This policy explains how we use images (and, to some extent, other media) on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites.
All images on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites must be licensed in a way which is compatible with the copyleft license, or must be in the public domain. See also the copyright details for more information.
Images should be in one of the following formats:
The GIF format should not be used, since it is technically inferior to PNG, which has about the same purpose.
Diagrams and maps should also have a vector-format source file. We prefer SVG, but other vector formats (Adobe Illustrator, PostScript) are better than nothing.
The image information (the text entered in the "summary" field) should be in English. Additional descriptions in other languages are welcome, but they should be tagged with the appropriate template to indicate which language is in question.
The "Summary" field should contain the following information:
Minimal use of images
Image use in articles should be kept at the minimum necessary to get across a point or impression.
Travellers may be using Wikitravel from networks with very low bandwidth. In some countries, an Internet café with 10 computers connected to a single 56k modem is fairly common, even travelers in developed countries can often be limited to 10k mobile GPRS access.
This doesn't mean no images, just no more images than are necessary
Images used in Wikitravel articles should be uploaded to Wikitravel Shared. External images should not be used. Also, avoid linking to external image pages since the reader may find it annoying to jump from site to site in search of images only.
Using Wikimedia images
As of June 2012 you can link images directly from commons simply by including the file name as if the image was included locally; you should not re-upload the file to Wikitravel.
Uploading high-quality source images is encouraged. Images should be less than 4Mb total size, and preferably less than 2Mb. There is a hard limit of 64Mb on uploads to wikitravel.org, with the goal of allowing large SVG map files in mind.
Pixel dimensions should be 1536x2048 (3 megapixels) or smaller, as this is enough for a 6"x4.5" print at 300 DPI (half a guidebook page). When displayed, pictures can be automatically scaled to smaller thumbnails; see How to add an image for details.
Image file names
Image file names should be somewhat meaningful. Many digital cameras give images names like "IMG00001.JPG". You should try to rename these files to something like "cathedral_in_cologne.jpg", or "spanish_steps.jpg", etc. Use descriptive names with full words and underscores ("_") between the words.
This makes it easier for other people to include the image in articles, and it keeps Wikitravel Shared from having name clashes.
Do not include the image size in the file name.
Wikitravel does not use montages, or really any type of image other than maps or simple photography.
Photos of businesses
As a general rule, photos of individual businesses, especially those seen to be promotional, will be deleted. Exceptions include images that are meant to be illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region, or those of exceptionally famous establishments. See also en:Wikitravel:Don't tout.
People in photos
In general, photos of people will be removed from Wikitravel. There are two reasons for this policy:
However, in public spaces people give up a certain degree of privacy, which means that they can be photographed (and cannot stop the process). At Wikitravel, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture.
Photo of yourself for user page
Another exception to this rule is a photo of the uploader that is used only on the uploader's user page. If you are uploading a photo of yourself and there are no other recognizable people in the image please put a comment on the image page indicating that the picture is of you, you are releasing it under the terms of the CC-SA license (or using the special Template:Copyrighted tag specifically for this purpose), and that it is for use on your user page.
Buildings and artworks in photos
Buildings and artworks like paintings and statues are copyrighted by the creator. However, in most countries, you are allowed to take pictures of them as long as they are on permanent public display, and license those photos for editorial and commercial use (including Wikitravel) without committing copyright infringement. Notable exception: while the United States allows photos of buildings, artworks installed after 1978 (or, if copyright was actively asserted, 1923) generally require permission.
Examples of acceptable photos that do not require permission:
Examples of photo subjects that require explicit permission:
There are gray areas: for example, the owners of the Eiffel Tower contend that while the tower itself can be photographed freely, pictures of its lighting at night require permission. Also, while you might legally be able to use pictures of artworks taken at a museum, museums may prohibit you from bringing cameras in.
See Wikimedia Commons: Freedom of panorama for an extensive discussion, including details of the law in many countries.
One of Wikitravel's goals is to have Wikitravel articles useful as printed pages. Use of other media files — like digital sound clips or video images — is therefore deprecated.