Wikivoyage talk:Geographical hierarchy/Archive 2014-2015

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7±2 rule and its debunking/applicabilityEdit

Apparently the research in the 50s that implied that humans can keep 7±2 items in working memory at a time isn't considered accurate anymore (or, more accurately, the research never indicated that in the first place; it's just how it was interpreted). But it's still a useful rule. I'm thinking we should just remove the reference to the 60-year-old paper and leave it as "People find it easier to comprehend lists of around seven items." LtPowers (talk) 00:38, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

To take the Devil's advocate position: Why is it a useful rule? We could instead increase the limit to the nice round number of 10, for example, or 12. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
The main good argument I can think of for maintaining the current policy is that there's nothing inherently better about any other number, so why not keep the current limit? But perhaps there's another plus that isn't occurring to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:46, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
That's basically it. It suits us to have a number we can use as a hard limit when necessary and as a rule of thumb in other cases. Since we have to pick one, we might as well pick this one, since it's what we've always used and it mostly works. LtPowers (talk) 02:42, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I see the point of that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I have always considered it an arbitrary restraint. Why not accept it as that. It was agreed at the time and has been applied fairly consistently. Most of our other style rules are arbitrary too. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 06:31, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
As I understand it, the point of the rule is to subdivide usefully. Mostly it works well enough, but sometimes it fails. The point is to avoid both long and short lists in the geographical hierarchy, when this is logical and useful and reasonably convenient. Splitting a region just to avoid more than 9 sub-regions is the cause of a lot of dispute. The limits should be further apart. A region should not be split until each of the logical sub-regions is justified, both by geographical, political or economic reasons, and for number of sub-regions. There should be some unifying aspect to a region and also something that distinguishes it from the other regions in the vicinity. 5 and 9 are numbers that are too close together. They encourage splitting just to get half of the sub-regions into each new region of the split. People will try to force 5 sub-regions into each new region, regardless of logical grouping, because that is what the rule implies. A more functional version might go something like: Split a region where there is a logical purpose in doing so, and enough content to make a usable article from each part. As a general rule, there should be at least 5 cities or sub-regions in a region, but this may be varied if there is a good reason. When there are more than 9 cities or sub-regions in a region, consider whether the region can be logically split into geographically coherent and consistent regions, with at least 5 cities or sub-regions in each. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Arbitrarily setting a 7±2 limit means that we may have a region page that lists ten villages but conveys no useful information beyond the list of villages. We then split that region into two subregions of five villages each (so 7±2) adding an unnecessary level of categorisation. Would it be more reasonable to keep the two lists of five villages on the same region page until there's some actual info there? We end up with plenty of info at city or country level, but adding intermediate regions as subdivisions often leaves those region pages as skeletons. K7L (talk) 16:25, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
It might if it makes sense for each group to contain those specific villages, otherwise it make no sense to split them at all. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 17:46, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
There seems to be some confusion here. Nine is a hard limit only where we've found it necessary to implement a hard limit to avoid endless additions by local partisans: in the lists of Cities and Other Destinations on Continent, Continental Section, Country, and Region articles (with the exception of bottom-level region articles). Everywhere else, particularly when it comes to dividing geographical units, it's nothing more than a rule of thumb -- a guideline on when to consider subdividing. Be it lists of restaurants or lists of subregions, there is no rule that says we have to keep the number to 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. LtPowers (talk) 18:07, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that helpful encapsulation, Sir. Since nobody has gainsayed you in more than half a year, I hope I may rely on it in any future disputation. -- Alice 10:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
As United Nations geoscheme is a global standard of continental divisions, may I propose it as our geographical standard? If so, dividing North America into Caribbean, Central America, and Northern America would better fit 7±2 rule.--Jusjih (talk) 06:55, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
However logical and neat that might sound, adopting that UN scheme throughout our guides would be a radical overhaul since our traveller-orientated divisions don't coincide with the UN's more statistically orientated divisions... -- Alice 10:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

What is exactly the policy regarding having "regions/districts/boroughs" sections in articles about smaller cities/regions/towns/villages?Edit

Swept in from the pub

What I mean is... can users on EngVoy add those sections to any article even if the city/region/town isn't too big to justify presenting smaller sub sections of that place? Is that allowed if no extra information is given about each of the sub sections made ?

For example, at the HebVoy article for the Israeli city of Rishon LeZion (as you can see in this version of the article which is produced with Google Translate) the "Regions" area was added with a map, and that small city was seperated into 3 sections, even though no information was added to those section other than what neighborhoods each section consists of. Is this permitted also on EngVoy articles ? or is there some policy that prevents users from making an endless amount of smaller and smaller sub-regions within each existing region article? ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 19:51, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi ויקיג'אנקי. We generally subdivide cities on a case by case basis, usually only for truly huge cities with many districts, and after the article has too much information to keep organized well on one page, and in most cases after a group discussion on the best way to divide up the city into districts. While a static map is of course welcome for any city article, a small city like Rishon LeZion does not even come anywhere near being the type of article we typically subdivide into multiple articles. Texugo (talk) 20:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I myself have understood for a long while that what you just described above is the norm on EngVoy. Nevertheless, it seems that there are no specific rules on this matter which would clearly explain this norm.
Currently I have noticed that the habbit of sub-dividing smaller cities/town/regions/villages has become very prevalent on HebVoy - where some users especially like to subdivide each area into smaller regions. I understand how it would make sense to split many small or remote cities/regions/towns/villages into smaller regions at Wikipedia articles, but on Wikivoyage I think this trend only adds a lot of unnecessary clutter to existing articles/guides. Unfortunately, as this was never fully explained anywhere on EngVoy I find it very difficult to explain to them why subdividing each area into smaller sections is not the best way to go. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 20:22, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) At least articles should not get separate sub-district articles of the type City/District until the article is so large that it has to be done. On the other hand I think a District section with a map can be useful for practical navigation in some cases. One example would be Mombasa which practically is a kind of small archipelago where travelers are helped a lot by knowing on what island what is.
On the other hand Rishon LeZion is firstly not as big population-wise or geographically, secondly it's a normal city without any exotic geographical configuration and finally the article itself isn't very long.
I don't think there is an explicit policy against just a Districts section with a map and some descriptions of districts, however in most cases there are probably more important things to work on in the article. And if someone make red links someone else might be tempted to create a bunch of articles with one sight or one restaurant in each - persons who want to use our guides in practice might get pretty annoyed. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
ויקיג'אנקי, we do actually have guidance on this topic, at Wikivoyage:Geographical_hierarchy#Districts_in_cities. Texugo (talk) 20:32, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Also relevant is the note further down that page at Wikivoyage:Geographical_hierarchy#Keeping it together. Texugo (talk) 20:55, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I would note that unlinked districts -- that is, lists of districts, without having articles for each district -- are best put under "Understand" (optionally in an "Orientation" subsection) to avoid confusion. Leave "Districts", "Regions", and "Cities" for site navigation amongst extant (or redlinked) articles. Powers (talk) 00:11, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

ExtraregionsEdit

I am quite concerned with this feature being quite unnecessary, while it appears abused. I understand it was created because there are certain areas that actually do exist and could be sought in Wikivoyage, but they do not fit into the adopted hierarchy (e.g. they are split between more than one country). While this seems fine, I saw an increasing use of "extraregion" tag used to somehow legitimize the creation or preservation of articles that would otherwise be considered unnecessary, or at list fit for merger. This is a site where

Unfortunately, this becomes a part of a larger trend, where many users start creating "their own little worlds", building up clusters of destinations, regions etc. that are largely empty. While this site relies on us all translating our passions into useful content, it is hardly useful if one creates a near-empty page and then claims it cannot be deleted, merged or redirected because it is an "extraregion".

I believe that, in most cases, "extraregions" are simply disambiguations, such as Dead Sea, . I do not think those kind of pages need any special status - they are disambigs. Why I am opposed to giving them a special status is that it starts getting abused in the form of the likes of Lake Maggiore, which is a laundry list of redlinks, plus some information that really isn't in any way more helpful than stuff that can be found in particular articles on areas surrounding the lake.

Even if there is some introductory blurb in the beginning, I don't think we need to be Wikipedia and give every possible geographic or cultural entity an article - if we decide to split the world in a particular way between articles, not all possible entities can have an article. We do not need to tell the traveller about Lake Ontario in a separate article - we can give it an appropriate description in each of the relevant articles for destinations around the lake. PrinceGloria (talk) 21:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

We tried for many years to not allow any regions which don't fit into the hierarchy, always trying to forcibly redirect them somewhere, but through various discussions, including here, here, and various individual article talk pages and vfd discussions, we have pretty much concluded that, like it or not, we cannot escape having some region articles outside the hierarchy, and we do have many such regions existing. The {{extraregion}} tag is merely a way to identify them, so that we can keep their content down to only that which cannot easily be covered in the existing hierarchical regions where we concentrate our coverage. This includes the recognition that such articles often do not need a full template of sections and should therefore not be held to the same standards as the hierarchical regions, encouraging them to be as short as possible. Identifying them apart from regular region articles also has the tremendous advantage of allowing us to ensure that these overlapping articles stay out of the hierarchy. Unless you think there is actually some way to merge and redirect every article that doesn't fit our hierarchy, it is greatly to our benefit to keep track of them.
With regard to whether the bare-bones ones like Dead Sea, Punjab, or Western New York should carry the disambig tag instead, the practice between the four users (including Traveler100, Pashley, Eco84 and myself) who have tagged the bulk of existing extra-hierarchical regions has generally been that if it is a single region that simply happens not to fit in our hierarchy, it's still quite literally an "extra-hierarchical region", so we've been tagging them as such. To refer to them as if they were "ambiguities" strikes me as rather odd, and obviously the case of two towns of the same name in different parts of the world is different from the fact that Western New York is in common parlance but doesn't fit our hierarchy exactly. Plus, if we try to keep some of them as "disambigs", the criteria for the tag becomes a convoluted and subjective question of "is it a region outside of our hierarchy and if so, has enough additional information been written about it that it no longer looks like a disambig page?". Things are much simpler, more accurately described, and much more objective if we define "extra-hierarchical region" with the simple question: "is it a region outside of our hierarchy?"
As to whether people are abusing these and going on creation sprees or whatever, I haven't really seen much evidence of that. Most of the ones we've tagged already existed outside of the hierarchy before we came up with the label. I do agree that we might ought to come up with a little more guidance for creation criteria versus when it's best to redirect, and where. But simply ceasing to identify them when they do occur would still not prevent the same kind of creation spree; it would just make it less obvious that that's what's being done. Certain places, like your example of Lake Maggiore for example, were around as far back as 2005 (it was deleted and recreated at some point), but at least now that we have identified it as the extra-hierarchical region it is, it can be cleaned up and those redlinks can be minimized and superfluous sections can be removed without it being a breach of the region template. Plenty of other completely reasonable search terms with no logical place to cover them have existed outside the hierarchy for years: Rhine (2005), White Mountains (2007), Zona Cafetera (2007), French Alps (2004), Pantanal (2004), Giant Mountains (2006), and many others, and we continue to come across them still. Before, things like that were all just floating in the void, but now we have a way to tag, track, maintain, prune, and minimize them, as well as to make sure noone starts introducing overlap into the hierarchy by using them in breadcrumbs.
All in all, ceasing to identify these with the {{extraregion}} tag would not make the existing phenomenon go away; it would only make it invisible again and therefore untrackable, as it was before, and put us back in a condition where we struggle unnaturally against having an article about Chianti or the Great Lakes or the French Riviera, and/or we're encouraged by article templates to dress Lake Ontario or Soviet Union with a bunch of empty template sections. And that would be an enormous step backwards. Texugo (talk) 22:26, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
An excellent and clear explanation of why we need to keep the {{extraregion}} tag while preserving a prejudice against creating too many useless stub articles outside the regular geographical hierarchy. --W. Frankemailtalk 14:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I would also like to suggest that this conversation be moved to Wikivoyage talk:Extraregion. Texugo (talk) 22:47, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
There you go - had Lake Maggiore and the others not been given some "special" status, they would have become regular disambigs/redirects. I would have moved myself to do just that with said article, had I spotted it. I guess I would have been blocked by sb saying: "hey, but that's a valid extraregion!". No, it is not - it is a way to circumvent the official hierarchy, provide duplicate, perhaps contravening and not easily updateable and hamornizable content, and keeping your little own article on a region that other people did not love as much as you do *sob* *sob*.
This is Wikivoyage, not Wikipedia. We do not have to reply everybody's question on "What is Lake Maggiore?". We do know that there are lakes, valleys, rivers, mountain ranges etc. To be useful to travellers, all we need to do is say "if you're looking for Lake Maggiore, you can find this part of the coastline there, and the other here". We can of course add this for as many possible search keywords we may think of, but not every search keyword merits and article. I believe all possible content should go to hierarchical regions, then travel topics and, if there is no other way of covering something, itineraries.
If we feel uncomfortable in calling a short bit of text telling people where to find coverage of this or that a "disambiguation" or "redirect", let us find a new, better name for it. But the name should not suggest that this is a good place to start dumping content.
I also believe Wikivoyage talk:Extraregion is quite obviously only watchlisted by users enthusiastic of the idea. I'd rather get a wider range of opinions here. PrinceGloria (talk) 04:27, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
The {{extraregion}} tag is by no means an invitation to "start dumping content". It specifically says the page should contain no more than basic information and information specifically regarding the region as a whole.
Anyway, you are brushing aside many larger arguments and many more substantial examples to focus on one minor example you think should not be more than a stripped down fork page. We might disagree on what to call it, but I do not think we actually disagree about what Lake Maggiore should look like. However, unless you are arguing, against a fairly broad consensus from the previous conversations, that we can somehow make every single thing listed at Category:Extra regions into a redirect or a bare-bones, stripped down fork page, then you cannot deny that we do have some de facto articles for regions which don't fit our hierarchy. And while those exist, it's better to keep track of them for the various reasons I stated above; there is no advantage to letting them exist in the shadows and blindly expecting them to behave like regular regions. And then, if an "extra-hierarchical region" label does exist, it is easily a more objective, more descriptively accurate label for any extra-hierarchical region along the whole spectrum, from stripped-down fork page, to stripped-down fork page plus just a map, to one with 3-5 sentences, to one with with 1-2 paragraphs, to one with 2-3 sections, to a full blown article. If we label them all extra-hierarchical regions, which they literally are, we can dispense with any subjective decision about where the amount of info contained crosses the line between disamgib and extraregion.
Basically you need to broaden your focus beyond this one admittedly poorly implemented example and focus on the phenomenon as a whole. Primarily, if you want to do away with the extraregion class, you have to establish that either a) we can get by with totally disallowing anything beyond redirects and bare disambigs, or b) we do need some extra-hierarchical regions but they are somehow better left unidentified, with no way to ensure they don't creep into the hierarchy, and they should always be treated with a full template like other region articles. If you can't establish either of those things, then we have the extraregion tag, and only then does the secondary issue of disambig vs. extraregion come up, and I haven't seen any arguments for why arbitrarily cutting the spectrum to make that distinction would be advantageous in any way.
Texugo (talk) 14:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Most of this I will not comment on, since User:Texugo has done a fine job of commenting along what I consider correct lines.
One thing I will add is that, even if most of an article is a "laundry list" of links, it may still be worth keeping because internal links help SEO. Discussion is at Wikivoyage_talk:Search_Expedition#Index_articles. Pashley (talk) 20:25, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Texugo, thank you for outlining this. It's obviously option a) - this is not Wikipedia, we don't need an article on everything. "Extraregions" siphon away content and editor's effort from our "base", which are hierarchical regions, and create ambiguity by promoting alternative geography (we should make sure our articles are harmonized and linked with each other, but not with an alternative set of articles). We truly don't need to explain the whereabouts of Lake Ontario in a separate article, however brilliant it is. We need to make sure all the articles about regions and destinations around the lake are as brilliant as possible.
All we perhaps need are disambig / redirect pages for names we think our travellers may be looking for, which we cannot simply redirect to a single article. PrinceGloria (talk) 05:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Before, we were trying to do things your way for years, but the issue was continually coming up over and over, and in the most recent of those many conversations that brought us to where we are, there was a broad and sustained consensus that there is a real need for some way to deal with regions outside of our hierarchy in a way that allows for more than a simple disambiguation page or redirect. I think it'll be quite an uphill battle for you to get that consensus reversed and throw us back into that previous situation where we had to discuss everything to death on a case-by-case basis in the struggle to strictly disambiguate or redirect. I am certainly not convinced. Texugo (talk) 13:12, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This was a year ago, I did not participate in this discussion, and we know you are an enthusiast of extraregions. Would be good what other frequent users think about it, e.g. User:Ikan Kekek, User:Shaundd, User:Saqib. PrinceGloria (talk) 13:41, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, yes, that most recent conversation died down a year ago, and two years ago, and also 5 years ago. But it still represents a pretty broad consensus that there is a need, and most in that conversation are frequent users who are still active now as well. Texugo (talk) 14:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I see extraregions being used in places where geographical regions would suffice. It'd be perfectly valid to put Korea in east Asia and then put North Korea/South Korea in Korea, but instead we have both Koreas directly in east Asia and an extraregion for just plain Korea? Do we need this? K7L (talk) 17:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Korea is an iffy case. Someone put it into the hierarchy yesterday and I reverted that because we skip that level in the breakdown/map at East Asia#Regions. An argument could be made that it should be in the hierarchy, but I don't know how we'd work in the link from the region breakdown. Texugo (talk) 18:12, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

A perfect example of where a disambig would suffice. No buts, no ifs. PrinceGloria (talk) 18:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I rather think it's a good example of where there is quite a bit written that applies to the area as a whole which would be hard to place otherwise. It wouldn't make sense to cover that stuff at East Asia, not duplicate it in both country articles. Texugo (talk) 18:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Texugo here. Similar examples are Bengal, Punjab and Kashmir, all tagged as extra regions and all, I think, worth having. It would be interesting to hear from editors from the region, such as User:Saqib and User:Ravikiran r on these. Pashley (talk) 18:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Most of the content of Korea pertains to either North or South Korea. Actually, from the tourist's point of view, those countries couldn't be more different when it comes to travel. Putting those two together is entirely Wikipedic - this is a travel guide, not a mirror of all reality. General information on both Koreas and why there are two and how they came about surely belongs in both Korean articles and in East Asia. This is just duplication. PrinceGloria (talk) 19:09, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
PS. Bengal and Punjab are disambigs, and that's absolutely fine. Kashmir has a bit of well-written, but superfluous content - if somebody wants to learn about Kashmir as a whole and its history, they should head over to Wikipedia. A reflection on the ethnic and linguistic diversity is insightful, if not necessary in a travel guide.
Just to comment on Korea. I think it is a good example of an extra-region. Two countries with a shared culture, yet distinctive enough from the traveler's perspective that they should still fall under East Asia in the hierarchy. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 06:34, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Too long to read. Would anyone please brief me whats going on and how can I help? --Saqib (talk) 20:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Saqib, basically PrinceGloria wants to us to reverse directions and abolish all extra-hierarchical region articles, and all articles listed at Category:Extra regions, including those Pashley mentioned above, would have to be redirected somewhere or turned into bare disambiguation pages. Any actual information about anything outside the IsPartOf hierarchy would have to be moved and restricted to articles that are in the hierarchy. This is basically how we tried to do thing for many years before we started tagging these extra-hierarchical regions, but many discussions led us to basically agree that there is sometimes a need for this type of page to carry other information about their regions beyond a simple disambiguation or redirect, leading us to create the "extraregion" class of article. But PrinceGloria wants to undo that and go back to prohibiting them. Texugo (talk) 21:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I see. I don't have strong opinion here but our volunteers spent plenty of hours filling extra-hierarchical region articles so I don't think we should simply abolish them until we have really strong support and consensus. But If you ask my opinion I'm happy with extra-hierarchical region articles as long they're brief and to the point. Some articles such as Bactria is historical so I would suggest to not waste too much time on it. Your Majesty Prince, it was me who expanded Kashmir article and I agree with you it become too long. I thought of trimming it down and making it brief but couldn't get time to do so. --Saqib (talk) 22:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
PrinceGloria, you asked for my opinion on the existence of extraregion articles. I support them. We can discuss particular instances of them, but I don't agree with any suggestion that eliminating the category would be helpful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, so we (except for Ikan Kekek) basically agree that "extraregions" do siphon out content out of the hierarchical regions and long, expanded articles on extraregions are basically not a good thing. How do we ensure this doesn't occur if extraregions are allowed? What is wrong in keeping them as disambigs? Is there a character, word or line limit on the content a disambig can contain? PrinceGloria (talk) 05:59, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if I agree with that as a blanket statement. Articles should be as long as they need to be, in the interest of the traveler. So there may be cases of extraregion articles that are properly long, and I don't believe in making a general rule on this, but in dealing with specific cases. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
You don't, I phrased it badly, meant this as a comment after Saqib joined the discussion. Which cases do you have in mind? PrinceGloria (talk) 06:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I also don't think "we agree". The basic agreement from the previous discussion seems to be not that extrahierarchical region "siphon" content that should be in the hierarchical ones, but that they are a more appropriate place for some types of content that doesn't properly fit anywhere else. Texugo (talk) 11:47, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
WHAT type of content, examples pls? PrinceGloria (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

A few examples: Central Europe would be an unbalanced mess if we tried to merge Schwaben cultural region in there, while covering it in all it respective hierarchical regions would involve much duplication. Trying to move the info in both Navajo Nation and Great Basin to either Southwest (United States of America) or split it among four or more region/state articles makes similarly little sense. Descriptive information on Hudson River Valley would seem too detailed in the North America, just as general info on Lake Titicaca doesn't seem to fit well in the South America article. Texugo (talk) 12:25, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Slight correction: Great Basin would have to be wedged into the whole US article. Texugo (talk)
I'd also like to put the clarification out there that most of the existing extraregions were created as regular regions. They have since been tagged as extra-hierarchical regions because, well, they're regions and they're extrahierarchical, but some of them have still not necessarily been pruned and pared down to the level that the extraregion tag calls for, having unneeded sections removed, etc. Just because it's out there doesn't mean it's a fine example of what we're looking for. Like anything else, this is a work in progress..Texugo (talk) 15:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
User:PrinceGloria wrote above "we (except for Ikan Kekek) basically agree that "extraregions" do siphon out content out of the hierarchical regions". I do not think that it accurate at all; as I read the discussion above, the Prince is just agreeing with him or her self. I'd say the extraregions provide a home for information that does not fit in the hierarchcical regions, and that's fine though of course most content should go in hierarchcical regions and the e-region articles should have lots of links.
As for examples, two fairly long e-region articles I created are:
Lake Tai, a major recreational area that spans a provincial boundary and has hotels etc. that are nowhere near the cities. When I was there I stayed in a 5-star on the coast between Suzhou and Wuxi, 30-odd km from either, and went to a large & busy park/temple complex on the other side of the lake, also miles from any city.
Bactria, a historically coherent region now divided among three countries. Arguably this article is unnecessary, but the region is of historical importance. I created it because our article on Mohenjo-daro mentions trade with it circa 2000 BCE. Other historical articles like Silk Road and Taxila also link to it.
Neither of these would work as a simple disambig page. I'd say having them as e-regions is the obvious solution. Pashley (talk) 16:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) OK, thank you for providing examples. Both of you mentioned two important points the responses to which I would like to make clearer:
  1. User:Texugo, we do not have to merge content from any extraregion into any article. And certainly not into one article. Mentioning Schwaben cultural region in the applicable regions of Germany would be enough. Actually, we already do - the only bits with actual content, "Talk" and "Eat" are in fact covered by articles within the regular region hierarchy, often better and in a more succint way.
  2. User:Pashley - we do not have to have an article on EVERYTHING. One of the founding principles of Wikivoyage seems to be the fact that this is NOT Wikipedia. A region of historic significance does not have to have a separate article. It is enough to mention it in the applicable guides, with enough information so that the traveller would know why this is important. The rest could be read at Wikipedia and other sources. Much like Wikipedia does not provide info on accomodation possibilities or convenient connections to famous historic or cultural regions, we do not have to cover all of their history or devote entire articles to topographic features, ancient lands and cultures.
As for the other examples given:
  • Hudson River Valley is the type of disambig I would like to see
  • Navajo Nation cobbles together POIs and information that should go into articles on the geographic areas where those occur. If somebody feels like, an "Exploring the Navajo Nation" itinerary could be a good way to link those. Detailed description of the Navajo culture and history belongs to Wikipedia.
  • Great Basin doesn't add much value to the traveller, it's most laundry lists with some topographic trivia that belong to Wikipedia as well. While other articles given have reasonable probability of being a traveller interest, "exploring the Great Basin" seems extremely unlikely as a travel theme for anybody else than a geologist.
  • Lake Titicaca is again, pretty much useless bits and pieces cobbled together and some trivia. How does knowing the exact surface in kms and the percentage thereof belonging to Peru help the traveller? If somebody wants to see the lake, they can be directed to read on the appropriate regions of Peru and Bolivia.
  • Lake Tai - this is a full-fledged article. If it is indeed far away from destinations covered in other regions (I wouldn't be so sure, as I always thought Wuxi is on the lake, but I don't know China that well), then it should become the fourth region of East China. It has three regions now, a fourth one, even small, wouldn't hurt.
As I explained above, I am absolutely not convinced of the necessity of the existence of any of those articles as "extraregions". PrinceGloria (talk) 17:44, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that extraregions are being created for places which could be created as regions (such as Korea). There have also been cases where destination-level articles have been tagged {{extraregion}}, such as Thousand Islands (since reverted). Extraregions do siphon content out of the existing region structure, which often is very skeletal already at some levels (such as one piece of a province) where multiple levels of region article were created just to have no more than 7 +- 2 cities in each. There might be a case for extraregions in areas which cannot be accommodated by other means, but what I'm seeing is an indiscriminate proliferation of these where they're not needed. While valid, they should be a last, not first, resort. K7L (talk) 17:35, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, Korea should not be covered by a single article - touring either Korea is a vastly different experience, and despite common heritage, they share very little nowadays. Travelling between South and North Korea could be an interesting travel topic though. PrinceGloria (talk) 17:44, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If we would want to get rid of extrahierarchical regions and some of them have a lot of cohesive content which should be ruined if spread out on other articles, perhaps those could be classified as travel topics instead? ϒpsilon (talk) 17:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Not all cohesive content is necessarily travel-related content, but in case it is, this is just what I proposed. PrinceGloria (talk) 18:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Making Lake Tai a fourth hierarchical region of East China as you suggest would create a large mess. The current regions, using the provincial boundaries, make sense. Wuxi is indeed on the lake and Suzhou is a few miles inland, but both are among Jiangsu's most important cities. If we cut them out of Jiangsu to create a new region, the province article would be emasculated and almost impossible to make coherent. A similar problem would occur for Zhejiang province across the lake, though that would be much milder.
Cutting it to just a bare disambig page would be tricky since neither Jiangsu nor Zhejiang currently has a Lake Tai region we could link to. Creating those just so the disambig would work would be silly; we'd need to redo the existing region structure for both provinces and it is not even close to clear that that would be a good idea. A disambig page that just links to the towns around the lake is possible, but why not say something about the lake while we are at it?
I'd say this is a clear example of a case where an extra region is obviously the best solution. It is by no means the only example, just the one I chose because I know the area a bit, wrote most of the article, and tagged it as extra. Pashley (talk) 18:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
To me, you have just proven that a separate article on Lake Tai is not needed. All the destinations seem to be covered in their respective subregions/provinces. What is the benefit of having a separate Lake Tai article? PrinceGloria (talk) 19:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
K7L, neither of your oft-repeated examples actually demonstrate anything negative about the extraregion tag. It's very easy to determine when the tag should be applied. You just have to ask "is it a region and is it outside of the hierarchy". If it's two yeses, it gets the tag. Korea is currently outside the hierarchy because it is not along the steps when surfing downward from East Asia's Region section breakdown. If we put it in the hierarchy, both downward (region section in parent article) and upward (breadcrumb) then it will be a factual part of the hierarchy and of course the extra tag should go. Very simple. We just have to agree on whether Korea should be a hierarchical step between East Asia and the countries. How it gets identified follows logically from that
PrinceGloria, I suggest that you post your concerns about this site's treatment of the Hudson Valley at Talk:Hudson Valley, where I expect them to be roundly opposed, as way more people from New York City and other areas in the Northeast say they are traveling to the Hudson Valley to see the fall foliage than say they are traveling to Putnam, Dutchess and Columbia Counties. The Hudson Valley is a recognized region in the area, and a significant destination for tourists and also for weekend and vacation trippers with second homes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thousand Islands is a clear cut case resolved at the time. It just threw me at first because while it is cross-hierarchical it is not technically a region article but rather one of those rare cases where we cover several villages of a region collectively under a city template. But I agree with the resolution. I seriously doubt there are other cross-hierarchical collective coverage articles, but if there are, they obviously don't yield two yeses for the criteria either.
In neither case is there some risk that things which are not in the hierarchy or are not regions will get tagged. The criteria is objective and clear.
and PrinceGloria, why should we deprive the traveller of a well placed overview of places like Lake Tai or Hudson River Valley simply because they don't fit in our hierarchy, leaving them to piece together their own overview from scattered coverage? Texugo (talk) 19:44, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
We should because we have adopted the hierarchical system for its MECEness - there is a place for everything, and it is easy to find. Every guide is by nature a compromise - it has to have a structure and boundaries. The structure we adopted allows for easy navigation, fairly easy structuring and finding of information and fuss-free updating, but it requires some discipline with regard to keeping the breadcrumb hierarchy. This is why we spend so many hours on discussing regional divisions.
If we start opening the doors for all kinds of articles on everything an editor might deem an interesting destination or region, we somehow nullify our efforts to maintain said hierarchy and agree on regional splits. There is no point in defending an article just because it was written. If we don't maintain proper regional hierarchy, soon we will find ourselves with scores and scores of "extraregions", each written by a different editor with focus on what they find interesting, and we will thus create a bunch of travel blogs rather than a travel guide. And then, who will maintain all those articles and keep trace of what is mentioned where? Who will sort that out for the traveller if one article becomes outdated or for any rather reason contradicts another? And who will explain how to navigate all those articles?
I do not think we are doing travellers any service by this. We're just saying: "I've written it so it stays". I do not think this is the way we should go. PrinceGloria (talk) 20:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I think that grossly misrepresents what most of us see as the point of these articles, nor have I seen any sign of these alleged abuses. As long as they are restricted to general overview of the region as a whole, in many cases, there is no better place to give such information, and when the user searches for something which we haven't necessarily chosen to use in our organization but which is nevertheless an reasonable search term and a defined region, it is not ideal to say "sorry, we're unable to give an overview of that topic because coverage is split between the following 17 articles". And at any rate, I've mentioned before that perhaps some further guidance is needed about when these articles are reasonable and when they are better redirected, but to say "sorry, we don't have any single place to describe that topic, figure it out yourself from our fractured coverage" is not what people expect from a searchable guide. We might need a solid hierarchical way to organize all the detailed coverage, for which I am a very strong supporter of the "MECE" system we use, but we still want accommodate other ways of viewing travel, and many of these articles would make a good first section of a book about their respective regions, despite the fact we haven't chosen them as the primary means of organization. Texugo (talk) 20:46, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

The aim of Wikivoyage is not to give "general overview", but very specific information that is helpful, and sometimes necessary, to travellers, in a precisely-defined structure. PrinceGloria (talk) 21:06, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Au contraire: Sometimes, overviews are helpful. Consider continent articles, for example. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:25, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
With the exception of Africa, which is a mess, our continental articles provide the very specific information I mentioned, only on a continental level. They do not provide a belletristic / encyclopedic overview. PrinceGloria (talk) 06:04, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "very specific information," in that case, because my point of view is that any information that's very specific belongs in city or district articles, certainly not in continent-wide articles. To me, very specific information would include exact directions for getting to a point of interest, including its street address. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:31, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
The type of information is very specific, and our headings make it specific: "Get in", "Get around", "Eat", "Drink" etc. We do not discuss the European culture and history at length, only enough for the reader to get a general idea. The vast majority of the article is devoted to practical issues, irrelevant of cultural and historic considerations PrinceGloria (talk) 06:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Let's be clear, here. Extra-hierarchical regions should have only the minimum amount of content necessary. That amount varies widely from simple pseduo-disambiguation to full-fledged articles that explain unique details of getting into and traveling within the region, but obviously the former should greatly outnumber the latter. The latter can and must be reserved for cases where no other treatment of the material will do, such as Navajo Nation (which in many very relevant ways is a sovereign nation, even though it spans three U.S. states).

If there are problems with specific articles, then they need to be addressed on case-by-case bases. But as far as I can tell there is no recent proliferation of such articles; they have always existed and will continue to be created no matter what we call them. At least by naming them we have a way to control them and ensure that overlap is minimized.

