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Wikitravel talk:Attraction listings

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Bigger than a breadbox, smaller than a house[edit]

So, I think there are going to be some attractions that are going to be too big to fit in this list item attraction format, but don't really qualify for having their own article under Wikitravel:What is an article?.

I'm wondering if we might want to make sub-sections under "See" and "Do" for these really big attractions. Like this:

*A Small Museum. [...]
*Town Square. [...]
*Big Statue. [...]
===National Museum of Art==
Explanatory paragraph -- why this is important, what to see.
Maybe another paragraph.
A third paragraph.
Attraction details: address, phone number, price, directions; e.g., everything
in the attraction listing format except the explanatory sentences.

The idea is that if there's more than one to three sentences to describe the attraction, there's a way to do it without breaking out into another article.

I think we don't need this for restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. There's not really much value in describing in excrutiating details the luscious tender juiciness of the rack of lamb at a restaurant. The 1-3 sentence description should do for those. But for attractions, there may be more info needed.

San Francisco has this now for the Golden Gate Bridge. My concern is that we'll lose the compact nature of the listings. People do by example, here, and I'm afraid every listing will grow into these subsections.

Ideas/comments/suggestions? Is this a good idea or a bad idea? --Evan 09:22, 21 Dec 2003 (PST)

This makes sense, maybe try it out on some of the current Big Attractions? I'm for anything that keeps stuff on the "destination" page instead of creating "attraction" pages.Majnoona

Time format[edit]

Can we review the time format? Upper case AM and PM look rather loud to me. I prefer am and pm. I've just done a cursory google on keywords "am pm style manual" and without going in to many of the sites, it appears that a large majority favor lower case.

Chicago manual of style uses "a.m." and "p.m." or "AM" and "PM", with the first preferred. Lots of abbreviations are in all-caps, and should be -- we can't protect your delicate text ears forever. Why is this one different? Even if "am" is better than "AM", why is this worth the effort of changing now?
In my view am and pm are more readable. We don't capitalise ante meridiem and post meridiem. Nurg 18:52, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

Also I suggest we stipulate use of 'noon' and 'midnight'. I know there are lots of dummies like me who don't know which is 12am and which 12pm. I can't even get my head around how something can be ante or post when it's right on the dot. Cheers. Nurg 01:47, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

I agree about noon and midnight. It might be worthwhile to add a Wikitravel:time and date formats, since these are kind of important and (once again) having a standard to point to reduces needless edit wars.
Can you get this started? We probably need to point restaurant and bar listings to it, too. --Evan 10:11, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)
Have started Wikitravel:time and date formats. We can continue this discussion on the Talk page there. Nurg 18:52, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)
Only very slightly related, how do you get the time after a comment. Does everyone type this in manually, or is there an automatic way to do it? Brendio 19:22, 15 Jan 2006 (GMT+1)
See Wikitravel:using talk pages. --Evan 13:57, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)
Thanks. Brendio 14:11, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Telephone Numbers[edit]

I've just noticed that current listing templates are inconsistent on this subject.

Wikitravel:Restaurant listings, Wikitravel:Bar listings and Wikitravel:Accommodation listings all explicitly say:

  • Phone numbers should leave off the area code unless outside the "main" area code of the city.

But Wikitravel:Attraction listings says nothing, and indeed the example gives an area code.

I have been applying the 'no area code' rule to attractions too in the mistaken belief that was what the mos says. And in following this up I've seen for the first time the discussion that went on back in Oct-May in Wikitravel talk:Manual of style about whether we should put area codes in or not.

I cannot see any rhyme or reason why attraction listings should be different from other listings in this way, so I think this is really an error or oversight in the way the mos reflected the consensus from that previous discussion.

I take it that the consensus was that numbers should always be written as they would be dialed locally, and that information on how to dial to them from other cities in the same country, or internationally, should be included in Contact section.

So I propose to update the Wikitravel:Attraction listings page in line with the other listing articles. -- Chris j wood 08:19, 20 Jul 2004 (EDT)

That makes sense to me. I think the attraction listings page was created after the area code discussion, and there was some question as to whether or not to use them. But I think you're right, that we should be consistent across the different kinds of listings. --Evan 09:17, 20 Jul 2004 (EDT)

External link Style[edit]

Hey, I was just looking around for how you guys want external links done. The Wikitravel:External_links section seems to indicate a preference for embedded links, while the Attraction listings page lists non-embeded link for the proper formatting style for attractions. Kind of minor, I guess, but I'd prefer to not have to redo pages later. --James Thu Jul 29 16:57:56 HST 2004

This is still being debated but I think consensus is shifting towards embedded links. Jpatokal 23:52, 29 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Actually, I think the winds are weighing towards not changing our style for right now. James, you should probably do it as the attraction listing page says. --Evan 00:11, 30 Jul 2004 (EDT)
As far as I can tell, the discussion on hidden external links has stopped, and the result on that page seems to favor hiding links, which is inconsistent with what this attraction policy says. It seems to me this page should be changed to reflect the linking policy. -- Beland 22:26, 14 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Site Guides[edit]

[Moved from Travellers' pub by Hypatia 21:27, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)]

When I get some more time (I have a PhD to write.... oh the guilt that I'm even on here....!) I'd like to add quite a bit to the Egypt, Israel and Jordan parts of Wikitravel - parts of the world I'm particularly familar with and fond of. To my mind, part of providing a good travel guide might involve putting up some moderately detailed guides to the various sites within a location. For example, rather than just listing the Temple of Luxor as a site to See in Luxor, it would be great to add some explanation as to history, excavation, a guide to the various components of the temple, what to look out for, etc etc. as a separate article to which users could link. Others might want to do the same for, say, Angkor Wat, Macchu Picchu, the British Museum, etc etc. Problem is, providing additional detail will almost certainly blow out the desirable size of an article. My basic question is: What is the scope for providing concise but detailed guides to various sites within Wikitravel? Any ideas / suggestions / discussion? Pjamescowie 13:21, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)

So, in general, I think we need to have Wikitravel:attraction listings in the page for the city they're in. But I do believe there are rare exceptions where we need to have a full article on an attraction. There's some info on this on Wikitravel:What is an article?, but we might want to be more specific. I think we already have an Angkor Wat article (although it has a more precise name, IIRC).
Anyways: yes, I totally think this is a good idea. --Evan 14:07, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Great! So should we start discussing some general guidelines / formatting for these site guides? In the spirit of independent travel that Wikitravel encourages, my idea would be to focus on those sites / attractions which are difficult to interpret without a local guide (of varying quality and price) and / or where on-site documentation is very thin on the ground.... (Egypt nearly everywhere is a prime example of this problem - I'm sure there are others!) Pjamescowie 14:25, 8 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Listings for Do[edit]

Attraction listings are supposed to cover "Do" as well. But this format is clumsy in a case where the attraction in question is something like Rafting on river X and there are many operators who will do the rafting with. We need to be able to write 2-3 lines on the activity as such and list the operators separately with perhaps a max 1-2 line comment limit. -- Ravikiran 07:52, 25 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Yeah, that's how I do it. Some people like to use the listing format for things that IMHO are not listings, like putting a list of dishes under Eat. I much prefer having a paragraph or two about the thing to do in a general sense, and then use listings for places where you can buy/rent/borrow equipment or whatever. -- Mark 08:33, 25 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Is it See or Do?[edit]

I have a tough time decided where to put things.

  • Sports Events, for example - often I find them in the Do section, but is watching a game something you Do or something you See?
  • A park or greenspace - you can Do all sorts of stuff, picnics, walk, play, but that shouldn't have to be mentioned in city after city. So do you go See a park or Do a park?

Opinions, please? -- Ilkirk 15:39, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

I think both of these are on Wikitravel:Where you can stick it, which is probably a page we should feature more prominently. --Evan 16:12, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)
You're exactly right - twice. -- Ilkirk 09:31, 23 Nov 2005 (EST)

Price shorthand[edit]

Is there/could there be a style for more briefly listing the full and reduced admission prices to attractions. For example listing the full price first, followed by a slash and then the reduced admission (€8.50/€6)? -- Brendio

Typically I do the full price and note discounts in the "comments" section, like "$5.50 ($3 for seniors and students)". --Evan 13:55, 15 Jan 2006 (EST)

Structured listings[edit]

So, ja: has done some cool things with Mediawiki templates to make custom listings (see ja:Template:Kau for an example, ja:ドバイ for a good usage).

I'd like to see this kind of formatting done on all our language versions. I've been opposed to using templates for content, but I'm coming around on it, because this is just too good to pass up.

Should we start brainstorming about how to do this on en:? --Evan 16:24, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)

ya know, that is pretty durn cool, and reminds me that I still haven't done any work on a Japanese version of the skin I made. Gar. I need to put some time into it, and probably won't be able to do so until mid-February. -- Mark 17:01, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)


So, I'm really interested in the cool initiatives in semantic markup going on at , especially I wonder if there's a possibility of using it for Wikitravel (combined with templates). Here's my idea:

  • We use Mediawiki templates to assemble listing data, like {{restaurant|name=Foo Restaurant|geo=45.5288,-73.5711|tel=+1-415-555-1212|desc=a good restaurant|url=}}.
  • Those templates render as custom "vcard" tags, like this:
ORG:Foo Restaurant

I think this would be pretty nifty. I also think that it would be useful for the world. It wouldn't even be that hard (There's a PEAR tool for parsing VCARD, so it'd be mostly glue code). It's not a first priority, but I think it's interesting. Any comments? --Evan 16:55, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)

I can see quite a few advantages to such a scheme in the way the data can be handed. If we decided to change the formating of the listings, we would just have to change the template and not each individual page (like we are doing now with getting rid of the external links sections). The hotel and restaurant listings could be easily transfered to a PDA address book or GPS receiver for easy access "on the field", for example, and I am sure many other applications could be thought of. The only disadvantage that I can see, is that the (slightly) increased complexity of the markup could scare off new comers who have no experience in html etc. Noobies will have to RTFM before they can begin, although they could still enter plain text and other, experienced users could do the conversion. — Brendio 17:16, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)
My only question is: "where does the cheeky discription go?" I need to know because that's where we add value over the yellow pages. -- Mark 17:52, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)
You guys are reinventing the wheel -- we've been doing this at Japanese Wikitravel since the beginning, only by using Mediawiki templates (see eg. [4]) and I'd be more than happy to see these in English as well. However, I think it's absolutely necessary that a user-friendly "Add entry" / "Edit entry" type wizard is provided. Jpatokal 02:35, 27 Jan 2006 (EST)

How much time should I devote to this place?[edit]

So, different attractions take a different amount of time. The world's biggest ball of twine in Darwin (Minnesota) is going to take you about 10-15 minutes tops to fully appreciate; the Louvre in Paris requires at least a day to get the basics, and about 3-4 days to get the full appreciative effect.

I wonder if there is a point to having some information in our listing format about how much time to devote to an attraction. (I don't think the same kind of info would be needed for, say, bars, restaurants, or hotels.) Comments? Ideas? --Evan 22:13, 27 March 2006 (EST)

Places, not activities[edit]

So, it's not unusual to see new users add sections to "Do" like this:

  • Fishing. You can fish at Big Lake and Clear Lake.  edit
  • Birdwatching. There is good birdwatching at Clear Lake and Monroe Lake.  edit
  • Swimming. You can swim at Big Lake and Monroe Lake.  edit

... when what we want is more like:

  • Monroe Lake. Swimming and birdwatching.  edit
  • Clear Lake. Birdwatching and fishing.  edit
  • Big Lake. Fishing and swimming.  edit

I wonder if there's a way to emphasize that we want listings of places to do things rather than things to do. (Common or featured activities in an area should go into a paragraph at the beginning of "do", of course.) Any suggestions? --Evan 10:21, 5 December 2006 (EST)

Um... why do "we" want that? For outdoorsy activities, I think it makes a lot more sense to list places by activities, so somebody interested in (eg.) diving and hiking can find those fast and ignore the places for fishing and golfing. Jpatokal 10:55, 5 December 2006 (EST)
I would modify Jani's analysis (with which I agree) to say that this makes sense for outdoorsy destinations. Placing the activity of "hiking" at a top level doesn't make sense for New York City, because even though you can hike (by some definitions of the term) in some of the parks, it's a minor part of what brings people to the destination. Contrast Yosemite National Park, where it's the big attraction of the place. Perhaps the way to address this is to have the Parks template contain language stressing activities while the City templates stress places. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 11:41, 5 December 2006 (EST)
The article templates list activities that way; see Wikitravel:Small city article template#Do for an example. I think what you're asking though, Jani, is besides being the standard way to do things for Wikitravel, why is that the right way to do it? Because grouping things by location makes it easier to group practical details like directions and contact information without repeating them. Let me expand the above fictional listings to show what I mean:
  • Monroe Lake, Highway 41 (5 miles from county road 13 turnoff), +1-212-555-1234, [1]. 10AM-10PM Apr-Oct, 10AM-sunset Nov-Mar. County park with swimming area (no lifeguard). Birdwatching from the platforms in the marshes on the end of the lake is particularly good, as it's a nesting area for herons. $5/day/person.  edit
  • Clear Lake, Clear Lake lane (End of the road 8 mi off highway 41), +1-212-555-1111, [2]. 5AM-10PM. Undeveloped state land for wilderness activities. Large stocked lake with crappie and perch, some birdwatching in late spring during migrations. free.  edit
  • Big Lake, 18755 Rte. 12 (4 mi. north of town), +1-212-555-2222 (, fax: +1-212-555-3344), [3]. Su-Th 6AM-10PM, F-Sa 6AM-midnight. Noisy private beach near town with lifeguards and snack bar. Paddleboats, kayaks available for rent. Lake is stocked with rainbow and brown trout, with a second parking lot more amenable to fishing. $15/car.  edit
Well, that's kinda my point. The language in the existing City template (among others) encourages people to place the activity first. If there's a problem with that, modify the language. However, don't modify it for those classes of destinations such as Parks where it's more sensible to treat the activity as the unifying principle. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:46, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Repeating this information over several different activities would be tedious, hard to keep up, and difficult for people to find. I realize there may be some practical information that can be given about each activity, too ("Rock is mostly granite and sandstone, great for climbing, high winds in the area", "Low visibility in the water on the north side of the island, but better wildlife", "Bear season opens in the fall for two weeks and requires a special permit"), but these kinds of things really lend themselves to prose descriptions at the start of "Do" rather than in the structured format of listings. If there's an activity that a destination is particularly known for and there's a lot of this kind of info and a lot of places to do it (or businesses that help you do it), it should be a separate sub-section of "Do".
There's some sense to this; I would immodestly cite the "Do" and "Buy" sections of Santa Fe (New Mexico) as an example of how this can work, with a structure that in essence puts the activity in the narrative and then formats the locales conventionally under that. However, with outdoorsy destinations, the activity is the "Do." You don't go to the Grand Canyon because Grandview Point and the Kaibab Trail are attractions there; you go to the Grand Canyon because it has boffo sightseeing and fantastic hiking, of which Grandview Point and the Kaibab Trail are examples. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:46, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Yes, Santa Fe is a great example! --Evan 13:01, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Other reasons: it keeps the "do" section nicely parallel with the other listings. And we don't list every activity you can do in a place (although some new users add things like "See the sights", "Relax", "Eat good food", "Go out dancing", "Shop for gifts"). It's easier to keep "Do" just for activities if we keep it place- and business-focused. --Evan 12:23, 5 December 2006 (EST)
I see what you're saying, and the problem with the conversation may be the unfortunate choice of examples. The new-user "contributions" that you list here are of course appropriate for replacement by site-specific things that conform more closely to the MoS, and as I say above, some different template language that encourages the newbie to do the right thing might be developed. The example you used happens to be one of the exceptions -- a thing that is more usefully organized by activity than by place -- and I will continue to defend the existing approach to the outdoorsy things at outdoorsy places. Fair? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:46, 5 December 2006 (EST)
Well, it's fair that you will defend it, but I still disagree. B-) I prefer having activities qua activities as second-level or third-level headers, like Isle Royale National Park#Hike, with each trail in a separate listing. I much prefer this to the Grand Canyon format, and I think it better follows the format we use for cities, regions, etc. If there's really not enough to say about each trail (or river or lake or beach or whatever), or the level of detail would be too much for a general-purpose guidebook, then I guess I'd prefer just leaving it as prose paragraphs rather than listing items. --Evan 13:01, 5 December 2006 (EST)

University of Place[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

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)
Can we nail this down? I'm trying to figure out what to do with Warsaw's schools. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 06:27, 26 September 2007 (EDT)

The time it takes[edit]

moved from Wikitravel:Requests for comment:

An additional heading "Minimum time to see attractions" should perhaps be created to give an estimate of time one should plan in a given city/ location.

I think this is useful information, but it can be hard to establish an objective measure in a lot of cases. For me, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg took about 70 hours, but I'm sure plenty of people "see" it in 2-3. When at all possible, I think it's best to add this information in the description, rather than to give it its own heading. Check the Oriental Institute listing for an example of how one might go about this. --Peter Talk 16:00, 8 November 2007 (EST)