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Wikitravel talk:Huge city article template

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Get around; Respect

Get around would seem to also include things one needs to know about the street system, asking directions, no? It would not seem to belong to Understand. Also, it looks like Respect has shown up in the San Francisco article and perhaps belongs here as well. Notty

So, two things: you should probably read Wikitravel:using talk pages and figure out how to sign your posts. Secondly, I personally think Respect probably should go in region or country pages, not city pages. Third, I don't get what you're talking about w/r/t Get around. --Evan 17:19, 8 Feb 2004 (EST)
I know how to sign posts, I just tend to forget to. I suggest you take the respect issue up with Maj, as she moved smoking from Understand to Respect. For what I'm talking about with regard to city streets, you can see an example in the Get Around section of San Francisco Notty 00:44, Feb 9, 2004 (EST)

Number of districts

I think we need some sort of guideline for how many districts a 'huge' city should have. Currently some places, like Rome and Berlin, which aren't actually "absolutely huge" on the scale of a Tokyo or New York City, are split into a very unwieldy number of districts.

The two easy ways to guide this would be...

  • per population (eg. one district per 500,000: Helsinki gets 1, Rome gets 6, Tokyo 20)
  • per page size (split off once guide reaches X kilobytes, target size Y per page)

Note that both are intended as maximum guidelines, eg. we don't need to split Dhaka into 18 districts if there isn't enough content to go around. Opinions? Jpatokal 05:20, 8 Feb 2005 (EST)

The second method is definitely easiest as it's already implemented. If you click "edit" and get the 32kb warning, you're looking at a huge city article. (= a huge article about a city, if not an article about a huge city.) -- Paul Richter 05:52, 8 Feb 2005 (EST)
The criterion I use (specifically, when considering Seattle) is if Lonely Planet can publish an entire 100-200 page printed guide on a city, it's absurd for Wikitravel to put (potentially) the same amount of information on a single web page. By this criterion even Hanoi is a huge city, so there's leeway, of course. -- Paul Richter 06:10, 8 Feb 2005 (EST)

What is the Huge City criteria

This question has been nagging me for some time. What is it that makes a city a Huge City for Wikitravel purposes?

I can readily accept that some of the major cities of the world, with several to tens of millions of people are huge cities. However, what is the criteria for deciding that a city is really a Huge city?

  • It certainly is not just population!
  • Is it both population and geography?
  • Is it multiple city administrations?
  • Is it clearly identifiable suburbs, each with a CBD?

Perhaps it's my insular view of the world from New Zealand but the distinction escapes me when I start wanting to say Auckland and Wellington metropolitan areas are huge cities. I was recently told that Greater Auckland has one of the largest land areas of any city in the world. Although the populations are only a million, or less, these cities are very spread out with 50 - 100 km trips needed to get across the city. In international terms is this huge and does this qualify as a Huge City? -- Huttite 05:06, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)

I think the answer is none of the above, and Wikitravel:Article templates already has the correct answer: for cities so big that they must be broken up into districts. In other words, a city becomes Huge when it has way too many attractions to fit into a single article.
As for your particular examples, Greater Auckland sounds like a region, not a huge city. Population doesn't necessarily translate into article template: Dhaka may have 13 million people, but as long as no tourist in their right mind visits it, it's likely to remain as a pathetic small city article-wise for a long time. Jpatokal 10:00, 18 Dec 2005 (EST)
I agree that Greater Auckland sounds like a region, but that is really the Auckland Region. My dilemma is that Auckland refers to four adjacent cities, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland City and Manukau, which have no clearly definable boundaries other than lines on a map. At present these four cities are separate city articles, rather than being a single huge city article with 4 districts, one for each city. I am thinking of changing the Auckland and Wellington articles into the huge city template and wanted to get the criteria straight before plunging forward. I can understand having a big article that you want to break down, but what about lots of little city articles that go together as a metropolitan set and everyone keeps misinterpreting one as being the overarching metropolitan area because they do not understand the local government structure. Should we even be bound by the local government structure? -- Huttite 05:27, 19 Dec 2005 (EST)
We should not be bound by local government structure, but we should explain it. Ie. we do not organize London/Westminster and London/City of London as separate cities. In Copenhagen, Frederiksberg is organized as a district even though is an island municipality within the municipality of Copenhagen. If you asked some friends in Greater Auckland to recommend some good restaurants in "Auckland" would they give you restaurants in Auckland City or in Greater Auckland? --elgaard 10:39, 19 Dec 2005 (EST)

Huge Citys and Districts - Where do listings go?

Moved from Wikitravel:Travellers' pub Hypatia 08:59, 21 September 2006 (EDT)

Apologies if this has been covered somewhere else. I'm working on Prague at the moment and have been moving some of the content into the district pages that were largely empty. Looking at other huge cities like Berlin and San Francisco there doesn't seem to be a concensus on whether listings should stay on the main page or be moved into their districts. In my opinion, it's really confusing to have some on the city page, some in the districts and some doubled up. Should it be..

  • All individual listings under their district page, with the city page giving an overview of the scene and pointing out highlights and good districts?
  • All individual listings on main page, eat/drink/sleep sections in districts empty and/or deleted?
  • All individual listings on BOTH the city page and districts pages? (removes point of having districts)?
  • All individual listings on the districts pages and a random selection of listings on the city page?

The first option makes the most sense to me but that doesn't seem to be how districts are working at the moment. What does everyone else think? Thewayoftheduck 20:07, 20 July 2006 (EDT)

The first one. Maybe a little of the fourth. The second and third would be counter-productive. The purpose of district articles is to take unwieldy See/Do/Buy/Eat/Sleep/Drink listings out of the main article and parcel them out to the districts. Those sections in the parent city article would then be overviews (like in a region or country article), with maybe one or two must-see/-do/-drink/-etc bullet-point items, which refer the reader to the district article for the full listing. See Wikitravel:Huge_city_article_template for a better description of this than I can manage. -Todd VerBeek 21:09, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
San Francisco and Berlin aren't really our best examples of big city guide organization yet. Perhaps look at Paris instead. -- Mark 03:43, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
Ah, perfect. Thanks both of you. Paris looks fantastic btw. Thewayoftheduck 07:00, 21 July 2006 (EDT)


recommendations on when to (not) districtify a city

I would propose the following recommendations for those considering to districtify a city / to create just another district article. I would vote to put it somewhere like top of Wikitravel:Huge city article template (or probably as just another article in MoS)--not as a strict guideline, but as a recommendation to consider and think of.

I have recently undertaken a nightmare of cleanup and duplication removal for Budapest and its districts. I also explored city articles (and their district articles) like Berlin, London, Athens, Rome and San Francisco--and found these recommendations deadly applicable there.

The idea of the recommendations is that it's always easy to start districtifying, but it becomes a nightmare then for the future editors of the city--so we (those experienced maintaining and cleaning up a districtified city heavily) ask basically to start as late as possible.

  • don't start districtifying a city before it's too much content on the city (32k editor warning?)
  • don't create first separate article for a district before you have enough content for it
  • to breed content for a district, start with creating a section for that district in the respective listings (See, Do, Eat, Sleep) in the city article
  • once you have a separate district article, there'll be many misplacements, and therefore questions "which district does this belong to?"; the more district articles you have, the more misplacements (and duplication) will be. Therefore, once you have enough content for creating a district article:
  • find someone who can act a docent for the city (you?)
  • ideally ensure someone (you?) will watch over the city article and its districts for at least a year, fixing misplacements and removing duplication--otherwise, the districts (and the city article) will soon become a mess, much more terrible than before districtifying.
  • post on top of city's talk page a clearly defined borders between the districts, and link to it from top of every district article's talk page--to reduce misplacements.
  • but by any means, don't start separating content into districts until it will help a reader.

Comments? --DenisYurkin 05:42, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Yeah, I think something like this is necessary. In particular, I think that a district map is critical, and if the districts don't follow easy boundaries (like Budapest's numbered districts) then they need to be defined on a street-by-street level. I'd also like to see consensus from several city residents before districting is allowed, because changing them afterwards is a huge pain. Jpatokal 07:47, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I don't like the idea that a city should need a docent or that any one person should be considered an "owner" for that article. However, I do agree that districts need to be clearly defined, preferably with a map or a talk page discussion that clearly delimits borders (for example: "District A stretches from the river to Boulevard B"). The same can also be said for regions - despite the fact that we've created a map and tried to describe regional borders for California we still constantly have to move cities that are placed in incorrect regions. -- Ryan 14:10, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Ryan, I don't see how "ensure there's at least one person who will likely watch for the changes (and fix misplacements in time rather than once a year)" has anything do with ownership, could you explain this please?
This point is intentionally made "ideally...", so it's unlikely to happen in many cases. For cases when it doesn't happen, a docent is some substitute--you have noone who watches the proper placement of additions regularly, but at least you have someone to ask when in doubt--either when you came to add just a single listing item, or when you volunteer for a week as a temporary clean-uper (as I did for Budapest for a while). --DenisYurkin 18:39, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I think my reservations are simply the idea that we would ever enshrine in policy even a recommendation that docents or anyone else should be given additional editing responsibility or status - the "find someone who can act as a docent" and the "find someone who will watch over the city article" recommendations are red flags in my view. It seem that if we clearly define what the boundaries of a district or region are then anyone should be able to help keep an article organized. That approach seems more beneficial to me than (for example) saying "X is in charge of keeping article A organized". -- Ryan 18:56, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Personally, I don't second your conclusion that "find someone [at least one person] who will watch over the city article" is giving that volunteer any status different from the rest of us.
However, I do believe that having at least one person who signed up for keeping an city article with its district sub-articles will only add up to quality and organization of articles here. In Budapest case, first split was done with noone's commitment to keep it organized; second split resulted in a major copy-paste and two articles sharing really much identical content (compare Buda and [1] just before the cleanup). In lived 1.5 years(!) without any serious cleanup, and noone joined a several-day anti-duplication edit march I've volunteered. I don't mind to have done this job alone, but I would like the community to learn some lessons from this experience. This way or another, we do need to be responsible about splitting content between many pages. And asking a person willing to create just another micro-district to take some responsibility for consequences of his action (by watching over future edits for some time, for example) doesn't sound a bad idea for me.
Anyway, I would vote that there's at least 2 out of 3 measures should be taken to keep content organized: 1) district borders or a map, 2) docent and 3) long-time watcher. Different 2 may be used for different cities/ditricts, but any one of them is just not enough--let's have some redundancy here.
Thanks for reading till this point :-) --DenisYurkin 20:53, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Please keep in mind that (with literally a couple exceptions) we are all volunteers here. No one can ensure that anyone will "take responsibility" for the future of an article. You know, I've split some countries and states into regions, but there's no way I could promise to police them for a year, because I don't even know if I'll be here a year from now. Yes, it would be good if people would in fact do that, but it has to be because they want to (which will work), not because they are required to (which will not). - Todd VerBeek 22:00, 11 February 2007 (EST)
OK, let's skip "someone to watch for a year" for a while. We have a working practice of docents--why can't we recommend to ensure there's someone to ask a question when in doubt, i.e. at least one docent? --DenisYurkin 22:48, 11 February 2007 (EST)

when to districtify: summary 1

OK, is there any objections on the list, if I remove "docent" and "dedicated watcher"?


  • don't start districtifying a city before it's too much content on the city (32k editor warning?)
  • don't create first separate article for a district before you have enough content for it
  • to breed content for a district, start with creating a section for that district in the respective listings (See, Do, Eat, Sleep) in the city article

Once you have a separate district article, there'll be many misplacements, and therefore questions "which district does this belong to?"; the more district articles you have, the more misplacements (and duplication) will be. Therefore, once you have enough content for creating a district article:

  • define district borders for those districts you are ready to separate; ideally have a map clearly showing districts and borders
  • ideally, ensure consensus from city's residents that these borders are close to district division existing in a real world
  • post the district borders section on top of city article's talk page

But by any means, don't start separating content into districts until it will help a reader.


Would this version gain a consensus? --DenisYurkin 17:54, 13 February 2007 (EST)

Sounds pretty good to me, although I think having a consensus on the districts and a map should be definitely required. Jpatokal 23:32, 13 February 2007 (EST)

Assuming it will gain a consensus here in several days, where's it better to stick? A new section in Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy, with a short summary of it and a link to it in Wikitravel:Huge city article template and Wikitravel:District article template? Other proposals? --DenisYurkin 12:27, 14 February 2007 (EST)

Added respective sections in all the articles mentioned above. --DenisYurkin 13:57, 20 February 2007 (EST)
First, I've removed the section about deferring to residents of the city. Second, I've moved your commentary down to the section for rules-of-thumb about dividing up areas. Lastly, I changed the unclear neologism "districtify" into the more standard "split into districts". --Evan 14:30, 20 February 2007 (EST)
Evan, would it be OK to leave the residents-section without residents, in the following form?
> ensure consensus that these borders are close to district division existing in a real world
--DenisYurkin 15:45, 20 February 2007 (EST)
That's really pity we can't have a section name that speaks for itself (as When to districtify was)--I'm afraid "Districts in cities" would not compete in catch the eye of reader. Any other possible names for this section? --DenisYurkin 16:18, 20 February 2007 (EST)

Objections

Discussion moved from Wikitravel talk:Geographical hierarchy

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I feel like our policy on when to "districtify" is too cautious and not in line with our Wikitravel:Plunge forward policy. As a matter of fact, it was this policy that dissuaded me from adding Hyde Park, Chicago content while I was living there—the Chicago article was too big, cluttered, and overwhelming, while I only really knew anything about my neighborhood. Granted, Chicago is not a great example because it is clearly time for Chicago to have some districts (see existing discussion). I understand the concern that it can be hard to coordinate between districts and the main page and that we don't want to see a big proliferation of uncoordinated district articles. But perhaps it would be more in accordance with our practices to remove the existing guidelines about "farming information" for districts on the main article, checking whether the page is larger than 32kb, etc, and just emphasize the need to first make sure there is a consensus behind the new district hierarchy? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 23:31, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

Sounds good to me... I think that's the one and only thing that is important... bring it up on the talk page for the article, and wait a couple weeks or whatever to see if anyone has input on if and how to districtify. Beyond that, plunge forward! – cacahuate talk 02:42, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
I oppose this. Maintaining districts is a royal pain, and there are way too many half-assed districtings already littering Wikitravel, often ruining major destinations (eg. New York City, London, Barcelona). Plunging forward is precisely the wrong thing to do; districting after consensus is the right thing. Jpatokal 08:28, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
This was discussed earlier in Wikitravel talk:Huge city article template#recommendations on when to (not) districtify a city. I would recommend to move this discussion there (or that discussion here), I believe it would make the process easier for others. --DenisYurkin 09:40, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
Yes lets move this discussion—I should have looked at the Huge city article template page to begin with. Jani, I don't think we disagree so much, I'm basically arguing that the only guideline should be that any would be "districtifier" first spends a few weeks building consensus. I just don't like the part that says there must be a certain amount of content before creating districts because it runs counter to our most basic wiki policy: if you see room for improvement, plunge forward. Although, I must say I also like the criteria that there must be clearly defined district boundaries and a full hierarchy schematic before someone begins. I suppose that my main reason for disliking our current policy is that we somehow treat city districts as a special category of our Geographical Hierarchy policy, subject to special rules. I'm not convinced that is the way to go; any city travel guide worth its salt will break large cities into small districts by neighborhood. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 12:06, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
I think it's similar to national parks, airports and other stuff that is not worth a dedicated article yet until it has enough content for a separate article. And the reason districts have special rules is simple: unlike cities or states, there's much higher chance that two people have different views on what districts given city has, and where's a border between them. --DenisYurkin 12:51, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

Jani, what exactly don't you agree with? I think what Peter and I are saying is that a consensus should be reached first on IF and HOW to districtify... the rest is irrelevant. Checking to see if the page is larger than 32kb? I think we'd all agree that that is absurd. I do like your suggestion of having a map. But is that realistic at this stage since we have so few mapmakers? And should we set a specific amount of time one should wait after proposing it on the talk page? I suggested a couple of weeks above since that's our standard on so many things, but should it sit longer? – cacahuate talk 13:40, 21 May 2007 (EDT)

I would NOT agree checking the article is large enough (the 32k thing) is absurd. Without it, situations are likely that a town that noone's aware of (and not watching for changes in it) is started districtifying just because there's only editor who believes it should reflect its administrative set of districts. Even Budapest, which is far from being an unknown city, had such a story: districts appeared far before there was too much content.
We can rephrase criteria to something like "don't start until the page is overloaded", but I vote against complete removal of this guideline. --DenisYurkin 01:07, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Your argument works for why we need to gain consensus, not why we need to check if the article is over 32kb. We should divide an article when it makes sense to do so for the traveler, not so that our browsers can handle editing the pages better. – cacahuate talk 01:22, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
In my opinion, districting an article is a last resort, and the guidelines should reflect this: they should lay down a minimum set of what needs to be done first and require consensus before proceeding. I agree that just saying "32kb" is rather silly, but having so much content that the article is unwieldy is, IMHO, a key precondition. Multiple sections with over 10 attractions/restaurants/accommodations/... listed, for example? Jpatokal 01:32, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
Two weeks waiting for consensus on districts and borders is OK with me. --DenisYurkin 01:09, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
I object to waiting any period of time — consensus happens when there's a consensus. A waiting period does not guarantee anything and consensus may change too, so districtify when there's consensus. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 01:39, 22 May 2007 (EDT)
I would also object to having some sort of waiting requirement, but would not object to suggesting "about two weeks or so" as a guideline for giving people time to notice the "districtification" underway.
I strongly disagree that districting should be a "last resort." A travel guide for, say, Chicago, that doesn't break the huge city into neighborhoods is a bad travel guide. It really doesn't matter how much content we have written, a good city guide should break a big city into manageable districts, just as a good country guide should be broken into manageable regions, and there really isn't a reason why we should discourage anyone who wants to plunge forward on this rather large and difficult task. Plunging forward to create a good structure for future content IMO is very useful (it prevents our articles from becoming unwieldy in the first place) and should not be discouraged. I sure hope that other editors here would agree, since content organization comprises the majority of work I have done on this site. I understand Denis' concern that people will start clumsy "districtifications" for obscure towns, but I still have faith that our basic wiki practices (patrolled edits in particular) plus a plea to "go slow" on building consensus for new districts should take care of this potential problem. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 01:56, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

a notice on districts on top of huge city articles

Following Evan's suggestion, I summarize a proposal from Talk:Budapest.

I'd like to put a notice on top of Budapest (which is split into districts) advising to print district pages along with the main article of the city. The banner should be aimed at occasional readers who come to Wikitravel only to print an article or two on his next destination. It can look something like (as per Evan's suggestion)

Printable version of all Budapest district guides can be found in Budapest/printable

where Budapest/printable may look like User:Evan/Budapest. Alternatively, it may be just a text notice like this:

When printing this article, keep in mind that much information is contained in separate district articles. Consider printing them also: Buda, Pest and Castle Hill.

We need a notice like this for a non-expert user. Section like Budapest#Districts in printing doesn't give any idea that most of information he'll need on his trip is under the links that only appear once, under bullets which give, well, not so much useful information on first sight.

Until the reader reaches the See section (which, in Budapest example, is page #9 when printed) where the "See the Buda and Pest articles for detailed listings of sightseeing" notice first appears, the reader will hardly figure out that he actually need to print much more for his trip to Budapest. Frequently, he can't print missing pieces at that late moment.

Can we put a notice like this on top of Budapest? Does it make sense at this stage to discuss a change to the Huge City template? --DenisYurkin 19:31, 10 February 2007 (EST)

Opinions, please? ;-) --DenisYurkin 22:49, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Not a bad idea. I'd support it as long as it isn't obtrusive, and is similar in style to what {{otheruses}} or {{itinerary}} look like. It would be really handy to have a transclusion link like Evan is suggesting, that automatically puts all of the district info onto one page to print... is that possible? Would it be able to read the districts listed in the district section, or would they have to be manually entered into a template for each city? - Cacahuate 06:52, 18 February 2007 (EST)
I've just created a draft template for this: Template:HasDistricts; its usage can be seen in User:DenisYurkin/Budapest demo. Its text is maybe too long, and right now it works only for exactly 3 districts--not more, not less. I would appreciate any help on bringing it to live. --DenisYurkin 13:52, 18 February 2007 (EST)
I think that might be confused with {{districtify}}... I think this should be just aimed at printing... what about {{printable}}? RE: the text, I like something similar to your above text better:
A printable version of all Budapest district guides can be found here
-or-
Budapest is a huge city with several district articles - consider printing them all
I think it should be low-key, and no boldface type. Ultimately people should be looking at and becoming aware of the "districts" section, so if anything other than printing it should be just a gentle director to notice that section - Cacahuate 15:54, 18 February 2007 (EST)
I like your approach to making it shorter. The only thing I need to add is that major part of information on city can only be found in district articles, but not in the city article itself. This is what I have so far:
Budapest is a huge city, much information on it is contained in separate district articles — consider printing them all: (list of districts)
Unfortunately, we can't provide a transclusion link at this point--see bottom of User:Evan/Budapest for reasons. Before we have a transclusion, {{printable}} name is bit misleading: it doesn't give a printable version as such, and I'd also like Huge / District word to appear in the template name, otherwise it will be expected to work for every city / article, which it is not about. --DenisYurkin 16:34, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Well, I don't know much about the software so I don't know if it's something someone can write into it or not, but the transclusion would be amazing if someone can work it out. It would be even more awesome if the "printable version" link in the toolbox on the left navbar could detect the huge city template and automatically print the city with all of its districts... but maybe I'm just dreaming here.

Re the text, I don't think we should list the districts in this little header... some places have far too many, and they're already listed in the "districts" section. I think if anything it should be alerting people to the fact that there is a districts section... then they'll be aware of it, and notice it in the future anyway... until we can figure out the transclusion thing, I vote for keeping it as small as possible:

Budapest is a huge city with several district articles - consider printing them all

I think people will get the picture, we don't have to spell it out too much. I just suggested something that I usually hate and just argued viciously against on Wikitravel talk:Internal links - linking the word "district" to the district section on the same page. But in this case, I think it helps with clarity in a good way and helps to keep the text shorter - Cacahuate 17:02, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Then I would vote that this reference to districts list could be also readable in printing--like this:
Budapest is a huge city with several district articles - consider printing them all (see the Districts section)
but I can live with your version if you'd like to stay with it.
So what would name would you suggest for the template, keeping in mind we don't have a tranclusion right now? --DenisYurkin 17:10, 18 February 2007 (EST)

I'm not sure what you mean about "readable in print" as I've never (gasp!) printed one before... would it not look right the way my last shorter version was? But would it matter anyway, since the notice to print the articles would obviously have already been heeded if they were looking at it on paper?  ;)

Re the template name, something that makes sense now and will make sense later if transclusion does happen, since once the template is implemented and in use it will be a bitch to change it... what about {{printDistricts}}? For now it will encourage you to print them, later on it will possibly provide a link to print them. I don't hate {{hasDistricts}} either. Before we go crazy on implementing this though I think maybe we should let this sit a few days to see if anyone else has opinions on it - Cacahuate 17:21, 18 February 2007 (EST)

Personally, I like the printDistricts name. --DenisYurkin 17:30, 18 February 2007 (EST)

I've edited the template according to Cachuate's prototype; it's now live at Budapest.

Can we also include it to the Huge city article template, or we'd better apply {{printDistricts}} to several more concrete huge city articles? --DenisYurkin 16:32, 19 February 2007 (EST)

I've added it to Los Angeles, which also has {{otheruses}}, an example of more than one template at the top of the page. - Cacahuate 20:06, 19 February 2007 (EST)

I've just added it to Huge city article template and to its quick version. Please let me know if there's anything wrong about it. --DenisYurkin 00:57, 20 February 2007 (EST)

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