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For future reference the Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Svalbard/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.

Information For Contributors[edit]

The following information may assist contributors who wish to improve this article

To do before it's a DotM[edit]

We are heading (partly owing to me opening my big fat mouth) toward this article as a possible Destination of the Month for May 2006. However, as I look at it, I'm not convinced it's ready for that. Fleshing-out of the "Sleep" section is really very important, and more clarity on things to see and do wouldn't hurt either. Anybody? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 21:37, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)

Never mind. The daughter pages seem adequate for the "Sleep," and while improvement on "See" and "Do" would still be nice, it's not essential. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 19:30, 3 Feb 2006 (EST)

IsIn Norway[edit]

So Svalbard is a bit of an interesting case. It's administered by and sovereign territory of Norway, but the Svalbard Treaty's provisions mean that Norway's actual control is limited. Most notably for the traveller, it's possible to visit Svalbard without getting a Norwegian visa or dealing with Norwegian immigration. Other opinions? Jpatokal 02:10, 8 Feb 2006 (EST)

Seeing the article about the town of Longyearbyen, I went "up" to the region (island) of Svalbard, and fully expected to be able to go up the trail to the country that the island was part of, but instead was forced to jump up to the continental region of Northern Europe. So is Svalbard a country? Is it something like Antarctica? (I knew only that Longyearbyen was about 3cm above the top of the page on the route map in the SAS in-flight magazine...)
I think the isIn trail should give the reader an idea at a glance where the subject is located, in familiar terms, as city-region-country. And in this case it's the reader's concern "where in the world is this?" that comes first, before the travelers need for visa issues or (someone?)'s need for administrative divisions. If I were planning a trip to Longyearbyen and needed a mainstream published guide, I would expect to find the best information in "Rough Planet:Norway", not "Lonely Guide:Northern Europe".
Places of this type aren't common, so maybe ad-hoccing it is best; Easter Island probably doesn't have to be placed under Chile. -- Paul Richter 04:07, 8 Feb 2006 (EST)
For what it's worth, Hawaii and Alaska are both listed (using isIn) as being in the United States, despite the fact that they are geographically far away from the mainland US, so using that as a precedent it makes sense (IMHO) to list Svalbard and Easter Island as being part of (isIn) Norway and Chile, respectively. Additionally, the argument above about whether a traveler would expect to find info about Svalbard in a Norway travel guide is a good one since isIn could eventually be used to produce country and region specific guides. -- Ryan 04:12, 8 Feb 2006 (EST)
Yabbut Hawaii and Alaska are full-fledged states and undeniably parts of the US. On the other hand, the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory, aren't under "US" but (IMHO correctly) under "Micronesia", and the stamp in my passport from there doesn't say "US", it says "CNMI". Svalbard is similar: it's Norwegian territory, but not quite a full-fledged part of Norway the country. (I didn't get any stamps, but they did check my passport when returning to Oslo, which they wouldn't do for a purely domestic flight.)
And I'm not actually sure about how The Other Guide classifies Svalbard; I am quite sure, though, that it got its own section in the LP Arctic guide. Jpatokal 04:24, 8 Feb 2006 (EST)

Svalbard is a full-fledged part of Norway. A lot of areas were established according to international treaties. Andorra, the Vatican city state and Monaco are presently all established on treaties. One could claim that de facto Andorra until 1993 was under French and Spanish rule, that Monaco still is a French territory and that the Vatican city state in many ways is under Italian control.

  • Andorra due to the lack of clear division of powers while it was ruled by a Spanish bishop and the French president, according to a treaty.
  • Monaco since the head of government is chosen by the French government, according to a treaty.
  • Vatican City since there is in fact no common population and that citizenship is only granted for the period of official work in the Vatican. The Lateran Treaty provides that in the event a Vatican citizen has his or her original nationality revoked and also loses Vatican citizenship, he or she will be automatically granted Italian citizenship.

Anyway all these three countries are accepted as separate independent national bodies.

  • Svalbard is not a Schengen member, nor is Helgoland, Germany.
  • Svalbard has special tax rules, so has the Northern part of North Norway.
  • Svalbard has no own flag, and the administration is very similar to the rest of the Norway.
  • In a similar way to Schengen as one passport area, the citizens of the Svalbard treaty member states can freely visit and stay in Svalbard.
  • And in a similar way as the EU/EEC as one economic area member states companies have the same rights to do business on the islands.
  • For citizens and companies from non-member state countries Svalbard is an ordinary part of Norway.

Due to historical reasons the administrator is called "Sysselmann" (which means "county prefect" and not "governor" as it is often wrongly translated). Jakro64 16:40, 14 July 2008 (EDT)


Since the island has polar night for part of the year and the sun is usualy hidden behind dense banks of fog, this would contribute to the lack of sunlight, do children undergo a daily ultraviolet session? The lack of sunlight would also mean that if an inhabitant of this island were to migrate driect to the equator and go out in the hot sun, their skin wouldn't be well prepared, wouldn't it? Do people tend to be shorter on this island than elsewhere in the world (for the same reason)? What is the rate of rickets like? Fucking, Austria

Is that you, Willy? I've never seen you string four nearly coherent sentences together before, maybe there's hope yet.
Anyway, Svalbard isn't that different from the rest of Scandinavia. Vitamin D is added to milk and other products, so rickets isn't an issue. UV therapy is reserved for seasonal affective disorder. And yeah, blonde, pale-skinned people do tend to turn a shade of angry lobster red after sitting out in the tropical sun for too long, but after a while you get used to it. Jpatokal 06:12, 27 May 2006 (EDT)

Most northern settlement?[edit]

I doubt Ny alvebard or whatever is the northernmosty settlement, I believe that honor belongs to Alert Bay, Canada User:

Apparently it is because Alert Bay is located at 50°34'48" N 126°56'11" W, while Svalbard is located between 76 N - 81 N. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 16:03, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
{grin} 50°North?! London is that far north! Edmonton is north of that that; Canada even has three whole territories north of that! Several entire European nations are more north than that! I think we should all chip in and buy Mr 154 a globe. - Todd VerBeek 23:06, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
I assume that someone mixed up the Alert settlement on Ellesmere Island with Alert Bay, British Columbia. Alert (Ellesmere Island) is at 82°30′05″N 062°20′20″W indeed farther north than Ny-Ålesund. The tricky bit is in the defintion of settlement. While Alert is inhabited all year round, it is purely a military/scientific community, while Ny-Ålesund also has 'civil' residents. Usually, the distinction is given that Alert is "the northernmost permanently inhabited place" (but nor settlement), while Ny-Ålesund is the "world's northernmost functional public settlement".

Uninhabited islands[edit]

...are not destinations and hence don't need links. Jpatokal 12:47, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

About rifles[edit]

License or equivalent document is needed for renting a rifle. Regulations changed this year.

Plunge forward! Jpatokal 22:39, 21 June 2009 (EDT)

Not so expensive since 2015[edit]

So, Tom Scott visited Svalbard in 2015.

Perhaps we should update this Article to increase the optimism in the artcle as it doesn't seem so expensive any more. 07:16, 19 February 2018 (EST)

If you know the location, please feel free to update outdated information. Happy editing! Adzas (talk) 07:33, 19 February 2018 (EST)