==
 +
{{Shortcut|[[aou]]}}
 +
Except for measurements of temperature, we have a mild preference for separating the number from its associated unit by a single space but:
  
* It's 2800 mi (4500 km) from [[Los Angeles]] to [[New York (city)|New York]].
+
* Don't go wild copy editing different formatting (unless you're seriously underemployed)
* It's 815 km (506 mi) from [[Paris]] to [[Marseille]].
+
* To avoid the unit of measurement that "belongs" to a measurement  being "orphaned" from its associated unit when it wraps to a following line, separate the pair with a non breaking space character "<code><nowiki>&amp;nbsp;</nowiki></code>" rather than a simple space.
* It's 490 km (305 mi) from [[San Antonio]] to [[Monterrey]].
+
* Pikes Peak is 14,110 ft (4301 m) high.
+
* [[Mount Fuji]] is 3776 meters (12,388 ft) high.
+
* Temperatures in [[Death Valley]] routinely hit 110°F (43°C).
+
* In winter, [[Iqaluit]] gets down to -50°C (-58°F).
+
* Just 2 miles (3 km) down the road in [[Glasgow]] you can get very good pints of beer.
+
* Just 3 km (2 mi) down the road in [[Hamburg]] you can get very good half-liters of beer.
+
* 5 km (3 mi) to the north is a national park. 5 km to the south is a lake.
+
  
==Length Format==
+
eg:"<code><nowiki>4500&amp;nbsp;km</nowiki></code>" will display as {{o||4500&nbsp;km}}
  
The following details how lengths should be displayed:
+
==Decimal point and commas==
 +
{{Shortcut|[[radix]]}}
 +
In this, the English language version of Wikitravel, a full stop or period should be used to separate any decimal fraction of a number from the integer part and ''never'' a comma, whatever the local practice is.
  
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.
+
Similarly, don't use a full stop or period as the delimiter to separate groups of three numerals left of the decimal point. Use a comma for this instead.
  
*kilometer = km
+
==Examples==
*meter = m
+
The following are some examples of good practice for measurements.
*centimeter = cm
+
* It's 815&nbsp;km (506&nbsp;mi) from [[Paris]] to [[Marseille]].
*millimeter = mm
+
* It's 2,800&nbsp;mi (4,500&nbsp;km) from [[Los Angeles]] to [[New York City]].
 
+
* [[Mount Fuji]] is 3,776&nbsp;m (12,388&nbsp;ft) high.
Note: Never capitalize the first letter.  
+
* In winter, [[Iqaluit]] gets down to -50°C (-58°F).
 
+
* Temperatures in [[Death Valley]] routinely hit 110°F (43°C).
*mile = mi
+
* Just 3&nbsp;km (2&nbsp;mi) down the road in [[Hamburg]] you can get very good half-litres of beer.
*yard = yd
+
* Just 2&nbsp;miles (3&nbsp;km) down the road in [[Glasgow]] you can get very good pints of beer.
*foot = ft
+
* 5&nbsp;km (3&nbsp;mi) to the north is a national park. 5&nbsp;km to the south is a lake.
*inch = in
+
 
+
Note: Never use ' or " to signify feet or inches.
+
 
+
Note: Never use an ''s'' after an abbreviation to make it plural.
+
  
 
==Area==
 
==Area==
 +
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.
  
The following is how areas should be displayed:
+
*square millimetre: {{o||'''mm²'''}}
 
+
*square centimetre: {{o||'''cm²'''}}
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.
+
*square metre: {{o||''''''}}
 
+
*square kilometre: {{o||'''km²'''}}
*square millimeter = mm²
+
*hectare: {{o||'''ha'''}}
*square centimeter = cm²
+
*square meter =
+
*square kilometer = km²
+
*hectare = ha
+
  
Never capitalize the first letter.
+
Never capitalise the first letter.
  
 
*square inch = in²
 
*square inch = in²
Line 81: Line 75:
 
*acre = acre
 
*acre = acre
  
Note: Never use ''s'' after an abbreviation to make it plural.
+
==Duration==
 +
Always abbreviate units in [[Wikitravel:Listings|listings]]. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural. Never capitalize the first letter.
  
==Weight/Mass==
+
* year or years: {{o||'''yr'''}}
 +
* week or weeks: {{o||'''wk'''}}
 +
* hour or hours: {{o||'''hr'''}}
 +
* minute or minutes: {{o||'''min'''}}
  
The following is how weights should be displayed:
+
==Electrical==
 +
*alternating current: {{o||'''AC'''}}
 +
*direct current: {{o||'''DC'''}}
 +
*ampere(s) or amp(s): {{o||'''A'''}}
 +
*volt(s): {{o||'''V'''}}
 +
*cycles per second: {{o||'''Hz'''}}
  
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.
+
==Length==
 +
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.
  
*metric ton = t
+
*kilometre: {{o||'''km'''}}
*kilogram = kg
+
*metre: {{o||'''m'''}}
*gram = g
+
*centimetre: {{o||'''cm'''}}
*milligram = mg
+
*millimetre: {{o||'''mm'''}}
  
Note: Never capitalize the first letter.
+
Note: Never capitalise the first letter.  
  
*ton = ton
+
*mile = mi
*hundredweight = cwt
+
*yard = yd
*pound = lb or pound
+
*foot = ft
*ounce = oz
+
*inch = in
  
Note: Never use an ''s'' after an abbreviation to make it plural.
+
Note: Never use quotation marks (' or ") to signify feet or inches.
  
==Volume==
+
Spell {{o||'''nautical miles'''}} in full, because some abbreviations, including "nm", conflict with abbreviations for other units.
  
The following is how volume should be displayed:
+
==Speed==
 +
Show as : {{o||'''km/h'''}} ''or'' mph
  
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.
+
eg: {{o||"The latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (913&nbsp;km/h, 567&nbsp;mph) at 10,700&nbsp;m (35,000&nbsp;ft)"}}
 +
 
 +
==Temperature==
 +
*Celsius = degrees Celsius or : {{o||'''°C}}
 +
 
 +
Note: '''Never use centigrade''' to mean Celsius!
 +
 
 +
*Fahrenheit = degrees Fahrenheit or °F
 +
 
 +
Note: When referring to places inside the United States, show temperatures in Fahrenheit first and Celsius in parentheses. Anywhere else, use Celsius first with Fahrenheit in parentheses.
 +
 
 +
Note: Once you choose a temperature format, use that format throughout the page. Do not switch back and forth.
 +
 
 +
==Volume==
 +
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.
  
 
===Dry Volume===
 
===Dry Volume===
 +
*cubic metre: {{o||'''m³'''}}
 +
*cubic centimetre: {{o||'''cm³'''}}
 +
*cubic millimetre: {{o||'''mm³'''}}
  
*cubic meter = m³ or cubic meter
+
Note: Never capitalise the first letter.
*cubic centimeter = cm³ or cubic centimeter
+
*cubic millimeter = mm³ or cubic millimeter
+
 
+
Note: Never capitalize the first letter.
+
  
 
*pint = pt
 
*pint = pt
Line 124: Line 142:
 
*cubic feet = ft³ or cu ft
 
*cubic feet = ft³ or cu ft
 
*cubic yard = yd³ or cu yd
 
*cubic yard = yd³ or cu yd
 
Note: Never use an ''s'' after an abbreviation to make it plural.
 
  
 
===Fluid Volume===
 
===Fluid Volume===
 +
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.
  
The following is how fluid volume should be displayed:
+
*liter: {{o||'''L'''}}
 
+
*milliliter: {{o||'''mL'''}}
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.
+
 
+
*liter = L
+
*milliliter = mL
+
  
Note: L is always capitalized when used as an abbreviation for liter.
+
({{o||'''L'''}} is always capitalised when used as an abbreviation for litre to avoid confusion with the numeral one.)
  
