Wikipedia:Notability (geographic features)

Notability on Wikipedia is an inclusion criterion based on the encyclopedic suitability of an article topic. Geographical features meeting Wikipedia's General notability guideline (GNG) are presumed, but not guaranteed, to be notable. Therefore, the notability of some geographical features (places, roadways, objects, etc.) may be called into question.

This guideline summarizes the existing overall consensus for geographical feature notability and provides guidance on inclusion of information about geographic features into Wikipedia.

Scope edit

For the purpose of this guideline, a geographical feature is any reasonably permanent or historic feature of the Earth, whether natural or artificial.

This guideline does not apply to geographical features in fictional works or to the features of other astronomical objects.

Micronations are not covered by this guideline and are subject to the general notability guideline, even if they are geography-based.

Sources edit

Even the smallest geographical features usually may be found in numerous reliable sources: you can easily see creeks in maps, sand banks in navigation guides, hamlets in census tables, etc. There may be hundreds of them. They do provide reliable information about the subject. However this guideline specifically excludes them from consideration when establishing notability, because these aggregate sources tell us nothing about why a particular object is distinguished. Still, they do contribute to the satisfaction of the requirement of verifiability.

A feature cannot be notable, under either WP:GNG or any SNG, if the only significant coverage of the feature is in maps, though rare exceptions may apply.

Natural features edit

Named natural features are often notable, provided information beyond statistics and coordinates is known to exist. This includes mountains, lakes, streams, islands, etc. The number of known sources should be considered to ensure there is enough verifiable content for an encyclopedic article. If a Wikipedia article cannot be developed using known sources, information on the feature can instead be included in a more general article on local geography. For example, a river island with no information available except name and location should probably be described in an article on the river.

Artificial features edit

Many artificial geographical features may be mentioned in plenty of reliable sources, but they may not necessarily be notable. The inclusion of a man-made geographical feature on maps or in directories is insufficient to establish topic notability.

  • Artificial geographical features that are officially assigned the status of cultural heritage or national heritage, or of any other protected status on a national level and for which verifiable information beyond simple statistics is available, are presumed to be notable.

Settlements and administrative regions edit

  • Populated, legally recognized places are typically presumed to be notable, even if their population is very low. Even abandoned places can be notable, because notability encompasses their entire history. Census tracts, abadi, and other areas not commonly recognized as a place (such as the area in an irrigation district) are not presumed to be notable. The Geographic Names Information System and the GEOnet Names Server do not satisfy the "legal recognition" requirement and are also unreliable for "populated place" designation.[1][2]
  • Populated places without legal recognition are considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the GNG. Examples may include subdivisions, business parks, housing developments, informal regions of a state, unofficial neighborhoods, etc. – any of which could be considered notable on a case-by-case basis, given non-trivial coverage by their name in multiple, independent reliable sources. If a Wikipedia article cannot be developed using known sources, information on the informal place should be included in the more general article on the legally recognized populated place or administrative subdivision that contains it.
  • Disputed regions are generally considered case-by-case. Their notability for Wikipedia is independent of the validity of their claims. Sometimes it may be more appropriate to merge these articles into ones on a broader conflict or political movement, or to merge articles on multiple disputed names for the same region into one article.

Engineered constructs edit

  • Buildings, including private residences, transportation facilities and commercial developments, may be notable as a result of their historic, social, economic, or architectural importance, but they require significant in-depth coverage by reliable, third-party sources to establish notability.
  • Artificial features related to infrastructure (for example, bridges and dams) can be notable under Wikipedia's GNG. Where their notability is unclear, they generally redirect to more general articles or to a named natural feature that prompted their creation, e.g., to an article about the notable road it carries or the notable obstacle it spans.
  • Train stations have no inherent notability and are not presumed notable for simply being train stations, but may be notable if they satisfy the WP:GNG criteria, the criteria of another subject-specific notability guideline, or other criteria within this notability guideline.

No inherited notability edit

Geographical features must be notable on their own merits. They cannot inherit the notability of organizations, people, or events.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard". See also WP:GNIS.
  2. ^ "Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard".