It seems that the scope of the type of projects that Wikimedia creates and promotes grows each year. Starting with Wikipedia, which by now everyone knows, we now have projects dedicated to free access to books, courses, media, news, and my most recent discovery, travel. The goal of the Wikivoyage project is to create a free worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit. In addition to providing information on many cities around the entire world, this project also fosters a sense of community by allowing anyone to ask travel related questions in the tourist office.
This project is especially interesting to me in the context of this blog. When most people think of going on vacation, state capitals are usually low on the list of places to go. Why would you go to Olympia when you could hang out in Seattle, or Frankfort when you could watch baseball in Louisville? My goal is not necessarily to convince people to visit any of the state capitals, but rather showcase the best of each city to inspire people to go. Some of that will be through my blog posts, but after learning more about Wikivoyage I think I can make a bigger impact by contributing to this project as well.
For instance, I take a ton of photos in my travels. Some of these will end up in blog posts, but a lot don’t really fit anywhere. Uploading high quality photos to Wikimedia Commons and then linking to them through various Wikivoyage articles seems like a much better thing to do than letting them rot on my hard drive. There are also a lot of lesser known cities without much information on what to do when you are there. In my travels I hope to contribute valuable tips and information to folks who are looking at these pages on Wikivoyage.
My favorite part about this project, and pretty much all other Wikimedia projects is that the only goal is free access to high quality information. They are not trying to sell you anything. Instead, they enable the community to provide unbiased information with no agenda. I plan to dedicate quite a bit of time to contributing to Wikivoyage and I hope that I am able to take my travel experience and make a meaningful impact for the community. You can check out my contributions here.
Images used in this text
The three-master ‚Hahnemann‘ in full sail off a headland By Édouard Adam (1847-1929) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons