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TedX: How to fight overtourismEdit

A short lecture about tourist-related problems and solutions in Prague. Relates to responsible travel and common scams. /Yvwv (talk) 17:40, 24 October 2019 (UTC)

I should have watched this sooner! What a great short talk, and some fun ideas he's had!
The question it raises is what WV policy should be on something like his #honestlamp. What he did is akin to us writing "Admire the lovely wrought-iron statue, and be sure to touch the lamp to its right for good luck and fortune." Is it okay for us to write that now, even though it's a modern 'tradition' that people have only been doing for less than a year? Since WV is not WP and our tone is different, surely we're okay not saying "There used to be a tradition of putting locks on the artwork, but instead...". Would it even be okay for WV to do what he did, and use ourselves as a force for positive change by creating a new tradition whole cloth as he did with #honestlamp? --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:34, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
I understand the desire to get high-minded and effect positive change, I really do. But the nature of the problem of overtourism, or even whether it is a problem, is a contentious issue about which there are cogent arguments on both sides. In situations like this, where the right answer is not obvious and taking a stand might generate ill will among a certain faction of our readers or even our editors, we should remain neutral, just as we do in the case of contentious political disputes. Our job is to provide people with information, not to tell them how to use that information. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:39, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
What are the two sides to overtourism? I don't think I've ever heard any argument (cogent or otherwise) in favor of it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:01, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
just how much tourism is "too much"? The "argument in favor of overtourism" could be heard recently at a CDU (German center right "natural governing party") party convention "We are the party of those who fly to Mallorca" prompting the attendants to "spontaneously" sing a song about getting drunk on MallorcaHobbitschuster (talk) 22:13, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Overtourism means so many people visiting that there are traffic jams, trouble visiting the attractions that interest you, an inability for locals to afford living there, accidental destruction of sites (e.g., too many people climbing the historic stone stairs = no more stairs), etc. I doubt that "the party of those who fly to Mallorca" want Mallorca to have these problems, and if most people stopped going to Mallorca, they might be pleased by the results.
"How much is too much?" is partly a matter of subjective perception (any amount of tourism that raises *my* rent is a problem; an amount of tourism that raises *your* rent is okay), but there are some cases that aren't seriously disputed by anyone (e.g., safety during Mecca pilgrimmages and some fragile ecosystems). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:33, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
In some travel topic and destination articles we talk about this, in others we hint at it. E.g. in Europe we talk against hurrying from one of the iconic sights to the next and we have Sustainable travel and Leave-no-trace camping. We should tell people not to touch that statue. Describing a until now non-existing ritual as the real one is a step too far, but we could describe the alternative as a "what about instead ..." (both for the statue and for queuing to see Mona Lisa). I think most of this is non-controversial.
Then we have two real problems: we do highlight the "top attractions" whether or not a less visited attraction would be equally nice – and we join in marketing that last untouched paradise. We do some good things about this and more could be done, but there is no complete solution.
--LPfi (talk) 09:15, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Wikivoyage can promote underrated and less exploited destinations near the most visited ones. Articles such as Metropolitan Venice can be expanded a lot beyond Venice itself. /Yvwv (talk) 10:50, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
There are also nearby cities like Padua, where many people stay to save some money and take day trips into Venice. They also have worthwhile sights. My observation about the Venice guide is that there are many more sights that could be listed, which I know just from having looked at a bunch of photos taken by people like Commons user Moroder, and it would be best for Venice to be districted on this site, which would help to promote areas other than the core tourist sights of San Marco and so forth. I've never visited Venice myself, so I won't take the lead in such work, but that's what I think would be ideal. Now, as for not stating what the top sights are in a given city, it would ill serve a visitor to Siena not to know what they are, especially if they have limited time, and there's a reason why many of the top sights are top sights. If you like art museums at all and visit Paris, you'd be mistaken not to visit the Louvre at least once if not 2-3 times on your trip; you don't want to miss seeing the Duomo in Florence or looking at the view from one of the viewpoints on the Oltrarno side; etc. Other main tourist sights are tourist traps, but you still might want to see them once. I'd put Times Square and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in that category. A travel guide doesn't exist to discourage travel, so while we should put everything in a fair and helpful perspective, if we don't keep in mind why people travel and what they travel for, we could consider giving up and telling people that traveling is bad for the environment and they should find great things to do at home, instead. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:01, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
True. But going to Louvre just to queue for Mona Lisa to be able to tick it off the list is not what I'd recommend. What I kinda thought was to try to tone down all "tick off the list" thinking, but I really don't know how to do that sensibly, other than by finding and highlighting also those alternative sights/destinations (which often requires some local knowledge or much effort) --LPfi (talk) 21:33, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
But there are many travellers who are only too happy to check boxes on their checklist of the world's most famous and popular attractions; people who revel in tacky tourist traps like Times Square, Disney World, and so forth. We don't have to understand or agree with that approach - I certainly don't - but Wikivoyage is at the service of those people too. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:25, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
I think it's our responsibility to mention the main attractions of a destination, whether we'd really recommend them or not. But per anr, we can list a famous sight while still gently advising people against seeing it—for instance, our listing for the Louvre could say something like, "The long queues for a distant glimpse of the Mona Lisa aren't worth it—it's more rewarding to see the other, less crowded but equally beautiful, sections of the museum." —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:33, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Another example of what we can do: the most popular attraction in Danxiashan is a big penis-shaped rock, which I found less interesting than the interesting rock formations and panoramic views elsewhere in the park. In writing the article, while I listed the famous rock and indicated its importance, I de-emphasized it and recommended spending time exploring other parts of the park too. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:47, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
[Edit conflict:] I wouldn't support that wording. I'd word it more like this: "The Mona Lisa is a famous and great painting. Unfortunately, there are nowadays long queues and great overcrowding around the work. So consider whether it wouldn't be a better use of your time to see lots of other great art in this extremely rich museum, rather than waiting for some time for a chance to get a glimpse of this painting amid a crowd." For the record, I think it's unquestionable that the Mona Lisa is a great painting. I thought it was overrated compared to some other really great paintings I saw at the Louvre, but my father, who was himself a painter, disagreed. Some attractions are hyped for a reason. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:51, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Sure, that works. My point isn't the exact wording (I just used the Mona Lisa as an example because it was mentioned above) but just that we can and should say something if a famous attraction is overly crowded, overrated, or not worth the trouble. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:07, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There's a portrait of the same woman made by someone (or several someones) in da Vinci's workshop on exhibit in the Prado in Madrid. It's a mostly overlooked painting there. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:22, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

I think for us, the best thing to do is just be honest. If it's a tacky tourist trap, we should state so, but whether or not people decide to go to that destination is not up to us. But we can also provide advice for people who want to avoid the crowds. For instance, if you want to avoid the crowds at the Alhambra in Spain, a good piece of advice will be to go in the winter, when it is the tourism low season in Spain. I actually enjoyed visiting the tourist attractions in Spain in the winter, when the crowds were not so crazy. The downside though is that there are fewer English speakers working at the restaurants, so you'll need to get creative if you don't speak Spanish. The dog2 (talk) 00:35, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Or just teach yourself survival-level Spanish. It's got enough overlap with English that it's not that hard for a lot of people to learn the basics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:42, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

ID "(no element found)" is unknown to the system.Edit

The relatively new OV-chipkaart article is generating the following message in bold red letters:

The ID "(no element found)" is unknown to the system. Please use a valid entity ID.

Clicking on the message provides the messages "script error" and "No further details are available." The problem occurs for both IE and Chrome browsers. Removing the page banner tag causes the message to disappear. No other page having a banner seems to have this problem. I think this problem arose a few days after adding a banner. Would anyone have a solution? Thanks. TheTrolleyPole (talk) 21:12, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

I saw this on another article earlier. @WOSlinker: I have undone the update of {{pagebanner}} from yesterday until the source of the error is identified. --Traveler100 (talk) 22:00, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
@Andyrom75: can you explain what CountryData is intended to do? I think the error is because the code assumes the article has a wikidata record, that is not always the case. (I have now added OV-chipkaart to wikidata, but you can still see the error in newly created articles). I cannot find anywhere explanation of an edit that changes every mainpage article. --Traveler100 (talk) 22:15, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
@Traveler100: is for a new release of Listing Editor currently in beta version of both en:voy and it:voy. When available, it stores data inside the page that will be used afterwards. I thought to have already manage the case of new page, but I'll check again. --Andyrom75 (talk) 23:21, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. The problem has now gone away. TheTrolleyPole (talk) 23:44, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
@Andyrom75: thanks for the explanation. An interesting idea, look forward to seeing the improvements. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:02, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
@Traveler100:, @WOSlinker:, please apply this patch to Module:Wikibase and restore Template:CountryData2HTML in Template:Pagebanner.
As said is something that I've already managed in it:voy but I forgot to tell WOSlinker to update this module here as well. Sorry for the inconvenience. --Andyrom75 (talk) 07:07, 30 October 2019 (UTC)
@Traveler100:, @WOSlinker:, I've just changed approach and I don't need Module:Wikibasea anymore, so you can directly revert the last change in Template:Pagebanner. Thanks, --Andyrom75 (talk) 22:49, 30 October 2019 (UTC)

Problem with miles-to-kilometers conversion templateEdit

I'd post this on the talk page for the template, if I could find out where it is (I don't know the name of the template, and it doesn't seem to be indexed at Wikivoyage:Template index:

The plus of this template is that it automatically converts between these two measures of distance. The minus is that it leaves no place for hyphens, which are more often than not needed with these measures (e.g., a 5-mile trail, a 10-km drive). Can anything be done to ameliorate this problem? Leaving hyphens out of adjectives when they're needed is a pet peeve of mine, and if this problem can't be rememdied, I will get rid of these templates wherever they are creating poor grammar. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:32, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

Example of the problem here. The article should refer to "5- to 10-mile (8- to 16-km) hikes". Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:34, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
There's a Template:Convert where the documentation indicates it can handle the above situation. I tried it out on Auyuittuq National Park (on a more simple example) and it works, but not the way I'd like it to -- it prints "kilometre" in full rather than abbreviated, and if I try to force the abbreviation, it won't print the hyphen. I think the template and underlying module probably needs to be tweaked. -Shaundd (talk) 03:20, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
This could be done but first will need others to also agree to a change to unit formatting so we do not get into reverts of others edits. Once done would be a automatic change of all references to mi or km, or do you what to have user control only for exceptions? --Traveler100 (talk) 06:24, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Traveler100, I'm not seeing any contradiction with what's in Wikivoyage:Measurements. And this can't be an automatic change because units are not always used in hyphenated adjectives. There's a difference between "the trail is 5 miles long" and "it's a 5-mile trail". Similarly, "the drive takes 4 hours"; "it's a 4-hour drive". Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:58, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Useful grammatical example, I can see it would need to be a parameter option. The other question is related to the fact the convention at present is to use abbreviations (mi, km) not the full word, is that dependent on situation or change all to word? --Traveler100 (talk) 07:03, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
I see no problem with "a 4-km drive". I'd still hyphenate, but of course that's open to discussion like anything else. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:21, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Quick test looks like have to use word with hyphen, cannot use abbreviation in combination with hyphen. Are other fine with: "the trail is 5 mi (8.0 km) long" and "it's a 5-mile (8.0 km) trail". --Traveler100 (talk) 07:37, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Well, that's not so bad. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:48, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
@Ikan Kekek:, take a look at the updated documentation for {{mile}}. --Traveler100 (talk) 08:12, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
I'm OK with this. Thanks for the quick work! Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:18, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
  • {{mile|2}} or {{mi|2} - will show as - 2 mi (3.2 km)
  • {{mile|10-15}} or {{mi|10-15} - will show as - 10–15 mi (16–24 km)
  • {{mile|2|on}} or {{mi|2|on} or {{mi|2|adj} - will show as - 2-mile (3.2 km)
will update {{km}} too. --Traveler100 (talk) 09:32, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Good! There's no problem with this being announced in the pub (per above); otherwise, I might not have heard about it. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:36, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Again, many thanks for taking this work on and doing it! Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:19, 2 November 2019 (UTC)

New map for GuangdongEdit

Hey guys, I just recently tweaked the city list for that article for the purpose of regional balance. That also means that the current map doesn't reflect the cities that are currently on the city list, so if someone is able and willing to do so, would it be possible for the map to be updated? Unfortunately, I don't know how to do it myself. The dog2 (talk) 00:01, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Maybe a dynamic map would be an option. Just added it to the article. Rather quickly created with Wikivoyage Districtifier, by the way. Problem currently is, that the polygon of Shanwei district is not showing on the map (Wikidata ID: Q59189, OSM Relation: 3282610). We have this problem on other maps as well. Not sure what is wrong there. --Renek78 (talk) 18:59, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
The polygon for Shenzhen is missing too... --Renek78 (talk) 19:20, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
Shanwei and Shenzhen display on my browser—maybe it was a temporary issue? I like the static map better, because I think it's easier to read, but the dynamic map works as an interim solution. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:36, 6 November 2019 (UTC)
My browser also doesn't display either polygon. Perhaps it's a browser-specific thing. The dog2 (talk) 00:03, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Hi, the static map has been updated. You may need to refresh the page a couple of times to see. Cheers -Shaundd (talk) 21:16, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Thank you! One small issue—"Danxiashan" is misspelled. It would be great if you can correct that. Thanks! —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:49, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
Done! -Shaundd (talk) 07:00, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Hiking trails on dynamic mapsEdit

I've had this problem before, but it's particularly annoying at Danxiashan. Open Street Map has good coverage of this park's hiking trails, but they don't show up on our dynamic map except at high zoom levels. Is there some way to make the hiking trails show up even at the default zoom level in the map on that page? —Granger (talk · contribs) 04:20, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Basically these steps (longer version here):
  • Create a relation in the OSM data for the path you want to show, add the needed roads/paths to that relation. Ideally, it should be some semi-official trail - "private" stuff is not welcome in OSM.
  • Create a wikidata entry and interlink it with the relation (technically, wikidata reference in the OSM relation is enough, but I recommend doing both)
  • Add mapshape referring the wikidata into your article.
  • Wait (~1-2 days)...

-- 11:44, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

That looks like what I need. I wonder if the relation already exists—I'm not looking to highlight a particular route, just to display all the hiking trails in the geopark. I'll poke around and see if I can figure it out. Thanks for the help! —Granger (talk · contribs) 13:57, 6 November 2019 (UTC) I'm working on it, but because there are dozens of footpath features in the park, it's very tedious and I'm worried I might miss some. Is there any way to select an area and have OSM give me a list of all the footpath features in the area? —Granger (talk · contribs) 01:30, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Also, this page makes it seem like relations aren't intended for this purpose. Again, I'm not trying to display one particular route, but rather all the hiking trails in the park. Should I make the relation anyway, or is there some other way to accomplish this? —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:17, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
If you really just want to show all paths and they are not something special on their own (stuff like Tatra Mountains main road), it's likely really not a way to go... It'd be ideal to show the mapnik map as the background by default (for this particular page), but I don't think kartographer can be configured to do this. Perhaps a good point for the wishlist, then... The only real solution I can think of right now would be exporting the paths as GeoJSON, put that into commons and then make it render on the map here as geolines. Not too trivial, though - and you'd have to sync it with new stuff in OSM once in a while. @Matroc: experiments with this geoshape/geoline stuff quite a lot, maybe he has some nice tools in the pocket? :) -- 06:52, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. I guess I'll give up for now. It's unfortunate—this feels like it should be so straightforward. Maybe I'll add it to the wishlist. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:23, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
A single Commons data file containing each set of trail coordinates is one consideration as a solution that I can think of at this time... - Matroc (talk) 03:29, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Transit zoning mapsEdit

Seeking advice out from experienced users proficient in adding dynamic maps, linking to Wikidata and KML-to-OSM imports (I find myself quite lost in all this OSM/KML/GPX etc. stuff, so not be doing it myself), as per Talk:Public transit in Israel#Zoning maps. Not sure though if the transit zoning mapshape layers are already in there (OSM and Wikidata), if they are, I propose referencing where relevant and inserting these 90-min and periodic pass maps, as it is easier to look in if they are layered on top of a normal proper map (such as the google mymaps refs added), than to try find out where a zone ends (if travelling on zone borders) when looking on schematic maps such as these on bottom of page. I think the data of these KMLs would also benefit in most Wikimedia articles cross-wiki, be it Wikivoyage (the Public transit in Israel guide (periodic passes and 90-min transfers) and "Get in/around" references in Israel locations guides) or Wikipedia (show transport zone id in infobox templates of locations) or Wikidata (queries such as "in which zone a given location is", fetching the data from mapshapes' tags, etc.) --Arseny1992 (talk) 04:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Discrepancy between listings and markers on mapEdit

I noticed that the markers' numbers on the map (from the icon in the corner of the article) are different from those at the listings in the article (Nordkalottleden). They do correspond if you load the map from a specific listing. The problem seems to stem from the numbering on the former map to jump over some numbers: 1,2,3,4,6,... Does anybody have an idea of how to find the root of the problem? It does not seem to be a cash issue, since no listings have been touched at least since since july. -- asked by user LPfi

The root of the problem is the usage of an oudated map service which is used in article's top-right corner. For instance, we know that this script does not count the markers if they are specified only by a Wikidata id. There is a simple way to overcome this problem: using the new map services. But this was refused by the community until now. If you are calling a map from the marker the number is correct because the new map service is used for it. --RolandUnger (talk) 11:47, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
Yep, basically it looks like poimap2.php (the old map service) simply iterates all POIs 1...N, instead of having separate counter for each POI type (which is done by {{marker}}). I doubt anyone will fix this... -- 11:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
The full page map from the icon doesn't display markers for listings which don't have lat/longs in the listing, but instead get the lat/long from Wikidata.
I was looking at the map of Bristol a few days ago, and the See marker on the map #20 was listing #23. I fixed this particular occurrance by using the pop-up listing editor to sync the lat/longs in the 3 listings that were fetching the data from WD. I encourage editors to always put the lat/long in the listing. I think that relying on WD also causes difficulties exporting the article for offline use. AlasdairW (talk) 22:11, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it's better to put the lat/long in the listing instead of relying on Wikidata. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:24, 8 November 2019 (UTC)
This issue has existed for some time. It was suggested in the past to include the lat/long in addition to the wikidata ID as parameters - of possible consideration would have been to have the listing when edited and replaced look up the lat/long via Wikidata ID if available and fill in the lat/long parameters if needed (not replace them if already entered). The lat/long parameters being of a higher priority in producing map markers than that found using Wikidata ID. Note: About 2 years ago getting rid of poimap2 altogether was a main suggestion yet no replacement has been implemented if I remember correctly. (perhaps an icon that opens a mapshape instead!) -- Matroc (talk) 04:40, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
Agree that local lat/long has priority over wikidata. The enhancements in the listing editor for synchronizing wikidata has improved usability on that topic. One of the advantage of poimap2 appears not to be working any more, namely showing regional government boundaries, so really the only major objections to swapping which map the icon on an article uses is lack of being able to display your location on the map and being able to do a fit on POI markers (useful for finding incorrectly entered values) with the map tool used by mapframe. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:13, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
There seems to be a wider range of options on what to show on the old map than on the new one. On the old one there is a check box for "Hiking" (trails), in the new one you have to choose the right external map and use its interface to get the trails. --LPfi (talk) 07:33, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Admins, please read an important message in the Notes section of Special:AbuseFilter/47Edit

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:19, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

And a new message. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:48, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Wrong Redirect Beth ShearimEdit

Hi, I just came across from german WV because I checked a language link from our new Bet She'arim to the english version and found a redirect to Nazareth which is possibly wrong, at loeast I couldn't find too much about Bet She'arim National Park on the Nazareth page. I think the redirect page should be deleted (or an article created...), kind regards Martin - Mboesch (talk) 17:07, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. We used to have an article for Beth Shearim, but this was merged into Nazareth in January 2017. At that time there was an "Around the city" section of See which included details of Beth Shearim, butt his was removed without explanation a couple of months later. Also see Wikivoyage:Votes for deletion/March 2017. There is info in Lower Galilee, so I think that the redirect should point there, but perhaps somebody familiar with the area could confirm. AlasdairW (talk) 21:33, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

Liechtenstein cuisine pictureEdit

I uploaded a picture of Liechtenstein cuisine on Commons, showing bacon and cheese from Liechtenstein. Can I add it to the Liechtenstein page? The thing is, it was not actually taken in Liechtenstein, but in neighbouring Austria. JIP (talk) 10:53, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Is there any such thing as Liechtenstein cuisine, as distinct from Austrian or Swiss cuisine of neighboring regions? I see no description whatsoever of the style of local cuisine in Liechtenstein#Eat, so I'd say that's where you should start, not with a photo out of context. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:56, 15 November 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. Looking at the section to which IK links, I'd say that it could do with some information about local cuisine, if applicable. Once that information exists, a picture would be useful for the reader. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:42, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

Competence is requiredEdit

Given the recent cases by User:Cactusflies22 and User:Gzaqp, I was wondering if we should import the Wikipedia policy w:Wikipedia:Competence is required. I understand that this should be obvious, but perhaps it will be better to have it spelt out clearly as a formal policy. The dog2 (talk) 22:06, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

I believe I made the same suggestion a while back, though I can't remember where. At any rate, I fully support this initiative. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:14, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
How would we enforce this? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:41, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
I would agree with a much more narrowly defined policy that focuses only on the ability to understand and write in English sufficiently well to be able to grasp Wikivoyage guidelines and talk page messages. But competence was not the issue in the case we're discussing. Instead, that individual is simply a troll that acts in bad faith to try to waste our time utterly pointlessly. I can think of only one Wikivoyage user who skirts close to the line of incompetence in English while operating in good faith, and this one isn't it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:46, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: You mentioned competence at Wikivoyage:User_ban_nominations when speaking of User:Cactusflies22. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:52, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of banning people because their English isn't perfect except in the most extreme of circumstances though. Local knowledge is welcome here at WV, and we want to encourage locals from around the world to share things about their hometowns with us, and many of these people are not native English speakers. Unless the English is so bad that it cannot be understood, hopefully the native speakers here can be understanding and just help to correct spelling or grammatical errors. The dog2 (talk) 23:14, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
@The dog2: could we please stick to the proposal bring made instead of introducing straw man arguments? No-one has suggested banning users "because their English isn't perfect". That is a red herring that just derails the discussion. It isn't helpful to do that. I realise that it sounds like I'm being harsh, but please look at the Wikipedia policy that is being discussed. It describes competence as:
"the ability to read and write English well enough to avoid introducing incomprehensible text into articles and to communicate effectively."
not as having "perfect English". Please stick to the discussion at hand. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 23:24, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
I was the only who brought this up, so I know about it. I think we can be a bit more lenient for a travel guide than an encyclopaedia language-wise as we would like to encourage non-native English speakers to contribute information about their respective hometowns that would be useful for potential visitors. But yes, there should be a mechanism to deal with people acting in good faith but unable to make constructive edits. Sure, that guy was just a troll, but I think having such policies spelt out may discourage such trolling. We can guide new users, but we can't be babysitting them on what edits they make. Perhaps by spelling out such a policy, we can make that clear. The dog2 (talk) 23:52, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
I think what you've said makes sense, even though I have not yet decided that I support this policy. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 00:25, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't see the need for this policy. The example user given is a vandal that we deal with under existing policy, and the other good-faith user Ikan is referring to shouldn't be penalised in any way when it is easy enough to correct or undo some of his English clangers. When else has an otherwise good-faith user's lack of English ability had a negative effect on Wikivoyage? Or when has such a person, being unable to understand policy, become a problem for this community? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:33, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Answer: In some articles about Indonesia. But we've never felt the need to ban him, and I kind of agree that this is a policy in search of a reason for it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:32, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Ikan Kekek: For the record, I do not support banning the guy you mentioned. That's why I called for leniency with regard to bad English. I was just concerned about whether or not the troll is exploiting loopholes in our policies. The dog2 (talk) 01:50, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

No, he isn't. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:07, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
The page in question is not a policy at the English Wikipedia. It is a "supplement", which is basically an essay that explains something (in this case, that explains a guideline, which in turn explains part of an actual policy). IMO it is not a good policy for any place. It's an idea, not a set of enforceable points.
I have never seen any evidence, either in my own experience or in research, that online trolls are discouraged by the existence of policies. Trolls simply don't say, "Oh, I was going to make a pest of myself, but since I see that would be 'against policy', I guess I won't do that!" Instead, they say, "Ooooh, lookit this long list of things that annoy these folks! I wonder which of these banned behaviors would be most fun to try!" WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Good post. Shall we put this proposal to bed? All we need to do is ban the next sock of this troll more quickly. Nothing to do with the troll's competence. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:36, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
That's fine with me. The dog2 (talk) 08:26, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It's interesting to read everyone else's take on the pcv vandal (User:Cactusflies22 et al.) I actually don't think he's a vandal in the strict sense of the term, implying bad faith and an intention to disrupt the site. I think he's describable as a "vandal" only because that's the closest category of user that policy allows us to ban. My own intuition, and the little social media investigation I did one day when I was bored (maybe that's an underhanded tactic, but when a person plasters their real name and city of residence all over their userspace while failing to lock down their privacy settings on Facebook, I see that as practically an invitation to snoop), lead me to believe that his professions of good faith hampered by mental illness are genuine, and that this is indeed a case of massive incompetence. And given that all of the foregoing shouldn't mean that we have to continue wasting our time on a user who is evidently impervious to our efforts to reform him into a valuable contributor, a hole in our policy is exposed. I think a "competence is required" policy is the perfect thing with which to fill that hole. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:22, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Also, WhatamIdoing: the same as with Wikivoyage:Deny recognition, I wish you would stop inferring that just because a Wikipedia page is a "supplement" or "essay" or something short of binding policy, that necessarily means its Wikivoyage analogue can't indeed be full-fledged binding policy. We are a different site from Wikipedia and are not obliged to follow their lead on everything. As I see it, the goal of a "competence is required" policy would not be to dissuade incompetent users (who, almost by definition, are oblivious to policy anyway) so much as to make it crystal-clear to site administrators that a userban is an appropriate remedy even in cases like Cactusflies22 that aren't exactly vandalism. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:22, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
But in the case of Cactus flies, the poor English wasn't the problem that got him banned. The justification you gave was that he was another iteration of a block-evading long-term vandal, who had previously made threats of self-harm if the community didn't do what he wanted. Further blocks will use the same justification, and rightly so. The other issue which he or a copycat have continued to exhibit is posting the same vague requests for help all over the place. That again is disruptive buzz-killing behaviour, which we can already control using existing policy.
I just don't see that poor English or general incompetence is that big of a problem that we need to legislate against it. The only other example user I can think of, the one who edits Indonesian articles from time to time, doesn't edit war, and does engage in discussion when needed. His occasional garbled edits are an easily-fixed inconvenience, not a terrible problem that we need to invent a new policy for.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:34, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Right. No new policy or guidelines are needed to deal with this situation. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:50, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. Consensus? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:02, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Please forgive what might seem like obstructionism on my part; I came late to this discussion and want to make my feelings known before we come to a decision.
I think we're barking up the wrong tree by focusing on English proficiency. We actually have quite a few contributors - for example Yuriy Kosygin, Saqib, Lkcl it, and AFlorence (and if any of these users read this, I hope they understand my intent is not to insult their language skills, but to compliment their dedication and to be clear as possible regarding the argument I'm making) - whose English proficiency is deficient enough to require vigilance by copyeditors, yet who are or were invaluable members of our community and in some cases have even been named administrators. On the other hand, we have a user like Cactusflies, who is a native English speaker yet is incompetent nonetheless. I think the benchmark for a "competence is required" policy should be the question of whether a reasonable person would conclude it to be possible to reform a particular problem user into a productive one, irrespective of level of English proficiency and irrespective of whether the user is acting in good faith or bad faith. That leads into my response to ‎ThunderingTyphoons' remarks about "another iteration of a block-evading long-term vandal". It's true that Cactusflies was a block evader, but honestly the feeling I got about him was that he was simply mentally incapable of comprehending our policy, or us when we tried to explain to him why he was being repeatedly userbanned. One has to feel a certain amount of pity for a person like that, and viewed in that light, I don't think his behavior is classifiable in good conscience as "bad faith". It is, however, classifiable as "incompetence" and "not our problem". And that's the central question that IMO a "competence is required" policy is the perfect answer for: what do you do with a user who is not acting in bad faith and is thus not really a vandal, but whose actions are deleterious to the site nonetheless?
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:56, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
Why do we need a new policy for one individual who can be dealt with under existing policies? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:53, 17 November 2019 (UTC)
We don't. Andre, it sounds like you are worried that someone might think that admins aren't allowed to do what's right for this site and this community, unless there's a "crystal-clear" statement somewhere that provides explicit authorization for each and every situation. It doesn't sound like anyone else shares that view.
With respect to your earlier comments on enwiki's pages, I was making two completely unrelated points:
  • There was a factual error in the description of the page. If anyone was relying on that erroneous description (e.g., if they planned to repeat the erroneous claim, if that claimed status made the proposal seem stronger because it seemed to be tested and working for another community), then they might want to know that.
  • I personally do not think that page (i.e., the whole page, not just the title or the concept) should be adopted as a policy by any community anywhere. I've no objection to trying to write a different page on that concept, but I wouldn't use that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:56, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I don't see any real need for such a policy. However if we do introduce one, then it need to be written from scratch. It should focus on how to help editors to learn, and directing them to areas that thay are more competent at. For example you don't need to be able to write English to add lat/longs to listings. There may be editors who would benefit from attending an editathon and getting classroom tution, although this would be directed to WP editing (unless there is ever a WV event). AlasdairW (talk) 22:30, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm... Wow! What next? Requiring high school, college or university transcripts to verify language proficiency or perhaps results from some ILR based test or a letter from your home room teacher or your mom if home schooled and most of all, results from some psychological exam. I don't believe in a new policy being added is in order. (The devil is in the detail(s)). I remember a Slavic phrase translated as "Throw momma from the train a kiss" that makes perfect sense in that particular language because of syntax and word endings or a Ukranian headline years ago about the building of a large derrick translated as a "Giant Ukranian Erection". Attract contributors and assist myself (yes I too make errors of course and am unfortunately not perfect) and others in a friendly manner in order to learn, develope (whoops I added an 'e') content etc. without condemnation and lengthy diatribes as to the use of a word, a comma or even policy. There are plenty of policies and tools if need be to address this issue. Be kind as we all are playing in the same sandbox. - Matroc (talk) 02:35, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
While I oppose making any policy on this matter, I don't think anyone is saying that all contributors to WV must have Noah Webster's command of the English language. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:53, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Right. Nobody here is in favour of going after editors over their English proficiency. We are only interested in going after the trolls, and the disagreement is on whether or not we need additional tools at our disposal for that. The dog2 (talk) 05:24, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree, it's unhelpful to mischaracterize the arguments being made so wildly. Going back to WhatamIdoing's comment above, I don't necessarily think we need "a 'crystal-clear' statement somewhere that provides explicit authorization for each and every situation" (emphasis mine), but I do think we should err on the side of caution in the case of userbans, which are one of the more extreme measures admins have at their disposal "to do what's right for this site and this community", and which historically we've always avoided doling out absent a truly compelling reason and several extra layers of scrutiny. Let me reframe the issue: regardless of whether we've only yet seen one non-hypothetical user who this policy would be applicable to, what harm is there in clarifying policy? Why intentionally leave any degree of ambiguity unresolved? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:29, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Because there has yet to be one single case where this supposed ambiguity has been an issue. This policy is not needed in the real world (of Wikivoyage, as opposed to in theoretical situations that haven't happened) I will be happy to revise my position if and when that ever changes. But with respect to you, and you do have my utmost respect as a Wikivoyager (so much so my phone sometimes autocorrects "and" to "André"), there's no appetite for this proposal - it's time to let it go and move onto other things.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:25, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
If that's the case, then I'll drop the issue for now. But I'm pretty sure I remember some past occasions unrelated to Cactusflies where I've wished CIR was a Wikivoyage policy, so I'll be keeping my eye out for future cases to bolster the argument in favor of this policy. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:15, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: Wikivoyage:User ban nominations archive. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:27, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Irregular subdivision of Western Highlands (Guatemala) articleEdit

Any of you Guatemala experts, please start a regionalization discussion at Talk:Western Highlands (Guatemala). There is but a single subregion article linked from this article, Lake Atitlán. That's irregular. Either a region should be completely subdivided into subregions that cover its entire area, with defined borders, articles for each of them, a map showing them and a listing of every one of them in, in this case, Western Highlands (Guatemala)#Regions, or there should be no subregion articles, because it messes up the breadcrumb navigation and several other things. And a subdivided region article should have no more than 9 cities listed in its "Cities" section, but we obviously can't do that yet in the Western Highlands article because this region is not properly subdivided, giving rise to the discussion at Talk:Western Highlands (Guatemala)#Problems with Lake Atitlán content. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:12, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

My feeling is that there should be subregions, but I don't know the area well enough to have any sense of where they should be. Hobbitschuster, do you know the area? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:38, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
I've never been to Guatemala Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:56, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Anyone? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:29, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I wish. The closest I've been to Guatemala is being friends with someone who went on a school trip to the jungle there.
Maybe we should see what Wikiviajes does, or at least ask for their opinions? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:02, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Thinking out of the box, one solution could be to elevate the Lake Atitlán article one level up as a region article directly below Guatemala? As of now there are six region articles in Guatemala#Regions, so per 7 2 there's no problem adding one more. --Ypsilon (talk) 19:41, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Their opinions would be great, but their article doesn't help: the Guatemala article on es.wikivoyage has nothing but red links for the 5 regions mentioned in the "Regiones" section. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:45, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Ypsilon, the real question about your suggestion is whether it makes any geographical or logical sense to excise that area from Western Highlands. It's hard to tell, because Western Highlands (Guatemala) has a dynamic map that doesn't make clear what the boundaries of the region are. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:49, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
The lake seems to be very close to the borders with the Central Highlands and Pacific Lowlands, and turning on the Mapnik layer in the embedded dynamic map it looks like the cities around the lake are all in the same department; Sololá (#19 in the region discussion above at Talk:Guatemala#Regions), so it shouldn't be too hard to cut it out as a separate region.
Another solution involving more work would be merging articles of cities that are close to each other (also elsewhere in the Western Highlands there are clusters of cities each with their own article) to reduce the number of cities in the Western Highlands article, then merging the content of Lake Atitlán into appropriate articles and turn it into a redirect. Ypsilon (talk) 20:25, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What about our bodies of water policy? Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:35, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

"Some regions or for that matter towns are named after bodies of water. These articles aren't about water, they are about the inhabited area on and around the water, with all the sorts of things that make an destination article-worthy."; in this case the towns and villages around Atitlán that as of now have their own articles. --Ypsilon (talk) 05:19, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Nosedive of our U.S. Alexa rankEdit

For some reason that's of yet unclear to me (it can't be seasonal variation alone) our Alexa ranking in the U.S. has taken a worse nosedive than a 737 max with mcas on steroids. It doesn't seem to have caused real world consequences yet, but we should probably find out what's going on before it's too late Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this observation is true. The cause is as unexplainable as the jump about two years ago. The nosedive started about three months ago (see here), is not yet stopped and was combined with a decrease of the count of U.S. visitors from about 15 % to 10 %. The values for India and Germany are more stable. The usual temporary changes within a year cannot explain this behavior, too. Maybe Wikitravel could improve its U.S. ranking. Unfortunately, the awareness of Wikivoyage is still low. The major part of traffic is coming from search engines and Wikipedias but not from direct access or from other websites. Social media cannot help, too, because of low usage. A better visibility of Wikivoyage could surely help but I do not know how to do this. --RolandUnger (talk) 06:28, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
It would be good to compare it with other website rankings sites like SimilarWeb and see if it is a trend occurring everywhere or only on Alexa (in which case the way Alexa measures website popularity in the U.S. might have changed). The German Wikivoyage shows a Seitwert ranking though I don't quite understand it. As you say, Wikivoyage still has low general awareness. Many people who end up here from search or Wikipedia don't leave with a sufficiently strong impression that they remember the site and visit directly from then on or follow us on social media. Apart from the fork, we tend to get minimal mainstream media coverage as well. The only thing I can think of is to place "Share" buttons at the bottom of articles, so when a reader finishes an article and thinks it's worth sharing, they can share it via email or a social media platform. Gizza (roam) 08:57, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, we should in theory enable sharing, but there's a problem with that, in that it could be controversial to associate ourselves in any way with sites like Twitter and Facebook that, shall we say, have played very dubious roles in world politics. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:22, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Traffic for travel sites usually drops during northern autumn. Wikivoyage's drop in global Alexa rank is not worse than previous years. Also, the other site is no longer a relevant competitor. /Yvwv (talk) 09:52, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
I support exploring the idea of a share button, though think the politics stuff is a red herring. For better or worse, billions of people use Twitter and Facebook, and our content getting shared on those platforms to reach more people should be seen as a good thing.
What do the figures say regarding Wikitravel? Can we discount them as "no longer a relevant competitor" just like that? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:38, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

I'm not taking about our global rank. Our U.S. rank shows dramatic short term movement that's not mirrored by that other site (in fact we've fallen behind it in the U.S.) or the global rank of either site... Could there be an explanation related to Google trying its hand with travel guides? Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:53, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

