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Image policy

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Revision as of 18:00, 27 April 2007 by Seth1066 (talk | contribs) (People in photos: added quote from Heller web site)
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Image policy

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This policy explains how we use images (and, to some extent, other media) on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites.

Copyleft license

All images on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites must comply with the copyleft license. See also the copyright details for more information.

Note:images from Wikipedia are often licensed under the GFDL only and therefor not compatible with Wikitravel, unless they are double-licensed with our copyleft license.

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 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.

Image information

The image information, i e the text entered in the "summary" field, must be in english.


The "Summary" field should contain the following information:

  • Image description
  • Where the image/photo was taken
  • Who took/created the image
  • When the image was taken/created
  • Copyright information on images must be added to image pages. Images without copyright information are subject to deletion. Wikitravel Shared have special templates for this - use them.

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).

Minimal use of images

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. 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.

Internal images

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

Many images from the Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia are licensed 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. Check this link to find pages with dual license on Wikimedia Commons. At the moment you cannot link images directly from commons, instead you have to upload the files to Wikitravel Shared, too.

Image sizes

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 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", 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.

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.

The think further reading of the web site sourced above will prove instructive:

...consider the "face in the crowd" picture shown and discussed earlier. In both cases, the subjects are identifiable, but there's another common element: they are either on public land, or are freely visible from public land. When such a condition exists, a new twist comes into play: Fair Use. This is actually a fairly complicated legal term that refers to many things. In the context of this discussion, one of the definitions of fair use includes a condition in which a person cannot assume a degree of privacy because he's in public space, which means that he can be photographed (and cannot stop the process).

Another of the Fair Use definitions is the use of copyrighted materials on public display. For example, a statue in a public square, or a painting on a wall in a public building are both copyrighted by the artists that made them. However, because they are in public space, you are free to photograph them, and to license those photos for editorial use without being subject to copyright infringement. Take note: the use is editorial, which means you can license the photo to a newspaper, but not to a company for use in an ad.Seth1066 13:56, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

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.