Voyaging into Wikivoyage (and Funny Toilet Signs)

I have been a big fan of Wikipedia for roughly 10 of my 20 years of life. There’s nothing more amazing than humans collectively banding together to help one another for no reason other than a desire to help others and spread knowledge. So I jumped at the chance to do the Wikipedia activity for this class.

I wasn’t quite sure what “a round of substantive edits” should entail, since I found that even some of the articles that were in bad shape the last time I remember seeing them are now better than I could make them. So I decided to focus my energy on some of the more neglected aspects of Wikipedia’s neglected sister project Wikivoyage. It’s been so helpful to my family over the years that I wanted to give back to it specifically.

Here are the pages I updated:

Falls Church, VA— my childhood hometown. I found the page was almost exclusively devoted to extolling the Vietnamese food in this area, which I have never heard of and doubt is the most prominent feature of this community. I’m not exaggerating either— almost all of the food options listed were for Vietnamese food, and one of the drawing factors they described for one place was a funny sign over a toilet! I added some non-Vietnamese places to eat and some history, changed the picture from an image of a sandwich to the city’s trademarked logo, and reformatted things to look more visually pleasing. Overall I am happiest with this result, since I had the most information to offer potential visitors about this area.

Chattanooga, TN— a city where I recently went on vacation and that I find to be a very underrated destination. I added details to the history of the city that I learned when I was there and for the hotel where we stayed.

Calgary, AB, Canada— a city where I enjoyed going on vacation a few years ago. I didn’t see much to add, but I noticed that there were no numbers for emergency services as there were for the other pages. I looked them up and added them.

Before I changed anything, I made cached copies of each page except the Falls Church page using the Wayback Machine, which are linked below. For Falls Church, I made several edits before I came up with this idea, but I took a copy before my second round of edits.

Chattanooga, TN

Calgary, AB, Canada

I encourage everyone to do this for their own hometown/places they’ve been, because right now Wikivoyage is in similarly bad shape to Wikipedia from the olden days.

P.S. I wasn’t sure that I could directly post an image of the Falls Church logo here or on Wikipedia since it recently became trademarked, but I just have to include it. Enjoy the pin of it, via my board On the Road.


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