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Image policy

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Revision as of 15:33, 6 August 2008 by 193.117.23.129 (Talk)

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This policy explains how we use images (and, to some extent, other media) on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites.

Copyleft license

All images on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites must be licensed in a way which is compatible with the copyleft license, or must be in the public domain. See also the copyright details for more information.

Note:images from Wikipedia are often licensed under the GFDL only and therefore not compatible with Wikitravel, unless they are double-licensed with our copyleft license.

Image formats

Images should be in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG - for photographs
  • PNG - for text, maps, or computer-generated images
  • SVG - for source of maps or other diagrams

The GIF format should not be used, since it is technically inferior to PNG, which has about the same purpose.

Diagrams and maps should also have a vector-format source file. We prefer SVG, but other vector formats (Adobe Illustrator, PostScript) are better than nothing.


Image information

The image information (the text entered in the "summary" field) should be in English. Additional descriptions in other languages are welcome, but they should be tagged with the appropriate template to indicate which language is in question.

Summary

The "Summary" field should contain the following information:

  • Image description
  • Where the image/photo was taken
  • Who took/created the image
  • When the image was taken/created
  • Copyright information on images must be added to image pages. Images without copyright information are subject to deletion. Wikitravel Shared have special templates for this - use them.

You must select one of the licensing options on the pulldown menu—images uploaded without licensing information will be deleted.

Minimal use of images

Travellers may be using Wikitravel from networks with very low bandwidth. In some countries, an Internet café with 10 computers connected to a single 56k modem is fairly common. Image use in articles should be kept at the minimum necessary.

This doesn't mean that 0 images is preferred to 1 image, but that no more images than are necessary to get across a point or impression should be used.

Internal images

Images used in Wikitravel articles should be uploaded to Wikitravel Shared. External images should not be used. Also, avoid linking to external image pages since the reader may find it annoying to jump from site to site in search of images only.

Using Wikimedia images

Many images from the Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia are licensed as GFDL and thus not compatible with Wikitravel. However, an increasing number of Wikimedia contributors are choosing to dual-license their work under CC Attribution and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses, which are compatible, so check the image data and the uploader's user page for a possible dual-license note. Check this link to find pages with dual license on Wikimedia Commons. At the moment you cannot link images directly from commons, instead you have to upload the files to Wikitravel Shared, too.

Image sizes

Uploading high-quality source images is encouraged. Images should be less than 4Mb total size, and preferably less than 2Mb. There is a hard limit of 8Mb on uploads to wikitravel.org.

Pixel dimensions should be 1536x2048 (3 megapixels) or smaller, as this is enough for a 6"x4.5" print at 300 DPI (half a guidebook page). When displayed, pictures can be automatically scaled to smaller thumbnails; see How to add an image for details.

Image file names

Image file names should be somewhat meaningful. Many digital cameras give images names like "IMG00001.JPG". You should try to rename these files to something like "cathedral_in_cologne.jpg", or "spanish_steps.jpg", etc. Use descriptive names with full words and underscores ("_") between the words.

This makes it easier for other people to include the image in articles, and it keeps Wikitravel Shared from having name clashes.

Do not include the image size in the file name.

People in photos

Removing people from photos


  • By using a tripod and a long exposure it is possible to take photos of areas with lots of people traffic without any of the people appearing in your photo. People generally move around and do not stay in the same place long enough to register on a long exposure photo.
  • An alternative to the long exposure technique (although you'll still need a tripod) is to take multiple shorts of the same scene and combine them afterward with some image manipulating software. Again, since people tend to move around, multiple shots will contain the complete scene. Select the photo that contains the least people and copy and paste portions without people from the other photos over the people in the photo you are working with.

In general, photos of people will be removed from Wikitravel. There are two reasons for this policy:

  1. A photo of the Taj Mahal is useful for travellers; a photo of your girlfriend in a funny hat standing in front of the Taj Mahal is not. In general, we don't really want pictures of travellers or other people in Wikitravel. Some exceptions might be for particular sports or activities or crowd scenes or illustrating some costume or uniform.
  2. In the United States and elsewhere human beings have privacy rights, that is, a right to control the use of their own image, even if they didn't create the image. Image creators need to get authorization from human subjects of photos to publish the images. See http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html for a description of why and when a model release is required. A general rule of thumb is that if an image contains a subject that is identifiable, a model release is needed.

However, in public spaces people give up a certain degree of privacy, which means that they can be photographed (and cannot stop the process). At Wikitravel, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture.

Another exception to this rule is a photo of the uploader that is used only on the uploader's user page. If you are uploading a photo of yourself and there are no other recognizable people in the image please put a comment on the image page indicating that the picture is of you, you are releasing it under the terms of the CC-SA license (or using the special Template:Copyrighted tag specifically for this purpose), and that it is for use on your user page.

Buildings and artworks in photos

Buildings and artworks like paintings and statues are copyrighted by the creator. However, in most countries, including the United States, you are allowed to take pictures of them as long as they are on permanent public display, and license those photos for editorial and commercial use (including Wikitravel) without committing copyright infringement.

Examples of acceptable photos that do not require permission:

  • Any building, public or private, photographed from a public space.
  • A statue on a public street.
  • A painting, fresco or map sign in a public park.

Examples of photo subjects that require explicit permission:

  • The interior of a private building, such as a shopping mall.
  • A sculpture by a living artist in a private museum.
  • A paper foldout map distributed by the tourist office.
  • A photograph that exactly reproduces another copyrighted photograph.

There are gray areas: for example, the owners of the Eiffel Tower contend that while the tower itself can be photographed freely, pictures of its lighting at night require permission. Also, while you might legally be able to use pictures of artworks taken at a museum, museums may prohibit you from bringing cameras in.

Other media

One of Wikitravel's goals is to have Wikitravel articles useful as printed pages. Use of other media files — like digital sound clips or video images — is therefore deprecated.

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