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(General ramble and a few questions)
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It was one particular edit that got me thinking down this line. A user [http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Iran&diff=141394&oldid=140809 changed] part of my entry on Iran to tone down the, well, tone a little. The two grains of humour I’d sprinkled the copy with while drafting the entry were sanitised into a factually identically but more ‘correct’ and straight-laced account. Now tone is inherently subjective and I appreciate that just because I find a quip funny, many others may not (and given my sense of humour ''most'' probably won't). Puccini didn’t like my tone and changed the edit. Fair enough.
 
It was one particular edit that got me thinking down this line. A user [http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Iran&diff=141394&oldid=140809 changed] part of my entry on Iran to tone down the, well, tone a little. The two grains of humour I’d sprinkled the copy with while drafting the entry were sanitised into a factually identically but more ‘correct’ and straight-laced account. Now tone is inherently subjective and I appreciate that just because I find a quip funny, many others may not (and given my sense of humour ''most'' probably won't). Puccini didn’t like my tone and changed the edit. Fair enough.
  
But a thought occurred to me: if we’re blindly chasing tone that satisfy everybody’s tastes (or get the fewest people offside), then won’t we ultimately end up with the bland language that seems to be dominating WikiTravel at the moment? All of the non WikiTravel examples above—in fact most entertaining guidebooks in general—usually offer some kind of opinion or make some kind of remark that somebody may take offence to and edit out in a wiki environment. And how would you defend such language? A fact can be debated and proven, but tone and observations are inherently subjective and therefore harder to support.  
+
But a thought occurred to me: if we’re blindly chasing a tone to satisfy everybody’s tastes (or get the fewest people offside), then won’t we ultimately end up with the bland language that seems to be dominating WikiTravel at the moment? All of the non WikiTravel examples above—in fact most entertaining guidebooks in general—usually offer some kind of opinion or make some kind of remark that somebody may take offence to and edit out in a wiki environment. And how would you defend such language? A fact can be debated and proven, but tone and observations are inherently subjective and therefore harder to support.  
  
 
Is this even problem, or is seeking language that makes you want to book a plane ticket ''right now'' asking for too much from a wiki publication? Does WikiTravel aspire to be something more than a compendium of train timetables, museum opening hours and hotel addresses? Should it? Can any wiki group publishing effort produce a consistent tone other than one of factual detachment? Can consensus produce something that’s not only useful, but enjoyable to read?
 
Is this even problem, or is seeking language that makes you want to book a plane ticket ''right now'' asking for too much from a wiki publication? Does WikiTravel aspire to be something more than a compendium of train timetables, museum opening hours and hotel addresses? Should it? Can any wiki group publishing effort produce a consistent tone other than one of factual detachment? Can consensus produce something that’s not only useful, but enjoyable to read?

Revision as of 13:43, 20 January 2006

The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'. Also, if you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

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Contents

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Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note the move here.

Stuff that's been moved:

Also, see the Travellers' pub archives for older archived discussions.

Please sweep the pub

So, the TP has been getting kinda crowded and messy. I'd really appreciate if we could all make an effort to clean up a bit by moving discussions to places more appropriate or deleting discussions that have reached their conclusions. It's a tedious job, but like most, it's easier if we do it together. --Evan 16:44, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Using images from commons.wikimedia.org

Can we refer to images held at commons.wikimedia.org (like you can from wikipedia)? This would save manually transferring all the images of cities from commons.wikimedia.org to wikitravel.org which is very tedious!!! Refering to wikimedia doesn't seem to work in wikitravel at the moment, although it does work in all languages of wikipedia.

I have copied across a few images already:

Image:StJohnsCambNewCourt.jpg, Image:Cam_colls_from_johns.jpg and Image:Hoan_kiem_hanoi_1999.jpg

I've also noticed that I'm not the only person who has been forced to manually transfer images across from wikimedia:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Image:Florence_italy_duomo.jpg

Rnt20 10:03, 19 May 2005 (EDT)

Wikitravel is not a Wikimedia project and it does not use the GFDL license, so Commons images are generally not acceptable here (unless PD or CC-by-SA 1.0) and the Wikimedia foundation is unlikely to look kindly on deep links from us. Fortunately the images you uploaded are PD, so they're OK. Jpatokal 10:31, 19 May 2005 (EDT)
Transferring the images is not that bad. Especially if you use konqueror where you can upload an URL from a third site, ie, you do not have to download the images to your own computer first. -- elgaard 12:59, 19 May 2005 (EDT)

I still worry about that WikiTravel isn't a Wikimedia project. Wouldn't it be fine to get in the family? I'm not up to date with copyright issues but I'm looking forward to integration. As long as this doesn't happen: Shouldn't we start our own commons? It's stupid to waste storage by uploading the same image to different languages. de:Benutzer:Thkoch2001

If storage is a problem, then note that commons.wikipedia.org does not have 100KB limit, in fact they want images in full/origial size. --elgaard 17:07, 3 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Bump. I'd just like to raise this issue once again — it's an increasingly big pain in the neck that there's no way to share images across versions. Would it be possible to come to an agreement with the Wikimedia folks to allow us to use their commons? And if you want to get real fancy you could maybe even add some magical scripting to check that any image linked in from there has to be PD or CC-by-sa 1.0 compliant... Jpatokal 14:58, 22 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Airport Codes?

I was just editing the Miami Beach entry and noted that neither local international airport was linked from its airport code, nor had any article at all. I would like to suggest that stub articles be added for at least all major international airports, as these definitely constitute places of interest to travelers.

In our guidelines for deciding what is an article, airports don't usually get articles because they are not destinations, and should be folded into the content of their containing city or region. Some airports are complex enough that they do get articles though. If you want to write an article about a particular airport, you might want to raise the issue at Wikitravel talk:What is an article? and generate a discussion about whether the airport really should have its own article. -- Colin 20:19, 23 Aug 2005 (EDT)

It would be nice to have a stub page on each airport, if only for the purpose looking at reverse links. I guess a search might accomplish the same purpose, though.

No, it seems like search doesn't accomplish the same purpose. Search for "IAH", and you get 0 hits. The hit you most want is Houston, which does include the string "IAH". The problem may be because the search software eliminates all words of 1-3 letters from its index because some, like "an" and "the", are too common to be helpful. See Wikitravel:Search_help for more information. JimDeLaHunt 20:19, 4 Jan 2006 (EST)

I propose creating redirects for each three-letter international airport code. The redirect points to 1. an article on that airport, where such an article exists; or 2. the article for the city to which that airport belongs. For instance, KIX would be a redirect to Kansai International Airport, while IAH would be a redirect to Houston. JimDeLaHunt 20:19, 4 Jan 2006 (EST)

I further propose some change to the search mechanism such that searches for airport codes give useful results that point you to information on that airport and its city. Creating the redirects for each code might be sufficient, but it might not. JimDeLaHunt 20:19, 4 Jan 2006 (EST)

Icons for kid-friendly attractions

I really like how Fodor's has the little duck symbol next to kid-friendly attractions. Could we do the same thing? We could indicate recommendations (as mentioned above in "lists versus recommendations"), photo-op points, and maybe a few other things. This could be easily done by linking to a standard image, or perhaps creating a WM macro.


Google Blog Search

So cool. Google Blog Search. Type in 'wikitravel' and see what the bloggers say. Nzpcmad 17:31, 14 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Another useful feature: When you do the search, click on "Sorted by date" at the top on the RHS and then scroll down to the bottom. You'll see "Subscribe: Atom (10 results - 100 results) RSS (10 results - 100 results)". Pick the one you want and paste the link as a subscription into your favourite RSS reader. That way anytime someone blogs about Wikitravel you'll get a notification. --Nzpcmad 15:22, 25 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Dedicated pages for hotels and restaurants

Where can I put a REALLY detailed information about a hotel? I have spent some effort in collecting travellers-oriented info on the hotels I recently stayed at. Each hotel worth at least a separate page with multiple sections each -- how is it better to contribute it? I'm sure the information would be helpful for those planning their trip careful enough to know details normally not available through hotel web sites or even reviews. And I would be happy to help Wikitravel.org to become a place to find such kind details next to overviews.

Same question for restaurants: I visited a dozen and ready to share some feedback, both overall and on specific dishes, recommended and not. I can publish a content for one of them if the idea doesn't look counter to Wikitravel goals at this stage.

-- DenisYurkin 19:01, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Wikitravel isn't really designed for incredibly detailed reviews, so you should try to compress the data into a single paragraph.
That said, one of the things I'd like to see in the future is a link to a detailed review page for each attraction, where travellers can contribute their personal opinions. Jpatokal 21:13, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Agreed here; interested in the personal opinions idea, but it's going to be a delicate operation. I think that about a paragraph per hotel is the most we can accommodate reasonably. At the outside, for "destination" hotels -- ones that are a site in and of themselves -- I could see doing a sub-section format like we do for attraction listings. But I think that'd be a rare exception. --Evan 11:08, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Could you detail what do you mean by a delicate operation? I'm ready to write a single paragraph about each, but I wouldn't want to throw away my experiences that I believe valuable for other travellers, but too detailed to find space in that paragraph. Is it ok that I start with a single paragraph, then try to create a separate page for hotel or two? What are the chances the content will survive, and efforts will be not wasted? --DenisYurkin 14:34, 27 Sep 2005 (EDT)
A paragraph is plenty. The last person to re-write it can pretty much do whatever they want to it. If there's dissagreement then it can be taken to the talk page. There's no reason to have a separate page per listing. That will just make our guides seem really empty and useless, basically turning us into another World 66 or worse. -- Mark 15:15, 27 Sep 2005 (EDT)
> one of the things I'd like to see in the future is a link to a detailed review page for each attraction, where travellers can contribute their personal opinions.
Why wait for a future? Encouraging people to just share their opinions -- even from a single visit -- would become another source of information for compressed, one-paragraph summary. After all, most travellers visit every place one or two times per trip -- why loosing their insight? I am not too experienced in Wikitravel realities, but from my personal experiences, experts in the region are rare and, normally, well-paid -- while amateurs are many, and it's them who are willing to share with others. --DenisYurkin 13:49, 26 Sep 2005 (EDT)
The reason I'm filing this in the Mysterious Future is that Mediawiki doesn't currently allow any easy way to automatically insert "See reviews"/"Add reviews" buttons that would allow inserting and maintaining one-person reviews, not the usual collective editing. Manually maintaining these would be a massive headache. Jpatokal 06:15, 27 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I think I can easily make it reality with MediaWiki templates -- are we ready to give a try? Promise the page won't be deleted (as it happened with GreekWines) if it works? SeeReviews / AddReview can be achieved easily. The only thing I'm not sure about is signing each review automatically with user name and timestamp. However, I believe we can start with existing Wikitravellers -- and they are smart enough to sign their opinions. What do you think?
As I said in the thread above, I can propose some structure for hotel pages -- providing place both for objective, factual info, and subjective opinions. Chances effort won't be wasted? --DenisYurkin 14:34, 27 Sep 2005 (EDT)


I'm really not so much into this idea I'm afraid. I think it has the potential to make our articles really lopsided and to disperse effort away from our destination guides. Meanwhile if you have additional comments for or against one of the restaurants/bars/hotels on a given destination guide it seems to me that the destination's talk page is pretty much the perfect place to put it. We do not need, nor does it serve our goals to have pages per listing. -- Mark 15:09, 27 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Non-goals: Yellow pages

Think of a friend from out of town asking you where they should go -- you wouldn't list all 200 possibilities, but 2-5 options for a particular type, budget, or part of town.

How are the recommendations selected? What is good for one type of travellers is not for another. How are those FEW hotels selected for a country? Is it about targeting a specific audience of travellers for each budget level? Or is it edit war that drives the decision on which recommendation survives?

It's not that I'm asking for a detailed procedure on dealing with overloaded listings (I can expect the project is too young for such issues). What is important at this stage is whether Wikitravel ideologists consider helpful to have several selections of places to stay / visit within a budget range once it can help to some travellers to make a more educated choice.

Sorry if this was covered somewhere in FAQs -- it did not meet my eye.

-- DenisYurkin 19:49, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)

There is no formal process as such, travellers just write up the places they like. We definitely want more than one place in each category, it's just that a single Wikitraveller usually only stays in one place per trip!
If you want to highlight your favorite things to see, do and eat in a big destination, I suggest you write up your own itinerary for it. See Tokyo for a few examples. Jpatokal 21:13, 20 Sep 2005 (EDT)
"Your own" is probably a bad term here, though. Just like any other article on Wikitravel, itineraries can be edited by anyone. --Evan 11:02, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Denis: absolutely. I think the numbers we look for are about 5-10 listings per listing type (Eat, Do, Sleep); after that point, we want to either break them down into sub-categories (by price (budget, mid-price, splurge), by style (museums, Mexican restaurants, B&B's, hostels)) or do a geographical breakdown (dividing a big city into districts, for example). I don't think we've had a case yet where we've removed a slew of restaurants because there were "too many". The point of that non-goal is that a travel guide doesn't have the same responsibility for comprehensive listings that a city guide (viz. http://openguides.org/) or a yellow pages Web site does. --Evan 11:02, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Then it's not the number of listings to matter, but personal experiences with a specific place. Why making restrictions you're ready to remove once the number of otherwise-suitable listings is reached? --DenisYurkin 13:42, 26 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Also: I've updated that non-goal to use a more reasonable number (5-10) rather than 2-5 from before. --Evan 11:06, 21 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Nth largest city in the world / Nth largest city in the US

Some city articles mention their relative size and/or population. Is that tidbit of information helpful to the traveler? If so, perhaps we should have a central page somewhere that lists all the cities in Wikipedia, ranked by size. (Perhaps wikify a list like such as "Large Cities in the World" lists all cities with population of more than 100,000 in the world. There are about 3400 cities in this list. Then cities we don't yet have an article on would show up in bright red). --DavidCary 10:34, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)

There are a lot of lists like this. I'm pretty copyright-paranoid, and I know that collections of data can be copyrighted. So I'd like to make sure that we either a) do our own research and glom a bunch of lists together or b) find a public-domain resource (like a US State Department list?). Otherwise, I think this is a great idea, and a good way to find holes in our coverage. --Evan 10:50, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I don't really see the relevance to travel — are there many people out there who choose their destination by its ranking in a list of population? Wikipedia already has plenty of lists, most of them hotly debated and subject to non-stop flamewars, so why reinvent a broken wheel? Jpatokal 11:13, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Actually, I'm less interested in the ranking (agreed, the petty fights on ranking are more distraction than they're worth) than I am in the lists of cities. Although population of a city and its value to travellers aren't always directly proportional, it can be a good gauge of where we need some fill-in coverage. The main source of this data, as far as I can tell, is the Demographic Yearbook 2002 from the United Nations. They've got stats on Population of capital cities and cities of 100,000 and more inhabitants, and it can be downloaded in Excel format here. I think a United Nations list of cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants might be a good place to put this info. --Evan 11:32, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Does the Copyright prohibit our use of this? -- Colin 14:52, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)

about Wikitravel

T-shirts

I got impatient waiting for T-shirts. So I make a CafePress shop. Everyone can order a Wikitravel T-shirt. The markup is 0. I hope someone can make a better design. But I will order my first Wikitravel T-shirt in a week. I had hoped to come up with a more eye-catching back, maybe using some of the more spectacular photos on wikitravel, but that is hard and a lot of work. --elgaard 20:39, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Good start, but the logo font on the back is not the right one, and is all that explanation text really necessary? I'd go more for a bare-bones just-the-logo-ma'am model, and would be happy if a few bucks of markup went to Evan's (currently non-existent) donation box. Jpatokal 21:50, 29 Sep 2005 (EDT)
FWIW: If the font is wrong then that's not really the logo. -- Mark 12:02, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I'm sorry that you got tired of waiting, but I can't say I'm happy about the situation. Elgaard, is there at least a way for you to make a note that that's not an "official" T-shirt, and that the money paid doesn't support the Wikitravel project? --Evan 08:08, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Of course. Don't be sorry, I just wanted to get a T-shirt project going. I will order a T-shirt next week because I will be going to north America so shipping will be less. I hope we can come up with a much better, official Wikitravel design. Then I will order another T-shirt and close my Cafepress test-shop or hand it over. I added some text, hope you are more happy about that. --elgaard 11:56, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Could we start a T-Shirt design contest page, like the logo contest page? --elgaard 12:04, 30 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I don't really see the point of a t-shirt competition; a logo somewhere on the shirt should suffice. Probably the thing that was bothering Evan wasn't the design so much as the possibility that people might think they were buying official Wikitravel merch'.
That said you should probably switch the logo on your shirt to the actual logo Image:Wikitravel logo bigtext.svg. This has the text converted to outlines so that you don't have to have the right font. The shape of the letters by the way is considered part of a logo. It's not the same without it. -- Mark 09:11, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Mayby I put too much text on it. But a logo is not enough. I want people to see it, get interested, start using Wikitravel and contributing. This means that there should at least be a URL. The URL can be guessed or googled but if we do not print it on the T-shirt, many will not be looking on the internet for wikitravel. I would also like somthing on the back, simple like WikiPedia. Maybe "Edit this destination"?. And should we have Official Wikitravel merch? --elgaard 10:06, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Fine, but please at least fix the logo. -- Mark 10:09, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I fixed the logo, and made a simpler design with only the logo on the front. --elgaard 19:42, 5 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I got my T-shirt. I am very pleased with it, the new logo looks great on cotton. But I was hoping we could get an official Wikitravel T-shirt. Is there any plans for that? --elgaard 11:08, 27 Oct 2005 (EDT)

6500 articles?

The statistics page says that we have more than 6500 articles. Considering that it was hovering around 5500 on saturday, it looks like a bug to me, unless someone really dedicated added over a thousand while the spam attack was going on. I would of course be happy to learn that the earlier numbers were wrong and we really do have that many articles. --Ravikiran 04:00, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)

You're right, Wikitravel:Multilingual statistics says it was still 55xx on Friday. On the Japanese version, we noticed that it now counts redirects as articles for some reason, has the same happened in English for some odd reason? Jpatokal 05:30, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)
That must be the problem. I'll look into it and see if I can come up with a fix. --Evan 11:42, 11 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Any progress? Otherwise we'll soon be in the embarrassing situation of having the 'official' total multilingual article count top 10,000 while the actual number is still only around 8,500. Jpatokal 02:30, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)
And Wikitravel:Multilingual statistics the count says 10,087. Jpatokal 21:40, 27 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Bump. Any progress? Jpatokal 00:17, 14 Nov 2005 (EST)
I ran a "recount" script on all of the language versions; it seems to have re-settled the counts to pre-upgrade ranges. So, I think this should be OK now. --Evan 09:22, 14 Nov 2005 (EST)

On de:, redirects seem to be counted as articles, too. I have anounced the 1500th de: article in the logbook, but actualy, I don't believe it. We have had a couter jump of about 120 articles at 9 October without any editing. -- Hansm 07:52, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)

Well, the same recount that worked for en: was done for de: and all the other language versions. The count you have is as accurate as I can give. --Evan 09:10, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)
Well, then we have 1500 articles. Anyways, just a number. -- Hansm 09:34, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)

No really, who are you?

Looked through the FAQ and couldn't find an answer to this question. There's all sorts of fluffy talk about it being "your" wiki, and you make it what it is. But who pays for the server and network resource? What's the business model? I need to know that there's a sound business model to know that the site will have continuity that means it's worth contributing to. Duckbill 12:33, 12 Dec 2005 (EST)

There is no "business model". It's not a business. Right now User:Evan and User:Maj pay for the hosting out-of-pocket. If for some reason they can't do that any more at some point in the future somebody else could very easily take it over. You could for instance, since you have all of the data, and a license to use it. -- Mark 12:40, 12 Dec 2005 (EST)
I would have thought Evan and Maj pay for the hosting and the rest of the Wikitravel contributor community volunteer to maintain the website by mutual agreement was a business model. If Duckbill is concerned about the continuity of the project then he only need ask if Evan and Maj are prepared to continue to pay the bills and hope that the community will be prepared to continue to support Wikitravel. Judging by the community activity and enthusiasm at present, I feel the risk of failure is probably less than some major companies in the stock market. -- Huttite 03:07, 13 Dec 2005 (EST)
I agree with User:Duckbill. It would be good to have an article that says who Wikitravel is organisationally, who pays the bills, the relationship with Wikimedia Foundation projects, etc. It's not that I lack confidence or don't like the way it's done now, I just want to be sure there's no dark corner there with surprises lurking in it. I'd support creating an article and starting it with Mark's posting of 12:40, 12 Dec 2005 (EST) above. JimDeLaHunt 13:34, 24 Dec 2005 (EST)

Prices

What is the best way to list prices for Hong Kong? Some parts of the articles use HK $, other just $ (HK being implied). Or should we be using HKD, HK$ or other variant? Hkpatv 03:24, 7 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Typically I think just go for "HK is implied". This is what seems to have happened in Australia with the dollar symbol. It will only not make sense in places where you can make transactions in two types of dollar (probably USD and local). This certainly isn't the case in Australia and sounds like it isn't in HK either.
Thanks for the input, that makes sense to me. I will update the curent prices in the HK section if I see any, unless someone tells me not to.Hkpatv 06:06, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)
That makes the most sense to me. --Evan 09:51, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Hitchhiking

I think we should add a category for city exits and places were you can get out of a city easily under "get out" for citys (at least large citys). Also we should add hitchhiking to the "get around" in contry templates. Any other opinions on that?

I've been adding "By thumb" sections under "Get around" for countries and "Get in" for some cities. Jpatokal 02:37, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

LocalExpertiseWanted template

I frequenly encounter need to insert a stub for a specific topic: "Local regulations on this wanted summarized"; "Interested in other expreriences on that". The idea is to easier attract locals of specific country and frequent travellers: "we want to know this on your country, please help". If every country / region has its list of help wanted, it will grab more attention than just having an incomplete article (whether in Stub status or not) assuming we'd like any help equally.

Technically, it can be achieved either by a separate page for each large region (eg. Greece\Help_wanted) or by tagging specific destination with a category "help wanted here", detailed on discussion page so that list don't affect offline readers on the go. Opinions? --DenisYurkin 12:26, 16 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Sorry, I don't quite understand -- how is this different from the {{stub}} template and Wikitravel:Articles needing attention lists? Local expertise is always wanted for every article on Wikitravel! Jpatokal 12:56, 16 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Hotel Directories

Would it be okay if I went through hotel directories (Choice Hotels, Ramada, etc.) and added in every single one? (Not any time soon though, I'm working on Wikipedia). --Rschen7754 00:31, 19 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Broadly, the answer is yes. See this --Ravikiran 01:02, 19 Oct 2005 (EDT)
See also User:Cjensen/project/hotelmaker and bug me if you want me to work harder on it. -- Colin 02:10, 19 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Places to do $WHATEVER

Would it be unreasonable to start the potentially endless project of having pages dedicated to listing travel destinations for particular activities or phenomena? Instead of organized by place, organized by activity? Places to hike. Places to see Mexican wrestling. Locations of reported extraterrestrial activity. Great coral reefs for divers. Haunted houses. Tequila bars. Used record/bookstores. Etc. The point would not be to be exhaustive, which would be impossible, but rather to provide useful snapshots of the world for travellers interested in finding certain things or activities in whatever part of the world they head to.--69.234.181.199 06:03, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Yes, please! --Evan 08:29, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Yes, it's unreasonable, you mean? :-) I assume you mean "plunge forward," and I will put down the marker on an article on "Buying Folk Art" that I've been mentally organizing for a while. Note that there was a lukewarm reception for this idea in Talk:Travel topics, but now with an endorsement from Da Man ... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:04, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I've been thinking about indexes a lot lately. Maybe there's a way we could make this sort of thing semi-automatic. Perhaps it should be possible to create an index page from a set of search results, with the index page editor personally vetting the results for relavancy and adding any other pages appropriate to the given index? Just a though. -- 158.232.2.32 09:52, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
This sounds like what categories are intended for — and unlike indexes they work automatically. Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Scuba

Note that Scuba diving has a slightly different format: places are listed at the top and a description of the activity itself is below. I think this would work better with some short reviews of the places in the article. For example (scuba diving):

Hypatia 03:17, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Go right ahead, the listing is barebones because I was too lazy to punch in descriptions. It should also be categorized by the type of diving, general difficulty level, etc. Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'll do the ones I know or know of. Hypatia 02:38, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Turin, Italy

Seems like the article for the site of the 2006 Winter Olympics Turin, or Turino, would look a little sharper than it does now. I'll try to do my part to get it into shape seeing as how hundreds of thousands of people should be getting ready to crush the place! I just trying to stir up a little help... -- Ilkirk 11:03, 21 Oct 2005 (EDT)

See also the discussion at Wikitravel talk:Articles needing attention#Collaboration of the week?. I think the efforts with the Turin article would be a good barometer of whether something like a collaboration of the week/month/whatever would work out. -- Ryan 02:47, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Log out

I have discovered that when I click on "Log Out" my browser goes to the "Log In" page, but does not log me out. How do I really log out? What harm may come from not logging out?

Tom Croke aka Frog One 67.163.249.124 11:51, 26 Oct 2005 (EDT)

I think it only goes to the Log In page when you've fallen prey to a particular bug. There is some sort of a bug that randomly logs you out of the system, but you still appear to be logged in. Out of habit, I tend to click on "My Watchlist" - if it returns information, then I know I'm logged in. I'm sure someone can explain it better... -- Ilkirk 16:19, 26 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Portuguese Wikitravel

Someone has singlehandedly tried to create a Portuguese Wikitravel. --Ravikiran 08:30, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Pickpocket defense

There are some generic pages here, such as altitude sickness and tropical diseases, that are referenced from many destination pages.

I'd like to create one for defenses against pickpockets, maybe something more generic about travel safety. How should I label such a page? Is there a template? Pashley

It's OK. I found the place to do it.

==Inactive language versions

Yes I am still here, and I just copied some modernized Greek phrases. Sorry I haven't been as diligent; I didn't notice the notices on my talk page because the "You have new messages" isn't working.

On ro:, there were only 27 edits in the last month, and a minor vandalism to the Portal went unreverted for over a week.

sv: has only 50 articles, and only 27 edits in the last month, most of these by the new user Steffen M.

Can we get these restarted, or should they be declared inactive? -phma 23:43, 4 Nov 2005 (EST)

Selected trains

So there's a new user (User:172.183.51.234) adding a bunch of scheduling info for trains in Europe (see Western Europe and talk page). I know there's been some talk in the past about how much detail in boat, plane, train schedules is useful to readers (and reasonable to maintain), but it's come up again. I think it has some place in actual city articles (ie "trains run every 2 hours" "last train leaves a midnight") but not so much on region or country pages and not so much the actual schedule in scheduling format. A general idea is going to be more accurate more often (think about sundays, holidays, etc etc) and travellers should always double check with the transportation company-- heck, I do even when I have schedules published by the company! Anyway, other opinions? Suggestions on what to do with the extensive contributions by User:172.183.51.234 ? Majnoona 08:58, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)

  • Agree this is an eye-sore and not very helpful. I'd vote delete.
  • The contributions should be deleted, in my opinion. While they may have some use now, unless there is sufficient effort they will fall quickly out of data and then be worse than useless. I pointer to primary sources where one can obtain up-to-date schedules and routes would be more useful. -- Colin 13:49, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • I only partly removed the selected trains sections. Does anyone think perhaps that it is useful for smaller towns which only have one or two trains that pass through? I'd like some input on that before I delete the sections from smaller cities. -- Colin 15:42, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)
  • I moved a lot of these contributions to the talk pages - did they get moved back onto the main article? I just logged in and haven't dug throught the recent changes. Obviously I don't believe they need to last in their current form for exactly the reasons you've pointed out Maj, but it would be nice if someone could translate them into paragraphs. I, for one, had a bit of time reading them to begin with - those are all city names, right? -- Ilkirk 23:42, 5 Nov 2005 (EST)

Resources for maps

According to the developing "rating" system, one of the things that distinguishes a "Star" article from a merely "Guide"-quality one is the inclusion of maps useful to the traveler. Fair enough, but many of us who can and do provide text content for places are not necessarily aware of the resources for generating insertable maps. Can someone provide some pointers to resources for doing that, short of drafting the maps oneself (not practical for many destinations)? This probably should be an FAQ if there is to be pressure to include maps from here on. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:11, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)

There is a Mapmaking Expedition that has been around for a while, but hasn't gotten very far. I'm with you though - I don't have much in the way of resources for maps... hopefully some vets can help out? -- Ilkirk 12:26, 18 Nov 2005 (EST)
I think the biggest problem with the Mapmaking Expedition is the SVG requirement. I am sure there would be many more maps if that were not mandatory for uploading maps. I read all the info about making maps and saw the map drawn by an amateur but I was not quite as successful in using the recommended SVG programs as that amateur was. Get rid of the SVG requirement and I am sure you will see many more maps.
Epolk 14:39, 12 Jan 2006 (EST)
Don't get hung up on "requirements". They are not requirements on you, the contributor, but on the content of this guide. It's perfectly OK to upload whatever drawing you can. Other people will modify, add, delete, tweak, and change it until it meets the eventual "requirements". The requirements are a goal to be achieved, not a barrier to getting started in the first place.
Using a vector graphics program (like SVG editors, or Adobe Illustrator, or a few others) makes it exponentially easier for others to edit your work after you're done. The vector graphics are the "source code" that make other formats (like PNG, GIF, or JPG) possible.
The reason we have SVG as a goal format is 1) it's eventually supposed to be supported natively in both major browsers and 2) it's an open standard that many software programs can export to (unlike, say, Adobe Illustrator files).
If you're not comfortable with the SVG editors, use your favorite drawing program. Go ahead and plunge forward. --Evan 01:41, 13 Jan 2006 (EST)

Proposed Writers' Expedition

I'd like to propose a new expedition that focuses on how aspiring and current writers can best use and contribute to Wikitravel. Thoughts include: how to include Wikitravel contributions in your portfolio and/or resume, how to contribute sections of previously published material (and specific copyright issues).

Wikitravel uses a pretty dramaticly different publishing model than the rest of the travel writing world, so I think it's worth having an area that speaks directly to those from this background, similar to Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians and the new Wikitravel:Education Expedition. Comments? Majnoona 12:34, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

I think that sounds great! --Evan 09:11, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)

Linking from one section to another

Anyone,

Can anyone tell me how to make a link that takes a reader to a different part of the same article?

Thanks. Sapphire 22:15, 9 Dec 2005 (EST)

Linking like this: #Linking from one section to another will work. I've provided a link to this section --Ravikiran 00:49, 10 Dec 2005 (EST)

Spam links

I edited Albury-Wodonga but had trouble saving the page because of a "spam link" already in the page. I had to delete the link http://www.albury-wodonga .com/. But the software has blocked albury-wodonga. com because donga. com is in the black list. This is bizarre because albury-wodonga. com and donga. com are completely different. If anyone can get the link back into the article, go ahead. As you can see, I had to munge the domain just to save this page. Nurg 22:41, 9 Dec 2005 (EST)

I tried adding the problem URL to the Wikitravel:Local spam whitelist, but it seems to still not be working. Looks like a job for Evan. -- Ryan 00:18, 10 Dec 2005 (EST)
thanks. Best if the black list only blocks the donga domain, not all domains ending in donga. Nurg 21:13, 10 Dec 2005 (EST)

Swedish WikiTravel inactive?

I've been adding lots of facts on the Swedish version of WikiTravel the past 24 hours. Though, now I saw that the "travelers' pub" hasn't been updated for a year. I propose you appoint new leaders for the Swedish WikiTravel project, and I propose myself. :) -- Adestro 16:25, 15 Dec 2005 (CET)

Hooray! That'd be fine. Can you do me the favor of reviewing the Wikitravel:Language version policy and making sure you understand it? sv: has been teetering on the brink of deletion for a while, and having a go-between working on it would be fantastic. Oh, also: you'll need an account on en:. --Evan 10:29, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
I'll read through it. I just got an account on en: as well. Do I get sys-op rights on the sv: site? I find the sheets that's used rather ugly... and much of the main information isn't even done(help pages, search pages etc.). You can reach me on e-mail or MSN with andreas.bergstrom@gmail.com. -- Adestro 16:49, 15 Dec 2005 (CET)
Yes, the go-between becomes a sysop on the language version site. However, we have a tradition of very limited administrators activity on Wikitravel. As for the "sheets", I'm not sure what you mean. Finally, yes, the help, search, etc. pages need to be translated, as well as a lot of the interface information. --Evan 11:30, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Sounds excelent. With "sheets" I mean the sheets that are used to describe how general facts are presented, the information table to the right. The tables on the English pages are a lot nicer that the Swedish counterparts. Anyway, I've read on the guidelines, goals and such. How do we proceed? I've got a laptop and wireless connection pretty much everywhere I go so I'm available anytime I'm awake. -- Adestro 18:20, 15 Dec 2005 (CET)
Opps, a translation failure there. Replace "sheets" with "templates" and I'll know what I mean. Anyway, I'm mailing you now. --Adestro 18:50, 15 Dec 2005 (CET)
Well, I just noticed I'm sysop in sv: now. Thanks for the confidence and will to continue hosting sv:. I've started working on improving the templates as well as gathering more people to the site. --Adestro 21:14, 15 Dec 2005 (CET)

Mexico Accomodation

I couldn't figure out how to post a new question, so I posed mine here. Over the next two weeks I would like to go to Mexico for certain reasons. I have done some research but I cannot yet find a suitable location. I was wondering if anyone knew of any locations which met the two following criteria:

1.) Near the coast

2.) Extensive guitar trade. I would like to purchase a higher quality guitar while in mexico because I do not want to sepend big $$$ here 3.) preferabally this location will be near the border to some extent. I live close to Arizona and I'd like to drive to this location

Thankyou for your help, it is appreciated

Dating information, keeping current

Do we have a convention for tagging information by date, wso that we know when it's getting stale? For instance, if I read that a certain bus costs USD $10 as of one month ago, I can be confident it's likely the same now. But if the information is two years old, I have less confidence == and a local editor may want to find such facts and update them.

Wikipedia has a convention of articles with the title As of (year), e.g. the Wikipedia.org As of 1990 article. From that page, you can see which articles link there, and those are candidates for updating. For instance, I can see that the Georgia (country) article has 1990 census data, and I may know of a more recent census than that.

Any such convention for Wikitravel? Thanks! JimDeLaHunt 13:46, 24 Dec 2005 (EST)

Dutch Wikitravel

It would be cool if the -1 articles bug could be fixed. :) It would make it more interesting to actually add some articles. Also, I think it's a bit redundant to have the "Today's Log" link in the Dutch Wikitravel (I won't say anything about this in the English Wikitravel, but you can guess what I think of it :) Also, the "In het nieuws" and "Financieel bijdragen" links can be removed. Some more "go-betweening": things are starting off. People from the Dutch Wikipedia came by, things are being translated and it looks good. Will spend some more time on it myself when I'm fed up with the hitchhiking wiki :) Guaka 19:52, 27 Dec 2005 (EST)

There is a set of untranslated words and phrases on nl:Gebruiker:Evan/To be translated. I've corrected the -1 bug and given you admin rights. Things are looking good and I'm excited to have it getting off the ground. --Evan 01:03, 5 Jan 2006 (EST)

New years wishes

Happy newyear everyone. It is a good time to consider new ideas and directions. My wishes for WT are:

  • License: It will not be easy but we have to move on to a CC2.X licence. There is just too much good material out there that we cannot use for version-technical reasons. For example Commons have been very helpful in adding a copyleft multiple license that include CC-1.0, but there is still a lot of good pictures that are CC2.x. Projects like Open Street Map could be very useful, especially outside north America, but are CC-2.0. Open Street Map, SVG-maps, geo-tagged destinations and attractions could become a great combination.
  • Promotion: An official T-shirt. An official one-page flyer explaining Wikitravel that we could give to fellow travellers, leave in hostels, etc.
  • More focus on off-line versions. The isIn template should make this easyer.

-- elgaard 00:07, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)

"Sleep" link-spamming

As a veteran Wikipedian, but new to Wikitravel, I'm uncertain what to do about apparent link-spamming. In editing the Grand Rapids article, I couldn't help noticing that all of the "Sleep" listings are for a single hotel chain which operates under several brands. As a native, I know that there are oodles more hotels here, so this list is certainly biased. (The editor who added them has added listings for the same chain to a bunch of other city articles as well.) But I've never stayed at any local hotels, so I'm not in a position to correct this bias without doing a massive, uncritical info-dump from a directory. If this were Wikipedia, I'd delete something like this as link-spam, but in this context they are arguably appropriate... just very misleading about the local lodging scene. TVerBeek 13:23, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)

We don't object to hotel operators listing their hotels here. As always, they should expect their entries to be edited if they are filled with marketese. The real solution here is for folks to add other hotels too. But in the meantime, the hotel listings that have been contributed are better than nothing. The problem has been one of motivation -- most people are less interested in listing places to stay than any other item we ask for. -- Colin 13:35, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)
I don't think it's "link spamming". I think of "link spam" as inappropriate and unwelcome links. Hotel listings in the "Sleep" section are neither. We've had a couple of hotel-chain additions, and they're almost always half-decent hotels that are fine choices (if outside the budget or not to the tastes of many travelers). If we're worried about a lack of balance or choice in the "Sleep" section, welllllll... I think we all know the solution to that problem. Hint: the initials are "P.F.". --Evan 14:24, 2 Jan 2006 (EST)

other complementary web sites

Greetings fellow travelers. Moments ago I stumbled upon http://43places.com/ . It helps people who are going to the same place discover each other. So do you see this site as a competitor to Wikitravel, or do you think collaborative links in both directions would be a good thing? --DavidCary 15:32, 9 Jan 2006 (EST)

Categories extension wanted

I was looking for the extension some of you wrote for showing the sub-categories in the begining of every article. We couldn't find it on the site. Will love to have it!

Thanks-
F16 11:02, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)
See breadcrumb navigation. It's not using categories but RDF. The RDF code is in the extensions module in CVS; I haven't packaged up the breadcrumbs module but I could if you really needed it. --Evan 11:11, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)
Started reading about RDF, can't say I really understand it's wide capabilities at the moment. Anyway, I'de love to get the breedcrumb Navagation module. F16 12:03, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)

E-mail?

The page Wikitravel:User email help states: It's possible for registered users to send email to other users through Wikitravel. For users who are logged in, each user page has an E-mail this user link on it. This should bring up the User email page. Well - I am afraid that I have a bad eyesight or that I am completely ignorant, but where on the user page is that link?? Riggwelter 10:09, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

I still have not found it... Riggwelter 10:25, 16 Jan 2006 (EST)
The feature's broken; I'll see what I can do to fix it. --Evan 10:59, 16 Jan 2006 (EST)
Brilliant! Riggwelter 03:50, 17 Jan 2006 (EST)

Go-between reports

I have a feeling that go-between reports from the various Wikitravel projects are added aa bit haphazardly. I have therefore started the article Wikitravel:Go-between reports with links to sub-pages for the different countries. Feel free to use it. Riggwelter 03:50, 17 Jan 2006 (EST)

Good idea... thanks! Go-between reports are supposed to go in the Wikitravel:Logbook, but maybe we can use the same kind of mechanism (moving the old version to an archive) that we do for other pages with high turnover. Also: we have language versions, not country versions. Most of our languages are spoken in several countries, and the language version doesn't necessarily belong to that country. Even Swedish is spoken in other countries than Sweden. --Evan 10:22, 17 Jan 2006 (EST)
Would it be possible to put an entry in the logbook with a link to the report itself? I must admit I was not aware of the intention with the logbook vis-à-vis the go-between reports. If the idea is not really what you intended, I am of course happy to adapt and put the report in itself directly into the logbook. Please let me know your preference, and I will adapt :-). Regarding the country/language bit: apparently, above I put "countries" as the definition per se, when I meant "languages". So, on the page Wikitravel:Go-between reports, the languages are listed rather than the countries. Riggwelter 20:36, 17 Jan 2006 (EST)

General ramble and a few questions

One of the things I love about travel guides is the sense of adventure they instil. Well-written guides don’t only inform and educate, but they inspire you to venture to far-flung destinations, amuse you with wry observations on local culture and provide you with insights into history and observant tips on how to make the best of your travels.

Which is why, when I look across WikiTravel—a website which I presume is written largely by passionate travel nuts like myself—I’m amazed at how dry the tone is across most articles. Entries for most cities, even some of the most awe-inspiring, read like encyclopaedic entries from a university textbook. Beijing, for instance, isn’t described as a complex child of Communism and Feudalism slowly awakening to the drumbeat of the West, but “as the capital of the most populous country in the world ... well known for its flatness and regular construction”.

An example

As a little experiment, visit the WikiTravel entry for a city you haven’t travelled to yet and read the introduction and Understand sections. Does it make you want to travel there? Now compare that to the little intros published on sites like Lonely Planet, Rough Guide or Fodors. As an example, here are four guide book introductions for Beijing:

Lonely Planet

If your visions of Beijing are centred around pods of Maoist revolutionaries in buttoned-down tunics performing exercise in Tiananmen Square, put them to rest ... today's youth are more interested in MTV than Mao, rhetorical slogans from the Cultural Revolution have given way to butchered English splashed across designer-copy T-shirts, and expats, tourists, foreign investors and a mobile phone-toting hip-oisie are mixing it up with the bureaucrats.

Rough Guides

The brash modernity of BEIJING (the name means "northern capital") comes as a surprise to many visitors. Traversed by freeways (it's the proud owner of more than a hundred flyovers) and spiked with highrises, this vivid metropolis is China at its most dynamic. For the last thousand years, the drama of China's imperial history was played out here, with the emperor sitting enthroned at the centre of the Chinese universe, and though today the city is a very different one, it remains spiritually and politically the heart of the country.

Fodor’s

Beijing's historic, cultural, and political preeminence dates back nearly six centuries. Yet, in spite of devastating urban renewal, modern Beijing continues to convey an imperial grandeur … Its 12 million residents are a compelling mix of old and new. Early morning taiqi (tai chi) enthusiasts, bearded old men with caged songbirds, and amateur Peking Opera crooners still frequent the city's many charming parks. … The result is an ironic mix of new prosperity and throwback politics: socialist mantras emblazoned on electronic billboards hung at shopping arcades that sell Gucci and Big Macs.

WikiTravel

Beijing (北京) is the capital of the most populous country in the world, the People's Republic of China. It was also the seat of the Qing dynasty emperor until the formation of a republic in 1911, so it has rich historical sites, and important government institutions. The city is well known for its flatness and regular construction. There is only one hill to be found in the city limits (in Jingshan Park to the north of the famous Forbidden City), and like the configuration of the Forbidden City, it has concentric "ring roads", which are actually rectangular, that go around the metropolis.

This is one example, but it is by no means rare. Although there’s some great writing and prose on WikiTravel, I think the extract above is fairly representative of the vast majority of entries.

So, what’s your point?

I appreciate that WikiTravel contributors aren’t necessarily travel writers or English majors and my comparison is a little unfair in that regard. I also understand that WikiTravel is very focused on practical travel advice, rather than descriptive prose. But is it possible to have factual advice that just happens to be entertaining to read as well?

It was one particular edit that got me thinking down this line. A user changed part of my entry on Iran to tone down the, well, tone a little. The two grains of humour I’d sprinkled the copy with while drafting the entry were sanitised into a factually identically but more ‘correct’ and straight-laced account. Now tone is inherently subjective and I appreciate that just because I find a quip funny, many others may not (and given my sense of humour most probably won't). Puccini didn’t like my tone and changed the edit. Fair enough.

But a thought occurred to me: if we’re blindly chasing a tone to satisfy everybody’s tastes (or get the fewest people offside), then won’t we ultimately end up with the bland language that seems to be dominating WikiTravel at the moment? All of the non WikiTravel examples above—in fact most entertaining guidebooks in general—usually offer some kind of opinion or make some kind of remark that somebody may take offence to and edit out in a wiki environment. And how would you defend such language? A fact can be debated and proven, but tone and observations are inherently subjective and therefore harder to support.

Is this even problem, or is seeking language that makes you want to book a plane ticket right now asking for too much from a wiki publication? Does WikiTravel aspire to be something more than a compendium of train timetables, museum opening hours and hotel addresses? Should it? Can any wiki group publishing effort produce a consistent tone other than one of factual detachment? Can consensus produce something that’s not only useful, but enjoyable to read?

Lotsa questions ... not enough sleep.

Allyak 08:36, 20 Jan 2006 (EST)

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