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Moved from travellers' pub -- Evan

So, I'm working on Mexico City, which is very far from done, but is starting to shape up. And I'm wondering about policies for breaking up pages into subpages, naming, etc. For instance, I'm talking about night life, and I'd probably like to list some restaurants and clubs to go to. But I don't know if I should put info on those on separate pages (probably yes) and what to name the pages ("Cafe Gloria, Mexico City, Mexico", perhaps?), and so on. I saw that Maj was planning on some city guide templates, but those might not be forthcoming for a while... Opinions?

--Joakim Ziegler

I think Maj should have some city templates up in the next day or so. I think the idea is to do a Small City Template, a Medium City Template, and a Really Really Goshdarn Big City Template, which is probably exactly where Mexico would be.
We might want to move this discussion to a special talk page about city format and templates. -- CIAWorldFactbook2002 21:52, 5 Aug 2003 (PDT)
I definitely agree about moving it to a separate meta page. Now, what should that page be called? Due to the ongoing discussion of naming formats, I suggest a two-round vote where, in the first round, all suggestions getting less than 10% of the votes are excluded, then in the second round, we use a run-off system.
Seriously, though, I think the templates should be discussed quite a bit. I like Maj's format that she's used so far, but I'm not convinced that the structure is ideal. Also, there are a number of extra sections I could imagine being included, such as Security, Cultural issues, etc. --JZ

I'm glad people want to discuss this-- it's not any easy problem... Take a look at the Country template page I just added. And keep in mind that, even if everyone agrees on a format, these are just suggestions to help people get started. Any section can have subsections added or removed. Not everything is going to apply to every place. One thing I would like though, is to keep the more general information at a higher level-- money, language (in most cases), and cultural issues can all go in the country article. For example, every city in the U.S. doens't need it's own explination of US dollars and cents. -- Maj

The note about the what can go into higher levels is very true. I think there should probably be an explicit reference at the bottom of each city page to see the country (or region) page for more general information. I'm also wondering about what I mentioned in my original question: What to do about resturants, clubs, etc. It'd be nice to get a standard for that too, one thing would be to have a page for each restaurant, but just the list can quickly get to olong to put in a city page, so should there be a "Restaurants in Mexico City" page that's just linked from the general discussion about restaurants? And then that should have links to each restaurant's page? --JZ

Well, I'm planning to do a company one line template for things like hotels, bars, restaurants, etc. I'll just show the suggested order for info like address, phone, email etc. I dont know about a page per place-- do we want to be doing actual restaurant/hotel reviews? This might need to be discussed in the Goals/Non-goals. Maybe there should be a limit to 3-5 restaurants/bars in each section? With a city like Mexico City, you might want to break it down to the next level like Districts. I really agree that there should be a standard context reference to the country or region for a destination page. It could either be part of the suggested Intro text or as a link a the end of the page. Majnoona 21:22, 6 Aug 2003 (PDT)
I don't know about reviews, but Lonely Planet, for instance, usually mentions something like 5 restaurants for a medium-sized city, but includes more than just the address. You usually want to say something about the style, the food, the clientele, and sometimes some general notes.
It might be a bit much to do a page per restaurant, though. However, a separate page of restaurants per city, one for clubs, etc. should be fine, I think.
I think breaking things down into districts could work, but it also has disadvantages; it's a lot harder to get an at-a-glance overview and find out where you might like to go. Also, since districts are by definition rather arbitrary, you're likely to find yourself close to more than one of them, and then you have to check multiple pages to get the complete overview. I think it might make more sense to break a large city up into subpages based on subject than on district. After all, it's more likely that I know if I want to go to a gay bar or to a fancy restaurant, than it is that I know if I want to go in Col. Roma, Col. Condesa, or Zona Rosa (three adjacent districts in Mexico City), all having a large number of restaurants, clubs, and bars). --JZ
Oh, also, the Wikitravel:Manual of style now has examples of restaurant listings, and I've been using that format in Mexico City. However, some restaurants and clubs have several locations, how should those be listed? See "Mama Rumba" in the Mexico City article for an example of how I'm doing it now, but I'm not sure that's ideal. --JZ
I like how you are doing it for that example. I think that it's up to individuals whether they want to list all locations (wouldnt be great for McDonalds for example) or recommend one particular one. Maybe if there are more than three locations simply mention the details for one or two and that there are others by the same name as well.
I'm still wondering about how to break out restaurants and so on, though. I could easily add 20 more good restaurants, and as many clubs and bars, at least. And then there are things like, as you say, chain restaurants, which have tons of location listings, and ideally, most of them should be included. Same for hotels. Would it be a horribly idea to have Hotels in Mexico City, Bars and Clubs in Mexico City, and Restaurants in Mexico City as separate pages? Note that I'm not sure, I'm just wondering. --JZ
Evan and I have been talking about using a little-used wikki feature that lets users create "subpages". We want to try it out and see if this might be just what we need to split out "X in Y" for big cities. I think I'm a little hesitant to make things like Hotels in Mexico a stand-alone page. Then we might end up having collections of restaurants and hotels across destinations which seems a little more business focused instead of destination focused. But I'm not sure either. I think Mexico City is going to be a great test case for all of these issues... Majnoona
That's the one where you get Page/Subpage, right? Is that actually different in terms of the wiki from a page that just has a / in the title? If it's different, how do I create one, because I'd like to experiment with the format to see how it works in practice? Also, I agree that Mexico City is a good test case for a lot of issues, it's about as big as cities get, I think. By the way, another good reason to break out restaurants and so on into separate pages is that they can be organized better, for instance by type of cuisine, or clubs by type of music, etc. I don't really like losing the overview of having it all on one big page, though, but I think pages like Mexico City will get way too huge if things aren't separated out. Let me know what you and Evan figure out... --JZ

Here's an example Ean's todo list. so it's would be [ [ Mexico City/Restaurants ] ] which my info management side kinda likes. I'm not sure if Wikipedia types will have any issues with using this feature. I can see how it wouldn't apply as well to all types of info, but it plays into our little attempt at heirarchy. Thoughts? Or just give it a whirl for Mexico City and report back? Majnoona
Hello! I just started entering in information on Prague and some other Central European cities I wrote about for a (never published) book project, but I'm running into length constraints (see Prague). Any ideas, or could someone help me brainstorm a way to present the data better? Thanks... I like the idea of the differently-sized city templates mentioned above, which would make the layout different based on the city itself's size... Shannon Okey
Hi Shannon-- great job on the Prague guide! You might want to take a look at Mexico City another city with a ton of information. The idea for large cities is to have them broken down into districts (See Wikitravel:Geographical hierarchy) or, as I mentioned above, using links like Mexico City/Restaurants to create sub pages (I dont know the actual wiki term for those types of links). As a final resort, you may want to think about editing down the content for more printer-friendly guides. I look forward to seeing more of your work!Majnoona


Copied from Talk:Kimberley:

Dhum Dhum -- you've been pretty careful about changing "Cities" to "Cities and Towns" in these Western Australia pages as well as in Flanders. I've always considered anything city-like (towns, villages, etc.) to be a "city" for purposes of Wikitravel. I'm wondering if you think "Cities" isn't a broad enough term? I really like having short, punchy section headers. Let's discuss this and consider updating the article templates to match. --Evan 06:50, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)

Well, I do think that "city" is a bit too narrow to cover all possible kinds of population centres from small settlements to megalopolises. Of course, the chance that such a small settlement deserves an article in Wikitravel is as small as the settlement itself, but I suppose they exist. I can very well imagine having an article about Dharamsala (the Indian village where the Dalai Lama resides), Silverton (a tourist ghost town in New South Wales) or Tiradentes (a historical settlement in Brazil), but calling them "cities" would be stretching it a bit too much. I agree that section headers should be short, but also relatively correct. It's difficult to find a word that covers this whole variety, so maybe we could use the term "places" instead. Your opinion? DhDh 14:27, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)
I think "city" is pretty darn close to an all-encompassing term that's not too vague. We talk about city government and city services when the "city" is actually pretty small. I dunno -- I think being overcorrect could be a problem. --Evan 14:44, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)
One of the problems here is that "city" can have more than one meaning. My dictionary defines it loosely as bigger than a town (a town is defined as between a village and a city). Not very helpful, but it indicates that it has something to do with population and area. On the other hand as you say, a city can also be a relatively small place that is officially designated as having that title. For Wikitravel purposes I would stick to the first definition. "Places" covers about every possibility, but it might be too vague too. I'll have to sleep on that one :-) DhDh 14:56, 28 Nov 2003 (PST)
My problem with City is that some places, such as Scotland, only have 6 cities. (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling and Inverness) and there a lot more interesing places to visit than just those 6. --Colin Angus Mackay 02:23, 24 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Categories of People[edit]

So, on Montreal, someone added a section on gay and lesbian issues. It's actually pretty good, but it raises a few points. Maj and I talked about it over LRC this morning, and we were wondering what to do about it.

I'm not sure that gay and lesbian venues, issues, etc. need to be separated out from other parts of the guides -- after all, most of what a lesbian needs to understand about a city is already in "Understand", and a brief addition of one or two paragraphs specifically about gay issues would probably not break that section. Similarly, although gay folks may want to go specifically to gay bars, they could just find them under "Drink" with the rest of the bars. Maybe they wouldn't want to go to straight bars, but they can just skip those listings, just like I skip the listings for sports bars.

