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Template/format for all locations

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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 09:51   #1
Ben M
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Template/format for all locations

To save trawling through the whole thread I've pasted in the basic headings for the Location Template below, just copy/paste into your new article:

{{stub}}
OR
{{incompletelocation}}
==Overview==
''To do''

==Birds==
===Notable Species===
''To do''

===Rarities===
''To do''

===Check-list===
{{BirdsSee|
''To do''}}

==Other Wildlife==
''To do''

==Site Information==

===History and Use===
''To do''

===Areas of Interest===
''To do''

===Access and Facilities===
''To do''

===Contact Details===
''To do''

==External Links==
''To do''

[[Category: Locations]] [[Category:add Country/County etc here (deleting the italic format]] [[Category:Missing Location Images]]

Remove the Stub tag if information is added and the Missing Image and Incomplete Location ones if appropriate.

Click here to see how it looks

Delia


I think it's appropriate to have a thread for any discussion that relates specifically to locations. Some issues have already been discussed in this thread, so hopefully the original posters will reiterate their points here.

Some issues to be resolved are:
  • Naming of entries
  • A definitive list of headings
  • A strategy for adding categories
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Last edited by delia todd : Saturday 10th January 2009 at 10:29. Reason: Incomplete template added
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 11:38   #2
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Here are some possible ideas for headings and/or content that could be used separately or combined together (mandatory or optional):
  • General (non-birding info.)
    • History: What is the history of the site? (e.g. ex-industrial)
    • Use: Is the site used for other activities? (e.g. fishing, dog walking, etc.)
    • Access: Is the site private? How does one get there from a well known place? (by car, by public transport, by foot, etc.)
    • Facilities: What facilities are provided (e.g. toilets, car parking, visitor centre, provision for children/disabled visitors, quality of paths, etc.)
    • Description: Size and habitats (e.g. broad-leaf woodland, heath, etc.)
    • Areas: What are the main areas commonly known as (e.g. names that might appear on bird sightings websites)
    • Maps: An image of a user-created (or copyright-free) site-specific map (not links to online maps, which could go elsewhere).
    • Contact: Address, phone, email, etc. of who owns/runs the site (e.g. RSPB, WWT, Local Council, etc.)
  • Birding
    • Overview: A general discussion of the site's birding (e.g. what times of year/weather is best, what's the typical number of birds seen in a visit, what equiptment/clothing is/isn't required)
    • List of Birds: All confirmed sightings?
    • Details of Rarities: Brief list of the most significant findings on the site (relative? i.e. a site with a long bird list will only list the megas, but a site with a bird list of 50 might just have local rarities in it's list)
  • References: If info taken from other sources (e.g. local bird club web site), should it be referenced? (Personally, I think it should)

This is intended to open up discussion on what kind of things one should put in a location article. I don't necessarily think it should be done like this!
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 11:50   #3
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I think some of the problems with naming of locations can be solved/simplified by leaving out everything but the location's common name, unless for disambiguation, when county/country can be appended in parentheses. This should solve long-term problems like change of ownership.

I think finding locations in a specified region is best done through categories, but that's another topic!
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 11:57   #4
delia todd
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Hi Ben

You've put a lot of thought into that.

Here

is one of the better ones I've come across (just picked one at random though), although missing is a picture/perhaps map. There are a lot like that, but many with just the bare information and some nothing!

It will certainly help if we had a template.

My thoughts had been a bit simpler

Overview

Highlight birds/fauna

Other Sites Nearby

Facilities

Directions

D
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 12:45   #5
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Hi Delia,

I think some of the things I mentioned above would just be single sentences for many locations; and best placed under a general title (like Overview), or even a non-titled intro. I think it should depend on how quickly a user should be able to ascertain useful information and - to some extent - how the resulting page looks: For example, one might consider the list of birds and the access information useful enough to put in their own sections, so they can be found without scanning through the whole article; whereas the history of the site, might be unimportant to the majority of visitors. Also, an article with a single sentence under each heading will look odd. It may be a case of structuring an article only when there's enough content to justify it?

I like your ideas of including other fauna and nearby sites

Although it's probably not worth the effort, it would be possible to map all the sites on something like Google maps, then have the nearby sites within a given radius displayed automatically... but that's overkill
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 13:35   #6
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Linking to Googlemaps might be overkill I agree.
However having a clear structure from the off is probably better than having articles put in that need major editting at a later date.
I like the idea of including general historical information but feel that it would be better further into the article, have the birding info to the fore. Just playing with your ranking a little Ben, I think this may be a better one.

Birding

* Overview: A general discussion of the site's birding potential e.g. what times of year/weather is best, what's the typical number of birds seen in a visit, what equipment/clothing is required
* List of Birds: Species that are common as well as uncommon, perhaps indicating the rarities in some manner, italics?
* Maps: An image of a user-created (or copyright-free) site-specific map
* Contact: Address, phone, email, etc. of who owns/runs the site (e.g. RSPB, WWT, Local Council, etc.)

General (non-birding info.)
* History: What is the history of the site? (e.g. ex-industrial)
* Use: Is the site used for other activities? (e.g. fishing, dog walking, etc.)
* Access: Is the site private? How does one get there from a well known place? (by car, by public transport, by foot, etc.)
* Facilities: What facilities are provided (e.g. toilets, car parking, visitor centre, provision for children/disabled visitors, quality of paths, etc.)
* Description: Size and habitats (e.g. broad-leaf woodland, heath, etc.)
* Areas: What are the main areas commonly known as (e.g. names that might appear on bird sightings websites)
* References: If info taken from other sources (e.g. local bird club web site), should it be referenced?
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 14:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Dickinson View Post
... having a clear structure from the off is probably better than having articles put in that need major editing at a later date.
I do think we should try to define a "pinnacle" location format, which we hope all locations adhere to in the long-term, but we don't want to discourage less enthusiastic contributors from adding new locations that only contain the bare minimum. It can be very daunting to write a whole location in one go (although I'm attempting to!). Little by little is the key, I think.

I like the idea of emphasizing the birding info by placing it first, and I'm keen on mentioning other fauna and nearby sites in the general section.
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Old Thursday 24th May 2007, 18:51   #8
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Quite agree about encouraging people to contribute and I don't want to put anyone off doing so, but have a sound and easily found template that people could work to has got to be a benefit. Whether it's one word or War & Peace you want to contribute.
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2007, 15:15   #9
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Can this thread be made sticky, like the similarly named one for species.

Anyone else got an opinion?
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Old Wednesday 30th May 2007, 16:58   #10
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We can actually integrate Google Maps in directly, it's a possibility but i have to find the hack again.

If someone (Andy?) wants to PM me if a final 'template' is decided i can set it up as a template in the 'add new page' section?

Ollie
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 00:00   #11
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Here's my idea for a template:

General Overview of Area
This could include a description of the site (i.e. flora, history etc) and other uses
Main Birding Attractions
The main birds that are seen there and which season/weather is best for them
Special Species
i.e. passage migrants and rareties (but what about 'rare breeders' ?)
Other Wildlife

Nearby Sites

Access

Facilities

Contact Addresses

Bird List

What have I missed??

I did it in that order as there are a lot of existing pages that follow that sort of format.

D
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 08:54   #12
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I think the structure could work either of the ways suggested by Keith or Delia.

In my opinion...

Keith's structure is more logical for the birding audience - it's to the point; the type of thing one expects in a scientific report where the reader can pick the bits they're interested in.

Delia's structure is a more logical for the general audience - it's a gentle introduction before getting into the details; the type of thing one expects in a journal targeted to the general public where the reader typically reads from start to finish.

I hope you'll forgive my labelling of structures with your names

Delia makes a good point, that many of the entries are already structured for the more general audience. I think that could be the deciding factor... it makes for less work. However, the "lumps" of text do need to be split with headings. So, what should the main headings be?
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 09:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
I think the structure could work either of the ways suggested by Keith or Delia.

In my opinion...

Keith's structure is more logical for the birding audience - it's to the point; the type of thing one expects in a scientific report where the reader can pick the bits they're interested in.

Delia's structure is a more logical for the general audience - it's a gentle introduction before getting into the details; the type of thing one expects in a journal targeted to the general public where the reader typically reads from start to finish.

I hope you'll forgive my labelling of structures with your names

Delia makes a good point, that many of the entries are already structured for the more general audience. I think that could be the deciding factor... it makes for less work. However, the "lumps" of text do need to be split with headings. So, what should the main headings be?
mmm I wasn't happy with what I called the first three but at 1am wasn't really with-it.

They need to be clear, so people know what should be included.

Did I miss anything?

I'm not convinced that we need to tell people what clothes to wear - come to Scotland and be prepared for all seasons in one day! Maybe whether normal footwear or boots would be useful though. Should that be in 'Facilities' do you think?

D
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 09:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
mmm I wasn't happy with what I called the first three but at 1am wasn't really with-it.

They need to be clear, so people know what should be included.

Did I miss anything?

I'm not convinced that we need to tell people what clothes to wear - come to Scotland and be prepared for all seasons in one day! Maybe whether normal footwear or boots would be useful though. Should that be in 'Facilities' do you think?

D
I think you are right Delia, probably best with it in 'Facilities'. But having a link into google maps could be ideal. save naving to import maps.
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 13:50   #15
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I know some sites that are no good without a scope, so that was my line of thinking...
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Old Thursday 31st May 2007, 13:57   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M View Post
I know some sites that are no good without a scope, so that was my line of thinking...
eeeh! are you not 'dressed' without a scope Ben?

Agree though that info would be useful, as would knowing if there are shelves suitable for hide-clamps.

OTOH I'm now beginning to feel this is maybe getting a bit complex and perhaps we should keep it simple?

Oh gosh - I'm off out birding! I'll think about it while I'm away

D
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Old Friday 1st June 2007, 01:10   #17
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I have know people who feel undressed in Thailand rainforest without a scope, so cannot blaim Ben

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Old Saturday 2nd June 2007, 21:11   #18
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I guess many beginners - like myself - don't have a scope. I've also never seen anyone with a scope on my local patch, despite all the other birders having them: as far as I can tell, there's not really a need for one.

When I mentioned about clothing, I was thinking about some previous posts in the Yorkshire birding thread, where it's often mentioned that wellies are needed for a particular site at certain times of year. Maybe these points should be included when discussing certain areas of a site. For example, wellies are recommended between November and April along the riverside pathways or a scope is necessary to view the cliff face where Gannets breed.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 00:01   #19
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Two more issues:
  • What to do with reviews: They're subjective!
  • Taxonomy of locations: Are sites listed by county? Are counties listed by region or country? Should there be an entry for counties, countries, etc., and if so, how should they be structured?
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Last edited by Ben M : Sunday 3rd June 2007 at 00:04.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 00:14   #20
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As I have asked here, I just don't know when to create the location article and when not. I was hoping someone could answer me which articles may be created and which not. I'll use the same example: should I create an article about Brazil, or should I create one about Pantanal, another one about Amazonia and another one about Brazilian savannah? I guess I haven't expressed my thoughts very well, but I think you got it.

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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 02:50   #21
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Re Ben:
Objectivity is something to aspire to, but it may actually be impossible to achieve! You can come with objective information about a site, like how many species have been identified here within the last ten years, or whatever; however, anything about whether you have good views or bad views will be colored by individual writers personal opinion, and by the readers personal understanding of what constitutes a good view. However, I think it is important in this context to note that the only person who never makes any errors is the person who never does anything at all, and that even if objectivity is a goal made in Utopia, it is still better if you are aware of most of your personal biases and do something instead of being inactive!

One of your questions is about what to do with counties vs countries. Where I live, the whole country is smaller than one of your counties; this is not a critique of you, just a way of saying that we have to use common sense with regards to which entries makes sense, and which is concerned with entities that are too big, so that no common thing can reasonably be stated about them.

Maybe more constructive than these general considerations, if you click Opus, then Locations, you will be taken to a page with categories. There are some that are very high order (e.g., South America), and a lot that are lower order (single park or location). Whenever you are working on a unit that is a sublocation under any of the ones listed, you probably should use the "category" tag to make that clear. I also agree that the selection of top location categories at the moment is incomplete/unlogical.

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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 07:49   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocateme View Post
As I have asked here, I just don't know when to create the location article and when not. I was hoping someone could answer me which articles may be created and which not. I'll use the same example: should I create an article about Brazil, or should I create one about Pantanal, another one about Amazonia and another one about Brazilian savannah? I guess I haven't expressed my thoughts very well, but I think you got it.

Cheers
Thanks Joo,

Hopefully the discussion here will quickly converge into a decision, so we can get to work editing.

Ben.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 09:03   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Re Ben:
Objectivity is something to aspire to, but it may actually be impossible to achieve! You can come with objective information about a site, like how many species have been identified here within the last ten years, or whatever; however, anything about whether you have good views or bad views will be colored by individual writers personal opinion, and by the readers personal understanding of what constitutes a good view. However, I think it is important in this context to note that the only person who never makes any errors is the person who never does anything at all, and that even if objectivity is a goal made in Utopia, it is still better if you are aware of most of your personal biases and do something instead of being inactive!

One of your questions is about what to do with counties vs countries. Where I live, the whole country is smaller than one of your counties; this is not a critique of you, just a way of saying that we have to use common sense with regards to which entries makes sense, and which is concerned with entities that are too big, so that no common thing can reasonably be stated about them.

Maybe more constructive than these general considerations, if you click Opus, then Locations, you will be taken to a page with categories. There are some that are very high order (e.g., South America), and a lot that are lower order (single park or location). Whenever you are working on a unit that is a sublocation under any of the ones listed, you probably should use the "category" tag to make that clear. I also agree that the selection of top location categories at the moment is incomplete/unlogical.

Cheers
Niels
I think objectivity is achievable with good editing... whether that happens here is another story... mainly it will be difficult because of the vast quantity of information. With regards to the reviews... I don't like to "destroy" what could essentially be useful information, but there's no doubt that reviews are very subjective and for the more popular sites they will clog the entries. One way to deal with this might be to keep them somewhere else, and overview the generally accepted points from all reviews. But this is something we should probably only consider after solving the other issues! For now, I'd downgrade the headings under reviews (i.e. add an extra set of = to them) and put them all under a level 1 heading "Reviews".

As for the points you make on counties and countries... I couldn't agree more One approach is to go for areas that many birders have a list for. For example, sites, counties, states, countries, etc. are put into some form of hierarchy (without getting too messy) by adding the next level up as a category to each, where appropriate.

So sites in a UK county have the county as a category, UK counties have the country, countries have UK or more probably British Isles?, do birders treat US states in the same way as UK counties? In smaller countries, the "county/state" level is just left out.

Then... we have an entry for each area, be it a site, county, state, country, etc. that overviews the area, maybe with pointers to the more notable sites? For now, I suggest we go no higher than the country level.

It's not perfect, but it seems like a reasonable compromise
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 10:21   #24
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Naming of site entries

My* current thoughts on naming of site entries:
  1. Name using just the common, but full name of a site, capitalizing the first letter of each new word (except words like "of", "and", etc.). In other words, don't add the county/country by default.
  2. If names clash (i.e. two physically different sites with the same name then add a disambiguation term in brackets to the end of both site names. Preferably the next level location name (e.g. add the full UK county name to a UK site if the sites are in different UK counties... if both sites are in the same next level location, then go to the one after that such as the country, etc.).
  3. Do not include ownership in the name (i.e. leave out RSPB, WWT, etc.).
  4. Do not abbreviate terms like "Nature Reserve" to "NR" and "Country Park" to "CP".
  5. Translate any non-English characters in names to their most visibly-similar English character equivalent (e.g. "" to "a").
What do you agree/disagree on?

Should naming of entries for other locations (i.e. counties, states, countries, etc.) will probably follow a similar approach?
* I don't want to take credit here... my thoughts may be based on discussion with (or posts written by) others
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Last edited by Ben M : Sunday 3rd June 2007 at 10:41. Reason: Removed "See Categories (below) on how to include ownership" because I didn't write that bit!
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 10:32   #25
delia todd
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Hi Ben

4) and 5) Agree

1-3 gone away to think

D
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