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Wikitravel talk:World cities

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Nth largest city in the world / Nth largest city in the US[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

Some city articles mention their relative size and/or population. Is that tidbit of information helpful to the traveler? If so, perhaps we should have a central page somewhere that lists all the cities in Wikipedia, ranked by size. (Perhaps wikify a list like such as "Large Cities in the World" lists all cities with population of more than 100,000 in the world. There are about 3400 cities in this list. Then cities we don't yet have an article on would show up in bright red). --DavidCary 10:34, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)

There are a lot of lists like this. I'm pretty copyright-paranoid, and I know that collections of data can be copyrighted. So I'd like to make sure that we either a) do our own research and glom a bunch of lists together or b) find a public-domain resource (like a US State Department list?). Otherwise, I think this is a great idea, and a good way to find holes in our coverage. --Evan 10:50, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
I don't really see the relevance to travel — are there many people out there who choose their destination by its ranking in a list of population? Wikipedia already has plenty of lists, most of them hotly debated and subject to non-stop flamewars, so why reinvent a broken wheel? Jpatokal 11:13, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Actually, I'm less interested in the ranking (agreed, the petty fights on ranking are more distraction than they're worth) than I am in the lists of cities. Although population of a city and its value to travellers aren't always directly proportional, it can be a good gauge of where we need some fill-in coverage. The main source of this data, as far as I can tell, is the Demographic Yearbook 2002 from the United Nations. They've got stats on Population of capital cities and cities of 100,000 and more inhabitants, and it can be downloaded in Excel format here. I think a United Nations list of cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants might be a good place to put this info. --Evan 11:32, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Does the Copyright prohibit our use of this? -- Colin 14:52, 22 Sep 2005 (EDT)


Based on a discussion in the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub, I did some munging on a spreadsheet from the United Nations that lists 4000+ cities with a population of 100,000 people or more. I think that it might be a worthwhile comparison to determine which of these are already in Wikitravel; I think the ones that are missing are good candidates for new articles.

User:Cjensen asked if this was a copyright violation; I'd say that we don't really have a problem. It is a database of factual information without any selectivity -- they put in all the cities with 100K population, and left out all others. We only use one field out of the UN's spreadsheet, reformatted, so I think that there's no copyright in the expression of the list.

A couple of things to note:

  • I couldn't figure out where to put this list. I'm thinking that it's a travel topic, but it might be more reasonable to put this kind of "process check" list in the Wikitravel: namespace. Suggestions welcome.
  • It's also far too long. Any suggestions on how to split it up are welcome; additionally, just go ahead and do it.
  • Most of the cities have local spelling, which may not match our Wikitravel:article naming conventions. At the very least, though, we should probably have redirects for local spelling of places.
  • Some of the cities may not be cities for our purposes. I can see a few "cities" on the list from Canada that are actually "conglomerations" -- large areas containing dozens of small towns under a single municipal government. So please take with a grain of salt.

--Evan 14:23, 18 Feb 2006 (EST)

I am not sure how relevant this is. Shouldn't we just let Wikitravel grow organically, with the interesting / most visited places started first. I know you want us to not just cover tourist destinations, but lots of places with 100K population are actually quite dull. Also, for the United Kingdom all of the the places are local council names rather than towns/cities themselves, so we would probably not want to start articles with these names. DanielC 08:32, 3 March 2006 (EST)
I most definitely think that we should let Wikitravel grow organically, and this page is just a benchmark, not a forced march. I think it's primarily useful to see where we are so far.
However, it also seems to me that a) many contributors like to contribute information about their home towns and b) people are more likely to contribute to an outline article than to a blank page. So if there are reasonable outline articles for reasonable candidates on this list, I don't think that'd be a bad thing.
I also think it's a good place to get ideas for good redirects to use. The data is all reported by government agencies, so of course it's the bureaucrat's notion of what their cities are, but at the very least we can redirect from the big imaginary city to a local region or a major city within it. --Evan 09:36, 3 March 2006 (EST)

Are they really 100K ?[edit]

I started going through the list trying to create at least a stub for as many cities as I could. I stopped when I got to Pitcairn Island. The list shows Adamstown, but is it > 100K? Probably not! Pitcairn Islands describes it as "a scatterred village of huts". Checking the web, I find the Pitcairn Island Study Center which gives total island population as 59 people in 1990.

I strongly suspect that if a country has no cities >100K, the UN list will still put in one city, probably the capital.

However, since I didn't know that initially, I've created at least a dozen stubs saying "X is the largest city in and the capital of Y". I was assuming if only one city in a country was > 100K, it had to be the largest. Pashley 07:40, 25 April 2006 (EDT)

Yes, that's true. The UN list also includes national capitals. I think it's possible that there is a city in some country that's larger than the capital but smaller than 100K.
That all said: would it be worthwhile to change the name to Wikitravel:World cities and give the criteria for inclusion as the lede of the page? Should we just leave the capitals in without comment? Or remove the capitals (say, moving them to another page)? --Evan 08:05, 25 April 2006 (EDT)
For the record, Adamstown has less than 50 people by the latest headcount. Even if you counted every person who's ever set foot on the island, it wouldn't reach 100K. :) I've removed it from this list, because even if you made a special dispensation for capitals, Adamstown is never going to warrant its own article; it's fully covered under the Pitcairn Islands article. - Todd VerBeek 18:56, 25 April 2006 (EDT)


I was just doing some homework in the database, and I was interested to see that of the 4210 links on this page, 2168 are broken links. --Evan 13:27, 8 May 2007 (EDT)