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Wikitravel:Cooperating with WikiOutdoors

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WikiOutdoors is offline and appears to be dead. If the content is someday salvaged, we may be able to integrate some of it here.

WikiOutdoors is a wiki-based resource on the outdoors started in February 2006.


The project goals of WikiTravel and WikiOutdoors are compatible and can help travellers and outdoor enthusiasts access excellent information. WikiOutdoors' goal to provide free, comprehensive information making it easy for anyone to get outdoors, anywhere in the world connects well with WikiTravel's goal to provide a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world travel guide. For example, WikiTravel wants to provide information about traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico but doesn't want to go into detail on hiking in Santa Fe. In the reverse, WikiOutdoors wants to provide lots of detail on all types of outdoor activities in and around Santa Fe but doesn't want to provide travel information about lodging or dining in Santa Fe.

Sharing content[edit]

WikiOutdoors updated its license in December 2005 to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5. Wikitravel's license is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0, a slightly older version of the same license that WikiOutdoors now uses. As such, content can be shared between the two projects.

However, the stated goals of the two projects are very different. Providing detailed information on a specific hiking trail is not compatible with Wikitravel's goals and neither is providing travel guide information on WikiOutdoors. Providing non-lazy links is one of the best ways to cooperate between the two projects without violating either's goals.


Linking to WikiOutdoors allows people to access outdoors information that doesn't fit into the framework of a travel guide. For example, the entry on Santa Fe (New Mexico) should have a thumbnail sketch of the hiking/biking opportunities near the city, but detailed information on specific hikes, like the Tent Rocks National Monument hike wouldn't be appropriate. A link to WikiOutdoors' Tent Rocks National Monument hiking article would allow readers to find non-travel related information about their destination of choice, without stretching Wikitravel beyond recognition into an "everything you need to know about everything" guide. Additionally, on WikiOutdoors, a link to Santa Fe (New Mexico) would provide outdoor enthusiasts who want to visit Santa Fe with the information they need to enjoy the city.

However, don't use links as an excuse to be lazy. Wikitravel entries should be useful and self-contained; links should provide additional information.

Specific projects[edit]

There are several projects underway at WikiOutdoors but a specific page listing them has not yet been developed.


All Wikimedia wikis use the same software as Wikitravel. The software is called MediaWiki, and it's Free Software under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It's written in PHP, and uses the MySQL database engine to store page and user information. It was originally created by Wikipedia developers, but it's now used for a number of other projects (see sites using MediaWiki for a list).

Helping out with the MediaWiki software means that Wikitravel works better. It also shows that we're grateful for this great software, and that we want to give something back to the people who worked so hard to make it. It builds up goodwill, since anything we do for MediaWiki will help users for all the sites using MediaWiki.

Some things to do to help with MediaWiki:

  • Report bugs. MediaWiki has a bug tracker; you can use that tool to submit new bugs. Make sure that it's a problem with the software and not with Wikitravel first, of course, and check to make sure that the bug you've identified isn't already in the tracker. But identifying bugs helps developers improve the quality of the software.
  • Suggest enhancements. If you have a good idea for how to enhance the MediaWiki software, submit a Request For Enhancement ("RFE") on the SourceForge site. Again, try to make sure that the request hasn't already been made in the tracker. Identifying new features for MediaWiki can make it easier for users of all MediaWiki sites to make great content.
  • Submit patches. If you know PHP, you can review the features and bugs that have been submitted, and try to create patches for them. Patches for MediaWiki should be submitted to the Wikimedia developers mailing list.
  • Write documentation. There's a Wiki-based, user-edited user's guide for MediaWiki on the Wikipedia meta-site. You can contribute to the user's guide, which will help all users of the software.
  • Join the MediaWiki project. If you know PHP, you can join the MediaWiki SourceForge project and help with the maintenance of the MediaWiki codebase and its further development.

See also[edit]

List of related projects