I can see where having a gay and lesbian kinda highlights and collects that stuff for people, but at the same time I wonder if it doesn't ghettoize gays and lesbians a little. Like, "The rest of us are all going to go to these other places, but gays and lesbians have to go here."

Assuming we do need a gay and lesbian section, though, what should we call it? "Gay and lesbian" kinda sticks out from the rest of our verb-based items (Understand, Eat, Sleep, Get out). What heading can we use? "Be gay or lesbian"? Ideas especially welcome. --Evan 13:46, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)

So I just change the heading here to "Categories of People" because I think this would be a more usefull discussion of the broader issue-- how do we address the needs of specific groups of people? Families, women, solo travellers, gays, lesbians, older travellers, disabled travellers-- these are just off the top of my head. I'd really hate to box off different groups like that. I'm not saying there shouldnt be info for the whole (gay, disabled, elderly) family, but are we really going to move everything into sections so that the only general stuff left is for 20-30 year old straight white men travelling in in two or threes (because groups of 20-30 year old straight white men have their own needs)? Instead, stick them all in together and just make notes where needed -- "great for families!" "laidback lesbian bookshop" "probably not a good idea for solo women" etc... just my <insert group affiliation here> .02 Majnoona
See Wikitravel:Information for gay and lesbian travellers in the Wikitravel:Manual of style for latest thinking on this. --Evan 18:16, 10 Mar 2004 (EST)


Moved from travellers' pub by Evan

While we're on the subject - what about Events? Like parades etc. Some are big/famous enough to be a reason to visit someplace, and many more might be a reason to make a diversion/daytrip/whatever. Or for example, people who want to spend Valentine's in Paris (a horrible plan, by the way). Some events are on the same day every year; others change every year. What should we do with these? --Nils 12:40 Jan 24th 2004 (CET)

So far, we've been trying to put events as attractions under the "Do" section. It's not a perfect fit, but it works for now. --Evan 12:11, 24 Jan 2004 (EST)

other wikis[edit]

Moved from travellers' pub by Evan

Is it appropriate for us to mention wikis on the page of the city they are physically in ? I have personally visited one wiki, but I wouldn't really call it a tourist attraction. Even if we decide it's not appropriate in general, I think the very special wiki in Portland OR deserves a mention. -- DavidCary

No, it's not appropriate. A wiki with a bunch of travel or city guide information would be useful, but we don't just list Web sites -- wiki or not -- unless they have information for travellers. See external links for more deetz. (Oh, while we're on the subject -- Portland (Oregon), not "Portland OR". See the article naming conventions for details.) --Evan 12:33, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)


Moved from travellers' pub by Evan

What's the best place to put the weather in a city? -phma 11:02, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)

Do you mean the general climate? "Understand". If you mean the weather outside right now, it's probably not appropriate for a travel guide. The absolutely best we can hope for is that somebody will faithfully and regularly update the day's weather report. More probably, the person will get tired of it after a few days, and two years from now there will still be a "Weather January 27 2004: icy, chance of showers." Not really useful to the traveller of 2006. --Evan 12:40, 26 Jan 2004 (EST)
It may make sense to put some fairly comprehensive and static site about local weather into the "external links" pages. Something like It's just a convenience, really. --Nils 12:16 Jan 29th, 2004


So, I'm wondering what we should do about noting the newspapers in a city, expecially ones that have event or music or theater or whatever listings in them. Most alternatively weeklies in the USA have the best info on what's going on in town on the arts and music scene. I've been tending to shove these into "Understand" just like everything else, but the Understand box is getting kind of full.

Would it be reasonable to add a "Read" section to destination guides, with lists of off-line sources of info on the destination? It could also have lists of good books about the destination, etc. Ideas? --Evan 18:19, 10 Mar 2004 (EST)

Well I would suggest to use "Information" section to the article. This coulc contain Tourist Offices, Money&Exchange, Bookstores, Libraries, Event listing magazines and everything related to getting information
That could also include "Contact" section (which I would prefer to call "Communication") with Phone, Post&Mail, Email&Internet etc. --Bujatt 21:11, 8 May 2005 (GMT+9)

Optional headings?[edit]

As I mentioned on Talk:New Orleans a while back, I'm not completely satisfied with the headers we have on the city article templates. My biggest problem is where to put music venues. I'd like the option of having them as a seperate option. (Then the question of what to call this; "Live music" seems the most obvious to me, but perhaps something like "Hear" might be more similar to our other headers.)

I've seen Evan put the music venues under "Drink", which I think is a bad fit (not all music venues are places where one would go to drink). I suppose it could more reasonably be a sub-heading of "Do", but for that matter so could "Eat" and "Drink", which are better on their own.

As the purpose is to be useful, IMO a good solution would be to allow an optional "Music" or "Hear" (whatever we decide to call it) header. Take a look at the various sub-articles of New Orleans to get an idea of how that could work.

