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Wikitravel talk:Expeditions

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Completing an expedition[edit]

So, we haven't actually finished any Expeditions yet (although I think Phrasebook Expedition is pretty close). Most of them aren't really finite in duration. But Romanian Wikitravel Expedition seems to be on its way. What should we do when an Expedition is complete? I think we should archive in a special section of this page, or somewhere else. --Evan 09:51, 20 Dec 2003 (PST)

the progress is too slow...[edit]

after TWO years, only 3000 what registered users. is this really going to work? Liujg 11:30, 3 Nov 2005 (EST)

Don't forget that users don't have to register in order to contribute. I was doing some statistical stuff the other day, and Wikitravel has had somewhere around 30-40 thousand unique contributors (based on IP address -- there's a lot of variance in there, of course).
That said, I think that more contributors means better content means more contributors. Any good ideas on ways to promote Wikitravel would be really welcome; see the talk page there if you have some good plans. --Evan 13:34, 3 Nov 2005 (EST)
And if you think Wikitravel's growth is slow, take a look at this! We're on track for 1000% traffic growth for the year, and I find the pace downright scary. Jpatokal 22:03, 6 Nov 2005 (EST)

Proposed Writers' Expedition[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

I'd like to propose a new expedition that focuses on how aspiring and current writers can best use and contribute to Wikitravel. Thoughts include: how to include Wikitravel contributions in your portfolio and/or resume, how to contribute sections of previously published material (and specific copyright issues).

Wikitravel uses a pretty dramaticly different publishing model than the rest of the travel writing world, so I think it's worth having an area that speaks directly to those from this background, similar to Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians and the new Wikitravel:Education Expedition. Comments? Majnoona 12:34, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

I think that sounds great! --Evan 09:11, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)

New Expedition Idea[edit]

Copied from the Pub:

This idea was sparked by seeing the confusion over licensing of images from a Korean tourist information centre a couple of days ago, and has now had time to develop. My idea is to develop collaborations with tourist boards around the world. This could be especially helpful for smaller, more out-of-the-way places that do not currently have many wikitravellers. These tourist boards already have a lot of helpful information about their region/city/town and promoting tourism is one of their goals. In order to tap into this source of information better, it would be good to contact these people in a friendly way and explain the concept and goals of Wikitravel and copyleft, and kindly ask them if they have any information or images that they would be willing to release under cc-by-sa that we could use on Wikitravel, or better still, invite them to contribute directly. I was thinking that this could in particular be a good source of maps if they were willing to release them. Okay, so anyone can already contact their local tourist board, so why do we need a new Expedition? Well, it would be very helpful if we had some form of template letter/email for introducing Wikitravel and clearly explaining the licensing in particular in simple non-legal jargon. This would make it easier for people to get started. What do people think? Is it just a crazy idea? -- Brendio 17:07, 23 Jan 2006 (EST)

Agree. I got e.g. Image:Map_trains_cph.png by writing such letter. A template is good because it ensures that we give out a clear reference to the CC license. The recipients should be told that their material could end up being used commercially. And they should make sure that they can release it under CC. Many tourist maps are licensed from a 3. party that prevent releasing it as CC.
The letters should be personalized and written in the local language.
Tourist informations and museums often have their own journals and magazines. If we could get Wikitravel mentioned in some of those, we could get valuable maps and other contributions. --elgaard 19:29, 23 Jan 2006 (EST)

Wikitravel:Patrol Expedition[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

Another expedition idea—one that's been on my mind for a while: an expedition to promote recent changes patrolling. We get a lot of small time vandalism & touting edits that are really easy to clean up if done right away, but much harder to sort out in the long term. Just covering a small section of the day allows you to catch these small time vandals/touts/spammers and reduce the harm they do to our guides in a significant way.

But we've got a big collective action problem in that no one wants to work on this if they're the only one doing so—that's demoralizing. The solution? Get people to volunteer to regularly patrol very small sections of the day. I've been patrolling 02:00–04:00 GMT (8PM-10PM U.S. central time), and it takes me a mere 5 minutes each day to do so. I say we start an expedition where members can volunteer to patrol edits in 2 hour chunks. It still remains purely voluntary, but working together should make it more appealing than trying to face the mountains of edits we get each day in isolation.

Thoughts? --Peter Talk 17:55, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

No thoughts? Really? Just say the word and I'll set this up. --Peter Talk 23:29, 5 September 2008 (EDT)
If we could find 50-100 people willing to make such a commitment then this could be a great idea, but otherwise I don't know how well it would work out. Personally, while I do my fair share of patrolling, my schedule is messed up enough that I couldn't commit to anything regular. I suspect that a much more effective step would be to convince IB to implement shared:Tech:ClueBot anti-vandalism bot for Wikitravel which would catch a significant amount of the vandalism on the site, although that tech request has gone six months without action. Alternatively, perhaps just making more people aware of what patrolling is would help increase the number of patrolled edits. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:58, 6 September 2008 (EDT)
By my count, it would be 12 people. And since I do my 2 hours in 5 minutes each day, that would be a total time commitment of one hour/day, across all Wikitravelers. Seems doable to me. Even with just a very partial coverage, that would catch medium-volume vandals and touts that we miss, who spread their edits out throughout the day, or a couple of days. Using the expedition to raise the profile of patrolled edits also sounds like a great idea to me — I get the impression that most new regular contributors have no idea what those flags are for. --Peter Talk 01:15, 6 September 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, should have been clearer - twelve would be a minimum in order to get full coverage, but I think to be successful and self-sustaining you would need 4-8x that number, otherwise you're reliant on having every single person patrolling every single day, without fail. It probably wouldn't hurt to start this up and give it a try on a one month trial, and that would also help to improve the visibility of the task of recent changes patrolling. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:09, 6 September 2008 (EDT)
Not sure about an expedition, but clearly having a coordination point where a patroller can ask for help with non-trivial cases would be really useful. For now, we have only Wikitravel:Welcome message#Business owners and Tourism professionals. Personally, I need a place to seek advice: like "In Goreme, two users are adding-removing two competing balloons providers--how to deal with them?". Or just drop a link to an edit, and expecting some advice on how to deal with it. And several clarifications on our policy in slippery slopes(?), like apartment agency criterias or nightlife aggregators. And yes, personally I need more and more templates for typical situations--I am not ready to invest time in writing a warning to a user by hand every time.
This will help me with patrolling within my watchlist; I am not ready to go beyond it patrolling all recent changes, however. As for "patrolled" flag, I don't believe it works at all now--at least before Wikitravel talk:Recent changes patrol#undoing revision should mark it as patrolled is fixed (to start with). --DenisYurkin 03:57, 6 September 2008 (EDT)
A good idea for sure. It does not particularly suit me to commit particular time slots as my business schedules are all over the place and I patrol when I can. I do see how this would work well for others though, and anything that gets more patrol work done or even raises the profile of the task, has to be good news.--Burmesedays 11:06, 30 December 2009 (EST)

Pathfinder Expedition[edit]

Swept from pub:

I was presented with the opportunity to edit the article about Te Kuiti last night. (Coincidentally, I had planned a journey for some of my family members that went through there just the other week.) When I read the article I realised that there was so much more near Te Kuiti that the traveller should know about, but wouldn't, unless some links to other places, that were just up the road, were added to the article. It occurred to me that by concentrating on placing destination articles into a geographic location we may be missing out on the fun part of travel, which is getting there in the first place!

In writing destination articles about what is there, the traveller also need to be informed about what is nearby - this is something that we are not doing well. Perhaps that is because the people doing the writing know where the place they are writing about is because they have been there, or live there. But the traveller is not there, but somewhere else, so needs to know how to get there too - but nobody is explaining how to go there or leave there for somewhere else, a lot of the time.

It is like we have a huge, but rather bare, Christmas tree. It has lots of branches and leaves and some decorations hanging off the ends, but there are no tinsel streamers or strings of fairy lights to light up those destinations and join them together, so that the fairies and christmas elves can climb from branch to branch without needing to go back to the trunk each time.

I am proposing a Wikitravel:Pathfinder Expedition. The purpose of the Pathfinder Expedition is to create paths (wikilinks) between destination articles that mirror the real world. Pathfinders would populate the Get In and Get Out sections of articles with wikilinks to near-by destinations. In essence, paths are laid from one article to the next, as links between destinations, just as the tinsel and fairy lights wiring joins the ends of the Christmas tree branches, or roads join towns together.