-- Powers (talk) 02:18, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Well said. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
User:LtPowers - you may have not participated in some recent discussions regarding regional splits, but more and more often regions that prove unnecessary during updates of regional splits, or ones that the majority of disputants do not support, end up as "extraregions", just because it would be too painful to somebody to delete them.
We already have a category where content should be kept to a minimum - it is called disambiguation pages. Hudson River is a perfect disambig, no need to call it anything else.
As concerns Navajo Nation - in many ways it may be considered a state, but it is not and we decided to split the US according to the official 50 states. We are not denying the Navajo their culture and them being interesting to travellers, but we can cover all of the points in the article in the relevant geographic articles.
That said, if for some reason the majority of users still believe it is important to discuss visiting the Navajo Nation in a separate article, we have travel topics for that. The category of "extraregions" is suprefluous. PrinceGloria (talk) 06:04, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Disambiguation pages are not a category where content should be kept to a minimum; it's a category where travel content is disallowed, period. It's not an appropriate category for even three sentences and a map, and also not a very appropriate place for terms which are actually not ambiguous at all. And disguising them as travel topics would just be a way for you to deny that we have articles about regions outside the hierarchy and would accomplish nothing except again leaving them untraceable amidst the topic articles. They are regions, and there's no reason we shouldn't acknowledge them as such. Just because they're outsider the hierarchy doesn't make them topic articles — when sections are included they still follow the region template and not the free-for-all form of topic articles. Plus, sometimes the hierarchy is tweaked and articles go from being outside to inside the hierarchy or vice versa. Black Forest did that just the other day, but it's always been a region. if anything, being able to disguise something like Hudson River Valley or French Riviera as a topic would encourage more to be written about it, not less. Texugo (talk) 10:40, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
My aim is not to disguise anything or deny it's existence. If our policy on disambigs disallows content, let us allow it. I am very fine with articles on travel topics being as detailed and large as they need to be to cover the topic. I just don't like the proliferation of article categories and leaving the gate open for "parked" or "non-consensual" regions. If something is a travel topic worth covering, let's call it a topic and cover it. The Black Forest, if it didn't fit the hierarchy, might have just as well evolved into Hiking in the Black Forest. If something is a region that doesn't fit the agreed hierarchy, it should not exist as a guide here. Either we are serious about the hierarchy or we're not. PrinceGloria (talk) 11:21, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
"Avoiding the proliferation of article categories" is a pretty poor excuse for willfully refusing to acknowledge an existing article type. It's not as if we're even verging on even twenty article types. And if we ever do, I certainly hope we'll at least be sensible enough to keep track of them instead of lumping them together awkwardly or pretending they are something they are not. Prior consensus has pretty well established that we need to be able to give readers some general information on extrahierarchical way of slicing up the world before sending them to the various article where the relevant specific content has been scattered by the conventional hierarchy's approach. This serves a unique purpose that is distinct from both disambiguation pages and topics, and it would be unnatural and forced to come up with a topic like hiking for most of them. If you're actually aiming to tear down the progress we've made in that direction, you're going to have to present reasons why it's ok to deny that to the traveller doing the searching, because your proposal would force them to piece together their own coverage of the given region with no introduction. Texugo (talk) 12:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Please point me to a region where the introduction is given, rather then a semi-official-region is created. What's the deal with those regions having all the typical regional headings? Most of the "articles" in this category simply offer a sentence and info on where to go further to find coverage of various parts of the "extraregion". Only a few go beyond that, and I find them wrong and dealt with them above. Any particular example that should not be split between regions or turned into a travel topic?
If you believe the remainder of "articles" that are just a short explanation and some links (and that's perfect, that's what they should be!) should fall into a separate category, let's call them something else ("geodisambiguation?") so that there is no indication that they should develop into full-fledged regions. PrinceGloria (talk) 12:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
You've already been given multiple examples from multiple users where it is felt that some general information beyond a simple disambiguation is needed. No additional hierarchy is being created at all; all the specifics are still filed neatly under the regular hierarchy, we just provide a more informative way of indexing them for the cases where what the traveller is looking for doesn't exactly match the way we've sliced up the world. And you can't point to extraregions with empty sections - we agree that they shouldn't have them, so feel free to remove them. That's one of the advantages of not leaving them lumped with regular regions. Texugo (talk) 13:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I do believe most of the examples given contain more than general information. Should I feel free to move it to regional articles or create travel topics out of them? PrinceGloria (talk) 16:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Considering your declared position that there is no information that belongs there, I don't think it would be terribly appropriate for you to go stripping the existing ones down without discussion, especially since there are users who have just vouched for their usefulness. Texugo (talk) 19:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)


Conclusion?Edit

It seems that the absence of a consensus in the epic discussion above, it seems that specific extra-region articles are being targeted for deletion. Although arguing can be painful, I do believe it is better to argue openly than to try and achieve one's aims through trying to set precedent elsewhere on the site away from the original discussion.

Is there anyway to gain a consensus on how extra-regions should be defined? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

How about the definition: it must be a travel region. The problem is that now the "extra region" feature exist, a proliferation of nonsense articles took place. I don't think this was the original intention of it, or I must have misunderstood. French Riviera is fine, as it is a travel region that happens to fall outside of the hierarchy we set up. But Persian Empire doesn't make any sense, it is a historical state, not a travel region. Globe-trotter (talk) 17:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, first of all, let's dispel the notion that there has been an increase or proliferation or creation spree of this type of article. In the 13 months since we started tagging these, only 30 new ones have been made, and of those, 21 of them are under 2000 bytes and 17 of them are under 1000 bytes. Most of them have only a little more than the average disambig page, typically giving a short blurb, some link pointers, and sometimes a map. It's not as if we were dealing with some kind of epidemic of out-of-scope content.
As for historical regions, we might want to get more opinion from Pashley, who has created or curated several of these, including Persian Empire, China proper, Ferghana Valley, Bactria, Zhili, Zhetysu, and Sogdia. I certainly think that there are good arguments for us to have certain historical regions, especially when region names are still in common use, have changed in recent history, are still claimed as part of local identity, or offer relevant background perspective for putting together a trip in the region. Obviously there is a line to be drawn somewhere, and we may just have to work out a general rule of thumb and discuss the borderline cases as they come. I certainly doubt any of us would defend an article about the w:Louisiana Purchase or w:Russian America or w:Pemba, but there are definitely some historical names that I can imagine travellers searching for, either because they don't realize it's historical, or because it's an area which still holds some kind of unity or legacy to be explored. I don't know to what degree that applies to the ones listed above, but I suspect that at least some of these are things we might want to give a simplified explanation of and links for, rather than making travellers seek out a set of full-blown detailed articles on WP that don't link back to the articles where we cover the travel details and specific attractions. Texugo (talk) 22:59, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
First off, I'm inclined to think more-or-less any article with lots of internal links is good for search engine ranking (see Wikivoyage_talk:Search_Expedition#Index_articles) so I think they should get the benefit of the doubt when there is any.
Bactria and the Ferghana Valley are historically and (mostly) culturally coherent regions on historically important trade routes. Both are arguably as important for a traveller as the hierarchically-defined regions they overlap. I'd say both should obviously be kept and extraregion is the right tag for both.
The Valley article is really just a disambig page with some extra text; it seemed silly to have Ferghana Valley (Kyrgyzstan), Ferghana Valley (Uzbekistan) and Ferghana Valley (Tajikistan) but no overview, especially since anything you read about the Silk Road, here or elsewhere, mentions the valley.
Bactria is a full region article and has lots of incoming links from other articles.
I created China proper mainly because the term turns up often in older books or historical works and it seemed a fine excuse for lots of SEO-enhancing links. It may also be of use to someone trying to understand the divisions of and conflicts in the country. Zhili was a byproduct of that, the only one of the historic 18 provinces that no longer exists so it was a red link in China proper.
UNESCO's citation for "Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor" says the western end of that route is the Zhetysu region so it seemed sensible to create an article here. Pashley (talk) 00:44, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
We should also remember that the growth and evolution of this site does depend on creativity and passion of contributors who may create new articles as per Wikivoyage:What_is_an_article? that has been developed over the past 10 years to provide exactly this guidance.
I'm happy to see further guidance where a line is drawn for extra-regions, but frankly we need to be flexible enough to continue growing in areas away from the traditional paper based travel guides. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:53, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Just an aside: What's wrong with an article about Pemba? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Oops! Nothing, sorry. I just picked a random long-defunct African country from w:List_of_former_sovereign_states, didn't realize I picked one whose name has modern day usage. Maybe you can still get the point though. We certainly don't need an article for everything on that list. Texugo (talk) 01:12, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I certainly agree with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

(indent) In the case of places that no longer exist, such as the Persian Empire, I think it is a miscategorization to call them "extraregions". They should be written as travel topics or itineraries that focus on sites created by and/or related to the topic. Articles such as Zhili however, I would delete. It's an encyclopedic referenece that is better placed in the "History" section of the provinces that once made it up. The Ferghana Valley still exists today. Even in this case, I actually don't see why it cannot be a travel topic. If we want to call it an "extraregion", I suppose we can, but the more I look at these, the more I think we don't necessarily need to designate "extraregions" at all when we could call them travel topics (or itineraries if they can be made into one). ChubbyWimbus (talk) 03:11, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

In that case, you'd better go back through this whole thread and all of the linked previous discussion that brought us to where we are so we don't waste time rehashing. A travel topic is not a good place for a most regions because there is no topic except that it's a region, and travel topics are not somewhere we want to put lots of short articles that are essentially expanded fork pages not intended to ever develop beyond a brief over, some one liner listings and maybe a map. Hudson Valley will never develop into a full travel topic page, not should it. . Also, "doesn't exist anymore" is a pretty harsh criterion for quite a few places that still have a strong legacy or unity or ceased to exist not that long ago. Texugo (talk) 03:28, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I've always taken a pretty broad view of what could be covered on this site, so I believe in giving Pashley latitude with his articles on ancient empires. But is there a more appropriate tag for them than "Extraregion"? Persian Empire is not an existing region, but an ancient empire that left behind traces. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:32, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
The 'existence' criterion is problematic. A friend of mine went to Europe to specifically visit sites of the w:Byzantine_Empire which is also long gone.
We could even take something like the Holy Land which has never existed as a region of governance but nevertheless exists conceptually in the minds of many and is very important to travellers today. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:39, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
But "Holy Land" is definable as a region, regardless of the century we're considering. Persian Empire? Dead as a doornail. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:43, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Therefore the definition of a region is that it must be 'living' in either a political or conceptual sense? Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:57, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. If that's the case, what do we do with the articles about ancient empires? Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:01, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Travel topic? That's where we put archaeological sites and ghost towns (but not the RMS Titanic or the fictional highway in Disney's "Cars" film, they're itinerary). K7L (talk) 04:22, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're right. Articles about ancient empires should be travel topics, because what they're really about is understanding that ancient history and visiting the waves from that time that still ripple. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:41, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

World's most visited attractionsEdit

Swept in from the pub

Travel and Leisure magazine has compiled a list of the world's most visited attractions. These would be prime candidates for making sure they (or their cities) are listed at as many levels of the geographic hierarchy as possible. Powers (talk) 02:07, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

IslandsEdit

Swept in from the pub

Islands that are not nation states or the bigger part of a nation state themselves are usually handled as either a "city" or a "region". While this has thus far not been a huge problem, I fear it may be unsatisfactory in some cases, as islands have some distinctions that separate them from "normal" cities and even regions. This begins with the fact that (with the exception of a small number in the North Sea that have "on foot") the "get in" section usually consists of "by boat" and (in some cases) "by plane". Furthermore for many islands there would be a "swim" subsection not entirely without use under the "do" header. And having an "island" category would make it easier to have "cities" within an island that was originally thought of as not big enough to justify more than a "city" template, because calling settlements on an island "districts" of a "city" is usually quite plainly wrong. I know it is neither a huge problem, nor urgent, but maybe new articles on islands could be improved by having a more fitting template to start with. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:11, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't see the problem. Templates can and should be modified as needed to fit the destinations. Powers (talk) 17:08, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's a huge problem, either, and I also think it's impossible to have a single template for islands as different as Madagascar, Aruba, Socotra, Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, and having one that applied to some of them and not others would only confuse the issue. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:50, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Well first of all islands that are (the biggest part of) sovereign nation states like Madagascar would stay the same. And where they are obviously best qualified as districts of a city, that is also not going to change. But as to your concern that we would treat vastly different things like Los Angeles and Hahn basically the same, as they are both classified as "cities" (along with a number of islands). Though of course, Hahn is unlikely to ever be districtified. Just as I doubt that Neuwerk will ever need further subdivision. But Ometepe might, especially given the rate at which tourism is growing in Nicaragua right now... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:12, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

It is a problem, but not a huge one. It is confusing to editors whether to use the region or city template for islands with small populations. A bigger issue is that the city status message is a little offputting to readers: Stewart Island has a population of 381 in 674 mi² and we call it a city. I can't think of any cities with over a square mile per inhabitant! If we don't want to have a separate template for islands, could the city status templates take a parameter to use the word island instead of city e.g. usablecity|island. (I would also allow town and village as parameters for similar reasons.) AlasdairW (talk) 21:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

We technically have a small city template, but it neither appears on the top of the page when creating a new article, nor is it indicated in the status... Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
It might make sense to consider something like a "rural region" template to use for bottom level regions without cities. As Powers and Ikan noted the template should probably match the smallcity template, but it would give us the ability to track these things and customize the status template message, and might avoid some confusion for new users. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:17, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
A bottom-level article for a large rural area uses the small city template; we already have plenty of examples, like Rural Montgomery County, Prince Edward County and Thousand Islands. It's not a region (in the sense we use the term in article skeleton templates) if there are no cities or regions beneath it. The urban vs. rural status also has absolutely nothing to do with whether something is island or mainland. Technically, Labrador is mainland, Montréal is an island. Only one of the two has a Get in#By subway (the train departs from Longueuil). K7L (talk) 00:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm suggesting a "rural region" bottom-level template in addition to the "smallcity" template in order to make things less confusing. We thus wouldn't be telling people to use the "city" template for a sparsely inhabited island in the middle of the Pacific, or for a rural county with a small population. The headings would be the same as the smallcity template, but having a separate template would eliminate some confusion, allow us to provide an option other than "create city article" for new users creating such articles, and would also allow us to track these types of articles in the same way we currently do with Category:Park articles or Category:City articles, but instead of lumping them in with "city articles" as we currently do they would be in "Category:Rural regions" or some similarly-named category. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In that case, I'd prefer that you use some term other than 'region', which already has a specific meaning in WV as a geographic or geopolitical container (country, province, federated state, part of a province...) into which one puts individual bottom-level national/provincial park articles, cities and localities. A bottom-level destination (of any size) is not a region in our terminology. K7L (talk) 13:56, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
If the headings are the same, then I think you want a redirect, not a separate copy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
We use the word "template" to refer to a specific pattern of article sections, not just the Mediawiki software feature. =) See Wikivoyage:Article templates. Powers (talk) 16:43, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It seems to me our practice of using 'city' for anything down to a village is wrong, and using it for small islands is just another instance of that. The only fix I can think of, though, would be to switch to the more general term 'town', and I am not at all sure that is a good solution, let alone the best available or worth the trouble.

For many islands, other options may be worth considering. In the Philippines there are many cases where the same name might refer either to an island or a province. For some, like Siquijor, the distinction is not important so we have one article that uses the region template and leaves the island/province distinction ambiguous. For others, the distinction does matter since some areas not on the island are important parts of the province, so we have Cebu Island as a redirect to the province article and some explanatory text in the province article. For others, there is no one-to-one connection between islands and either provinces or WV regions, so islands like Negros and Panay use the extra-hierarchical region template. Pashley (talk) 11:03, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Is the main problem just the name of the template? Because if that's the real concern, then we could rename "small city" to "small destination", or something else equally generic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:41, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
To my mind, "small city" indicates a low population, whereas "small destination" indicates physical size (area). How do the rest of you read these phrases? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:50, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I think having the "city" as the smallest possible destination makes it hard to cover places that are not cities in any way shape or form. At least psychologically. And yes a "small" destination would imply small area as well as small number of inhabitants. That's not the same for "small city". I wouldn't call Jacksonville a "bigger" city than New York even though it administratively is in terms of area... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:53, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that changing the word "city" to "town" fixes anything... both terms have a specific legal meaning as a incorporated municipality, but town has w:New England town as an added complication (basically, NY and New England use "town" to be "municipal township", which doesn't match usage anywhere else). Perhaps a generic term for the bottom-level article could be "locality"? K7L (talk) 13:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
"Locality" is okay with me, or "place", or anything along those lines. IMO "small destination" feels like "minor place people go to", rather than "physically small place". But I don't care what's chosen, so long as it doesn't perpetuate the debate about whether an island is a "city". WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:39, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
What is there to say to enable more skeletons? One for "island", one for "small city" (or at least more prominently displaying the existing one) and one for "rural destination"? mHobbitschuster (talk) 14:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Was also thinking a more generic term than city, like location or place, would be better but I am still not sure what advantage outside a less misleading labelling this will bring? It would be some effort to re-evaluate over 17,000 articles; need to see some examples were splitting islands and rural areas away from city articles would be useful. --Traveler100 (talk) 15:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
"Small place" implies small in area to me. I like the word "locality", but I still wonder whether "small" would seem to indicate area in that case, too. I think this is an important topic to struggle with. I can't figure out a good solution yet, though. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:58, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

When is a country a countryEdit

Swept in from the pub

Interesting to see a new page Liberland. My learnt something new for the day. Although I really do not want to get into a political battle here, I do not also want to see this site becoming a place to have political battles. Do we have a policy on recognised countries? --Traveler100 (talk) 16:00, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know if we have an official policy on the matter, but these crop up occasionally - see European microstates#Micronations for other examples. Since these are all unrecognized countries we usually tag them with the city template rather than the country template, and that may be the best option for Liberland as well, assuming the article develops - if it stays as just a skeleton then a redirect might make more sense. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
that is a reasonable solution. My test for a country would be: does it have an army; does it have a tax and fiscal system; and does it have a football (soccer) team. Scotland and ISIS only have 2 out of 3, do not know about Liberland. But I guess recognised by the UN would be the best guideline. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
We do also have articles of some other micronations. I don't see any problems in having places like these present on WV in a form or another, especially if they have something to see/experience; for instance the w:Principality of Hutt River. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
A demand for UN recognition knocks Taiwan out of the guide, a requirement for a standing army excludes Costa Rica. Are you sure you want to do this? (Y/N) K7L (talk) 16:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
No, that would be a bad idea, well over 10 countries in the world mostly in the Pacific and Caribbean lack an army. If an area immigration-wise is separated from the rest of the world and in practice has it's own requirements for crossing into the area, then we regard it as a country; therefore Taiwan, Kosovo, Hong Kong etc. but also Abkhasia etc. are regarded as countries. Then there are countries that don't have really have any border controls (out of personal experience Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and I believe, the Vatican), but we also count these as countries because they've been recognized by the UN. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a solution in search of a problem. I can't imagine there are very many country articles currently that belong elsewhere on the regions hierarchy, and those that do exist can easily be taken care of on a case-by-case basis. Creating or adjusting policy to respond to actual problems that have cropped up takes enough of our time and energy already; making new policy for the sake of making new policy is not something we should waste time doing. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:32, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry do not want to start a big policy discussion. I think the solution above has address the question and as you say, best addressed on a case by case basis. --Traveler100 (talk) 17:58, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Check out Sealand , which probably has more claim to independence than Liberland, but falls under United Kingdom Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Given that it is a piece of swampland on Croatia's border, it seems unlikely to have anything that a tourist guide may point tourists to. No hotels to stay in, no restaurants to dine in, no shops, pretty much nothing at all. What then is the point in having the article? —Tom Morris (talk) 21:02, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Somebody might want to go there for the sake of it. You can use a tent and your own food and watch the forest and river or whatever. Let somebody who sees the point in going there write the article. But there is no point in trying to make a point about whether it should be using a park, city or country template – and unless it gets some recognition, it should probably stay breadcrumbed from the region. --LPfi (talk) 11:48, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
How so? "See: There is not much to see in Liberland as majority of the land is covered by forest. There are reported to be some abandoned chalets and small houses." and every section after that blank? I don't see how this is useful to the voyager. K7L (talk) 16:37, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
The population is said to be 30–40 and voltage standard is given. That seems to indicate there is somebody maintaining a "country" and this may be interesting enough for some. I agree that you should not create such stubs if you think there is "not much to see". What I mean is that if somebody enthusiastic about this place wrote about it, it would be worthwhile to keep the page (a hotel is not what makes a place interesting for me). As it stands now I am not convinced even that the locality exists (any more) in any sense relevant for us. --LPfi (talk) 19:57, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually the wiaa test says that the destination should have someplace to sleep. That said, our rules do allow for some exceptions, and if this place would be regarded as a destination (somewhere people are interested visiting) I don't think it's impossible to keep the Liberland article. Though the article template should probably be changed to e.g. smallcity or park. Plus, we don't know for sure how long this country project actually will be kept up in practice. Croatia or Serbia will probably sooner or later claim the area as theirs and send in a couple of police officers to arrest the inhabitants just like happened with Republic of Minerva, REM Island or Rose Island. --ϒpsilon (talk) 20:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
wiaa says a valid destination is a place in which one would sleep, not a place that has accommodations. The intent is to distinguish places from attractions, not to distinguish places that have hotels from places that don't. Powers (talk) 20:54, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
Really? That's not what I take from "are there any types of accommodation open to the public". Nurg (talk) 06:38, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
So places like Øvre Anarjohka national park (in Finnmark) would not be a destination? There is nothing but backcountry in that park, but I cannot imagine a 1400 km² park being well described as a Do of the nearest town. I agree with Power's point. --LPfi (talk) 11:53, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Powers's point as well. I think we've always considered the place-to-sleep line as a rule of thumb to distinguish attractions from destinations. A type of accommodation has, in common practice, always included the option to go camping in a natural area. That said however, I'm not convinced of the use of keeping Liberland as a separate article at this time. I'm not opposing the idea that someone might want to go there, and I think it's fine to mention the place, but if all the info there is can fit in one paragraph, it will probably look more interesting as an infobox or listing in a nearby destination. If more information or facilities come to be available later, nothing keeps us from creating a separate article then. This is also a rather common practice: creating separate articles for borderline destinations only as the info in the "main" article becomes overwhelming. JuliasTravels (talk) 13:17, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
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