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Image policy

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Image policy

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This policy explains how we use images (and, to some extent, other media) in Wikitravel.


All images on Wikitravel must comply with our copyleft. They should almost always be original work by the person uploading them; see copyright details for more info on exceptions to this.

Copyright information on images must be added to image pages. Images without copyright information are subject to deletion. It is not anyone else's job to chase down copyright info on an image. If you don't have it, or know it, don't add the image to Wikitravel. When in doubt, leave it out.

It might be possible to find the copyright holder in the image file's comment. Read comments in image files for details.

Please give the following information: year of copyright, name of copyright owner, license(es). If the image is public domain (i.e. no copyright), state this instead.

The licenses must include the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Version 1.0, but a picture can be released under additional licenses (e.g. GFDL, see Wikitravel:Dual licensing for details). If you got the picture from a public source (web page, book, etc) then give a reference to the original.

Wikitravel Shared

Wikitravel Shared is a repository of images that can be imported by users of all language versions of Wikitravel. Images that are not English-specific, like photographs, should be uploaded to the shared system.

Images that have explanatory English text, like maps or diagrams, on them should be uploaded to English Wikitravel.

Minimal use of images

Travellers may be using Wikitravel from networks with very low bandwidth. In some countries, an Internet cafe with 10 computers connected to a single 56k modem is fairly common. So image use in articles should be kept at the minimum necessary.

This doesn't mean that 0 images is preferred to 1 image, but that no more images than are necessary to get across a point or impression should be used. 14 different photos of the Statue of Liberty don't really help travellers any more than one photo does. Not every street, hotel, restaurant, town square and statue needs to be memorialized with an image.

Internal images

Images used in Wikitravel articles should be uploaded to the Wikitravel site. External images should not be used; they can be linked to, however.

Using Wikimedia images

Many images from the Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia are as GFDL and thus not compatible with Wikitravel. However, an increasing number of Wikimedia contributors are choosing to dual-license their work under Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0, which is compatible, so check the image data and the uploader's User page for a possible dual-license note. At the moment you cannot link images directly from commons, instead you have to upload the files to Wikitravel, too.

Image formats

Images should be in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG - for photographs
  • PNG - for text, maps, or computer-generated images
  • SVG - for source of maps or other diagrams

The GIF format is deprecated. It is technically inferior to PNG, which has about the same purpose. See for details.

Image sizes

Images should be less than 512kB total size, and preferably less than 256kB. There is a hard limit of 8Mb on uploads to

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", or whatever. 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 us from having name clashes.

Leave the image size out of the image file name. The image may be reformatted in the future. It can be confusing to have a "timbuktu_mosque_640x480.jpg" that's actually 250 pixels across.

People in photos

In general, photos of people will be removed from Wikitravel. There are two reasons for this policy:

  1. A photo of the Taj Mahal is useful for travellers; a photo of your girlfriend in a funny hat standing in front of the Taj Mahal is not. In general, we don't really want pictures of travellers or other people in Wikitravel. Some exceptions might be for particular sports or activities or crowd scenes or illustrating some costume or uniform.
  2. In the United States and elsewhere human beings have privacy rights, that is, a right to control the use of their own image, even if they didn't create the image. Image creators need to get authorization from human subjects of photos to publish the images. See for a description of why and when a model release is required. A general rule of thumb is that if an image contains a subject that is identifiable, a model release is needed.

Other media

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.