Wikitravel is a Web-based project "to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide."[1] Launched in July 2003 by Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins, the website is based upon the wiki model, using the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. In 2006 Internet Brands bought the enterprise and later introduced advertising to the content pages of the website. Wikitravel received a Webby Award for Best Travel Website in 2007. That same year Wikitravel's founders began Wikitravel Press which publishes print travelguides based on the website's content. The first print guides were released on February 1, 2008

Description[edit | edit source]

Using a wiki model, Wikitravel is built through collaboration of Wikitravellers from around the globe. Articles can cover any level of geographic specificity, from continents to districts of a city. These are logically connected in a hierarchy, by specifying that the location covered in one article "is in" the larger location described by another. The project also includes articles on travel-related topics, phrasebooks for travelers, and suggested itineraries. Wikitravel is a multilingual project available in 18 languages, with each language-specific project developed independently.

History[edit | edit source]

Wikitravel was started in July 2003 by Evan Prodromou and Michele Ann Jenkins, inspired in part by Wikipedia.[2] The project uses the MediaWiki software, which is also used by Wikipedia. However, Wikitravel is not a Wikimedia project; it was begun and is operated independently. Unlike Wikipedia, it uses the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license rather than the GNU Free Documentation License. Among other things, this more easily allows individuals, tourism agencies, etc. to make free reprints of individual pages. Although both Wikipedia and Wikitravel are free content resources, because of the incompatible licenses, content cannot be freely copied between them. Wikitravel's different objectives have also resulted in different policies and content guidelines. For example, Wikitravel eschews a neutral point of view requirement, as it is written from the point of view of a traveler, and instead encourages editors to "be fair."

On April 20, 2006, Wikitravel announced that it and World66 – another open-content travel guide – had been acquired by Internet Brands.[3] The new owner hired Prodromou and Jenkins to continue managing Wikitravel as a consensus-based project. They explained that Internet Brands' long-term plan was for Wikitravel to continue to focus on collaborative, objective guides, while World66 would focus more on personal experiences and reviews. As a result many authors of the German language community decided to fork the German Wikitravel, which was released on December 10, 2006 as Wikivoyage. On April 1, 2008 Internet Brands added Google advertising to Wikitravel, with an opt-out mechanism for registered users.

On May 1, 2007 Wikitravel received the Webby Award for Best Travel Website.[4]

On August 3, 2007, Prodromou, Jenkins and long-time contributor Jani Patokallio started Wikitravel Press, a company that produces and sells print guidebooks based on material contributed to Wikitravel. The first Wikitravel Press guides, Chicago and Singapore, were officially launched on February 1, 2008.[5] Content in these guidebooks is available under the same Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license that Wikitravel material is licensed under.[6]

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