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Talk:United States of America

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Revision as of 03:54, 4 December 2003 by Jiang (talk | contribs)
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Anyone want to start a discussion about how to break up the United States? I mean in the wiki article sense, not a revolution... I went ahead and took a stab at it, but I don't think it's quite what we want... suggestions?

Good idea. It is hard to write a country level article, as I discovered while doing Canada. Wikimedia not having any inherent sense of hiearchy doesn't help. One consequence of this is that you have to be careful about naming regions. I have taken a stab at rewriting your region names (e.g.: "Midwest" became "American Midwest" even though the text for the link still says "The Midwest" right now.) And Karen is right, some people might look for a list of all the states, so you should probably move that link up from the bottom of the article.

I would suggest as a next step going to the List of American States and trying to pick out what goes where. It would also add consistency to break up that list itself. For example, what about the Southeast? Florida and such? Do some states deserve their own "region" level article? (Ask yourself what each would contain an how they would be different before you answer that question ... it is harder than it seems! :) CL 02:38, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

Should there be a hierarchy? I found it confusing as a first-timer, looking at the New England states. I would have guessed that you could look at the United States page, and then be able to follow some hierarchy to the region that you are looking for. The list of states is good, but maybe not sufficient.

However, California should be its own region. Hanzo

And, I think New England should be a region. Hanzo

Hazon, we really like having lots of different ways for people to get to content. So we already have a general A-Z lists of US states and now we are thinking of groupings for states, since it's a pretty long list to browse. So I think the first stab would be geographical regions, but there can be other ways too. Suggestions?

Well, I think that the New England states should be grouped as a region. They are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine. A useful regional page could be written as an introduction, and since the states are small, visitors to this area can easily visit more than one on a single trip. Hanzo

Some notes: I changed the regions we have on this page to be a little more in line with common usage in the USA. I also added disambiguators to the names of the regions, except for those I thought were unambiguous (like New England).

I'm going to try to go through each listed region and add the appropriate states. I think one thing that would help would be to have a map of the US with our regions delineated, but we might just need to hack on this for a while. -- Evan 10:22, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

New England is not really unambiguous: the northwest corner of New South Wales, Australia is also called New Enland. You'll even find a New England National Park in this region. D.D. 11:30, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)
Fair enough. I'm tempted to invoke the "better known" rule, but I broke down and just disambig'd the New England page instead. -- Evan 11:36, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

I also want to note that the US is a challenge to our Wikitravel:geographical hierarchy. I think the solution is to think of regions as being nestable. That is, we can have regions in a country, which can themselves have regions, which can in turn have cities or attractions or what have you. Important destinations could be listed at multiple levels. For example:

  • California
    • Los Angeles (city)
    • San Diego (city)
    • San Francisco (city)
    • Inland Empire (region)
    • Central Coast (region)
    • Deserts (region)
    • Sierra Nevada (region)
    • Northern California (region)
    • Lake Tahoe (region)
    • Central Valley (region)
    • Bay Area (region)
      • Oakland
      • San Jose
      • San Francisco

San Francisco is listed twice -- once for California, and once for the Bay Area. It's important enough to be "promoted" to a link from the California page, even though it's actually "contained" in the Bay Area. Not all cities need to be listed at the California level -- just the ones travellers would be looking for there.

Anyways, just some ideas. -- Evan 10:30, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

I agree with that-- I think the "good"/"important" stuff should appear all over the place. It's not uncommon for people to go to the United States specificly to visit New York or San Francisco. So some places will be local, state, and national destinations. Unless we get into something where everyone thinks their home town is worth visiting the country for ;-)Majnoona

I agree too. Overlaps happen more than we can imagine, don't they :-) D.D. 11:42, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)
OK, so, I added a note about regions-within-regions to the geographical hierarchy page. Comments welcome. I think that the USA has turned out nicely for us. -- Evan 12:12, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

I moved most of the CIA import stuff to Talk:United States of America/CIA World Factbook 2002 import. I'm going to use this as a reference while I work on the Understand section. -- Evan 09:03, 13 Nov 2003 (PST)

Isn't it a little tiring to type out "United States of America" everytime you want to link to [New England (United States of America)]? Wouldn't "United States", "U.S." or "USA" do the same job? Why use the full name? The United Kingdom article is not at United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. --Jiang 17:45, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)

So, as to the name of the article: it started out from the Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import as United States, and it looks like I changed the name to United States of America sometime in early August. I can't remember why and I don't see mention of it on this page. Go figure.
Personally, as an American, I like "United States of America" better than "USA" or "United States". It looks kinda neat. I usually call it "America", even though that makes Canadians hopping mad when I say it, but it's ingrained. You think "United States" is better? Or USA? USA is an abbreviation, and we don't have any other articles that have abbreviations as a name. It seems kinda overcasual.
I believe all the common
As to using "United States of America" as a disambiguator: first, you just don't have to do it that often. Our article naming conventions don't really require any kind of extra geographical information unless the name of a destination is ambiguous. So, we've got Dallas instead of "Dallas, Texas" or "Dallas TX" or "Dallas, Texas, United States of America".
Sadly, most of the traditional regional names for parts of the US are pretty ambiguous ("The South", for instance). Fortunately, you just don't have to use them that often. The rule on the article naming conventions page is to use the name of the containing geographical unit to disambig, so that's what we do. Frankly, I figure it's a lot easier to just write out the extra 22 chars than to rack my brain for why this should be an exception. --Evan 18:52, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)

I'm not asking that this particular article be named "USA". That would be inappropriate. I think it only benefits to move it to "United States" though.

The abbreviation/acronym U.S./USA can be used for disambiguators, such as [[[New England (U.S.)]] as opposed to its current location. --Jiang 19:50, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)

So, I ripped out the geography stats for the US, then reverted a few minutes later. I really don't find tabular data all that readable, nor is it particularly useful for travelers. I think that kind of encyclopedic/almanac data is better provided by Wikipedia, and probably doesn't belong on Wikitravel. Yes, we have about a hundred country articles with tabular data, but those are placeholders that we we're trying to knock out one by one. It took me a long time to scrub this article of sorghum-production stats, and I guess I'm just kinda knee-jerk about working them back in. --Evan 19:03, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)