In the case of Te Kuiti, which is on Highway 3 between Hamilton and New Plymouth, it is probably important to know that a very popular tourist attraction, the Waitomo glowworm caves are just up the road. This could justify taking a break and staying there, rather than somewere else. - Huttite 05:11, 21 January 2009 (EST)

I proposed a similar idea early last month, and we have already worked this out in your absence. Please have a look at Wikitravel:Routebox navigation. It has thusfar only been implemented for a few areas, such as Northern Texas, Alberta, Japan, and parts of Norway. It would be great to have another contributor to help flesh it out in other areas. Texugo 10:03, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Routebox navigation is definitely part of Pathfinding, but nowhere near all of it. I see Pathfinding as being more general than Routebox navigation, though they are similar and closely related.
While Routeboxes will work in countries that have numbered highways systems that those destinations are on (or have exits to), it doesn't quite work when your destination is off the highway, or there is no highway, or road - which is more the case with Waitomo and a number of other popular New Zealand destinations. Mind you, Routeboxes seem to be a very good idea, though I haven't delved into much of the fine detail, yet.
One potential pothole I can see in the Routeboxes idea is that routes should intersect at, or close to, destination (route nodes). I just wonder how Routeboxes would cope with route intersections or junctions that are between destinations, but not close enough to be in a destination article. For example, some parts of the NZ highway system intersect at road junctions between towns but there is nothing at the junction to justify a destination article - its just a place where two roads meet, nothing else, not even a lay-by with a picnic table.
Pathfinding is about wikilinking Wikitravel articles in a way that reflects the real world. It is about finding paths in Wikitravel that allow the reader to wikitravel (i.e. web-surf) from from one article to the next, in a way that reflects how they might travel in the real world. It may document the real world in some way, as Routebox navigation does. However, it is primarily about how Wikitravel articles are linked together, in (reasonably) logical ways, that is different to the tree-like geographic hierarchy. Perhaps I should (now) mention that my ulterior motives for suggesting pathfinding is to eliminate orphaned and dead-end pages, as well as trying to break down the wiki-walls and untie the wiki-knots that the tree-like geographic hierarchy tends to promote. Pathfinding is about connecting the destination leaf nodes on different branches of the the geographic hierachical tree with wiki-links. Wikipedia call it building the web.
Note: It has been proposeded that there are just 6 degrees of separation between any two people/places. - that suggests it should be possible to get between any two Wikitravel articles by following no more than 6 wikilinks. The goal of the Pathfinder Expedition is to make that a reality. -- Huttite 02:50, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Could you be a little more specific? It sounds like you are proposing that we concentrate on something that we already try to do-- are you just talking about inserting links in the text part? Texugo 07:01, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I too would like to see an example, maybe you can work something up in your userspace? I'm hesitant to support to much of a move towards more boxes etc, I think it tends to be more useful to keep our structure and hierarchy as simple and straight forward as possible, which would be to flesh out some more "get out" sections as good examples of what they should be. But I also don't want to shoot down your idea before you've had a chance to flesh it out and show us what's on your mind :) – cacahuate talk 13:18, 22 January 2009 (EST)
To quote Huttite: "Pathfinders would populate the Get In and Get Out sections of articles with wikilinks to near-by destinations." I don't think he/she is proposing anything radical here. Just an Expedition to help make sure articles are well-connected. LtPowers 20:31, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I can read what Huttite wrote of course, but it is ambiguous-- by "pathfinder" he could be meaning "users who contribute to this expedition" or he could mean a box of some kind or a listing in a particular format. That's why I asked. Texugo 23:52, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Or it could mean, I'm travelling from here to there, what do I need to see on the way. Don't just tell me the way - find me a path.. --Inas 00:08, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Yes I am proposing an Expedition to make sure articles are well connected. Yes, we already do most of this, implicitly. We, are all already users who contribute to this expedition, even though it doesn't exist in any concrete form, yet. What I am trying to do is explicitly articulate the things that we all have learned to do, and not do, distill that knowledge, generate some documentation about it, and that then provides all Wikitravelers with a ready made guidelines about being a (better) Pathfinder. I do not see that we need to change anything that is currently done to link articles. There is no need for special route boxes; I'll leave that to the Route Expedition participants, who are Pathfinders with a special mission. There might be a few new templates to identify articles that need linking, but don't have a good home at the moment. I will take on board the suggestion to work up a draft Expedition brief on my user page over the next week or so. Hopefully this will explain things better. Thanks for your feedback, as it has helped to focus my thinking too. - Huttite 08:06, 31 January 2009 (EST)

OK - Proposal is at User:Huttite/Pathfinder Expedition - Discuss on the talk page. - Huttite 08:34, 2 February 2009 (EST)

New Year Travel expedition[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I wonder if anyone can be interested in an expedition aimed at developing content on New Year (and Christmas?) travel.

I've created an early draft in User:DenisYurkin/New Year Travel to give an idea of what content I seek to develop, and what the potential goals can be. I would very welcome comments on it.

Before formally creating an expedition, I think I need at least one person interested beyond myself. And yes, proposal to create a travel topic on subject didn't find any supporters so far. And neither did a recent proposal to add Events section into templates where such info could grow even without any expedition. --DenisYurkin 17:59, 3 April 2010 (EDT)


Isn't there a contradiction between Wikitravel:Naming conventions#Capitalization

For articles that aren't place names, capitalize the first word, and then don't capitalize things that don't need to be capitalized. For example, Discount airlines in Europe rather than "Discount Airlines In Europe", and Manual of style rather than "Manual of Style".

and Wikitravel:Expeditions#Starting a new Expedition:

Create a page ... called "Name of expedition Expedition" (note capitalization)

? --DenisYurkin 18:05, 23 March 2011 (EDT)

Essentially, yes; go ahead and fix it if you can make it not confusing. =) LtPowers 20:49, 24 March 2011 (EDT)
So no objections that Naming Conventions should take precedence here? If so, I will try to fix it. --DenisYurkin 19:01, 25 March 2011 (EDT)

Improving the site as a whole (Top destination collaboration)[edit]

swept in from the pub:

Maybe this belongs in the "Expeditions" discussion area (or maybe this topic has already been discussed previously). I've been thinking lately... should not one of our main, immediate goals, as a group of dedicated contributors, be to bring the most popular/well-known tourist destination pages to "Star" quality (or as near to it as possible), as soon as possible? Let's be frank, even if Wikitravel had way more public exposure than it currently has, most travelers aren't going to be interested if we're not completely covering the destinations they are interested in. I know this site will never reach a Wikipedia-level of users, but we could have a LOT more; we should be able to compete with print travel guides.

I don't mean covering just major cities such as Paris, London, NYC, Rome, Venice, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Sydney, etc. (which are reasonably good articles, but compared to our Chicago article, which I've always seen as the ideal, they leave much to be desired)... but also larger geographical areas such as, say, Tuscany, the Niagara Falls area, or Southwest Ireland (regions are something that Wikitravel has trouble with handling well, imo, but that's another discussion... also, I'm not saying my list is definitive). I know it's a huge task; I helped write the star article for Big Bend National Park - a relatively easy accomplishment compared to the places I listed above - and even that took way more time and resources than I could have ever anticipated. I also know that doing this would be much easier if we had more contributors, which makes it kind of a Catch-22 situation.

Because really my point is that nailing the popular/well-known destination articles will not only attract more readers, but it will also in turn attract more contributors... and that's a big thing. More contributors will mean more articles AND more accurate articles, as well as more people to help with administrative tasks (such as de-tout-ifying). In short, we need more contributors. To get more contributors, we need to take care of the basics first. I see great work has been done recently for Washington DC and Orlando, and I think those are great steps. Army of me 01:41, 11 November 2011 (EST)