*gill = gi
 
 
*pint = pt
 
*pint = pt
 
*quart = qt
 
*quart = qt
 
*gallon = gal
 
*gallon = gal
  
Note: Never use an "s" after an abbreviation to make it plural.
+
==Weight/Mass==
 +
Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.
  
==Temperature==
+
*metric tonne: {{o||'''t'''}}
 +
*kilogram: {{o||'''kg'''}}
 +
*gram: {{o||'''g'''}}
 +
*milligram: {{o||'''mg'''}}
  
The following is how temperatures should be displayed:
+
Note: Never capitalize the first letter.
  
*Celsius = degrees Celsius or °C
+
*ton = ton
 
+
*hundredweight = cwt
Note: '''Never use centigrade''' to mean Celsius!
+
*pound = lb
 
+
*ounce = oz
*Fahrenheit = degrees Fahrenheit or °F
+
 
+
Note: When referring to places inside the United States, show temperatures in Fahrenheit first and Celsius in parentheses. Anywhere else, use Celsius with Fahrenheit in parentheses.
+
 
+
Note: Once you choose a temperature format, use that format throughout the page. Do not switch back and forth.
+
  
 +
==See also==
 +
*[[Wikitravel:Abbreviations]]
  
  
 +
{{WikitravelDoc|policies}}
  
 
[[de:Wikitravel:Maßangaben]]
 
[[de:Wikitravel:Maßangaben]]
Line 166: Line 180:
 
[[ja:Wikitravel:単位について]]
 
[[ja:Wikitravel:単位について]]
 
[[nl:Wikitravel:Maten]]
 
[[nl:Wikitravel:Maten]]
 +
[[pt:Wikitravel:Medições]]

Revision as of 09:05, 10 May 2013

We often have to use measurements in Wikitravel — for the distances between places, for the altitude of mountains, for the temperature of deserts, for the volume of a glass of beer. This style guideline explains how to specify and format measurements.

Contents

Use local units of measurement

When showing a measurement, use the local system of units for the destination you're describing. This is the system that travellers will see on road signs, local maps, menus, food packages, weather reports, etc.

For most of the world, this is the metric system (SI).

However, for the United States of America, it's the "US standard" system of units—similar to, but certainly not the same as, the imperial system of the United Kingdom. In some cases, the systems are mixed—for example, in the UK, road distances are measured in miles and beer served by the pint, while meat and canned goods are measured in (kilo)grams. Milk is measured in both pints (in England and Wales) and litres (in Scotland). We favour accuracy over consistency.

The chief difference between the US system of units and the imperial system is in the sizes of the pint and the gallon. The US measures are 20% smaller than the imperial measures. That means you get more drunk on a British pint, and you get fewer miles to the gallon on American roads!

If the measurements span multiple countries, use metric.

For articles that don't deal with a particular destination (like most travel topics), use metric.

Provide conversions

It's easier for travellers to understand measurements if they're converted to their own country's units. For this reason, it's best to provide conversions for measurements into both metric (SI) and US styles, the two systems most widely used in the English-speaking world.

If the preferred units are metric, try to provide US style measurements in parentheses after. If the preferred units are US Standard, always provide metric measurements in parentheses afterwards.

If for some reason the local unit is neither metric nor US, try to provide first metric, then US (separated by a comma and a space) enclosed in the same parentheses afterwards.

Don't repeat conversions unnecessarily.

Accuracy

There is no need to convert between units to unnecessarily precise decimal places. If you convert between units only state the conversion to the same number of significant digits as the original measure. If you want to show decimal places or be more accurate than a single unit allows, consider going down to a smaller unit. Remember, these measurements are going to be used by travellers, not scientists.

To indicate approximately, use the un-italicised abbreviation "c. " (followed by a space) rather than circa, ca., or approx.

