Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Miscellaneous/Create universal routinformationcode for railways, roads, etc in Wikidata

Create universal routinformationcode for railways, roads, etc in Wikidata

  • Problem: In nearly every language wiki there is a system, to show a route diagram of the line/route. examples: nl:Spoorlijn Amsterdam - Elten (traject in the infobox), de:Bahnstrecke Amsterdam–Arnhem (verlauf) and en:Amsterdam–Arnhem railway (route map). The first problem is that the language wikis dont use the same symbol set, so it is imposible to copy and paste from one langauge to an other. This causes a lot of duplicate work. It would be more efficient to maintain the information in one place for al the languages. Only descriptions and comments differ by langauge. However placenames can be standardized with Wikidata.
  • Proposed solution: *First and prerequisite fase: standardise the symbolset so it can be used in all langauges.
  • Second: Standardize via Wikidata the definitions of the routes. In principle the railway lines should be defined in the main language wiki of the country. For example: Dutch railway lines are defined by NL wiki, the German railway lines by de wiki. Today all wiki's have the freedom to divide up the railway network in line articles as they see fit. There are some conventions: For example read: Commons:Category:Railway lines in Belgium. In the Netherlands this is based on historic lines. example: nl:Spoorlijn Utrecht - Kampen (Kampen - Zwolle in today's rail network is not logicaly connected with Zwolle Utrecht)
  • Third. make a central repository. I dont know where. It could be in Wikidata connecting all the elements of route, but it may be to much 'content' for wikidata. Maybe better as special type of file in the Commons. It has to be defined flexibly. It should be posible to use only part of the route. From point A to B. Some wiki's use a simplified version and not the most complete in the repository. Wiki?s should be able te specify that they dont need certain elements (for example all road and river crossing, or eliminate all references to historic lines, junction etc to show the line as it is today)
  • Who would benefit: Editors of articles, who can copy over the route information from other languages or central repositry in (wikidata?). Updates can then be done centraly.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Smiley.toerist (talk) 15:52, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • So you want a language syntax to describe railways ? Then parse that language and generate a diagram. Doesn't something like such a language t already exist somewhere ? Might be easier to reuse something than to invent something. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:20, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I guess something that builds on the syntax of e.g. en:Wikipedia:Route diagram template, so not a whole new language. I can see the attraction of centralizing such route diagrams in a MediaWiki extension, but then the task of unifying all wikis' ideas of how the diagrams should work feels like a big task! The issue I see with using Wikidata as the central repository is that it doesn't (as far as I know) model things like every bridge and crossing, every junction, etc. SWilson (WMF) (talk) 02:47, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This seems doable without any technical work. --Izno (talk) 22:25, 18 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The <translate></translate> tags are currently not rendered correctly here. I have created Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Translation/Make "translate" tags always render correctly for addressing this issue. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 15:14, 22 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The symbols for RDTs are already organised at the WikiProject BSicon on Commons and are the same for every Wiki. The problem is that different Wikis use different styles, the Dutch Wikipedia for example has a very detailed representation almost like a track map while most others only show the railway lines (and still differ in many details). If we tried to create universal template, the first step would be to find a consensus throughout all Wikis on how RDTs are supposed to look like.
    Today all wiki's have the freedom to divide up the railway network in line articles as they see fit. That's not the whole truth. Many operators have defined where their railway lines start and where they end. I know that there are many cases where the articles don't align with the official lines but in theory Wikipedia can't make things up that don't exist and call something a railway line that isn't. In practice different Wikis have very different opinions on how to organise their articles. The idea of letting the local Wiki decide what the "correct" line is on Wikidata is not possible. A Wiki can't decide what another Wiki should do and I'm very certain that this will lead to many conflicts. --PhiH (talk) 08:13, 4 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]