Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geography

Add topic
Active discussions

WikiProject Geography (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Geography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of geography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Geography To-do list:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:


I have nominated Antarctica for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here.

{{Ceres Quads - By Name}}Edit

FYI Template:Ceres Quads - By Name (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been nominated for deletion -- (talk) 05:19, 30 January 2022 (UTC)

Project to standardize treatment of place namesEdit

The various infobox templates for geographical entities are very inconsistent in the information they accept about place names and the way they validate and display the names. This is to ask for comment on whether there should be a central project to standardize the way infoboxes handle place names, including settlements, regions, bodies of water, mountains, rivers, roads etc. Possibly a standard template or templates could be embedded in all the infoboxes, with standard instructions, or standard modules could be used for validation and formatting.

Accessibility is a basic concern: non-English representations should be marked up in HTML so they are handled correctly by screen readers; Non-Latin text should not be bolded or italicized; etc.

The central project would first agree on the preferred way to handle names, then implement a program to migrate towards this standard with minimum disruption. Aymatth2 (talk) 14:18, 30 January 2022 (UTC)

Aspects of the problemEdit

A place may have several different types of name:

Name The common name in the English language, e.g. Brussels
Local names The common name or names used by the local people in the local language(s), e.g. Bruxelles (French), Brussel (Dutch)
Official names The legal names in one or more languages, e.g. Brussels-Capital Region, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
Former names Old names, including names used by the aboriginal people but no longer in common use, e.g. Bruocsella, Broekzele, Broeksel
Nicknames Informal names such as "Capital of Europe"

Each name may be represented or described in various ways:

  • Latin text
  • One or more non-Latin texts
  • IPA pronunciation ("Paris" is pronounced differently in English and French)
  • Sound file
  • Etymology

To illustrate the confusion, a search on "native_name" (used by the local people? former local people?) found the following examples:

  • |native_name = Torre Pendente di Pisa |native_name_lang = it
  • |native_name = <small>''Tywysog Cymru''</small>
  • |native_name = <small>{{Script/Hebrew|הכנסת}}</small>
  • |native_name = {{native name|la|Regnum Hierosolymitanum}} {{native name|fro|Roiaume de Jherusalem}}
  • |native_name = Old Bailey
  • |native_name = {{nobold|四国}} |native_name_link = Japanese language |native_name_lang = ja
  • |native_name = {{lang|tr|Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti}} {{lang|fa|سلجوقیان روم}} Saljūqiyān-i Rūm

Aymatth2 (talk) 14:18, 30 January 2022 (UTC)


Has this been discussed and dismissed many times before? Is this the right place to discuss it? Should the discussion be advertised elsewhere? Aymatth2 (talk) 14:18, 30 January 2022 (UTC)

This has been a subject of numerous edit wars through the decades. See, e.g., the history at Talk:Gdansk and Talk:Derry. There's an open RfC for a small subset of the topic at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Lead section#Presentation of dualled place names in infoboxes and ledes.
As I suggested at that RfC, I would strongly advise against a global solution for naming, because I don't think it's possible for a global solution to be neutral and prevent edit wars.
Instead, I would suggest that each country Wikiproject come up with a consensus about local naming. Editors involved in such Wikiprojects understand the meaning and connotations of names in the local culture. That's right the place to make guidelines, IMO. — hike395 (talk) 17:29, 30 January 2022 (UTC)
I am probably missing the point, but was not suggesting guidelines that would apply to all countries on what names to use. I was thinking of
  • Standardizing the parameters used to collect name information across infoboxes, e.g. {{infobox settlement}}, {{infobox river}}, {{infobox mountain}}. So instead of |alternate_name= (street), |name_other= (river), |other_name= (body of water) etc. we would have one standard parameter name
  • Standardizing validation of things like language, e.g. should always be 2-3 digit ISO Code, or should also allow text like "French" if that can be mapped to "fr" for internal use
  • Standardizing formatting of names in different languages so that, for example, all infoboxes suppress bolding on non-latin character sets, enclose names in <div lang=xx> ... </div> tags for accessibility, present multiple names of the same type in {{flatlist}} format and so on.
Stuff like that. So the infobox templates are consistent, even if the information they typically present may vary from place to place. The standardized logic can of course include language-specific and country-specific rules, which would be picked up by all infoboxes that have opted in. This would make it easier for the country Wikiprojects to implement consistent rules for name handling across towns, rivers, counties, mountains etc. in a given country or language. Aymatth2 (talk) 18:42, 30 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm probably the editor who is missing the point. If you just want to do unifying technical work (not specify which names go where), then we should ping Trappist the monk, who has been hard at work doing this kind of standardization across multiple infoboxes with tools like {{Native name checker}}. — hike395 (talk) 19:06, 30 January 2022 (UTC)
Also: Trappist started a discussion about this at WT:WikiProject Infoboxes#native name parametershike395 (talk) 19:11, 30 January 2022 (UTC)
Yet another discussion at yet another venue? In addition to the one discussion that I started, there are/were at least two others:
User talk:Trappist the monk § Native name
Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 186 § Native name
The work that I did was intended to solve a problem that was revealed by a change to Module:Lang. That change was evident in articles that used {{infobox body of water}}, {{infobox mountain}}, {{infobox river}}, {{infobox street}}, {{infobox tree}}, and {{infobox valley}}. All of those infoboxen had/have similar logic. Not so for other infoboxen so I have not pursued similar solutions elsewhere.
I am in favor of normalizing how names are input to and rendered by infoboxen. Every infobox template that might be changed by implementation of the standard must be notified now. Also, related wikiprojects, if any, must be notified. Likely there will be little response from those infoboxen/wikiprojects, but, you never know... And stick to one venue.
Trappist the monk (talk) 19:54, 30 January 2022 (UTC)
If a project were to be started to standardize and improve geographical name handling, this is the obvious place to discuss it. It would have to be advertised at Infobox settlement, river, body of water, mountain, building, island etc., and perhaps at other wikiprojects. I would see the project having separate discussions on migration approach, error reporting, parameter names, languages, non-Latin characters, lists of names, etc.. There would be value to readers, who would see more consistent infoboxes, and to editors, who would not have to worry about formatting. Better validation would mean better data quality. But there would have to be strong consensus for each of the changes, and there could be resistance. Perhaps changing from |alternate_name= to |other_name= would be controversial for some reason. Infobox settlement is used on about 543,397 pages, and altogether there may be 800,000 pages in total affected by standardization. Dunno... Aymatth2 (talk) 13:16, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

Yes, please, anything that adds guidelines on how to use these, or preferably offer a clear field to enter every possible piece of info and make it just work when filled in. Some more examples where we can’t even know how to improve it: multiple names, languages, and scripts in Bilohirsk. A column with name, official name, and native name, but no label to identify any of them. Multiple romanizations in Kharkiv, but the idea was rejected for Kyiv. —Michael Z. 22:15, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

  • Multiple names each with multiple romanizations, where the authority for each romanization is given, may be a stretch ... and infoboxes are anyway meant to just summarize the key information. But we can surely come up with better support for place names, languages and lists, with clearer documentation, common to all the geographical infoboxes. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:46, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

For what it's worth, we managed to standardize coordinates in infoboxes at this 2016 RFC, which was followed by a huge project at Wikipedia:Coordinates in infoboxes that took about 16 months to complete. If you want to have any chance of being successful at standardizing, I encourage you to focus on a very specific aspect of naming and have a concrete proposal, or focus on a specific infobox first to see if what you want to do is possible. Right now, the problem statement appears too large for a focused project. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:35, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

  • @Jonesey95: That is sensible advice, but I would like to keep it a bit more open-ended at the conceptual stage, then maybe narrow down to more focused implementation projects. I find it hard to disentangle the concepts:
    • There is the common English name used as the title of the article, the name or names used by the local people in the local language(s), perhaps more long-winded formal names in English and the local languages, nicknames, former names, maybe other types of name. But they are all names.
    • How do we distinguish the different types of name in the infobox? I see very confused litters of names in some articles.
    • A list of several names of the same type needs formatting, maybe as a horizontal list. If there are different languages in the list, I think the languages have be identified. I find that Australian languages often do not have ISO codes...
    • A name may be in a non-Latin script with a romanized form
      آزاد جموں و کشمیر [āzād jammū̃ o kaśmīr] (Urdu)
I think we should first get a general understanding of the overall problem, then look at a strategy. Aymatth2 (talk) 21:35, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

@Hike395, Trappist the monk, Mzajac, and Jonesey95: I have written up a more complete description at Wikipedia:Geographical names. Any comments welcome. I think this is technically feasible and would be a real improvement, but am concerned that it may be seen as too great a change. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:16, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

In addition to the category for place infoboxes, you might also look at Wikipedia:Coordinates in infoboxes (make sure you have the feature turned on that makes redirects green) for other place-based infoboxen. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:14, 9 February 2022 (UTC)

Merge Orient into Eastern worldEdit

An editor has requested for Orient to be merged into Eastern world. Since you had some involvement with Orient or Eastern world, you might want to participate in the merger discussion (if you have not already done so). --Heanor (talk) 09:01, 4 February 2022 (UTC)

Merging Recovered Territories into Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War IIEdit

An editor has requested for Recovered Territories to be merged into Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II. Since you had some involvement with Recovered Territories or Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II, you might want to participate in the merger discussion (if you have not already done so).

Further input is requested from all interested WikiProjects to establish consensus. Felix QW (talk) 11:17, 10 February 2022 (UTC)

Mexican Plateau capitalization debateEdit

Currently there's a move request in Talk:Mexican Plateau to remove the capitalization of "plateau", with the nominating user citing Google Ngram evidence that the uncapitalized form was slightly more common in sources (argued to be "substantial" before 1950). The actual Ngram evidence looks to be highly debatable to me, and the policies they've cited don't appear to support their stance as strongly as portrayed. I've cited the specific policies in MOS:CAPS and WP:PLACE relating to place names as reasons why the current capitalization is appropriate, but so far I'm the only one out of 3 that agree even though their arguments -- in my personal opinion -- strike me as overly simplistic. So, I'm deferring to people more acquainted with this topic and the policies surrounding it to make a better judgment and encourage input in the talk page since none of us are actually geographers or part of WP:GEOG. TangoFett (talk) 23:02, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Borders of BelgiumEdit

On all the pages of European borders, see for example Borders of France, there is an infobox on the bottom that links to the different border pages for the borders of Europe, of which a lot are not yet created. But the link to the Borders of Belgium, links to a page about a bicycle event that's called inconveniently called "Borders of Belgium". Ideally this page about the bicycle event should be renamed to something like "Borders of Belgium, cycle event" or something like that, and the original Borders of Belgium page should be an empty page till someone makes the actual page. This maintains consistency in naming for all the border pages. I just wanted to report this error somewhere because it's quiet confusing to look op borders and suddenly land on a cycle event page. I haven't been working on an Wikipedia stuff for years, but thought I'd leave a message here about this situation. Sitethief~talk to me~ 13:01, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

This appears to have been handled. CMD (talk) 02:15, 23 February 2022 (UTC)
Awesome! Sitethief~talk to me~ 19:51, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Discussion about linking to historic countriesEdit

A discussion about linking to historic countries is taking place at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries#Handling linking to historic countries. Please feel free to join in. Mjroots (talk) 13:57, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

Survey: Help improve KartographerEdit

Sorry for cross-posting

Do you create interactive maps with Kartographer (mapframe)? If your answer is yes, we would like to hear from you. Please take part in our survey and help improve Kartographer!

Some background: Wikimedia Germany's Technical Wishes team is currently working on the Kartographer extension. Over the last few months, we have been working on a solution to make this software usable on wikis where it isn’t available yet. In the next phase of the project, we are planning to improve Kartographer itself.

Because Kartographer is used quite a lot on this wiki, we would like to ask you: Where do you run into problems using it? Which new features would you like to see? Editors of all experience levels and with all workflows around Kartographer are welcome to participate.

Here is the survey:

  • The survey is open until March 31.
  • It takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
  • The survey is anonymous. You don't need to register, and we will not store any personal data which identifies you, such as your name or IP address.

More information on our work with Kartographer and the focus area of Geoinformation can be found on our project page.

Thank you for your help! – Johanna Strodt (WMDE) (talk) 13:21, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

"waterbodies" vs "bodies of water" for article titles and templatesEdit

Greetings! I have been involved in a discussion at User_talk:Aymatth2#"waterbodies" that appears intractable and I was hoping for some other opinions on the matter. The TLDR version is that about a week ago, I moved List of waterbodies of Corsica to List of bodies of water of Corsica, along with several of its related articles, templates, and categories. I admit that my move was initially prompted by an error on my part - I mistook "waterbodies" (a word I had honest to god never heard before) as a mistranslation of the French; it isn't, and I feel silly for not having checked first.

However, I nonetheless believe that "bodies of water" is the more MOS-compliant title for lists, categories, and templates related to bodies of water. "Bodies of water" is by far the more common phrasing both on and off Wikipedia, which makes it more a recognizable and natural title for the vast majority of readers. It's already the title for the main article bodies of water, and for Category:Bodies of water and subsidiary categories thereof, making it more consistent. It is a few characters longer than "waterbodies," but I don't believe the slight difference violates the concision criteria. It has been argued that "waterbodies" is more precise, but I don't believe this distinction is significant in typical use, so using "waterbodies" would not make for a more natural or recognizable title.