Avoid orphaned units

Except for measurements of temperature, we have a mild preference for separating the number from its associated unit by a single space but:

  • Don't go wild copy editing different formatting (unless you're seriously underemployed)
  • To avoid the unit of measurement that "belongs" to a measurement being "orphaned" from its associated unit when it wraps to a following line, separate the pair with a non breaking space character "&nbsp;" rather than a simple space.

eg:"4500&nbsp;km" will display as 4500 km

Decimal point and commas

In this, the English language version of Wikitravel, a full stop or period should be used to separate any decimal fraction of a number from the integer part and never a comma, whatever the local practice is.

Similarly, don't use a full stop or period as the delimiter to separate groups of three numerals left of the decimal point. Use a comma for this instead.

Examples

The following are some examples of good practice for measurements.

  • It's 815 km (506 mi) from Paris to Marseille.
  • It's 2,800 mi (4,500 km) from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Mount Fuji is 3,776 m (12,388 ft) high.
  • In winter, Iqaluit gets down to -50°C (-58°F).
  • Temperatures in Death Valley routinely hit 110°F (43°C).
  • Just 3 km (2 mi) down the road in Hamburg you can get very good half-litres of beer.
  • Just 2 miles (3 km) down the road in Glasgow you can get very good pints of beer.
  • 5 km (3 mi) to the north is a national park. 5 km to the south is a lake.

Area

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.

  • square millimetre: mm²
  • square centimetre: cm²
  • square metre:
  • square kilometre: km²
  • hectare: ha

Never capitalise the first letter.

  • square inch = in²
  • square foot = ft²
  • square yard = yd²
  • square mile = mi²
  • acre = acre

Duration

Always abbreviate units in listings. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural. Never capitalize the first letter.

  • year or years: yr
  • week or weeks: wk
  • hour or hours: hr
  • minute or minutes: min

Electrical

  • alternating current: AC
  • direct current: DC
  • ampere(s) or amp(s): A
  • volt(s): V
  • cycles per second: Hz

Length

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.

  • kilometre: km
  • metre: m
  • centimetre: cm
  • millimetre: mm

Note: Never capitalise the first letter.

  • mile = mi
  • yard = yd
  • foot = ft
  • inch = in

Note: Never use quotation marks (' or ") to signify feet or inches.

Spell nautical miles in full, because some abbreviations, including "nm", conflict with abbreviations for other units.

Speed

Show as : km/h or mph

eg: "The latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (913 km/h, 567 mph) at 10,700 m (35,000 ft)"

Temperature

  • Celsius = degrees Celsius or : °C

Note: Never use centigrade to mean Celsius!

  • Fahrenheit = degrees Fahrenheit or °F

Note: When referring to places inside the United States, show temperatures in Fahrenheit first and Celsius in parentheses. Anywhere else, use Celsius first with Fahrenheit in parentheses.

Note: Once you choose a temperature format, use that format throughout the page. Do not switch back and forth.

Volume

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.

Dry Volume

  • cubic metre:
  • cubic centimetre: cm³
  • cubic millimetre: mm³

Note: Never capitalise the first letter.

  • pint = pt
  • quart = qt
  • peck = pk
  • bushel = bu
  • cubic inch = in³ or cu in
  • cubic feet = ft³ or cu ft
  • cubic yard = yd³ or cu yd

Fluid Volume

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.

  • liter: L
  • milliliter: mL

(L is always capitalised when used as an abbreviation for litre to avoid confusion with the numeral one.)

  • pint = pt
  • quart = qt
  • gallon = gal

Weight/Mass

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units. Never use an "s" after a unit abbreviation to make it plural.

  • metric tonne: t
  • kilogram: kg
  • gram: g
  • milligram: mg

Note: Never capitalize the first letter.

  • ton = ton
  • hundredweight = cwt
  • pound = lb
  • ounce = oz

See also

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages