Talk:El Camino Real

Active discussions

Order of missionsEdit

Should the missions be listed in order from one end of the road to the other? Texugo (talk) 16:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

I guess, since this is supposed to be a driving tour. I'm going to be adding them in chronological order, but I can switch the order at any point Purplebackpack89 21:07, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Suggest a seven-day itineraryEdit

With the missions mostly being open 6-7 hours a day, and many of them being 45 minutes or more apart, it would be difficult to visit more than three per day, and that's hitting the first when it opens, the third when it closes, and only staying 90 minutes or so at each. I'm going to recommend the following:

I also intend to link to the various cities along ECR that have lodging. Now, where do I put all that? Purplebackpack89 22:42, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

You might want to do something like Route 66, where the "Go" section is split up by day (along the guidelines you've suggested) and you describe the route and towns that will be encountered for each day, interspersed with the listings for the missions. Overall this itinerary has developed nicely and provides an interesting way of presenting the California missions - nice job! -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:50, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I've begun this @ User:Purplebackpack89/ElCaminoRealGo. It's going be in a sausage-making state until it's done. As for accommodations and town descriptions, I'm not sure where to go with that, but I will provide links to various articles. Purplebackpack89 21:03, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Unless a place is directly attached to a mission or there is some other reason to highlight it in this article, just link to the town with a few sentences of descriptive text rather than including any individual hotel or restaurant listings in this article - it keeps things simpler to have business listings just be in the town article. For example, under "Day X" you might have a few lines like "The town of [[Town #1]] provides a variety of bed and breakfasts, while [[Town #2]] is a bit further off the beaten path but offers cheaper options for budget-conscious travelers." Hopefully that makes sense and addresses your concern about accommodations. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:36, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
I posted this on my talk page, but I'm not sure whether you saw it, so for whatever it's worth: This article is shaping up nicely! Make sure you link the name of every town. I think it would also be good to give very brief overviews of each town, summarizing the general scene in terms of other things to see and do and what's available to eat, drink, and for sleeping. In no way should you recapitulate what's in the linked town/city guides, though; I would keep those overviews extremely brief (probably 1-2 sentences per city/town). I see Ryan gave the example of Route 66, which I probably would have given, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:08, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The driving directions are upEdit

@Ikan Kekek:, @Wrh2:, @Texugo:, @Traveler100:, What's between this and guide? This and star? There are many links to various towns around the route (nearly all of the ones linked have lodging or eating listings), and I've flushed out the "Be Prepared" section. Purplebackpack89 05:06, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

You've really done an impressively great job on this article! I think it's a Guide now, but I would like one or two more opinions before changing its status. I'd like to nominate this for a front-page feature soon. I'm really not sure what a star itinerary looks like. Do we have any yet? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:58, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree, this article is great. Before promoting to guide the empty headings should either be filled out or removed, but otherwise I think it's there. As to star, see Category:Star itineraries for examples of current star itineraries. -- Ryan • (talk) • 07:03, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I have deleted the "Stay Safe" section because it's either redundant to "Be Prepared" or is kinda Capt. Obvious (i.e. don't drink and drive, don't take drugs on a military base, stuff like that). I flushed out the "Go Next" section. Purplebackpack89 16:22, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why you couldn't bump this to guide now - it looks like it meets all of the criteria. Again, nice job. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:40, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Guide it is. Am considering star nomination later in the week...anything to do before then? Purplebackpack89 17:46, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to see the lone left-aligned image fit into the right somewhere. Otherwise, before making it a star, it would be really great to get a gpx file so that the route itself shows up on the map (see Route 1-Ring Road for an example), since it is a quite convoluted combination of roads. Texugo (talk) 18:01, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Prior to a star nomination you might also want to add a note to Wikivoyage:Requests for comment soliciting further feedback. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:02, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
@Texugo:: So, do you want me to GPX it just between the missions, whenever you have to turn from one street to the next, or (and I hope not this) every time the street you're on turns? We'd be looking at 80 points for the second option, probably a couple hundred for the third. Purplebackpack89 18:32, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, if you don't gpx it to follow the road, it will not lay on top of the roads on the map, which would look very strange, I think. I don't know if there is a tool that could help in this process? Anyone? Texugo (talk) 18:40, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I found a tool and have created some GPX files for routes (one b/w San Diego and San Luis Rey; another b/w San Luis Rey and Capistrano, and a third between Capistrano and San Gabriel). I'm not sure if they're going to work correctly, though. I'm at sea when it comes to programming things like GPX Purplebackpack89 19:15, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
You officially have more experience with it than I! Texugo (talk) 19:41, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Expect a traveller's pub posting on it in the next 24 hours. I think what needs to be done to make this WV-ready is relatively simple: merge the 20 Garmin files into one big file, then perform a series of find-and-replace edits. I just don't know what to find and replace. FWIW, this will be ~1 MB of code. Purplebackpack89 19:44, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

GPX help needed for El Camino RealEdit

Swept in from the pub

I am in the process of trying to get El Camino Real to star status. Another editor suggested that I needed a GPX route map of the itinerary. I used a GPX file generator to create a number of Garmin files, but I need help. I believe that the following needs to be done:

  1. The 21 files (1-17, 18a, 18b, 19 and 20) need to be laid end-to-end in one big file
  2. Using find-and-replace, the code needs to be altered slightly for each entry so it fits with what our maps like

I just don't know how to do this. If you have any idea what to do about this, ping me or e-mail me. The target page for this code is El Camino Real/GPX Purplebackpack89 23:27, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Can you describe in a bit more detail? Why did you get garmin files from a GPX file generator? Do you just want to append several GPX files? If so, you can do this fairly easily with gpsbabel? --Inas (talk) 02:19, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
This is really all I know. this describes the file generator I used; I think maybe they're GPX files that are Garmin-compatible. I don't really know anything about this at all, which is why I'm here. All I know is I used that site, and created some files which I think need to be altered slightly to be used as the GPX for the map in the El Camino Real article. Due to my lack of knowledge about this, I don't know what GPSbabel is. Purplebackpack89 02:30, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
GPSBabel is a piece of software that will combine, convert all sorts of geodata. It will merge gpx files. Where are the files now? --Inas (talk) 02:36, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
On my computer. I can e-mail them to anyone desirous of seeing them if they e-mail me first Purplebackpack89 14:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, I still can't really figure out what is required. But I'll drop you an email, because if all you want is to merge a couple of gpx routes into a single route, I can do that in a snap. --Inas (talk) 21:26, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I got the files you sent, merged them, and sent back the full route. Please do let me know if that isn't what you were looking for, and I'll try and narrow in on it. --Inas (talk) 09:48, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, the merger of the files certainly was an important step, but the question is, if you paste it into El Camino Real/GPX, will it produce a route (something a la what Route 1-Ring Road/Gpx does for Route 1-Ring Road), or will changes have to be made Purplebackpack89 18:23, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
It is every bit a GPX route file. If you put it on your GPS you can follow it, however it is computer/GPS readable online. I can also overlay it on a osm map, if you would like something more viewable? I'm not aware of any wiki extension to display routes? Am I thinking on the right lines? Does anyone else understand what PBP is asking who can interpret? --Inas (talk) 21:49, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
There is a way to display routes on the dynamic maps, but it doesn't look like it's working right now. Not sure whether it was because I mentioned to User:Mey2008 that we have to change GPX articles like Singapore/Chinatown/GPX over to Template:GPX/Singapore/Chinatown and Template:GPX/El Camino Real etc. -- torty3 (talk) 05:21, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Welp, it's working now for Route 1-Ring Road. -- torty3 (talk) 05:26, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Inas, what I (and other editors associated with the El Camino Real star effort) have been looking for is akin to what the Icelandic article Route 1-Ring Road has: a route on its Template:Mapframe-generated dynamic map. To make that happen, the code from the file you created needs to be pasted into a Wikipedia page (either this one or that one), and it needs to be pasted in a certain format so that it generates the route. What that format is I'm not entirely sure of, but I believe Route 1-Ring Road/Gpx can give you an idea of what the format is. Purplebackpack89 05:31, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
The procedure is described here. Basically the header must be changed. When making the Iceland route, I followed this minitutorial ;) Danapit (talk) 06:51, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Please store GPX files from now in the templates namespace. Example: Template:GPX/Virgin Gorda (case sensitive). @User:Torty3: The adapted script is ready to sync. -- Joachim Mey2008 (talk) 07:27, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Purplebackpack, can you copy the contents of your file into Template:GPX/El Camino Real? --Danapit (talk) 07:58, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
I did. It's not producing a route Purplebackpack89 18:53, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Joachim, thank you for making it work. I opened it in the morning scratching my head what to do with it and when I revisited it, it was done! Danapit (talk) 12:35, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Crazy goalEdit

Just found out Father Serra's 300th birthday is the 24th. Be cool if we could get this to guide by then Purplebackpack89 23:52, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


  • What work (besides a GPX map) needs to be done to get this to star quality? Purplebackpack89 17:47, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

This is a beautifully written and comprehensive article that will be a real help and incentive to travellers.

Because, over the years, my contributions have mainly been in unspectacular copy editing, I will limit my comments to aspects of our MoS which unfortunately, because of a mixture of personality politics, historical reasons and "Waaaaaagh, I don't like it", is not currently a model of clarity and consistency - never mind best technical practice.

Personally, if the 12h style of tdf is to be adopted, I much prefer the lower case am and pm style. This is both easier on the eye and less confusing when there are a large number of times and days of the week displayed. Currently, this article has a mixture of both am and AM. My suggestion would be to leave changes to last and instead try and modify our MoS along the lines Tony suggested. If that initiative fails, then you can either switch to 24h style or to the ugly AM/PM that very few actually prefer.

WV:Abbr#U.S._routes also mandates a different format for roads and highways.

I'll start making some of these MoS changes, and they will probably give you a clue as how to continue. --118.93nzp (talk) 22:14, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Could I suggest, that if you are going to make MoS changes, that you follow the MoS as it is currently, rather than pushing your particular barrow? If any initiative succeeds, we can make the required changes. --Inas (talk) 22:20, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
An excellent suggestion, not just for this article, but in general, Inas. --118.93nzp (talk) 00:37, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
The time just needs to be consistent at this point, I guess. Am I to gather that I need to change most of my Interstate and U.S. Route abbreviations, then, and stop forcing image sizes? There's a problem with not forcing image sizes, namely that it makes it difficult to include pix of all 21 missions in the prose Purplebackpack89 22:45, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
A sensible solution might be to leave the times formatting job to last since
a) right now this article is a very good illustration of the merits of this proposal: Wikivoyage_talk:Time and date formats#RFC: introducing optional AM/PM and am/pm
b) it may well be that after some of the heat of egos and personality politics is taken out of this discussion, a more mature and balanced view of what constitutes a consensus may emerge.
Because readers may have set different default thumbnail image display sizes (because of differing screen sizes and connectivity), most Wikis using the same software as us deprecate forcing arbitrary image sizes for no good and pressing reason but, again, our MoS is currently very vague and unhelpful on this particular point. At the moment it's difficult for me to see the problem you allude to with "difficult to include pix of all 21 missions in the prose" but, if that is a real problem then, in my opinion, that might well constitute a "good and pressing reason". --118.93nzp (talk) 00:37, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

El Camino Real bells

Bells were a very important part of mission life: they signaled the passage of time and alerted the natives for mass or special occasions. During the Mission Revival movement, when California boosters used Spanish mission iconography to promote California, the mission bell was selected as the marker for the El Camino Real. The first set of bells was installed in 1906, and subsequent bells were installed in the 1910s and 1920s, prior to a standard signage being adopted for state highways. Originally, the bells also served as signposts, announcing the mileage and direction to the nearest mission. An effort to again install El Camino Real bells began in 1996, and new or replacement El Camino Real bells are being installed to this day.

Another suggestion for moving this to star: since star articles are those that are mostly complete, it might be nice to also provide a bit more history on the route itself. For example, an infobox about the bells (w:El Camino Real (California)#Bells) or a little bit more about how this route was developed (such as paving starting in 1912), a mention of the remaiing original unpaved sections referenced in the Wikipedia article, etc. We don't need an encyclopedia article, but maybe enough to give a traveler some sense of the history of the route itself, beyond just the fact that it connects historic missions. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:35, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I have beefed up the history a bit (keeping in mind that the history is partly about the route and partly about the missions, because California missions is a redirect here), and to the right, you'll find a draft of a bell infobox Purplebackpack89 02:08, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Ostensibly convertedEdit

What does this phrase mean? "Though thousands of Indians were ostensibly converted to Catholicism..." Was the sincerity of their conversions dubious, or was the number of conversions possibly inflated, or something else? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:53, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Probably both - but I'll let the author respond. --118.93nzp (talk) 02:01, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Little bit of both, and as an extension of the first clause, some Indians were converted not of their own volition, and others would initially be converts, but flee back to their village/to the hills at the first sign of trouble. Purplebackpack89 02:04, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Context for outsidersEdit

It took a while for me to understand you are supposed to drive the camino. I first thought this was something like the European long distance hiking trails. Only in the "Go" sections it became obvious that walking (even some parts) is not an option considered by the authors.

There are some other things that reveal the authors have not thought enough about people from the outside. E.g. "weather is generally mild, with highs in the 60s in the winter and the 70s or 80s in the summer." What in ...? Aha! Temperatures, probably Fahrenheit. Where do I find the formula for converting? (Of course, going to USA I should learn to use that scale, so it might not be a real problem, but stating the unit is good for us not too acquainted with the idioms.)

It seems the article is written for those wanting to haste through the missions, in the seven days said to be the minimum needed. I would appreciate some discussion explaining this. Is it just the approach chosen for this article or is there some more fundamental reason to visit all missions instead of using some more time at them - perhaps it is the common way? Perhaps there really is little to do with more time? For me the approach seems very odd, because I compare with El Camino de Santiago, where an important aspect is the calming down, which happens automatically on the road.

I think the Understand section should include something about why one would like to make the journey, and why one would want do do it in the way suggested. It may very well be the best way, but it differs quite a lot from what I am used to on this side of the pond.

--LPfi (talk) 09:26, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

I would suspect that for most people this would be less of a religious pilgrimage and more about history/architecture. And I have never been to the missions in California, but I recently visited Missions National Park in San Antonio, and I'd suspect that the pacing in this article is about right, all things considered. There is only so much time you can actually spend at each one before you are ready to move on. Texugo (talk) 14:00, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
@LPfi:, I feel like you came to this with too many preconceived notions. The article is written in American language, so it uses American units, though I have added Fahrenheit the first time temperature is mentioned. I'm also operating on the assumption that people don't have unlimited money: sure, they could spend two weeks doing the missions (and I note that additional days may be required for a more leisurely pace) and taking additional side trips, but you'd be looking at nearly $1000 additional expenditure if you did so. Furthermore, at many of the missions, there really isn't more than 2-3 hours of stuff to see anyway. Though El Camino Real can be done as a pilgrimage, it is mostly done to discover the history of California, and it was promoted by California boosterists not for any religious value, but so you'd buy stuff or maybe even move there. Aside from the fact that El Camino Real is a road with churches on it, it is nothing like Camino Santiago, with reason number one being that it's not one of the most sainted places in all Christendom (the closest it gets is Father Serra's grave). There isn't any unifying reason why people visit El Camino Real the way there is with Camino Santiago (heck, you don't even have to be Catholic to learn about the missions in 4th grade, and be interested in visiting them later in life), and I think it would be foolish to impose one. And if we were to list the numerous reasons people would visit, I think the lead would be a better place than the "Understand", which at present is mostly about history. And it could be walked or bicycled if you so chose, but that would be problematic in that you would basically have to walk all day and sleep midway between missions (some of which don't have a nice, neat midway point with a hotel). We're talking about a geographical area the size of a European country here; in the "Understand" section it's mentioned that each mission is a day's journey on horseback from the next (which would imply that walking would take at least that, since people don't really walk or ride much faster than they did in the late 1700s). I have added the total distance in the lead, which I think will dissuade anyone of the idea of walking or biking it. Purplebackpack89 14:43, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Continue into Mexico?Edit

Just out of curiosity, where does this road lead to the south after entering Mexico? Is it followable? Is it marked? Presumably there are more missions to see on that side of the border, right? Is this something that might be pursued as an addition section to the article, or in a separate itinerary? Texugo (talk) 18:33, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe that it continues down the Baja California Coast, passing by Mission San Bruno and Mission Loreto. It appears to roughly follow the route of Mexico Route 1. [file] may be of some use to you. I'd say note that the road continues into Mexico, but have the sights of that road mentioned elsewhere.


I think the following needs to be mentioned about MOS in the MOS war that seems to have broken out:

  1. All abbreviations in use should be abbreviated, but
  2. Words and phrases need not be abbreviated, even when an MOS abbreviation exists

Purplebackpack89 17:50, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

One direction only?!Edit

I was a bit puzzled by this edit which changed:

If flying, this itinerary assumes you fly in the day before the start, spend the night at one end of the route (eg, in the Hotel Circle area of San Diego) and begin the tour of the missions the next day. Likewise, either the evening of or the day after finishing the itinerary, you'd drive to catch your return flight.

to this slightly longer text:

If flying is your conveyance, this itinerary assumes flying in the day before beginning, spending the night at one end of the route (i.e. in the Hotel Circle area of San Diego), and beginning the tour of the missions the next day. Likewise, either the evening of or the day after finishing the itinerary, you'd drive to catch your return flight.

for the second time. (The edit summary was Again: Please do not make the text less colorful. Moreover, the place to begin the itinerary is i.e., not e.g..) Leaving aside questions of tone, is it really true that this itinerary can only be started by flying in to the San Diego end?

I understood that there was a perfectly serviceable airport, STS, in Sonoma served by direct flights from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland in Oregon and Seattle/Tacoma or is that not the issue? --118.93nzp (talk) 01:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

I think tone was the only thing at play here. It says elsewhere in the section that a backwards (north-to-south) itinerary is possible. Also, FWIW, Santa Rosa/Sonoma County Airport is only served by about 7 flights a day, but I still changed it to mention that any SF Bay airport can be used for this itinerary. Purplebackpack89 01:37, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Mmmm, if we're right and it's appropriate to do the trip in either direction, then staying in "the Hotel Circle area of San Diego" is just one example amongst several - ie you could stay somewhere else in San Diego or, indeed in Sonoma county.
I don't speak US English, but the conveyance part sounds very odd (rather than colourful) in Kiwi English. Here a conveyance (in this context) is a noun - eg, a plane, a train, a bus, a car. Usually I wouldn't say anything about such trivial matters - it's just that this odd turn of phrase has been restored twice now. --118.93nzp (talk) 04:57, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Contextless statements and toneEdit

In response to the request made at Wikivoyage:Star nominations#El Camino Real, I'm finding some statements in this page that lack any context whatsoever for a general audience. Some examples include (but are not necessarily limited to):

From the Understand section:

El Camino Real, and the missions, pueblos, and presidios along it, was established by the Franciscan friars... Who were the Franciscan friars? Granted, I personally know who the friars were, but then I once lived in San Diego and as a kid my favorite team had a friar as a mascot. I'm not sure if this is common knowledge outside California.

... to ensure safe passage through Alta California... What's Alta California? Is that different from California?

From the Mission San Antonio de Padua listing:

Site of the first Catholic marriage in California; and the first use of red-tile roofs. The first use of red-tile roofs anywhere? By anyone? I find that a little hard to believe. This statement would benefit from some specificity.

Another issue I'm having with the article as it stands is the tone. It's very dry and encyclopedic, with many of the listing descriptions being little more than a list of historic facts. "Founded in ____ by _____. Was used as a _____. Renovated in ____." That might be fine for Wikipedia or a history textbook, but this is a travel guide. The writing needs to be engaging, lively, and it needs to give readers a sense of what they will experience when they visit. It's perfectly fine to talk about the history of a place to give a little context, but the real focus of the writing should be on what a visitor will experience, not what already happened.

The encyclopedic tone is an issue throughout the article, with many, many examples I could name, but for me the most egregious one comes from the Mission San Juan Bautista listing:

It was featured in the film Vertigo.

Okay, granted, this is a nitpicky critique based on a personal love for Alfred Hitchcock, but to say Mission San Juan was featured in Vertigo is like saying the Titanic was a big boat. Mission San Juan plays a pivotal role in Vertigo; it's the setting for the reveal of arguably one of the best twist endings in all of movie history. I actually started scanning the list thinking "Hey, wasn't one of these in Vertigo?" and it took me ages to find it because all we had was that one single sentence tucked in the listing. Alfred Hitchcock fans deserve better than that! ;)

Okay, my movie rant aside, the point remains: there's a lot of flat, dull statements in here that could really use some livening up. Now don't get me wrong, a lot of great work has undoubtedly been done on this article, but for a star nomination, the tone is going to be a real sticking point for me, because it's what separates a merely informative article from an informative and engaging one. PerryPlanet (talk) 00:38, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

California vs. Alta California vs. Baja California

California was originally the name of a mythical island, but by the time of Spanish colonization, the name was also given to the area between the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean. In 1773 California was divided along what is now the U.S.-Mexico border. The southern area was known as Baja California (Lower California), and its missions were staffed by Dominican friars. The northern area was known as Alta California (Upper California), and its missions (the missions in this article) were staffed by Franciscan friars such as Father Serra, Father Lasuen and Father Palou. Collectively, Baja and Alta California were referred to as "The Two Californias" or "Las Californias". In 1824, Baja and Alta California became territories of Mexico, with Baja administered from Loreto and Alta adminstered from Monterey. In 1848, following the Mexican-American War, control of Alta California passed to the Americans, and two years later most of this territory was admitted to the Union as the state of California. The rest of Alta California exists today as the states of Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Baja California exists today as a state of Mexico, with the southern part of Baja existing as the separate state of Baja California Sur.

I think that what a friar is is common enough and/or digressive enough to need no mention (and to be fair, the Padres/Friars bear that moniker because of Serra and Co., as do their AA affiliate the San Antonio Missions). Being a Franciscan means you took orders to follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, but, again, aside of the fact that they were Catholic and that they had to go where their superiors sent them, not sure how germane that is. There are friars in nearly all Catholic countries, and Franciscans in most of those. For Alta California vs. Baja California vs. California -->
Coincidentally, more information on friars, too. As for the Hitch reference, I don't know how you want to make it more obvious, but I'd be open to suggestions. Purplebackpack89 03:43, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Ah, that infobox was quite helpful. Is that going in the article?
I'll take a crack at the Vertigo reference; I'm thinking something like "Alfred Hitchcock fans may recognize the mission's bell tower from the climatic scenes of the classic movie Vertigo." That might need some work, but it's a start. PerryPlanet (talk) 04:42, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
It can go wherever you want it, but since moving around or deletion of images is imminent, I'd wait until after that (That's why I didn't place it meself) Purplebackpack89 06:48, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • FWIW, I have added subjects to most of the statements that were missing them Purplebackpack89 00:59, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Best months to travel the roadEdit

This is really the only information that's still needed before this can be nominated for a front-page feature. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:13, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

There are pros and cons of each season, TBH. I'm not sure I could pick one in particular. Purplebackpack89 17:42, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
That's cool. So the nomination should say "any time." Thanks. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:19, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Where should it say that? Purplebackpack89 05:51, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I mean that the nomination for Feature Travel Topic of the Month should say that. Anyone who supports (or for that matter, though it would be hard for me to imagine, if they are a detractor of) that nomination should please click the link in this sentence to comment. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:56, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

unsuccessful starnomEdit

This article recently made guide, and I believe it...could...go...all...the...way. Purplebackpack89 21:28, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Not yet —It is indeed a good article - but it's not a star. I haven't read through the article, but I'd certainly say this article is not ready yet. The first thing that came to my mind was this article needs to have a Wikivoyage-style map. It should also have detailed information about the places to stay and the restaurants. --Saqib (talk) 21:49, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Um, it has a map, and there was consensus on the page that we didn't need to mention every hotel or restaurant (of which there are thousands) along the route, merely link to the city articles that have them. I also question the validity of this vote, as the voter has not read the article. Purplebackpack89 21:56, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
No WV-styled map means not yet ready. --Saqib (talk) 22:10, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
The current map is WV-styled, dude. It's just not at top. Perhaps read the full article before commenting further? Purplebackpack89 22:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I've read it now but I don't want to comment further until a proper WV-styled map is not added to this article. We've got proper WV-styled map for our star status itinerary articles and for instance, see Along the Magnificent Mile, Loop Art Tour and Yaowarat and Phahurat Tour. --Saqib (talk) 22:22, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
In the #Valle de Cocora nomination above and at Wikivoyage talk:Dynamic maps Expedition#Missing images and missing maps it has been stated that dynamic maps are acceptable maps, and while not everyone agrees, I would hate to see a precedent in which an article had to have a zoomable, dynamically updated map replaced with a static one. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:28, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
(ec) A dynamic map should be acceptable Purplebackpack89 22:30, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Extraordinarily detailed and complete description of an important route, and Purplebackpack89 has been very conscientious about soliciting and responding to feedback during its development. As has been discussed elsewhere, my opinion is that the dynamic map with listings and a GPX route is superior to a static map, and I would hope that we not slush this nomination because it comes during a time when Wikivoyage's guidelines on maps are in flux. -- Ryan • (talk) • 01:51, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. This is a really thorough guide, with exact directions to get to each mission. I also feel like you've addressed all of the points that were brought up in discussions about it. Kudos! Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Almost. Oooh, been a while since we've seen a nice itinerary on this page. Anyway, this is pretty close and there's a wealth of great info in here, but the tone strikes me as a mite dry and encyclopedic, and there are statements that lack context. A good example of this is in the Mission San Francisco Solano listing: "This is where the Bear Flag Revolt took place in 1846." Well, what was the Bear Flag Revolt? And why should I be interested in it? I'd think of a traveler who knows almost nothing about Californian history (but wants to learn!) when writing this. PerryPlanet (talk) 15:01, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I fixed that particular one; could you enumerate additional examples on the talk page? Purplebackpack89 17:16, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Very detailed and interesting article! Jjtkk (talk) 18:30, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Great job done! Danapit (talk) 18:34, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The map is no good. Overlapping text, crowded icons, and no clear depiction of the route equals not a star quality map. That map is not an example of our best work. Also, there are too many images for the amount of text; they run down well past the end of the prose. That doesn't comply with our image policy. LtPowers (talk) 21:34, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I was unaware that there was no consensus about whether or not dynamic maps were acceptable, and it appears that that lack of consensus is one of the few things between this and star. This isn't a neighborhood itinerary; people need to be able to view the map at both the state level (6 zoom) and the city level (12-14 zoom). If we were going the static map route, we'd probably need 30 different maps! We need to break ourselves of the habit of applying the standards of a neighborhood itinerary for this article, and realize that dynamic maps are the way to go here. As for the image, I have a fairly wide screen on my desktop, and the images end midway through the "See also" in mine when it's full screen. On my desktop, it only reaches to the end of the blurb about San Fran Solano. I think it's important that all 21 missions be represented, so I'd support shrinking images, but not removing them. Purplebackpack89 22:21, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the images, I'd actually argue the exact opposite: I think for the purposes of a travel guide, this page would be better served by fewer, but larger pretty images than a bunch of little ones where you can't make out much detail. I don't think it's necessary to have every single mission represented by an image, in the same way that we don't need every single piece of artwork on the Loop Art Tour represented by an image. PerryPlanet (talk) 22:38, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Would moving the images of each mission to a gallery under the "Day" for those missions resolve the layout issues? Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Percy's Hole is a star article, and User:Pbsouthwood used galleries as a way of grouping images of related content into the appropriate sub-sections without causing layout problems. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Image policy seems to say no galleries :-( But we'd still have at least one mission per day, no? Purplebackpack89 22:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Per Wikivoyage:Image policy#Montages and galleries: "Image galleries are discouraged, and should only be considered for showing multiple examples of a specific topic". In this case, the three missions that correspond to an article sub-section would seem acceptable to me, just as the species examples in Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Percy's Hole were acceptable during its star nomination. Further opinions on the subject would be helpful. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:51, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't be opposed to galleries, although frankly I think there's a few "meh" pics on here we could do without. The shot of Mission San Diego has the facade in shadow (and we already have a nice banner of that particular mission), the pics of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel and Mission San Miguel are kinda cloudy and grey, the interior shots of Mission Dolores and Mission San Francisco Solano are dark and grainy, and the shot of Mission San Fernando is not very flattering, with the lower third of the pic taken up by asphalt. I would suggest cutting those out or replacing them. PerryPlanet (talk) 00:30, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
On my browser (Firefox 25.0.1), the last photo extends just past the top of "Go next," which I consider perfect. And I think it's actually great to have photos of all the missions, though if there are any better photos of any of them, by all means replace them. I generally find fault with galleries because the images are too small and the effect of mashing them together isn't great. If a decision is made to go with galleries, it will be important to maintain the separate images, so that they are available in the future and can be used/maintained in guides for different destinations. I think that's obvious, but I'm mentioning it just for the sake of completeness. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:59, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
I think you may be confusing galleries with montages, Ikan. On the broader topic, we have allowed galleries in limited cases, and I think this might be one such case if it's important that every site be represented. LtPowers (talk) 15:30, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
If you can get a dynamic map that actually looks good, by all means. As I noted, this map has overlapping text and overlapping icons that look bad. I would not want this map representing our best work. LtPowers (talk) 15:30, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Powers, I don't know how to improve maps much beyond what I've done already. I'm a prose guy, not a maps guy. Well, I enjoy looking at online maps and drawing paper maps, just haven't got the hang of it here yet. Purplebackpack89 18:55, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any overlapping text on my browser (chrome). What I do see is overlapping icons, and icons covering text. The overlapping icons is a consequence of the number and spacing of the destinations, and the scale and size of the map and the size of the icons. I am not sure how this could be avoided by using a hand drawn map. The icons covering text could easily be eliminated in a custom static map, which would be good for an overview of the itinerary, but nowhere near as useful for actual navigation and route planning as the dynamic map. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:04, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
You're missing the point; it doesn't matter why the map looks bad; the point is that it does, and this isn't a star article until it has a good map. LtPowers (talk) 16:31, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Peter addressed to the issue that dynamic maps "look bad": "The icons covering text could easily be eliminated in a custom static map, which would be good for an overview of the itinerary, but nowhere near as useful for actual navigation and route planning as the dynamic map." No one denies your argument that there are aesthetic disadvantages in our current dynamic implementation, but you are ignoring the argument that dynamic maps provide HUGE benefits in terms of added ability for a user to customize the map to his needs, automatic maintenance as listings are updated, added functionality (show nearby articles, etc), and more. My personal opinion is that it would be a shame if we had to replace dynamic maps in our best articles with what I would view as crippled static maps, and I thus strongly reject that a dynamic map is not a "good map". -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:00, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
And you're ignoring aesthetics in favor of pure functionality. A good static map (or more than one) can obviate most of the need for user-customization while eliminating almost all of the disadvantages; that's clearly the way to go until the mythical "someday" (in which dynamic maps will look good) comes. LtPowers (talk) 21:20, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that you can't do it with just one. You'd need a static map of the whole route, and detail maps of the area around each mission, and probably the area around each bed-down. I don't consider the dynamic map to be so aesthetically displeasing so as to outweigh the advantage of having 96-97% fewer maps. Purplebackpack89 23:42, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
I think Purplebackpack89 has raised a crucial point here, that is perhaps peculiar to itineraries, of which we haven't had too many StarNoms. If you're worried about conceding a precedent, Powers, perhaps we could agree that you every right to raise the same points about dynamic maps again with any future Starnoms that are not itineraries, if you withdraw your opposition to this Starnom? --118.93nzp (talk) 02:49, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion about the aesthetics of dynamic maps in general, although I think you can make a case that a static map is more fitting for the purposes of an itinerary - especially an itinerary of historic sites, where the route isn't likely to change, so you don't need to worry much about updating the map (which is one of the main advantages of a dynamic map). A static map can be made to cut out a lot of the clutter of a dynamic map, thus highlighting the route itself (even with the dynamic map enlarged, I still feel like the route line is getting a little lost in the clutter). And you can have little static inset maps of the area around the individual missions within the body of the larger static map, for those cases where the mission isn't easy to find from the main road. I kinda like Pbsouthwood's suggestion below of having a static map in addition to the dynamic map; that might be a good way of incorporating the advantages of both approaches. PerryPlanet (talk) 05:05, 23 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why "fewer maps" is considered an advantage, especially after also arguing that every site needs a photograph. If the map is useful, provide it; don't force the user to zoom and pan to get it. LtPowers (talk) 20:26, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. I find the map quite utilitarian on my admittedly large screen. There are a couple of small points which I would prefer to see improved. The route line does not contrast very well, and at high magnification the line doesn't follow the road precisely. If this can be changed without undue work it would be an improvement. Perhaps an additional WV style static map could be provided to make the page look pretty, while keeping the dynamic map to actually find one's way along the route. For this application I think the number and placing of the photos is OK, but would not object if better quality shots can be found. I prefer them to be aligned with the subject text as is the case here. I also prefer the use of standard thumbnail size wherever there isn't a good reason to force the size. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 16:11, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. As I've often noticed over the years, Peter (Southwood) has this nailed. I believe that the syntax of {{mapframe}} also allows for a static map image to be optionally linked. I'd also like to commend the collegiate style of the proposer (and author of much of the material), Purplebackpack89; I've watched him respond patiently, promptly and politely to the helpful criticism he's received over the last few weeks and I think this now makes a good exemplar of one of our better itineraries. --118.93nzp (talk) 04:38, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support -- lovely. I've lived in California for many years, and driven much of this, and I learned a lot from this article :) Comprehensive, interesting: nice work. -- Phoebe (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Discussion summaryEdit

This nomination is coming to the end of its three weeks, and while it appears that there is consensus for pushing it to star there remain a couple of unresolved issues. The main one is that there is obviously disagreement about whether the map is acceptable for a star article, but it looks (to me) like concerns (pro & con) have been addressed in discussions, and essentially the discussion boils down to a difference of opinion as to whether a dynamic map should be allowed for a star article, with no actionable solution that everyone agrees on available - is that a fair summary? Second, it's not clear if the concerns about the prose have been appropriately addressed (@PerryPlanet:). Aside from those two issues, are there any remaining concerns to address before the nomination period ends in a couple of days? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:08, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The discussion about prose moved from here to the article talk page. One of the things proposed was an additional infobox, which I created on the article talk page, but left for someone else to place Purplebackpack89 17:39, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, but I feel the infobox was the only prose matter I brought up that was really addressed. Reading through it now, many of the listings still have a very dull, encyclopedic tone, with incomplete sentences that are strung together like a list of bullet points ("Founded in ____. Served as ____. Features ____. Renovated in ____."). The only instances of this that were fixed were those I pointed out as specific examples, but I thought I was clear that this was a problem throughout the entire article. It's not lively travel writing, which I feel is essential for a star article.
@Wrh2: my impression wasn't so much that the discussion was about whether a dynamic map should be allowed for a star article, but about whether the dynamic map currently shown is sufficient for this guide to be a star. Personally, I don't have a strong opinion either way, but I do think that a static map would be more fitting for the purposes of an itinerary such as this one.
Also, I don't think we ever addressed the matter of the images. There was talk of putting them in galleries, as well as finding better versions for some of them. PerryPlanet (talk) 18:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't care if the map is dynamic or static; the problem is that no one has yet demonstrated (here or on any other article that I know of) a dynamic map that achieves a star-quality level of usability and aesthetics. LtPowers (talk) 19:41, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Is the above summary still valid? Is the dynamic map still unsatisfactory? Is that the only objection to starring this? — Ravikiran (talk) 10:24, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

I share PerryPlanet's concerns about the prose. It's extremely dry and encyclopedic. Don't get me wrong; it's very well-written (for an encyclopedia), but it's not travel writing. There's not one word in the article about why a traveller might want to pursue this itinerary, nor any of the missions along the trail.
The map is no better than it was two years ago. In the default view, for instance, the "6" icon is placed right over the "Santa Barbara" caption; that looks unprofessional to say the least. And I'm still concerned about the number of images; I think if we need a picture of every mission, we should find a way to include them that doesn't take up so much vertical space.
-- Powers (talk) 21:02, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm still not wild about the prose in this article. It seems a bit better than before, but it's still awfully dry. There are some bright spots now, though: the description for Mission Santa Barbara is nice and engaging while still getting a lot of important info in there. If all of the descriptions were written more like that we'd be on our way to a lively, engaging piece of travel writing. PerryPlanet (talk) 16:28, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
OK. I'll go ahead and slush this. — Ravikiran (talk) 16:06, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Return to "El Camino Real" page.