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Old 09-08-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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Default Various Points

Clickable Maps
As promised I have made a test page in the Sandbox as a possible replacement for the the World Map. The idea is that if you click on the map you will get a new clickable map with links to individual pages. Please take a look and give some feedback

Layout tinkering
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Originally Posted by atheneoflymington View Post
Personally, I'm much more concerned to see the huge gaps in content filled than tinkering with what's already there - but I guess I'm in a minority on that ...
GORDON
I fully agree with Gordon. Expanding the content is much, much more important than restructuring the layout. Having said that I think that the home page can be made more useful.

Andy has suggested:
Quote:
I agree about navigation. I really think the home page should be combined with the About Us page and then a new home page should be setup that is more like the Wiki Contents page. It should be a logical flow from high level to lower level information (very similar to how the Wiki Content page does it).
Google Maps
I for one, strongly dislike interactive Google Maps. Although it takes much more work I use, when possible, static maps derived from Google but annotated to show pertinent points, like anchorages, and a scale in nM. These are much friendlier with slow Internet connections and are now expandable with clickable links to these anchorages.

Traffic
We are not a commercial outfit nor are we selling any product, so many of the points about increasing traffic are not valid. What we are is a non-profit wiki run by volunteer cruisers dedicate to passing local knowledge to our piers. While consistency, and "look and feel" are important, local knowledge by those "who have been there" is our main service.

Routes/Passages To/From
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I did a bit of thinking and I came up with this idea, to use the "Routes/Passages To/From" section a bit better or differently:

Newcastle - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki
I think this approach, especially if combined with better maps (see above) solves many local navigation points. I still want to encourage people to create special pages like the ones in the Aegean.

Vasilis
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istioploos View Post
Clickable Maps
As promised I have made a test page in the Sandbox as a possible replacement for the the World Map. The idea is that if you click on the map you will get a new clickable map with links to individual pages. Please take a look and give some feedback
I like it, let's go with it.

Quote:
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Google Maps
I for one, strongly dislike interactive Google Maps. Although it takes much more work I use, when possible, static maps derived from Google but annotated to show pertinent points, like anchorages, and a scale in nM. These are much friendlier with slow Internet connections and are now expandable with clickable links to these anchorages.
Yes I prefer this myself, especially as the frequent user of a slow internet connection. There are some limits as to what you can and can't do with static maps derived from google -- just need to stay within the copyright rules.

Quote:
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Routes/Passages To/From

I think this approach, especially if combined with better maps (see above) solves many local navigation points. I still want to encourage people to create special pages like the ones in the Aegean.

Vasilis
Sure, sounds great. Can we get a page up with some guidelines on how to do it? Creating the google map with links dropped on it was simple, creating a clickable image map seems to be a little more complex but shouldn't be too hard for anyone with a decent graphics program and some common sense, the list of links after the maps is a great idea to fill in the details of the above if you have time.

e.g. in my recently created Tasman Sea page I would have a clickable map or map of links to the major ports, e.g. Sydney, Newcastle, Opua, Wellington, etc, then a list of links under the map with topics like "Tasman Sea crossing, East to West, heading for Cook Strait/Nelson/Wellington", etc. I would only feel comfortable writing up the latter after having sailed it at least once.

Quote:
I agree about navigation. I really think the home page should be combined with the About Us page and then a new home page should be setup that is more like the Wiki Contents page. It should be a logical flow from high level to lower level information (very similar to how the Wiki Content page does it).
I strongly agree with this. I think that the current home page has served its purpose and there should be a landing page containing the map (as currently shown on the sandbox page) and then the wiki contents below it.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:58 AM   #17
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I agree with all the suggestions on the contents page, which really does need improvement as the main 'shop window' of the Wiki.

As the main perpetrator of interactive Google Maps on the Wiki, I'm quite happy to re-engineer them if someone will show me how to get the same results as, for example, the interactive map of harbours and anchorages on the Losinj Island page in Croatia.

The map contains all the key information to help a skipper decide which are the best harbours for his yacht's draft or in the prevailing weather conditions on just one summary page. This isn't achieved through just links to the relevant harbour pages, when it would be necessary to go through them one by one to get the same basic information. Nor indeed can you zoom in to the harbour or anchorage that interests you to get more idea of the configuration.

Anyway, that's my defence of Google interactive maps. Used in this way, they involve much less data download than shuttling back and forth between different Wiki pages. And, if people don't want to use them, they don't have to click on the link. As for me, I'll be using them all the time in Croatia next year.

Finally, we should bear in mind in all this that not all existing or future Wiki contributors are necessarily very IT-savvy and it would be a shame if they were put off by added complexity, as many are at present.

GORDON
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:10 AM   #18
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OK, having found myself with a bit of spare time while hanging about in Samoa, I put together an idea for a suggested new wiki home page:

Suggested New Home Page - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

Here are the overall changes I would make:

* Relegate the current home page to a "Welcome" page. Include the text on the top half of the page (welcome and featured photo) on the welcome page. Move the rest of the text on the bottom half of the page (what this wiki is, what this wiki is not) to the About page which currently sits here: About - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

* Tidy up the text on the world map page, moving the world map to the home page and relegating the rest of the text to the wiki contents page.

* Build a new page of "Countries by Region" which would sit aside the "Countries in Alphabetical Order" page. This would be similar to what is currently offered on the countries page of noonsite, which I find to be quite useful - rather than looking through the whole list of countries, I just scan the South Pacific ones because that's where I am right now.

What does everyone else think?

I'm not currently convinced about the button at the top of the suggested new home page, mostly because I'd like the page itself to be smaller and less confusing without so many repeated links. In particular if you look at sites like wikivoyage (Wikivoyage and then https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Main_Page) their home pages are quite simple and easy to follow, without a lot of extraneous text or other fluff.

In particular I'd like to add a large search box on the wiki home page and get rid of the navigation bar down the left part of the page, which would really simplify things but I'm not sure how feasible that is.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:38 AM   #19
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OK, I made some changes, moved the banner image down lower and included the box style from the old home page.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:40 AM   #20
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Also, if someone wants to re-jig those button images it'd be great, I suck at buttons.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:08 AM   #21
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Hi all, I had one comment in the talk page from Istioploos that he likes the new home page.

I don't have wiki admin access (I seem to have lost it a while ago, I'm sure I used to have it). Can I please have admin access again so I can make the home page live, I don't otherwise have access to change the home page.

Also I made a new About page, here:

Suggested New About Page - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

If anyone has comments or suggestions I'm happy to hear them.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:43 AM   #22
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I don't have wiki admin access (I seem to have lost it a while ago, I'm sure I used to have it). Can I please have admin access again so I can make the home page live, I don't otherwise have access to change the home page.
I just restored your Admin status.

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Vasilis
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #23
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Cool, thanks. I'll do a test edit or two just to make sure things work and then move things across tomorrow morning my time (UTC+13).
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:05 PM   #24
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Great!

By the way I do envy your current cruise.

Vasilis
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #25
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OK it's all done. New home page and about page in place, and I tidied up the contents page a bit. I also changed the sidebar to put the HOME link on top now that the home page is more useful, and added the Countries link to Countries by Region.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:07 PM   #26
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Thank you Del

It looks very good. This has been a much needed improvement right there at the front of the Wiki.
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