Your logic can't really be faulted. However, on the other side of the coin, you really can already get all the information you need to see a city like Chicago, London or Sydney just with google and a couple of quick searches. I sometimes wonder of the value in updating the public transport and price information for some cities, yet again, when there are online tripfinders, price guides etc that give you all the options. However, there is so much of the world and more remote parts of even populated countries where even these basics can be hard to ascertain, and where often WT already has surprisingly good coverage. We have travel guides for some country towns, and small remote parts of the world for which no other guide exists. I guess I'm just sayin' that we may have other strengths we can play to --Inas 03:49, 11 November 2011 (EST)
Everyone can add his/her knowledge to the wiki where he/she desires, and it is hard to make them contribute information only to particular places. Wikitravel aims to be a world-wide guide, for destinations all over the globe. However, I do agree that some destinations are more important than others. Work has been done on many of them, including Bali, Bangkok, Walt Disney World, and the others you mentioned. Somehow some popular travel areas in Europe, like travel regions in France and Italy, have received poor coverage on Wikitravel. I don't know exactly why, but maybe because the locals there participate on the wiki of their own language area.
Wikipedia has a "1,000 core topics" [1] list, the 1,000 articles that should become featured articles as fast as possible. Maybe we could set up something similar for Wikitravel? (but then in the range of 250 articles, as 1,000 would be a bit much I think). --Globe-trotter 11:18, 12 November 2011 (EST)
I think even 250 would be too many, as that's about 1% of our guides. 100 would be a better start. LtPowers 11:26, 12 November 2011 (EST)
Hey, you know what I just thought of? If we take the nine cities and nine other destinations from the six populated continents, that's 108 right there. Now we just need someone to go through them and list what status each one is currently at. LtPowers 11:29, 12 November 2011 (EST)
That's definitely a good idea. Why I said 250 is because Wikitravel has a heavy focus on "world cities". They are obviously important, but many travellers go to other places like beach resorts (e.g. Benidorm, Chersonissos), ski resorts (Zermatt, Aspen), national parks, theme parks (Walt Disney World), smaller towns (like Hangzhou, Ubud, etc), regions (Tuscany, Loire Valley), villages (Mont Saint Michel), and other places. I also think these could be given more weight. Also we could try to find some statistics about which places are most attended by travellers. It's amazing how badly covered some of these popular destinations are. If these articles would improve, then maybe we could attract more contributors from these places. --Globe-trotter 11:39, 12 November 2011 (EST)
100% support from me on LtPowers' idea. I assume (as Army of me originally noted) that this would be done as part of an expedition of some sort? -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:52, 12 November 2011 (EST)
I made a start with Europe and Asia here. --Globe-trotter 19:38, 12 November 2011 (EST)
Cool! Please explain your color coding. Does it have anything to do with the status (outline, usable, guide, etc.) of the articles in question? Ikan Kekek 04:11, 14 November 2011 (EST)
I just answered my own question: Medium green is a star article, light green is a guide, slightly orange yellow is usable, red is an outline, gray is a redirect. Ikan Kekek 04:18, 14 November 2011 (EST)
Wow, I'm glad others agree (I was afraid my comments might accidentally offend someone)! I do realize there are a variety of factors that have likely kept certain destination guides from being their best, but I think at least identifying and officially acknowledging what destinations should be priorities and which need more work is a big step. Before posting my first comment, I tried searching online for statistics on "most visited tourist destinations" and the like, but I've had a hard time so far. I'll keep looking. Army of me 18:57, 13 November 2011 (EST)
Very cool idea (and good to see you back, Army of me)! I'm a little surprised to see that Europe has the poorest developed 7±2 lists. I agree that this would be a worthwhile expedition. --Peter Talk 11:11, 14 November 2011 (EST)
Thanks, good to be back! I was surprised too, but I bet a lot of it can be chalked up to us writing about what we know (or users creating entries, but not in English, as suggested previously). Speaking of which, I'll probably be sprucing up the article for my hometown, Houston, soon... Army of me 22:53, 27 November 2011 (EST)
The basic idea is very good. Details, we can probably work out.
I had to chuckle at the reference above to "smaller towns (like Hangzhou, ...". The current population is around six million, I think. If Hangzhou is a small town, then neither Canada nor Australia have anything that qualifies as a city. Capital of China at one point, and Marco Polo who visited it a few decades after its fall wrote of Hangzhou "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world ... everything appertaining to this city is on so vast a scale, and the Great Kaan's yearly revenues therefrom are so immense, that it is not easy even to put it in writing, and it seems past belief...". Pashley 21:30, 14 November 2011 (EST)
Hehe, I meant it in comparison to the top 9 cities of Asia. We have a heavy focus on "world cities", such as Beijing, but travellers go to "smaller" places which I think should not be overlooked :) --Globe-trotter 12:51, 15 November 2011 (EST)
Not sure how helpful this is, but I found the top 50 most-visited tourist destinations for 2007 (as reported by Forbes Traveler magazine, which I don't think exists anymore). Apparently the census data was supplied by the attractions themselves, or other media reports. It doesn't have regions and there could be other biases I'm not aware of. Anyways, here it is! We may need to just brainstorm and come up with an agreement on what we feel are the most "important" world destinations that need to be covered. Army of me 22:53, 27 November 2011 (EST)

I am willing to join a collaboration on some of the top destinations listed above. Please feel free to drop me a personal message / email when the project takes off, as I'm not very frequent on the site in the recent weeks. --DenisYurkin 15:05, 26 December 2011 (EST)