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Wikitravel talk:Routebox navigation

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In lieu of highway articles, how about..?[edit]

I have been kicking around this idea in my head for some time now, and the above conversation (now at Wikitravel talk:Routes Expedition makes it a good time to throw it out there. I don't think creating a separate article for every highway is necessarily a good idea because it will duplicate a ton of information from city and regional articles. However, it would be a convenient thing for the user to have an easy way to see all the city articles along a given route. I do think this information is highly relevant to the traveller, so my proposed solution is to use a template to make a tidy little box for destination articles that shows highways that pass through that destination plus 1) the next destination in each direction for which wikitravel has an article, and 2) the next major destination in each direction. As an example, in the article for Oklahoma City, we could have a little box that looks like this:

Amarillo ・・・・・ Weatherford ・・・・ W noframe E ・・・・ Shawnee ・・・・・ Little Rock
Wichita ・・・・・ Edmond ・・・・ N noframe S ・・・・ Norman ・・・・・ Dallas-Fort Worth
Wichita Falls ・・・・・ Chickasha ・・・・ SW noframe NE ・・・・ Stroud ・・・・・ Tulsa

This would give users the option to navigate through our site as if they are following a highway, and would be more useful for trip-planning because, unlike having different articles for different highways, this offers a visual interface which allows you to change highways at any junction. My suggestion would be that it go at the bottom of the Get out section, so that it's always in a predictable place. And yes, I realize that will make it look a little similar to some of the templates in use on Wikipedia, but I think this information is very important and useful, especially for countries as big and prone to car-travel as the US or Canada. Feedback? Texugo 03:11, 5 December 2008 (EST)

I like this idea. The only thing that makes it considerably different from what I have proposed with the highways is that in large cities, many attractions, food, and sleep is far away from the interstate. Additionally, many region or county articles will list things that are not included in the article of the city that's on the highway. Additionally, having individual interstate articles will prevent the need to print many individual town articles for travelers. Yes, it's hard work and will take a year or two for users to contribute to make these articles, but in my opinion, it's worth it and will be a great asset for Wikitravel. This article is far from complete(still needs more info & better formatting), but see what I've done with this route section. Once I've worked on it a bit, there will be a comprehensive guide to all exits. The individual cities & towns along the interstate are given links to explore what's available in them. Eventually, the "see" & "do" sections will be expanded and placed in order by exit. I was originally thinking (in the above topic) of either not having "eat","sleep", and"drink" sections, but now think it would be better to highlight a few notable places. I'm not sure's not a problem on a 132 mile long interstate...but when it comes to Interstates like 95, 80, 10, 5, etc., having such sections could get lengthy. Before I finish, the interstate articles would complement your suggested box at the bottom. Anyways, it's late in the night for me, so I'll let others voice their opinion and work on this later. AHeneen 04:35, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Let's try to keep this thread about my proposal please, if possible. Your idea has its own thread above. Texugo 06:39, 5 December 2008 (EST)
  • Hmmm... In principle, I like the idea. However... Few little things to come to mind.
  • How do we keep the list consistent across conencted articles. E.g. if we have a hypothetical Highway 42 with places A, B, C, E, F, and G, what happens when someone adds place D? It not only needs the Highway Box adding with points A, C, E and G, but also C and E need updating. My concern is that we could end up with missing points and inconsistencies. At least with a highway article, it is a little easier to keep the connections clean.
  • Do we have to call it a Highway box. I know a lot of people know the term, but in Europe we have (allegedly) Euroroutes, the UK has Motorways and some fairly major trunk roads of other types, etc. Perhaps "Route Box" would be a more generic name? (Yes, I know this is being picky, but you did ask! ;) )
  • Is there any reason we can't use the existing Itinery idea for routes? I just wonder how useful a box that appears at the bottom of the linked pages is. If I were doing a trip in the UK from, say, Durham to Blackpool; I know what roads I am likely to travel along and might want to do some sightseeing on the way. I guess I could use a map, look up place names, then look up wikitravel articles. However, it would be nice to me able to call up a page on the A66 and be able to see a list of places along the way, which an Itinery page would let me do in an easy fashion.

Anyway, I'm sure there are ways around these things, so am quite happy to be told I'm wrong, or to argue things :) Nrms 07:48, 5 December 2008 (EST)

To respond quickly to your points:
  • Once we got it going, I don't think maintenance would really be any more of a pain than it is with our breadcrumb navigation, and if somebody is a real whiz we could get it partially automated like the breadcrumb navigation is.
  • I don't care what the template is called really-- it doesn't need to be titled in the article anyway. Route box works just fine and has the advantage of being general enough to include train lines as well.
  • The discussion about having itinerary articles for highways, etc., is above, and I think this box would be useful whether or not we allow highway articles as a general rule. I do think, for example, if you want to find a hotel in a small town near a big city on a certain highway to facilitate an early start in that direction, etc., that this box would be useful. Or if you are planning a longer trip for which multiple routes exist, you could (without consulting maps and looking each place up individually) walk yourself through various routes which use a combination of highways etc., and look at each article along the way to see what you'll pass along the way without having to wade through the avalanche of information an article detailing the entirety of something like US I-40 would present.
Texugo 08:28, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Texugo, It does look like a good idea. But but nice with AHeneen, he was just briefly explaining his idea, it is not a big deal. Anyways, while the lovely interstates have logos that can be used on WT, some Canadian ones do not. What are we supposed to do about that? Also, why can't we just mention the highways in Get in or whatever...what is the point of a fancy box? Thanks. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 10:17, 5 December 2008 (EST).
I really like it, Texugo, and the box looks beautiful (except I can't see the special characters you're using to separate the cities). It's unobtrusive, provides an alternate way of looking at travel, and would seem to fit in well with the Get out section. It'd be a lot of work to implement on a large scale, though. LtPowers 11:40, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Wikitravel - the road trip edition. The world is criss-crossed with so many routes, of so many different kinds, we can't attempt to cover them all. SOme are on the same road number/name, ans some involve many. Bicycle routes, train routes as well. If we try and make an itinerary for each one it would overwhelme the guide. Similarly adding the route information to a travel guide, sets us up for a manual task. It would be easy enough to do something like pick up the OSM data and one of the OSM routing engines, allow you to search a route, and just link the travel guides for the towns along the route. OSM also has lots of informaiton like exit numners, highway services etc. If the information isn't in OSM yet, maybe better to enter it there, than here.. --Inas 14:22, 5 December 2008 (EST)

We definitely can do highway pages if they are major, as already done but very good point inas. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:26, 5 December 2008 (EST).

I'm not in favor of individual highways/interstates getting their own articles unless such highway is iconic (I.e. Route 66). Back to the main point of discussion, Texugo, I like your template. Ideally for me, it would be floated to the right and be place solely in the get-in section of the article. I'd also want the template to be a little smaller (remove some of the dots) and enlarge the highway icons. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:31, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Few more thoughts: The template should only list the nearest large cities and maybe the nearest mid-size city. For example, I wouldn't expect I-71 in Cincinnati to list that Loveland (Ohio) was on the highway, because the city is only 10,000 or so large. The next city should be Dayton (If I remember correctly), or possibly - but then again this would be a stretch - Middletown (Ohio) (which isn't quite mid-sized). -- Sapphire(Talk) • 16:36, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I disagree. It kind of defeats the point, to my mind, to leave out "small" destinations. Half the point of this proposed template is to point out those less-well-known destinations that one might encounter while traveling between two big ones. LtPowers 18:57, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I second that, pointing out little towns on the template can help draw attention to them and what they have to offer. Oh, and I-71 goes towards Columbus...not Dayton (I-75 goes north to Dayton). AHeneen 22:55, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I like it. To prevent the inevitable "which city to list" squabbles, though, I would suggest that the template use the same city names as actual highway signage in the destination. Jpatokal 22:59, 5 December 2008 (EST)
It does seem like an interesting idea. I definitely like it better than having highway articles. Also does sound like a lot of work, but a nice template should help. I also see this as more of a "get out" template, but with some tweaking might work in "get in" too – cacahuate talk 03:45, 6 December 2008 (EST)
I also think that not listing the next destination (whatever the size) would defeat the point. Some travellers, like my dad for example, like to stay somewhat outside a big city, where accommodation may be cheaper, or where an early departure won't involve morning traffic jams. Some through travellers may look to stop for lunch in a small town along the way rather than get off the highway and involved in traffic in the bigger city. Some smaller towns have attractions that would be a shame to miss, or one-of-a-kind restaurants which have become favorites of travellers who frequent the area.
Of course the appearance of the box itself is up for discussion, and I would welcome other mockups if anyone wants to toy with what I did. The characters that aren't showing up for you, LtPowers, are part of the Japanese character set, and can of course be changed. We can work out the size of the icon and the nature of the separators before making the template, if we can agree that this is a good idea.
As for the placement of the box, I would lean toward putting it centered at the bottom simply because the box is a bit wide, even with the smallest font setting as it is, and because the width of the box will vary depending on the length of the city names. Right justified in the body of the article could really squash the layout if you have several long placenames. I think topic-wise it fits a little better with the Get out section too, as we tend to mention nearby small towns there a lot more often than in the Get in section.
It will be quite a bit of work, though as Cacahuate said, having a template would definitely help. I do think it will be worth it.
Texugo 03:59, 6 December 2008 (EST)

If we place the template in the Get-out section, then I'd withdraw my suggestion about right alignment, but I still think it would be nice, so that text wrapped around the template. I also withdraw the suggestion about sticking only to big cities, but I definitely would like to see larger icons and fewer dots. -- Sapphire

So, outside the US? What about the European route network? In a lot of European countries they are the only route designation, in some countries they are dual labelled with the national highway network, and in some countries, like the UK they are not used at all. I like the idea, and for a Dane it would make sense to use in Europe, as we use the E network to navigate, but I know Germans mainly use the German numbering system. And would I be complete wrong thinking that travellers in Europe (and Japan for that matter) mainly use public transportation anyway? making hard to justify the effort here. Also I agree it should be made narrower --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 06:15, 6 December 2008 (EST)


Alright, take two. I made the icons slightly bigger and the rest as small as possible. I made up a template which seems to work well enough, though I guess it will have to be like the Babel templates where there are actually a set of templates and you have to indicate how many entries there are. I'm putting it here to the right to see how it looks, though wherever it is aligned, I still think it belongs in the Get out section. What do you think?
Texugo 07:22, 6 December 2008 (EST)

You realise this would be difficult. So we got Europe and America. What about Asia, Canada, UAE, Australia, etc.? Canada would be difficult cause it is not just a set type of highways. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:23, 6 December 2008 (EST).

I think this is a brilliant idea, and much less intensive than a bunch of highway articles, and a template like this makes it easy to apply to virtually any route, such as a rail line. I think this works best at the bottom of the article in the Get out section - it's simple, straight-forward, it fits with the theme of "Get out", and would be less obtrusive there rather than sticking it the Get in section. And yes, it needs to have all the little small destinations, otherwise it would defeat the point.

But there is one thing though - going back to what AHeneen was saying, the region articles have a lot of information on small destinations which can't have articles of their own. So let's say you drove out of the city on the interstate and you're about to pass "Buffalo Bill's Western Amusement Park", which happens to have a really fantastic BBQ joint. Obviously, info like this belongs in the regional article, not the template - the template shouldn't have any specific destination info, just links to the destination article, such as a city or a national park. I'd kinda like to see links to regional articles included in this somehow, but I don't know how you could do it without it looking weird. Perhaps you could put the name of the city where this specific template goes on the top of the template, followed by a link to the regional article (so for instance your Oklahoma City template, it would say on top Oklahoma City (Greater Oklahoma City). I dunno, it's just a thought. If we can't get the regional article in somehow, I still support the idea. PerryPlanet Talk 16:48, 6 December 2008 (EST)

I know exactly the kind of thing you're talking about, and thought about that too. Ideally shouldn't those kind of listings already be in the get out section of the nearest city article anyway? We could, for pure silliness' sake, make the hyphens between the cities link to the region articles, but it might make the template kind of unnecessarily complicated. Texugo 01:55, 7 December 2008 (EST)
That is a very good point and actually one I was thinking of myself; it might be more practical to just have that info on the Get out section (of course, if we are going to use that argument, that the template should really go into Get out rather than Get in), rather than have a bunch of region articles in the template. Because to be perfectly honest, I don't know how anyone could put regional articles in there without messing up the template. It just looks so beautifully simple now, I'd hate to wreck that. PerryPlanet Talk 12:10, 7 December 2008 (EST)

Should this be moved to Wikitravel talk:Routes Expedition? If so, feel free to move it or tell me and I'll get around to it. AHeneen 02:10, 7 December 2008 (EST)

If this does take off, please make the images replaceable in the template, was thinking a bit about this, and something like this would also be perfect for the get-out section of the Russian cities along the Trans-Siberian. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 02:27, 7 December 2008 (EST)
I don't quite get you- the images are already replaceable. There is an image field for each line in the template and you just type the image name there. Texugo 02:35, 7 December 2008 (EST)
There is nothing to get :) It was just a shout, in case anyone was contemplating automating the thing with a script or something like that. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 02:41, 7 December 2008 (EST)

One quick question about the template, which may be too much detail to worry about now but... currently we have it so that it displays the nearest destination of any size and the nearest large city, which I think is great. But what should it display if the next locale is the terminus? Should the space where the next large city goes say Terminus? PerryPlanet Talk 12:29, 7 December 2008 (EST)

I am wondering if we could get Canadian symbols? There is a bunch-some are on Wikipedia[logo] but we cannot use. Just wondering. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:34, 7 December 2008 (EST).

It could say (terminus) or it could just be left blank I think. As for symbols, I wouldn't worry about it. A lot of the ones in use on Wikipedia have been released into the public domain, which is where I got the three I used for an example, and even if there are none, that kind of icon is very very simple to create in Inkscape. Texugo 13:38, 7 December 2008 (EST)
The Interstate highway shields are in the public domain (as creations of the U.S. federal government). I'm not sure of the status of the Canadian 400-series highway shields; Commons thinks they're in the public domain, and I'm inclined to believe them. As for formats, I would like to see the "control cities" bolded. In the case of a terminus, just leave the space blank, or write END. If a control city is the next destination, then we can either have just that city or have the next two control cities. LtPowers 17:30, 7 December 2008 (EST)
Sounds good. I'd say for the last point, have the next two control cities if the next destination is a control city. PerryPlanet Talk 19:16, 7 December 2008 (EST)
Ah, my original html mock up had the next major city in bold, but when I made the template I forgot to do it. I fixed it now, although depending on your browser's current text size settings it may not show up that way. I agree that if the next city is a big one the following should also be, just for consistency's sake. Texugo 00:46, 8 December 2008 (EST)
Looking good. You might need to add a point-size parameter (you can default it to 16px) to accommodate 3-digit interstates (there are a few that are major enough to include) and highway shields from other countries. Also, it may be possible to set up a helper-template that takes care of the coding for each row, then just include that template x number of times inside the box. That might make the coding cleaner (or not; I'd have to test it out). LtPowers 09:58, 8 December 2008 (EST)
Feel free to diddle with the template. I'm not all that advanced making those things. Maybe you can copy the current template to Template:Routebox-3/test to toy with it and show me what you mean here.
Also if there are no objections, I'd like to choose a region for which to implement a pilot of this system so we can all play around with it and see how it works. Anyone have a problem with a test run?
Texugo 10:37, 8 December 2008 (EST)
Nope, I think you should, it will help us to see quicker if this is going to work & be useful... looks promising though! – cacahuate talk 00:07, 9 December 2008 (EST)
OK. I will get on that probably tomorrow. Any suggestions for a good place to start. Preferably a US area which has a lot of national highway intersections at different spots so we can try out non-linear navigation better. I was thinking maybe Pennsylvania. Any other suggestion? Texugo 08:00, 9 December 2008 (EST)

Good to see real-life examples in Wikitravel articles! In general I like it, but the awkwardness of the Pennsylvania articles (seems like the coverage there is rather poor, with few articles) somewhat hinders it. But that's an issue with the Pennsylvania articles, not the freeway templates. I do have a couple of things to say about the templates though...

  • I think they would work better being centered at the very bottom of the page, right above the article status templates. In a large Get out section, like Pittsburgh, they just seem to get lost in the text.
  • There's one particular case which seems a tad awkward, and that is in the Harrisburg template where it shows the next destination on I-76 west being Youngstown, Ohio. Again, this kind of goes back to the issue of Pennsylvania coverage, but really. I-76 passes pretty close to Pittsburgh, without going through the actual town (then again, so does I-79). Close enough that I feel it might warrant being the next destination after Harrisburg. But this begs the broader question - what do you do when your roadway passes near a destination, rather than through it? PerryPlanet Talk 12:32, 10 December 2008 (EST)
I noticed that about the Pennsylvania articles and abandoned that as a test in favor of an area that I know has at least an article for many smaller towns. I completed I-40 from where it enters Texas on the west to OKC, from there on I-35 down to Dallas, and tomorrow I'll do a little more, connecting it back up to Amarillo and over to Lubbock. That should be a good enough area to play with for the time being I think. Have a run through what I've got so far and let me know what you think. Note the special case at Denton where 35 splits into two. I'm going to switch it over to the center for the moment because having it right aligned makes a weird layout when the only thing in the Get out section is an outline notification or some such box. I do think it will be better to put it under the text where PerryPlanet suggests, but I'll have to go back tomorrow and move the ones I've done because it's far past bedtime. Texugo 13:18, 10 December 2008 (EST)
For highways passing near cities rather than through them, it's going to have to be a judgment call. If the road signs on the highway point out the city as a destination (e.g., xxx miles to Pittsburgh signs on I-76), then it certainly should be included in the sequence. (Note that Pittsburgh is an official control city for I-76 and the PA Turnpike and so should be included.) If not, then we'll have to make a call. Certainly anything that passes through suburbs of a major city (i.e., I-90 passing south of Rochester probably should mention that city, but then we have to ask what counts as a suburb... LtPowers 15:27, 10 December 2008 (EST)
Good idea, LtPowers. That sounds like the best way to handle that situation. Anyway, I just went through the Texas/Oklahoma deal and I really like what I see. I like how you handled Denton, Texugo. Looks nice. Overall, it just looks fantastic and I can't wait to help this expand across the country. It's just so convenient to have there, to be able to hop from town to town without thinking about it. And my worries about excluding material that would be in regional articles largely vanished when I saw that kind of info in the Get out sections, like we were talking about. It's so nice when things go the way you want them to... PerryPlanet Talk 15:42, 10 December 2008 (EST)
I took a look at it and really like it. It's very handy for quickly seeing what cities/towns lie along a highway, what you can do there, etc. I'd like to roll it out in Canadian articles as well but a couple of things come to mind. One thing is western Canada doesn't have an Interstate equivalent network of expressways. Would there be any objection to using old-fashioned two lane highways that are key roads in moving people and goods around (e.g., the Trans-Canada highway)? A second thing is what to do when the Interstate hits an international border. For example, the I-5 hits the Canadian border, becomes Hwy 99 and continues on to Vancouver, Whistler and points north. I'd prefer to see the routebox continue on rather than stopping at a border. So, in the I-5/BC 99 example, the I-5 routebox heading north from Seattle would show Vancouver, BC as the next major destination and vice-versa for Hwy 99 heading south from Vancouver. Shaund 19:15, 10 December 2008 (EST)
Ditto. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:38, 14 December 2008 (EST).

Update on Routebox experiment[edit]

I put in a few hours to flesh this out for better examination. Routebox navigation is more or less complete for the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma Great Plains regions, plus areas from Oklahoma City down to Dallas-Fort Worth, and everything on and north of I-20 as far west as Odessa. Routes completed include all US interstates and US Routes which pass through the area as well as a handful of Texas routes which provide access to article destinations otherwise left out of the network. I was at first a little leery of putting in the full set of US routes and supplemental state routes, but the result is that about 65% of the destination still have only one or two routes listed, and only a very few have more than 3, with Dallas having the most at 7.

In the process of implementing all this, I had some thoughts about guidelines we should implement if this is going to be consistent, comprehensive, and useful. Here are my ideas:

  • Care must be taken when laying a new route not to skip any places for which we have an article. Using Google Maps and running placenames in our search seems to work.
  • When different types of routes are used, they should be listed in the following order:
  • High speed train lines
  • Regular train lines
  • Interstate highways in numerical order
  • National highways in numerical order
  • Subnational highways in numerical order
  • Both cardinal and ordinal directions should be used and should be chosen based on the direction the route leaves the destination, not on the general direction of the route as a whole. Preference for left-side placement should be given to N, NW, W, and SW.
  • When a highway changes names (as at a border or, for example, where US-75 becomes I-45 in Dallas) a note should be inserted saying "Becomes ___" along with an extra hyphen and space on the appropriate side, so that two further destinations can still be listed. See the examples of I-75 in the Richardson article, and Texas-152 in Wheeler.
  • When a highway merges with another going in the same direction, a note should be inserted. See westbound I-30 in Fort Worth and southbound Texas-70 in Sweetwater.
  • When a highway ends at or crosses another highway of equal or higher level at a place for which we have no article, a mention should be inserted. See US-281 north from Anadarko.
  • If a major highway junction occurs at a small town for which we have an article, that town should be treated as a control city for less important routes, so anyone walking through the route won't miss a major junction. Childress is a good example, as several US routes converge there and US-287 is as big and important to the area as any Interstate, while 62 and 83 are not.
  • When a highway enters a national park, an abbreviated version of the park name maybe used for a destination. See southbound US-385 from Odessa for an example.
  • We should never have links to non-existant articles unless a highway terminates in a reasonable sized city for which we might create an article. See how I-175 terminates in Jacksonville in the Dallas artilcle.
  • Some routes have very long stretches of several hundred miles in which there is no major control city. In these cases every city for which we have an article should be used.
  • Rest stops can be inserted as text in addition to the two cities in a given direction. See Vernon and Wichita Falls for an example. If might be possible to develop a couple of icons to show rest stops and picnic areas to save horizontal text space.
  • Subnational routes such as state highways should only be used if they provide access to article destinations which are otherwise off the network (See Texas 152 through Borger, Texas 70 through Turkey, or for cases where two adjecent cities are otherwise unconnected (See Pampa and Perryton connected by Texas-70.

I'm going to hold off adding any more areas to the project until I get some more comments. Please explore the areas I've done with the above proposed guidelines in mind, and give me your comments. If after the next round of comments there are no major objections, I'd like to move this to a separate expedition page and starting rolling it out in other areas. I'm personally really really happy with the way this is working so far. Texugo 06:22, 13 December 2008 (EST)

I think this looks fantastic - virtually no objections here, and I can't wait to start rolling this out in New Mexico and expanding from there. I am wondering though whether we really need to include state roads at all. Unless the stated purpose of this is to cover every single destination with a route box, do we really need to go into that much detail? At what point should Wikitravel stop and say that this is a job for a road map, not a travel guide?
Also, if I could add another condition to the list you came up with - What do you do if there's a major intersection but no town? This is the case with the intersection of I-15 and I-70 in Central Utah - I-70 dead ends with I-15 several miles from the nearest town, Beaver (which doesn't have an article, though that can be fixed). My idea is to have, in the last destination on I-70 before it dead ends into I-15, write "I-15" as the next destination, then write "Beaver" as the control city, with a note in parenthesis that its 10 miles south on I-15. And then in the Beaver article to have I-70 in there, with the note that its terminus is 10 miles north on I-15. That way you can still follow the route without interruption.
On a separate note about train lines - now don't get me wrong, I love traveling by train and take Amtrak when I travel long distances, but how much sense does it make to put train lines into this? Trains make a brief stop in a town/city, then take off again. With road travel, you can pull off and explore such-and-such place, in which case this route box is very helpful. But you can't do that on a train unless you're willing to spend the night and wait for the next train. I really, really don't have any objection to putting train routes in here, but I do wonder if train info should just be left to the "Get in by train" section. PerryPlanet Talk 13:18, 13 December 2008 (EST)
Your question about intersections where there is no article was answered above, but I didn't word it properly. See US-281 north from Anadarko.
About state roads I would say that most of them should not end up being used, hence the suggested restrictions above, but I would really hate to see a prohibition on using them because state roads are sometimes the most scenic routes, and also using them can flesh out the full picture of what destinations are nearby. It also seem ridiculous to me to have two navigable articles which in reality are adjacent, but without using states routes take many steps to reach. Here is the example which led me to use state routes: Pampa, Texas is adjacent to both Perryton and Wheeler via direct state routes, but to navigate between them without following state routes, you have to make a huge detour: Pampa - Panhandle - Amarillo - Conway - Groom - McLean - Shamrock - Wheeler - Canadian - Perryton.
As for trains, I wasn't thinking so much about the US, but rather places where rail travel is really vital and more regular. In Japan most tourists get a JR pass and they can hop on and off, hitting several destinations in a day if they want. I am dying to see this implemented for JR and Shinkansen lines here, or for the Trans-Siberian railway, or for the European rail network.
Texugo 02:34, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Sounds good on both counts. I guess my only question now is when I can try putting those routes boxes in. :) PerryPlanet Talk 02:45, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Sorry I was amending my last comments above when you posted. Don't know if you read everything. Texugo 02:54, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Whoops, you're right. Anyway, I don't think US-281 really fully answers my question. US-281 mentions a highway when there is an intersection where there is no article. But US-281 continues on, and keeps heading north. My example, the intersection of I-15 and I-70, has one interstate terminating into the other. So let's say you're looking at the article for the last town on I-70 before it terminates into I-15 - what will it say? Obviously it can say "I-15" and "END", but if you wanted to be able to "merge" onto I-15 and follow that route, how would you do so? Which is why I was talking about linking to the nearest town on I-15 with a note that it's on I-15 and not I-70. This question could also apply to examples like US-281 - so you know there's an intersection with another highway, but how do you start following that highway?
Or should we just leave that to the road maps? PerryPlanet Talk 13:32, 14 December 2008 (EST)
I just thought I'd bring up a couple of points before we get started implementing this. Sertman started doing boxes along Interstate 4 and consecutive towns would have directions: W-E, W-N, S-N, N-S. I'm certainly not criticizing him, I'm sure it was just a little oversight...but it lead to the question of creating a couple of standards: Could we please use the direction that the route is signed. This makes things consistent and while cardinal directions might be evident if you have a compass, are keen to where you're heading, or it is dusk/dawn...that way a traveller in the middle of the night doesn't have to figure out which direction is which before proceeding on his/her way. AHeneen 05:24, 14 December 2008 (EST)
That is the other option, but what do we do when the highway signage doesn't say?-- In the US, I think only interstate highways even have a signed direction. Texugo 05:40, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Not sure about that. I'd like to bring up another point. I think when: "When a highway ends at or crosses another highway of equal or higher level at a place for which we have no article, a mention should be inserted. See US-281 north from Anadarko." occurs, the dash is confusing. Is I-40 or I-70 at Great Bend? I think a sign should be used instead of the "I-40" and eliminate the dash or use "at" to eliminate confusion. I think that something about being a National Park should be "Big Bend NP" or "Big Bend Nat. Park" rather than "Big Bend". Also, when a highway ends near a major city, would it be ok to list the city and put "(via [image])"? For example, the Palmer Highway (Alaska 2) is 323 miles long and carries traffic between Anchorage (pop 280,000) and Fairbanks(pop 35,000), but technically ends 35mi north of Anchorage at AK-1 near Palmer(pop 4500). Is it ok to put in the Fairbanks and Denali National Park articles that Anchorage is the next major city to the South with "Anchorage(via Alaska 1 shield.png)"?AHeneen 06:36, 14 December 2008 (EST)
The point is that neither I-40 nor I-70 is at Great Bend-- if they were, they would not be mentioned. I suggest only mentioning highways in the routebox when there is an intersection at a place where there is no article. Otherwise when you reach a city with more than one junction it will really clutter things up. If there is an article where the junction occurs, that is plenty, as they will see the junctions when they get to that page.
I would like to be able to use images as you said but I have one concern, which I noticed when you implemented it on the Dalton Highway-- when there is only one route it looks really confusing because the one picture is supposed to be the center, but the second image makes it no longer very obvious what the center of the box is or which highway the box is for. I realize you sized the images a little differently, but I still think it loses the ready focus having only one image gives it. If we are to do as you suggest, I think we need to find a better way to signify what the center of the box is.
I wouldn't mind appending "NP" to national parks but I don't think it's really necessary.
Texugo 07:34, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Going back to where routes end quite close to a city: Interstate 75 ends about 8-10miles NW of downtown Miami, but (unlike AK-3 mentioned earlier) there is no one major route leading it directly to Miami. The town it ends at is Hialeah (which has its own article). On all cities along I-75 south of Tampa, I put Miami as the next major city, before realizing this mistake. Should we have a policy where, if a route ends extremely close to a city (such as in a suburb), we can use the city as a major city along the route? Other such instances that I have quickly found in the South include I-20 5 miles from Florence,SC & I-55 17 miles from downtown NOLA. Any thoughts?AHeneen 12:28, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Yeah that sounds fine to me. Texugo 12:42, 14 December 2008 (EST)
I think what you have done Texugo is amazing. It looks slick and is verrrrryyy useful. I looked at it in a few parts and it looks nice. I think, we should have a title though, maybe "Highways in ______" or "Highways Running through the _______", etc.? Also, it is nice to see this working well for American cities, and really good job. But I think you should change your description in the beginning. It is very "American centric", no offense, and it should cater to Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, China, and all over. In that, I mean change Interstate to Major highway or something that is more international that can agree wihth everyone. I know it is small, but I do think it should be brought up. Thankyou for explaining it further. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:44, 14 December 2008 (EST).
I don't think a title is necessary, and if we said "highways" it wouldn't include rail lines. You're right about the description needing to be more general. We're just talking it out here, but when I make the expedition page, I'll keep your comments in mind. Texugo 12:58, 14 December 2008 (EST)
Thanks Tex. I will try and help further. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:01, 14 December 2008 (EST).

I was wondering if it would be beneficial to have three locations per direction as opposed to 2. What do you thinK? I am just thinking with the Dallas rb, one of them goes from Richardson to Tulsa, that is a big distance. I think we should have a third if the city is over X population (500,000; 1,000,000; 2,000,000; 3,000,000). edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:43, 14 December 2008 (EST).

No, I think we should just keep it to two. We don't want to make this thing overly complicated. PerryPlanet Talk 13:46, 14 December 2008 (EST)
I don't think it would be overly complicated - it is just one more thing. Anyways, I just think it would be good to have as there is big gaps in some and it would be good to even it. Not to mention, it is centre aligned, which from what I've seen, there is plenty of room for one more. Oh, I guess I should add, I mean that if the highway is long enough to go greater distances, then it should be three, if say it is really short, then only one! edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:48, 14 December 2008 (EST).
Yeah, I don't think it necessary either, and having done several dozen of these already, I can assure you that the extra pain in the ass would not really be worth the trouble. However, I-75, the highway you mentioned, might be a good candidate for what I was talking about with some lesser routes mentioning every destination down the line instead using one very distant control city. Texugo 13:52, 14 December 2008 (EST)

Routebox Implementation[edit]

Texugo asked for feedback on my talk page, so while I don't have any strong feelings, here goes... I like the idea of using route boxes in articles, but I'd like to see a few issues resolved before people add them to hundreds (or even thousands) of articles:

  1. What cities should be listed? Skimming the discussions above I see "next major city", "next city for which there is a Wikitravel article", and "follow the actual highway signage". Before pushing this across the site that issue should be resolved and an appropriate Wikitravel: policy page should be created (apologies if this is already done, but I didn't immediately see anything).
  2. I think the actual routebox needs a header such as "Highway Routes" (preferably something better, but along that line). Without knowing what I'm looking at Dalton Highway#Get out can be confusing.
  3. The look and feel of these boxes seems to vary widely. Again, a Wikitravel: page that explains usage and provides examples should probably be set up BEFORE these get pushed everywhere so that they are being used consistently.
  4. Finally, it would be good to nail down what exactly gets a route box. Interstates are obvious, but discussions above refer to state highways, rail lines, etc. Before pushing this everywhere, nail down the usage on a Wikitravel: page.

That's my two cents. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:20, 14 December 2008 (EST)

I haven't been following the discussions on this page particularly closely, but the latest template (using arrows and with a "Routes through Cityville" header) looks good to me and addresses points #2 and #3 above. This policy page has also done a good job of starting to address #1 and #4, and it sounds like those issues are slowly being worked through, although at present it still seems a bit ambiguous as to what cities get listed and what routes get route boxes. Thanks to all for taking the time to try and get this new feature right before pushing it across the site. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:07, 17 December 2008 (EST)

New policy page[edit]

OK. Thanks to all who have offered input so far. This project seems to have pretty strong support so far, so I have created a rough draft of a policy page and moved the discussion here. Most of the policy I have put together from basic consensus assumed from the above discussions. New are some guidelines for determining what cities to use as controls (major destinations) and a couple of other things to assure consistency in appearance. Of course any further comments about what I have already written are always welcome, but a couple of points in particular still need to be resolved.

  • A section on how to get legal images for icons might be needed.
  • AHeneen has suggested that mentions of other highways also use an image rather than text. Examples have been installed along the route of the Dalton Highway. My take (and judging from his comment above Sapphire's too), is that having a second image presents visual confusion about which route is the focus. With only one image everything lines up in the center and it is obvious which route is being outlined.
  • A couple of users have suggested titling the box. Personally I don't think it is necessary, although I'm not totally against it. The title would have to be generic enough to include both roads and train lines, and "routes" is the only thing I can think of, which I don't think adds very much value.
  • Peter may perhaps want to see an example of how this box could be used in another country. While I'd still like to hold off adding more and more boxes sitewide until we resolve everything, I would be willing to implement the system for JR and bullet train lines for a region of Japan, just to see a different use of the boxes. Anyone for or against the idea?

Texugo 06:06, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Yes, the routebox really needs a header. When there's one route listed at the end of a long Get out section, the routebox looks out of place/odd and putting a header would make things clearer for users not familiar with WT.When it comes to what the next large city should be, I think it should be a large city at the discretion of the person adding long as it's consistant. The reason for this is that some control cities along routes like US Interstates are not all that large, and some can be hundreds of miles apart, while some are very close. For instance I-75 from S.FL to Atlanta lists Ft.Lauderdale, Naples, Ocala, Valdosta, Macon, & Atlanta as control cities...I put Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, & Atlanta as major cities, because the others aren't so large. Also users who aren't familiar with control cities can easily figure out which cities are large enough to list. I'm not sure whether or not a second image causes confusion, especially when the main route has directions on each side and is bigger. In places where I included a second image, it was 15px (the main image is somewhere between 20-25px). I think this should be used when a route meets another at a rural location, for instance I-275 heading north from Tampa has "End at I-75 shield.png" as the next major city. It is also just as helpful when a route takes traffic to a major city, but actually ends very close, for instance 323mi-long Alaska 3 takes traffic between Fairbanks and Anchorage, but ends just 35mi north of Anchorage so I put "Anchorage (via Alaska 1 shield.png)" in the Fairbanks and Denali NP routeboxes. I included the routebox in the Template Index under "Content insertion". Please check it out and make any necessary changes. I'll wait to add more AHeneen 09:13, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I really agree with what you are saying about the major cities. It's so relative that it is hard to define it appropriately on the policy page. You know and I know what cities to include or leave out, but we still need to define the criteria somehow for that idealistic user who is bound to show up and insist that his little burg deserves to be a major stop. Would you like to give a go at writing some copy for that section?
I do like the idea of using small icons for other mentions of highways, but my concern is that especially when there is only one route listed, different shaped icons can appear more or less the same size, even when you resize them, as in this example taken from the example you posted on the Template index (thanks for that, by the way):
Routes through Routebox navigation
End at I-75 shield.png  N noframe S  ClearwaterSt.Petersburg

What if we shade the background of the cells that contain the main icon and direction indicators a different color, say a medium gray?
As for having a header, should we just say "Routes through placename"?
Texugo 10:09, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Routes through Cityville
END --  W noframe S  Brandon - Orlando - Clearwater
Atlanta - Ocala -  N noframe S  - Bradenton - Miami
End at I-75 shield.png --  N noframe S  - St.Petersburg - Clearwater
Atlanta - Brooksville -  N noframe S  - Bradenton - Miami

Well, I'm not sure about the color, and it would be nice to get rid of the thin white lines between routes, but can you see where I'm going? Texugo 10:52, 15 December 2008 (EST)

There. Maybe something like that? What do you think? Still don't like the header much.Texugo 11:11, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I think the header is OK. The directions are very hard to see in the grey though -- maybe the directions should be black or the grey a little bit darker? Shaund 12:09, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I kind of agree with you on the color, though I'd prefer a slightly darker gray to putting them back in black. I'll mess with it tomorrow, as I am already up far too late. Texugo 12:14, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I like the ideas. I am glad that titles are bein implented. Looking at the code for this, it looks just too long. The grey doesn't work as Tex and Shaund said, its harder to read. I am liking how this is going. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:16, 15 December 2008 (EST).
I like the grey with other routes as images too - just with the directional letters darker, like Shaund already said. I'm not too crazy about the header though. It takes up a lot of room at the top, and it looks kinda funky with the grey in the center now. If we get rid of the gray, the header would probably look better... But a header doesn't really seem necessary to me. PerryPlanet Talk 16:21, 15 December 2008 (EST)
END --  W noframe S  Brandon - Orlando - Clearwater
Atlanta - Ocala -  N noframe S  - Bradenton - Miami
End at I-75 shield.png --  N noframe S  - St.Petersburg - Clearwater
Atlanta - Brooksville -  N noframe S  - Bradenton - Miami
OK, here's another mock-up with the gray darkened a bit and the header removed. Now I feel even more strongly that having a header only uglifies an otherwise very tidy little box. Are users really going to see this box and have a question as to what it is?? Texugo 16:53, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Oh, and all that code, ee, won't be visible once I put it into the template. Texugo 16:55, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I like it! No, I love it! PerryPlanet Talk 17:08, 15 December 2008 (EST)
It looks very nice to say. I like the colours and everything. Also, if we really wanted to have a title, we could just say, here is a box of major routes in _______ city: etc. Anyways, glad this is really working. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:38, 15 December 2008 (EST).

What about using arrows instead of hyphens? – cacahuate talk 17:51, 15 December 2008 (EST)

END  W noframe S  BrandonOrlandoClearwater
AtlantaOcala  N noframe S  BradentonMiami
End at I-75 shield.png  N noframe S  St.PetersburgClearwater
AtlantaBrooksville  N noframe S  BradentonMiami
Ooh, I like that! Plus it kinda helps signify what the template is meant for. PerryPlanet Talk 17:57, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Totally, that's awesome. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 18:06, 15 December 2008 (EST).
I like the arrows a lot, but I still think a heading or some other indication of what exactly this box is showing is critical, especially when there is only one route through a destination. Think in particular of individuals from other countries who aren't familiar with the interstate symbol - to that person this template may have no meaning. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:14, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Routes through Cityville
END  W noframe S  BrandonOrlandoClearwater
AtlantaOcala  N noframe S  BradentonMiami
End at I-75 shield.png  N noframe S  St.PetersburgClearwater
AtlantaBrooksville  N noframe S  BradentonMiami
If we have to put a header in, why don't we do it like this? It's a little more complicated in that we now have two tables, but it incorporates a header without it being intrusive. PerryPlanet Talk 18:56, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Hang on, I'm trying to do something else, not finished messing with it. Texugo 19:02, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Why don't we centre it? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:09, 15 December 2008 (EST).

Well, crap, now I've lost the outside border. Still trying... The title is centered, but it won't line up with the center of the icons because they are pushed left or right depending on how long the destination titles are. I wonder if the title wouldn't look better left-aligned. Texugo 19:15, 15 December 2008 (EST)
OK, the above is what I meant as the next attempt. I still am not at all convinced a title is necessary, and am 100% convinced that it looks a lot cooler without it. Even if I'm not from a particular country, if I see a box with a numbered shield with directions on either side and links to other destinations, I don't think it is at all hard to figure out. As for the arrows, I love how they look, but am concerned that it will make adding in extra junctions/rest stops etc too complicated since it is not a readily accessible character-- I didn't even know the code for that character before. How can we expect a random contributor who wants to add in a rest stop to know how that character is produced? They would have to be savvy enough to open the source of the template file itself to see it in use. Texugo 19:30, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I kindof like it left aligned, I mean it's not perfect but I like it's random and different. It icnt ssentred like everything else. It makes a nice look. Though, I donno if thats' what we're after. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:26, 15 December 2008 (EST).

While Texugo is experimenting with the template I'll just post my original down here, for comparison. I can't really say I like it left-aligned, it leaves a lot of empty gray space. Darn it, you're too fast for me, Tex. Although I see what you were going for, making the header gray. If we could separate the header somehow, it might work. PerryPlanet Talk 19:30, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Routes through Cityville
END  W noframe S  BrandonOrlandoClearwater
AtlantaOcala  N noframe S  BradentonMiami
End at I-75 shield.png  N noframe S  St.PetersburgClearwater
AtlantaBrooksville  N noframe S  BradentonMiami

Actually, I like this one best of all, without a doubt. What to do about the arrows being special characters though? Texugo 19:33, 15 December 2008 (EST)

  • Create templates called {{<-}} and {{->}}, with the contents being the HTML code for the left and right arrows. LtPowers 10:13, 16 December 2008 (EST)

I was tryin to do it so it was left aligned, but adding spaces so that it would move right, but it didn't do anything. If anyone could do that, I'd recommend so the title matches the other stuff. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:43, 15 December 2008 (EST).

It's a bit too complicated to center the title and the icons in the same place, and I don't think it looks bad in Perry's last mockup anyway. Most of the time it will be relatively centered anyway. To make them always line up exactly would mean you have to put the title in the same table column as the icons, and doing so stretches the width of the column a lot, so that you have a lot of lopsided and variable empty space around the direction indicators. Texugo 19:48, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Project Page - American[edit]

I don't mean this as anti American or hating on America, but all the examples on the page are American. I think maybe we should give a European example or something (I believe theirs is easy) just to mix it up a bit. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 10:34, 15 December 2008 (EST).

Quiet down there, ee. I already offered to make an example with trains in Japan, but it's not for the purpose of giving some kind of fair international representation. I've done examples with an area I know so it didn't take me a lot of research just to get a functional example. Texugo 10:39, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Well, it's just that most of us working on this are American right now. Also, the content is what we're working on and to be honest, the only difference between this and European and Canadian routes are the images. US Highway signs are in the Public Domain, so just going to the highway's Wikipedia article, clicking the shield, and importing it from Wikimedia Commons is very easy. I looked for Alberta routes and they are copyrighted, so I don't know what to say to you. As Texugo said, it's just that we're starting with what is familiar and really the only difference is the shield image. OK? AHeneen 10:47, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Chill, I was just bringing up the idea to be fair. I understand the American ones are easy. That is totally fine. It is actually good. And, all the Alberta ones are copyright except for one, the svg template, is free to copy/use under the ShareAlike 2.5 on WM Commons. The ones that actually have the numbers are totally copyright, so I added the numbers myself. Anyways, back to this. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:26, 15 December 2008 (EST).

Proposed rewrite of Assigning major destinations#For major national routes[edit]

I'm moving this here because it introduces the above unresolved issue of extra image inclusion. User:AHeneen has proposed a rewrite for this section as follows: Texugo 11:46, 15 December 2008 (EST)

For major national routes[edit]

For major national routes, the norms are major cities of the region. Major cities are cities of 500,000 or more. For smaller regional routes, major cities are at the discretion of the person adding the route box. Under all circumstances, the use of major cities must be consistent among all cities along that route.

  • For highway systems with control cities, such as the US Interstate System, a control city should only be used if it has more than 250,000 persons. For example, Interstate 75 between Tampa and Atlanta uses Ocala, Valdosta, and Macon as control cities, but since most travellers are only familiar with Tampa and Atlanta, these two are listed as major cities.
  • Major cities should be a minimum of one hour apart (at a standard speed). For example, Interstate 95 has control cities of West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami which are all along just 75 miles (just over a hour's drive) of the highway. Therefore, only Miami has been used as a "major" city.
  • In the event a route ends near a large city within an hour of passing through a major city, it could use that large city as a major city. For example, Interstate 4 ends at Daytona Beach (pop.64,000) about an hour after passing through the Orlando area of 2 million. North of Orlando, a route box for Interstate 4 should use Daytona Beach as a major city.
  • If the route passes near a major city (ideally less than 50km/30mi), that city can be included as a major city if signage along the route indicates it. For example, Pittsburgh could be included along I-79 because signage for Pittsburgh is placed along I-79 in the region.
  • If a route ends close a major city, it should use that major city with "via ([[imagename|17px]])" afterwards. For example, the Parks Highway is 323 miles long from Fairbanks (pop.35,000) to just 35 miles from Anchorage (pop.250,000) near Palmer(pop.4500). Since it ends relatively close to a major city, the routebox at Wasilla looks like
Routes through Routebox navigation
FairbanksDenali N.P.  N noframe S  PalmerAnchorage (via Alaska 1 shield.png)

A couple of issues I see. I don't like the rule about major cities needing to be 100 miles apart because it means, for example, that only Dallas could be listed but not Fort Worth, Minneapolis but not St. Paul, Washington DC but not Baltimore, and New England would be a real mess, with many states capitals and large cities being left off. Also the note at the beginning about smaller regional routes should be covered in the next subsection, and is a little more complicated than just "at the discretion of the contributor" since junctions are important to point out for smaller routes. I think the "For lesser national and subnational routes" section is already pretty ok. Texugo 11:54, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Also, some major stops fall under the 250,000 population limit you set (i.e. Amarillo). This is why I started with the policy of lessening the restrictions for stretches over 2 hours' travel (worded in terms of time rather than distance so as to include other types of routes besides highways). Texugo 11:57, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I see your point. I was thinking with the mentality of the south, where large cities are far apart. I think the large cities should be separated quite a bit....although you made me realize it wouldn't work in New England. I edited to put "should be an hour apart" to prevent the instance of, like I had put, large cities which are really close together. Baltimore & Washington are not a problem, but DFW & Minneapolis/St.Paul are really one giant city and should be treated as such by putting Dallas and Minneapolis. Another problem region would be southern California...where (in my opinion) only Los Angeles and San Diego should be used.About the two hours thing, I took it out for the reason I put...places like as between Tampa and Atlanta, where only small cities exist. I could put I-10 between them, but that still makes for a good 3 hour and 4 hour drive. But those are just my thoughts... AHeneen 12:04, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I can't really speak from experience with Minneapolis/St. Paul, but I think Dallas and Fort Worth should both be listed, being two very different cities regardless of the 30 some-odd miles of suburban wasteland that connects them, and both having equally significant junctions in every direction. The two-hour thing was there to allow you to put more things between when there is a long stretch with only smaller cities. Texugo 12:09, 15 December 2008 (EST)
My comments pretty much echo Texugo's, particularly the two-hour rule. There are long stretches of the I90 and I94 across Montana and the midwest (probably more than a day's drive worth) that wouldn't meet the 250,000 test. The same thing with the Trans-Canada highway in western Canada (there are no cities even close to 250,000 between Vancouver and Calgary, a 10-11 hour drive). Otherwise, looks good. Shaund 12:30, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Yah, we shouldn't have the routes places that far apart. Good points - What about Twin cities or dfw? They should both be included. I think maybe lessening it to like 20 KM apart, still some distance, but close enough just in case :). If that doesn't work, fine, just thought I would bring it up. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:54, 15 December 2008 (EST).
I would prefer to stick with official control cities for U.S. Interstates. They were picked for reasons that are not easily encapsulated in rules. For example, Albany, New York, a city of less than 100,000 people, is a control city for the major east-west Interstate 90, the only one between Buffalo and Boston. That completely defies all logic — unless you know that the New York State Thruway leaves I-90 (eastbound) in Albany and switches to I-87 southbound to NYC. Directional signs in New York at I-90 can't use Boston as a control city because the Thruway doesn't go there, and they can't use NYC because I-90 doesn't go there. So they use Albany as the transfer point. I suspect there are numerous other edge cases and anomalies throughout the country. LtPowers 16:18, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Get In - Get out..[edit]

I like the way this is developing. But is Get out really the best place for this routebox? The Get in section really is about transportation - how to get in and out by car, by plane, by train etc. It tells us what roads lead to a destination, what train to catch to where. The Get out section, is other destinations that may make a good trip from here, but aren't here. A national park, beach, view, historical site, etc. Its not about the transport, or how to get to the next major city. Putting routing information there, will turn it into another transportation information section, which we don't need (we already have one!).

If we had a train routebox in Japan, then the train schedule would go under Get in, the train station location and information would go under Get in. Where the train goes would go under Get in, but the train routebox would currently go under Get out. Seems odd.

I think this box should go just under the Get in heading. The subheadings can continue to give more information about the best way to get in by car, train etc. If it goes under Get out, its only a matter of time, until people will supplement the route box with the best exit to take, or the best way to get to the Interstate, or train station, etc. This is information that all belongs under Get in.

If we don't do this, I think a new section altogether, would be better than making Get out something different to what it is now. --Inas 18:58, 15 December 2008 (EST)

I don't see the route box as merely an extension of transportation information. I'd rather see it in Get out because 1) it will be less intrusive and easier to find being located at the bottom of the page, 2) the template fits the theme of Get out more than Get in - Get in is about how to get into the city, Get out is about attractions near the city - for me, this clearly fits Get out, and finally 3) there was a discussion above between me and Texugo about how you incorporate attractions in rural areas along a route that don't have articles, but would belong in regional articles. We figured the best way to tackle this would be just to make sure that such information was in the Get out section, as is already the case in many articles. Again, I feel like this template just belongs in Get out. PerryPlanet Talk 19:09, 15 December 2008 (EST)
If I may, here's another way of looking at it. This template isn't meant to be used to figure out how to get into a city, otherwise it would be a lot more complicated. Such detailed info with all possible options for getting into a city is for the Get in section. This template is meant for a different kind of traveler - one who has figured out a route, say "I'm going to drive from Los Angeles to Nashville on I-40", and wants to know what there is to see along that route. If this template had been in place six months ago, finding travel info on Wikitravel for my family's cross-county road trip would have been a whole lot easier. PerryPlanet Talk 19:19, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I get the wikitravel - the roadtrip edition - bit. I understand that its nice to do a click from place to place along a road. Its fun on wikipedia to do that sort of thing at the bottom of articles, and it works. But, we do end up in a situation that in the Get in -> By car section, we will have an entry for Nashville advising people how to take I-$0 if travelling from the west, and best to take exit 209. Then in Get out, there will be a box that really does contain the same information, but in a boxed form. --Inas 20:45, 15 December 2008 (EST)
While admittedly some information that can be gathered from it could be used to arrive in a city, I agree with Perry that the main purpose of the routebox is to show what is nearby in which ever direction you happen to be leaving in. I also think having it at the bottom is easy because it is consistent-- I can click on the next destination and hit PageDown and be immediately looking at the next link in the chain. Texugo 19:42, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I don't accept this. Its all about the roadtrip, and keeping the chain, and it really isn't about the interesting destination nearby that is not on the road. Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking about conrol cities, etc, we would be talklng about how to identify that small historic town with an interesting market that is on a scenic diversion between Nashville and Memphis on an unnumbered road --Inas 20:45, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I like it in the Get out section. I guess my line of thinking is... If I'm going on a road trip, I have my starting point, so where do I go next to get out of town? If I wanted to leave Vancouver and head to San Fran for a bit down the I-5, it doesn't make sense to me to start by looking in Vancouver's Get in section. It makes more sense to check Get out, see the routebox there with Hwy 99/I5 and a link to Seattle, click on Seattle to see what's happening there and then click on where to go next when I'm ready to get out of Seattle, and so forth. Shaund 00:59, 16 December 2008 (EST)
Oops. Edit conflict with Shaund there... On an unnumbered road, yeah, that just gets a description of course. But I think of it this way: If your purpose is to get to a place, you need specific information about getting there directly-- the most prominent interstates, the nearest airport, nothing to do with small towns on the way. But if your purpose is to Get out of a place, in Wikitravel's usual sense of seeing the countryside or going on a daytrip, smaller destinations are key, and, especially when there are multiple routes listed, putting the box there in the Get out section really highlights those things which are between destinations, both the rest areas/picnic areas in the box itself, and the out of the way listings just above it which have no routebox. If a user is browsing through those smaller destinations down random roads from a city, it's not because he is trying to find out how to Get in anywhere in particular. Texugo 01:14, 16 December 2008 (EST)

My preference is for it to be in "Get Out". This box is not very useful for explaining how to get into a city, since it doesn't contain exit numbers or anything like that. It is most useful for a traveler who wants to see where he can go from a particular destination. LtPowers 10:24, 16 December 2008 (EST)

Okay. The balance of opinion seems to be against me. But for one last comment. Please lets not get confused by our own quaint terminology. We use Get in to really means transportation information, and same as we use Sleep for accommodation, and Drink for nightlife. This gives the guide that uniqueness, which is an aim. It can be confusing, though. Drink sections sometimes end up being about how much water to carry. Get out can also be confusing, and its certainly not for putting transportation connection information into. This section is now going to contain highway transportation information, which is going to make it harder to keep these two similarly named sections distinct. A comprehensive Get in section will likely contain much of the information in textual form that is in the routebox. I just hope we're not deciding to use the Get out section because it happens to be at the bottom of the article, and we want the routebox to be at the bottom, as that would be a very poor reason. Better to create a new section at the bottom. --Inas 18:33, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I don't think we're not allowed to put any transportation info into Get out, I've seen many Get out listings which incorporate a small amount of transportation info as long as it in fact relates to nearby attractions and doesn't replicate info already in Get in. Looking at Chicago, there are several Get out listings which suggest the best route and even how far away it is; "Historic Galena, three hours west-northwest of Chicago via I-90 and US-20", "Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee (40 miles north on I-94)", "The Quad Cities — about 2.5–3 hours away via I-55 to I-80 or I-90 to I-74", etc. No one seems to have a problem with Get out listings like these, and they contain info more detailed than the routebox would - all the routebox gives you is a route and what is along it. PerryPlanet Talk 20:23, 16 December 2008 (EST)
Personally, I would not expect to see the next-nearest minor destination listed in a destination's "Get in" section, while that is precisely what the routebox shows. Think of it not as telling you how to get to the city, but rather what destinations are nearby. LtPowers 21:41, 16 December 2008 (EST)

I agree with everyone on Get out. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:50, 16 December 2008 (EST).

Okay, I concede this point, for now. Thanks. --Inas 00:21, 18 December 2008 (EST)

Bus and ferry routes[edit]

I can also see a day when there might be a different routebox for highways, trains, buses, etc, summarising the route information for each. A bus routebox may one day be useful --Inas 20:45, 15 December 2008 (EST)

As to bus routes, that is a slippery slope that I almost threw a word in about on the policy page already. Unlike the US, in many countries there is fierce competition between dozens of bus companies, all with different routes. The market is changeable, the routes are changeable and may not be available at regular intervals. Same goes for ferry routes. Roads and rail lines rarely change in comparison. I'd like to insert a policy item regarding this, prohibiting using routes which can change so much in a short time. Texugo 19:42, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Hey, we're a travel guide. If there is one piece of information we should be keeping up to date, it should be the main bus routes, ferry routes etc into an out of a destination. Lets face it, if I want to know the towns along the interstate, any half decent map will give me that info very quickly. Are you suggesting we should prohibit information like bus routes and ferry routes from the guide altogether because they may change, or just suggesting that the information needs to be kept out of boxes? I can't see any reason to keep them out of the guide, and once they are in the guide, I can't see why we shouldn't try to improve the visual representation of them. --Inas 20:45, 15 December 2008 (EST)
You have a point there. I am just saying that
  • I don't want to see 25 bus companies listed out of Bangkok or Rio de Janeiro, and if we don't allow all of them then how do we narrow it down? How do we keep it from getting biased toward ferry operators who happen upon the site first?
  • Maintaining these routes would be intensive work that the casual contributor would be unlikely to take care of, which means for every ferry route or bus line (especially bus lines), somebody would really have to keep a close eye on it, or the whole system will get out of date very quickly.
  • Many bus lines that tourists take don't typically run in a linear stop-to-stop pattern. You buy a ticket at point A and there are dozens of direct possibilities for point B.
Texugo 20:53, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Another point is that ferry lines are almost always point-to-point, with each point having a variety of possible destinations, which leaves you with a network rather than a linear route. They usually have no names or number by which to identify them, and even if they do it is usually just for a one-leg journey from point A to point B. Texugo 20:59, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Where the ferry or bus doesn't run a route, then yes a routebox in its current form is certainly inappropriate, implicitly. It sort of degenerates into a table of destination. The same as when a highway is just a linking road between two cities, it also isn't really a candidate. The whole concept only really makes sense where there is a route that someone may be travelling along --Inas 21:10, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Which is why I put in that a route should have at least 4 destinations for which we have articles. I think I would want to see a new test region for bus routes before we lump that in here, preferably for a region like Thailand where bus travel is very important. I am not convinced it would work well. Texugo 21:21, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I agree, of course. If it doesn't work it doesn't work, and a test is always worthwhile. I'm not suggesting we submit the entry form to the Boston Marathon when we currently still learning to crawl. I'm just saying ultimately, if the roadtrip edition works, then the cycle trip edition may be a future possibility, and backpackers bus trip around Oz maybe as well - the buses (and consequently the backpackers) all follow the same route. I'm confident that this idea has potential, because it allows a traveller to organise the data we are building up to map onto their travelling style. Something a physical travel guide has difficulty doing, so its a real niche for the format we have chosen. I just would like to see a format and article style now, which allows for expansion and allows for other possibilities, rather than being car centric, and setting too strict policy limits. --Inas 21:51, 15 December 2008 (EST)
As I said, I wouldn't object to you toying with it, setting up a test area and seeing what can be done. I just don't want to see this one little box overwhelmed with an avalanche of commercial transportation. Now that you've got me thinking about the possibilities, you've got me imagining that the ultimate travel website would have a single routebox with buttons across the top you could click to switch between different kinds of routes, rather than piling highways, trains, buses, ferrys, cycling routes, and hitchiking routes all into one box or piling them all in separate boxes. But alas, this is a mere wiki and that would be a bit complicated perhaps. Texugo 01:34, 16 December 2008 (EST)

I'm liking this for driving roads, at least for now, but don't think we should get too crazy on making this box huge or adding multiple types of boxes... cycling and such I think it better covered in itinerary articles, and bus info in the Get in section as we do now – cacahuate talk 18:13, 16 December 2008 (EST)


I was wondering if it would be a good idea to put in brackets onna routebox how far away a destination is? Say Cityland is 250km from Metrotown and the connection is via Cityton Heights Highway. It could go like from City land, (logo) - W - Cityton (250km). It would be benificial to that people know how far places are. I don't know. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:47, 15 December 2008 (EST).

I agree that it might be useful, only for highways. However, I think it would clutter the look of the box considerably and add an extra level of complication in implementing the system. Texugo 21:05, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I don't think itd be too bad, as its 1 thing and the thing is centre aligned and there is plenty of room. So long as it isn't Fifty miles or Two hundred seventy five kilometres, it is fine like: (50mi); (275km). edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:08, 15 December 2008 (EST).
Routes through Cityville
END  W noframe S  Brandon (12mi) → Orlando (190mi)
Atlanta (12mi) ← Ocala  N noframe S  Bradenton (90mi) → Miami (12mi)
End at I-75 shield.png  N noframe S  St.Petersburg (190mi) → Clearwater( 921mi)
Atlanta(200mi) ← Brooksville (1200mi) ←  N noframe S  Bradenton (600mi) → Miami (1.2 mi)

example of it's implementation - edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:11, 15 December 2008 (EST).

Yeah, my opinion is that is makes it look really cluttered. I think that would be trying too hard to duplicate information a good map would provide, whereas the point to me is just to show what articles we have for nearby destinations in an orderly fashion. Texugo 21:17, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Good point, what if we shrunk the font? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:21, 15 December 2008 (EST).
I think if we shrunk the font any more it would be unreadable. I agree with Tex, let's leave that info to a good road map. PerryPlanet Talk 21:29, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Hay, just bringing it up . There may be more opinions. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 22:15, 15 December 2008 (EST).
Interesting idea, but I agree with the others on the cluttered look. I also think it would make it difficult to implement the routebox -- distances between major cities are easy to track down but the distances between minor cities or between a minor city and a major city could be a lot of detail work. Shaund 00:19, 16 December 2008 (EST)

Ooh, or maybe we could make it to scale, like if Miami is really far away you put it                      way over here? LtPowers 10:27, 16 December 2008 (EST)

Buhahahahahaha.....Texugo 10:34, 16 December 2008 (EST)

Always an icon?[edit]

Currently the template is set up so that the route identifier must be an image. We could change it to allow text identifiers as well, making it so that if one want to display an icon one still can by typing image: into the template. This would allow for easily implementation of routes with long names for which a readable icon would be unwieldy or for routes which require a specially made icon, i.e. the Silk Road, Trans-Siberian Railway, Santiago da Compostela, etc. Then if and when someone creates an icon it can be subbed in. Shouldn't text be enabled? Texugo 21:14, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Totally agree. Could work really with onse that don't have images or ones copyright or waiting for a free v. Would work well because right now (per Edmonton#Get out) they put [[Image:]] in it automatically which does take space up. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:17, 15 December 2008 (EST).
Yeah, using text in it as is just looks ridiculous, of course. Texugo 21:25, 15 December 2008 (EST)
With regards to the Edmonton routebox, I personally think that the ring road should not be included on the grounds that it does not lead to other towns. I think text looks a bit unwieldy and an image should be created. In the event that an image is copyrighted, one should be created which looks similar in design or just create a generic one with a number in the middle and region at top. If a route's name is too wouldn't matter, as practically all routes have a shield. For routes which don't yet have an takes about 3 minutes to go to Wikipedia, find the article and thus the shield, the copy from Wikimedia Commons to Wikipedia Commons. For things like trains...we need a generic train symbol and for routes like the Trans-Siberian have a square, white box with a train symbol in the middle with "Trans-" above and "Siberian" below. Just my two cents. AHeneen 22:12, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Don't you think a legible graphic of that design would be really tall? Just for giggles, I want to see what putting it in text looks like:
Routes through Cityville
Moscow - Blablabla  W - Trans-Siberian Railway - S  BrandonClearwater
Huh... I dunno. It doesn't look great, but it might be better than waiting for an agreed-upon icon to be created before any work can be done on it. I agree that the goal should be to have an icon for everything, but I'd like to enable text for the interim periods. Not just any user can make a great icon, but the route could still be built in the meantime. Texugo 00:47, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I like it. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 10:35, 16 December 2008 (EST).
If we use an icon, at least improving the icon is just a matter of uploading a new one, and not changing routeboxes in many articles. --Inas 18:21, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I know that, Inas. The point is-- what if some contributor wants to start a route for which there is no icon? Then before they can do anything they have to make an icon themselves, which not everyone knows how, or they have to find someone who knows how and is willing to give it a shot. With the text enabled, we can have a placeholder until an appropriate icon is created. Texugo 23:36, 16 December 2008 (EST)
If you know all the pro's and cons, list them at the start of the discussion. If you are just listing the pro's expect someone else to point out the cons. On the subject itself, how big a hurdle are you comfortable with in order to construct a route? Most of the ones I have seen discussed would be fairly significant undertakings to complete from end-to-end, and would really want to have some sort of control across the entire route. Perhaps a small hurdle prior to commencement isn't such a bad thing? --Inas 00:17, 17 December 2008 (EST)
I don't think there's any cons really. Inas, if you think there is, point themm out. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 00:37, 17 December 2008 (EST).
Yeah, the way you have responded Inas, I wondered if you thought I was proposing only using text. If you disagree with me, then what you should be arguing are the pros of keeping it so that users have to find an image before a route can be begun. I haven't seen any arguments for that. Texugo 00:52, 17 December 2008 (EST)
My understanding is that we want ultimately to have icons, but we are considering allowing text to lower the entry threshold for users creating routes. If this is a correct understanding of the position, then we have to consider two things.
  1. Someone is is going to have to later develop an icon and update lots of routeboxes. Perhaps it is better to force the icon development first, as this will lead to less work overall.
  2. A low threshold to entering a routebox is not necessarily a good thing, as it requires some thought to be given to the route end-to-end, so some kind of small threshold or set of steps to create a new route may not be such a bad thing.
If the proposal is to allow text instead of icons forever, and not just as an interim, then I have no objection to speak of. --Inas 19:30, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Sorry if I sounded a little huffy, Inas. Just a miscommunication. At any rate, another thought just occurred to me-- if we leave the image: tag hardwired into the template as is, then the size of the image is also hardwired at 22px, which will be far too small for any custom-made tags with words. I can't think of a good way around that without forcing ourselves to make custom routebox templates for icons of different sizes, though we can still put an image tag, with 22px specified, as default when we make the copy-and-paste blank templates to put on the template front pages, which should help people realize that an icon is preferred. I think it would also be good to 1) make a new section on the policy page which directs users towards sources of free icons to use, and 2) get some generic shields made, black circle or whatever, and make a new section on the policy page with instructions for how to add numbers to it so we can have uniform font and font size for any new icons that users create. That may also help people to get icons in place as soon as possible. Texugo 08:10, 18 December 2008 (EST)

Template revision[edit]

I have revised the template to reflect the last version listed above, as it seems to be fairly satisfactory to most. Adding a header introduces another parameter for the templating code: placename= All existing routeboxes need to have this line added in. Let's fix up the test regions we've got and comment here about it. Texugo 01:15, 17 December 2008 (EST)

Can't you just default the parameter to be {{SUBPAGENAME}}? Then we only need to use it if the article title has a parenthetical. LtPowers 10:15, 17 December 2008 (EST)
My first try was that exactly, but it doesn't work for anything with a parenthetical. We end up with things like "Routes for Panhandle (Texas, city)" which is silly. I was looking for a mediawikia magic trick that would do that automatically, as I've recently posted in the Traveller's Pub and just today in the Shared one, but at this point I don't know of one to put there that doesn't show parentheticals. But now as it is, it might be better for places with long place names or convenient nickname to leave open the possibilities to say something like "Routes through the Big Apple" or suchlike things, or to abbreviate long place names if there is a common abbreviation. I dunno. Texugo 13:05, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Yes, you'd have to override the default if you didn't want the parenthetical in there, but for cities without them, it would make it easier. LtPowers 08:54, 18 December 2008 (EST)

Third location[edit]

I don't know how to put up a third location in the current template (there is a need for three as the two currently are major/minor typical, but a third is the city which Edmonton International Airport is (12km s). edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:31, 17 December 2008 (EST).

As far as I understand it, there isn't supposed to be a third destination strictly speaking. (BTW - Since you're talking about the airport, I assume you mean Leduc as the third city) You could enter Leduc as the next minor destination instead of Red Deer (which it probably should be anyway), or you could enter both the airport and the next city as the minor destination. I think the coding would be something like "minor=Edmonton International Airport - [[Red Deer]]". This would produce something like:
2 S --> Edmonton International Airport - Red Deer --> Calgary
- Shaund 20:15, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Yeah, but there's no arrow which would lead someone to believe YEG is in Red Deer (aka Edmonton International Airport - Leduc, or even Dallas-FtW). I would like an arrorw. Anyways, Leduc hosts Edmonton International Airport, so I'd like it first on the list as it's closest to the city. I have tried adding a new minor buit it dont show up. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 20:52, 17 December 2008 (EST).
Just use the airport as the minor destination, if it's closer. LtPowers 08:54, 18 December 2008 (EST)
Well, are MINOR supposed to be in the region of the city? I noticed that a couple times, because red deer is a good pit stop between Edm and Cal. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 10:31, 18 December 2008 (EST).
The minor destination should be whatever destination, among those for which we have articles, is closest. Doesn't matter how close. LtPowers 21:33, 18 December 2008 (EST)

Template for icons[edit]

Would it be worth templating all the icons? I think having as much as possible in templates makes it much better if any changes are sought later... then the size, font, etc can be changed across all articles containing it rather than editing 100's of articles? – cacahuate talk 12:32, 17 December 2008 (EST)

I'm not sure what you mean. Maybe you can supply an example? The main route icon is already templated to keep the size regular.
Texugo 13:06, 17 December 2008 (EST)
Also, please see my concern about font sizes at the end of this section above.Texugo 08:10, 18 December 2008 (EST)
I was thinking something along the lines of {{I-80}} instead of Image:I-80.png. Then changing the size, etc in the I-80 template will be much easier in future. It would have flexibility for different routes since the size could be set specifically for each icon – cacahuate talk 01:05, 21 December 2008 (EST)
I see what you mean. It is one possible solution, I suppose. I don't know if it would be worth it or not. It would be a lot of templates I think, and most of them would probably have the same sizes. It would complicate things some for new contributors, and would also leave open the possibility to use just text if you typed it in place of the template, which is something others seem to want to avoid. What do you think of the other solution that I already implemented, templating the size parameter? Given that highway icons all work at roughly the same size (22px) and shape, I worded a recommendation into the policy page at 22px for those, and for others I recommended a 100px by 25px icon, which I think should be able to accommodate any other route titles legibly, which leaves us with just two possible sizes. Maybe we could just template those two sizes generically? It would still allow text though. Texugo 06:08, 21 December 2008 (EST)

Where to put the Mighty box ?¿[edit]

I am sorry if this is already discussed but where should we put the route box, at the beginning or end of Get out? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:05, 17 December 2008 (EST).

The project page currently says at the end --Inas 19:22, 17 December 2008 (EST)
The Homer Simpson, "DOHH!". Keep smiling, edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 19:25, 17 December 2008 (EST).

Header placename field[edit]

If there are no objections, I'm going to eliminate the need to type in the placename and replace it with {{BASICPAGENAME}}, which will automatically fill in the pagename minus parenthetics and slash prefixes. Thanks for figuring out how to do that, Inas! Texugo 00:12, 18 December 2008 (EST)

What do we still need to get this launched?[edit]

It seems that most of the contentious issues have reached or almost reached a consensus, and I wonder when we can say it's good enough to launch. Obviously we don't want to let it out into hundreds of articles and then have some change that will require us to go back into every article and change something. Changes that would only require altering the template aren't such a big deal in my opinion-- if we decide to change minor things about the appearance of the box, etc., a simple tweak in the template will do the trick. Two things I want to resolve before we let it fly:

  • Where to put the image: tag (See above). Hardwire it into the template or put it into the call tag. Mostly Inas and I have been debating this and I would like to hear another voice or two, as changing this later on would involve going into every article that uses the template and changing the call tag.
  • Defining policy on how to choose the major destinations to be highlighted. Ryan, LtPowers, and AHeneen in particular have expressed concern on this one. Personally, I think this issue even trickier than it would be to write a definitive criteria for choosing which 9 cities should be featured in a region or country article, because everything is relative to the route and to the region. I honestly don't think we need to pursue a perfect version of this before we get started. A lot of these choices will be pure common sense, and disagreements, when they arise, about whether to feature a given city can be worked out on talk pages, and if some consensus arises about a new policy change, we can amend the policy page later.

Feedback? Texugo 08:10, 18 December 2008 (EST)

When we list two control cities in a particular direction (because the nearest is a control city), code needs to be added to bold the nearer of the two. Is this something we would prefer to be done manually, or with an extra parameter in the template code? LtPowers 08:58, 18 December 2008 (EST)
It would be unnecessarily complicated to get that into the template. Why don't we just do that manually in the call tag? Texugo 09:10, 18 December 2008 (EST)
I tend to agree; just checking. =) I still strongly feel that for routes with designated control cities that we use the ones travelers will see on the signs. We could maybe add some, but we should definitely not remove any. LtPowers 21:36, 18 December 2008 (EST)
I agree with you that for highways the ideal should be to match the signage, and I wouldn't mind the policy page stating that is the case. However, it will not always be possible for every route. Some non-North-American highway systems may be a little different, and routes like train lines and historical routes do not have any such signage to go from. Texugo 23:17, 18 December 2008 (EST)
I'm afraid I'm not much help on where to put the image: tag. I think it's useful when an icon hasn't been created, but I also think it could become a big pain to clean up if it went unchecked. I probably lean (ever so slightly) towards keeping it tidy with the image tag hardcoded into the template.
Regarding major destinations, I think it would be best if we had a small number of basic guidelines off the start to work with, but also the recognition that they'll probably be changed and added to as we better understand how they are applied to the site (I don't think it's realistic to have perfect version before we start). I think something like what Lt Powers suggested -- use all control cities and add more if necessary -- is a good starting point. Maybe another guideline could be any city over a certain size (say 250K or 500K) that isn't already a control city or isn't on an Interstate/freeway. Another thing that came to mind when I was thinking how to routebox western Canada was smaller centers that are either transportation hubs (i.e., 3 or more highways converge there) or stopping spots between two large cities that are far apart. Anyway, just some thoughts. At the very least, we could do a limited expansion of it to see what other situations might come up. Shaund 02:05, 19 December 2008 (EST)

Policy page 2.0[edit]

I have implemented a few changes, most of which have been discussed above.

  • Consensus above seems to indicate that we want to force users to find or create a suitable icon before laying a new route. I added a section of how to obtain a usable icon, and some guidelines for how to create them. I took a blank national highway shield from our map template here and uploaded it as an .svg that users can modify to produce highway icons when the official design cannot be used for whatever reason. Similarly, for non-national routes, I uploaded a solid black circle that can be used.
  • As a compromise, I conceded that we insist on having an image first, but was concerned that hardwiring the image: tag into the template would not be flexible enough with regard to image sizes. As a workaround, I added parameter imagesize into the template, so it can still be used with wider icons like the one below, and I fixed all the existing templates to reflect this change.
Routes through Routebox navigation
NagoyaToyohashi  W noframe E  TokyoKakegawa

  • Guidelines for choosing major destinations have been changed to better stress that, when possible, we want highway routes to appear the same way real-life signage does, as this seems to be an ideal that consensus supports.
  • Instructions have been added on how to use reduced-size images for merge and junction notices.
  • I created templates {{rtarrow}} and {{lfarrow}} to facilitate the insertion of extra arrows when adding rest areas, non-destination junctions, etc.
  • A line break has been inserted at the end of each template to keep the box from cramming up against other boxes at the end of the article.

I'm sure the policy page is still not perfect, but I think that future policy changes appear to be just matters of how to word or how to describe some guidelines, and it'll be easier to fine tune that stuff after everyone gets a little experience doing it-- we can certainly continue to discuss it. On the other hand, I think the templates themselves are good to go. I really don't think there is anything left that we'd have to go back into every article to fix, so I'm ready to get it rolling. Does anyone still object to a launch? Texugo 10:38, 20 December 2008 (EST)

No looks pretty good, but I wanna make a suggestion. Some companies may not want their rail logo shown/free so it won't be abel to be used, and there is no generic one, so why don't we create one? It could have two horizontal lines with short vert. lines going through it and above that in small font "train". Just something generic. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:26, 20 December 2008 (EST).
Yeah, I'll come up with some generic train icons to go along with the others for cases when a public domain icon is unavailable. Texugo 12:29, 20 December 2008 (EST)
Thanks. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 12:31, 20 December 2008 (EST).
No objections from me. I was wondering if we should tell users on the policy page to check WT Shared to see if an icon has already been created for a highway or if we should create a list of which highways we have already uploaded an icon for? Might make it easier for routebox creators and it should cut down on the number of duplicate icons (I think) we'd otherwise end up with. Shaund 00:43, 21 December 2008 (EST)
This is a fine idea. I think a list page would probably be best, due to the difficulty of locating image by searching. What should we call it? Texugo 00:53, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Highway Icons Available on Wikitravel Shared? Might be a bit long, but the best I can do at this time of the day. Shaund 01:39, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Or Wikitravel:Route icons? It would help too if we create a category on Shared to hold them, and put a note in the obtaining an image section of this policy page urging people get new icons onto these lists when they upload. Texugo 06:13, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Route icons sounds good. I agree with creating a category on Shared as well. I saw AHeneen had tagged the location of a number of images he had uploaded with United States so I went through and added a location tag for the images EE had uploaded, but a single category for all the highway icons would work better I think. Shaund 11:48, 21 December 2008 (EST)
Yeah, that name would work, but we should have sub for countries like: Canada, US, Japan. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 13:05, 21 December 2008 (EST).
Should it maybe be in the wikitravel namespace, rather than an article? It is more administrative in nature. --Inas 23:37, 21 December 2008 (EST)
You mean as I suggested, Wikitravel:Route icons? Texugo 02:46, 22 December 2008 (EST)
I went ahead and created such a page at Wikitravel:Route icons. If you notice any icons missing, please go ahead and add them in. Texugo 06:07, 23 December 2008 (EST)


I don't see anything keeping us back, so I'm going to launch this thing. I want to thank everyone who has participated in the discussions so far, contributing great ideas. Now let's please plunge forward and see what we can do. We can still discuss policy changes as needed, but I think it's time that anyone can get their hair wet and see how it goes. Please note that I have created Wikitravel:Route icons as a reference page for this project, so if you have icons you are going to use, please make sure they show up on that page. Cheers! Texugo 09:24, 23 December 2008 (EST)

Sorry I haven't been active with this for the past week or so, I've been rather busy. I have just two things to mention about the project page:
  • At the top, under templates: the top of the routebox reads "Routes through Routebox navagation" while the nowiki code below it has placename=Cityville. When I clicked edit to correct the problem, the code to create the routebox image had placename=Cityville
  • I think the Route icons page should be mentioned with a link on this project page. You should also mention that if you upload a route image, you should add it to that page.
AHeneen 14:06, 23 December 2008 (EST)
Aheneen, there is a link to Route icons, look! edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:13, 23 December 2008 (EST).
Cool. You've destroyed my plans for the day. :-) Shaund 16:31, 23 December 2008 (EST)
Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I forgot to remove the placename thing from that page when I got rid of it... Texugo 23:10, 23 December 2008 (EST)

Am I doing this right? =) LtPowers 12:05, 25 December 2008 (EST)

Looks good to me! Texugo 12:10, 25 December 2008 (EST)

Hey! I just saw the routeboxes you guys have placed at the bottom of the Florida articles, and this seems like a pretty cool, well-done project! However, I was confused for a bit at first. In the routebox for I-10 through Pensacola, it lists Pensacaola > Milton > Jacksonville. I didn't understand why you had Jacksonville listed as the next city, when really, the next stop on I-10 is Defuniak Springs. Now, after reading the project page, I understand that it lists the next minor city, followed by the next major city, but this isn't obvious just by looking at the routebox. Why not just list the next two cities on the route? --Tally talk 17:01, 28 December 2008 (EST)

I think it's clearer if your browser renders the major cities in bold, as they should be. The reason we list the major cities is two-fold: to allow "fast forwarding" through the route's destinations, and to correspond with signage along the highway. If you're driving along and approach I-10 in Pensacola, you should see "I-10 West: Mobile" and "I-10 East: Jacksonville" on the signs. LtPowers 11:46, 29 December 2008 (EST)
Mm, you're right, it would be clearer if it were in bold. I wonder why it isn't rendering; I use Firefox, which is usually pretty good about issues like that. And Tallahassee is the next major city from Pensacola, according to the road signs. You don't start seeing signs for J'ville until after passing Tallahassee. I'll fix that, and I'll try and see why my browser isn't rendering properly. --Tally talk 11:57, 29 December 2008 (EST)


I was wondering if it'd be useful to have a page for 'Has Routebox' which is where it lists the cities that have a routebox, kind of like Docent. All youd need to do is {{HasRoutebox}} then the page would be added. It could be useful for making sure if there is a routbox for places, etc. What do you think? edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 16:47, 23 December 2008 (EST).

That would be a LONG I'll pass AHeneen 17:49, 23 December 2008 (EST)
So is the docent or usable status articles I do not see the problem. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 18:00, 23 December 2008 (EST).
Yeah, it would be as pointless as having a list of every article that has breadcrumb navigation-- the list would be thousands of entries long. The docent template is different, as the point is to display the docents in the lefthand toolbar, and the main point of the usable template is to show the usable box. I think making an extra routebox template would be both unnecessarily complicated and also not necessarily trustworthy, since it would always be a task to ensure that newly routeboxed articles get that tag added to them too. There would inevitably be some pages that have a routebox but don't have the tag in them. We just don't need it. It's quite easy enough to see if a page has a routebox or not anyway. Texugo 23:20, 23 December 2008 (EST)

HTML Tables, or WikiMarkup?[edit]

Alright, I noticed that the Routebox Template uses HTML tables, which are poorly supported in current releases of MediaWiki. Because MediaWiki doesn't really support HTML tables anymore, they tend to render incorrectly, which explains why I can't see the bolded text in the Routeboxes using Firefox. In my sandbox, I've converted the current HTML-based Routebox template to a WikiMarkup-based template. This allows the Routebox to display correctly in all different browsers. You can see a comparison of the two templates on this page. If no one has a problem with this, I'd like to change the Template:Routebox-1 page to this. Doing so won't affect any routeboxes already in place, or change anything, it'll just fix that little bold-text problem. --Tally talk 12:44, 29 December 2008 (EST)

And while I'm talking about boring coding stuff, after playing around with the markup, I've noticed that in Wiki, small fonts won't bold, no matter whether they're coded in HTML or WikiMarkup. MetaWiki Font size demo Notice how the small fonts on this page have no bolding. Maybe it'd be better to code the Major Destination cities as a larger font, and the Minor cities as a smaller font, rather than using bolding to differentiate between the two. Either that, or bring the entire font-size of the Routebox back up to default, instead of small, which would also fix it. --Tally talk 14:20, 29 December 2008 (EST)

Yes, I've noticed that about the bolding. I do think maybe we should bring the size up a bit, but not too much :). edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:29, 29 December 2008 (EST).

I did notice that the template used HTML tables but forgot to go in and fix it. There should be no question about making that change. LtPowers 19:14, 29 December 2008 (EST)

Then it's done; I've switched it over to WikiMarkup now. Any opinions on the size/bold issue? We need some way to make the major destinations more distinct from the minor destinations. I posted a few ideas up in my sandbox, on this page. --Tally talk 00:30, 30 December 2008 (EST)
Whether it shows the bolding or not depends entirely on your browser's display settings. Personally I think rolling the font size up a notch makes the box too big, more obtrusive. Making the major and minor destinations different font sizes is definitely a problem, because often they both need to be shown as major destinations, and we need an easy way to make them look the same for those cases. Texugo 03:28, 30 December 2008 (EST)
Also, thanks for changing it to Wiki-markup. I wonder if you could go ahead and do that for the other templates too (Template:Routebox-2, -3, -4, etc.)? Texugo 03:32, 30 December 2008 (EST)
I couldn't get it to display the bolding in either Firefox or Internet Explorer, set to the default settings. If it isn't rendering properly in the two most popular browsers, then it's an issue (unless I'm doing something totally boneheaded, which is possible.) You're right that having two sizes doesn't look good. As for changing over the other templates, not a problem at all. :-) --Tally talk 05:04, 30 December 2008 (EST)
The bold renders correctly for me in Firefox, although I admit the difference is not obvious at the current size. LtPowers 11:15, 30 December 2008 (EST)

double arrows[edit]

The double arrows that display when a route ends and the minor destination is left blank were bugging me so I created a test version that eliminates that problem:

Current template:
Routes through Routebox navigation
END ← ←  N noframe S  BuffaloJunction I-80.png

New template:
Routes through Routebox navigation
END  N noframe S  BuffaloJunction I-80.png

Thoughts? LtPowers 13:16, 30 December 2008 (EST)

Looks nice when it's all custom coded like that, but how can you make it an automated decision whether to have one or two arrows? Texugo 04:10, 31 December 2008 (EST)
Custom-coded, nothing; I just subst'ed the templates so that they still appear correct here on the talk page even if the templates change. (Otherwise, if this change was approved, the "Current template" example would look exactly like the "New template" example and people looking at this in the future might be confused.) The test template is at Template:Routebox-1/Test. LtPowers 09:51, 31 December 2008 (EST)
Looks like a definite improvement to me. Texugo 03:23, 1 January 2009 (EST)
I've made the change. I've also made the imagesize parameter optional; it will default to 22px if no imagesize is specified. In addition, I believe it's possible to implement the routebox with just a single template; if all the parameters of Template:Routebox-7 beyond the first set are made optional, then it could be coded to only show the rows that have parameters, allowing it to work just like Routebox-1 through -6. LtPowers 10:23, 2 January 2009 (EST)
Great. Could you go ahead and do that? I don't really want to go back and change all the ones that are already out there, but you can just make a new template called simply Template:Routebox. It would indeed make things easier. Texugo 04:42, 11 January 2009 (EST)
Well Template:Routebox now can display up to seven routes, with the last six optional. I've updated the documentation on this project page accordingly. I have not yet redirected the existing routebox-x templates to the new one just in case something breaks. Geneseo (1 route), Corning (New York) (2 routes), and Buffalo (New York) (4 routes) now use the new template, and they look okay to me. Might want to double check for me. I also checked Dallas, the only city that uses routebox-7, and it seems to work there too. LtPowers 10:49, 11 January 2009 (EST)
Well, actually, Dallas was still using the old template, but I knocked the number off the template name, and it still looks perfect. Texugo 11:45, 11 January 2009 (EST)
It looks good. Thanks for this. Shaund 12:36, 11 January 2009 (EST)
Yeah, when I said "checked" I meant I just previewed the change. =) I'll go ahead and redirect the -x templates, which shouldn't cause massive failures across the site. LtPowers 15:42, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Two names, one road[edit]

How do you handle a situation where two interstates (for example) converge for a long stretch of highway? I'm thinking of route I-90/I-80 throughout northern Indiana. --Peter Talk 01:55, 23 February 2009 (EST)

Good question. We could make it where we could put a second optional image alongside the first, I guess? Texugo 02:42, 23 February 2009 (EST)
That is a good question, if you do create something like that, Texugo, could you make it three images. US19/27/98 and US17/92/441 are long sections of highway in FL which are triple signed. AHeneen 08:12, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Routes through Routebox navigation
Over thereYonder  N noframenoframenoframe S  DonkeyvilleHamburger

Something like this? Works fine for me, though it's going to add another 28 lines to the template call. Texugo 08:54, 23 February 2009 (EST)

On second thought, we could probably get by with only enabling it for the first two routes or so. Texugo 08:57, 23 February 2009 (EST)

I think I would prefer avoiding this if possible. For most concurrencies, it should be sufficient to either a) list the routes on two separate lines or b) omit one of the routes from destinations. LtPowers 14:24, 23 February 2009 (EST)

