The Launch of Wikivoyage5 min read
The Wikimedia Foundation recently launched a new online encyclopedia exclusively devoted to traveling. Wikivoyage, which first went public in January 2013, is a free travel guide and the latest creation from the masterminds of Wikipedia. As users contribute to articles on various countries, cities, etc., Wikivoyage is predicted to become the next big thing for anyone seeking valuable information about their vacation destination, from the most popular tourist spots to the hidden gems.
Wikivoyage was created to be a non-profit service that offers an even better user experience for the public than its predecessor, Wikitravel. The previous travel guide, which was developed in 2003 and sold in 2007, was criticized for becoming a for-profit website that compromised the services provided to viewers.
Some of the bragging rights Wikivoyage claims include greater community involvement, a ban on advertising on its pages, faster servers, an improved mobile version, and more.
For those unfamiliar with the way it works, Wikivoyage works similarly to Wikipedia, in that you search the name of a city or town, and you are sent to a Wiki page about the destination. Wikivoyage, however, offers way more than just history and geographical location; it provides everything a traveler could possibly want to know, such as popular restaurants, shopping areas, local events, and more. Since it’s a fairly young database, many pages on lesser-traveled regions will need more substance in their articles, but that will likely only be a matter of time. You’ll still be able to discover tons of important information, and you’re encouraged to send in some of your favorite restaurants and local hot spots.
Here are some of the awesome features of Wikivoyage:
The Homepage: includes highlights of places around the world in the following categories:
- Destination of the Month showcases popular travel spots.
- Off the Beaten Path shares unique tourist sports that are usually not well known.
- Discover provides interesting tidbits of information about different countries and their cultures, such as such as tipping customs and unknown historical facts.
Random Page: Sends you to the page of a random country, which can be a fun way to determine your next vacation destination, or to learn about a new and unfamiliar place.
Common sections on each destination page:
- Understand provides a brief history of the country and visitor information centers, if available.
- See details all of the best museums, galleries, and tourist spots you’ll want to check out.
- Get Around lists all of the popular modes of transportation, from trains to bicycling.
- Buy is perfect for the shopaholics, or anyone looking for souvenirs.
- Eat and Drink includes the best places for—you guessed it—food and drinks.
- Stay is helpful since it provides a list of places where you can spend the night, such as a hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast. Another great feature about the Eat, Drink, and Stay sections is that they’re broken down by affordability so you decide where to go based on your budget.
Additional Destination Page Sections:
- Sports features major sports teams in the area.
- Learning facilities includes local schools, universities, etc.
- Stay Safe provides safety recommendations pertinent to the area you’re researching.
- Cope outlines foreign consulates that might be located at your travel destination. These are important to know about if you’re traveling outside of your home country and have any problems during your travels.
- Go Next lists other areas close to the destination that you can possibly visit as part of a larger trip.
Click here to view a sample city, or to do a search of your own!