Hopefully there are enough active participants here that we can arrive at a consensus to standardize such titles one way or the other. ♠PMC(talk) 14:50, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

  • I see no reason to force editors to choose one form or another for article titles. "Body of water" is more common than "waterbody", but "bodies of water of Foo", with its repeating "of ... of" is awkward compared to "waterbodies of Foo". That is probably the reason why the majority of waterbody list-type articles use the second form in their titles. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:05, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I agree that "bodies of water" is generally more common, but both are perfectly acceptable terms and, in this particular context it is more succinct and less clumsy to use "waterbodies of Foo" than "bodies of water of Foo" iaw WP:CONCISE. Bermicourt (talk) 17:18, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

Discussion on improving our management of geostubsEdit

  There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) regarding improving our management of geographical stubs. The thread is Future discussion on improving our management of geostubs. The discussion is about the topic Wikipedia:Permastubs. Thank you. A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 11:37, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

Requested move at Talk:Otago#Requested move 15 March 2022Edit

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Otago#Requested move 15 March 2022 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. — Shibbolethink ( ) 22:24, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

The Core ContestEdit

WP:The Core Contest will take place from April 15 to May 31 this year, in its tenth iteration. It's an exciting contest, running over a period of six weeks, with £250 of prize money for the articles that are most improved. It would be great if we could get participants to improve geographical topics, with Geography, Egypt and Algeria just three of the vital geography articles judged to be C-class. Femke (talk) 13:34, 26 March 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy) has an RFCEdit


Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy) has an RFC for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you. A. C. SantacruzPlease ping me! 11:09, 13 April 2022 (UTC)

Single or separate articles for coterminous regions of Costa Rica?Edit

Hi, in Costa Rica the administrative territorial division states that there are provinces subdivided in cantons subdivided in districts. Recently two districts became cantons of their own, and both kept a single district occupying the same area. I created articles for both Monteverde (canton) and Puerto Jiménez (canton) and kept the ones from the districts at Monteverde and Puerto Jiménez (The "(canton)" in the title is the consensus for these 84 entities), each entity has a Wikidata item associated and also a separate OpenStreetMap relation, because even while having the same area, those are jurisdictionally different entities. The articles I created where then edited and redirected because the district and cantons are coterminous, but I don't know if this a hard rule here at English Wikipedia? Some guidance would be helpful. Thanks. --RoboQwezt0x7CB (talk) 16:14, 13 April 2022 (UTC)

  • I would be inclined to just have one article for a single-district canton. The geography, history, demographics etc. are the same, just some minor bureaucratic distinctions between district-level and canton-level administrative functions. Aymatth2 (talk) 21:05, 13 April 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the input, yes it does make sense and I'm also for deduplication efforts, I was just used to to the other way in other Wikis, and I'm now inclined to do this single article for those cantons elsewhere as well. --RoboQwezt0x7CB (talk) 21:10, 13 April 2022 (UTC)
Where there is very substantial overlap, there is precedent to not pointlessly duplicate articles. Take for example any island country, or the French overseas departments which are also French regions. CMD (talk) 04:59, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Requested move at Talk:Cam River (Canterbury)#Requested move 22 March 2022Edit

There is a requested move discussion at Talk:Cam River (Canterbury)#Requested move 22 March 2022 that may be of interest to members of this WikiProject. BilledMammal (talk) 01:21, 19 April 2022 (UTC)

User script to detect unreliable sourcesEdit

I have (with the help of others) made a small user script to detect and highlight various links to unreliable sources and predatory journals. Some of you may already be familiar with it, given it is currently the 39th most imported script on Wikipedia. The idea is that it takes something like

  • John Smith "Article of things" Accessed 2020-02-14. (John Smith "[ Article of things]" ''''. Accessed 2020-02-14.)

and turns it into something like

It will work on a variety of links, including those from {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}} and {{doi}}.

The script is mostly based on WP:RSPSOURCES, WP:NPPSG and WP:CITEWATCH and a good dose of common sense. I'm always expanding coverage and tweaking the script's logic, so general feedback and suggestions to expand coverage to other unreliable sources are always welcomed.

Do note that this is not a script to be mindlessly used, and several caveats apply. Details and instructions are available at User:Headbomb/unreliable. Questions, comments and requests can be made at User talk:Headbomb/unreliable.

- Headbomb {t · c · p · b}

This is a one time notice and can't be unsubscribed from. Delivered by: MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 16:01, 29 April 2022 (UTC)

Fantasy CartographyEdit

Hello WP:Geography, I'm currently working on the page Fantasy Cartography and would greatly appreciate any help/feedback to improve the article! Particularly relevant to your project would be help in developing the concept of "geofiction". I'm working on it as part of my undergraduate degree - I'm taking a course in wikipedia editing so this is my fist serious foray into the wikipedian community. --Twomatters (talk) 01:09, 7 May 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) has an RFCEdit


Wikipedia:Village pump (policy), which is within the scope of this WikiProject, has an RFC for possible consensus. A discussion is taking place. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments on the discussion page. Thank you.— Ixtal ( T / C ) Join WP:FINANCE! 19:30, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

Is Tykhe, Odessa Oblast notable?Edit

It is a village. I believe that such village in USA or UK would be notable.Xx236 (talk) 06:42, 18 May 2022 (UTC)