Wikitravel

Wikitravel

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Encyclopedia
Wikitravel is a web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

-based collaborative travel guide project, based upon the wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 model, launched by Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins in 2003. In 2006, Internet Brands
Internet Brands
Internet Brands is a new media company based in El Segundo, California that operates online media, community, and e-commerce sites in vertical markets. The company also develops and licenses internet software and social media applications....

 bought the trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 and servers and later introduced advertising to the website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

. Wikitravel received a Webby Award for Best Travel Website in 2007. That same year, Wikitravel's founders began Wikitravel Press, which publishes printed travel guides based on the Web site's content. The first print guides were released on February 1, 2008.

Description


Using a wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

 model, Wikitravel is built through collaboration of Wikitravellers from around the globe. Articles can cover any level of geographic specificity, from continents to districts of a city. These are logically connected in a hierarchy, by specifying that the location covered in one article "is in" the larger location described by another. The project also includes articles on travel-related topics, phrasebooks for travelers, and suggested itineraries.

Wikitravel is a multilingual project available in 21 languages, with each language-specific project developed independently. The English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 version leads in terms of number of articles with over 24,500 in April 2011. While the project uses the MediaWiki
MediaWiki
MediaWiki is a popular free web-based wiki software application. Developed by the Wikimedia Foundation, it is used to run all of its projects, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikinews. Numerous other wikis around the world also use it to power their websites...

 software, Wikitravel is not a Wikimedia project; it was begun and is operated independently.

Wikitravel travel guides are available under a free content
Free content
Free content, or free information, is any kind of functional work, artwork, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work...

 license; while Internet Brands
Internet Brands
Internet Brands is a new media company based in El Segundo, California that operates online media, community, and e-commerce sites in vertical markets. The company also develops and licenses internet software and social media applications....

 owns the web site and associated trademarks, contributors own the content they contribute and they agree to license that content for free use.

History



Wikitravel was started in July 2003 by Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins, inspired in part by Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

. To allow individuals, tourism agencies, and so on to make free reprints of individual pages more easily than permitted by the GNU Free Documentation License
GNU Free Documentation License
The GNU Free Documentation License is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify a work and requires all copies and...

 (used by Wikipedia at that time) it used the Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

 Attribution ShareAlike license. Since both Wikipedia and Wikitravel are now licensed under the Attribution ShareAlike license, appropriate content can be shared between the two so long as licensing requirements are met.

Wikitravel does not have a neutral-point-of-view requirement, as it is written from the point of view of a traveler and, instead, encourages editors to "be fair".

On April 20, 2006, Wikitravel announced that it and World66 — another open-content travel guide — had been acquired by Internet Brands
Internet Brands
Internet Brands is a new media company based in El Segundo, California that operates online media, community, and e-commerce sites in vertical markets. The company also develops and licenses internet software and social media applications....

, a publicly traded corporation. The new owner hired Prodromou and Jenkins to continue managing Wikitravel as a consensus-based project. They explained that Internet Brands' long-term plan was for Wikitravel to continue to focus on collaborative, objective guides, while World66 would focus more on personal experiences and reviews. In response, many authors of the German language community chose to fork
Fork (software development)
In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a legal copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software...

 the German Wikitravel, which was released on December 10, 2006, as Wikivoyage
Wikivoyage
Wikivoyage is a free web-based travel guide for both travel destinations and travel topics written by volunteer authors. The name is a blend of the words “Wiki” and “Voyage”, the French word for travel, journey, voyage, or trip.The project has been founded in September 2006 by a German...

. The German language Wikitravel remains active. On April 1, 2008, Internet Brands added Google advertising
AdWords
Google AdWords is Google's main advertising product and main source of revenue. Google's total advertising revenues were USD$28 billion in 2010. AdWords offers pay-per-click advertising, cost-per-thousand advertising, and site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads. The AdWords...

 to Wikitravel, with an opt-out procedure for registered users.

On May 1, 2007, Wikitravel received the Webby Award for Best Travel Website. On June 16, 2008, Wikitravel was named one of the "50 Best Websites of 2008" by Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

.

On August 3, 2007, Prodromou, Jenkins, and long-time contributor Jani Patokallio started Wikitravel Press, a company that produces and sells print guidebooks based on material contributed to Wikitravel. The first Wikitravel Press guides, Chicago and Singapore, were officially launched on February 1, 2008. Content in these guidebooks is available under the same Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license that Wikitravel material is licensed under. The Wikitravel trademarks are licensed to Wikitravel Press, but there is otherwise no connection to Internet Brands.

On January 1, 2010, the content of Wikitravel was migrated to the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Milestones

  • December 23, 2005: 10,000 articles across all versions.
  • June 11, 2006: 10,000 articles on the English version.
  • September 29, 2006: 20,000 articles across all versions.
  • May 1, 2007: Wikitravel wins Webby Award
    Webby Awards
    A Webby Award is an international award presented annually by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for excellence on the Internet with categories in websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile....

    for Best Travel Website.
  • February 1, 2008: publication of first printed Wikitravel Press guides.
  • June 16, 2008: Time magazine names Wikitravel one of the "50 Best Websites of 2008".
  • November 22, 2008: 20,000 articles on the English version.
  • August 21, 2009: 50,000 articles and 50,000 users across all versions.

External links