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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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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.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Bug reports page instead.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page, but otherwise plunge forward!

Archives

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)

I was about to nuke the New User Deluge section when I realized there's no logbook entry. Do you want want before it gets deleted?
Also, New User Deluge seemed more like conversation about events than a discussion about policy. Am I right to think that policy questions should be preserved, but discussions and chatter can be deleted outright once they are done? -- Colin 02:22, 5 May 2004 (EDT)
Alright, I've done a bit of sweeping here. I'm not exactly sure if I'm doing it right, so I'll stop for now and wait to see if anyone has any comments. I just blew away some discussion that haven't had contributions in over a month. For some of them, where it seemed the discussion may be important in the future, I archived them. There are others which still seem relevant or as if they could fit into the FAQ, but I'm not sure where to put them, so I've left them in the pub (even though they're quite old). --Dawnview 17:57, 6 Jun 2004 (EDT)

I've done a whole lot more sweeping today, I think it's best to just plunge forward, especially if you're moving rather than deleting discussions. Hypatia 18:47, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)

Disambiguation lists

Can someone explain to me which of Wikitravel:Links to disambiguating pages or Wikitravel:Disambiguation page index we should update when we create a disambiguation page? Both? The latter seems really out of date. I know it's there so that there's extra data about disambiguated names without a disambiguation page, and about the "famous" locations without disambiguators, but having the second list of disambiguation pages as well just seems like a maintainence problem. -- Hypatia 03:57, 25 Oct 2004 (EDT)

This sounds like a good use of categories for me... just add Category:Disambiguation to each page and you have a self-maintaining list. Same goes for the list of itineraries. Jpatokal 04:27, 25 Oct 2004 (EDT)
When I first created the Wikitravel:Disambiguation page index article I had not discovered the Wikitravel:Links to disambiguating pages article. At that time there were about 30 disambiguation pages. The problem I had was that disambiguation pages were not listed anywhere. I created a list for disambiguation pages that had a manually created disambiguation message on them. Later, mediawiki messages were introduced and the disambiguation maintenance fuction came along. I have been trying to keep Wikitravel:Disambiguation page index up to date. I suggest you add pages to Wikitravel:Links to disambiguating pages first and then add them to Wikitravel:Disambiguation page index if you feel like it. -- Huttite 15:18, 9 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Top URLs

Trivial request, but would it be possible to exclude *.js, *.css, *.phtml, *.ico , *.txt from the Webalizer Top URLs listing, and maybe increase Top 30 to Top 50 or 100? It would be very interesting to see what the most popular content pages are. Jpatokal 03:34, 29 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Recommended / further reading / destination travel books and publications

OK, so I'm not sure whether this has been suggested / discussed previously, BUT, what about adding an additional section to destination articles (towards the end, near External links) in which contributors could list books and publications relevant to understanding / appreciating a destination, with the intention of making a traveller's experience of a city all the richer? Note: not travel guides, but rather quality titles that explore the history, culture and atmosphere of a country or city, or are representative of its literary heritage (Naguib Mahfouz in Cairo, for example....) This could even be extended to music typical of a destination.... What do others think? Pjamescowie 14:31, 6 Nov 2004 (EST)

I like the idea, but I might be the wrong person to ask, as I can't even seem to muster the abhorance for "other guides" which my collegues here mostly seem to share. As for my own writing I've sometimes used references to the CD collection behind a given bar to try to impart something to the reader about the atmosphere there. It feels very right to me to give travellers a musical context for the places we tell them about. As my art-history professor liked to say, history, art-history, and anthropology all provide contexts for understanding the other. So I think by all means yes. -- Mark 14:45, 6 Nov 2004 (EST)
I love the idea. What about Read? Or a sub-section of Understand? --Evan 23:33, 6 Nov 2004 (EST)

Glad you both like the idea.... Read would be good, but wouldn't allow for the musical side of things.... Maybe we could have Listen as well? (though this might be getting slightly too sectionalised...!) A sub-section(s) of Understand could work, for sure, though I had visualised a section at the end of an article, alonsgide the External links.... This could be just my preconception, however, and is probably influenced by Wikipedia practice.... We can afford to be different! Any more thoughts? Pjamescowie 03:28, 7 Nov 2004 (EST)

I'd be inclined to not make it a entire section up there with Understand, Sleep, Do, etc. Somehow, those just seem more fundamental to what I want to use wikitravel for than finding out about cultural research I could do. (It's useful yes, but not as useful as finding somewhere to sleep...)
My suggestion is to either make it a subsection of Understand or possibly rename External links to Other resources (or similar), and have External links, Read, Listen as part of that. -- Hypatia 08:06, 7 Nov 2004 (EST)
Yeah, I agree with Hypatia, surely the best thing is to to generalise "External Links". -- Lionfish 0:07 7 Mar 2005 (GMT)

wiki.travel

A new .travel domain has been tentatively accepted by ICANN [1]. No word on which proposal has been accepted, but eg. for this one the eligibility requirements look pretty strict:

Applicants for a .travel domain name must be verifiable participants in the travel industry and each name applied for be a name to which there is a right that has been established through rights registration or use. Each applicant will be required to declare which category of right it relies on for the registration. In all applications, eligibility and name selection rights will be authenticated by a third party specialist as detailed in Part B (C).

Time to create a shoebox company or association for Wikitravel and join ACTA? They charge a fairly steep $175/year for the privilege though. Jpatokal 04:01, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)

I think there's some work underway on starting a non-profit or a foundation or something like that. If there's enough money left over after paying for bandwidth this might be useful, but it seems like it could be a lot to pay for very little in return. -- Mark 04:40, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)
Let me add that it is a neat idea, I just don't know about the cost. -- Mark 06:12, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)

Collaboration of the week?

How would people feel about running a Collaboration of the week project, along the lines of some of the Wikipedia projects (eg Australian collaboration of the week), in which we take a stub and spend a week trying to turn it into an article worthy of the Main Page, or even of Destination of the Month?

I can see plenty of objections, the primary one being that most collaborators in any given week would not be working from first hand knowledge of the destination but would have to work from sources. But that might be enough to bootstrap it to the "70-80%" main page criterion.

I can imagine an informal nomination process rather like the DoM process. A good set of conditions might be something like this:

  1. Destination has relatively poor wikitravel coverage: perhaps a stub article, or a region article with many of the cities missing.
  2. Destination should in some way be interesting: for example, comparitively undiscovered; earth-shatteringly beautiful; in season; or about to host a major event (Olympics etc etc).
  3. Destination should have relatively easy to find English language sources already, so that a lot of wikitravellers can contribute (nominator should have at least 3 or 4 links ready to point people at).
  4. Ideally, some wikitravellers have visited the destination.

Thoughts? I'd be happy to run a three week trial of the idea (making sure the page turned over to a new collaboration each week) if people like. Hypatia 02:34, 17 Dec 2004 (EST)

Another. Hypatia 17:40, 17 Dec 2004 (EST)
  • Ideally, the nominated destination increases the diversity of wikitravel destinations somehow. Some examples: it's from a continent that's badly represented overall and/or which has seldom had a DoM; it's a city from a different area than those currently appearing on the main page, eg an Eastern European city if the European part of the Main Page is Western heavy; or it's from a different part of the world than the last few collaborations.

Would also be useful for major destinations that need some concentrated effort to upgrade the articles. Eg NY and its districts (Talk:New_York_(city)#To_do_(July_2005)_-_moving_listings_to_district_pages) Nurg 03:32, 16 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Dutch Wikitravel Expedition

I just started a Dutch Wikitravel Expedition. Please add yourself to the list of team members if you think you could and want to contribute. Guaka 13:29, 11 Jan 2005 (EST)

Timezone in Quickbar

I noticed on Germany that the timezone is given as UTF +1. I admit I don't like it, since the timezone does have name (CET/CEST) and since it doen't indicate that Germany is a DST country.

Will everybody remember to update these to UTC +2 in DST?

I'd like to replace this with "CET/CEST (UTC +1/+2)". Or just UTC +1/+2.

Or we run a script that changes all the timezone data? Yes, DST is an ugly mess... but we have to cope with it anyway. --Jae 13:58, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)

"CET/CEST" sounds good to me. --Evan 14:02, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)

Copyright and buildings/art

So I have done it again. First I put pictures of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen on WikiTravel and had to remove them because of danish copyright laws. Mark (User_talk:Elgaard) told me that we danes have copyright laws more stupid than the US. It seems not. According to a Slashdot article I have again made WikiTravel violate copyright laws by adding pictures of the Millenium park in Chicago. This is becoming really stupid. Is there any experts on US copyright laws here. Should we delete my picture? Should we review all pictures of US art for possible copyright violations? P.S. I noticed that someone uploaded another picture of the little mermaid. --elgaard 11:27, 13 Feb 2005 (EST)

Don't believe everything you read on Slashdot -- the rule of thumb (in the US and most of the world) is that you can photograph anything or anybody you like in public places, which certainly includes parks, and the lawsuit in question is almost certainly untenable. To express that in a more legalistic way, a photograph of a sculpture (or any non-2D work of art) is a transformation that requires originality, not a straightforward reproduction (copy), and hence not a violation of copy'right. See http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm for more detail. Jpatokal 21:23, 14 Feb 2005 (EST)
Yes, that is why I did not put this on Votes for Deletion. elgaard 07:42, 15 Feb 2005 (EST)
While you can take a photograph from any public place, publishing that photograph is another matter. See www.photosecrets.com for a discussion of this issue. Publishing a photograph of a copyrighted work is ok if it can be considered "Fair use", which covers the following cases: educational, research, news reporting, criticism, or public interest. Hanging a photo in your home falls under fair use, but publishing it on a web site could conceivably be seen as commercial usage and thus could require permission of the copyright owner.
We are talking commercial use. Wikitravel is under CC-ShareAlike so we tell people that thay can e.g. put my picture in a book and sell that book elgaard 09:15, 16 Feb 2005 (EST)

Highway routes

Hi there! I'm a visitor from 'Pedia. Of course we have our usual arguments over what should and should not be included there. Now it happens that one of the areas of discussion, is articles about roads and turnpikes and the like. For instance, see [2] - WP has extensive documentation on the USA and Australian road networks, among others. According to some, this isn't particularly encyclopedic. According to others, it is verifiable and useful, thus should be listed somewhere.

I realize that this might be highly impractical and unfeasible, but... wouldn't that information be more at home in WikiTravel? The different licenses may be an issue, but this concerns a relatively large amount of articles written by a relatively low amount of users. Plus there's the fact that some of this material consists of lists of stubs, which I reckon would stand a greater chance of being expanded when included here rather than on 'pedia.

Just a thought for discussion., 23 Feb 2005

Radiant: we have a lot of highway info already in Wikitravel (like Gunbarrel Highway and Route 66). We treat highways like itineraries, usually. I think we might have different ways of thinking about highways, though: an encyclopedic view of a highway (date of construction, legal act that enabled its creation, name of contractor who laid the blacktop, notorious crimes that occurred on the road) might be different from the travel-guide view (best cities or campgrounds to stay in along the way, roadside attractions, places to stop to eat, etc.). --Evan 17:42, 23 Feb 2005 (EST)
Also, we probably wouldn't want to list all possible highways. Just the ones worth being an itenerary.
And as a side note, I love the Wikipedia encylopedic approach to highways. I can't beleive people complain about this, but every freaking album has an article, places and characters from pop fiction frequently get articles, and minor sports figures get articles. (I've being hitting the 'random page' button on wikipedia a lot lately. There's a lot of pollution in the encylopedia, and it's not caused by a few hundred well-organized road articles). -- Colin 18:17, 23 Feb 2005 (EST)

GPS locations and waypoints

Hi all! Since this is a tech-savy kind of travelling guide, I'd like to start puting GPS locations in for some of the entries. For a city, the GPS coords are not too useful, but for places like where to eat and where to sleep it would be invaluable to have those coordinates -- just pump them into the GPS and now you don't need to ask for directions!

My thoughts on this are that instead of just having text that gives the lat/lon, we should have some kind of easy way to download this information. The nice folks over geocaching have a way of doing this, but I don't know if there's a more general and less GPS-model-specific way of doing this. What do y'all think? -- Virosa 09:53, 25 Feb 2005 (EST)

maybe you could make something like wix form the off-line reader expedition to to generate waypoint lists from wikitext and update wikitext from waypoint lists. --elgaard 10:36, 25 Feb 2005 (EST)
in the meantime, what is the preferred formatting, syntax, and abbreviation for adding the info to a wiki page? How about something like this --> (WGS 84) N 24 deg. 33.126' W 81 deg. 47.578' <-- it may seem superfluous to include the datum, but I would hold that this is critical info that should be included. --FordPrefect
There is ongoing work in [3]. Why not use the <geo> tag? --Jens Kammann
There's a tool for converting between all the formats used by all popular GPS receivers (GPSrs) and mapping application called gpsbabel. So writing a script to supply a user with a file in his prefered format is easy. Also note that there are more than 3 popular ways to write GPS coordinates (DD MM.MMM like geocaching, DD.DDDDD and DD MM SS.S). In this case it may also be ideal for the user to be able to set his preferences). I've described how I think coordinates should be embedded in the feature requests page and embedded a few in Pretoria. Nic 03:58, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

I'd like to link from earth.google.com to bits that I plan to insert to wikitravel - mostly in Hokkaido for now. What's the preferred way to do that? Reto Stamm

Preparing for exponential growth

Friends, citizens, wikitravellers, I think Wikitravel is starting to hit exponential growth. [4] In three short months daily pageviews have almost tripled from under 50k to nearly 130k. The time to lay the groundwork for more expansion is now.

How is Wikitravel's hardware and network infrastructure set up to handle this — how many boxes and how big is the pipe? What is the financial basis behind Wikitravel — does Evan still pay the bills out of his pocket? For both questions, how does the current setup stand up to 1 million page views per day — which at current growth rates will be hit by the end of 2005?

I would like to propose, at a minimum, opening up a donation box. I would also not be averse to adding something like Google Adwords, but I'm sure opinions may differ on this: let's hear them out. Jpatokal 01:40, 3 Mar 2005 (EST)

Google offered to host Wikipedia. I would rather have Google host Wikitravel, than having ads on Wikitravel. With the new maps.google.com they could be interested in travel. Then again it seem to be working fine so far -- elgaard 05:37, 3 Mar 2005 (EST)
Our network service can handle a little more than 20 times our current bandwidth requirements (300Gb/mo compared to 14Gb/mo for Feb), and about 50 times our current disk space requirements. So even if we keep doubling in size every two months, we should be OK into Q4 05.
As for money: right now, donations would be more of a hassle than they're worth. Wikitravel costs Maj and I a not-insignificant amount, but dealing with the bureaucracy and taxes for personal gift donations right now is not worth it to us. I know, it seems rude to say that we don't want money, but we really don't. One of my goals for Wikitravel's upcoming 2-year birthday (!) is to have the legal infrastructure set up for further growth.
My big questions for growth are social. When we've had large waves of new users, we've had problems communicating our style for articles. How can we scale Wikitravel's social aspect to (say) 10,000 or 100,000 users? --Evan 07:29, 3 Mar 2005 (EST)
Well, it seems to me that the biggest problem is article format. Having thought about this problem, it seems to me that what is needed is a group of sort of sub-admins, really just regular users with specific responsibilities, who would be formally "in charge" of watching a group of articles (likely, one or two countries), and modifying edits by new users to conform to our desired style. The watchlist feature makes this a fairly easy job, and one I that I think a lot of users already do in a less formal way. I know I keep an eye on most of the Ireland articles, and a few in Alberta. I figure this is fairly easy to organize just by having a page which lists all the countries of the world, and encourage two or three people to put their names under each country. Simply by making it an expectation that these people know the MoS properly, and expect them to do their job, I imagine it would get done. The signup if mainly to help ensure we cover the whole world.
I see a couple of problems with this:
  1. To the best of my knowledge, you can't put pages which are linked, but have not yet been created, onto your watchlist. If we can't modify mediawiki to allow this, then the best solution I can think of is to make a list similar to the "Recent changes" page which only lists articles with the N tag. (Call it "recent additions", maybe). It would also be great if the same page could show where it was linked from, so it would be easier to identify what's in your territory.
  2. Ideally there will be a lot of people involved, and in the internet generation many helpful people are completely incompetent spellers, or use their homonyms wrong (guilty), or, in my case, will intentionally ignore uses of proper (commonwealth) English. Thus, while I think this can solve the problem of formatting, I suspect many of the sub-admins would leave spelling mistakes. This seems like a somewhat more difficult problem to solve, as I think our current spelling gurus are already unable to vet every edit, and I suspect that the "army" of spelling gurus will grow much more slowly than the army of well-intentioned new users.
It's a thought though. Variations could include people specifically signing up to do spelling and grammar for a country, though I still think that this would result in a small number of people sifting through a lot of edits.
--Neil 04:22, 5 Mar 2005 (EST)
I don't think this will be an unsurmountable problem: as wikis grow, their quality generally also gets better, because they get more regulars who 'care' about their articles and keep them in good shape.
That said, I have thought along the same lines. Wikitravel's format is a lot stricter that Wikipedia, and it's tough to enforce for all newcomers — practically every new article and new listing has to be reformatted to suit the template. I'll again suggest:
  • Have standard page templates automatically injected when a user creates a new page (not too hard to implement)
  • Use single-listing templates to enforce consistency in listings, pref. with a helper tool to create and edit them (a lot more work, but worth it in the long run?)
Opinions? Jpatokal 07:01, 5 Mar 2005 (EST)
Don't know how difficult this is to implement but we need some kind of wizard. Ideally, when you create an article it should ask you what page it links from (to avoid orphans), Then is it "Region, large city, small city ...." If none, should ask "Can you sleep here?" If the answer in "No", then the article should not be created. Then ask for "Name of article" and then auto-create the appropriate template with the first line filled in based on name of article, the type of article and what links to it i.e. Name of article is a (type) e.g. region in [[(page that links)]] . This will catch the dead-ends. The whole approach will avoid the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach where you are always playing catch-up. --Nzpcmad 13:51, 6 Mar 2005 (EST)
I think injecting a template may allow creative writing to flow too freely. I agree that the blank page approach may be more intimidating for first time writers who have never encountered a wiki before. You click on a red link and, hey presto! your being asked to write about the place that you were expecting to read about. If this doesn't give you writers block, probably nothing will. However, I think it may have hidden advantages. I suspect many people just hit the back button on the browser, the first time, a few follow a help link, and read what to do, and only the courageous (or foolish) start typing straight away. If we had some template or wizard in the article, people might think that all they had to do was click save to see the page, as it would be written for them or be copied from somewhere magical in cyberspace! We would then have to keep track of bad articles in some way as they wouldn't show up as an orphan or dead-end page. This is how I track down almost all the articles I copyedit. Dead-end pages identify pages written by users who do not know how a wiki works and so have not linked the page. Orphan pages identify pages where someone has been silly with their browser and either deleted a page or a link to the orphaned page. New pages show the most recent pages created, often by anonymous uses, while short pages highlight those pages where there is some text, but not enough for an article to be really good start. Newly created articles should show up on these special pages, so they can be given special attention by an experienced editor. Today I have copyedited quite a number of articles, adding templates etc. In most cases I can turn the submitted text into a reasonable stub. As a result there are just 4 dead-end pages that I cannot do anything with, (and I think two of those are bugs). I would rather have the wiki highlight new contributions from inexperienced users that show up as dead-ends and orphans than have a first time contributors be assisted so much that their simple mistake slips by unnoticed, only to rear their ugly heads a few years later as a systemic problem that developed through a lack of user understanding. - You mean people actually sit down and write this stuff, its not just assembled from websearch results. - Huttite 07:21, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)
You're got this backwards. Why should us 'experienced editors' have to waste our time on hand-adding templates, and need tools for finding articles where this should be done? They should be in there by default. I find it tedious that I always have to pull up Quick X template page and cut-n-paste the thing, I don't think it's at all reasonable for newbies to know where to find them, and it's obvious from most new pages that the average newbie is "courageous or foolish" and plunges forward with flow of consciousness that is quite annoying to reformat into a template. Jpatokal 11:09, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

Regarding spelling. My spelling's not great (I read loads! It just doesn't seem to go in, or I don't pay enough attention). How hard would it be to add a spell checker? Obviously there would be loads of words which were valid which it would pick up (proper nouns etc...) - but it might make spellchecking easier, and encourage the original editors to correct their own mistakes. (Sorry for all the spelling mistakes in this message :P ) -- Lionfish 0:35, 7 Mar 2005 (GMT)

If you have problems with spelling use firefox (if you are on linux or Windows) and add the spellbound extension (it does spell checking). It helps a lot. Aburda 17:41, 25 Jul 2005 (EDT)


Exponential growth? It looks to me like the number of visits is falling:

Average Daily Visits
Month Visits
Nov 04 3391
Dec 04 3240
Jan 05 4389
Feb 05 6240
Mar 05 9167
Apr 05 7833
May 05 5352

This could be because either:

  • Now summer's come to the majority of wikitravel readers, people are spending more time in the sun, and less time hunched over their computers.
  • Contributers have run out of stuff to add that they know about (will we have to wait until after everyone's been on holiday for a new batch of contributions?)
  • The previous 'highs' were just short lived spikes due to links from /. etc.
  • People have come here, and have become disillusioned for some reason?
  • Everyone's got exams, like I have?! :P

-- Lionfish 11:07, 15 May 2005 (BST)

Or it could be because the Webalizer stats were messed up due to some issues on the ISP side. They should be fixed now but (at least) the May stats are missing big chunks.
All other ratings seem to show increased traffic: the number of edits and new articles keeps growing (see Wikitravel:Multilingual statistics) and even Alexa shows us growing constantly. Today's rank is 16,533, last year we didn't usually register in the top 100k. Jpatokal 08:04, 15 May 2005 (EDT)


Oh good! Was getting worried there. Thanks! -- Lionfish 15:21, 15 May 2005 (BST)

Lists versus recommendations

I just had a great trip to San Francisco with a "Let's Go California" guidebook. In addition to just listing interesting things to do, they have a little thumbs-up logo by those exceptional things that deserve special mention, and they give the establishment a decal to put on their door. What would it take for wikitravel to have a similar recommendation system? Presumably it would require some kind of a vote, although I suppose we could seed it with suggestions from dead-tree guidebooks.

If such a system became effective, the next step would be to send out decals, which could be effective advertising of wikitravel.

(Over four years of using that guidebook, I've found the thumbs-up recommendations to be a great help, the best being a hostel overlooking Salzburg for €12 a night.) —BenFrantzDale 23:31, 18 Mar 2005 (EST)

Automated pretty weather reports

Now this would be nice to add: WeatherChecker. It's GPL and used on WikiNews... only catch is, it requires Microsoft .NET to run (eww). Jpatokal 05:13, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

Wow -- WeatherBot is offering to do the dirty work offsite, so they just upload the updated images! I'll set up a test page or two and see if we can get this working. Jpatokal 13:38, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

Travel companies

Would it be alright if I made a Greyhound, Amtrak, etc... article. I think anyone not knowing what Greyhound or Amtrak is would like an article about these companies so they can understand better. Sometimes I link to WikiPedia, but WikiPedia is more along the lines of straight history i.e. Established date, board members, CEO. I think there should be something like: routes, stations, programs, specials, type of trains.

-Andrew

So far, we've made a page each for kinds of industries, like Discount airlines in Europe. Maybe Bus travel in North America? --Evan 00:29, 6 Apr 2005 (EDT)
How about we review airlines as we do restaurant and hotels: Food, Service, Drinks, Entertainment, Internet, Delays, etc.

We could make a "in the air" destination and have all airlines on that destination. Budget, medium, splurge would be economy, medium, and business class. Price is too complex, but I would like to know what airlines serve food on shorter (eg. European) flights, have individual TV's, serve snacks and chocolate, serve alcohol, icecream, etc -- elgaard 10:43, 7 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Mm-mm. I'll have to agree with Evan on this one for a change, as this is a bit of a slippery slope -- there are a lot of travel companies out there and countless websites/fora devoted solely to, say, air travel; I frequent one myself. One page is clearly unworkable, and do we really want thousands? I'm not saying it's impossible, but it'd be a pretty big expansion of Wikitravel's mandate. Jpatokal 11:06, 7 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Flyertalk seem to be more a forum discussing a lot of things: Restaurants, travel stories, bonus miles etc. Wikipedia can fit airlines on one page: [5]. We would need a few lines for each airline, but would not need to cover them all. Just like we do not cover every restaurant in Paris. I Think buses and trains should be covered in "get around" on country pages, although we could have a page with international trains. But it is not very meaningfull to cover airlines in country articles, Eg. I have traveled Denmark-Canada on SAS, Lufthansa, Air Canada, British Airways, LOT, Delta, and Czeck Air. Air France, Air Italia, and more is also an option. If we want to say that AirFoo serve awful food so you should bring a sandwich, it would a waste to put it in every "Get In" section on destinations that AirFoo is operating. -- elgaard 19:05, 7 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Discussion page

I've noticed that some people (myself included) have started discussions for topics in the inappropriate places. Sometimes these topics are about not-very-popular articles or stub articles and need attention, but since anyone seldom visits the discussion page of these articles I propose that there be a Topics needing discussion page. The page should be a list that directs users to the page needing discussion. Any thoughts? -- User:Sapphire

Wikitravel:Requests for comment :-). -- Colin 00:54, 12 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Ah, I bow before your wise wisdom. I'm going to place a link on the page that welcomes new users as soon as find that. I wish I had known about it. Sapphire 01:12, 12 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Also keep in mind that when you add stuff to a Talk page it shows up on Special:Recent changes which is how most of us follow along at home. So it's not like you need to wait until someone happens to check out that discussion page, it will pop up on our radar... Wikitravel:Requests for comment is good if you're not getting enough feedback and you want to point out a particular issue, but the discussion itself should still probably like on the article-in-question's talk page. HTH! Majnoona 09:08, 12 Apr 2005 (EDT)
To make it easier to find I have added Wikitravel:Requests for comment to Wikitravel:Utilities. -- Huttite 08:23, 17 Jun 2005 (EDT)

GayGuide in Template

"I dont understand why gayguide should not be part of the template for all cities instead of being just a part of smaller set of information? Gaypopulation has particular interest in certain bars, clubs, gay-friendly accomodation/restaurants places and is usually suffering from homophobia in many even western countries (unless thay are instructed where to be open about their identity and where to be more private). Hope to hear back from you!" - Zb's question, on my talk page [Lionfish].

Should I have deleted these? They didn't have much content, and they broke the template. Also, there was already alot on the topic under "Drink" in Cologne, for example (also could be under "Understand").

  • Cologne with 'Gayguide': [[6]].
  • Berlin with it: [[7]].
  • Prague with it: [[8]].

Someone else can decide about this. -- Lionfish 10:59, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT) (17:00 BST)

Hey, take a look at Wikitravel:Information for gay and lesbian travellers for the current policy on this. I also posted this link on Zb's talk page... Majnoona 11:25, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
If Zb wants to change the template for articles to include a section for GayGuide then it should first be discussed at Wikitravel talk:Article templates. Frankly, I do not see the need for such a section. Information like this should be included in the specific listing, or an appropriate section, such as Understand or Stay safe. Having a section devoted to a special interest group could see Wikitravel as being biased and skewed to a particular group of travelers. Wikitravel should cater for everyone, so our articles should be written from that viewpoint - neutrality - including all cultures, genders and orientations. In many respects, Zb's approach smacks of segregation and discrimination rather than inclusiveness and acceptability of diversity. I question if Zb has really thought that approach through properly and the downstream implications. Besides if Lionfish had not deleted the sections, someone else would have, (like me), and not even felt guilty about it. Also the removal is justified because it's not policy, yet. -- Huttite 17:37, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I think the guidlines say it pretty well, but I just want to reiterate the fact that we do want this information in our guides-- it's just a matter of where it shows up and in what context. This is probably clear already, but I wanted to say it again... Majnoona 19:41, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Thanks Maj and Huttite for sorting this out! I'm only an occasional contributor, and don't feel like I have the authority to deal with stuff like this ;P TY! Lionfish 05:42, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT) (11:43 BST)
Glad we could help. But really, you do have the "authority" (whatever that means on a wiki!) to make any changes you feel are needed. Of course, everyone else also has the same authority to change it back ;-) Majnoona 09:57, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT)

'Cheating'

How will we avoid the owners of various establishments (eg Pubs etc) flooding the pages with good reports about their own restuarants, or even worse, sladering their competitors... I'm not seeing any clear way around this. Any ideas? -- Lionfish 10:59, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT) (17:00 BST)

This has come up before, I can't find the discussion right now, but I think the answer was that we "hope" we have problems like this! It would be hard to have too many contributors and there's no real reason why owners shouldn't be able to contribute too. So far we haven't had much trouble with anyone going overboard with this-- when a listing is obviously and ad, it usually gets changed or removed. From what I can tell, spammers tend to just stick a link in and anyone who bothers to actually write a proper listing usually means well. Slandering competitors isn't really a problem becuase of the Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews guideline. Is there a particular listing you're worried about? Majnoona 11:30, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Also have a look at Wikitravel:Neutral point of view. Rave reviews will get toned down to good reviews, while the review is always subject to revision by that customer who has a bad experience. Advertising hype often just gets deleted. While an honest, enthusiastic but genuine review tends to remain as an irreduciable minimum despite copyediting to tone it down.
Mind you, I have a bigger problem; persuading a business owner to even list in the first place! From what I have seen of most business owners' activities attempting to list/publish their websites/businesses on the internet, they probably get more value from paying for advertising in the local newspaper or yellow pages! I do not think the problem is the individual proprietor as they probably care about how their business is presented. The real problem is the internet advertiser who is being paid for, and so needs to justify having, a website that lists lots of businesses by getting lots of internet traffic. They do not care what they do except that they get the traffic and so think they can do anything that might work. Hence we get wiki-spam from people who do not understand how the internet user really behaves. Maybe Wikitravel will drive them out of business, because people will know that Wikitravel can be relied upon, when nobody else can! -- Huttite 18:19, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Good points there, thanks! I generally agree: And if one review is very different from a dozen others, it'll be ignored. I think wiki* is too new to really see how it'll work in the long term. It'll be exciting to see how it goes! (I'll try to add more content soon, but have finals coming up...) Lionfish 05:47, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT) (11:48BST)
Well we've been doing this for a couple of years now, and we don't seem to have this problem. -- Mark 06:08, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Sapphire 17:43, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT)

World66

I came across this site http://www.world66.com, which is a commercial travel guide site which is user-editable (though probably not Wiki-based) and is licensed under Creative Commons. Yet all of the content seems to be different from WikiTravel. Most of the articles are large stubs with no listings, which were written up beforehand (i.e., not Wiki style). But there is one in place for practically every destination, so there are no conspicuous gaps like here. Interesting to see how this will develop, with World66 and Wikitravel able to use each other's content. -- Paul Richter 02:31, 20 Apr 2005 (EDT)

World66 was originally a GFDL commercial guide, but it flopped, and the content was spontaneously relicensed under CC. The legality of this maneuver is somewhat questionable... also, they split each destinations in tons of tiny little stubs, making the thing much harder to read, navigate or print than Wikitravel. See also Wikitravel talk:List of related projects for further discussion of this. Jpatokal 02:39, 20 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Wiktravel looks much better in my opinion... Felix
Having also contributed to World66, in my opinion, Wikitravel is also much better to contribute to too.... -- Huttite 20:50, 23 Apr 2005 (EDT)

random chatter

I recently stumbled across Robert Young Pelton's Come Back Alive http://ComeBackAlive.com/ . It describes traveling to some places that normal, sane, rational people would never list in a travel guide. So, should we mention these places in WikiTravel ? :-) --DavidCary 18:38, 23 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Which places? Apart for the title and the skulls it seems fairly normal. We already cover Norhtern Ireland, Jungles etc. -- elgaard 19:37, 23 Apr 2005 (EDT)
If it is (or could be) a destination, why shouldn't Wikitravel mention it? Some travelers are not normal, sane, or even rational. Just because a normal travel guide doesn't mention the place is no reason not to have a article in Wikitravel. Consider Grytviken; no normal, sane, rational travel guide publisher would consider listing such a place - because there is no money in it. The fact Wikitravel does, in some detail, with a picture, because someone loves the place, is good enough for me to think the article worthwile. -- Huttite 21:16, 23 Apr 2005 (EDT)
A lot of the out-of-the-way places don't make it into major travel guides because not enough people visit those destinations to make a book profitable. Anyone visiting one of those places is then stuck to figure things out on their own unless a site like Wikitravel helps them out (having an indepth article on the Falklands would have saved me countless hours a year ago). Using Grytviken as an example, it gets at most a few pages in some of the travel guides on the Antarctic, but Wikitravel will eventually probably be the only place that fully covers the place, including such oddities as the bar in the British Antarctic Survey station and a bit of history on Tim & Pauline Carr (the only full-year residents). IMHO, the more obscure destinations are what most belong on this site, and even for the people that never visit them they're great to read about. Wrh2 22:03, 23 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I think WikiTravel is tailor-made to cover areas like this. As a perfect example, in 2003 a friend and I headed to East Timor; just a few months after indepdence and as the UN was beginning it's withdrawal. Although the country was safe to visit, there were no useful travel guides. The only info available was written during Indonesian occupation, and since then the government, language, currency and day-to-day life had all changed. Not too mention the complete lack of infrastructure after retreating Indonisan militias razed the entire country to the ground. My friend and I spent our four weeks in the country researching like travel writers just to get by: looking for accommodation (there usually was none and we had to sleep in police stations), grilling Dep of Tourism officials and asking for lots of local advice. If I'd known about WikiTravel after my return I'd have converted my notes into the most accurate travel guide available at the time. But I think that sites like Come Back Alive (and similar others out there part of the 'danger travel' subculture) are little warped in their focus: travelling to war-torn countries like Sudan and Iraq for the 'thrill' and danger of it seems patronising to the people who have to endure day-to-day life in those countries. Allyak 01:56, 31 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Images

There seems to be a chronic lack of images in wikitravel (at least compared to other printed travel guides I've seen) - I understand that only images licenced with cc-by-sa-1.0 can be used? What are the barriers to the 2.0 being used for images? -- Joolz 10:51, 2 May 2005 (EDT)

Well, Wikitravel:Image policy actually recommends "Minimal use of images ... no more images than are necessary to get across a point or impression should be used", although this has so far been applied with a good deal of common sense (generally only duplicate or utterly pointless images get trimmed). But while anybody can take travel snaps, it's not that easy to get the "guidebook quality" shots that we want here.
And license incompatibility is a biggie, not so much with cc-by-sa v2.0 (not too many of those floating around) but with GFDL, which means that eg. most of Wikimedia Commons is off-limits. Most Wikipedia photographers will, however, gladly dual license on request. Jpatokal 11:03, 2 May 2005 (EDT)
I think many destinations have excellent images. Many especially minor distinations do not have images. One reason is probably that WikiTravel is young and there is a backlog--Some of the contributed material come from memory a couple of years back, but unfortunately we cannot contribute images from memory. We might have old pictures, but they were not made for WikiTravel and are usually polluted by people. In a couple of months a lot of travellers will for the first time go on vacation with a camera and make photos exclusively for WikiTravel. Expect a lot of Italian destination images from me. --elgaard 13:54, 2 May 2005 (EDT)
Does that mean if there are suitable images that are appropriate to use which are licenced with cc-by-sa-2.0, you can use them? (If so, how do you link an image from the commons here?) -- 80.229.143.117 03:39, 3 May 2005 (EDT)
No, unfortunately v2.0 images cannot be used in v1.0. See [9]. 202.176.111.155 07:13, 3 May 2005 (EDT)


Yes, that is unfortunate. I can understand that CC made it so to motivate people to switch to CC2.0 but it is a problem for us especially because we cannot move CC1.0 to CC2.0 without permission of every contributer. If we ask for permission to use a CC2.0 on WikiTravel I think we will get it in most cases. You should not link, download and upload them to WikiTravel. If you use konqueror you can do it in one step, just use the image URL in the upload form. -- elgaard 08:38, 3 May 2005 (EDT)
Why not allow any free license for images, just like Wikipedia does?
Other question that pops up: why is there no effort to start asking permission to move to CC2.0? I think we don't have to ask anonymous contributors, unless we're really anal about it. 196.200.85.103 09:21, 3 May 2005 (EDT)
Because you can't distribute a Wikitravel article with a GFDL picture without handing out copies of the GFDL, or use a fair use image commercially. So that's why only public domain and CC1.0 images are allowed. 203.147.0.44 09:37, 3 May 2005 (EDT)

Substubs and skeletons

Currently "stub" can mean an article with virtually no content ("Foo is in Bar" plus maybe a template), or it can mean an almost-complete article that is missing a Learn section or a second Sleep listing. I'd like to see new terms (templates) developed to distinguish between the two, like Wikipedia's "substub" and "stub", but better reflecting the different structure of Wikitravel guides. Howzabout "Skeleton" and "incomplete"? Jpatokal 12:18, 6 May 2005 (EDT)

Quite true! It would make finding out which article needs work much easier. Felix 15:54, 7 May 2005 (GMT)
I notice that Wikipedia has started to use section stubs for incomplete sections of an article. For me, I think we could have a couple of index pages, one for useable and another for substantial articles. Perhaps even one for excellent! articles. I would avoid incomplete because no wiki article is ever complete. Skeleton has merits, but isn't that really a stub? At this time we have a large Wikitravel:Stubs needing attention that is starting to show where we have, and do not have, a lot of stub articles. But I seem to be one of the few adding articles to the page. To have multiple pages would become a maintenance nightmare.
Instead, I use the short pages and oldest pages to find articles that need work. There is little point editing/researching an article that is being actively changed and updated - someone else might add the information before you can do the research. The new pages are normally edited to ensure they are formatted right - though they should be added to Wikitravel:Stubs needing attention too. Then if you are looking for things to edit, the short pages and oldest pages are probably good places to start. The short pages are probably a good way for finding stubs - any page under 1000 characters is probably one, or else it is a disambiguation page. Theoldest pages are also fruitful hunting because these pages have not been updated recently and may need some TLC to make them attractive so readers will want to contribute to them. (Country factbook pages are in this category.) -- Huttite 07:58, 17 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Non-Destinations

What are people's thoughts on articles on non-destinations - towns etc. that are only really of interest to locals, probably not even other people from the same country. Recent examples in the UK are: Brackley and (to a lesser degree) Hitchin. There also seem to be quite a lot of places in the USA that appear to be only of v.minor interest. Are these just vanity articles by people just wanting to write about their home town?

For me, they only serve to distract attention from the actually interesting places in each county / state. Should they be highlighted as only of minor interest, or deleted?

P.S. I wrote this several weeks ago, but decided not to post it. Now someone has started to write articles on very minor counties in North Dakota, with only a few people living there. Is this this start of a new Slippery Slope? DanielC 16:02, 8 May 2005 (EDT)

We encourage people to write about their home towns -- there is no minimum size. The only requirements are those in Wikitravel:What is an article?. Keep in mind that we intend to be a guide for all travellers, not just tourists. So if someone needs to travel to Nowhereville (North Dakota) to visit their mom, we want to be helpful.
While I'm not fond of using counties to subdivide states into regions, it's a good solution for a state you're unfamiliar with. They can always be recategorized later. -- Colin 19:54, 8 May 2005 (EDT)
Highlighting non-traditional destinations is one of the things that sets us apart from other guides that only have room to focus on the obvious tourist spots. Minot North Dakota is one of our favorite examples-- you probably wouldn't plan a trip out of your way to go there, but people end up there for weddings, business, etc. If you're talking about User:Stavp-- he's covering all the places he ends up on business, and I assume he's not the only one at his meetings, there are people interested.
As for "vanity articles" -- who better to write about a place than the locals? When I moved to Geneva, my mom gave me a copy of a Switerland guide-- I looked up Geneva only to see a single sentence "Expensive and uninteresting: don't bother going here." Not very useful for someone about to move there... I'd hate for us to start judging the "value" of different destinations (I'd have to argue against most of Florida and Los Angeles for example ;-) Majnoona
Well, you can see why I had second thoughts about writing this the first time. Anyway, now you are listening...
Who are the travellers we are aiming at? My impression from the Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals page was that the primary audience was travellers/tourists planning and doing trips away from their home area for which the main purpose was travel/tourism (and with a secondary, far less numerous target of people who happen to "land" in a place). In which case one of the primary tasks of any guide is to highlight interesting (which of course is different for everyone) places that it is worth your time / money visiting. My concern is that if Wikitravel moves towards being "encyclopedic", information overload leads to Wikitravel becoming less, not more useful. The focus on vanity articles stems from this. Locals are often over-enthusiastic about their area and can lack the distance / perspective to direct people to the worthwhile places or even admit that their hometown is actually quite boring. Plus, the smaller the place, the less likely that other Wikipedians will rebalance the article / area. One thing you notice about printed guides is that they scale from guides about a whole continent to ones about a small part of country, down to individual towns, but each tries to highlight places that it's readers would most enjoy visiting. For Wikitravel, this task is much harder but this is the real "added value" real, informed, knowledgable and enthusiastic travellers bring.
Now my chance to agree (somewhat): Yes, articles on obscure places by informed writers are what can set Wikitravel apart. The Falkland Islands is a good example of this. I am half way through trying to do articles on lots of places in Sicily, and I will surely get upset if someone tells me that Sciacca isn't worth an article. I do think, however that an article on Munich in Cavalier County (North Dakota) is somewhat different. I am not (necessarily) proposing that there shouldn't be an article on it, but we should somehow find a way to put it's worth in context. In my "Rough Guide" (similar to Lonely Planet) to the USA , North Dakota has only 4 pages out of 1000 (0.4%) (it's way of (un)highlightimg the area's importance to "travellers"). The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is highlighted as worth visiting, as are about 5 other towns. As currently laid out, Wikitravel could have over 100 articles for this state. If we have decided to have all these articles, are we not doing a dis-service (readers come first) to our general readers planning trips unless we do more to adequately signpost to them only the principal attractions in this state, whilst leaving potential business travellers the opportunity to have an article on the town they will be staying in. We do have (almost) unlimited space, but do our readers have unlimited patience? DanielC 15:38, 9 May 2005 (EDT)
It doesn't matter how much patience they have, because they can read as much or as little as they like or don't. I really doubt that anybody will read every single page.
Now, think of it this way. If you are "stuck" in Minot some night, wouldn't you prefer that we have decent coverage so that you can figure out where to eat or find a drink? Or maybe you'd rather be left to figure it out on your own. Me, I prefer Wikitravel.-- Mark 15:50, 9 May 2005 (EDT)
I don't think Daniel is arguing for the complete elimination of "minor" destinations (although I could be wrong), but I think his point is that when planning a trip the "must-see" destinations should somehow be made more obvious. For example, when coming to San Francisco, information on Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, and Pier 39 shouldn't be buried by pages about Fremont, Walnut Creek, and other places that people are unlikely to want to see.
Would it be possible to add a "Highlights" or "Suggested Itineraries" section to the templates to provide a way of telling people "Hey, you really don't want to miss this"? That way someone stuck in Minot could still find hotel information, but a visitor to the US wouldn't necessarily think Wikitravel is putting Minot on the same level as New York (city). Wrh2 16:19, 9 May 2005 (EDT)
The region templates already include highlights for cities. And the See and Do sections list highlights and refer you to the correct article for more information. For example, Fremont is not a major destination, so it is only listed in the smallest enclosing region South Bay (Bay Area), but San Francisco is listed in Bay Area (California), California, and USA. Perhaps it's confusing that our Main Page includes featured articles rather than important articles. But if you just skip one level down by clicking North America, Africa, etc, I think you'll find major destinations strongly favored over the obscure in the directory (or at least, they are supposed to be). -- Colin 17:12, 9 May 2005 (EDT)

Active Contributors

Just wondering whether there is some way for the community to be able to get an automatic update (at any time) on the number and names of actual "active contributors" to Wikitravel - maybe define this as anyone who has made at least one edit in the last month....? This would be an interesting and possibly useful guage of interest and activity overall. Ideas? Pjamescowie 02:18, 10 May 2005 (EDT)

You'd have to do some fairly hardcore data crunching Wikipedia style for this — they generate their stats from an SQL dump each week. Jpatokal 13:12, 11 May 2005 (EDT)

Could we use their model to do the same for WikiTravel? Any SQL-savvy volunteers out there? Pjamescowie 05:38, 13 May 2005 (EDT)

I don't think we'd have to -- our database server isn't as crunched as Wikipedia's. Can you explain to me what the point of this is? I'm not sure I like the idea, since it seems to be aimed towards discriminating between "active" and "non-active" contributors. But it's not a hard query and I can drop it in as a Special page if it's really needed. --Evan 08:26, 13 May 2005 (EDT)
Purely as a guage to see how we're developing as a community.... I don't see how any kind of discrimination could creep in, really... People are free to contribute as much or as little, as often or as infrequently as they wish.... So what? If you don't like publicising names, then don't! Maybe just provide the numbers.... Don't see what harm it would / could do - and it'd be interesting to see how our contributions are growing month by month....Pjamescowie 09:42, 15 May 2005 (EDT)

I don't stay logged in!

Hi, I have got a problem. Whenever I log in and edit two or three articles, the system just kicks me out and I have to log in again, which is really anoying!!! I have tried not to use the Back Button or not to do anything that could cause an error, but nothing helped. In one article I also put Sabie in brackets like seen here, but in the article it was shown fat and without a link.

Am I nuts? What is wrong?

Felix 11 May 2005, 17:44 (GMT)

You're not nuts, everybody seems to have the same problem after the 1.4.3 upgrade. See [10]. Jpatokal 13:10, 11 May 2005 (EDT)

Downloadable icons for linking

I am wondering if it would be possible and preferred to have downloadable icons or buttons for promoting Wikitravel on websites. Just as Firexox is doing on his Spread Firefox website. I would love to put a nice icon on my blogsite, however prepared icons would be better. bujatt 13:58, 16 May 2005 (EDT) (copied from Wikitravel talk:Ways to promote Wikitravel)

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)

Offline version

Is there a friendly way to get an offline version of either all or a part of Wikitravel?

Specificly: I'm in Europe for 3 months with intermitant internet access, and a Eurail pass. I'd absolutely _love_ to be able to browse the Europe pages for whatever country I happen to find myself in at the moment. If there were an easy way to do this for offline viewing I could do it without paying EU$7.00/hour (for an internet cafe) to do so.

More in general: I think that if it were possible to download a tarballed HTML version of Wikitravel (or maybe a contenent or country at a time), travelers could put it on their Palm pilots or laptops and have an excelent guide book to take with them.

See the Wikitravel:Offline Reader Expedition. Right now, we don't have an HTML dump, but it's a priority. I usually just print out the guides I need for where I'm going. --Evan 15:31, 20 May 2005 (EDT)
Last time I did that was last month. When I arrived downtown Toronto, I realized Toronto had been split into districts and I only had only printed out the city page. In July I'll make my way from Rome to Naples, I might go to most destinations south of Rome. It is just to much to do by hand. It should not be to difficult to write a script that follows Regions, Cities, District, and Other Destinations links using mvs, but parsewiki is not quite right.
I would love a cron job that updates a PDF for each country.
If I brought a laptop, I would prefer a dump of Wikitravel, so I could run it locally. --elgaard 18:27, 20 May 2005 (EDT)
I'd probably print where I was going if only I knew. :-) On our trip last week which was intended for Barcelona, we ended up in Millan, Genoa, and some small Italian towns. Untill we got to the Zurich train station and found that the Barcelona train was booked, we didn't know we were headed to Italy.
It's quite fun to have the flexibility to change destinations on the spur of the moment, but it makes being informed (tourist-wise) about where you end up fairly dificult.
-- Michael

Image map

Following up from a point in the discussion about the Caribbean Islands (Talk:Main Page#Caribbean islands) I started experimenting with an image map of the world just to see if it was feasible, but after trying things out in User:Wrh2/Sandbox and searching on Google I can't find a way to actually get the <map> and <area> tags working with Wikimarkup. Does Wikimarkup have any way of allowing a clickable image map? -- Wrh2 02:06, 16 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Why is the Wikitravel logo T capitalized?

This is probably the silliest question yet for the pub, but if the FAQ says that Wikitravel has only one capital letter, why is the "t" capitalized in the Wikitravel logo at the top left of the screen? -- Mikito 01:30, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Good question. An even better question is why the background is not transparent, because it looks like arse against a non-white background. Any graphics gurus out there? The original file is floating around somewhere, right...? 203.147.0.44 06:15, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)
There's a fairly high-resolution png around with transparency. I suppose I could grab that and do some work on it. That said, I would rather have an svg version, and notes about the font used.
In all honesty I'm not a big fan of the logo for a bunch of reasons, but the decision was made before I had finished my entry. I've always thought that it would be better to have a very iconic version of a compass card or a compass star instead, but hey, that's just one opinion. -- Mark 08:26, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)

What about a new logo?

I'm with Mark on not being a big fan of the logo as it stands - I also think a stylised compass card would be a great icon for Wikitravel.... Can we get support for a new logo competition perhaps? I'm thinking also with an eye to the future.... Should we ever do any merchandising, à la Wikipedia - and I think this would be a great way to "spread the message" - the current logo's gonna look awful, especially on a T-shirt.... So whadya reckon? Call for new logo designs, followed by a vote......? Pjamescowie 08:44, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I'm for it. Gutzka did a nice job with the current logo, but I think it's been hard to work with since we don't have a vector-graphics version. The fact that the name is spelled wrong (!) has always stuck in my craw, too.
Wikitravel:Logo contest is still up. Why don't you run with it? --Evan 10:24, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)
OK, so I've updated Wikitravel:Logo contest and the Logo Contest Entry page.... Can everyone take a look at the fairly arbitrary dates I put in and say what they think regarding the timing? Next question: How do we now draw attention to the logo contest? Announcement on the Main Page? Email all users? Make an announcement elsewhere? Suggestions / thoughts? Pjamescowie 13:32, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)
One month plus seems reasonable, and it's on the Main Page now. Let's hope we get more than one entry this time... Jpatokal 21:44, 22 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Templates for User Pages

I just wondered what people would think of creating templates along the lines of the userpage and bable templates as seen in Wikipedia. --Colin Angus Mackay 14:42, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Sounds like a really good application of Mediawiki templates. I think there are a lot of "slots" that would be useful to put into a template: where the user lives now, where they have lived, what places they've visited, where they want to visit, what languages they speak and at what level (I really like the Babel templates). Let's start up Template:Userpage and Template:Babel (or maybe combine them?). --Evan 12:10, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Reversion confusion question

Earlier today, I tried to revert the Main Page, because someone had filled it with spam. I followed what I remembered from the Help page, checked it in the preview, and saved it. The saved version looked just like the spam version instead of what I had previewed. This confused me, making me think that I had to change the Main Page to make the edit stick. So I added San Francisco to the list of North American cities. That was my 2nd attempt at reversion.

Did I really have to add something to make the reversion work, or not? I've reread the Help page, and it says that I don't have to change the content to make it work. -- Mikito 16:24, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

No, your don't need to make a change -- try messing about with the Graffiti wall to get the hang of it. When you are in the edit window, there should be a warning at the top of the page that you are currently editing an out-of-date version of the page. -- Colin 16:33, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)
OK, thanks. I think that was the first time I've ever tried to revert a page. I wouldn't have changed anything on the Main Page if not for my confusion. -- Mikito 16:53, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)
The reason it may not have worked for you is that there may have been some kind of internal software conflict -- apparently I reverted the spam at the same time as you did, but for some reason my reversion isn't showing up in the recent changes. Very possibly the problems were a one-time, chance thing. -- Wrh2 16:57, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I've just practiced reversion on the graffiti page and it works as promised. I also looked at the recent changes, and my first reversion of the main page looks correct. It's very odd--as if my computer was the only one showing the spam version as the latest version. I wonder if it has something to do with my browser's cache. -- Mikito 17:09, 23 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Wiki software upgrade

Hi there, I have seen in the wikipedia that they are busy with a software upgrade from 1.4 to 1.5. Will this have any effect on wikitravel? Felix 27/06/2005, 16:31 (GMT)

Barring any problems we'll probably move up to 1.5 sometime after it's released. Or are you asking whether the 1.5 upgrade at Wikipedia is going to affect us? I'm not sure about that, but I doubt it. --Evan 12:00, 27 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I actually meant, if we are also going to upgrade! Felix

The work of

Hi there, everytime I open an article I notice the message last modified by..., based on work by... and so on. In my opinion this is a very nice idea to give credit to those users who have contributed. But what makes me a bit angry is that after I have written the whole thing and someone just changed a comma and I edit it again, my edit is based on the work of xxx, but it doesn't say anything about the big amount of work I have done before... Maybe it is more fair to add the names of all contributers, including the last (if it's his/her second/third... entry). Felix 14:29, 29 June 2005 (GMT)

Contributions are listed by time (last edit first). It would be quite a challenge, or at least involve a lot more overhead, to start tracking the quantity (much less the quality) of those edits... and even if implemented, would a spammer then get to the top of the list because it adds 50K of "n00d young sheep!!!1111!!!1" to every page? Jpatokal 21:18, 28 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Felix: do you want it to say, "Last modified by Felix, based on the work of Someone Else and Felix"? Would that communicate that you'd done the lion's share of the work? I don't think so. And if you'd made 6 edits, I think it would look kind of funny to say "Last modified by Felix, based on the work of Felix, Felix, Felix, Felix, and Felix".
The credits block aggregates by your last edit, so the most recent edits go up front. The most recent editor is the Licensor per the Wikitravel:copyleft (they made the most recent derivative work), so they are highlighted. --Evan 08:41, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Vanity. Clutter. Get rid of it. At the bottom of this page right this minute I see "Wikitravel user(s) ...Evan, ... Evan, ... Evan, Evan, ... Evan ...". Yes, that's right, 2 of the Evans are beside each other. (Nothing personal at all, Evan, just that Evan was the most repeated.) Just my opinion. Nurg 00:33, 16 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Potential Map ideas...

If you aren't aware already, google has had a map service for a while now (maps.google.com). And it's not half bad (only problem is that it only has US and UK... so far). Even more exciting is that they've released a javascript api: http://www.google.com/apis/maps/. I've already seen a few hacks and they look very promising. Maybe someone with more technical experience could look into it. It looks like something to potentially add to the mapmaking expedition. --Comrade009 14:23, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)

But we cannot use Google maps on Wikitral. Planiglobe seems more promising. They are CC-by-sa-2.5. So close :-( --elgaard 15:27, 30 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Are there any legal experts on this? Seems to me that having to worry about license versions is rather counter to the goal of the cc licenses. Does "share alike" imply shared using the exact same licence, or using a license which protects the same rights. Not being a legal expert, but having had it drilled into me that legal systems which derive from britain (including the US) all use the principle of what the "reasonable man" would do, and at least to me, it seems perfectly reasonable to interchange license versions which protect the exact same rights.
This seems to put all sorts of things that people may be more than happy to share with us out of our reach unless we can reach the copyright holder directly. Case in point that I've recently become aware of is if we want to borrow some photos from flickr. People there have the option of choosing one (or none) of several cc licenses for their works, but the cc-by-sa is 2.0, and to do anything different would require adding something to the comments of every photo, instead of just setting a default rule. --Neil 07:08, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Yes, there are lots of things we can't include unless we get copyright holder permission. Fortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of travelers out there with ideas, photos, and energy to make this project work. We don't need to leech from those who don't want to share with us.
As for the licenses: I'd like to get an expedition in motion to upgrade our license version. However, I think the 3.0 licenses will be more worth the trouble. Maybe we should start a Wikitravel:License Upgrade Expedition? --Evan 08:35, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)
We don't need to leech from those who don't want to share with us. My point wasn't about people who don't want to share with us, just about people who want their material to be shared (hence using a by-sa license), but who didn't initially and specifically put their material on wikitravel. Upgrading the license seems like a good idea if it's feasible, but doesn't that require contacting every single contibuter?...at that, do they have to specifically agree, or simply not reply back to say no? And how do anonymous contributions fit into that?--Neil 15:10, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)
I agree that it's going to be hard to upgrade the license. The big problem is that the 1.0 CC license suite didn't have an "or any later license" clause; 2.0 and later do. So if we get bumped up to 2.5 or 3.0 or whatever, we can "automatically" upgrade later. As for how it has to be done: I've got some ideas, but, yes, we do need the consent of contributors. As for including stuff under other licenses: I think that's gonna be hard. Possible, but hard. --Evan 16:19, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)
It would be great to go to CC 2.X. Please put your ideas on Wikitravel:License Upgrade Expedition --elgaard 19:43, 6 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Edirectory.com

There is a lot of material from edirectory.com http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Special:Contributions&target=210.214.89.130 As there is also a lot of references to edirectory (against ext guide policy) the anon user just might be the copyrigtholder, but I doubt it. Also he renames Learn to Money, etc. --elgaard 10:19, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

That's a clear-cut case for reversion. He has to actually say he's the copyright holder in order to do this. It could always be recovered if he says he's the copyright holder. -- Colin 13:20, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)


Wikitravel book

I made a PDF for all of Italy (I think). See more on my user page --elgaard 18:28, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)

That's great! I think I'd like to put together some mechanisms for making print books using print-on-demand technologies so you could assemble a bunch of Wikitravel Web pages and then send them off to a service to be printed, bound, and shipped to you. --Evan 20:03, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)
I posted som thoughts made while travelling on User:Elgaard/bookproject --Elgaard (cant find tilde on it keyboard)

Towns or Cities

I changed a lot of Town, Towns/Cities, Small Town etc sections to Cities according to our templates. Seems not everyone is happy about that. I just think we should stick to the templates or change the templates. I realized this sloppynes when I tried to parse som Italian region with my wtbook script. --elgaard 19:49, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Yeah, it's a continuing sticking point, but I was glad to see that you'd done it. It's never a mistake to edit articles towards the MOS. --Evan 20:04, 15 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Men, beware those seed-pods!

Every now and then I stumble across a little nugget of localised travel wisdom on Wikitravel that makes me laugh out loud, and have a little more faith in the project's reason for being. I refer in particular to the observation made by user User:62.255.32.11 on the Fez page, under the heading "Berber Pharmacy". How many other guidebooks can offer advice that detailed! Allyak 05:44, 26 Jul 2005 (EDT)


Your RSS feed is on Planet Wiki now

Hi! I included your RSS recent changes feed in Planet Wiki, an online news aggregator about wikis. If you have any more RSS feeds or any maximum-hits policy please contact us. BTW: I also use MediaWiki, and I noticed you have made some changes in the page footer where the names of the editors of a page are shown. Could I have the changed code and in which file it is? Www.wikinerds.org 05:49, 26 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Augh. I forget how this got fixed. If I recall correctly, it's a bug in the monobook main css file. I think the problem is the line that says head:first-child+body #footer li { white-space: nowrap; }. I think if you comment that out (as it is on Wikitravel), the wrapping problem is solved.
Hope that helps. --Evan 15:02, 26 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Hey Evan, thank you very much for the CSS tip. I'll try it on my wiki and I'll inform you about the results.
I have written some wikipages on my wiki about Internet and broadband in Greece and some other countries. But I don't know whether you consider this info useful for turists and travel agents that may use Wikitravel. Do you need such info in Wikitravel? I can re-license it under the licence you use here (we use GFDL there at the moment). Should I contribute it? Www.wikinerds.org 11:33, 27 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Printable TravelGuides and Levels of Information in Contributions

On wikipedia there are now many readers on different topics. Would that be possible for wikitravel, too? I have in mind a complete pdf-guide for e.g. a country, a region, or also a big city (similar to traditional Lonely Planet guides, e.g.). For those to be compiled automatically, there should be different levels of information in the single contributions (e.g. if there would be a Travel Guide to London it should contain much more detailed info on London - possibly also from wikipedia itself - than in a guidebook on the UK). E.g. putting tags on different sections of articles on cities that would go into a (e.g.) Europe, Western Europe, France, Burgundy or City-Guide (e.g.). Did I make clear what I mean? E.g. in a Europe Guidebook you would probably only include like 5 pubs in Munich, but in a Guidebook on Bavaria, you would include 20. So it would be nice to be able to (internally) mark this on the respective Munich page, in order to be able to automatically create Travel Guides. Are there any plans regarding such issues.

Events

I was working on an entry that involved annual events for a particular city. I wasn't sure if they should go under See or Do since events often fall under both.

I would like to propose adding Event section to the templates, especially for cities.

Comments? Epolk 17:22, 18 Aug 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)

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