[Wikimedia-l] Wiki Travel Guide

Yaroslav M. Blanter putevod at mccme.ru
Wed Apr 11 15:16:11 UTC 2012

> If you're serious about seeing it become the next Wikimedia sister 
> project,
> I'd focus on making a better case for how it falls within Wikimedia's 
> scope.
> MZMcBride
The scope has been extensively discussed in this thread, and a 
convincing answer has been given. This answer is that travel is an 
avenue of education, possibly a more important one than an encyclopedia 
(since visual impressions are the strongest), and everything which 
promotes educational travel thus falls within the scope of the movement.

There are however other issues which were also discussed.

1. The existence of two projects, Wikitravel and Wikivoyage, with 
unclear position of both communities concerning the unification in 
general, and the unification under the WMF umbrella in particular.

2. A good travel guide usually selects information. For instance, a 
list of all resturants in Paris is useless. A list with comments or a 
star-rated list is more useful, but the most useful is  star-rated 
selection which only contains a very limited number of entries. It is 
not clear whether such selection is compatible with WMF principles, and 
if not, why do we want to have a useless project (which potentially will 
be dominated by the entries of the restaurants themselves). I note 
however that one of the functions of an encyclopaedia is selection of 
encyclopaedic information, and this is why we have these perennial 
battles about notability).

2a. A good travel guide caters to specific audience - e.g. backpackers, 
retirees, or adventure travelers. If it attempts catering to all 
travellers at the same time, it becomes useless.

3. My personal impression (of somebody who has an advanced knowledge of 
a subject) is that Wikitravel is just a very poor travel guide. For 
standard places like Paris it can not currently beat any of the major 
travel series. For non-standard places, it contains nothing. May be this 
is fixable, I do not know. However, the real reason I never contributed 
to Wikitravel are ads.


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