Increasing the length of the already long template probably is not a great solution, but I do think it would be worthwhile to have the option of including an additional optional route icon. Therefore, I'd prefer a separate template for dealing with concurrencies. Listing the routes on two separate lines would be pointless extra work, while omitting one of the route names would look incorrect, and might create awkwardness at the points where the routes split/conjoin. If this option is contained in a separate template, I can't see a reason not to have it. --Peter Talk 16:04, 23 February 2009 (EST)
I think I like Peter's suggestion. Duplicating the routes on separate lines is a waste of space, and leaving them off is misleading. Texugo 16:41, 23 February 2009 (EST)
I gave this a shot for I-80/94 and I-80/90 throughout Northern Indiana, and I think it worked well. Splits are very tricky, since the next major destination is sometimes different for each route—I just listed the last destination on both routes as the next major and left the minor blank. In any rate, I think it worked pretty well, and you can take a look at it from Lake Station, the junction of I-80/94 and I-80/90. I moved the experimental template to Template:Routebox/Concurrency. --Peter Talk 16:33, 15 April 2009 (EDT)
Personally, I think the concurrency format should only be used if the destinations are the same. LtPowers 08:18, 16 April 2009 (EDT)
If I understand you correctly, I think that's what I did. --Peter Talk 19:58, 16 April 2009 (EDT)
I meant even the major destination -- you said it's sometimes different for each route. My thought is that we should only use the concurrency if the major destinations are the same. But I could be convinced otherwise. =) LtPowers 21:09, 16 April 2009 (EDT)

QEW - non-directional highway[edit]

The Queen Elizabeth Way in Ontario runs from Fort Erie/Buffalo and Niagara Falls, around the western end of Lake Ontario to Toronto. Because of its shape, it is not signed East-West or North-South; highway direction is listed as either "to Toronto" or "to Fort Erie/Niagara Falls". How can we show this in Routeboxes? LtPowers 19:43, 13 May 2009 (EDT)

They aren't labeled with directions, but according to Wikipedia they are labeled with reference to "Toronto" in that direction, and "Hamilton" and then "Niagra" in the other direction. So how about:
Routes through Routebox navigation
TorontoNext Town  Toronto noframe Niagra  Next TownNiagra

I think that works. AHeneen 19:55, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
OK, I was worried that the full city names would be too long but they look okay in your example. LtPowers 20:01, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
It's up at Niagara_Falls_(Ontario)#Get_out. Does it look all right? LtPowers 20:03, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
It looks OK, but the Wikipedia article states that the cities used for direction are Toronto and opposite Hamilton & Niagra...not Fort Erie. AHeneen 21:02, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
The highway ends in Fort Erie. It can't use Toronto and Niagara between Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, because they'd be the same direction. =) Wikipedia says "In the other direction, the highway is signed QEW Hamilton from Toronto to Hamilton, QEW Niagara from Hamilton to Niagara Falls, and QEW Fort Erie from Niagara Falls to Fort Erie." LtPowers 21:18, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
Sorry. Guess I'm just tired and overlooked that. AHeneen 22:33, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
In this particular case, I think the road runs north/south (it just diverts around the lake). The lack of official signage, shouldn't stop us putting a direction on it.
In general, it looks a bit odd using the signposted towns. It has a few disadvantages
  1. They are often the next major on the route anyway, so they end up being listed twice.
  2. You either have to note the sign names, or painfully check street-view, or hope the info is on wikipedia.
  3. It relies on the name signage being consistent, which seems an optimistic view of the world's highways..
I think best to use a direction, if it can be at all determined. If the direction really can't be determined, maybe we just leave the space blank, the next towns are already there anyway.
--Inas 22:58, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
I totally agree with your first point, and I additionally don't like what the long names do to the directions for the other routes. The second and third points don't really apply; there are very few non-directional highways in the modern world, and we know the QEW's signage for certain. That said, I'd be fine with leaving the directions blank, since as you say the destinations tend to be obvious thanks to the organization of the routebox. Perhaps even tack a "Toronto" on the left side even if Hamilton or Niagara Falls is technically the next major destination. LtPowers 10:52, 14 May 2009 (EDT)

Navigation to regions.[edit]

In this edit [1] the routebox navigation was changed to have a region as the next stop. Personally, I quite like the idea in this case, as the freeway is the access point for the region, and the major towns are all located just a few kilometres away. However, before I go and fix up the associated boxes, I just thought I would see if there were any opinions about using regions in routebox navigation.. --inas 01:59, 24 August 2009 (EDT)

Hmm... It doesn't really work unless there are no articled destinations on a given route through a region-- we can't include regions and cities because there is no logical place to put the region between cities. In order not to break the continuity in navigation, the region article would have to have a routebox too, but there is no logical way to then visit the cities within that region. I think we'd better stick to doing the same as we do with national parks, that is, include them only when there is no city within them to link to. Texugo 03:01, 24 August 2009 (EDT)
On second thought, I can't see any reason not to have a second set for only regions, and I think it would be a good idea actually. Texugo 07:54, 24 August 2009 (EDT)
I included Thousand Islands in the routebox sequence for I-81 (see Watertown (New York)#Get out). It seemed appropriate at the time, as the highway itself doesn't seem to pass through any particular destination, and I suspect "Thousand Islands" (and possibly "Bridge to Canada") is prominently mentioned on signage north of Watertown. There are cities within the region, but they're all some distance from the highway. LtPowers 08:56, 24 August 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I'll go through an complete the route through the region. --inas 01:30, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Revisiting Junctions[edit]

Okay - the routebox stuff seems to be going well. I can click my way down a road between cities, and see what I can visit on the way. My only problem comes when I get to a junction. It is messy. I know I'm going to head south at the junction, but I don't know the next town on the new road. If the junction is at a town, I'm fine. I click to the town, and then click my way out of the town the way I'm going. If the junction isn't anywhere, I'm lost. Solutions? Create a psuedo-disamb page for the junction, listing the towns available? Avoid ending routes at junctions, just pick the nearest town, anywhere, and pretend it ends there? When we list a junction in the routebox, list the north and south towns on the junction within the box - then I can pick my direction and just keep going? --inas 01:30, 26 August 2009 (EDT)

Can you point out a couple of examples for me to toy with? Texugo 09:15, 26 August 2009 (EDT)
What do you think of this [2] --inas 02:43, 27 August 2009 (EDT)
Hmmm... I think it looks a little convoluted. What if we just make the direction abbreviations link to the nearest destinations? Texugo 21:01, 27 August 2009 (EDT)
Routes through Routebox navigation
(N/S) ← Ends at Australian National Route 31.svg.png  N noframe S  CanberraEND


Routes through Routebox navigation
Ends at NAustralian National Route 31.svg.pngS  N noframe S  CanberraEND

I really like your second option. You can hover over the directional indicator for the town name, or just continue on the route. The only possibly objection I can see is if it would work in a printed guide - since a printed guide user wouldn't know which page to flick to.. --inas 21:11, 27 August 2009 (EDT)
Actually I really like that one too. And presumably, someone who has already printed the guides for their trip would have figure that part out already, so I don't see much of a problem there. Texugo 21:25, 27 August 2009 (EDT)
It strikes me as a little crowded and potentially confusing, but maybe that's just me. I don't have a better alternative suggestion, though. LtPowers 11:26, 28 August 2009 (EDT)
I like the second option quite a bit. It also solves the problem where two highways cross in the middle of nowhere (like BC Hwy 3 and 6 here)). Shaund 00:32, 29 August 2009 (EDT)
I was just about to add this to the policy page, but it is probably best to incorporate this into the template rather than have it ad-hoc. Any ideas for terminology? --inas 17:24, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Anchors to follow a route[edit]

Currently following a route is a frustrating process. Click on the next destination, scroll down to the bottom, click again, and follow the process. How about we place an anchor on the routebox, and then link to that anchor. That way you can always scroll up to see the article text, or just continue a quick series of clicks to follow the route? --inas 17:47, 4 January 2010 (EST)

You mean like a link to the Get out section of the next destination? I guess we could do that, but given that we have control cities (not to mention that you can just click "Get out" in the table of contents at the top if you want to skip the article), I haven't found following a route to be a particularly long process. PerryPlanet Talk 18:02, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Sort of, I actually mean adding a anchor "routebox", to the routebox table, and adding that anchor to the links within the routebox. --inas 18:37, 4 January 2010 (EST)
I kinda like it the way it is; it encourages you to see what's in the article before you go clicking on to the next one. LtPowers 19:28, 4 January 2010 (EST)
I would argue that our objective is not to encourage people to do anything, but rather to simplify the navigation process so people get the information they want as intuitively and as speedily as possible. So, the only question really to be answered, is when people click on a routebox navigation, is the next most likely thing to do next to click the routebox again, or is it to read the article they have arrived at? Don't forget we abandoned the idea of highway articles in favour of the routebox, so someone following a highway to see the towns they are visiting on a roadtrip, could have many click and scroll operations to see their route. --inas 19:38, 4 January 2010 (EST)
I think that goes beyond the purpose of Wikitravel - if all you want to see is your route, you should get a map. Here the idea is to see what is along that route, in which case I have to agree with LtP that actually seeing what's in the article before moving on to the next stop is a good thing. PerryPlanet Talk 19:51, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Northeast bound - left side or right side?[edit]

I-95 from Washington, D.C. to Boston goes in a northeast direction (but signed as I-95 northbound). Should the northbound side be on the left or right? Currently, from Springfield (Virginia) to Bristol (Pennsylvania) northbound is on the right side, but north of Trenton, northbound is on the left side. Sumone10154 13:39, 15 January 2011 (EST)

I-90 control cities[edit]

The easternmost official control cities for I-90 are Boston, Albany, Buffalo, and Erie. Boston to Albany is 3 hours; Albany to Buffalo is a little over 5 hours. User:Sumone10154 has suggested that Worcester and Springfield be listed as "major" destinations on the routeboxes between Boston and Albany; they separate the trip into three one-hour chunks pretty neatly. I prefer to stick to the official control cities and don't think 3 hours is that far to go without a "major" destination, especially on a toll road (which tend to have fewer exits). Thoughts? LtPowers 15:49, 15 January 2011 (EST)

Given the nature of a wiki, if there is an external source that provides us with official control cities around 3 hours apart, it makes sense to me to use those. It isn't really that significant in the overall scheme of things, and given the issues we have selecting 7-9 cities making each of these a subject for discussion (while possibly still producing a satisfactory result) diverts time better spent IMO. --inas 20:41, 16 January 2011 (EST)
I do have a source, but it's based on the 2001 AASHTO publication, and I can't find a later version available online. The thing is, if we add Springfield and Worcester, we'd almost certainly want to add Rochester and Syracuse as well, since the distance between Albany and Buffalo is even greater than between Albany and Boston. That wouldn't be the end of the world, of course, but it's a fair bit of work. I already tried removing Springfield and Worcester but Somone10154 reverted, which is a lot of edits for little gain. I'd rather try to come to a consensus. LtPowers 22:01, 16 January 2011 (EST)
As an aside, I don't know if it would make life any easier, but if we were to create a page called something like Wikitravel talk:Routebox navigation/I-90, which contained a list of links to articles, with say a star next to the control cities, it would be a cinch to script updating the routeboxes in the articles based on the list in the page. I'm still in favour of using an official source if there is one. 2001 isn't that old for a countrywide road network. --inas 22:56, 16 January 2011 (EST)
In Eastern Massachusetts, most signs to I-90 say Springfield or Worcester, and I think 3 hours is too long without a major destination in densely populated states like Massachusetts. Also, I think would also be really helpful to use a script. Sumone10154 23:31, 16 January 2011 (EST)


It was suggested above that we could have a list of cities for each route and a script could update routeboxes for each city. I think this is a really great idea and would be extremely helpful! :) I'll start making a list for Wikitravel:Routebox navigation/I-90, but could someone help with the script? (I don't know how to make one) Sumone10154 13:30, 18 January 2011 (EST)

I'll see if I can put something together quickly to make this a little easier. I could run it on my machine, but I'll see if I can think of something with more general utility. I'll report back. --inas 22:49, 18 January 2011 (EST)

European routes[edit]

In Europe, should E-roads have priority (listed before) over national routes? In many countries there are more signs for national routes than E-roads. –sumone10154 20:28, 12 February 2011 (EST)


We are getting some absurdly specific templates like Template:Routebox/Concurrency 2 4, specifically for situations where the 2nd and 4th routes in the list have concurrencies. If I want to add a train line to the beginning of the list, I would have to go and create Template:Routebox/Concurrency 3 5. It would be ridiculous to create these kinds of templates for every possible specific case. Is there a reason why concurrency functionality (even up to 3 at a time) can't be built directly into the default Template:Routebox and be set to simply display as normal when those extra fields are left empty? We can always add a new section to the project page to explain how to use them.texugo 23:49, 4 July 2012 (EDT)

Of course there's no reason. We can easily add an optional parameter to each routebox line to allow for a second route icon to be displayed. Those templates should never have been created -- or they should have at least been proposed first so that a more elegant solution could be devised. LtPowers 12:28, 5 July 2012 (EDT)