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Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

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

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


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 the move here.

Stuff that's been moved:

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

Please sweep the pub

So, the TP has been getting kinda crowded and messy. I'd really appreciate if we could all make an effort to clean up a bit by moving discussions to places more appropriate or deleting discussions that have reached their conclusions. It's a tedious job, but like most, it's easier if we do it together. --Evan 16:44, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)

Should we sweep this out? -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 03:20, 16 August 2006 (EDT)

Wikitravel ownership

This isn't an announcement board, but as a common gathering spot, I figure it's be a good place to point out a bit of news that might otherwise slip under people's radar: is now owned by Internet Brands, and is going to be managed by Evan and Maj - still as an open-content travel guide - as employees. IB also now owns World66, another open-content travel info site. See Wikitravel:Internet Brands for more info about what this means for us, them, and the other them. - Todd VerBeek 12:55, 24 April 2006 (EDT)

External links

Hi Ryan so I cand post only pages for south america, i Post the chat becouse I see people posting it also so i figueroa i do it. Thank you Giovanna I don't knnow How to send messages on here" Sorry

Please feel free to create or edit pages for any city in South America or anywhere else, but you may want to read Wikitravel:What is an article? first to understand what topics normally get their own articles. In addition, Wikitravel:External links has guidelines about what types of sites we normally link to - a short summary is that we discourage external links unless it is to the official site for a hotel, museum, or other primary source that is in an article. Thanks for contributing! -- Ryan 21:29, 18 November 2006 (EST)

Equivalent of wikipedia's reference desk

Is there currently an equivalent of a reference desk in wikitravel? Andjam 01:13, 25 May 2006 (EDT)

Sort of: some destinations have docents, but in general feel free to post questions to talk pages and someone will try to answer! Majnoona 22:42, 27 May 2006 (EDT)
It might be cool to start it, though! I like the idea. Wikitravel:Information kiosk, maybe? Or just Wikitravel:?, like the road signs ? --Evan 10:48, 1 June 2006 (EDT)
Or how about Wikitravel:Concierge? Concierge means keeper of the keys and that's essentially what anyone volunteering for that job would be. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 04:50, 11 June 2006 (EDT)
This seems like an excellent idea, and I'm surprised discussion of it has flagged. May I rekindle? One question for Evan and/or other programmers: does the architecture support creation of "Concierge" as a user type similar to "Admin" without significant revision? If so, discussion of just what a Concierge can do, and how to help them do it, seems like the next step. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 13:59, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

Use of the admin "rollback" functionality

The "rollback" button for admins is a hugely useful tool, but it unfortunately does not provide any way to indicate why an edit is being rolled back. That's not a problem for things like obvious vandalism, but in other cases it really would be nice to know why an edit was rolled back - even a simple note like "revert - see Wikitravel:External links" provides more explanation to a user than just "Reverted edits by (Talk); changed back to last version by". I'm guilty of over-using that button as well, but it would be really, really helpful to others if admins made an effort to do at least one of the following in cases where the reason for a rollback isn't blatantly obvious:

  • Use the more manual Wikitravel:How to revert a page process and provide an edit comment explaining why the change was reverted.
  • Leave a note on the article's talk page explaining why the change was reverted.
  • If multiple changes by the same user are being reverted (and the changes are not vandalism) either provide an edit comment by using the manual revert process for at least the first revert, or else leave a note on the user's talk page explaining the reason for the revert.

This is just a suggestion; feel free to ignore as always, but I do think it would be very helpful to others. -- Ryan 15:21, 3 August 2006 (EDT)

I've made this request before, but would it be possible to modify the "rollback" functionality to give admins the option of including a comment? I can see the use of an explanation, but I'm going to be cleaning up a lot less junk if I have to go through the non-admin process for most fixes. I do try to leave a note if the edits are made by a registered user, but it seems less likely that explanations will reach the ears of "drive-by" editors. -- Jonboy 15:28, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I agree about this... I wonder if we should start collecting these ideas on an Wikitravel:Administrator handbook? --Evan 15:32, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
I like that idea, as long as we keep an eye out for the slippery slope of making Admin-stuff too "in-crowd" ish... Maj 15:44, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Having the option to specify a reason for a revert would be helpful. And to be clear, I'm not proposing that admins do any more work than a normal user, I'm just asking that unless the edit being rolled back is something like "asdfasdf Bob is gay and I rule!" that at least one indicator of why the edit was rolled back is given. Most registered users start out anonymous, and if an anonymous user adds a link to their favorite nightlife guide and that contribution is then rolled back without comment that user is unlikely to contribute here again. However, if either the rollback comment OR a note on the article or user talk page refers the user to Wikitravel:External links then the user may realize that they are still welcome to contribute, but that in this case we just don't link to external guides.
And yeah, a Wikitravel:Administrator handbook would be useful for explaining how to use things like rollback, block, delete, etc. I don't think it would be any more "in-crowd" than any other page that explains Wikitravel functionality, provided everyone has access to read and edit the page. -- Ryan 16:10, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Ryan on all counts. For that matter, I think an Administrator Handbook would be useful as a tool to help non-admins understand just what the admins are doing/can do. However, it's not necessarily the most "urgent" thing to work on; no opinion on that. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 20:09, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Wikitravel in swedish has an Administrator Handbook called Manual för administratörer which has been in use since Jan 14, 2006. It is a great help for our admins when dealing with everyday admin issues. When a new admin is elected, he/she gets an administrator template on his/her talk page, containing a link to the manual. Riggwelter 12:54, 4 October 2006 (EDT)
Is there any way it could be translated to English? I believe something like that could be very useful to all administrators. Does anyone else think we should start this? I agree with Ryan and Bill-on-the-Hill comments above. We could provide guidelines and also it would help explain to all Wikitravelers how Administartors operate or should operate. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 15:07, 4 October 2006 (EDT)

Consistency between language versions

As a contributor who spends lots of time translating things between language versions, I would like to know where the community stands. What are our standards with regard to consistency between language versions, particularly with regard to the manual of style? I am all for keeping the formatting as similar as possible, for the same reasons we try to adhere to a standard within this local wiki. I am recently having an argument however, on the Portuguese version. There are a very small number of articles on that version which make use of graphics such as ratings symbols for hotels (the star system) and restaurants (little dinner plates), as well as colorful symbols for the hotel listings (TV, AC, Pool, etc.). To me, they look tacky when used in an article, and as only a small fraction of the Portuguese articles use them, I've been removing them when I come across them. This is not the point however. I want to know if cohesion between language versions is among our goals, or if each version should be allowed to develop their own manual of style as each community sees fit. )Texugo 22:55, 21 August 2006 (EDT)

Every Wikitravel version does its own thing, as long as it sticks to the basic goals and can agree on internal consistency (so this symbol thing is something that should be sorted out there first). For example, you'll see that listings in the Japanese version look radically different from any other Wikitravel version, because a comma-delimited string is just not appropriate for a language typeset in blocks. Jpatokal 23:27, 21 August 2006 (EDT)
Agreed, but I'd add that unnecessary variations are a bad idea. If a principle for readability is good for pt:, say, it should be good for nl: or sv: or whatever. Variations that depend on culture or orthography are a good exception, but exceptions should be the exceptions to the rule, not the rule. That all said, there's been discussion here before about using more graphics in listings, but I'd like to do this in a unified way (using Wikitravel talk:Listings). --Evan 06:35, 22 August 2006 (EDT)

Valid values for government type

Do we have any policy on that matter? I am asking this because incidentally, I have Belarus on my watchlist (I must've been doing some minor edit there) and recently somebody changed the government type to «Democratic social state with the rule of law» (from «Dictatorship», which I believe was taken from the CIA factbook). I reverted it because it's neither democratic nor «with the rule of law» and then the user in question changed it back to «Republic». And he's right with this, because as long as there's still president Lukashenko, not «emperor Lukashenko» or some other fancy title. it's not a monarchy. But I feel it's deeply uninformative for a potential visitor. What do you think? CandleWithHare 17:14, 25 August 2006 (EDT)

My view is the traveller comes first. Since it's just a couple of words, it should be words which convey the most acurate description of the government as can be wildly simplified into a couple of words. The goal of these few words is to convey the most accurate meaning to the traveller, not appease people with doctorates in political theory. If there are complexities the traveller should understand, put them into the Understand section. -- Colin 17:24, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Colin that TTCF, but a lot of noise is being generated right now (largely by one peculiar zealot) over nuances of language on government type, and it would be nice to lay this to rest so that people can get back to doing what's important here. Wikipedia has a good analysis of this question, with some definitions that are useful in practice. Candle, to get back to your specific case, I'd recommend letting the government form in Belarus (in which I have traveled, btw) stand as "Republic" but making sure that relevant oddities -- if and only if they affect travelers -- are highlighted in appropriate places in the article. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 17:33, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
My point is that there's a big difference between Republic of Belarus and, say, Republic of Ireland and the description should reflect that. I think that it would be most fruitful for Wikitravel to stick to the descriptions used by the CIA (ie. dictatorship in this case). Such information is relatively unimportant for a travel guide but it nevertheless shouldn't be misleading if it's present. I saw it being changed, I felt it was wrong, I wanted to have a second opinion if something should be done. But if you say keep, let's keep it. I'm not a zealot and I couldn't care less about Belarus. CandleWithHare 17:58, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
From a purely legalistic perspective, the difference between the two is not large. From a practical perspective, you are correct, it's enormous. And that's what the text of the article is for: in the appropriate sections (Understand, Cope, Respect, etc.), put in the things that make it clear what those differences mean to the traveler. I too couldn't care less about the Belarus article (and have no desire to go there again), but one should do the things that drive the project forward. My main interest is in avoiding a Wikitravel:Edit war as seems to be happening with some other "republics" of dubious legitimacy. That's not what we're here for. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 18:28, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
I don't think we need to worry about heading off an edit war yet -- these are just occasional nuisances at this point. The kind of person who offended by political descriptions and "corrects" stuff is a lot like the kind of person who gets offended at lively descriptions [1] [2] and deletes them. Generally, a serious person stays around and discusses these things, and the drive-by corrections can be easily reverted. Let's wait until there is an edit war before forestalling this. For now, let's stick to what helps the traveller and keep the quickbar a quick and comprehensible read. -- Colin 20:05, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
A similar issue came up on Talk:China, likely elsewhere as well. Pashley 06:31, 25 September 2006 (EDT)
What if all the government types were to match the following regex:
(Federal)? (Democratic|Authoritarian|Totalitarian) (Republic|Monarchy)
CandleWithHare 10:41, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
Not bad at all, although I'd add the optional qualifiers "Constitutional" and "Absolute" for monarchies (not that there are many absolute monarchies left). Is anything missing here? The few obvious cases that don't fit in (e.g. Vatican City) can be handled on a one-by-one basis without too much controversy, I expect. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 10:48, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
But that would deprive us of the "Dear Leader". -- Mark 12:04, 9 October 2006 (EDT)

Search plugin for Internet Explorer 7 / Firefox 2

An OpenSearch plugin is available at Note that search with non-ASCII characters does not work on Firefox 2 unless you add <InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding>. --Episteme 16:22, 30 August 2006 (EDT)

InputEncoding is now supplied. Plugins for other language versions are also available. --Episteme 10:40, 31 August 2006 (EDT)
I can see two search engines available to add: "Wikitravel (en)" and "Wikitravel (English)". Which of these is more kosher? :-) --DenisYurkin 17:01, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Annual events

Which section should recurring events and public holidays in a destination go? I think travellers might be interested in knowing about annual events, such as the Cannes Film Festival or Mardi Gras, if they want to visit the destination during that time (or alternatively stay away to avoid crowds). Should there be a separate section for this ("Events"), or could this be part of another section (a more general "When to go" perhaps, which could also include information about the climate and such)? --Jopo 05:12, 5 September 2006 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Where you can stick it says that festivals go under "Do". Nationwide holidays are usually placed under "Understand#Holidays" in the country guide. Jpatokal 18:19, 7 September 2006 (EDT)

Numerous things...

I have a few questions/comments/idea. Is there a place with all the pages listed? Are the pages supposed to include history about the places? Because I've seen very few that have it. And my idea is... some kind of rating system for places. Maybe on the discussion page for each place, we could have the people that have been there give a 1-5 star rating of the locale and give reasons why. That way people know what others think about the place and see if it would be a good place to visit. Andrew 00:00, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

  • There are lists of Itineraries and Travel topics and Wikitravel:Namespace index. I don't know of a list for destination guides, but they are linked by a hierarchy of geographical tags. If you start from a high level of that hierarchy, say a continent article, it should have links to things below.
  • I think history is a bit of a slippery slope. There often should be some, to orient the traveller, help him or her appreciate what he or she sees and perhaps avoid offending people. On the other hand, there's no need to give detail that would just clutter s travel guide; leave that to Wikipedia. Also, discussing history often invokes controversies we should avoid getting tangled in. We may need to warn travellers of these, but need not analyse them or take sides. "Just the facts, ma'm".
  • I like the idea of pointing out good places to go, but doubt that star ratings are the way to do it. The country, region or state/province articles should have links to the best places, with a bit of comment. Itineraries like A week near Hong Kong or One month in Southeast Asia can point out good places within an area and routes between them. Pashley 02:34, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
See Special:Allpages for a list of all Wiki pages. Some' history about a place is probably fine (it goes under the "Understand" heading), so long as the principle of Wikitravel:The traveller comes first is followed - as Pashley noted, we're writing travel guides, not an encyclopedia, and an article that goes into too much detail is sure to be trimmed, but many of the best articles do provide some background about a place. As to rating destinations based on their "travel worthiness", I have a feeling that may be a tough sell - it's very difficult to come to a consensus on such things, and I'm personally a bit uncomfortable with the idea of having to say (for example) that Philadelphia is a "4" while Cleveland is merely a "3". -- Ryan 02:56, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

True. I did mean only a bit of history. I have seen a few places, though, that simply don't have any. I'll try to find them and fix them. Your opinions on ratings? True, I accept that. Not the best thought on my part. So naming some more interesting places under itineraries would be the best way to go about saying which places are good to visit? Thanks for feedback! Andrew 22:16, 20 September 2006 (EDT)

Nice discussion, and it's come up a couple of times. I think the history of a destination should be the bare minimum to help you understand the cultural and linguistic state of the place. Especially if historical events play a part in the museums, attractions, or things to see or do in a place, it makes sense to outline those historical events briefly. Digging overly deeply into branches of history that travellers won't have first-hand (or second-hand) encounters with is probably too much information. --Evan 23:54, 20 September 2006 (EDT)

Policy about advertising

I have come upon this excerpt when browsing through for the first time:

  • Hotel Cairoli , Via Cairoli, 14 cap 16124 Genoa - Ph. +39.010.2461454 - Fax +39.010.2467512 [2]. In the heart of Genoa, which, with its splendid Pallazzi dei Rolli was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July of 2006, the Hotel Cairoli is located on Via Cairoli, just a short walk from the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Aquarium, the Bigo and the Porto Antico. Singles Room from 55€, Double from 75€.

Now, this looks STRONGLY like advertising. What is the policy about this? I could not find a page or a guideline about this, but I'd like to have someone with me before editing to something like

  • Hotel Cairoli, Via Cairoli 14 CAP 16124 Genoa - Ph. +39.010.2461454 - Fax +39.010.2467512 [2]. Situated in the historical center of the city and close to the Museum of the Risorgimento, the Aquarium, the Bigo and the Porto Antico.

And I would cite the UNESCO thing only once when describing the city itself. In particular, I would avoid prices. Johann.gambolputty 10:51, 17 September 2006 (EDT)

  • I'd keep the prices; that's somehing a traveller needs to know. I'd also keep the UNESCO mention; that's interesting. I do think toning it down by removing "splendid .." and knocking out "just a short walk .." is good. Is this hotel listed in Grand old hotels? sounds like it should be. Pashley 10:59, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
  • Correcvtion; as I read the above, it as saying the hotel was a UNESCO site. A bit of web search to check; turns out it is the nearby plaza that is. So no need for it in hotel article, I now agree. Web search also revealed the text is a copyright violation from the hotel web site [3], so it definitely needs rewriting. Pashley 11:04, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
Ok, then I will reformulate that. Johann.gambolputty 11:14, 17 September 2006 (EDT)
I kind of like it as is. This is a travel guide, not an encyclopedia. If there's any change at all I'd just make "its" into "near the". -- Mark 08:38, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
Yes, please see Wikitravel:Accommodation listings. There's probably too much promotional language -- see Wikitravel:Don't tout -- and most of the facts in the description should be noted elsewhere in the Genoa article. --Evan 08:50, 18 September 2006 (EDT)
What is the limit for hotel details? Is it allowed to upload 1 image of the hotel? What about resort hotel on a beautiful island?
The current short listing format doesn't really support hotel images. On Japanese Wikitravel, on the other hand, you can attach one picture to each hotel, and something similar may be implemented here too if the Wikitravel:Listings idea takes off. Jpatokal 13:06, 19 September 2006 (EDT)

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE BUDAPEST PAGE ON WIKITRAVEL? Can a reader only suggest a revision that mentions a business if that business is personally favored by the editors? Or, are the editors getting paid off by the Hungarian government or mafia? I am serious. I placed a brief two sentence mention of a helpful Budapest travel guide on the website only for it to be deleted several times because it was called "commercial." Well, if you are going to treat that as commercial, then what do you consider, the Hungarian airline, that is a commercial enterprise, and owned partly by shareholders. And, what about the restaurants Gundel (, Pasta Dost (, and TrofeaGrill (, all of which have their names and links given. Come on, be fair if you are going to have standards, practice them throughout. If there are to be no commercial enterprises, there should be none, zero. If you are going to let one of them be posted, they should all be able to be posted. Otherwise, where do you draw the line between what commercial enterprise is accepted and which is not? Is it just the business that is paying you under the table?

Perhaps Wikitravel is actually being controlled by Mr. Putin in Moscow, or some other radical? --Mike in Chicago 20:44, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

We neither favor nor avoid commercial products. Please read Wikitravel:External links for our policy. The short answer is that a hotel or restaurant's website should be linked as part of the listing of the hotel or restaurant. General guides (Lonelyplanet) or restaurant review guides (Michellin) should not. Please read the policy for a discussion of what and why, and raise the issue at Wikitravel talk:External links if you still do not understand. -- Colin 21:02, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Wikipedia fork, Citizendium

From Slashdot, 16 September:

  • "Larry Sanger, first editor-in-chief of Wikipedia, plans to fork the project. In Berlin he announced the start of Citizendium — the citizen's compendium. Main differences: no anonymous editing, and experts will rule the project. Members of Wikipedia were not amused."

The wiki is not up yet, but there is a home page [4] and several mailing lists.

How does this affect us? Methinks we need a {{Citizendium}} tag at least. I want it mainly because I'm in China and, unlike Wikipedia, Citizendium isn't blocked here yet. Pashley 02:25, 18 September 2006 (EDT)

Citizendium also doesn't seem to have any articles yet. One possibility for the firewal problem is to have our "Wikipedia" interwiki link point to a local Special: page, which in turn redirects you to a Wikipedia mirror of your choice (or wikipedia, by default). --Evan 08:52, 18 September 2006 (EDT)

Hotel Classification

When tourists choose hotel for their holiday, the first thing they are looking for is the location of the hotel. If a hotel is slightly more expensive than other hotels, but have a good location, the tourist will choose to stay in the hotel. My suggestion: beside the price, use the hotel's location/district/sub-district/zip code for classification of hotels.

  • Zip codes and sub-districts would likely be meaningless to most travellers. For large cities, the hotels are already listed by district. Within a district or a small city, maps can give location information, and comments like "very central", "next to the train station" or "near the beach" are useful in hotel listings, but I do not see the point of using location as a classification scheme. Pashley 10:13, 19 September 2006 (EDT)

West page

There are pages on Central, North, South, East, but there is no West page. Can someone create the page? What about northwest, southwest, southeast, northeast?

Cities along highways

I wonder if there's a reasonable way to add a category to a city that's on a road. It would let the traveler have a list of places along their trip. For example, I occasionally travel up TX-35 from Seadrift to Houston and there are lots of interesting things on the way to see. I'm sure someone could do a lot with IH-10 or the like. Jordanmills 20:54, 24 September 2006 (EDT)

When Wikitravel:Tags is fully implemented I could see the tag template to be a possible solution. -- Sapphire 21:06, 24 September 2006 (EDT)
One way to deal with this is to do an itinerary for the trip along that highway. Khyber Pass is one example; Route 66 another, and I think Australia has several. This is not always the best solution, or even appropriate, but worth considering. Pashley 01:44, 25 September 2006 (EDT)

<drink> tags

Is this still an experimental feature? I notice it's used in some places (in particular, the Montreal page). The thing is, the external links are unpacked, which I know is not the intent of the Wikitravel:External links policy. I can't do anything abou this as long as the link is inside the <drink> tag. Will the display change as the feature develops? --Dawnview 06:33, 26 September 2006 (EDT)

Yes, it's a known bug, see shared:Tech:Url field of listings should be autonumber or word. --Evan 08:16, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
I personally think it looks a lot better that way. It's a lot more useful if you have to print out the guide and take it with you, too. I still don't get the policy about packed external links (that is, why it is the way it is). Jordanmills 10:51, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
Good point. My thinking (from somone who never prints out the Wikitravel pages) is that if you can get to an internet cafe to visit some website, you can just as easily get to Wikitravel and click on the link, right? That's what I always do. I should try printing out a guide article though, I'd probably miss less. Though I think the idea of the policy is that you should be able to print out a guide and never have to look stuff up on the internet. --Dawnview 14:41, 26 September 2006 (EDT)
The problem with assuming that people can follow the links from Wikitravel is that there's no guarantee that the printed version will be the same as the online version, and so no guarantee that the link will be accessible without trawling through the history. --Paul. 13:18, 1 October 2006 (EDT)


Wikitravel:Milestones mentions getting all CIA factbook imports edited away. I think all the external links sections are gone. I've been hitting "random page" and finding breadcrumbless articles to fix, but that works poorly now; most articles have the navigation hierarchy breadcrumbs. Is there a way to search for all articles without breadcrumbs? Maybe we could fix them all and declare another milestone. Pashley 21:26, 26 September 2006 (EDT)

I think all the external links sections are gone - two left: Buying or renting a car in Australia#External links -&- Hitchhiking in Europe#External links ~ 05:43, 27 September 2006 (EDT)
I dont think we'll ever be completely breadcrumbed - people will always create articles and leave them without the isin, so it's probably not worth putting on the milestone page! Tim 17:51, 30 October 2006 (EST)
Just curious; why not put the isIn tag in the blank page template? --justfred 18:46, 30 October 2006 (EST)

Doubts about plagiarism

Any time I see a huge block of information written in an article, I assume there is a decent chance someone has cut and pasted it from somewhere, and I usually delete it or rewrite the information if I find it has been copied from Wikipedia or from an official government or primary business website. However, I'm finding large portions of some articles, Mexico for example, on more than one travel agency website (not Wikitravel mirrors), and I started wondering whether it was a Wikitravel contributor who copied from one of them, or if perhaps they copied it from Wikitravel and put their own copyright on it? How are we to know the difference and what are we to do about it? Texugo 02:34, 27 September 2006 (EDT)

Not a single response? Texugo 05:14, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
The check for plagiarism has to be done immediately after the content is posted, otherwise things get difficult. (You can try to check when the page was last changed via your browser's "page info", but this is useless for any high-tech site with dynamic pages.) Of course, you could always try sending the potential offender a mail telling them to comply to license conditions and seeing what happens... Jpatokal 06:44, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
Agree with Jani. Not so much here, but on Wikipedia, I've had the experience of writing prose for an article, then doing a Google search on keywords (sometimes a few days later) that revealed that that same prose was showing up on copycat reference articles that aren't mirrors. If you can't check the timeline quickly and/or conclusively, you'll never be clear on who has lifted text from whom.
That said, most of the people who contribute here on a regular basis have certain quirks of style that identify their writing, despite the partial homogenization that the MoS imposes. There are parsing tools out there that can check for these quirks and assess the probability that a given piece of prose was written by a particular author whose quirks have been established. Just for grins, you might look into those and play with the texts that trouble you; let us know what you find. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:44, 5 October 2006 (EDT)
Typically I look into the history of the text. If the text has been edited by different people at different times, but appears in more than one place as it appears in Wikitravel, odds are stronger that those other sites copied Wikitravel than that multiple contributors worked together to make an exact copy of some other site.
If you see a copy of Wikitravel guides that doesn't give credit to contributors and note the license, add it to Wikitravel:Non-compliant redistribution. Send an email notice to the site in question, too. --Evan 11:14, 5 October 2006 (EDT)

University of Place

What contact info should we provide when listing universities and other institutions of higher learning? I normally give the address, phone number, fax number, and email for the admissions department since the admissions department is normally the department in charge of arranging visits. Does it make sense to give the admissions office's contact info over another department? -- Sapphire 17:54, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Some of us are intinerant teachers and would be more interested in the recruiting office. Give the web address if there is one. Pashley 20:59, 28 September 2006 (EDT)

Not a Travelogue

So one of the non-goals of wikitravel is to be a personal travel log (or, one of the goals is to not be a log, or . . . well you get what I mean). Where does a more in-depth personal experience with something mentioned on an article belong? Say, I went to a brewpub listed in an article and felt like describing the local beers I tried, discussing the pub, etc. Does that belong here? I would guess that it does, in reasonable amount, and that it should be placed in the relevant article's discussion page. Is there consensus on this subject? Jordanmills 21:47, 30 September 2006 (EDT)

We really don't have a place for the information you are talking about. If you want to add a few comments about items that are good (or bad) on the menu, that would be okay, but we don't want first person references and it should be brief. The "discussion" page is for discussing how the article should be composed and not information about the location. What I mean by that is we would use that page to discuss the content, but not include content. Some like this page... general discussion and talk. Hope that helps. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 22:38, 30 September 2006 (EDT)

I think that this is an important question and I'd like to see more discussion on this. My thoughts follow:
  • Yes it is true that currently we do not have place for such information. Of course you're allowed to use the first person there, and you are allowed to mention your personal experience at particular restaurants, but only as a way to discuss the guide. For example, if an article gives a restaurant high praise and you just had a crappy experience there, it is perfectly okay to mention this in the talk page, but it is even more preferred to go change the article yourself. The theory then is that those who preferred the earlier version may object on the talk pages and then you are supposed to discuss the change.
  • However, I think that both from a traveller's point of view and from the point of view of making a travel guide, there is something unsatisfactory about this. For one thing, the two edits might be months apart and the original editor might not even be watching the page. Instead of a consensus or a debate about exactly which areas a restaurant scores and where it sucks, it will end up reflecting the views of whoever edited it last. Essentially, we end up losing valuable information.
  • From a traveller's point of view, personal reviews and experiences are a valuable service that Wikitravel is not providing right now. I see the value of a travel-guide style "name, address, phone number, 2-3 lines about the place", but I also see the value of reading about other travellers' personal experiences. Also, many people who may not be comfortable plunging forward and editing a travel guide would be comfortable writing about their own experience in the first person.
  • The same goes for a personal travelogue too. Some people have used their user spaces to plan out journeys and record their experiences, but our policies frown on such use. We are supposed to convert travelogues into rather impersonal "itineraries".
  • The point I am getting at is that both for retaining users and for enriching the guide we need a space for the personal experiences of users. Users who are not comfortable writing travel guides can hang out at places where they can review and discuss restaurants, and write travelogues, and those who are interested in the guide can mine those experiences to build the guide.
  • The good news is that this will probably happen. One of the goals of the merger with World66 was exactly that. Unfortunately, in all the hullabulloo about being "sold" to Internet Brands, we ended up not discussing this at all. Evan and Maj haven't yet discussed what is going to happen on that front, but I hope they do so soon. — Ravikiran 03:09, 2 October 2006 (EDT) (P.S. Also see this [5])
Crappy - good experience. For a tourist from Italy, perhaps the spaghetti from local branch of pizza hut is horrible. But for a local reviewer, the same spaghetti is the best Italian food in town.
Just a follow up on this discussion-- feel free to email User:Maj directly if you'd like more information on the "personal travel" site we're developing. Ravikiran pretty much nailed every reason for creating this type of space and we're really excited about seeing things move forward! Maj 11:49, 10 October 2006 (EDT)


I added some information about the weather and climate in Ko Chang and Antalya. There is a template(not used in those articles) called Climate, where do I put an explanation and the article template of it? Or is it a good idea at all, or should I not work on it any further? --Adestro 10:28, 2 October 2006 (EDT)

I like the look of it, but I'm not sure how to use it. Jordanmills 07:58, 9 October 2006 (EDT)
I think this could be useful for travellers, but I wouldn't have it at the top of the page... Maybe at the bottom? This is where there will be a tags box, or in the understand section... -- Tim 18:54, 26 November 2006 (EST)

Anecdotes or interview subjects wanted for story on Wikitravel

I'm writing a piece on Wikitravel for JetStar's inflight magazine, and am looking for Wikitravellers who can say, in their own words, why Wikitravel is the greatest thing since sliced bread or tell some funny anecdote regarding how it's helped them on their travels. Please drop me a line at [email protected] if interested. Jpatokal 02:18, 3 October 2006 (EDT)

Sultan Temple in Solo

In the "See" section of the previous version, someone mention "Sultan Temple". I can't find this place in Solo. Where is the location of "Sultan Temple" in Solo? Thanks.

Problem with West Midlands, advice appreciated

I'm currently working on a map of the West Midlands (part of what will hopefully become a full UK map), and have run into a significant problem, namely that there's two West Midlandses. The West Midlands listed on here is the common, everyday sense of the term, ie the region made up of the five counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. The problem comes with the fact that West Midlands also refers to the administrative area made up of Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the surrounding towns. This page illustrates the problem quite nicely, listing the local councils in the West Midlands area, with the West Midlands being one of the listed sub-regions, and there's also a map here. So we've got a West Midlands in the West Midlands. Naturally this presents problems both on the technical side (IsIn) and the confusion side. So I'm not sure what to do about it.

Do I go ahead and move the current West Midlands to something like West Midlands region and use to old West Midlands for the sub-area? Another option is to ignore it and use the old pre-1974 map (here's a map of the old boundaries, compare with [6], which would solve the problem but would be out of keeping with other urban regions (like Merseyside ). Or I could rename the smaller West Midlands area, but all I can think of is the horribly unweildly "Birmingham, Black Country and Coventry". Or just move Coventry to Warwickshire and make a "Birmingham and Black Country" region. The other solution is to move all of the larger regional stuff to Midlands, but I'd really rather not do that as the West and East Midlands are really quite distinct areas. Basically I can see a lot of options but none of them seem completely satisfactory, so I figured I'd ask for advice here in the hope that someone else has faced similar problems and can offer advice. --Paul. 10:58, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Would Wikitravel:Disambiguation pages help? West Midlands (region) and West Midlands (county) (or whatever it should be called), with West Midlands being a disambiguation page?--justfred 12:10, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

That makes an awful lot of sense. The only reason I was hesitant is because I thought having region in the title was frowned upon but looking more closely at Wikitravel:Article naming conventions I guess it should be ok in parenteses. The only remaining issue is the confusion of having the West Midlands in the West Midlands, but most people will probably be able to understand "West Midlands (county) IsIn West Midlands (region)". --Paul. 17:11, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

Phillipine Passport Certification Transwiki

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask about this. I'm from Wikibooks, and we have a module there about how to get a certified copy of a Philippeans passport. The Wikibooks community has determined that the artical should be deleted, but some people have suggested that perhaps the material would find a suitable home here. The original author of the page cannot be contacted.

The page will probably be deleted from our servers within a week. If people here would like to save a copy of it, you can do so within that time. If not, that's alright too. Thanks. -- Whiteknight (Wikibooks) 09:35, 19 October 2006 (EDT)

That's not really very relevant for us either, and what's more, we can't use the content here without the original author's permission as the licenses differ. Jpatokal 09:49, 19 October 2006 (EDT)
Thanks for the reply. I hate to delete content if there might be another home out there. But I guess this isn't the right place either. --Whiteknight (Wikibooks) 19:42, 23 October 2006 (EDT)



Can images at wikimedia commons be used at wikitravel. If so, how? --Soman 10:05, 28 October 2006 (EDT)

No, they can't. However, if (and only if!) the license is PD or CC by-sa, you can copy them over to shared:Wikitravel Shared, which is "our" version of Commons. Note that GFDL, fair use etc images are not allowed. Jpatokal 10:33, 28 October 2006 (EDT)

Vacation Travel Guides Content Approval

My question to you guys, is that we would like to provide this content to WikiTravel if we could post a link back to the original source. What do you think?

Below are some examples so you see: (forget everything at the bottom of the guide, that’s something I added on, so just look at the main content excluding the bottom links they do not go with it)

View Maui Vacation Travel Guide

View Key West Vacation Travel Guide

View Kissimmee Vacation Travel Guide

View Gatlinburg Vacation Travel Guide

View Hawaii Vacation Travel Guide

What do you think of these and do you think we could essentially contribute these and a lot more to WikiTravel? I am not completely familiar with WikiTravel and I didn’t mean to bug you but would rather contact you as I see you edit information then just spam the wiki page for each city asking for help.

Please get back with me or forward me to the correct location and how to submit.

Thanks and have a great day!

The above is from User:Richhoward and his user page covers the licensing issues. I think we should try to work out how to use these contributions, but there are problems in relation to policies like Wikitravel:Don't_tout and Wikitravel:External_links. Pashley 09:53, 14 November 2006 (EST)

Why is there a page on the web that is completely linked to Wikitravel? Is this OK? It is not current but it is much of Wikitravel cached. See it here.

See also Wikitravel:Mirrors
It looks like they are compliant. Take a look at [[Wikitravel:Wikitravel:How to re-use Wikitravel guides]. Maj 20:11, 15 November 2006 (EST)
Other than the main page there is no attribution, and there are no links to author information, so I don't think they actually are compliant... -- Ryan 20:19, 15 November 2006 (EST)
I did some whois research and the company that owns that domain is Low Key Media.
4645 Orchid Lane
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55446
I've got their email too ([email protected]). I'm going to send them an email about getting attribution together. It'll be a pain in the ass for them attribute since that's old material they're using and they'll probably just want to import the new material with attribution attached.
As a side, can Maj or Evan tell us where Internet Brands stands on using its resources for ensuring violations of the CC-by-SA license are resolved? -- Sapphire 20:40, 15 November 2006 (EST)


What's the best place to propose and discuss the use of hCard and Geo microformats in Wikitravel? Pigsonthewing 07:39, 25 November 2006 (EST)

Have a look at Wikitravel:RDF and Wikitravel:RDF Expedition. -- Ryan 13:21, 25 November 2006 (EST)
Thanks. I've also caught up with Evan's work on microformats. I hope that Wikitravel:Microformats, which I've just created, will be useful. Andy Mabbett 16:02, 25 November 2006 (EST)

RSS feeds of page-histories

Would you like to be able to subscribe to RSS (Atom) feeds of the edit histories of your favourite Wikitravel pages? Then vote to add hAtom to the change log of media wiki pages! Andy Mabbett 17:12, 25 November 2006 (EST)

distribute Star articles in a printed form?

Recurring to the early-years idea to distribute Wikitravel articles in a printed form (and thus findind new contributors, not only helping people to travel smarter): have anyone tried to distribute articles in Star status? They are definitely the best candidates to start... Maybe start talking to the hotels and cafes that we recommend in those articles? --DenisYurkin 19:00, 26 November 2006 (EST)

Some ideas

Im sick of always having to log into wikitravel share, then log in here by copying and pasting the user page thig through open ID. How can I make it so i dont have to do that? I have Firefox, apparently it has password remembering, Could that help?

Also I find the help articles confusing as some really confusing thing (actually i find [| uncyclopedia's]help articles less confusing. Would it be possiable to format them in some sort of heirachy? or a single page that you can print out so you know what code does what? Im sufficing on finding a page I like and copy and pasting the bits I want, then changing the words. I cant seem to find useful information.

What is all this attribution share alike nonsense about. I cant be bothered reading that rubbish. I just want everyone to use my infor for everything. What do I use for that?

Also when I upload images there is something telling me to add a tag, which I consequently don't understand and thus ignore. Your help section is so very confusing. Maybe collaboration of the month could be to fix it. Apart from being scattered to the four corners in random amounts the problem with help is that there is no entry level explanation. Maybe "beginner" Learning and advanced would help. Right now its like teaching someone words in Hebrew then expecting them to create a grammatically correct sentence, The knowledge gap can in some case on wikitravel be just to large. Im nopt sure ill ever get the hang of it its so cronic.I can only contribute effectively if i know how

Mesipisian 05:02, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Ya know, I've also found the help files a bit hard to navigate around in. Perhaps there should be a Wikitravel:Documentation Expedition to help us organize efforts toward making it better. Of course any one of us can kick off the project.
Two cool things to put right up top and front would be:
  1. Don't worry about doing it "right". Just go ahead and put content somewhere, others will fix it up.
  2. The license is really important. Really.
Anyhow, I guess one of us is going to have to Wikitravel:Plunge forward and get the docs started. -- Mark 05:48, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Data Dumps?

Is it possible to get SQL Data Dumps of wikitravel like we can get from wikipedia [7]? It would be nice to be able to download wikitravel [8] for offline consumption using Tomeraider or similar. -- Futaris 15:03, 5 December 2006 (AEST)

In theory, yes, see Wikitravel:How to re-use Wikitravel guides. However, nobody has even actually succeeded in obtaining one... Jpatokal 01:09, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Still not? I rest my case... -- Nils 12:50, 13 December 2006 (EST)

Azerbaijani Wikitravel Language Expedition

Hey everyone, I am trying to start an Azerbaijani (Azeri) language expedition. Please tell me what you all think about this. -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cupcakecommander (talkcontribs)

Sounds like a great idea. Go for it! -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 03:23, 5 December 2006 (EST)

Hello from WikiCast

Hi, In connection with WikiCast [9] would anyone from this project be interested in making some "free" content travel programming? Even balanced opinion travel blogs will be an idea :-) 15:05, 7 December 2006 (EST)

Travel agencies

Due to my edit war over linking to a travel agency on the Uzbekistan article I need to ask the community: is there a place for listing and linking to travel agencies on Wikitravel? If so, where do these listings belong?

I could argue for either side, but I feel that it's something we shouldn't pander to because we're not Yellow Pages. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 20:50, 8 December 2006 (EST)

Hi Sapphire, If you want to be fair then why did you allow to put links to (Travel agency) and (another travel agency)? They are in direct competition to Let's treat everyone fairly! If you allowed one then you have to do the same for others or not at all! I think you have to respond to my comment! Waiting for the response! Furkat Ayrum Internasional Limited ( —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Furkat (talkcontribs)
I've removed Advantour's website too because that link was in violation of our policy. If I were you, I'd make a case as to why we should include travel agency information on Wikitravel, rather debate about fairness. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:17, 8 December 2006 (EST)
Post scriptum: There is not a link to on the Uzbekistan article. There is a link to, but per policy this looks like a legit link because it is the primary (official) link for Uzbekistan Airways. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:23, 8 December 2006 (EST)
Regarding tour links... I've think a company that provides tours is a primary source if they give the tours themselves. If they just sell tickets to someone else' tour, then they are just a travel agency and should be deleted as any non-primary source. Because it's so difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in this area, I have a profound hate for all tour listings. -- Colin 13:57, 9 December 2006 (EST)


Dear Andrew!

Thanks for your response! It was not I think we sort the case out. I think it is a waste of time why we should or should not list travel agents. The main thing is keep it nice, clear and neutral!

Have a nice morning!

P.S. I would not mind if you could refer to my company( as a reputable one. It has recently opened a new office in London. We are expanding to China and Russia soon. I would be very greatful for that!

It has been our policy to only link to "Official" travel sites (see: What to link to). I am sure your company is very reputable and provides an excellent service to your clients. That is not being questioned. I might also mention that decisions are made here by the community and not my an individual. (see: Consensus) We all do our best to cooperate in seeing that our policies are followed and I know that Andrew is doing that in this case. So, what you are dealing with here is a policy that is set by the community of "all" users on Wikitravel, not just one person and if policy is changed, it will be a decision for all users of Wikitravel. (see: Wiki information) This said, we may on occasion miss removing a external link for a non-official site. When those are found they are removed. We do our best to be fair and if there is a conflict we do our best to get a consensus from the community. I hope you understand we do not favor any travel agency over any other. You are welcomed to add some information about your agency on your talk page and we encourage you to add valuable content to our guide. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 06:30, 9 December 2006 (EST)



Could I ask someone (preferably with hacking super powers) to take a look at and help me fix the alignment? It has something to do with cell padding, but the last time I tinkered with cell padding was two years ago and I've since forgotten how to fix tables and whatnot.

To test the template please feel free to edit

Thanks -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 02:46, 12 December 2006 (EST)

Nested templates give me rashes, but I'd suggest getting rid of the percentage-based widths in the columns: fixed sizes are a lot more predictable. (I should also follow my own advice and do this for infoboxes someday...) Jpatokal 03:58, 12 December 2006 (EST)
I think I did that, but it's still looking weird. -- Clueless 04:13, 12 December 2006
I had a look at it but I'm afraid I'm baffled. How is the template supposed to work and what exactly is the problem? Paul. 10:15, 12 December 2006 (EST)
Basically, I want it to work like the Template:Quickbar, where fields of information do not display if a value is not provided. I.e. on Template:Climate (this is the version on EN) if someone wants to leave out the average high temperature for December then the contributor can do so, not that I see someone doing that. That way blank cells don't show up when someone uses the template. The problem I'm having on the Shared test template is that I can't figure out how to get the cells to align properly or even how to get rid of the "-" that keeps showing up. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 02:56, 13 December 2006 (EST)
Excuse my French, but that's just stupid. If there's climate info, then all twelve months should be shown, and if the user doesn't know 'em, they just should enter "?" or "-" or whatever. Jpatokal 03:34, 13 December 2006 (EST)