Wikipedia Launches Wikivoyage, Because Online Travel Guides Are Fun
January 11, 2013 at 3:51 PM
Do you need another online user-generated travel guide, asks travel site Skift. Because if so the Wikimedia Foundation has some good news for you. The group, which is indeed the one that runs Wikipedia, is taking its travel wiki Wikivoyage out of beta next week. So now if you can't find something on TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, Virtual Tourist, Concierge.com, Yelp, Schmap, 43 Places, etc etc... Yeah, we're not totally sure why this is necessary. And yet here we are.
As Skift points out, the launch has been a long time in the making. 26,500 destination guides written by contributors, with the same style and licensing as Wikipedia entries, don't just write themselves. Though if the project sounds like a direct challenge not only to existing guidebooks but to a certain Wiki-based online travel guide, that's because it is. There were even several lawsuits about the fight between Wikitravel and the Wikimedia Foundation, if you're interested.
The lawsuits aside, the project looks straightforward enough. The entries, which seem to be pretty comprehensive both for big attractions and niche destinations, are optimized for regular online viewing, for smartphone viewing, or for being printed out on paper (??) and carried around. There's the capability to assemble your own little travel booklet, though that seems more like a novelty than anything you'd actually use. Unless you travel without a laptop, but we're pretty confident that you don't.
Here's Jimmy Wales explaining the project on the Colbert Report a little while ago. After you watch it make sure to click thru to the Skift story to get a full list of Wikivoyage's goals: