Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Rivers

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WikiProject Rivers (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Rivers, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Rivers 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.
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Checking for bad coordinatesEdit

I have added {{GeoGroupTemplate}} to the Category:United States river stubs and subcategories. This allows viewing of the locations of the coordinates in River articles in a given region. When I see a coordinates that is another continent or another state on the map generated, I check the coordinate in the article to see if it is correct. I have found about a half dozen cases of missing minus signs or E instead of W in the coordinates and have fixed the coordinate of these articles. I also checked the GNIS database to make sure the coordinate is correct. I started with the Stub articles but this could be expanded to other categories, as well. Many stub articles also needed Pushpin Maps and Infobox river, as well, so I added them. -- Talk to G Moore 14:37, 2 July 2021 (UTC)

G. Moore, Amazing! Thank you for doing this. --ARoseWolf 14:41, 2 July 2021 (UTC)

Arabic river name conventionEdit

Hello all - I'm looking at WP:NCRIVER, and at the List of rivers of Lebanon. There is a case that is not covered in the convention. Some river names are listed as "X River", while others are listed as "Nahr X" (Nahr نهر = River in Arabic). Does it matter which naming is used? Should the convention also clarify what to do about such cases? -- (talk) 18:55, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

The most common way of naming rivers outside of the US and Britain, is just "Foo" (usually preceded by the definite article eg. "the Foo") although "Foo River" is also common, especially in American sources. Ngram viewer is a good way to determine the most common name e.g. this search tells us that "the Asi" is about twice as common as "the Asi River", but that River Asi is also used. Bermicourt (talk) 21:06, 17 July 2021 (UTC)
Except we already have articles for 32 different ASI, including the Orontes River which uses the Greek name of that river. American usage is strongly X River to the extant of the not uncommon, but silly, formation, Rio Grande River. Consistent and English-language naming is a good thing. Rmhermen (talk) 02:23, 18 July 2021 (UTC)

Looking for information on the Dunt stream in Gloucestershire, EnglandEdit

Does anyone know sources for the length, source, mouth, etc. of this (minor) stream? (I know it probably doesn't qualify as notable enough anyway, seeing as Google results are sparse and mostly referring to a poem about the stream. Just asking because I couldn't find any Google results specifically about the river.) Quanstizium (talk) 16:30, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

There are articles on three of the villages/hamlets on the stream, Duntisbourne Leer, Duntisbourne Abbots and Duntisbourne Rouse. The other, Middle Duntisbourne doesn't appear to have an article yet. That might help you. The Duntisbournes have their own website at Villages website HTH Murgatroyd49 (talk) 16:46, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
As a follow up The Shell Guide to English Villages, in the section on Daglingworth decribes the Dunt Valley as running parallel to Ermine Street. The only remotely helpful geographic reference to the stream I have come across so far. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 16:56, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
The lower end appears on the maps as the Daglingworth Stream which joins the Churn at the end of Barton Lane in Cirencester. Daglingworth stream information is here. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 08:51, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Chronological listing of coastal cities (brainstorming for Manual of Style proposal)Edit


Rational is simple, For readings circular things humans have been comfortable to clock wise, Rivers are viewed from up towards downstream, and for linear documents are read top to down and English language is read left to right! Natural habits are easier or difficult?

Requesting brainstorming for Manual of Style proposal suggesting chronological listing (in sequence as they would occur on a map) of coastal cities (instead of alphabetical) on water-bodies namely rivers, lakes and oceans.

Usual trend is to list is alphabetical order, but reader friendliness point of view and their utility point of view listings of human Settlement (Villages/townships) one after other chronological listing (in sequence as they would occur on a map) will be beneficial besides it will be helpful in creation and presentation of maps.

For example I wish to have clockwise map of townships @ Black Sea trade and economy

Convincing every individual user to help out listing in chronological order becomes difficult so I am suggesting Wikipedians to adopt a common Manual of Style for chronological listing of coastal human settlements for articles under WP:WikiProject Rivers, (& also WP:WikiProject Highways) and clockwise chronological listing of coastal human settlements of coastal human settlements for articles under WP:WikiProject Lakes & WP:WikiProject Oceans.

Please feel free to curate this proposal for spelling and grammar and conciseness. Looking forward to inputs.

Thanks and warm regards

Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 06:04, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

What advantage is there in having them in chronological order? How do you define that order? Murgatroyd49 (talk) 06:45, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Alphabetical order does not have any special advantage to the reader other than being alphabetical.
  • No doubt those who know chronological routs will be less concerned.
  • But every reader will not be expert and knowledgeable of every rout across coasts or highways.
  • Chronologically which place comes after which place has utility value making understanding simpler, whether it is planning of trade/ travel simpler.
  • I do good amount of historical reading but many times not aware of chronology end up confused unless do some back and forth research confusion continues.
  • So Chronological order may save readers time of back and forth research and help avoid confused state of mind.
  • Last but not least, I already cited example of Black Sea trade and economy, personally I do not know chronological order of townships and still wish to request and display a map with every coastal township on the map. Map maker will help only after we provide chronological order.
  • Which Chronology to be applied?
It is open to suggestions and discussion but my prefered suggestion is
    • In case of Lakes and oceans it be clockwise starting from most southern well known point like Istanbul in case of Black Sea
    • In case of rivers form source of river to end / delta of the river.
    • In case of highways North to south or Left to right (West to east)

That is how I look at it

Thanks and regards

Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 07:04, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

The advantage of an alphabetical list is that if the reader knows the name of the town they can easily find it in the list. Few casual readers will have any real idea of the chronology of the area unless they are already quite expert on the history. Do you actually mean chronolgical order or do you mean sequential? Murgatroyd49 (talk) 08:33, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
On most devices you are easily able to search on the page, right? And otherwise if the table is sortable you can also just sort by name. ―Jochem van Hees (talk) 09:17, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
  • By chronological listing, I mean ' in the sequence as they would occur on a map ' Is there any better word for this, whether word 'sequential' would fit better?
  • For most comp users searching with Ctrl + F search is easily possible if they are looking for specific city name. Additionally as user Jochem van Hees says , providing sortable alphabetical option will address that issue. But to most users whether in the sequence as they would occur on a map as default listing won't be better?

Thanks for responses, I hope more Wikipedians will express their opinions too in coming days. Regards

Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 10:01, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

That's not chronological order, that's spacial or sequential order. And does that order go north to south, or south to north? East to west, or west to east? From the coast inward, or outward towards the coast? Upstream or downstream on rivers? And how do all of those directions interact? Seems much more confusing. Stick with alphabetical. --Khajidha (talk) 14:58, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
Pl. do see the description clock image now added.
Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 17:31, 29 August 2021 (UTC)
If I'm looking at a map of an area that I am unfamiliar with it would seem more logical to me to start from the coast and work inward, regardless of whether that was left to right or right to left on the map. I would also find the sequence going up an unfamiliar river more useful than that going down it. So what you describe as "natural" habits do not seem to be such to me. --Khajidha (talk) 23:42, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

Chronological means in order of date. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 17:58, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

Yes, chronological refers to time, like calling a watch a chronometer. Determining the relative age of cities would be very difficult for most readers. Locational sequencing has similar difficulties including deciding what was the starting location around a lake, or how to order twin cities on opposite sides of a river. I suggest alphabetical listing is more convenient than either, although difficulties persist for cities which have been renamed, or have different spellings. Thewellman (talk) 18:39, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

Is the arrangement in the "By drainage basin" section of List of rivers in Florida what you have in mind? Note that the next section in that article is an alphabetical list. - Donald Albury 20:25, 29 August 2021 (UTC)

List of rivers of Florida is a good example. It such sequencing helps me communicating with a map creator and update if any thing is missing, it helps reading along with a map better. The article helps provides both sequences. First in section Atlantic coast provides "Rivers are listed as they enter the ocean from north to south. Tributaries are listed as they enter their main stem from downstream to upstream." later another section Lake Okeechobee provides Rivers are listed as they enter Lake Okeechobee from west to east. Tributaries are listed as they enter their main stem from downstream to upstream. then next section Gulf coast Rivers are listed as they enter the gulf from south to north, then west. Tributaries are listed as they enter their main stem from downstream to upstream.
The later section provide alphabetical option too. User:Jochem van Hees suggests option of sortable table and that is okay with me. IMHO Singularly alphabetical lists create information gap for readers who want to study details along with the map.
Bookku, 'Encyclopedias = expanding information & knowledge' (talk) 02:08, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

Discussion regarding GEONet Names Server (GNS) at RSNEdit

See here. Site is used as a source in about 43,000 articles related to various geographical locations world-wide, including rivers and streams. FOARP (talk) 09:45, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

Category overloadEdit

I find that French rivers are being put not just into departmental categories like Category:Rivers of Ain but also in regional categories like Category:Rivers of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, which lumps together 12 departments, and into the overall category Category:Rivers of France, which lumps together 100 departments and has 753 rivers. Petscan shows 4,289 rivers in the France in the French wiki, so Category:Rivers of France could become enormous.

I suggest that Wikipedia:WikiProject Rivers#Categories be expanded to say something like:

Comments? Aymatth2 (talk) 13:07, 19 January 2022 (UTC)

Currently, all rivers of France are in the Category:Rivers of France, which has been tagged with {{all included}} since 2015. To me, it's useful to have all French river articles in one category because it makes it easier for me to do maintenance. There are more countries where all rivers are in the top category, also if they are in subcategories, e.g. Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. There may be more arguments in favour of all-included country categories, for instance for looking up a river. In the specific case of France, there are three levels for every river: national, by region and by department. For instance the Bèze is in Category:Rivers of France, Category:Rivers of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and in Category:Rivers of Côte-d'Or. It may be disputed whether the intermediate level (the regions) shouldn't be turned into diffusing categories. Markussep Talk 14:21, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
You're proposing that Category:Rivers of Massachusetts and Category:Rivers of Switzerland should be depopulated of articles, with their contents scattered to county- and canton-level categories. This would mean that the articles would be findable and accessible only at the level of those smaller geographic units. I'm strongly opposed to that. I think this is exactly the kind of situation that non-diffusing subcategories and the "All included" template are for. (Category:Mountains of Switzerland is one of the examples given at WP:ALLINCLUDED.) The country- and state-level categories, even if they are large, are valuable to readers and editors who are not intimately familiar with the names and hierarchy of all the administrative subdivisions of the world, which is most of us. Readers and editors should be able to access and browse a group of related articles at a level in the geographical hierarchy that meets their needs, not just at the smallest level. Thanks--TimK MSI (talk) 14:35, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
A list of all rivers in France can be obtained using this Petscan query listing all rivers in sub-categories of Category:Rivers of France by department. The rivers in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté can be listed with this scan. Instructions for running a scan could be placed in an infobox in the category header.
The danger with allowing rivers to be placed both in sub-categories and parent categories is that they may be placed in one but not the other. An editor may consider that a river that runs through several departments in a region should be placed only in the category for the region, and not in the departmental categories. Another editor may consider that it should only be put in the departmental categories, since these categories are included in the region category.
The value to our readers of an alphabetical list of all articles about rivers in France is questionable. A well-organized article like List of rivers of France is more useful, and should be encouraged. One of the main purposes of categories is to support gnomish tasks, making the same improvement to all articles of a given type. If we allow redundancy we make it easy for error to creep in. The Petscan approach finds two rivers in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté that are not in Category:Rivers of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté: the Ain (river) in Category:Rivers of Jura (department) and the Seine in Category:Rivers of Côte-d'Or. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:02, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Insofar as maintenance concerns are driving your opposition to using the "Allincluded" model, I don't think the maintenance of a worldwide set of list articles will solve them. I think groupings of rivers (and other geographic features) at the level of a country, a U.S. state, etc., are useful, and that it's entirely reasonable to expect that Wikipedia would provide them. And I think the dangers you intend to convey are outweighed by the usefulness of the large number of categories you're proposing be depopulated. (Again, this usefulness is the reason the "Allincluded" template exists, and is widely used. Is Category:Rivers of Switzerland somehow less useful than Category:Mountains of Switzerland?) And I don't think the general readership should be expected to run a Petscan query to gather together Wikipedia's articles about rivers in Massachusetts. Thanks--TimK MSI (talk) 16:05, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
List of rivers of Massachusetts, which includes redlinks, seems more useful for the general readership and is right at the top of a Google search for rivers in Massachusetts. They would anyway have trouble finding Category:Rivers of Massachusetts on their phone. And Chapel Brook, Stony Brook (Charles River tributary, Boston) and Stony Brook (Charles River tributary, Weston) are missing from the category.
The general public would use a structured article like List of rivers of Switzerland, the {{cat main}} for Category:Rivers of Switzerland. This is much more useful than an alphabetical list of articles, and supports redlinks. Gnomes who want to work through a single large list for all river articles in a given country, state, department etc. would use a Petscan query to build it from the ground up, avoiding errors like those in Category:Rivers of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. A note at the top of the category could link them to the query, as in Category:Rivers of Corsica. Aymatth2 (talk) 16:51, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Speaking as a (very) part-time Gnome, I'd never heard of a Petscan before and find the existing category system very useful as I am sure the general reader does as well. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 16:56, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Petscan should be in every gnome's toolkit. An powerful and accurate way to browse categories and find specific types of problem. Before depopulating a parent category the corresponding scan can be linked at the top of the category, as in Category:Rivers of Corsica.
We are inconsistent here. Nobody is proposing to add all the articles on rivers in the United States into Category:Rivers of the United States. There are about 11,435 of them. Category:Rivers of California has 25 pages, but this is just a sample. There are about 807 of them, almost as many as in France. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:11, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Since I haven't done so clearly, I'll echo User:Murgatroyd49 and say that I use the existing category scheme regularly, and I find it useful.
I am skeptical that "eh, nobody needs alphabetical order anymore" will be a successful consensus-building argument on Wikipedia.
Lists vs categories is an argument that has raged since the beginning of Wikipedia, and there is an editing guideline that addresses the conflict. Some highlights: "Many users prefer to browse Wikipedia through its lists, while others prefer to navigate by category," and "the 'category camp' should not delete or dismantle Wikipedia's lists, and the 'list camp' shouldn't tear down Wikipedia's category system." The fact that categories aren't operable on phones is noted as a known drawback of categories, not as a reason to depopulate them or replace them with lists.
You're right that nobody is proposing that Category:Rivers of the United States be filled with thousands of articles. We're discussing your suggestion that hundreds of longstanding categories should be depopulated of articles, and whether, within Wikipedia's category structure, articles about rivers should be discoverable only at the level of the smallest possible geographic unit (for example Category:Rivers of Dorchester County, South Carolina, which contains one article).
As I've noted, Category:Mountains of Switzerland is presented at the Categorization editing guideline as a good example of the usefulness of Template:All included in the category structure. I'll ask again, why are rivers different from mountains? Are you mainly taking issue with the Categorization guideline, and not specifically with the categorization of rivers?
Neither the Categorization guideline nor Wikipedia:PetScan invites editors to direct readers to PetScan queries as a replacement for "All included" categories. Has a Wikipedia-wide consensus ever been sought in support of the practice? Thanks--TimK MSI (talk) 22:04, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
I also echo those in favor of the current structure. This is good use of WP:ALLINCLUDED, which I prefer in general. Sure it's not the best practice for every situation; just as it wouldn't be best practice to subdivide every country category.
I've never heard of PetScan either, but I may use it now that I have:) Thanks! DB1729 (talk) 15:57, 20 January 2022 (UTC)

Alternative approachEdit

I seem to be getting less than wholehearted support for emptying out the parent categories. I propose instead to have the guideline say

Samples of the {{Parent cat}} template follow. Most of the populated parent categories have discrepancies with the child categories, so the canned Petscan queries should be valuable for editors who are trying to keep the parent and children in sync.

Category:Rivers of Corsica

Category:Rivers of the United States

Category:Rivers of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Category:Rivers of Massachusetts. This one badly needs maintenance. There are 163 rivers in the county-level categories. 9 of them are not in the parent category. There are 5 rivers in the parent category that are not in any county-level category.

Category:Rivers of Switzerland

Out of curiosity, I ran a check for Category:Mountains of Switzerland. All the pages in the parent are in one of the children, but even after excluding lists, massifs etc., 10 pages in the child categories do not appear in the parent list.


@Markussep, TimK MSI, Murgatroyd49, and DB1729: are you ok with the alternative approach described above? It formalizes the status quo, and suggests but does not require a banner box with links to maintenance reports that may help keep the parent categories in sync with the child categories. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:31, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

I'm OK with your new version for the categories guideline at WP:RIVERS, describing the status quo. I'm not sure whether the Petscan links should be in all category banners. Petscan is a nice tool, but if its main purpose is maintenance, it's probably better to put it on some wikiproject list. An exception may be made for diffusing categories, like the Category:Rivers of the United States example, here a Petscan might be useful for readers. BTW since Corsica and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté are both regions of France, shouldn't their river categories both be either diffusing, or non-diffusing, for consistency? Markussep Talk 09:55, 21 January 2022 (UTC)
Petscan queries differ for each category. Most editors will not know how to write them, but the canned queries let them clean up discrepancies between parent and child categories, an ongoing task. The category header is the obvious place to link to them. I would prefer to diffuse all French regional categories, but see no reason to be consistent. Category:Rivers of England with 1,041 articles is diffused, Category:Rivers of California with 807 articles is sort-of diffused, but Category:Rivers of Pennsylvania with 1,276 articles is not diffused. We cannot define a rule for when categories should be diffused, but when they are not it should be as easy as possible to maintain them. Aymatth2 (talk) 13:32, 21 January 2022 (UTC)
As with User:Markussep, I'm okay with the language describing the status quo. Has the practice of directing readers to Petscan queries via the Category namespace been widely used? If not, I'd like to see some indication of a consensus in support of it among a broader base of users, in a more generalized venue than WikiProject Rivers. Thanks-- TimK MSI (talk) 19:56, 21 January 2022 (UTC)
I concur with TimK. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 21:55, 21 January 2022 (UTC)
Most articles link to external sites in citations, and often link to sister wikis, wikimedia and wikidata in the sidebar. Category:Rivers of California has an interesting link to osm4wiki at The history of this category links to pageviews at I can wander from the history to xtools at A link to petscan at does not seem odd to me, if it is useful. Still, I suppose it could be discussed at the village pump. I can start that. Aymatth2 (talk) 08:36, 22 January 2022 (UTC)
I suggest leaving a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Categories with a link directing to the centralized discussion a Village Pump. I think the petscan links are a good idea btw. DB1729 (talk) 13:42, 22 January 2022 (UTC)
Done. Thanks, Aymatth2 (talk) 14:15, 22 January 2022 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 186#Non-diffused category checker. Not a lot of comments, but there were no objections to linking to a PetScan query, which after all is no different in concept from linking to GeoHack from a {{coord}} template. There were suggestions that we should go further, and either automate population of the non-diffused category using a bot, or else build and display the list of articles in the child categories at viewing time, but that seems over-ambitious at this stage. If nobody objects, I propose to implement the proposed wording in this alternative. Aymatth2 (talk) 17:32, 30 January 2022 (UTC)

FAR for Larrys CreekEdit

I have nominated Larrys Creek 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. Hog Farm Talk 15:21, 22 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) 16:02, 29 April 2022 (UTC)