According to the data Roland linked to there are not one but two drops in the U.S. ranking as of lately; early August to mid-September 8,886 down to 18,911 (the ordinal numeral a little more than doubled) then the ranking improved somewhat up to 13,799 in October and then down to 28,458 until now (again the ordinal numeral a little more than doubled). Is that really normal? --Ypsilon (talk) 11:53, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Hello, just chiming in here as a staff member who use to work with the search team and cares about Wikivoyage. :) It's possible that (the portal) traffic has diminished, but not the actual language variants. That's a little less alarming IMHO. Here's the stats for English Wikivoyage showing that since the beginning of 2019, page views have increased! And traffic to English Wikivoyage from the US makes up the overwhelming majority of traffic. That's pretty consistent over time too. Not to say we shouldn't be watching and be concerned, but to provide a little contextual relief (I hope!).
It could also be possible that Google, which makes upward of 95% of traffic (and there for greatly influences Alexa rankings) could be doing something different. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Throwing out another idea here: should Wikimedia be purchasing Google search ads? They could even be targeted to searches for "wikitravel", so that people could be educated and redirected to us. WT may not be a relevant competitor in terms of quality, but they are still very much a competitor in terms of traffic: their articles outrank ours for many search terms, leading many casual readers to make edits there. By representing themselves to the casual reader as the Wikipedia for travel, they also hijack and do ongoing harm to our reputation. Sdkb (talk) 20:11, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
This is a non-profit site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:12, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Indeed we do not advertise. The only place where Wikvoyage can and has promoted and raised awareness of itself are other Wikimedian sites. The edit-a-thon (to celebrate our 5th anniversary) was a moderate success. Many people came to the site for the first time and some new editors stayed on to varying degrees. As far as arbitrary statistical landmarks go, we are close to hitting 30,000 articles soon. Perhaps we should ask the WMF to post a box on the top of pages highlighting this and include a link directing people to main page. While it was nice to get people editing, it would be great to get people reading our best content. Gizza (roam) 10:02, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
There is a big difference between advertising and being a profit/non-profit organisation. Would be interested to see Wikimedia guidelines on promotion of sites, can anyone point us in the right direction? --Traveler100 (talk) 17:28, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I rather agree with Traveler100. We don't, and shouldn't, allow advertising on Wikivoyage, but isn't that different from advertising of Wikivoyage? I think that's a question that's unanswered by virtue of never having been asked: Wikipedia obviously has enough name recognition to preclude any need for advertising, and the issue has apparently never come up in any of the smaller WMF wikis, but that doesn't mean we know how the WMF would respond to such an idea. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Google used to donate a small amount of free advertising to non-profits, but I'm not sure if (a) they still do this, or (b) if we would qualify. (My guess is that they probably have the program, but that we wouldn't qualify.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:11, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I, perhaps wrongly, read Ikan's comment as less about what we as a nonprofit should be doing, more about what we realistically can do. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charity, and clearly charities do advertise. But how much does an ad campaign on YouTube, targeted at travel videos, say, cost? How much would it cost to purchase Google search ads, as suggested above by Sdkb? I like the idea of advertising outside of the Wikimedia bubble in principle, but my concern is how practical it is. The first question the WMF would ask if we were to propose this as an idea is "how much will this cost?" --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:21, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I would support the idea as long as we were in agreement with the WMF and the advertising campaign showed some potential. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:46, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
  • On a separate note, while I know that one person is unlikely to significantly change the website's rank, there was a period when I was extremely active here, sometimes making thousands of edits within a few days. Since I've not been so active on Wikivoyage, especially over the last couple of months, the rank has dropped noticably. Is it possible that there is a connection? Or would one user not be enough to impact the U.S. rank even by a thousand or so? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Getting back to the suggestion of Google advertising: Since Wikimedia doesn't profit from an increase in this site's Alexa ranking, what would be the good reason to spend money advertising it? Charities advertise because they need money for poor people, disaster areas, political causes, arts organizations, etc. I suppose Wikimedia needs money for servers, paid staff and such, so if they thought it was cost-effective to advertise, they'd probably already be doing it. But I don't think advertising on Google to raise a Wikimedia site's profile is likely to be cost-effective. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:21, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
It would not be aimed at making money, i.e. financial contributions, but encouraging new readers to the site and hopefully more contributors. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:35, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
On how much it costs, you decide what your daily budget is and are charge between $1 and $2 dollars per click through. So basically look at $2 per new reader, but obviously no guarantee they will stay. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:43, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Sure, if the Wikimedia Foundation feels like just spending money with no money coming back to them. You think they do, considering that they've been asking for contributions for Wikipedia? I think not. I wouldn't even consider suggesting this to them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:53, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
Their aim isn't to make money, though, so the fact that no profit will be generated from this venture is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the potential rewards of the venture (attracting more readers, a subset of whom will become contributors - this ought to be a goal the Foundation shares) are significant enough to outweigh the cost. What do they fundraise for if not to make the wikis better in various ways, whether that be by hiring full-time staff, developing software improvements, or in this case increasing traffic? I still think it could be rather costly, and certainly don't think the chances of this being approved are very high, but it's worth exploring, potentially alongside other smaller sister-wikis. I am also grateful to Traveler100 for the brief explanation.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:48, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
The last half year or so Alexa have had more information. E.g., Similar sites by audience overlap and sites linking in. It is clear that WV is way behind on sites linking in, except that one of them is Wikipedia (92 percent comes from Dictionaries and Encyclopedias of which Wikipedia is of course the top one). Elgaard (talk) 16:55, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

Please vote for Wikivoyage proposals at the Community Wishlist 2020Edit

Since November 20 the voting for wishlist proposals is open. Please give support for Wikivoyage proposals.

Unfortunately, the map-related proposals were removed. User IFried from the Wikimdia Foundation explained it: "..., thank you for submitting this proposal! We have reviewed this as a team, and we will unfortunately be unable to take on this wish. Here's why: Our infrastructure team is currently discussing options to switch out the maps frontend and backend to a different technology stack, which would be more robust and easier to maintain. If we can make that work, then it could take care of many of the concerns expressed in this proposal. It will be at least several months until we'll know for sure what the decision will be, so for this year's wishlist, we're not going to take on any possible commitments to working on the existing maps stack. Thank you again!" --RolandUnger (talk) 07:48, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

The Wanted Articles wish was also removed from m:Community Wishlist Survey 2020/Wikivoyage. As current location of reader on map is probably one of the most important things for a travel site this does not really give the impression the committee is interested in helping Wikivoyage. --Traveler100 (talk) 14:46, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
There's always next year. Here's the list, folks:
I'm a little surprised that the last two weren't removed for not being specific to Wikivoyage (they are "global" requests that could benefit any wiki, not just Wikivoyage).
We should also look through the other projects' lists, to see if any of them would incidentally benefit us as well.
The voting rules are: YES, YOU ARE ALREADY ELIGIBLE TO VOTE, so please do. Basically, if you've made any edits at all, and you don't look like an account created for the purpose of voting, then you're eligible to vote in the Wishlist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:13, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
I looked through some of the other projects' wishes, and it's possible that m:Community Wishlist Survey 2020/Wikibooks/EPUB generation would also be of interest to Wikivoyage. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:51, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
I agree that improving facilities for offline use of articles would be good. As I am not a regular user of the EPUB format, I have a slight preference for m:Community Wishlist Survey 2020/Wikiversity/Export published WikiJournal articles to DOCX or PDF. It would be good to provide any easy way for hotels to leave a neat paper copy of (part of) a city article in a folder in the bedroom. AlasdairW (talk) 22:35, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
@AlasdairW: I'm glad that you like my proposal and able to see its usage beyond Wikiversity/WikiJournal. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:30, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
That would be useful, too. Voting ends on Monday. At the moment, there's one (labeled) Wikivoyage wish in the top 5 (only the top 5 "win"). There's another that is (currently) six votes short of winning. Remember that you can vote for any wish that you think is a good idea, not just ones that have the Wikivoyage label on them. Some folks are active on other projects, and we want to support them. Also, some of the "non-Wikivoyage" might be useful here as well. m:Community Wishlist Survey 2020/Wikiquote/"Add quote" button in the Visual Editor toolbar springs to mind in that category. I don't think that one is going to win this year, but work-me has been talking to the Editing team about one way to implement that, which would also let us put a list of the Do/Buy/See/Eat/Sleep templates in the toolbar here. The important thing is just to go vote for what you want. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:51, 29 November 2019 (UTC)

Touting in San Jose (Costa Rica)Edit

Unfortunately the sleep section of our guide on San Jose is filled to the brim with Touting and even includes some accommodations nowhere near San Jose. If you could help clean house and geotag the listings, I'd be grateful. Hobbitschuster (talk) 05:04, 23 November 2019 (UTC)

No takers? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:54, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I did look, but to be honest didn't see any touting, apart from the stuff you'd already taken out. I see lively writing, across many different listings, which is surely the opposite of touting.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:50, 29 November 2019 (UTC)
Are you serious? There are literally listings nowhere in or near San José... And there are listings which claim geographic impossibilities like "short walk from downtown and the international airport" (the latter is in Alajuela). Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:23, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
I have done a little bit of tidying these up - deleting a couple of listings which had dead links, moving a couple to a nearby city and deleting a place with a negative review. However these would all be done much easier for somebody that knows the place to do - it took me some time to place an hotel on the map then decide it was not in San Jose, but somebody who has been there might know just by reading the address. Most of the listing are not touting. AlasdairW (talk) 00:45, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Hobbitschuster, touting doesn't really have anything to do with the location. A listing can be both (a) nowhere in or near San José and still (b) fully comply with the policy against touting. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:47, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Read all sleep listings again and then tell me what you would describe as "location touting" and whether any of those listings fits the bill... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:34, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

Proposal: Add `alt` field to Marker TemplateEdit

There's even support for it! Thanks! --ButteBag (talk) 15:27, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Not sure where to respond + I have no strong opinion on this. But basically {{marker}} was (I think) intended to be just a helper for {{listing}} in most cases where alt could be needed. If you really need it, you can always use the inline=yes parameter of {{listing}}, IMO. -- 20:43, 24 November 2019 (UTC)
Really? I had no idea that {{listing}} supported an inline=yes parameter. What does it do? Could you document it? --Bigpeteb (talk) 18:15, 25 November 2019 (UTC)
I added it as experimental feature some time ago, but I guess it's not experimental anymore... But it does nothing special, just removes the terminal dot - so that the listing can be put inline with the text... kind of like an extended marker (with alt etc.) :-) -- 07:33, 26 November 2019 (UTC)

Proposal: Add icon reflecting Article Status to Marker TemplateEdit

It would be great to allow users to see if an article they're going to click on is fleshed out or not. Looks like we already have Stub, Outline, Usable, Guide, Star icons. Why not allow editors to use them? Maybe some flag like `showstatus` or whatever makes sense. Thanks! --ButteBag (talk) 15:31, 24 November 2019 (UTC)

Done with Las Vegas!Edit

Three of us went to vegas and not one of us won a thing, uptown or downtown, November 19 to 23rd. Was awful, the longest we sat at a machine was less than 5 minutes and nothing! Was terrible, I haven't been there in 22 yrs and I know I am looking for a new destination. Our bus driver told us about Wendover, said he went one year and hasn't paid for a trip in the next ten years, they comp you travel if you gamble more than 4 hours a day, well heck, that's no problem, now is the fella exaggerating? Can anyone give me some dollar amounts for travel from Minneapolis? Has anyone won big? Do you normally come home with something in your pockets besides high priced McDonalds receipts? (1 Bac Egg Ch Biscuit $3.89 + .32 tax = $4.21). They make Vegas looks so good and your gonna win hundreds, false, they get you there and then rob you blind, can't even take a pic with the show girls and it costs you $40 bucks!!!! Terrible.....Seamstress Sherri —The preceding comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs)

I don't have any personal experience with Wendover, but judging from the consensus of what I found online, the place has steadily grown and improved over the years - I read reviews from 2006 calling it "a desolate dump that's most famous for its brothel" and reviews from just last year calling it "better than Vegas". So if that's happening, they must be drawing more visitors in, and if they're drawing more visitors in, you'd imagine comps are a big part of that. Other nuggets of wisdom: preferential shuffling is reportedly a problem at some casinos (for best results, stick to the Peppermill) and also there's not much to do there besides gamble, so if you're looking to take in a show or something of that nature, Wendover isn't the place to do that. As far as getting there from Minneapolis, your best bet is to fly into Salt Lake City and then rent a car. You're looking at about $300-350 per person for a direct flight on Delta, though you can knock that down to $250 if you're willing to fly Frontier (ugh) and deal with a long layover in Denver. Wendover is about an hour and a half west of SLC via I-80; you can get a rental car starting at about $75/day after taxes if you book early (Alamo, Dollar, and Firefly are cheapest). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:38, 25 November 2019 (UTC)


I don't know if any of you are interested, but the WMF is hoping to find a few paid, professional translators that are familiar with the Wikimedia movement. (For example, they hope to find people who already know whether the word free in the phrase "free content" should be translated in the free-as-in-beer sense or in the free-as-in-freedom sense.) There is information at m:Communications/Organization communications translators group for anyone who is interested, or who knows someone who might be qualified. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:18, 28 November 2019 (UTC)

Making the Content Translation Tool available for WikivoyageEdit

I don't know if any of you have ever tried Wikipedia's Content translation Tool, but i'll just say that this is a very strong tool that has helped the Wikipedia community translate A LOT of articles between the various Wikipedia editions (mostly translation of articles from the English Wikipedia to the smaller Wikipedia editions).

So far this tool is only used in Wikipedia.

As part of the current Community Wishlist Survey, a suggestion has been brought forward to make this tool available for all Wikivoyage editions as well:


If you support making this tool available for Wikivoyage as well, please add your vote in that page. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 14:21, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

This one is just a handful of votes away from winning. Voting is very simple: Go to the page, and click the blue button to "Support". You can add an optional comment if you want, but most people don't. Voting ends soon. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: How soon?
This one could be really valuable, guys; mainly for our smaller sisters, but also where destination articles are more developed on another language version than they are here. I encourage you all to vote. —The preceding comment was added by ThunderingTyphoons! (talkcontribs)
How good are the resulting translations? Any better than Google Translate? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:29, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
Google Translate isn't good enough to be presented as a final document, but it is good enough to do a lot of the initial legwork of translating meaning. A decent (human) translator can then focus on improving flow, getting the idiomatic language nailed, and cleaning up any errors in understanding or missed nuances caused by the machine. That is how professional translators work (not necessarily with Google, but certainly with translation software), because it's quicker, and thus the translator can dedicate more of their time on doing the stuff that actually requires their expertise.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:01, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
OK, but my question is what's so valuable about this translation tool, and is it any better than Google Translate? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:10, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
I haven't used it, so can't answer your question. It seems to me that these questions can come later though; the vote is the priority. Just because it passes the vote, doesn't mean we have to use it.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:04, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
ויקיג'אנקי and WhatamIdoing, any feedback on my question? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:26, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
And do you know how it has worked in practice? The worst problem that I see, is that there are a lot of people who would skip the "cleaning up any errors in understanding or missed nuances caused by the machine" part, especially as using a machine you do not necessarily have to understand the origin language. I haven't looked for a long time, but Google used to sometimes produce good-looking text with severe misinformation, as it was good at finding idiomatic language, but useless at understanding. The worst I saw was it translating currencies (dollars to markka) without changing the numbers. I think we should vote for the tool only if we find it useful and not too dangerous. We can fix bad language, but it is hard to fix non-obvious misinformation --LPfi (talk) 13:47, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
ThunderingTyphoons!, voting ends today.
Ikan Kekek, it's software to make it easy for bilingual editors to translate articles. It isn't automatic translation. There's a setting to make sure that pure machine translation doesn't get dumped in articles. It won't let you click the "Publish" button if you don't clean it up first. The minimum amount of clean up work is configurable per language. Also, there's some system that basically stops individual editors (IPs can't use it at all) from using it if the articles they translate get deleted too many times. It's really quite a well-designed system overall. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:52, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Alright. On the basis of your recommendation, I'll vote for it. Have you used the tool? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:03, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I got an error message, "Sorry! The survey has closed." Next time, if an announcement could be made a bit further in advance, to give us time to discuss a proposal, that would work out better. You can't really blame us for not being willing to vote for something purely on faith or just because we were asked to do so. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:07, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
The Wishlist vote was announced in the Pub on 4th November, with a reminder on 22nd November. If you wanted to vote for any of the proposals, leaving it to the very last day was not the best idea. Of course this particular proposal was only brought up here a couple of days ago, but all the proposals have been there to see for the best part of a month. It's not blame to point out that everyone here had an opportunity to vote.
Results come out 6th December; fingers crossed we have something to celebrate. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:41, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
The point is, I had no idea this tool was useful, or that it was important to vote for. I voted for other things quite a while ago. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:38, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

Directions in countries like Costa RicaEdit

This edit translated directions, which in Costa Rica are used in lieu of street addresses. I don't think this is helpful because the English version will not help when asking locals for directions and they are no better intelligible than the Spanish forms. And as this is an issue affecting several LatAm destinations, I think hashing it out for every article on its own ain't gonna get us far... Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:18, 1 December 2019 (UTC)

How are people going to find these places, then? Are geocoordinates possible? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:03, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
They are, but someone needs to add them. The way directions work in Nicaragua or Costa Rica is to give a landmark and then say how many blocks north or south and east or west it is. So "from Times Square two blocks west one block north". A few major streets have names that are actually used and their kilometer markets are then used for reference, which would be like "kilometer 4.5 on I 95" or something... Hobbitschuster (talk) 06:31, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Isn't the inclusion of directions in our listings supposed to mean that most people won't need to ask for directions in the street, because they can read and follow the directions we give them? In order to do this, the instructions need to be in the language that everyone reading this wiki can understand.
Perhaps I misunderstand the convention, but surely if people do need to resort to asking directions in the street, they are going to be asking for "¿El restaurante X, por favor?" or "¿Dónde está el museo Y?", to which the answer will be the directions, rather than asking "¿Dónde está el restaurante que está a 100 metros al oeste de aquí y 50 metros al norte?" because then they're answering their own question.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:56, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Those directions are the only "address" those places have. If you get in a cab in most places you can say "take me to 123 example street" and you'll get there. In places like Nicaragua or Costa Rica you'll say "landmark x y blocks east z blocks north". And if the taxi driver doesn't know landmark x, you'll have to find another one... It's not a prefect system by any means, but it's what's used locally... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:19, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that Wikivoyage giving directions is more important than providing the words in the local language for asking for directions. Or, we could follow the advice provided by Wikivoyage:Foreign words to provide both versions: "To note the foreign-language translation of a word, list it in parentheses right after the English name, with the name of the language, followed by a colon, then the foreign language name in italics." In this circumstance, specifying that it is Spanish seems unnecessary, though. Ground Zero (talk) 12:32, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Part of the issue is that those are actually the addresses (which to my knowledge we never translate) but someone put them in the "directions" field. Maybe we can put them in the address tab and something else in the "directions" field... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:20, 2 December 2019 (UTC)

That sounds like it would work. Ground Zero (talk) 13:27, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
Now I understand the situation a bit better, I agree it could work. It would be worth talking about this in the Costa Rica country article (though don't know where exactly; Cope?).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
It looks like San José has street addresses (or at least street names), but nobody uses them. That Chinese embassy, for example, is on a street named "Av. 3A" between Calle 78 and Calle 80 (Avenue 3A between Streets 78 and 80).
Costa Rica#Getting around begins with a description of the address/directions problem. That looks like the right place for it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:57, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
But I also think that providing bilingual directions would be best. Maybe we put Spanish in the address field, and English in the directions field? Or the other way around?
Hobbit mentioned that we don't translate addresses, and that's true. But we don't need to translate an address, because everyone who uses addresses in their daily lives can recognise one in a foreign language with a bit of practice, or after seeing loads of them in a row like you would in a good Wikivoyage destination article. Understanding directions (whole sentences, with multiple clauses) in a foreign language is another question entirely, and without providing a translation, we're practically forcing non-Spanish-speakers to seek outside help, which goes against one of our fundamental goals to be the only source an average-intelligence traveller needs on a trip.
Another question, still just getting my head around the 'system', such as it is: are the directions absolute, so a certain bar is always known as that place 100 metres north of the big tree, and never as the place 50 metres west of that square all the tourists love, or are they subjective depending on where you are or who you are talking to?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:59, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
To my knowledge the system is relatively steady. So much so that there are references to former landmarks in some addresses. And the system somehow works to get mail delivered in cities like Managua which has over a million inhabitants... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:43, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
I'll tell you how it works in two words: neighbourhood posties.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 23:07, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
The system is steady, in the sense that the old fig tree (which was replaced by a new fig tree when it died) is still used as a reference point. But it's not steady in the sense of every place having a single address. Your destination is a certain distance from the old fig tree *and* a certain distance from "the Coca-Cola" (another longtime landmark that no longer exists).
If there's a list of major landmarks, then that might be a good subject for a map. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:14, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Google maps worked fine for me in Costa Rica, so I think we can recommend it to potential visitors. Save for one case when the fact that the road was closed wasn't updated, I was able to drive around to my destinations without any problems. The dog2 (talk) 05:00, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── yes, some cities have tried to introduce street signage but actual uptake by the population varies widely. It's also possible that stuff like an embassy works like a reference point in itself and thus the only nontrivial "address" one could give is the much rarer "xth street and yth avenue" Hobbitschuster (talk) 08:46, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

Valtos BeachEdit

w:en:Valtos Beach (at the English Wikipedia) has a pretty serious case of touting, but before it gets cleaned up (mostly through extensive use the backspace key, I think), would anyone like to take a look and see if there's anything at all worth importing here? WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:03, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

That beach probably merits a listing in the Parga article, although Valtos Beach is already mentioned, and that Wikivoyage article could also use some detouting. Moreover, Krioneri and Lichnos Beaches would also presumably merit listings. That said, I think something can be gleaned from these passages:
Valtos Beach is a large crescent-shaped beach that is a 20-minute walk [to the] northwest of Parga, Greece. The beach is considered one of the longer ones due to its has a 3 km (1.9 mi) coastline which includes white sand with soft pebbles, spacious areas of greenery, and deep, blue waters. For those who want to explore the beach more, there are many facilities offered to the public, such as jet-skiing, banana boat rides, pedalo boat rides, and places to rent canoes to explore the Ionian Sea [remove link to the name of the sea, add listings for these facilities when we have the information] (65,251 square miles, 169,000 km2). There are also multiple cafes and taverns scattered around the beach that are open all day as well as small hotels and rooms along the coast that people can rent. [Again, add listings when we have the information, though a couple are already listed in "Sleep".]
it can be viewed from the peak of a castle hill [apparently Ali Pasha castle, which we have a listing for, but probably also the Venetian castle, which we also have a listing for]
[Place for] food and entertainment is Mango Club. The drink locations offered along the coastline also seem to draw in another great number of tourists, like the Sugar Bar. [Worth investigating, or purely self-interested touting? We can keep this on the back burner.]
The 'Panagina', a festival held on Panagla Island (about a 2-hour boat ride from the beach), has folk music performances, boat shows, and fireworks. This festival is held on August 14 every year and it lasts till the 15. [I'm not sure which article that information belongs in.] Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:57, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
I detouted the "Sleep" section of the Parga article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:01, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

More hacking attemptsEdit

I got another warning of multiple failed attempts to log in to Wikivoyage under my username from a new device. Am I the only one getting these warnings? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:13, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

I don't remember seeing these for me. Where would you look for this information? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:54, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
You wouldn't need to look for it. You'd get a notification here and probably one by email, too. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:15, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
I have seen none. Does the device address match anyone who might be mad at you, e.g. the Telstra vandal? Pashley (talk) 05:59, 6 December 2019 (UTC)
How would I know what the device address was? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:01, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Thoughts about the latest community wishlistEdit

Hi everyone, maybe you could be interested participating to this discussion about the community wishlist and how to improve the process. Do not hesitate to give your opinion; the more we will know about the small communities, the more we can build something representative. Pamputt (talk) 17:40, 6 December 2019 (UTC)