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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Measurements"

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m (Temperature: or maybe not)
m (Temperature)
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*Fahrenheit = degrees Fahrenheit or °F
 
*Fahrenheit = degrees Fahrenheit or °F
  
Note: When referring to places inside the United States, show temperatures in Fahrenheit first and Celsius in paranthesis. Any where else, use Celsius with Fahrenheit in paranthesis.
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Note: When referring to places inside the United States, show temperatures in Fahrenheit first and Celsius in paranthesis. Anywhere else, use Celsius with Fahrenheit in paranthesis.
  
 
Note: Once you choose a temperature format, use that format throughout the page. Do not switch back and forth.
 
Note: Once you choose a temperature format, use that format throughout the page. Do not switch back and forth.

Revision as of 01:17, 25 February 2006

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.

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 travelers will see on road signs, local maps, menus, food packages, weather reports, etc.

For most of the world, this is the metric system. For the United States of America, it's the "US 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.

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

If the measurement spans multiple countries, use metric.

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

Provide conversions

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, 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.

Don't repeat conversions unnecessarily.

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.

Examples

The following are some examples of good practice for measurements.

  • It's 2800 mi (4500 km) from Los Angeles to New York.
  • It's 815 km (506 mi) from Paris to Marseilles.
  • 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

The following details how lengths should be displayed:

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.

  • kilometer = km
  • meter = m
  • centimeter = cm
  • millimeter = mm

Note: Never capitalize the first letter.

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

Note: Never use ' or " to signify feet or inches.

Note: Never use an s after an abbreviation to make it plural.

Area

The following is how areas should be displayed:

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.

  • square millimeter = mm²
  • square centimeter = cm²
  • square meter = m²
  • square kilometer = km²
  • hectare = ha

Never capitalize the first letter.

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

Note: Never use s after an abbreviation to make it plural.

Weight/Mass

The following is how weights should be displayed:

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.

  • metric ton = t
  • kilogram = kg
  • gram = g
  • milligram = mg

Note: Never capitalize the first letter.

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

Note: Never use an s after an abbreviation to make it plural.

Volume

The following is how volume should be displayed:

Always abbreviate units. Do not put periods (full stops) after units.

Dry Volume

  • cubic meter = m³ or cubic meter
  • cubic centimeter = cm³ or cubic centimeter
  • cubic millimeter = mm³ or cubic millimeter

Note: Never capitalize 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

Note: Never use an s after an abbreviation to make it plural.

Fluid Volume

The following is how fluid volume should be displayed:

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.

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

Note: Never use and s after an abbreviation to make it plural.

Temperature

The following is how temperatures should be displayed:

  • Celsius = degrees Celsius °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 paranthesis. Anywhere else, use Celsius with Fahrenheit in paranthesis.

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

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