Thoughts? -- Infrogmation 13:09, 1 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Put it under "Do" as in going out. You can always group entries under a subheader. ie:

Do[edit][add listing]


Bridge jumping[edit]

Gold mining[edit]


See[edit][add listing]



You get the idea. No need for a main section. -- Nils 01:29, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)

I confess to never having liked separate categories for 'See' and 'Do', nor for 'Eat' and 'Drink' because actual places rarely fit into these specific categories. Few bars have no food, and fewer restaurants have no drink. Likewise it is nearly impossible to do something without seeing it. I suppose one might 'See' pictures at a museum but isn't that also something to 'Do'?
I suggest a category called 'See and Do' and another called 'Eat and Drink'. If it is necessary to distinguish between these categories once in awhile it can be done easily in the text itself for a specific place or site William M Goetsch 10:42, 27 Jul 2004 (EDT)
I usually think of "Drink" as closer to "Nightlife" - while there's obviously some overlap, in most of the world somewhere where you'd go to dance or drink, like a club or bar, is quite different from a place that you'd eat in. I like the division, because it makes sense that I'm looking for one or the other - if I were looking for a place to eat, it's not very likely that I'll choose a nightclub. Ryan


While we're on the subject, a 2nd level section under "Understand" called "Holidays" (national holidays for countries, local holidays if applicable for regions, cities) may be a good idea. Holidays not only will have events (which go under Do/See), but they will affect bus schedules, store opening hours, and a host of other things. You can always not-use the section, but I think it kind of makes sense to try and start adding that sort of content into the articles. Thoughts? -- Nils 01:33, 23 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Added to country template. Local holidays fit in nicely under Do (there usually aren't all that many). Jpatokal 06:35, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)


I'm worried that all the prologue to the article templates is kind of hard to work with. I'd like to remove some of the copy-and-paste stuff and move it to separate pages.

I also like using the {{subst:smallcity}} syntax to easily add in the templates. So, what I'd like to do is this:

  1. Move the copy-and-paste template stuff to their own articles in the MediaWiki: namespace.
  2. Replace the prologues in the templates proper with a link to the MediaWiki: namespace versions.
  3. Give instructions on how to either use the {{subst:template}} format, or just to copy-and-paste.

Comments? Ideas? --Evan 12:03, 29 Jun 2004 (EDT)


To get to the template, you use the quick version and then have to "Edit the page" rather than copy/paste as before - so it's an extra click. Also, all the "quick versions" seem to have lost the " '''aaa''' is in [[bbb]]" construct at the start? (I know you can use the Template:Subst construct but if you are adding a template you have to first save with this and then re-format the article.) --Nzpcmad 16:24, 9 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Yep, well understood. Perhaps we need three versions: the full version with explanations, the subst-able version, and a copy-and-paste version. Sound good? --Evan 16:40, 9 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Sounds fine --Nzpcmad 18:19, 9 Aug 2004 (EDT)
The " '''aaa''' is in [[bbb]]" construct needs to be added back to the templates asap as people are now creating new pages without this and there is no indication of where the place is! --Nzpcmad 16:22, 11 Aug 2004 (EDT)
It's done. Please take a look, and edit to your taste. --Evan 17:24, 11 Aug 2004 (EDT)

National park template?[edit]

There's been discussion on Talk:Kruger National Park about the need for a standard national park template, which I think would be a good idea since they really are a little different from your standard city -- in particular, Get around, See and Do tend to be quite intricately intertwined. See Kruger National Park for a case of how badly the normal city template adapts. Jpatokal 11:25, 17 May 2005 (EDT)

Agree with Jpatokal. As anyone else thought about it? Maybe a section with animals or so could be included. Felix 13:32 (GMT), 09/June/2005
The droids you are looking for can be found at Wikitravel:Park template. The template has not been completed and is no longer proper style. -- Colin 13:21, 9 Jun 2005 (EDT)
If the "Introduction" heading was changed to the more standard "Understand", and a "History" sub-heading was added then it looks like this would be good to go. Is there any reason why it's "no longer considered proper style"? -- Wrh2 14:23, 9 Jun 2005 (EDT)
It just looks a lot different than the other templates. It needs all that italizized text and so forth. Feel free to edit it as you see fit -- you have the most Parks under your belt at this point. -- Colin 15:25, 9 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I just took a stab at it, with much of the content stolen from the Wikitravel:Small city article template. It probably still needs work, but at least it might be a decent starting point. -- Wrh2 15:28, 9 Jun 2005 (EDT)
There hasn't been much discussion pro or con for this one, so in the interest of plunging forward I've added the park template to the list of article templates. If no one objects I'll begin modifying some of the parks that I've been editing to more closely follow this style. -- Wrh2 18:57, 13 Jun 2005 (EDT)