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:::I have been trying to add more to the Chinese version in hopes that people will edit if there are pages there to edit. It just strikes me as odd that the spammers actually limited themselves to the Faro Talk page. [[User:ChubbyWimbus|ChubbyWimbus]] 02:57, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
:::I have been trying to add more to the Chinese version in hopes that people will edit if there are pages there to edit. It just strikes me as odd that the spammers actually limited themselves to the Faro Talk page. [[User:ChubbyWimbus|ChubbyWimbus]] 02:57, 6 April 2010 (EDT)
== Ordnance Survey Open Data ==
The Ordnance Survey is the Government Agency responsible for mapping in the UK. They have recently released all their map data for use by anyone who wants it. Could this be used for Wikitravel Maps? It's certainly a lot more detailed than OSM especially away from the main cities, probably more reliable too. The full license can be viewed at []. It specifically states that the data can be copied, distributed, transmitted, adapted, exploited commercially, sublicensed, combined with other data and included in products and applications. Surely this means it can be used in Wikitravel? Or is it not as simple as that? [[User:Tarr3n|Tarr3n]] 09:30, 6 April 2010 (EDT)

Revision as of 13:34, 6 April 2010

The Travellers' pub is the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful. Please check the FAQ and Help page before asking a question, though, since that may save your time and others'.

Please add new questions at the bottom of the page and sign your post by appending four tildes (~~~~) to it, but otherwise plunge forward!

If you have a question or suggestion about a particular article, try using talk pages to keep the discussion specific to that article.

If you are having a problem that you think has to do with the Mediawiki software, please post that on the Technical requests page on Wikitravel Shared instead.


Please sweep the pub

Keeping the Pub clean is a group effort. If we have too many conversations on this page, it gets too noisy and hard to read. If you see a conversation that could or should be moved to a talk page, please do so, and note that it has been swept in from the pub.

  • A question regarding a destination article should be swept to the article discussion page
  • A discussion regarding a policy or the subject of an expedition can be swept to the policy or expedition discussion page
  • A simple question asked by a user can be swept to that user's talk page, but consider if the documentation needs a quick update to make it clearer for the next user with the same question.
  • A pointer to a discussion going on elsewhere, such as a notice of a star nomination or or a request to comment on another talk page, can be removed when it is two months old. Any discussion that occurred in the pub can be swept to to where the main discussion took place.

Any discussions that do not fall into any of these categories should be archived to Wikitravel:Travellers' pub/Archives and removed from here 3 months after the last comment in that discussion.


Stuff that's been moved to specific talk pages:

Also, see the Travellers' pub archives for older archived discussions.

Star nominations

Some comments, objections, support, praise to our current Star nominations are long overdue, slackers! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 08:11, 2 November 2009 (EST)

Pinnacle has been nominated since 13 October, there is no outstanding objections - lot's of comments, but few people involved - I'd say last call on this one, but it would be nice with involvement of some more people since we are breaking new ground here. Would be nice to get this right from the start. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:16, 28 November 2009 (EST)

The Copenhagen lead article has been nominated for star by moi, comments, praise, critique please. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:16, 28 November 2009 (EST)

Particularly with the Pinnacle nomination, it is a bit disappointing that so few users have commented. Indeed, only the same small handful of users have really commented on any of the current nominations. --Burmesedays 00:09, 29 November 2009 (EST)
I agree, and thank those who have commented for their time. Why do you think so few have commented? Peter (Southwood) Talk 01:02, 29 November 2009 (EST)
Well there are only a handful who have commented on any of the current nominations. I suspect it is a combination of that general situation and users thinking they cannot comment on a diving article unless they dive. The latter is mistaken I believe as anyone can have a view on the presentation and quality of an article whether they understand the subject matter or not. --Burmesedays 01:11, 29 November 2009 (EST)

Session management -- venting

Re: shared:Tech:Users_who_log_in_don't_stay_logged_in#Happening_again.2C_in_a_big_way, I've been logged out four freaking times in the past ten minutes. Are other people having this problem? It happens to me regardless of what pc I use, and regardless of which internet service. --Peter Talk 17:24, 3 November 2009 (EST)

Yes, me too. And not only :en but also :shared. --Burmesedays 20:19, 3 November 2009 (EST)
Haven't had it happen to me in months, but I'll keep an eye out for it. LtPowers 22:15, 3 November 2009 (EST)
I have the same problem all the time. Rastapopulous 16:31, 4 November 2009 (EST)

iTravelFree - a free Wikitravel-gateway iPhone app

I'm happy to report that my pet-project Wikitravel-gateway iPhone app, iTravelFree, has passed the stern inspection of Apple's App Store and is now available for download worldwide. It lets you easily browse all Wikitravel content from your phone (or iPod Touch), and displays listings on a map, too.

For app links, a screenshot-laden tutorial, and help and FAQ files, see here: As per the name, it is absolutely free. (There is a paid version, but it is functionally identical; I'm hoping that the guiltware model will offset some of my server and development costs.)

It's still sort of in beta test - the app itself seems pretty robust, but the server it connects to (a Google App Engine service that fetches, caches, and parses Wikitravel for the app, converts addresses to lat/long coordinates, etc.) could do more in terms of cleaning up the data. So please be gentle with it. :)

Let me know if you have any problems with it, and I welcome any advice/comments - here, on my talk page, or by email at [email protected]

Enjoy! Rezendi 13:05, 4 November 2009 (EST)

Angolan citizenship

Guys does anybody know how to get angolan or actually now that I think of it ethiopian citizenship I am desperate for a new life and when I arrive I plan to get involved in government. I don't care about the downsides don't try to dissuade me I have been studying countires for seven years so I know what you will say. Just tell me can a seventeen year old get any of these and how long does it take are there short cuts I would like to do a tour in the military but please help and I hold american citizenship I hate it here I long to leave and Africa I have comne to love. I wish to join the govermen tI will to anything to prove my ardent patriotism for both countries. Please help god dammit anybody help I want to defect and can't wait any longer I wanted to wait till I am older but my hate for this country is too great help help help my depression cannot be ended until I leave when I go to toher countires I become happy then I come back and I feel like shit I don't care about freedom both angola and ethiopia are reasonably free I don't care just help. I don't care what I have to do even die in battle but I want to live the angolan dream the ethiopian dream and to help my new home become even more powerful and rich then they already are help please this sounds I know wierd but I have exahusted all hope one more time please just help. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I wonder if they have the concept of the Angolan Dream? Or patriotism in those terms. This rant sounds to have a very Americocentric slant on it. :-) Funny choice of countries too - what's wrong with the Namibian Dream, eh?! Andyfarrell 17:29, 4 November 2009 (EST)

I just asked for help no there is no concept of the dream there but I feel it personally and I like Namibia but I don't want to live in the second least densly populated nation on earth So can someone still help me and not make fun of what I said —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

This area is for discussion about the running of the wikitravel wiki. It isn't really a forum to ask travel related questions, or to plan your new life. Hope the lifestyle comes together. --inas 20:49, 4 November 2009 (EST)

Waiting Period

I just proposed a districtification of an article. What is the typical waiting period for districtification?Rastapopulous 16:32, 4 November 2009 (EST)

What article? You should get at least a couple of other Wikitravellers who agree with the split (and no loud opposition) before you go ahead. Jpatokal 21:26, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Brooklyn. There had been talk for a while but no one had a big overall proposal, so I drew one up in talk: Brooklyn.Rastapopulous 21:50, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Districting can potentially be a slow process, especially if a) no one has yet joined the discussion and b) if no mapmaker is interested. Fortunately, you will have both once I finish my response ;) --Peter Talk 00:58, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Docent Stuff

It seems to me that actually figuring out who is the docent for an article is rather difficult and nonintuitive. Am I misssing something? Rastapopulous 10:14, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Never had anyone ask me anything about Copenhagen, but it's useful for wikitravel work sometimes. In case you missed it, you're listed right under the search bar as the destination docent, though I agree it's probably hard to notice, unless you know what to look for. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:31, 5 November 2009 (EST)
If my memory is right, this is the last discussion on the problem: Wikitravel talk:Docents#In-article docent identifier (ignore that the section name is from a different story). In a nutshell, we considered several ideas on how to overcome that, but neither gained a consensus. Maybe you could help us to move on. --DenisYurkin 15:57, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I liked the idea of a template, although the one shown was a bit too "loud." I personally think a small note in a little template at the bottom might be the best. Rastapopulous 16:28, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I wonder if a larger template at the top of the talk page might not work better. Sometimes people ask questions about the destination on the talk page; maybe if there was a clear "This destination has a docent" box at the top of the talk page, it might direct those people in that direction. And if it's on the talk page, it isn't cluttering up our travel guides. LtPowers 19:43, 5 November 2009 (EST)
Sounds great--except the hypothesis that those "one-click" visitors mentioned elsewhere don't normally visit Talk page at all. --DenisYurkin 14:58, 6 November 2009 (EST)
Yeah, that's the problem. I know some people click on the talk page to ask questions, but I don't know percentages. LtPowers 22:31, 6 November 2009 (EST)
Is there any way to measure these statistics? Rastapopulous 23:02, 6 November 2009 (EST)

Category vs Tag

What is the difference between a Category and a Tag. I have been trying to work this out and the more I read the more confusing it gets. I have just looked at the edit page for Template:Tag and find:

<rdf> <> dc:subject "{{{1}}}" . </rdf> <includeonly> [[Category:{{{1}}}]] </includeonly>

Does this mean that a Tag is a Category or what?.

Policy on Wikitravel:Categories indicates that categories are to be avoided, and the Talk page suggests controversy. No apparent consensus emerges.

Wikitravel:Tags gives the impression that Tags are OK and we can use them freely. The Talk page provides little useful information.

One of the reasons I ask is that Export pages offers a feature where it appears that you can quickly select a whole category or start by selecting a whole category and delete unwanted articles, which could be useful if there were useful categories available to select. Article status does not seem to be useful in this context.

This all comes from trying to work out how to get all the sub-articles of a given article together in case you want to print them out.

If anyone knows the answer to that problem, please let me know.

Peter (Southwood) Talk 04:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)

I've never heard of tags before. It looks like an old feature that Evan liked but never got off the ground. You can see it's not widely used, and in fact at this point I'd call it deprecated. My impression is that Evan and the other early editors had a lot of great ideas about how to organize content, but they required stuff that normal MediaWiki couldn't do. Things like docents and breadcrumbs were implemented using RDF, which is a great idea in theory (machine-readable content) but has caused numerous problems in the places where it interfaces with MediaWiki. Personally, I'd like to see us find a more built-in MediaWiki way to add stuff to the sidebars and breadcrumbs; we can keep RDF but I don't think we should be basing what the user sees on that RDF code. LtPowers 11:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)
And just as a side note, do we know of anyone actually using the RDF we have on the site? LtPowers 11:56, 7 November 2009 (EST)
As you say, the main use of RDF is the breadcrumb navigation trail (Foo : Bar : Baz City), which uses RDF internally to figure out the paths. I'm not aware of anybody using RDF outside the site, but then, IB doesn't seem to have any interest in making WT easier to reuse. Jpatokal 10:47, 8 November 2009 (EST)

East Anglia

Please see Talk:East Anglia. Can someone address the misclassifications in East Anglia? Thanks. Shep 11:11, 7 November 2009 (EST)

Regarding use of a crawler to download content

I am working on a project in the field of data mining and machine learning in the travel domain, for which we require high-quality content to conduct some experiments. It would be great if we could have access to the data dumps. Alternatively, would it be fine if we crawl through a section of this website ? 08:52, 9 November 2009 (EST)

See Wikitravel:Terms of use#Spiders --inas 16:51, 9 November 2009 (EST)
If you want data dumps then use Special:Export. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Linking Google map and Who can rock to edit

Let say I am creating a destination on Wikitravel, and I would like to show the place on Google map which give tourists a clear sense about where the place is. So as many of you know, if you search a place on Google map, you can see not only the location of place, but also a link which is added to any website. I do not think we need to have permission to use this link. So my question is simple, linking Google map to Wikitravel (e.g., see more detail direction ".....") is not allowed?

Another question is that one day a guy made page that I am creating rocked. So I could not edit anymore. Who can do this? Does the guy has a kind of authority given from Wikitravel? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

No, linking map services is not considered acceptable, amongst other reasons because it's a secondary source and cannot be used in a printed article.
Edit warring is considered especially bad form and may result in temporary article protection. - Dguillaime 18:13, 9 November 2009 (EST)
If the anonymous user's comments are regarding Monticello (Illinois), please read Talk:Monticello (Illinois) and User talk:Ariel Lickton. The article was locked in an attempt to get the attention of the user making the edits - I put links to the relevant guidelines in the edit comment [1] and those changes were later undone. Since the "undo" link is immediately next to the edit comment it seemed unlikely that the comments could have been missed, so temporary protection seemed warranted. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:30, 9 November 2009 (EST)

Site maintenance

Site will be down roughly 6AM–10AM GMT on Wednesday. I'd usually add this to MediaWiki:Sitenotice, but I don't want to interfere with the current message. --Peter Talk 07:44, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I'd say it's important enough to put up there. We could either put them on separate lines or just replace the upgrade notice for the few hours there are remaining. LtPowers 10:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Done. --Peter Talk 10:40, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Is it done? I didn't notice any interruption of service! --Rein N. 06:01, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Seems that way. Then again, we can't really be sure that our ever reliable site host did anything, or decided to do this later. --Peter Talk 08:41, 11 November 2009 (EST)

Missing map templates

I tried to download the map templates (svg) Wikitravel-map-template-PD.svg but got the message "Data not available". Is it something I am doing wrong? Peter (Southwood) Talk 11:46, 10 November 2009 (EST)

Don't know but I would not use that one anyway. I spent quite a lot of time a month or so back getting myself up to speed on Wikitravel maps and I am afraid that a lot of the resource in the Wikitravel Map Expedition article is out of date (although it is still helpful). I fully intend to get around to updating that article soon. I have to go right now but I suggest you read the correspondence between myself and the ever helpful Peter in my talk page section here (and other useful map making snippets on the same page). There are some current templates linked in that discussion I think. Sorry not be more helpful at this stage but I must go to bed! --Burmesedays 12:04, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Still can't get any svg to download. I think I am missing an important step. I click on any link that ends in .svg and I get the same message "Data not available". Either there are no svg versions, or I am doing something wrong, but there don't appear to be instructions to do anything else. Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:14, 10 November 2009 (EST)
I do not have any problems with accessing or downloading those svg files. I suspect it can only be a local problem at your end. Have you tried just copy and pasting the url instead? Eg [2] --Burmesedays 20:34, 10 November 2009 (EST)
Make sure you are saving the link below the "SVG image," rather than the "thumbnail" itself. I do that all the time... --Peter Talk 23:11, 10 November 2009 (EST)


Is there any way to write them on Wikitravel? Rastapopulous 19:12, 10 November 2009 (EST)

Type them in using whatever method your operating system has available, or use the HTML codes as an alternative. There's no special tool on WT, it simply accepts whatever text goes into the box. - Dguillaime 20:06, 10 November 2009 (EST)


Are very wide panorama-type pictures allowed to illustrate a destination? (example: [3] Rastapopulous 19:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I don't see why not. Use <br clear="all"/> to make it appear underneath (rather than next to) the text, and use |center instead of |thumb or |left or |right. You can see an example of this on Southern Tier. LtPowers 22:09, 10 November 2009 (EST)
How do I add a caption then? If I try to do it now, the picture reverts to full size, which is too big. Rastapopulous 11:08, 11 November 2009 (EST)
I've added a caption to it without it reverting to full size. Seems to have worked. Andyfarrell 11:28, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes. I think the problem was caused by the fact that I didn't add |thumb. The Wikitravel:How to add an image article, while fairly clear on how to use individual elements, is not very helpful for combining elements. Rastapopulous 11:35, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I should have specified that. LtPowers 13:11, 11 November 2009 (EST)


According to the How to make a Map article (using opensource maps), to make a map that has the attractions pointed out on it, you need to have all attractions in the new listing format. What I'm curious about is: will the software simply not work if there are any attractions not in that format or will it simply skip them? Rastapopulous 20:10, 11 November 2009 (EST)

It would make it much easier to answer your questions if you linked to the article you are referring to. Do you mean this article about using OpenStreetMap (not "opensource") data? --Burmesedays 20:33, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes, that one. Rastapopulous 22:44, 11 November 2009 (EST)


We are now running a beta mobile version of You can check it out at This is a read only version and is based on Wikipedia’s mobile site . It’s only viewable from non-wap mobile devices, IPhones and Blackberries that contain Opera browsers. Users can sill opt to use the standard web version if they prefer to do so.

We’d love to hear your feedback and you can do so by posting here.

--Ibsteph 5:08 pm, 12 November 2009 (EDT)

Early outage..

Have IB bought forward their outage several hours. The system has been hardly usable today.. --inas 22:05, 11 November 2009 (EST)

The outage was supposed to be yesterday but was not noticeable. Today is not good though, I agree. --Burmesedays 22:22, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Seems back to normal now, but almost unusable for a few hours there. --inas 00:46, 12 November 2009 (EST)
Completely dead for 3 hours for me, just back. I suspect they were a day late with the server maintenance.--Burmesedays 05:35, 12 November 2009 (EST)
After the maintenance, my browser often waits server's response for a long time, and then it gives me an error message "server connection was reset". Terribly unstable for me. What's wrong with the servers? -- Tatata7 11:07, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting frequent slowness. LtPowers 14:32, 12 November 2009 (EST)
I had escaped this problem until now—very slow. --Peter Talk 12:27, 13 November 2009 (EST)
I was completely unable to access from about 12 - 4 PM EST today. Rastapopulous 16:00, 13 November 2009 (EST)
Hi guys, we are aware of the problem. We're working 24/7 to get it resolved. I will keep you posted on updates Ibsteph 5:20 pm, 13 November 2009
Hi Ibsteph, Thank you for the clarification. It would be nice if someone could post a notification that a problem is being worked on rather than leaving us to struggle pointlessly for days. I have wasted several hours over the last 3 days trying to make edits, Multiply that by the number of contributors and it is thousands of lost hours and possibly more importantly, lost goodwill/credibility due to the frustration. Cheers, -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:39, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Wikitravel has experienced intermittent website outages caused by a cyber attack. Our troubleshooting team has resolved the issue, and the site should now be functioning normally. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologize for the inconvenience caused by this attack.Ibsteph 11:20 am 14 November, 2009 ( EST)
I'm still having issues, especially with Special pages like Recent Changes. Oddly I can sometimes get though by switching to my obscure Epiphany browser, but right as i type this my Firefox browser has been trying to load the Travellers pub for 5 minuttes. :o/ --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:37, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Are there any further details about the "cyber attack"? It's possible that this could simply be someone's script misbehaving - there was a recent user request about setting up a spider to retrieve data (above), I've had a script running for the past two weeks to spider the site, and I'm sure other individuals are probably also trying to retrieve site content. All scripts should be abiding by Wikitravel:Terms of use#Spiders and thus not cause site issues, but if you could provide any additional details the Wikitravel community might be able to help identify the source of this "cyber attack". -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:52, 14 November 2009 (EST)
No, this isn't a script misbehaving, a spider, or anything like that. This was an attack and an investigation is in progress. --IB-Dick
You still have problems. I have been unable to access the site via with my normal IP address (Indonesian) for the past 19 hours. However, I am now here using a public proxy called from that IP address. A routing problem still I guess? Or have you blocked some IP/region addresses after the attack? Being in Indonesia, I have been blanket blacklisted before in that fashion. --Burmesedays 05:03, 15 November 2009 (EST)
No worries, Same here in Denmark, so you are not being discriminated - would be an atrocity to, considering our target audience. It all seems to be a completely unrelated DDoS attack on Internet Brands from a horde of angry vBullitin users over new licensing terms for the popular software IB also owns. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:15, 15 November 2009 (EST)
Thanks Stefan for the re-assurance and explanation. It's a pain using a proxy due to login handling but just have to continue doing so until things are back to normal. --Burmesedays 05:55, 15 November 2009 (EST)
Steph, Dick whoever, this is a total pain. At 16.40 GMT on Nov 15th I can still only access WT via a non-Asian resolving proxy server (same goes or your whole IB stable of sites). That makes session management a nightmare, uploading impossible and editing hard. Do you have routing problems as well after the DOS attack? Signed, me, burmesedays (proxy chucks me out when I try to login).
There are still a few locations that can't access the site. We are aware of it and we know why it's happening. We are working on addressing the issue and should have it fully resolved in a matter of hours. Once again, we are sorry for the inconvenience. Dick

Down for the last few hours, and now every second page load is failing. I'll come back tomorrow. --inas 17:04, 15 November 2009 (EST)

Intermittent problems today with regular DNS errors. But a huge improvement on yesterday. --Burmesedays 02:50, 16 November 2009 (EST)
We are continuing to work on stability, but please keep reporting any ongoing issues here. Ibsteph 9:41, 16 November 2009 (PST)
Still problems with access this morning. --inas 16:53, 16 November 2009 (EST)
Had another outage just 2 minutes ago, while saving some work - and now while saving this - keeps redirecting to "http://localhost/install.php" - GAHR! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:13, 16 November 2009 (EST)
and again at 12:33 CET...(stefan)
same problem as Stefan. DNS failure and redirecting to localhost/install.php. Right now I here using a US proxy as that is the only way I can access the site. --Burmesedays 20:26, 16 November 2009 (EST)

When I try to access the main page, it automatically directs me to the Korean version. Yesterday it loaded the main page from back when Shimla was a DotM. 17:02, 16 November 2009 (EST)

I think that is an annoying, but unrelated issue. As for the old main page I think that's a catching/proxy issue though, try hitting F5 an extra time. It's a bug we've had for ages. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:15, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Hmmmm. After noticeable improvement yesterday, the situation is worse again today for me. It is surprising that 3/4 days after the event, major issues remain and if anything, accessing the site is more difficult than it was 36 hours ago. --Burmesedays 21:45, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Getting alternate connection reset, and redirect to localhost. site still effectively unusable. --inas 22:54, 16 November 2009 (EST)
This (if it works) will be the first time I have been able to edit this page since about Thursday. Mostly I cant even read the latest version. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 00:43, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Any update on the situation would be appreciated IB. Stoney silence on this matter on your corporate site I see. I think we have all been patient and understanding (crap happens) but I am now struggling as to why the situation for is still so bad (and at times, getting worse), four/five days after the DoS attack on your server. --Burmesedays 10:28, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Everything seems to be working fine on our end. I have reported this thread to tech and will get back to you shortly. It would also be helpful if you could post in which part of the world you live as we have seen some issues coming from the Australia / Asia side. Please know that our tech is working hard and 24/7 to resolve all ' aftermath effects' of this attack. Your continued patience in the matter is much appreciated. Ibsteph 10:09 AM, 17 November ( PST)
I've also had huge accesiblity issues from Copenhagen, Denmark, WT have been unaviable for the majority of the day. Curiously i'm getting a wide range of different errors today, which is a change from yesterday. From simple "timouts" and "no response from server" over "SQL - too many connections, wikidb" errors and finaly the frequent "redirects to http://localhost/install.php". To make things even more bizare I can right now access WT with my obscure Ephiphany browser, while Firefox won't load at all - since we have elections here, I've been on a lot of other sites with my Firefox browser without the slightest hickups. I also tried from a IE machine at my local university which couldn't access either. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:29, 17 November 2009 (EST)
That message btw, took 6 attempts to go through, and which used to suffer from issues too, is working fast and fine today. gahr! --Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:36, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm frequently getting redirects to localhost as well, and I'm not even overseas. I'm in upstate New York. LtPowers 13:55, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Thanks guys. Tech is aware and is looking at it right now. Ibsteph 11:18 AM, 17 November, 2009 ( PST)
I am having great trouble getting this message uploaded from South Africa. Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:39, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Difficulties here in the UK. Andyfarrell 18:25, 17 November 2009 (EST)

Out again this morning. Same issues. Redirect to localhost. After several days of issues following the scheduled outage, is there any more info than, it is being looked at?

We understand your frustrations. We DID have a routing problem that has been resolved but we are still seeing latency and the tech team is actively looking at the site trying to mitigate the problem. I will check in with you again in 24 hours. We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued patience while we try to resolve the matterIbsteph 5:20 pm , 17 November, 2009 ( PST)
Still the same issues. If this edit uploads, it will be after 7 attempts to login to the site, all of which timed out. And the issue is clearly not regional (which would be slightly understandable if you have had a routing problem with Asia/Australia as you say). This discussion reports the same (or similar) difficulties from Denmark, UK, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia and New York State.--Burmesedays 20:51, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Have had problems both in New York City and right now on Long Island Rastapopulous 20:56, 17 November 2009 (EST)
For the most part, performance should be returned to normal. We still haven't found the source of the localhost/install.php problem, but that's because we can no longer replicate the issue. If anyone is still experiencing it, please let us know. Email delivery of system messages is currently being delayed by 4+ hours due to a massive queue that has built up. We expect this to be resolved within the next 12 hours. Dick 19:05 17 November 2009 (PST)
Absolutely nowhere near returned to normal as would seem clear from recent posts in this discussion. Whilst trying to reply to your edit, I have had two errors. First, a re-direct to localhost/install.php and then "The webpage cannot be found. DNS error occurred. Server cannot be found. The link may be broken." --Burmesedays 22:39, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Likewise, I just had two consecutive edits finish 23 minutes apart, since the second was trapped by redirects and then a non-responsive website. The redirect is nothing particularly complicated - just a HTTP 302 response, easily reproducible during those periods. - Dguillaime 22:50, 17 November 2009 (EST)
Failing repeatedly again for me today, from China. I've been getting the localhost redirect of-and-on for days now. Pashley 22:54, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting it quite a bit today too. Texugo 23:57, 17 November 2009 (EST)
I'm still getting errors even now. Rastapopulous 01:05, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Had 404 Error this morning and couldn't assess WT. Now it's first time it actually works but do edits is close to impossible from Switzerland. jan 05:48, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Situation worse than it was 48 hours ago. Editing is near impossible and even a simple page load, no better than 50:50 chance. Constant time outs and redirects to localhost/install.php. Even when trying via a US proxy server, requests are timing out as the IB server response is too slow. Are other IB sites still as crippled as Wikitravel? --Burmesedays 06:21, 18 November 2009 (EST)
No, I've been testing some of the major ones like,,, and when I got errors on Wikitravel, and they are all working normally. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:33, 18 November 2009 (EST)
I figured as much. Even more reason why a proper explanation is in order. I have kind of had enough of platitudes along the lines of "things are back to normal" when they patently are not. --Burmesedays 06:41, 18 November 2009 (EST)
In Chiba, Japan, I still have the localhost/install.php problem. I cannot do daily patrol on Japanese version, since page reload and links in left navi rarely work because of the problem. Also it's hard to edit here because of the same error. -- Tatata7 09:32, 18 November 2009 (EST)

No improvement from my side either, still having massive problems today. How about you try and follow up on that mail between myself and Brent and do a much needed upgrade of our Mediawiki platform (latest stable version is up to 1.15.1 now), if we're going to have downtime anyway - might as well have it now, and who knows if you are in the blank on solving this, isn't this as good an attempt on a solution as any? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 05:57, 18 November 2009 (EST)

Wow, I can get to the edit screen! It's been four days since I've been able to get any edits through—not even to report that I have been experiencing the exact same issues as all the people above, except worse (apparently). I'm not sure how many attempts this edit will require, though... The idea that things have been "back to normal" except for "latency issues" is just insulting to one's intelligence. --Peter Talk 09:57, 18 November 2009 (EST)

We're looking at it right now. What I thought fixed it, didn't fix it. Dick

Things seem much better for me right now. I did want to mention something that I noticed when I was having problems. The problem seemed much more likely to occur if I opened a link in a new tab than if I opened it in the same window. I don't know if that's worth anything, but there you go. LtPowers 14:50, 18 November 2009 (EST)
We found a routing conflict, but I won't want to sound the all clear without being more confident. Once again, I can't get the localhost/install.php redirect, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. If anyone sees that, please reply so we know we need to continue to troubleshoot. I'll be clicking around trying to get it. Dick
Bizzarrely enough, now I can't seem to see the changes to this page w/o editing it or checking the changes--even reloading doesn't do anything. Not sure if that's a related problem or not. Rastapopulous 15:27, 18 November 2009 (EST)
That's a cache server issue which is long-standing (but more apparent than ever in the past week). Easiest way to deal with it is to edit the page and hit the purge cache link at the bottom. --Burmesedays 19:42, 18 November 2009 (EST)
I'm able to use the site again (hooray!), and I'm not getting any more error messages. It is slower than before the attack, though. --Peter Talk 20:40, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Same here--Slower, but once again, I can edit with ease!! Rastapopulous 20:45, 18 November 2009 (EST)
Huge improvement today. First time since the atack that I have been able to use the site properly for a period of more than 10 minutes. --Burmesedays 23:20, 18 November 2009 (EST)
No slower than normal today. Have been able to make edits without interruption. Cheers, -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:46, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Today, I feel comfortable in editing ja, shared and here. Thank you tech team! -- Tatata7 06:05, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Things seem unusually slow today, but I'm not sure if that's on my end or Wikitravel's. Rastapopulous 12:40, 19 November 2009 (EST)

Do not upload

Do we really need a toolbox link in the lefthand column to a page that just says "do not upload from here"? You really only need to see that gigantic warning once, and we already have a link in the navigation box to shared that says "upload". Texugo 07:33, 16 November 2009 (EST)

AFAIK it's been removed from everywhere it was possible to remove it without IB involvement, was a brute hack Tatata and Peter did a while ago. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 08:12, 16 November 2009 (EST)
If Texugo is seeing it somewhere, that might help explain why we occasionally get uploads to :en. Tex, where did you see it? LtPowers 11:13, 16 November 2009 (EST)
I was seeing it on every page until I started typing this response a few minutes ago. Then when I submitted it, I had a round of those "localhost redirects" discussed above, and now the "don't upload" link isn't there anymore. I'll let you know if it comes back. Texugo 00:34, 18 November 2009 (EST)
More likely the uploads to en result from people creating the image link in the text, and then clicking on it to create the file. Still, how they get by the huge banner on that page is still a mystery. --inas 19:19, 9 December 2009 (EST)
As far as I can tell, an image redlink goes to the standard article edit page, not to Special:Upload. LtPowers 19:55, 9 December 2009 (EST)
clicking on this --> File:Iansface.jpg takes me to Special:Upload --inas 20:05, 9 December 2009 (EST)
Ah, so it does. I was using a redlink that looks like this: Image:Iansface.jpg. Interesting that it's different. I wonder if we can make a software change to fix that. LtPowers 13:50, 10 December 2009 (EST)
The two links are different - Inas's link is to include an image in an article (if the image doesn't exist a link to the upload page is generated), and your link is to view/edit the image information page. The same behavior applies to categories - [[Category:Category]] adds a category to a page, and [[:Category:Category]] generates an inline link to the category information page. It's standard Mediawiki behavior, so there isn't really a software change to make. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:58, 10 December 2009 (EST)
I'm aware of that distinction. But I still thought it interesting that the redlink generated when an included image is missing is different from the one generated when a linked image is missing. It seems to me that there ought to be a way to change the default behavior when including a missing image to link to shared or to some other page rather than Special:Upload. LtPowers 14:03, 10 December 2009 (EST)

South Africa World Cup 2010

World Cup starts in a few months and while the SA articles are mostly in good condition the surrounding countries are not. Most of the countries already have massive amounts of advertising going on in SA with a couple even changing visa rules for the duration due to expected tourist load so it seems like it might be worthwhile to get some key articles in usable condition before the event. I am working on Mozambique right now and will be adding more to the various articles but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. A short list of what I think should be looked at with priority:

greap 11:16, 16 November 2009 (EST)

Regions maps and the U.S. states

Time for a bit of bragging on behalf of the Wikitravel:Regions Map Expedition. We've just finished regioning and mapping every last of the fifty states of America! Go ahead, click on any U.S. state, and you'll see a pretty map and a well organized set of regions. (If you'd just like to see a crazy one, click here.)

This is a huge milestone for the expedition, and arguably for the site, so I'm breaking out a little bottle of champagne:

*       *       []
 _*    *_       ||
|*|    |*|     |* |
|_|    |_|     |__|
\*/    \*/     | *|
_|_    _|_     |__|

The next goal, and perhaps the biggest fish in the sea, will be all the countries in the world! --Peter Talk 23:52, 18 November 2009 (EST)

What was the last one? Rastapopulous 00:07, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Kentucky#Regions --Peter Talk 00:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)
A very, very big kudos to you and the rest of the map-making team. Having well defined regions and these amazing maps is probably the single most valuable contribution that anyone could make towards pushing Wikitravel forward, so a HUGE and hearty thanks from this sadly Inkscape-illiterate admirer of what has been accomplished. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:02, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Fantastic job. That is some achievement. Large thanks and huge congratulations to everyone involved. --Burmesedays 04:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Congrats! Now all we need is the rest of the world :P Jpatokal 05:24, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Price Classifications

Does anyone know what the usual price classifications for Budget/Midrange/Splurge for Europe (both Restaurants and Hotels)? Rastapopulous 16:27, 19 November 2009 (EST)

It varies widely from destination to destination, I'm sure. LtPowers 17:57, 19 November 2009 (EST)


How does one do dashes w/ wiki markup? I tend to use them a lot. Rastapopulous 10:38, 19 November 2009 (EST)

I don't know about wiki markup, but html will produce ndashes and mdashes. You'll have to edit this section to see the code itself, but it's basically ampersandmdashsemicolon:

--Peter Talk 10:50, 19 November 2009 (EST)

I seem to remember that a long while ago, three hyphens --- made a long dash and two a short one. But there was a furor of pedantry at Wikipedia about this and the usual endless discussion. I may of course be recalling that all wrong. In any case, I always use html :). --Burmesedays 11:07, 19 November 2009 (EST)
&ndash; and &mdash; are the codes Peter was trying to explain. =) As for the double- and triple-hyphens, that's an old typewriter trick that works well enough on talk pages and the like but isn't considered good form for publishing. And there's no MediaWiki feature that automatically converts them. LtPowers 11:35, 19 November 2009 (EST)

Announcement: Wikitravel Mobile version

We are now running a beta mobile version of You can check it out at This is a read only version and is based on Wikipedia’s mobile site . It’s only viewable from non-wap mobile devices, IPhones and Blackberries that contain Opera browsers. Users can sill opt to use the standard web version if they prefer to do so.

We’d love to hear your feedback and you can do so by posting here.

--Ibsteph 9:54 , 20 November 2009 (PST)

I don't use mobile apps, but I think it'd be great if you registered for an account instead of posting from an IP address. =) LtPowers 13:01, 20 November 2009 (EST)
From OperaMini can only view the homepage, articles linked from the homepage or by manually entering a url. I.e, search does not work - returns as link broken. Had a quick look at the Hilversum article (one of the best on Wikitravel) and it shows well in this format. And yeah, it would be good if you did not appear here in red Steph :) --Burmesedays 13:10, 20 November 2009 (EST)
Erm, I think she does have an account guys. I don't see an IP address, and the red just means she's not created a homepage. Andyfarrell 03:39, 21 November 2009 (EST)
Ah, I see. Her entry was written un-logged-in, but she included a signature manually. See what you mean; at a glance it's like any other contribution, but when you look at the edits it strikes a bum note. Andyfarrell 03:45, 21 November 2009 (EST)

Anon vandalism

Special:Contributions/ Can we get them blocked? Eco84 00:26, 22 November 2009 (EST)

No advice from Captain Obvious

Inspired partly by User:Inas#Respect, I whipped up a little page for a new pseudo-policy called Wikitravel:No advice from Captain Obvious. Comments welcome -- is this worth elevating from personal rant to an actual policy? Jpatokal 05:22, 22 November 2009 (EST)

  • Support This is a pet hate of mine on wikitravel. Tarr3n 05:42, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support - I like it. Texugo 09:23, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support, but see also my query on its talk page. Pashley 09:59, 7 December 2009 (EST)
  • Support - It's exactly what we needed. PerryPlanet Talk 13:52, 7 December 2009 (EST)
It's bumped up to a part of the Manual of Style now, and the redirect obvious points to it. Please help me link it in where appropriate. Jpatokal 17:31, 11 December 2009 (EST)

North Korea

Has the North Korea article been protected? For some reason I cannot edit it... indeed there is no edit tab.--Burmesedays 08:49, 22 November 2009 (EST)

And now after four reloads, I can. How wierd is that? --Burmesedays 08:50, 22 November 2009 (EST)
I had protected it yesterday, but that protection expired five hours before your message here, and I'm pretty sure it shouldn't have prevented you from editing, as you are an autoconfirmed user? --Peter Talk 10:49, 22 November 2009 (EST)
It was very odd Peter. The edit tab was missing. I exited WT, cleared my local cache and came back and still the same. Only on the North Korea page. Then after 4 reloads, all was well. I can't even begin to understand that one! --Burmesedays 10:55, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Changing of Name

How can I change my login / screen name? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jasperng (talkcontribs)

Generally you can't, it requires a bureaucrat to go down in the boiler room and flick some switches, and he is not available at the moment due to travelling afaik. With just 4 contributions (and two of them here), I would suggest you just open up a new account with the new name. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 12:39, 4 December 2009 (EST)


There are a couple of tasks that could use more hands, neither vital but both useful. I try to do a couple of each daily, and others are clearly doing quite a few. However, it needs a few dozen more people to get them all done.

One is welcoming new users. Find them by looking at the Recent changes page, go to their talk page (not the user page, a mistake I've made too often), insert {{subst:welcome}} ~~~~ and save the page.

Another is adding IsPartOf to articles that lack it, so that breadcrumb navigation works, you get a list like "Europe France South Marseille" at the top of the article. There is a list of articles without these at User:Nicolas1981/Syntax checks/no-ispartof-nor-isin (thanks, Nicolas!). If you fix an article, or find it is already fixed, please delete it from the list. Pashley 00:13, 7 December 2009 (EST)

Hi Sandy, I had a look on Nicolas page and the list must be rather outdated. The Bangkok, Chicago and Paris articles on the list were all linked and had a working ispartof/isin link. I will have a look but some articles are even Star articles for quite some time (e.g. Paris arrondissements are for years star) jan 09:38, 8 December 2009 (EST)
well, afaik it's not trivial to generate a new list unless we get hold of Nicolas script (and a new one would not be sorted, which took some effort). So I think just removing any entries already updated is the best solution. I've done a fair bit of work on this lately, and I'd say it's only about 1-in-10 that has been updated. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:48, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Until recently, noone thought to add isPartOf to districts, because breadcrumb navigation on districts doesn't use it. The IsPartOf is only required for the RDF.
I have scripts which check for missing isPartOf, as well as many other syntax type things, from time formats to spelling, incorrect section headers, and first party pronoun use in listings.
I'm happy to run them to update lists if anyone wants updated ones.--inas 15:06, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Do you have one that can exclude articles categorized as itineraries, travel topics, disambiguation pages and phrasebooks? I'm not keen on sorting out all those again. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:46, 10 December 2009 (EST)
It ignores redirects altogether. It regards isPartOf in disamb, travel topics, and itinerary articles as errors. The real problem is these pseudo-regions, which are very hard to tell from a normal region article, and there is a good argument for not putting isPartOf on them, and I generally ignore them. At the same time as doing this I'm trying to parse the regional hierarchy, so I'll be able to eventually tell a dead-end region from a real one, but there is heaps of RDF that could make this task easier. It also hazards a guess at what the isPartOf should be, it understands subpages should be isPartOf parent pages, and it understands lead lines of the form "zorktown is a city/town in zork" --inas 17:06, 10 December 2009 (EST)
What are pseudo-regions—an extra-hierarchical region? If so, no isPartOf should direct to it, but the article itself should indeed use isPartOf, as with any destination guide. --Peter Talk 18:39, 10 December 2009 (EST)
From what I understand, this is an example. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 19:39, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Ah, would it be appropriate to add disambiguation templates to such articles? --Peter Talk 20:51, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Perhaps a more customized version that makes it clear the page isn't trying to disambiguate between multiple places with the same name, but rather that we don't have a single article for the named place. LtPowers 21:49, 10 December 2009 (EST)
Is it allowed to remove the phrasebook articles and other ones that don't need IsPartOf? Would clean up the list as well. Globe-trotter 09:13, 14 December 2009 (EST)
There is good progress on Nicolas' list, thanks to a number of people. Once that is done, Inas's script should be run for an up-to-date list.
Another task that needs more hands is adding related tags to all the articles for places on the UNESCO World Heritage List; see Talk:UNESCO_World_Heritage_List#Related. More generally, the Wikitravel:World_Heritage_Expedition is already doing good things but could use more participants. Pashley 20:32, 22 December 2009 (EST)
We have a UNESCO CotM in the works, which I think could finish that task. --Peter Talk 22:19, 22 December 2009 (EST)


The last time the proportion of patrolled edits was this high was probably about a little over two years ago, and this is hugely helpful to avoid duplicating effort and generally keeping the site clean. A big thanks to those putting in the effort to hit that "marked as patrolled" button. Looks like a lot of effort in particular on the parts of Burmesedays, Inas, and Sertmann—thanks! --Peter Talk 01:20, 9 December 2009 (EST)

Stefan pointed out to me a few weeks ago that "marking as patrolled" really does save time for other patrollers and since then I have been trying to do that as often as possible. And, it is just nice seeing a screen of 500 recent changes with very little red on it. --Burmesedays 02:23, 11 December 2009 (EST)
I think too many (especially long time admins) has become a bit to cocky on this task, I myself thought I was able to sniff out the bad ones on the recent changes page, but as it turns out when I've made a concious effort to go through everything - this is clearly not the case.
For years we have let too much slip by, and the consequences are rather dire if you ask me. Once a few "listing name - listing url" listings have slipped by the nets, new edits tend to imitate what's already there, increasing the burden, and decreasing the value of WT - and it's getting really widespread.
So I'd really encourage some more thorough patrolling from everyone, with me and Burmesedays doing a great effort already, it's really not that much extra effort checking everything when you're doing the rounds anyway. I just open the page, and hold ctrl down on all the red exclamation marks I see to open them all into new tabs, and go through them methodologically - if just two more people starting doing this (near) daily, patrolling everything would be a breeze, especially if it was one from the American time zone with Asia and Europe covered already. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:58, 28 December 2009 (EST)
A hearty hear-hear to all of that. The only thing I would add to Stefan's comments is to ask that more users (administrators especially) specifically mark edits as patrolled. I do waste a lot of time looking at changes which have already been patrolled but not marked as such.--Burmesedays 21:10, 28 December 2009 (EST)
Well, since we have renewed interest in actually trying to patrol our recent changes, I'll re-float this idea for a collective-action promoting expedition. I'd be happy to sign up for 4 hours out of the day—it's just 10 minutes. --Peter Talk 10:49, 29 December 2009 (EST)
It is clear that in the past 24 hours more users have been marking edits as patrolled. Well done! --Burmesedays 19:55, 29 December 2009 (EST)

As I start to patrol I notice how badly written many contributions are. Can we suggest for new pages that people consider working first in Word (cutting and pasting the template), using the grammar and spelling checker of Word to improve their contributions, and then pasting back into Wikitravel? Shep 01:49, 2 January 2010 (EST)

I would rather suggest using Firefox, which has a built-in spell checker. Word doesn't always copy+paste well to/from non-Office applications. LtPowers 13:33, 2 January 2010 (EST)
I cant seam to git it to work on my computer even though I have enabled the boxxes to check the speeling. Anyway, I am hopefully not the problem but there are an awful lot of new entries with bad English and I was thinking that we could give them some useful advice on quality control rather than just say "download the template and start typing" Shep 02:23, 3 January 2010 (EST)
I think Word is the best option for what Shep is trying to achieve. It does handle some formatting and characters rather poorly, but that is far outweighed by the fact that it lives on more PCs in the world than Firefox. A few words encouraging the use of a spell-checker would certainly not go amiss.--Burmesedays 21:38, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Word has a nasty tendency to convert quotation marks, dashes, apostrophes, and occasionally other characters into Microsoft-specific variants, so just be careful when using it as an editor. While these conversions won't break articles, they won't display consistently across all browsers. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:41, 4 January 2010 (EST)
They also tend to screw with re-use when converting to other formats—better to recommend Firefox or a decent text editor, if anything at all. --Peter Talk 23:19, 4 January 2010 (EST)
It may just be contributors who speak poor English as a second language. While we certainly want nicely written articles, we shouldn't be prude to contributors who add useful information. Just like new contributors aren't condemned for violating the MoS, should we extend similar courtesy to non-native English speakers? If you were contributing to a WT version in a language which you understand but don't have a good handle on, would you like them pointing out all your mistakes and leading you to a web browser or to Word to correct them? As far as Word goes, if we assume that these are people who don't speak English fluently, then they probably would be using Word in a different language and does Word spell check in other languages(in this case, English)? Just a couple of thoughts...AHeneen 02:12, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Word will spellcheck any language you want it to, as long as you have the right dictionary installed. I don't know which dictionaries are installed by default on foreign copies of the product. LtPowers 08:41, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Quick question on Patrolling... If, as I have just done, I Undo a change for some reason, the original edit remains Unpatrolled. Given the edit has now been undone, should the original edit be marked as Patrolled since it no longer needs rolling back, or should it be left in an Unpatrolled state? Nrms 08:27, 8 February 2010 (EST)

The purpose of patrolling is to alert other patrollers that an edit has been examined and appropriate action taken. If you've undone an edit, other patrollers need not look at it, so you should mark it as patrolled. LtPowers 09:00, 8 February 2010 (EST)
Cheers! Will make a note to patrol those edits in future then. Nrms 09:03, 8 February 2010 (EST)

I have been doing a lot a patrolling the last few months and can see that others do the same, which is great. However, I have also noticed that edits being left unpatrolled for half a day or something are not given much focus by others and tend to remain unpatrolled. Therefore, I have been patrolling otherwise unpatrolled edits ½-2 days after the edits are made, and I find quite a lot of vandalism and other edits needing to be reverted or changed. I do not mind continuing to do this second round patrolling but would like some help from others, ClausHansen 06:38, 19 March 2010 (EDT)

Good point Claus and I will try to focus a bit on those as well. The key problem is that we have way too few patrollers. Losing Stefan (I dearly hope not permanently) has not helped. It would be great if a few more regulars could at least find 15 minutes here and there to patrol.--Burmesedays 06:52, 19 March 2010 (EDT)
The upside is that I think we're doing a better job of this recently than any other time save when we first had the feature implemented! Clicking "hide patrolled edits" in recentchanges will show the edits from previous days that went unpatrolled, many of which are harder cases than most. I know I personally will see the occasional difficult-to-deal-with edit that makes my heart sink, and I leave it for someone else who can find that motivation ;) I will try to respond in kind, though. --Peter Talk 17:27, 21 March 2010 (EDT)

Text size in edit box

Is there any way to increse text size in the edit box? I upgraded to IE8 and everything shrank down to almost illegible. I can change text size on the rest of the screen in view|text size from IE toolbar, but the edit box text size doesnt change and is giving me major eyestrain. I have the same problem on Wikipedia. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:03, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Same issue here. I would strongly suggest using a better browser Peter. Firefox of course but I use Google Chrome a lot for Wikitravel these days - extremely fast. And it takes literally seconds to download.--Burmesedays 22:20, 11 December 2009 (EST)
Maybe try to check your font settings in the control panel. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:59, 13 December 2009 (EST)
I found a zoom control in the bottom right corner which has sorted the problem. Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:41, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Image for Travel topic:World languages

I made an image, knowingly Perhaps this image could be made for a new travel topic:World languages; intented to explain the world languages best learnt for global travel. 06:11, 13 December 2009 (EST)

We do have an article like that somewhere, but concerning the map, I think there are some errors. If "light yellow" (English as a second language) is the color used in South Korea and Japan, I would call that misleading... Shouldn't all of Quebec be green (French)? More of central Asia knows Russian, Kenyans and Tanzanians speak English as a second language, The "light black" is actually dark green, are you sure that Mandarin is known by all of Southeast Asia?, etc. ChubbyWimbus 17:29, 13 December 2009 (EST)

Quite a nice idea but some problems with the implementation. In addition to the errors pointed out by ChubbyWimbus above:
  • Malaysia and Singapore do not speak Indonesian. Malaysia should be English as 2nd language. Singapore could arguably be primary English speaking.
  • Africa has a number of issues.
  • What does the light grey denote?--Burmesedays 00:34, 15 December 2009 (EST)
really on the en wikitravel, the propensity to speak English is the most useful fact to an English speaking traveller, i would have thought. Holland, Scandinavia, etc - before going to learn another language which is a second language to the country anyway.. --inas 00:45, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The light grey presumably denotes nations where none of the colored languages are spoken. To add another issue, Icelandic is spoken in Iceland. If this map were used, I think it could only possibly be used for the Phrasebook International (which is currently nominated for deletion). Otherwise, the languages spoken in each country are covered in country articles along with whether or not English will be understood. ChubbyWimbus 00:53, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The basic idea is good, but the topic is complicated.
In Canada, French is the primary language for all of Quebec, much of Northern Ontario and parts of other provinces, but English is widely spoken in those areas as well. There's huge variation, though; in some areas (e.g. parts of Montreal), you're fine with just English, but in others (e.g. Northern Quebec) you're helpless without French.
Mandarin is useful almost anywhere in China, since it has been the lingua franca for centuries and the only language used in education, government and national media for 50-odd years. However, for Hong Kong & Macau, Cantonese is more important. Mandarin is also an official language in Singapore, but other Chinese dialects are more widely used.
In many places, language use has political overtones. Speaking Mandarin in Tibet or English in Quebec may irritate some people.
For travellers, the most important languages are what Phrasebook International calls regional languages. Quoting that "Learn some of a regional language. Russian for Central Asia, Arabic for the Middle East and North Africa, French for some parts of Africa, Spanish for Latin America. This may be easier than trying to learn the local languages and is more widely useful." I'd like to see a map that emphasizes those. Pashley 20:20, 15 December 2009 (EST)
This map looks like an attempt to do that, though. It just has a lot of errors. I mean, aside from the languages listed, there are not so many other "linguistic spheres". Some, like Korean or Japanese, could be listed, but they have no sphere of influence. You could make a case for Swahili, but English is understood by most people that speak it. I'm on the fence about the usefulness of any such map, although I would be surprised if the phrasebook international got very many hits anyway. ChubbyWimbus 22:39, 15 December 2009 (EST)
The world's major regional languages

Here's an attempt to create something more useful for our purposes. I initially tried to have English on the map too, but deciding which countries to include was just impossible—I think a separate color coded map showing the percentage of people per country that you'll be able to reasonably communicate with in English would be much more useful. This one just looks at the top 7 (I think) languages in order of relevance for travelers, and shows for which countries the language should be useful. The most obvious weakness is that this map cannot show tiny countries.

Having a Talk article devoted to language and travel might be interesting. --Peter Talk 00:15, 16 December 2009 (EST)

Awesome map, but English surely is missing, at least for Canada, United States, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. German is tricky, but I think it at least should be listed for Germany, Austria and most of Switzerland. English will get you further in the Netherlands (though German is partially understood), and I'm not sure if either German, Russian or English should be the best language for East-Central Europe. Southeast and East Asia is complicated as well: I don't think English fits here, even though it's probably the best language for the area. Globe-trotter 07:07, 16 December 2009 (EST)
Yes, this map is much better. Is Persian worth adding? Farsi is the main language of Iran, Dari one of two in Afghanistan and they are mostly mutually intelligible. Tajik and I think some other Central Asian languages are related.
I think English would need its own map, broken up into a scale: UK/US/etc. where it is the primary language, areas like Quebec/India/Singapore/etc. where it is an official language & widely spoken but not the main daily language, places like Amsterdam and where you can generally get by with only English, places like Paris where it is harder, places like most of China where you can expect English only from 5-star hotel staff and the odd student. Pashley 08:10, 16 December 2009 (EST)
What about Hindustani? (Is that term still in use?) My understanding is that spoken Hindi and Urdu are, at least mostly, mutually intelligible. The written forms use different alphabets, Sanskrit-derived for Hindi and Arabic/Persian for Urdu. Does that qualify as a regional language for the subcontinent? Pashley 08:33, 16 December 2009 (EST)
My first thought was similar to Peter and Pashley's - a map to show the English speaker how they'll fare in the countries of the world. Perhaps grouped by percentage of English speakers, or by category eg "Almost universal",..."Typically only hotel reception staff". But going beyond that I think there would be merit in similar maps for other major world languages - then the traveller can get an idea of where their Spanish or Russian will get them by. Andyfarrell 10:35, 16 December 2009 (EST)
English-speaking percent of population by country
The problem with English is that it is a global language, useful almost everywhere, very often overlapping with the lingua francas we're trying to show above—the map quickly becomes a mess. I found a handy wikipedia:List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population, but it's quite incomplete, and consequently, so is this map.
I've added Persian, German, and Hindustani (I didn't realize Urdu and Hindi were so clearly mutually intelligible!), as you can see from the updated thumb above. I'm not terribly convinced a working knowledge of Farsi will go very far in Tajikistan, whereas Russian will get you everywhere you want to go. The other Central Asian languages are all Turkic. --Peter Talk 01:16, 17 December 2009 (EST)
This map is much better than the originally proposed map! One thing: It appears that Spanish is the language of northern Quebec on this map. Shouldn't it be French, as well? (this comment is about the regional language map) ChubbyWimbus 01:27, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I have no idea why Quebec is frustrating Inkscape so, truly, it is a troublesome province. --Peter Talk 01:47, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I love the (potential of the) English map. As well as filling in the blank countries it could do with refining further region by region within countries, eg in Yucatan it seemed a lot more than 0-5% spoke some English. Perhaps we could do that by compiling traveller experiences in text form first. I like the idea of a general Talk article within travel topics, which could use this map plus some of the material from Phrasebook International which it could possibly replace, and be a general guide to coping with language when travelling. Andyfarrell 03:14, 17 December 2009 (EST)
The "Talk" article idea sounds like a good solution to the Phrasebook International problems discussed on the votes for deletion page. I agree that using countries as the primary unit makes certain parts seem as though they speak more or less English than they do, but it's also a lot more manageable than dividing every country by state/province/prefecture. If the map is accompanied by text, I think differences could be pointed out in the text. The map is just a general overview, so people considering travel to a certain region can go to that region's article to learn more specific information about it. ChubbyWimbus 03:39, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Austria should be fit with German on the map. Switzerland is a harder case, it's split between German, French and Italian: most of the country speaks German though. Globe-trotter 20:54, 22 December 2009 (EST)

I started a Talk article. Pashley 21:17, 22 December 2009 (EST)

Incorrect Image

This Image
Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra church.jpg
is not of the place or church that it claims to be... what should I do with it?

Also shouldn't there be some information on the images page of what to do to rectify problems like this?

Cheers. 14:39, 18 December 2009 (EST)

The image itself is hosted on Shared, and I have responded to your message on the image's talk page. --Peter Talk 17:59, 18 December 2009 (EST)

Book creator

Wikipedia now has a feature that lets users create their own books, exportable as PDF or other formats.

Could we add that here? They use categories as one way to select articles for inclusion; is there some way to use our breadcrumbs for that? Pashley 22:21, 30 December 2009 (EST)

It's called the Collections extension and it's a MediaWiki plugin built by PediaPress. I floated the idea of installing it to IB about a year and a half ago and have prodded them occasionally every now and then afterward, but I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that I haven't heard back. Jpatokal 06:34, 31 December 2009 (EST)

Copyright Map

I'd like to make a Wikitravel-style map based of this: [4]. Could anyone tell me if that's allowed, copyright-wise? globe-trotter 18:00, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Definitely, our upload form stipulates that when uploading an image without a specified license, you consent to its being licensed under CC-by-SA. And furthermore, User:Lex was well aware of this (although you would be on perfectly sound legal footing to use the map even if he were not). --Peter Talk 18:04, 4 January 2010 (EST)
OK, thanks for the info :) globe-trotter 19:00, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Lex listed the source as Tourism NT, presumably the official tourism agency of the Northern Territory. I'm not clear on how that's compatible with CC-by-sa 1.0, unless NT government sources are automatically public domain. LtPowers 19:32, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Yes, but it seems like User:Lex is an employee of Tourism NT, which would mean that the official tourism agency of the Northern Territory agrees with the CC-by-SA 1.0 license? globe-trotter 19:39, 4 January 2010 (EST)
The permissions got a bit scattered, but he definitely stated that he had permission to license his text and uploaded files, and that he was tasked by his agency for the specific purpose of improving WT coverage of their region. It's fully kosher. --Peter Talk 20:09, 4 January 2010 (EST)

Added Languages to Babel

Just letting people know that I added the following languages to Wikitravel:Babel:

  • Swahili
  • Tamil
  • Wolof
  • Yoruba
  • Tagalog (some were there, I added the other levels)
  • Korean (some were there, but it was not listed on the page. I added the other levels.)
  • Zulu (only the beginner and intermediate levels)

I don't think many people check the Babel page after they initially add what is there, so I thought I'd mention it here so you can add them, if you know any of them or wish to pretend you know any of them. ChubbyWimbus 03:24, 5 January 2010

Photo Galleries

I notice one of the Administrators is removing photo galleries with the notation that they do not follow the Manual of style. These were acceptable in the past at the bottom of a page and the gallery function still works on this site. I can find no mention of this in the manual of style. If that is true, then the gallery function should be disabled. 2old 14:12, 5 January 2010 (EST)

It's used on pages like Angkor#Motifs and Okinawa#Eat, so I don't think it should be disabled. I can't find the policy either, but I seem to recall some opposition to general galleries somewhere. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:00, 5 January 2010 (EST)
They most often violate wts:Image policy#Minimal use of images, and are rare enough where I've become prejudiced against them as deviant in style. --Peter Talk 17:00, 5 January 2010 (EST)
While I appreciate both of your statements. I distinctly remember that it was suggested in very early conversations that they be used at the bottom of articles, so they load last. Evan was even involved in that suggestion. I think they may be rare due to few people knowing how to implement them. Regardless, there is no mention of them in the Manual of style and any suggestion they do not follow the manual of style is bogus. 2old 09:49, 6 January 2010 (EST)
It is pretty rare to find a gallery that either doesn't overload the article with images, or that the images wouldn't be better off inline with the text. However, certainly in the two examples given, the gallery used appears to me to be fine.
Placing galleries at the end of the article to speed loading seems misguided. Most browsers will download the images simultaneously, and slow down the entire network connection anyway. Except where there are many images inline, I doubt there would be a difference whether they were at the beginning or the end. --inas 22:49, 6 January 2010 (EST)
If the gallery is in a sub-article it will not overload the article with images, and should avoid the problem of bandwidth as the user would only look at them if desired. This was used in Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle/Gallery after some discussion on Wikitravel:Star nominations and could be used as another option. I agree with Inas that the galleries mentioned above are appropriate as they stand. I think that galleries have their uses and should not be disabled. Perhaps a guideline on recommended usage would be appropriate. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 03:56, 9 January 2010 (EST)

CC license upgrade -- status / consistency

Hi everyone!

I am wondering, what the status of the license upgrade is...

On the top of the "Main Page" I read that the upgrade "has been approved". And in the footer of the "Main Page" it also states "Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, ...".

Still, the logo here links to the old license and on some sites (e.g. the footer says, text is available under the old license, too.

So, please get me a status! :-) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

The logo link is waiting on IB to fix it -- who knows how long that'll take. However, the footer issue you saw is the dreaded caching issue that happens around here quite a lot. If you force-reload the page (Shift-F5 in most browsers), edit it, or manually purge the cache for that page (link also on the edit page), it'll update the footer immediately and display "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0" like it should. It'll also correct itself automatically for all pages as the cache expires, but that will take at least several more days. It's a little bumpy, I know! - D. Guillaime 13:22, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Which logo? --Peter Talk 15:55, 6 January 2010 (EST)
The CC graphic at the far left of the page footer. - D. Guillaime 16:36, 6 January 2010 (EST)
I tried simply deleting the image, but no luck. --Peter Talk 16:45, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Not ours to delete, it's actually linking to CC's own server: [5]. That's probably something else IB should fix, now that I see it....
What needs doing is discussed at shared:Talk:License upgrade#New license?, though it's not clear if anyone has actually requested these specific changes from IB yet. Discussion should continue there. - D. Guillaime 17:13, 6 January 2010 (EST)

Policy on marihuana/pot/weed

What's Wikitravel policy on this topic? I know the policy on sex tourism is quite far-going, so what about pot? I'm trying to rework the "coffeeshops" section in Amsterdam, should it contain any listings? advice where to get it? health advice? or should we omit any listings at all and just mention it exists? Technically it's still illegal to smoke it in the Netherlands (it's just not enforced in practice). --globe-trotter 09:01, 9 January 2010 (EST)

If it is illegal, then I think it should be treated as such. Certainly no listings, maybe some advice, would be my take. This is very relevant to lots of Asian destinations as well ("Bob serves the best Happy Pizza in Sihanoukville".... etc... yawn... --Burmesedays 09:10, 9 January 2010 (EST)
It's only technically illegal (when reading laws), in practice the police does not enforce these laws. This is mostly done to make the Netherlands comply with some international treaties. --globe-trotter 09:26, 9 January 2010 (EST)
How about a paragrpah of prose explaining that and giving some rough pointers as to where to find a smelly coffee shop? --Burmesedays 09:29, 9 January 2010 (EST)
That's not too hard, there are about 300 (!) of them scattered all over the city =P But yes, will do that :) --globe-trotter 09:40, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Ah, another question: should it be in "stay safe" or "drink"? As we don't list any specific listings, I think "stay safe" makes most sense. --globe-trotter 10:06, 9 January 2010 (EST)
As for the Netherlands, where it's illegality is but a technicality, I think it's quite safe to write as much about the topic as you see fit. It's one of the major tourist draws, so of course we should provide visitors with the best advice we can. I would personally have loved some good recommendations when I was in A'dam this summer. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:14, 9 January 2010 (EST)
It would make sense to have some kind of official Wikitravel policy on this. And yes, it's a major tourist draw, some of the tourists only come to Amsterdam just to do that. But on the other hand, we also don't list Thai "massage parlors" around Ratchadaphisek, which are also illegal but tolerated in practice. I know it feels different (the coffeeshops in Amsterdam have an official government license), but it's hard to draw the line. --globe-trotter 10:29, 9 January 2010 (EST)
I think sex tourism is an different ballpark altogether. WT indirectly encouraging slave trade, child abduction and HIV preveilance, even though it might be tolerated by the police, is not the same thing as a government licensed coffee shop. Amsterdam (along with the licensed Bhang sales in India) is clearly a special case, and the only gray area I can think of, is the government licensed brothels in e.g. Nevada - which are conveniently handled by the Sex tourism policy. Besides, after briefly skimming through our Illegal activities policy I see nothing that would disallow handling Amsterdam's coffee shops as normal listings. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 11:45, 9 January 2010 (EST)

I'm not so fussed on the policy - but lets keep well clear of the euphemisms please. If we decide to list we owe a duty to travellers to use plain and clear English. If we are listing a coffee shop supplying hashish and/or marijuana leaf, then we should say so explicitly - none of this nonsense about "smelly" or other such. We shouldn't assume that a traveller is necessarily aware of the legal situation either, and we should make this clear also. --inas 18:06, 10 January 2010 (EST)

Ar-Wikitravel needs to be closed immediately

Please note that the Arabic version of your project has become a target of heavy spam vandalism, as a quick look at the RecentChanges page would reveal. Apparently the vandalism has been continuous for months and there are no active users there to revert it. (The site originally had almost no content articles anyways.) Hem21 00:51, 16 January 2010 (EST)

I browsed through the last 1500 edits and all were bots (judging by the edit summaries like vlRvvODk) except three "de-spam" edits from Tatata back in November. I don't know about closing the site completely (there are only 5-10 spam attacks a day, probably as many as the English version sees), but sadly that seems to be the only practical thing to do with so much spam to undo and an apparent lack of contributors. Does anyone know who is the administrator of Wikitravel/ar? Are there any ways to mass-delete spam? AHeneen 02:57, 16 January 2010 (EST)
No idea who the admins are on Ar (if there are any). It is clearly a very unloved version. There must be a better solution than closing it down. Any ideas? Anyone? --Burmesedays 03:11, 16 January 2010 (EST)
What does "closing" entail? I don't think it would be a good idea to delete the entire language version. It took so long to get the Korean version, and the Turkish version still hasn't come, so I hope it doesn't mean deleting it. Is there a way to make all pages uneditable and to have a disclaimer at the top of the main page that explains that we'd like to continue to have an Arabic version, but until there are those willing to help maintain it, no edits can be made? ChubbyWimbus 03:57, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I'm thinking we need to raise the number of editors active on a language version before granting approval. At any rate, this discussion needs to go to Wikitravel Shared, not here. LtPowers 08:55, 16 January 2010 (EST)
It's possible to simply disable anon editing, or to just take it down altogether (with the intent of bringing it back when people are ready to work on it). But of course, you'd have to contact IB to do that. wikipedia:User:Aude is the bureaucrat there, so if someone wants to clean it up, you could ask her for emergency admin powers—I sincerely doubt anyone would object. --Peter Talk 12:44, 16 January 2010 (EST)

Eastern European cities

In countries like Poland and Romania, they use very unfamiliar characters in their city names. What do we do with a city like Łódź? Move it to Lodz and Chişinău? The problem is that the article name Lodz is already taken as a redirection, so a quick move is not possible. --globe-trotter 14:02, 18 January 2010 (EST)

This may have been beaten to death in naming discussions which long pre-date my involvement here, but I struggle to see why we allow these characters at all on English Wikitravel? No benefit that I can see; only downside as GT has identified. --Burmesedays 21:25, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Wikitravel:Naming_conventions is a good starting point, and per those we do allow ligatures and accents if there is no Anglicized version of the city name - but I'm not sure if that is the case for Lodz. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 23:36, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks Stefan. If I understand correctly, edits like this one should be rolled back then?--Burmesedays 09:58, 20 January 2010 (EST)
This is an important question, also because a number of new articles are being established in Romania these days both with and without these characters. As I understand the policy, we should allow diacritics if the city does not have an English name. Does that not mean that cities like Łódź and Chişinău should be spelled like this? Not that we need to do it the same way as Wikipedia, but over there they use the local spelling. Further, with a very limited knowledge of the languages, the local spelling will help you understand how it is pronounced. What is considered to be the problem with using the local spelling? I think, we need to decide how to do this and then state the naming policy more precisely.
Maybe we could do like this: Name the article without diacritics and state the name in the article without, but then just after the name in the beginning of the article show the name with diacritics in ()? If we do this, we will have to change the naming policy, ClausHansen 10:37, 20 January 2010 (EST)
A very large reason why these characters should not be used is that searches will not work unless the user composes the (probably) unfamiliar characters. I cannot imagine many English language speakers people typing in Chişinău when they are searching for Chisinau. That means you need to set up a redirect page every single time one of these characters is used. That seems both clumsy and unnecessary when the English name is widely known. I think the policy is to use these characters by exception when there is no anglicised version. Emminently sensible I think, but not monitored it seems.--Burmesedays 10:46, 20 January 2010 (EST)
This is a difficult issue. On the one hand, it's not desirable to have special characters in the article title, because that makes it difficult to link to. But on the other hand, wherever the name is used outside of links, it is better written with the diacritics to help the reader with pronunciation. Łódź and Lodz are very far apart in pronunciation. --Peter Talk 11:17, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I like Claus's idea. A guideline of the name with diacritics in brackets within the article but not as part of the article name. Deals with the issue neatly. --Burmesedays 11:25, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I don't like the concept of renaming Tromsø to Tromso or Tromsoe, or Ærø to Aeroe or Aro, they really are not the same letters, it looks stupid, and there is no clear standard for transliteration - i.e. "Øø/Öö" can be transliterated as both o and oe, while "Åå" can be both a single and double "a". The original letters are unambiguous. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 11:54, 20 January 2010 (EST)
If there is no standard English name, then I agree Stefan. Those are the cases when diacritics could be used, redirect put in place etc. Otherwise, let's make life easy and remember that this is an English language Wiki. --Burmesedays 12:04, 20 January 2010 (EST)
I think we have to distinguish between litagurs (like Æ, Ø and Å), which are seperate letters, and diacritics (like in Chişinău), which just give further information on how to pronounce a letter. Maybe we could use litagurs in the names but diacritics only in the text? If we only use the criteria of whether there is a standard English name, then most cities will have to be named with the diacritics, so we should avoid using that criteria alone, ClausHansen 13:12, 20 January 2010 (EST)
That's the thing though, according to Wikipedia, Łł is a ligature, so should we then write Łodz instead? And while ş and ă also gives me trouble, diacritics like à,á,ä,â and ã is easily written on a keyboard, so I don't really see a reason not to call Sao Paulo, São Paulo. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:22, 20 January 2010 (EST)
"ã" is definitely not easily written on English keyboards. And Sao Paulo is rarely written with the diacritic in English. LtPowers 18:50, 20 January 2010 (EST)

We are so not opening this can of worms again -- this led to endless debates before the current policy was imposed. Wikitravel is written for the comfort of its readers, not its writers, so if you need to use cut-n-paste to add in diacritics, too bad. (And for lazy writers who don't, it's editors' job to clean up afterward.) For the reader, the diacritics do no harm and may do a little good (some people know how to pronounce them!) as long as all the appropriate redirects are in place, so whenever in doubt, keep 'em. Jpatokal 03:44, 21 January 2010 (EST)

Couldn't the same argument be used in favor of naming Russian articles using the Cyrillic alphabet? LtPowers 10:19, 21 January 2010 (EST)
No, because the average reader can't understand Cyrillic. Jpatokal 00:59, 26 January 2010 (EST)
But the average reader doesn't know what the various diacritics do to the pronunciation either. LtPowers 07:03, 26 January 2010 (EST)
So we can all understand, where is that documented please Jani? Wikitravel:Naming_conventions does not seem to say that. As an aside, I am finding a complete pickle related to this; two articles existing for the same location, one with a diacritics name and one without, lack of redirects etc. A clear policy that everyone can be directed to (not least, me!) would help. --Burmesedays 10:20, 21 January 2010 (EST)
The second sentence of Wikitravel:Naming_conventions#Romanization says "Latin characters are the letters A through Z, capitalized or not, with or without accents/diacritics, and including ligatures (such as æ, Æ).".—Vidimian 19:27, 25 January 2010 (EST)
Ah. Reading it again that is very clear (sadly). I can only plead for everyone to be careful when naming articles and wikilinking. Putting the re-directs in place is most important to make sure that searches work for the huge majority of English language users, who will not type names with diacritics. Internal wikilinking is another matter and we will just have to accept that mistakes will happen. --Burmesedays 21:17, 25 January 2010 (EST)
As long as the redirects are in place (and I agree they are very important), navigation will still work fine even if the wikilink is to the accentless version. But maybe we should import Wikipedia's redirect-straightening bot over here as well... Jpatokal 00:59, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Wikipedia's redirect policy explicitly warns against "fixing" redirects that aren't broken. Do they really have a bot that does exactly that? (Of course, we do have a mitigating situation -- that our RDF features, in particular breadcrumbs, don't work with redirects.) LtPowers 07:03, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Single redirects are fine, but double redirects should be straightened out since they confuse newbies, and there are bots for this. See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Double redirects. Jpatokal 09:03, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Blocked page

The Tiberias page seems to be blocked. I cannot make any edits. I want to change the breadcrumb of this article to be in the Galilee region, but somehow it doesn't work. Could anyone tell me how to edit this page or get the lock off? --globe-trotter 18:31, 19 January 2010 (EST)

Hmm, same with Ashkelon. --globe-trotter 18:58, 19 January 2010 (EST)
I tried, hit the spamfilter with a warning re one of the hotel links to israel a la carte .com, worked fine with that removed. Andyfarrell 19:01, 19 January 2010 (EST)
I guess it was that blacklisted url identified by Andy that was causing the issue. This demonstrates that when blacklisting any url, an administrator should ideally do a search and remove that url from all articles. --Burmesedays 21:21, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks for the fixes, I was looking for that URL, but I couldn't find it. --globe-trotter 22:07, 19 January 2010 (EST)

Advice on countries?

Is there anywhere here on WT to ask for people's advice on cities/countries to visit, with a few criteria? Thanks! Tristan Thomas 17:30, 20 January 2010 (EST)

In general no, we try not to discriminate against countries, so for a start such information is not really available here in the destination guides. As for individual travel advice, we originally set up Wikitravel Extra for that purpose, but unfortunately it's used much - Lonely Planets Thorn Tree is generally second to none, and I would recommended trying there - other good travel forums include Travbuddy and Virtual Tourist. Hope that helps --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:40, 20 January 2010 (EST)
If you see that a particular WT user is knowledgable about a particular destination, no harm in asking advice on their talk page. Also we have docent system. --Burmesedays 10:15, 21 January 2010 (EST)

Duplicate place names?

Hi, I'm trying to add some information on "Thurso" and did a search for it which took me to the page about the one in Quebec. I want to add info on the one in Scotland. I then did a search for "Thurso Scotland" which listed it.

How would I go about creating a "Did you mean...?" page which lists all the available Thursos for anyone searching?

Mosh 06:47, 23 January 2010 (EST)

No worries - sorted! Managed to dredge the memory banks and recall how I did it on Wikipedia many moons ago. Mosh 07:03, 23 January 2010 (EST)
For the next reader to come along, you were looking for Wikitravel:Disambiguation pages. Jpatokal 01:01, 26 January 2010 (EST)

New version of iTravelFree, a free Wikitravel iPhone app, now available

I'm pleased to announce that the new and much-improved Version 2.0 of my iPhone app iTravelFree is now available in the App Store. It lets you easily browse all Wikitravel content from your iPhone (or iPod Touch); keeps a copy of what you've downloaded, so you can read it offline; and displays listings on a map, too, based on their addresses or lat/long coordinates.

There's a FAQ and a screenshot-laden tutorial available at the app's web site: weTravelRight. As per the name, iTravelFree is absolutely free. (There is a paid version, iTravel, but it is functionally identical; I'm hoping that the guiltware model will offset some of my server and development costs.)

New features and improvements:

  • Improved stability
  • Much improved user interface
  • The ability to add and edit Wikitravel listings from within the app
  • Connect to Yelp, Google Search, and Flickr without leaving the app
  • Navigate Wikitravel via an iTunes-like interface, or unroll pages and sections into a single screen for browsing
  • Maps show not just listings but also cities and other macro-level locations
  • It's easy to refresh data
  • You can choose your font face and size, among other new settings
  • A host of other tweaks and improvements

I'm also hard at work on an Android version: expect a first release within the next two weeks. I'll announce it here.

Comments, questions, praise, complaints, suggestions? Use my talk page here or email me at [email protected].

Rezendi 15:40, 26 January 2010 (EST)


I realize that ICAO is the international standard, and will eventually supplant IATA, but to me, edits like this seem silly, because in the U.S. the two codes are so similar. Is that just me? I couldn't find any documentation of whether we should be listing both codes or not. LtPowers 18:42, 26 January 2010 (EST)

If the only difference in the states is the country identifier, it does indeed seem silly - though they might be useful for Alaska. Have anyone actually encountered ICAO use in ticketing/route scheduling outside Russia/ex-Soviet block? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:08, 26 January 2010 (EST)
Those are perfectly good edits. For starters, although many airports in the U.S. indeed have ICAO codes that happen to be simply their IATA codes and a one-letter prefix, there are also several airports whose ICAO and IATA codes are completely different. Second, as a traveller you ought to be aware that the world is more than just the U.S.A. ;-) Many countries (in fact, make that most countries!) have an ICAO prefix of 2 characters. As a result, outside the U.S.A. it's actually very common for an airport to have ICAO and IATA codes that aren't even remotely similar.
However, as Sertman indicated, processes that are visible to the general public (e.g. ticketing) commonly use IATA codes. The ICAO codes are mostly used by the aviators themselves for processes that are less visible to the general public, such as navigation and weather bulletins (METAR/TAF).
So, to wrap it up, I think that mentioning an airport's ICAO code should not be strict requirement because the average person won't know what to do with it, but there's nothing wrong with mentioning ICAO codes either and I certainly don't think they should be removed.Skysmurf 21:31, 27 January 2010 (EST)
But it comes back to the question - Will a traveller ever need to know that ICAO code? If not, it is at best a waste of space, and at worse confusing to the traveller who doesn't know which code they will need. Saying that the average person doesn't know what to do with it is an indication we should omit it. --inas 21:59, 27 January 2010 (EST)
I see your point. Personally I'd prefer to see ICAO codes because I know how to read METAR/TAF weather reports and judging from Stefans remark there are apparently areas where ICAO codes are used instead of IATA codes. But whether it's confusing? I'm not sure. Some articles mention IATA codes only, others mention both. Perhaps we should gather some more opinions here and then establish a site-wide guideline on this.Skysmurf 23:22, 27 January 2010 (EST)

I just went to the Aeroflot site, hoping I could follow Stefan's hunch and book a flight using the ICAO codes, but no such luck - all IATA there. --inas 00:01, 28 January 2010 (EST)

That's surprising, since I've run into a dozen of airports in Russia without IATA codes; Komsomolsk, Okha and Nogliki even though they are all served regularly by at least SAT Airlines [6] --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:30, 28 January 2010 (EST)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

I noticed that the Mali article lists these sites under Other Destinations despite the fact that two of the three sites are located within (small) cities. As far as I know, ODs should not be cities or attractions within cities. Should we list UNESCO World Heritage sites, apart from destinations such as national parks which would be featured as ODs otherwise? AHeneen 10:40, 29 January 2010 (EST)

No. They should be mentioned under "See" or "Do", as appropriate. LtPowers 11:35, 29 January 2010 (EST)

"There's a lemon party and you're invited" in "Discover" box

Is this some kind of cryptic joke? --Arthur Hemp 01:02, 31 January 2010 (EST)

I deleted your porn link. If people want to know what he was talking about, here's a wikipedia DESCRIPTION [7] (no dirty image here) —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

how to rate size of duty-free shops

I frequently include info on airport dutyfree shops, but it's still unclear for me how to compare/measure different airports in terms of number/size of dutyfree stores.

Number of shops looks good, but is not always applicable: e.g. Dubai has a single area for everything. Square meters looks much more objective and universal, but: (a) to understand the size, you can only compare it to other airports you been to (and typically you won't have Wikitravel guides for them when traveling), (b) looks like it's not widely available and published at airport sites. Ideal measurement is total number of items available, but that's absolutely theorethical metrics.

Anyone else interested in the topic, any suggestions? --DenisYurkin 17:57, 1 February 2010 (EST)

I don't really understand the goal for this? Is it for a travel topic about duty free shopping? --globe-trotter 19:42, 1 February 2010 (EST)
No, for now only on "duty-free shop" sections for large city articles. See Vienna#Duty-free shopping and Budapest#Terminals for example.
Creating a travel topic is also on my list of someday-maybes, but I'm not sure there's enough content in the topic to become a separate article (while a section in nonexistent "Buy" article may be a good candidate). --DenisYurkin 20:03, 1 February 2010 (EST)

Hi! There is a debate ongoing on the Talk:Vienna#Duty_free site about if we really need to have duty free shops in the Get in section of articles. I really doubt that as due to the carry-on restrictions of liquids (by the administration) and size (by airlines) it is not really a value for travellers. E.g. Frankfurt Airport currently seizes three tons (3'000 kilogrammm / 6'600 lbs.) of goods from travellers per day (and other airports are known to have even bigger volumes) and most duty free can't be transited any more. Also today on the curbside of airports there are shops were travellers can buy to local prices. Denis started to insert at some airports duty free section and it would be good to discuss what are the guidelines for it. I can't see the profit of listings for shops at airports as the main goal for the Get in section is to inform travellers on how to reach the city/region etc. and not on how to shop in between. I can only imagine a general travel topic about it that features the top10 duty free shopping areas in the world. jan 04:16, 31 March 2010 (EDT)

To start with, "duty free shop in airport" is in WTSI for more than 3 years [8], and it never faced any challenge before (I even believe that I added it as a result of someone's suggestion, but can't find that discussion right now). --DenisYurkin 16:06, 31 March 2010 (EDT)
It's hardly used so far and i suggest we keep it that way. jan 17:05, 31 March 2010 (EDT)
Duty-free shops should be in "Buy", as far as I'm concerned. LtPowers 10:19, 1 April 2010 (EDT)

sea temperature mapped, monthly

I wonder if anyone could suggest an online mapping service showing water average temperatures for most popular beaches, on a map, for a given month of the year? This one looks good, but doesn't allow zooming in to a country level, and doesnt have country and city labels.

Or: looking for a seaside place with comfortable weather in May/June to stay with a 1.5-year child, any suggestions preferably in/close to Europe or Asia or Nothern Africa :-). --DenisYurkin 12:29, 2 February 2010 (EST)

Update: I meant this one: http://marine(dot) -- replace (dot) with ".": ---DenisYurkin 13:58, 2 February 2010 (EST)
this page is the current temps, but if you dig around a bit, you should be able to find historical data. TomNativenewYorker 13:27, 2 February 2010 (EST)
I've seen it also earlier, but failed to found monthly historical data. Anyone more lucky than me with this? --DenisYurkin 13:58, 2 February 2010 (EST)

shopping malls

Ok, I know I am prejudiced. I hate shopping. But do we really need to include long lists of shopping malls in Wikitravel articles? A detailed listing has just appeared in Kuala Lumpur and User:SnappyHip has been providing lots of shopping info for the Philippines. But do people really travel overseas just to go shopping? Shep 14:27, 2 February 2010 (EST)

Of course they do. Shopping at shopping malls, not so much, but shopping in general, absolutely. Also, whether the travel is overseas or not is, or should be, irrelevant; we're not the site just for "overseas travelers". Some information on local shopping options is absolutely useful for the traveler who finds himself in a particular destination and needing to go purchase something. Do shopping malls need detailed information? In general, no, but there are several exceptions, such as the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall. And even outside of those megamalls, a quick listing of address and web site is quite useful. LtPowers 15:03, 2 February 2010 (EST)
They definitely do travel for shopping as one of the reason (and there are regions where shopping is primary reason for many travelers; take Milan or London for wealthier Russians, for example). You are right that we shouldn't list every mall in every city--but if a mall is very conveninetly located for many travelers (I have several examples for Moscow in hand) or if it sells something difficult to find elsewhere in the city, or is otherwise of special usefulness for a traveler--we definitely better list it. --DenisYurkin 19:52, 2 February 2010 (EST)
Malls are huge travel destinations. Though may offend good taste, the top attractions for out-of-state visitors to Illinois are: 1) An actual attraction, Chicago's Navy Pier, 2) a shopping mall, and 3) another shopping mall... --Peter Talk 21:55, 2 February 2010 (EST)
Shopping is a certainly major activity when traveling and malls are therefore valid listings. Our Asian articles especially though are clogged up with bland lists of shopping malls with little or no useful information. Those could easily be deleted with no loss to the quality of our articles. As an aside, the mall listings in Kuala Lumpur are in the wrong article and should all be moved to their relevant district article. They also need addresses and directions to be of any use to us. --Burmesedays 22:24, 2 February 2010 (EST)
But common sense should be applied. An average suburban shopping mall would usually rate only the briefest of mentions, and yellowpages type listings of shopping malls should be avoided, as is our goal --inas 00:29, 3 February 2010 (EST)

Perhaps I meant to write "Do Wikitravel readers really travel to go shopping?" I am convinced by all your arguments above about the popularity of shopping but still not convinced that it needs such prominence on Wikitravel. The problem with trying to find an acceptable compromise is that it requires an awful lot of editing of all the bland lists. Shep 08:39, 3 February 2010 (EST)

If you find bland lists of shopping malls with no useful information about location, unique stores, contact details etc, then just burn them. I do no think anyone will object. On a broader note, I do not think we should pretend we know what Wikitravel readers want to do or not do when traveling. As far as I understand it, this site should show a broad range of attractions, events, activities, shopping, hotels etc., without any judgements about what the readership may be oriented towards.--Burmesedays 10:14, 3 February 2010 (EST)
At least, we can start with defining a policy which will be enforced for future edits, and applied to each CotM and Star nomination, to start with.--DenisYurkin 09:36, 3 February 2010 (EST)
As far as I am concerned, yes I like to see the listings. Usually my travels are for business and in a location for six to eight weeks at a time. I like seeing what is available and have no problem withe them being listed. My next travel should be to Kuwait for a year, and I am trying to find out as much as I can before hand. Wikitravel plays a big part in all of my travel research.TomNativenewYorker 09:40, 3 February 2010 (EST)
Long lists with no descriptions should be burned like we do with hotels & restaurants. However I think malls are worth listing for travelers because they offer such a wide variety of goods and especially in less-developed countries have a lot of stores offering local goods & restaurants. If I'm in a country such as Peru and needed a jacket or computer, my first choice would be to find a mall with (hopefully) a wide selection of clothing and shops rather than waste a day trying to browse through scattered, small stores across a city. When I was in Paris, it was easier to browse in malls to find French-language books and music CDs than stumble upon a bookstore or music store along a street. Near me, Orlando is a shopping mecca for tourists (domestic and foreign alike) and any time I go shopping there, the malls are crowded with the summer, you can hear about 10 different languages spoken in the Apple store any given afternoon, see streams of Asians and Europeans pour out of tour buses at the entrances, and there's at least two currency exchange booths in the largest mall. Shopping malls are certainly noteworthy for tourists. AHeneen 15:57, 3 February 2010 (EST)


I've watched travel guide shows and read some travel magazines, their travel info includes like "See the tribes of...", so like if we add that here where would it be listed? Would it be in the do or see section? Adding this might also help the travelers know the country more by experiencing the cultures and traditions of indigenous tribes that haven't much affected.SnappyHip

It would probably be in "Do", as in most cases it would require an expedition of some sort. Although I admit to some unease over treating people as tourist attractions. Unless the tribes specifically welcome travelers, it may be better to put information under "Culture" in the "Understand" section. LtPowers 10:22, 4 February 2010 (EST)
If it is really specific (eg "go to village Z to see tribe X"), you could add to the see section of the relevant article. Could be a country, region or city article, but I find this sort of information often sits well in the region article. If it is not specific, but rather a general statement about the ethnicity of the area, then it will probably sit best in the understand section, perhaps with a culture sub-heading. I agree with LTPowers that where possible it is better to treat as a cultural topic, rather than a specific attraction. I guess you are talking about tribes in the Philippines? Here is an example of how I dealt with the Tenggerese in Java in an understand section: Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. Alternatively, it can be sensitively addressed in a see section, as with the Bali Aga here. --Burmesedays 10:26, 4 February 2010 (EST)
Thanks LtPowers and Burmesedays :). Cheers - SnappyHip


How long until a user is autoconfirmed? I'm getting tired of patrolling SnappyHip's edits when it's obvious SnappyHip is doing good work. LtPowers 10:28, 4 February 2010 (EST)

I thought it was 500 edits? I may be wrong though. --Burmesedays 10:33, 4 February 2010 (EST)
30 days from registration. Andyfarrell 10:47, 4 February 2010 (EST)

Mayrhofen initial draft

I have just finished to post the info I found most valuable from my recent trip to Mayrhofen, a winter ski resort in Austria. As myself I don't see what important I could add, I'd like to ask for feedback on what's written so far. So if there's any criticism/missing parts, I could fix (or reason why it shouldn't) soon, while I remember most of the details.

The guide is far from even usable status, but I hope it is still somewhat useful already.

No local knowledge or skiing experience required ;-)

Thanks for any feedback! --DenisYurkin 16:11, 4 February 2010 (EST)

And if anyone is knowledgeable on Skiing in Austria, please feel free to move from Mayrhofen stuff that applies to everywhere in Austria to Winter sports in Austria (or let me know and I will move it myself, if it's earier for you). --DenisYurkin 02:37, 7 February 2010 (EST)

Beta version of iTravelFree for Android now available

I'm happy to report that the initial version of iTravelFree, my Wikitravel-gateway app, is now available for Android phones running Android OS version 1.5 or higher. Just search for iTravelFree on the Android Market.

You can use it to download Wikitravel pages; navigate their information with an iTunes-like interface; plot listings with addresses or lat/long coordinates on a map; and connect to Yelp, Google, and Flickr from within the app. All the data you download remains available when offline, too.

Be warned: this is very much an initial beta release. I expect there are a few problems still to be ironed out. Any and all feedback is welcome: please send comments, questions, praise, complaints, and suggestions to [email protected].

There's no paid version for Android yet, and I doubt there will be one anytime soon, so ignore the occasional entreaties to spend money on it. Or better yet, just save up your guilt for future expiation. :)

Hope it's helpful -

Rezendi 23:58, 4 February 2010 (EST)

Thanks for helping Wikitravel become accessible across platforms and while on the go. BTW, are considering to add more mobile platforms, like WinMobile or Symbian or Blackberry? --DenisYurkin 08:40, 16 February 2010 (EST)
Not currently. My theory is that over the next couple of years smartphones will become a two-horse race between iPhone and Android, and the rest will wither away, so I don't see much point in adding support for them. I'm willing to be proved wrong, however... Rezendi 12:37, 24 February 2010 (EST)

I thought I'd just give my feedback on my first 15 minutes with the app - please take any criticism in the manner intended, that is I hope you app is successful. I think the first 15 minutes with an app usually determine if someone is going to use it...

I searched for the app name on the market. Found it, and downloaded it easily. Started it, no problem. The first screen was 6 big buttons, but one of them was settings, which I would have expected to find under a menu, rather than here at the top level. I clicked on the map button, and it showed me the standard OSM UK zoomed out map. Maybe I had no current GPS signal, but a map of the UK wasn't terribly useful to me. Perhaps if it has no signal, it could say so, and try and locate me? I searched for a "my location" selection under the menu options, but I couldn't find one.

I then went into search, and I tried to search for Darling Harbour. I was surprised when the result presented the redirect article first, but perhaps it is just using the WT search. I didn't select the redirect, but selected the second article. I picked Darling Harbour because I knew there was some geo information in there, and I was hoping I could check all that on the map. It got the article, it loaded without images, and I thought the view of the article compared unfavorably with the view at In particular the links looked very prominent relative to the text. I tried to find a way on the menu to view the listings on the map, but I couldn't find an option to do so. I then searched for Brisbane, and then I went into listings screen.

The listings screen then seemed to have all the listings for Brisbane and Darling Harbour, which I wouldn't have expected. From the short name of the listings, it wasn't obvious what some of them were, without the categories. Perhaps even a color code, or a tag for the listings may help? Why would I see listings from multiple cities? Perhaps this isn't typical use?

I then tried to edit an article, which is what I had been hoping to do. I couldn't find the option. I followed the Wikitravel link, but the main wikitravel screen is almost unusable on my screen. If this wasn't for editing purposes, then perhaps linking to would be a better alternative.

I then went back into map, and I could see what I thought were listings now mapped - my location seemed to now be okay. I tried to click (tap) on the listings, but that didn't seem to work.

I'll have more of a play later, but I thought I'd give you my initial feedback while it was fresh. --inas 17:12, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Thanks! I fear the Android version is a little less mature than the iPhone version; in particular, you can't yet edit listings with it. The rest is, um, actually mostly expected/designed behaviour (except the report that tapping on the map listings didn't work - that's very odd, I haven't heard any reports of that before.) I'll implement those other map suggestions in the next version, and link to - good ideas.
(The intent of the main-menu listings screen is to show all the listings from all the pages you've downloaded onto your phone, to give you easy access to any particular one by scrolling or using the menu options. The idea is that if you just want all the menu options for Brisbane, you'd go to the Brisbane page and then select "Listings" from the menu there. I freely concede that this may be less than intuitive!)
Rezendi 19:22, 25 February 2010 (EST)

Is this app usable on Ipod touch? Or if not is there any other app that would make it possible to save different pages of wikitravel from the internet in an offline version to use when there isn't access to wi-fi?

Kayla 18:29, 26 February 2010 (EST)

Just noticed that you have a iphone/ipod touch version mentioned further up. My bad:)

Upload png files

When trying to upload png files, I often get an error message (erroneous thumbnail parameter, or something). It seems to be only for larger files (but much smaller than what I see others have managed to upload), does anyone know how to get around this?, ClausHansen 01:39, 5 February 2010 (EST)

Are you trying to upload files with special characters (accents, umlauts etc) in the filenames, perhaps? Try renaming the file to use plain old A-Z and try again. Jpatokal 02:13, 5 February 2010 (EST)
No, it must be something else, ClausHansen 04:22, 5 February 2010 (EST)
Nothing obvious at first glance. The output files are very big by the way - you can save yourself time by halving them. 3000px wide should be enough for almost any likely purpose. I am having a play with one of your downloaded pngs right now and will let you know if anything occurs. --Burmesedays 05:16, 5 February 2010 (EST)
I downloaded image:BeijingOuterDistricts.png and did nothing except re-size it in Photoshop to 3000px wide. Have uploaded and there is no problem now. I suspect it may be related to the large file dimensions you are using.--Burmesedays 05:24, 5 February 2010 (EST)
I've also had problem with thumbnail rendering when png files are large (on Wikimedia Commons also), but I haven't divined the logic. See wts:Image:Baltimore districts map by street.png (7.8MB) or wts:Image:London Wandsworth-South border.png (5000x2363 pixels, 3.91MB). When I've had a problem, decreasing the resolution/filesize has always resolved it. --Peter Talk 12:40, 5 February 2010 (EST)

Trip Advisor

What is the policy on mentioning organizations like Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet. e.g. is "This hotel rated #1 out of 500 hotels by Trip Advisor" OK? Shep 14:11, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Certainly, just as long as we don't link to them. But, of course, it's best not to overdo it, since we want to provide "value-added" travel advice. --Peter Talk 14:43, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I personally tend to remove those references unless they're followed up with something like "... is rated highly by Whoever due to its excellent service, recently-renovated pool, etc, etc". My experience has been that a listing that includes only rankings is generally of little more use than a listing with no details at all, and most times these rankings are all that are included. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:59, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Hm. So would it also be okay to mention that Victoria and Albert's is the only AAA five-diamond-rated restaurant in Central Florida? I'd avoided that mention in the Walt Disney World article because I didn't think we wanted to reference other guides, but AAA is a respected evaluator of restaurant and hotel quality and saying that a restaurant won the Five Diamond Award is a clear signal that the place is indisputably in the top echelon of service. LtPowers 15:44, 9 February 2010 (EST)
I share the skeptiscm of LtPowers & Ryan because e.g. AAA is known by Americans but no European traveller has a clue on how to value it. Also ratings needs to be updated and it's very time consuming to annually update this rankings. I personally delete text that say trip advisor Top5 in 2007 because the management etc. could have changed. jan 16:10, 9 February 2010 (EST) P.S. I like the hint if a hotel is a member of Luxury hotels of the world or member of the Designhotel brand because i get an idea what to expect because it is rather timeless. jan 16:13, 9 February 2010 (EST)
To say that we can reference other guides, as long as their is no URL link to them, is a little odd. If that is what we want to do, then we should pin down exactly what we want before we stray too far down that path.
I like tripadvisor - and I never stay anywhere without reading the reviews, but just extracting the rating is problematic. Many people rate a hotel badly for poor value for money, and if I find a price half what they paid for it, then I'm doing fine. Many people rate it badly because the receptionist didn't smile, or was a bit gruff, which is exactly how I like check-in process - just gimme the key and get out my way. I've said before that I think Wikitravel would be served by a partnership with an established comment and rating type site, so we can focus on the facts and facilities, and that reviews don't suit the wiki medium.
Until that time, I think most people who make it to wikitravel are aware of the existence of Lonely Planet and of tripadvisor. If they want to know the Lonely Planet recommendation or tripadvisor recommendation, or their other preferred source of recommendations, they know where to find them. --inas 17:18, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Overdoing this would be unhelpful (and I'm not sure what value should be placed on LP recommendations, since the recommendations are followed by the places being overrun with travelers, and rates being raised accordingly). But #1 out of 500 in a city from Tripadvisor, or, say, one of the top ten hotels in the world per Conde Nast, would be something worth mentioning. --Peter Talk 17:49, 9 February 2010 (EST)
But as I say, giving examples of what might be okay, and what might not be, is only useful if we can phrase a policy around it. Saying that we won't use LP, but we will use CNtraveller, or we will only use #1 in tripadvisor out of 500, but not 2 out of 10, gives us an arbitrary framework, really. And for all we know, a good rating a CNtraveller, tripadvisor has just as much effect in that market segment, and LP does in theirs. --inas 18:10, 9 February 2010 (EST)
We don't need (and can't frame) a policy for everything. If something looks like a good description, keep it, if it's not, ditch it. If there's a disagreement, take it to the talk page. I'm just saying there's no need to ban any and all mentions of what others say, if a contributor thinks it's really worth knowing. --Peter Talk 18:21, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Re: Jan, I wasn't aware I was expressing skepticism. I was just asking, if these are okay, would mentioning a 5-diamond rating from AAA be okay? LtPowers 18:22, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Everybody receives a favourable mention somewhere. Look at any publicity poster for a bad movie. We have a strict policy over external links, no links to guides. Now we are saying that we can mention guides, quote reviews from guides, as long as we don't have a URL pointing to them, but there are no guidelines at all for how we do that, because we can't frame a policy for it. Instead we are going to try and resolve each case individually on the discussion page, with no guideline to follow? Hmmm.. We aren't even going to provide the link for veracity or context. --inas 18:45, 9 February 2010 (EST)

Everybody receives a favorable review from some person, and that person might add it to our site and recommend it. If I saw someone mention in a useful description that "X hotel was in Conde Nast's top 10 hotels in Europe," I wouldn't revert. If I saw a description that didn't say anything beyond "X gets high marks on Yelp" (omni-review/social networking site), I might revert that, or at least replace it with something more worthwhile. It just boils down to whether the description is worth reading/useful/interesting/etc., and that's in no way limited to just this issue. (And yes, I'm fine with Ryan's suggestion below—edit conflict.) --Peter Talk 19:09, 9 February 2010 (EST)
It sounds like there might be some consensus around a policy such as:
Avoid references to third-party rankings unless the ranking is truly exceptional. For example, "Lonely Planet approved" should be avoided since there are thousands of businesses that are "Lonely Planet approved", but "rated the #2 hotel in the Middle East by Travel Magazine in 2010" might be worth mentioning. Note that listings that include rankings but that provide no mention of why the hotel is highly rated provide little value to travelers, so do not use a ranking in lieue of actually describing the establishment.
I think this would address Peter's concern about mentioning when a hotel is #1 out of 500, while also addressing other concerns about our existing policies with respect to third-party guides. Thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:04, 9 February 2010 (EST)
As an aside, maybe an important one, user-driven ratings are a very different thing from so-called approval by a travel guide. Like Inas, I go to few places without checking TA first. Conde Nast ratings are also quite excellent, being driven by an educated and demanding readership. Appearance in a travel guide like Lonely Planet is nothing of the sort. Rather, a badly paid editor or 2 does a tour around a destination and writes down the details of places they like, the inclusion of some of which on the itinerary of visited businesses may be driven by traveler comments. Rough Guides are little different (although often rather more creative and interesting). This is very different from ratings compiled from a broad spectrum of unsolicited, independent user reviews. So our including "approved by Lonely Planet" (or whoever) should not even be a discussion and it's a resounding no from me. Respected, broad market, user-driven reviews are different, but should still surely be used here only in moderation.--Burmesedays 19:24, 9 February 2010 (EST)

I get that some people are happy to just revert, because it just seems wrong, and then take it to the discussion page. Personally, when I see a person adding something in good faith, and I'm going to undo their work, I want some sort of guideline to fall back on, at least as a starting point for discussion. I find it helpful, and perhaps others do too. I also think it can save new editors time, if they can be guided towards what is likely to be acceptable and uncontroversial. I'm happy with Ryan's guideline, although the use of the word, 'ranking', probably could do with a bit of clarification. I like the 'truly exceptional' threshold, though. --inas 20:29, 9 February 2010 (EST)

I haven't seen this practice as often as others apparently do, but Ryan's guideline strikes me as sensible & workable. Gorilla Jones 20:50, 9 February 2010 (EST)
A google search like this [9] shows quite a few examples... --inas 21:01, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Hopefully this slightly modified text addresses Inas' concerns. If so, what would be the appropriate place to add it? Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to? This isn't really about external links, so maybe there's a better place for it?
Avoid references to third-party ratings and rankings unless they are truly exceptional. For example, "Lonely Planet approved" should be avoided since there are thousands of businesses that are "Lonely Planet approved", but "rated the #2 hotel in the Middle East by Travel Magazine in 2010" might be worth mentioning. Note that listings that include such references but that provide no mention of why the business is highly rated provide little value to travelers, so do not use this information in lieu of actually describing the establishment.
-- Ryan • (talk) • 21:40, 9 February 2010 (EST)
Can we change in lieu to something from more simple English? And another question from the third world reader:) -- is Travel Magazine ONE OF THE MOST authoritative sources, or it's just <put name of your any favourite magazine on travel>? --DenisYurkin 01:34, 10 February 2010 (EST)
I'm happy. Lets change in lieu to 'instead' - thats simple, and make it clear 'Travel Magazine' refers to the generic. I would put the policy in Wikitravel:Don't tout, as it is really a restriction on how we present such things. --inas 06:16, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Why not [also?] in External Links policy? --DenisYurkin 09:12, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Because it isn't much to do with an external link, really, it is more about the language, content (particularly promotional content) of listings. It is disorganised to have the same guideline or policy in two places - someone will update or discuss at one location, and not the other. We can always link to it to the extent it is relevant to the existing text. If we really can't agree on where it should go, lets just create a short policy article Wikitravel:Using ratings and rankings and link from both. --inas 17:01, 10 February 2010 (EST)
I completely agree that we should define policy only in one place, and only link from the others.
As to why it should be mentioned at XLinks: it's also largerly on referring to external and third-party sources (even if without actually giving an URL link). Especially that it already says:
Avoid links to:
*Restaurant guides and reviews in restaurant guides
*Other travel guides...
We should avoid links to other travel guides, to ensure we have travel information in Wikitravel, not linked from Wikitravel. This is an incentive issue; if we have lots of links to other travel guides, we lose the impetus to create our own. In addition, one of our goals is to produce a guide useful for printing or offline use, and therefore we need information to be within the article rather than linked to at another site..
--DenisYurkin 23:20, 10 February 2010 (EST)
In the interest making sure something constructive comes out of this discussion I've added the proposed text to Wikitravel:External links#What not to link to, although as Inas pointed out there might be a better place for it. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:47, 11 February 2010 (EST)
If it's only me, I absolutely don't mind if the policy is sticked wherever you feel best. With my previous interest in admitting that there are guidebooks that are better in some aspects, and in helping traveler to find a best reference for their different needs*, I definitely see such a policy as a huge step forward. Thanks to Ryan, Inas and everyone contributed for that step!
(*) If someone missed it, see User:DenisYurkin/Paper travel guides. --DenisYurkin 15:58, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Perhaps it is more of an issue with the Wikitravel:External links page itself. I contains substantial amount of policy, and probably has outgrown its initial focus. --inas 17:07, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Would anyone mind if I move this bit out of Wikitravel:External links and over to Wikitravel:Don't tout. It doesn't fit perfectly into the latter, but it really has nothing to do at all with external links. Links to reviews are ruled out categorically; this is just about mentions. Its inclusion in the WT:XL page seems to have already caused some unnecessary confusion [10]. --Peter Talk 00:19, 7 March 2010 (EST)
Maybe it's really a good time to split the whole policy on paper guidebooks and third-party review mentions to a separate article? (pityfully, I'm not volunteering :-) ) --DenisYurkin 17:17, 9 March 2010 (EST)
I think that makes sense. We could also cover in detail what we are looking for from literature/read sections. --Peter Talk 17:49, 9 March 2010 (EST)

Michelin stars and TripAdvisor Top Value badges

OK, as we agreed on mentioning other guides and rankings for exceptional hotels and restaurants, does this mean that we can mention every 3-star Michelin restaurant here at WT, and also mention its Michelin rating in the listings description?

And on a related note, but not on that exceptional cases: what about TripAdvisor Top Value badges (see [11] for example: the first page shows only TopValue hotels for the whole Rome)--can we mention them here, if hotel otherwise qualifies for a listing by our standards? Here is what they call Top Value:

A Top Value icon means that a hotel offers a high-quality stay at a great price, as judged by the TripAdvisor community. To identify excellent value hotels, TripAdvisor looks at the relationship between a hotel’s quality and price, taking into account input from real travelers on TripAdvisor, as well as third party data. “Top Values” are updated frequently to reflect the most recent prices and quality ratings.

--DenisYurkin 15:25, 12 February 2010 (EST)

Looking at the list of tripadvisor "top value" hotels in Los Angeles, 9 of the 284 results are "top values", all are chain hotels, and none seem particularly special. Extrapolating, I assume this means that there are literally thousands of hotels that are "top values", which wouldn't meet the "exceptional" bar from the guideline. I'm less familiar with the Michelin guides and thus can't comment on those. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:38, 12 February 2010 (EST)
If the restaurant would otherwise be listed, I would think that a Michelin 3 stars would be the most significant thing about it. Make sure to include price ranges though! --inas 17:36, 15 February 2010 (EST)
I think if these type of ratings are mentioned casually by an editor, then not a big issue. I would though oppose making their inclusion an objective, and I do not think we should be searching such guides and adding listings based on them, as Denis has suggested here. --Burmesedays 03:32, 17 February 2010 (EST)
As for researching user-generated ratings and adding listings to WT based on them--why would you object, could you please detail it? --DenisYurkin 06:04, 17 February 2010 (EST)
I view Wikitravel as an added value site, not one that uses other travel or rating sites as a source of listings. I use TripAdvisor myself as an aid when culling long lists (for example), but would not want to take listings from there and add them to an article.--Burmesedays 12:43, 17 February 2010 (EST)
So you would prefer to have an article which doesn't really help with finding a good restaurant at a given destination--than to have a compilation of the places which are mentioned both at TA and some other authoritative user-generated sites? It definitely adds value: we give a concise description rather than dozens of individual feedback texts; we are printable and available offline; we split into districts; we provide contact details much more carefully than any other site/guidebook does. Not to mention that this way we raise a barrier for touts adding their establishments, as they already have most serious competitors they can't beat most of the time. --DenisYurkin 13:14, 17 February 2010 (EST)
I think current policy explicitly states that when we are thin on listings then using external sources for research to help fill out data is fine. Similarly, if we have a number of listings with little information beyond address/URL then going to external sites to research more helpful info is fine. If I understand Burmesedays correctly, however, he's saying that absent these two situations we should not be going to TripAdvisor or another third-party site to verify that we have all of their top listings in Wikitravel, and I'd agree with that as we want to complement these other sites and not duplicate them. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:07, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Thanks for clarification, Ryan--it really helps. Now, back to Barcelona: my experience using WT there 2 years ago showed that we have very few listings for that city (at least, on restaurants). Does anyone disagrees with that on Barcelona? --DenisYurkin 15:24, 17 February 2010 (EST)

If we only wanted first hand traveller info in the guide, I'd support that. It would take us longer to make a comprehensive guide, The current reality is that most sleep and eat info is added by people promoting that business, and the irony of stopping user review summaries while allowing PR companies would be too much for me. In both cases travellers are free to modify the listings. --inas 14:47, 17 February 2010 (EST)

Inas, I'm not sure I understand you point at all. Would you support adding summaries for the most famous and best-value picks from TripAdv and the like--or not; and if not--why? --DenisYurkin 14:57, 17 February 2010 (EST)
To clarify. I support summarising third party reviews for the Sleep and Eat sections on Wikitravel. I believe this is also supported by current policy and practice. I would change my position if Wikitravel policy ever changed globally to only permit entries by people who had experience (stayed or eaten at) the places they are commenting on. --inas 17:02, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Thanks, Inas--now it's very clear for me :-) --DenisYurkin 17:17, 17 February 2010 (EST)

On collaboration and style

Andrew Lih makes some comments about the relative unpopularity of Wikinews, but I think those comments may also provide some insight into why our tone guidelines are so hard to follow. LtPowers 21:23, 10 February 2010 (EST)

Could someone atttempt to summarize, which of WikiNews specifics, or which conclusions from the article could be extrapolated to Wikitravel? --DenisYurkin 22:49, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Basically just that they believe that wikis are not well suited to deadlines and group narrative writing (creativity in prose).
I tend to agree, but hope that our lack of deadlines and our tone policy (which is ever more strict when applied to our higher quality articles) may give us an advantage over Wikinews in attracting writing that is engaging and fun to read. If we wait long enough, hopefully someone interested in travel writing (surely there are a lot of such people in the world!) will come along and write an entertaining lead for Khobar or Kearney, Nebraska. Enforcing the "replace lively writing only with more lively writing" rule should help us keep it entertaining. --Peter Talk 23:01, 10 February 2010 (EST)
Enforcing the "replace lively writing only with more lively writing" rule should help us keep it entertaining
I don't remember we have such a policy anywhere here--have I missed something?
And does it imply that if edit changes lively writing to something dull, while adding more useful info, it likely should be reverted? Or probably I misunderstood the point. --DenisYurkin 14:58, 12 February 2010 (EST)
See the last sentence in Wikitravel:Tone. If an edit dulls down lively writing, but adds good content, I think the dulling down should be reverted, but the new useful content integrated into the existing writing. --Peter Talk 15:06, 12 February 2010 (EST)

Discriminaton on Romanian WikiTravel

Are discriminated on the project in Romanian! Sysop while bureaucrat, I block all accounts! Please take a measure! Unnecessarily blocked me, without doing vandalism or more! Please. Thanks. --Ervin C. 09:13, 11 February 2010 (EST)

Please make your request in proper English. Thank you! --Vlad 09:35, 11 February 2010 (EST)
OK, now, say why I block all accounts? Thank you! --Ervin C. 09:47, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Why you block all accounts? --Vlad 09:57, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Now I understand what this discussion is about, I think it is inappropriate that it is taking place here at English Wikitravel. It is a Romanian Wikitravel matter and ought to be discussed there.--Burmesedays 10:02, 11 February 2010 (EST)
Yes, why you block my all accounts, I don't know. --Ervin C. 10:03, 11 February 2010 (EST)
You already trolled and sockpuppeted at Romanian Wikipedia, Romanian Wikinews, Romanian WikiTravel, this is why you were blocked. And I've already explained you that. Please stop harassing me by mail, there is nothing else to say. --Vlad 10:09, 11 February 2010 (EST)
But I did bad on that wiki? We have not made any worse by the record, even I made some good articles and I put accents on some items. And not a troll! --Ervin C. 10:19, 11 February 2010 (EST)
I think you need to stop messing around. You've build yourself a trackrecord, now deal with it. You're not going to find support here, especially not for a matter that is no concern of English wikitravel, so you can quit trying. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:27, 11 February 2010 (EST)

Range blocks

There is a debate over range blocks with IB happening at the Shared Travellers' pub, regulars please chime in. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 14:20, 11 February 2010 (EST)

IB has responded, ruling out; no follow, common.js and range blocks‎. Regulars, please join the discussion on shared. —The preceding comment was added by Sertmann (talkcontribs)

Where did they rule out nofollow? LtPowers 19:13, 18 February 2010 (EST)
Here. -- D. Guillaime 19:17, 18 February 2010 (EST)

National Park Service info use

I understand that text from the NPS websites are public domain. Does the same apply to pictures, maps, and other media? Thanks! 14:57, 15 February 2010 (EST)

See the "Ownership" section on There are a number of pictures and maps on the NPS web site that they have licensed from private individuals, so those cannot be freely re-used, but provided that there isn't an author or copyright specified the default for NPS content is that it is released into the public domain. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:08, 15 February 2010 (EST)

Northwest Airlines

As of January 31, 2010, this airline no longer exists. The travel topic could be moved to Delta Air Lines, but it would require quite a bit of tweaking. Eco84 00:55, 16 February 2010 (EST)

I would vfd it because none of the information is accurate in the new structure. jan 13:46, 17 February 2010 (EST)
It a simple redirect, without moving content. --inas 14:48, 17 February 2010 (EST)
Why do we even have travel topics of airlines? Couldn't that have a more neutral scope, such as "plane travel in the United States" or something like that? --globe-trotter 13:26, 19 February 2010 (EST)
As I recall there was some concern about creating pages for airlines, but a small group made the case that it might have value so it was implemented as a trial to see how it went - Talk:American Airlines makes a reference to such a discussion. For Northwest Airlines, as long as we're going to have pages about airlines then it might make sense to move this article to Delta Airlines and update as necessary. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:21, 22 February 2010 (EST)


Any ideas as to why my talk page comes up as an article in need of attention? Very weird. --Burmesedays 04:38, 22 February 2010 (EST)

If you update the "Diving in Saipan" comment to put a colon in front of the category reference - [[:Category:...]] instead of [[Category:...]] it should fix itself. The former creates a link to a category page, the latter adds an article to a category. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:16, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Excellent spot Ryan. Fixed:). Thanks very much. --Burmesedays 11:04, 22 February 2010 (EST)

Lat/Long in listings

I've noticed recently quite a few listings gaining 'lat="" long="" ' attributes. Many times these are happening as an edit to a listing without any of the information being changed. Should listings now have these attributes, or are they being added randomly by someone who thinks they are helping and actually should be remvoed? Nrms 12:28, 22 February 2010 (EST)

The reason is because our nice little pop-up listing editor includes lat and long fields but the "click-to-insert" shortcut links that appear underneath the edit window do not. Currently, I believe that the lat and long fields are nonfunctional (but harmless), but they're there in anticipation of future functionality. LtPowers 16:40, 22 February 2010 (EST)
A third party user of our free data, may of course find a good use for them. --inas 16:59, 22 February 2010 (EST)
As far as I recall Rezendi's iTravelWrite iPhone app mashes them up with google maps or something like that, at least that was his intention in the early posts he did. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:06, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Ah. Just seemed a little strange that they sometimes end up as an addition to a listing when no other change is made to the page :) Nrms 08:03, 23 February 2010 (EST)
That baffled me for weeks as well, until I finally figured it out :). Strange little thing that popup editor; does this lat/long business but does not have an email address field!--Burmesedays 08:30, 23 February 2010 (EST)

Discussions on shared..

Those who don't maintain watchlists on shared, may wish to know that there are a few discussions taking place there now.

At shared:Talk:Image policy - a discussion of how we balance our goal of freedom of distribution against our goal of comprehensive and well illustrated guide.

At shared:Tech talk:Enable rel="nofollow" - animated discussion of anti-SEO tactics, continue..

At shared:Tech:Move reverts auto-delete - IB saying how we should use redirects, and the community responses to that.

Any some others --inas 19:08, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Time Out Explores Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines

I would like to get this published, Under what section would this come?

(advertisement for a travel guide book removed)--Burmesedays 05:10, 1 March 2010 (EST)

As it is an advertisement for a guide book, absolutely nowhere on Wikitravel is my answer to your question.--Burmesedays 05:10, 1 March 2010 (EST)


I have been struggling to understand the real purpose of our learn sections. Three templates include this as a standard section and the pointer texts are:

  • Country: Information about schools and classes for language, culture, or other activities that international travelers may be interested in. Note cities where there are large international student opportunities. This can be about general stuff, with contact info and other specifics in the city guides.
  • Huge City and Large City: If there are opportunities for travellers to study in this city -- from language to cooking classes up to full university courses -- add that here.

The country template text seems to get it right emphasising language and cultural education opportunities. That makes a lot of sense in a travel guide. The city templates though start talking about full time uni courses. That seems like open season for listings of conventional universities. And it happens. I hate to pick on South Asian articles again but there are lots of lists of universities in those. What use is that for a traveller? Surely, nobody will decide to enroll on a four year civil engineering degree course at a university due to a mention in a travel guide? If there is already a discussion along these lines, then please post a link here. --Burmesedays 09:51, 3 March 2010 (EST)

I believe that "Learn" was originally created due to the fact that people were including study abroad programs and foreign language classes in articles and we had nowhere to put them. That said, I can't say as I recall ever seeing a well-written "Learn" section - if anyone knows of one and could provide a pointer it would help guide this discussion since at the moment it's not entirely clear what should go in this section, and as a result we get everything from technical colleges to cooking schools to yoga classes, most of which is of questionable value to a traveler. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:20, 3 March 2010 (EST)
We had a very inconclusive but somewhat interesting discussion about learn (and work) here. I can't say whether Chicago#Learn is a good example of what we want (since I don't think we know what we want), but it is at least well curated. For the U.S., at least, touring colleges is something a good portion of the 11th and 12th year high school students do before choosing their college/university of choice—this is a pretty significant bit of domestic travel. As that discussion makes clear, there isn't any consensus on what this section should be used for, but personally I think that in a big city article like Chicago, it is useful to know which universities are where and whether they are near each other. --Peter Talk 15:32, 3 March 2010 (EST)
I think Inas summed it up well at the end of that discussion questioning what is a traveller, to aid us in serving them. My best friend did one year travelling with his wife, I think they're a good benchmark - they did a two week Spanish course on arrival in South America to help them cope, and a couple of cookery courses (each of 1-3 days duration) as a way of enjoying the local culture at places on their travels. By that sort of benchmark, neither the university one-semester course listings nor the descriptions of the universities as nice places to wander round, are of much use. The same logic applies for the Work sections - I think we want casual bar work, fruit picking work, casual tefl work, lasting weeks and some info on how much the traveller can get away with doing under the radar of formal work permits in that particular regime. Andyfarrell 17:51, 3 March 2010 (EST)

I'm not sure how many regulars here have actually studied abroad, but at most universities (in the U.S.), the Study Abroad Offices typically have specific providers chosen from which students can pick from. Finding others is usually possible, but there's more to the process and credits are often not guaranteed to transfer. Also, those that are outside of major cities are often those with special relationships with specific universities that are not open for other students to join. If a student wants to find a study abroad program in a specific nation or city, they should visit iiepassport or for a general overview, but more importantly, they must consult their study abroad office or whoever deals with this at their university. I don't think that a student would be inspired by our website to choose a city; I think our website would better serve them if they were considering two programs and wanted to see which city seemed more interesting. Because of this, I think it is mostly useless to have the "Learn" section in city guides. I agree with Peter that it is useful at the country-level. There, we can list some of the most popular (or those with the most foreign affiliations) and let the students take it from there. Advising students on study abroad is way beyond our scope!

Most nations only have a handful of cities for foreign students anyway. For large nations that have a lot of popular options, like the U.S., perhaps going to a lower-level would be okay, but for most, we could easily nix this section from the city guides. I think a traveller taking a class is more likely to want a class that is one evening or a few days so that they can continue travelling. For these kinds of classes (which I think are usually cultural experiences), they could easily be options under "Do".

Work may be kind of similar... Will someone really find a job from our travel guide? Our Teaching English article is worthwhile, but that is focused and specific. I think this one could generally be left at the country level, as well... ChubbyWimbus 21:51, 3 March 2010 (EST)

Any more thoughts on this? I was just looking at the South African country article and saw all those Unis listed there. I am really struggling to see the point of that in a travel guide.--Burmesedays 12:19, 2 April 2010 (EDT)
Well my opinion was well summarised above. When I have stayed anywhere for longer than 6 months I no longer consider myself a traveller, but I'm settled for a while. An exchange student isn't a traveller, they are an exchange student. So, I don't think we have the space to do justice to the foreign exchange student, or the person seeking to work somewhere for a year or two - we will lose the travel focus of our guide if we do that. We would have to give details on 12 month house rentals, college accommodation etc. So we want info on short term work the traveller can do and any legal info that is relevant. Similarly for learn. If the universities are destinations, they should be in see. --inas 04:13, 3 April 2010 (EDT)

Exporting from openstreetmap

I am trying to export an svg-file from openstreetmap but without much luck (after pushing 'Export' and choosing 'Mapnik Image', I do not get the list of file formats to choose from). Does anyone else have the same problem? and is there a way around it?, --ClausHansen 01:08, 4 March 2010 (EST)

It seems to be broken for me right now as well. I suggest trying again later.--Burmesedays 01:14, 4 March 2010 (EST)
It's working for me. The options section is simply not showing up? I know that you cannot export SVG images if you are not zoomed in close enough, but this sounds like a different problem that I haven't seen before. --Peter Talk 01:28, 4 March 2010 (EST)
Could be a different server I guess? When selecting Mapnik as normal, there is no output format option. --Burmesedays 04:00, 4 March 2010 (EST)
I think this is a browser issue. Working fine in Chrome and Firefox but not in IE.--Burmesedays 04:07, 5 March 2010 (EST)
Thats right, thanks a lot!, --ClausHansen 05:08, 5 March 2010 (EST)

wow this isn't a wikimedia project

How close is this project to Wikimedia projects? Would the same rules of Wikipedia apply here? I mean, moof them are common sense I guess... just curiosu about how different it was... Thanks -- 22:26, 6 March 2010 (EST)

Actually, most of our rules are different, sometimes wildly so but other times in subtle ways. Read Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians for detailed information. LtPowers 23:02, 6 March 2010 (EST)

Problems with the listing form editor

I'm starting to distrust the "add listing" form. It seems like about every fifth or sixth time I use it, I fill in all the info and write a nice description, and then when I click save, it just all disappears and I have to start over. The first time I thought maybe I had just accidentally clicked cancel, but now as it has happened several times in the last 24 hours, I am positive that I wasn't the problem. Has anyone else noticed this problem?? Texugo 00:01, 7 March 2010 (EST)

I stopped using it for similar reasons. It is unstable, especially if you are pasting text into it (eg an address). I think it is easier, and certainly more reliable, to use the listing template on the regular edit screen.--Burmesedays 00:12, 7 March 2010 (EST)
I have the same issues. Before it seemed fine, but lately the problems have been increasing. I thought it was Google Chrome messing up but now I see others have similar issues... --globe-trotter 15:32, 7 March 2010 (EST)

Article or Travel topic?

Well is this a travel topic or an article?;Chinese cuisine in the San Francisco Bay Area. Article needs some attention and organizing. -SnappyHip 22:31, 12 March 2010 (GST).

"Travel topics" are one of three subsets of "articles", so the answer is "it's both". LtPowers 13:53, 12 March 2010 (EST)
Oh Ok, but that article really needs organizing. Thanks :). Have a nice day. -SnappyHip 22:58, 12 March 2010
I really don't know why we even have articles like that. A trimmed down version of that could easily fit in the Eat section of San Francisco or the Bay Area. --globe-trotter 14:13, 13 March 2010 (EST)
I agree. A large portion of that article is empty formatting. Texugo 23:36, 13 March 2010 (EST)
There are quite a few of that nature. Might not be a bad idea for a COTM - merging all undeveloped travel topics into proper articles. --Burmesedays 04:59, 14 March 2010 (EDT)
That article is so old the chow mein's got hair on it (created February 2004!) -- it should long since have been swallowed up into San Fran itself. Jpatokal 07:18, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
Merged and redirected. PerryPlanet Talk 14:42, 20 March 2010 (EDT)

Blocking a URL

Sorry I'm fairly new at this whole wikitravel thing (or wiki anything for that matter), but I've tried to read all the policies and whatnot before I start helping out. Not sure if this is where I should voice this but I've noticed the URL is spammed allover the place in articles in Switzerland. I've tried to tidy it up a bit but is there a place where I could request the URL being blocked? Where is the best place to voice my concerns about vandalism or other things going against policy to admins who can do something about it? Thanks! - Kayla 23:07, 15 March 2010 (EDT)

This is as good a place as any. We do have a blacklist that can disallow the URL; is it currently being added to articles repeatedly, or do you think it might have been just a one-time spammer who came through? Neither is necessarily an impediment to blacklisting, but it might affect the urgency. LtPowers 08:19, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
It's quite possible it was a one-time thing. It was within an article in Switzerland (Locarno), but the url had been added to EVERY single section. ie "more about this hotel at: url" "more about this restaurant at : url" etc. I removed it for now, but I was just wondering if there was some other course of action I should take. Some sort of "report to admin" or something. You know a "be a tattle tale" button or something:P - Kayla 05:33, 20 March 2010 (EDT)
Nobody likes a tattletale Cindy Kayla! ;-) TomNativenewYorker 11:31, 20 March 2010 (EDT)


I have a question about travelling from New York City to several cities on the US West coast on a limited budget. This is the first time I've used this site, so I hope I'm putting my question in the correct place. Here is my tentative itinerary:

1. Leave New York and go to Seattle, WA where I have a couple of friends I want to visit. 2. Go from Seattle, WA to Medford, OR where I have several friends and need to take care of some business. 3. Go from Medford, OR to Los Angeles, CA and visit a few friends.

I'm thinking I'd like to do this trip in May or June, 2010.

I think I can probably get by without a car in Seattle but will need some way to get around on the rest of my trip.

Does anyone have any good ideas about how to do this really cheaply, but relatively conveniently?


William Cerf WilliamCerf 21:51, 16 March 2010 (EDT)

Please be careful not to erase existing text when you add a question. Thanks. LtPowers 07:16, 17 March 2010 (EDT)

Moving images from en to shared

Now that we are no longer accepting any image uploads to en, is there an easy way to move all existing images across to shared? This would certainly be a good move I think. Just today I was disappointed by the small number of Tunisian images on shared, and later found lots by accident uploaded here at en.--Burmesedays 07:45, 19 March 2010 (EDT)

Yes, its really annoying that the upload feature to en still exists. No idea why this is done the way it is. --globe-trotter 13:59, 20 March 2010 (EDT)

San Francisco Star Nomination

I've nominated the fantastic San Francisco article for star status. Should it pass, it would be only the fourth huge city article to be crowned, so your input is crucial! PerryPlanet Talk 15:01, 20 March 2010 (EDT)

Screenshot of Iraq in Chrome
Screenshot of same Iraq page in IE8

Warning boxes

I am asking this here as I can't think where else is appropriate. Can all users please not place warning boxes at the top of a country article, and when you see one there please move it. It completely messes up the page layout in IE, leaving huge amounts of white space in the article. The best alternative place for warnings about travel to a country are the Get in section. IE's market share is dropping (unsuprisingly), but it still accounts for some 60% of all page loads in the world, so we must take this into account. --Burmesedays 10:29, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

Can you give an example? The box ought to be able to be coded to avoid any such layout issues. LtPowers 16:29, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
Iraq and Niger. Huge whitespace at the top in IE, fine in Chrome and Firefox. As I see these problems I move the box. --Burmesedays 22:53, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
Both look fine to me in IE 8. LtPowers 08:54, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Then I guess your IE8 is different to mine (see right).
When I use IE8, I see the same as LtPowers. However, when I use the IE Tab Classic plugin of Google Chrome, I get the same result as Burmesedays. Weird. --globe-trotter 09:53, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
You get no whitespace in IE8? That is wierd. I tried IE on four different office machines today and at home, all with the same ugly result. I almost never use IE to be honest as it just isn't very good, but figured this must be a widespread problem. There are no issues at all with Chrome, Firefox or Safari.--Burmesedays 09:58, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
I have the same result as LtPowers and so far no issues with IE8. Only when guys try to highlight phone number with this skype tag it gets pretty messy... jan 14:06, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

I think I might have isolated the issue. With IE8 in Windows XP, there is a white space problem. IE8 in Windows 7, no such problem. I would be grateful if another user could confirm that. If that is the case, then my request stands as we cannot limit pages to look correct in Windows 7 only.--Burmesedays 22:03, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

Nope, I'm running XP. LtPowers 22:17, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Damn!. In which case, it remains a most mysterious problem.--Burmesedays 22:49, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

I see the problem from time to time using Firefox 3.5 in XP, but it doesn't occur every time there is a warningbox. Keep in mind that the screenshot is copyrighted (the IE interface is actually what's copyrighted) and should not be uploaded to Wikitravel...delete it soon. AHeneen 03:07, 29 March 2010 (EDT)

Wikipedia attribution

So in this discussion, I mentioned that I am not a fan of putting the new Wikipedia attribution template at the bottom of the main article page. Notes about sources and copyright info have always gone on the talk page in the past, and I don't see any reason for the Wikipedia note to have a permanent place on the main namespace. There is no way for any other kind of contribution to get permanent mention there, so the exception for this one seems odd to me. I would like to propose that attribution notifications be given a permanent place at the top of the talk page. There they will still be highly visible and they won't accidentally get swept away into archives, etc. What does everyone think? Texugo 11:06, 22 March 2010 (EDT)

Definitely agree. I have used this template a lot for various African articles, and would much prefer to see it on a talk page.--Burmesedays 11:07, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
No. It needs to be at the bottom because that's where the rest of the attribution information is found. If it's on the talk page, a reuser may not know to look there for additional attributions. LtPowers 16:28, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
That is incorrect. At the bottom of the page is only a randomly selected list of contributors, with a link to the complete list. It has never included source info-- notes about text sources (i.e. release notifications, etc.) have always gone on the talk page, the same way image source info is off in the image source file. If we insist that any text must be sourced on the main article page, we could end up with a whole pile of boxes at the bottom of some articles, which I think is tacky and unnecessary.Texugo 23:36, 22 March 2010 (EDT)
I suppose I'm responsible for creating that template, which I added in line with the existing {{Attribution}} and {{Mergecredit}} templates as documented in the template index, in turn based on earlier discussions of requesting permission from others and crediting original sources of translated pages.
Mind you, now that I check it, it seems that {{Attribution}} is only used on two pages, and that I've personally added all but one of {{Mergecredit}}'s uses, neither of which had I previously realized. — D. Guillaime 00:58, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

We could amend MediaWiki:Copyright to say something like "additional attribution information may be found on the article's talk page." Either way, we're still making things miles easier for re-users than Wikimedia does. --Peter Talk 01:30, 23 March 2010 (EDT)

That seems like a good solution. I realise that the Wikipedia attribution is necessary, but let's try try get it off the main article. --Burmesedays 01:37, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Sounds good to me! Texugo 01:40, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
There are so few articles that have additional attribution information (at least it seems so?) that I might prefer a single, subtle template as a talk page pointer for the few that need it, rather than padding out MediaWiki:Copyright for everything. That's merely an aesthetic thought, though, not an argument of any substance. — D. Guillaime 02:47, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
I don't see why we should separate attribution information like that. We link to Wikipedia because Wikipedians wrote some of the text in the article, and they should be credited just like Wikitravelers who are credited at the end of the article. Since we can't transclude the Wikipedia article's history, the next best thing is to make sure that people looking for attribution information know where to find it and don't think that the auto-generated information at the bottom is the be-all and end-all. LtPowers 08:54, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Mainly because it doesn't look very nice. Wikipedia do not even credit their own writers on the page they contribute to (at least not in a place obvious to me), so I am not at all sure why we should worry about it. --Burmesedays 09:26, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Also, reserving the article space for travel content alone has long been a goal, which is why we have shunned the practice of crediting photographers in thumbnail captions, as well as in-article ads of any sort. --Peter Talk 12:21, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Understandable, but at least we're consistent with the image credits. With text credits, they're scattered all over the place if text was imported from other sources; keeping them as close together as possible is ideal. If we had a way to stick the information in the footer or on the credits page, I'd be all for that, but we don't. LtPowers 15:55, 23 March 2010 (EDT)
Well, Peter's suggestion is just that, to add a note to the footer pointing to the talk page. I'm all for it. Texugo 06:44, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
Yeah, I agree - I'm tired of seeing these boxes cluttering up pages. If anyone asks, we can point them to the talk page (heck, if they're familiar with Wikipedia, the talk page is probably the first place they will look!). PerryPlanet Talk 18:58, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
I don't think that's sufficient. LtPowers 20:53, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
Well, do you want to offer any suggestions as to what would be sufficient? PerryPlanet Talk 22:16, 24 March 2010 (EDT)
I believe the current templates are our best solution at this time. LtPowers 09:30, 25 March 2010 (EDT)
Why? You have made no reasonable arguments as to why this is necessary. Any Wikipedian will surely not expect it as it does not happen over there. --Burmesedays 12:10, 25 March 2010 (EDT)
I already explained why. First and foremost, we are not Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not place its text credits in a convenient location at the bottom of every article page. One must, when attributing in Wikipedia, go through the history and record the usernames listed there -- and, if the page history indicates merges occurred, link to additional pages and find those pages' histories. Alternatively, if the content was copied from a compatible but extra-Wikipedia source, they use a template, such as Wikipedia:Template:CCBYSASource, which is placed on the article page to inform users that the text was not original to Wikipedia.
Wikitravel, on the other hand, places its text credits in a convenient location at the bottom of every article page. Except that it only works if the author physically edited the Wikitravel article to add the text; if it was added by someone else, the wrong author gets credited. We should make every effort to make sure that all sources are pointed out at least as prominently as the auto-generated credits block is displayed. The best way to do that is with a template at the bottom of the article, just like Wikipedia does. LtPowers 19:38, 25 March 2010 (EDT)

I don't see it that way. The auto-generated credits at the bottom of the page are only a fractional random sampling and one still has to click to another page to get the full list. Any notes from non-wiki websites relicensing their text to us are still going to go on the talk page, and there is no way around that. All images sources are off on their own pages and that is unlikely to change. All our attribution is not nor ever has been all in one place, and I don't see any particularly need to clutter up the main namespace articles just to make it so.Texugo 22:38, 25 March 2010 (EDT)

It's not random; it's the most recent contributors. And the link to the full list is right there. Putting these small templates at the very bottom of an article is not cluttering at all, and it keeps most of the most important information together. LtPowers 07:39, 26 March 2010 (EDT)
And the link being suggested would also be right there, instead of up in the article space.Texugo 00:38, 27 March 2010 (EDT)
I agree with LtPowers. The idea behind WT is that you should be able to copy and reuse the WT guide, without having to worry about things not in the article namespace. We use the talk article to get the article right to make the real article free and available for everyone to use. --inas 20:53, 28 March 2010 (EDT)
Laudable Inas. But we do not do that now, do we? And it is surely impractical to even try. The only credits in the main article space are the last few contributors. Image and map credits are not in the main article at all. The onus is on the reuser to find out. We cannot babysit every possible reuser of the site. --Burmesedays 21:37, 28 March 2010 (EDT)/
As LtPowers inadvertently reminded me here, there are other cases where we can't get around using the talk page for attribution notes too, such as merge and redirect or merge and delete cases. Just another reason why I think we need a dedicated attribution space on the talk page. I certainly don't think we need to create yet another box template for that kind of thing just to pile at the bottom of the main page. Texugo 23:30, 1 April 2010 (EDT)

Slow page

Hi! I tried on Friday and today to revert and rollback some changes but WT is painful slow at the moment when it comes to rollback or undos. Does anyone experiences the same troubles? I will stop now because i don't have the time to wait so long. Internet is working fast on other sites. jan 04:33, 29 March 2010 (EDT)

I find that happens from time to time. Do you use tabs? I find patrolling on WT almost unusable without them. Hold cntl to revert or undo in a new tab, continue to the next edit, and flick through the tabs later to finish up the job. --inas 23:09, 29 March 2010 (EDT)
I started to do it with the tabs but i can't excessively do that as i'm sitting at my work desk and my boss maybe wonder sometime what i'm doing... jan 03:00, 30 March 2010 (EDT)
Have to get quicker on that cntl-tab key - flipping between screens always looks busy :-) You are right though, saving edits today is taking forever for me.. --inas 18:35, 30 March 2010 (EDT)
When it is slow to revert it also sometimes logs me out. Perhaps that is the fault of my connection, but it never seems to happen when I am in Wikipedia although in Wikipedia I am not doing much reverting! Shep 01:24, 31 March 2010 (EDT)

Diacritics etc (again)

I have been a little reluctant to post this request as I do not wish to appear obsessed by this issue :). When we had the latest sguigglies or no sguigglies debate, I made a request for all patrollers to please look out for place names with diacritics/accents etc that did not have simple character re-directs. This does not seem to be happening as I have been finding lots on the recent changes list that don't. One unanimous conclusion (perhaps the only one) from that discussion was that we must get the redirects in place to maintain the relevance of our search function. So another plea for this please. And an especially pretty please to those who were so in favour of encouraging widespread use diacritics. --Burmesedays 22:52, 1 April 2010 (EDT)

I've been catching quite a few of them, so you're not the only one! Texugo 23:20, 1 April 2010 (EDT)
Great. Please keep it up. --Burmesedays 05:25, 2 April 2010 (EDT)

Page discussions

I'm seeing a quite a few discussions recently on additions/reversions taking place on user's talk pages. I think the regulars here (and others) should make an effort to make sure those conversations are moved to the appropriate article talk page. It allows all intersted people to contribute and it makes a record of the discussion for later reference, which is lost if the discussion is elsewhere. --inas 04:22, 3 April 2010 (EDT)

Just to clarify, I typically put a note on a user's talk page when an edited is removed more than once in accordance with some policy, solely so they get the blinking talk page notification. If an edit falls into some grey policy area then I would usually discuss on the talk page. I think that's the correct approach - thoughts? -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:35, 3 April 2010 (EDT)

It is best to keep conversations in the most relevant place, but lets be careful not to police others' discussions. If the discussion is on someone else's talk page, ask first if it's ok to move it before doing so, and then remember to leave a pointer to the page where the discussion was moved. --Peter Talk 21:18, 3 April 2010 (EDT)

New Year Travel expedition

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

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

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

Italian Version

What is going on with the Italian Wikitravel? There have been thousands of spam edits to [12]? One of the only other edits was giving a new user a greeting that asks them to go to WikiVoyage instead of Wikitravel... It makes me wonder how many of our other language versions have real active users? ChubbyWimbus 05:00, 5 April 2010 (EDT)

Not very many of them, in my experience. LtPowers 07:12, 5 April 2010 (EDT)
It would seem sensible to me to protect all the language versions of Wikitravel which do not have a user base to look after them. Sadly it seems that (it) has joined the ranks of the other Wikitravel spam magnets.--Burmesedays 10:07, 5 April 2010 (EDT)
I have been trying to add more to the Chinese version in hopes that people will edit if there are pages there to edit. It just strikes me as odd that the spammers actually limited themselves to the Faro Talk page. ChubbyWimbus 02:57, 6 April 2010 (EDT)

Ordnance Survey Open Data

The Ordnance Survey is the Government Agency responsible for mapping in the UK. They have recently released all their map data for use by anyone who wants it. Could this be used for Wikitravel Maps? It's certainly a lot more detailed than OSM especially away from the main cities, probably more reliable too. The full license can be viewed at [13]. It specifically states that the data can be copied, distributed, transmitted, adapted, exploited commercially, sublicensed, combined with other data and included in products and applications. Surely this means it can be used in Wikitravel? Or is it not as simple as that? Tarr3n 09:30, 6 April 2010 (EDT)