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Good article Longyearbyen has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 19, 2012 Good article nominee Listed

Origins of the name[edit]

So...what does Longyearbyen mean? My guess is "Town of the Long Year", but the article says it was named after John Longyear, which is is it "The Longyear Town"? Does anyone know? Tomer TALK 21:39, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Yes indeed. The Longyear guy founded the place, the first years it was called "Longyear City". Then Spitsbergen became norwegian and they changed "City" to the norwegian word "Byen".
"byen" means "the town". In Norwegian, the definite article goes at the end. "en by" = "a town", "byen = the town".
Strictly speaking, byen, is the city/town. In Norwgian it can mean either.


I changed the first line to read "population of about 1900" from 1700 based on the Gov. of the Islands official website. rhmoore 08:49, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Coat of arms[edit]

Longyearbyen vapen.jpg

Perhaps the Longyearbyen lokalstyre (local government) coat of arms should be added together with an infobox? -- Nidator 11:37, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I updated the population of Alert, NU, Canada and added a reference. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ftcnt (talkcontribs) 16:05, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Airport passenger numbers[edit]

90,000 passengers in a year? Is there a source for this? It seems very high for such a small population. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:49, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Statistics from Avinor can be found here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Ban on death[edit]

I would have thought the fact that dying is illegal in this town should be mentioned —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

DoneTwas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 12:51, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Someone do not trust the BBC, I say they should provide a more reliable source saying it is legal to die there. if not I will put the sentence back in the artcile.

Dying is not illegal. The BBC is a reliable source, of course - but in this particular instance it's clearly journalistic licence, not the literal truth! SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 15:50, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I think most understand that saying "it's illegal to die there" is silly. If you have a sudden heart attack and die, will you be arrested for breaking the law? The actual concept behind your silliness - that it's too cold to bury dead people there so they have to move if they're gravely ill - is adequately explained already. Your little catchphrase addition is just being goofy and you know it.  Doulos Christos ♥ talk  15:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
we are not to decide what is literal truth or not in reliable sources. there are many stupid laws in the world, this seems to be one of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
The article doesn't even use 'illegal', it uses 'forbidden' — these two things are separate entities. (For example, many cultures and societies have 'forbidden' actions which are still technically legal in the super-society). Quaeler (talk) 16:21, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Found a relevant article that I was trying to think of earlier - Prohibition of death. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 16:25, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, let's write 'forbidden' instead of 'illegal' then. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
No. By all means go and edit Prohibition of death to add a mention of Svalbard, and by all means add a suitably worded link to that article here. But it's simply (a) silly and (b) untrue to say that it is either illegal or forbidden to die in Longyear or anywhere on Svalbard. In fact, I'd say the point is quite adequately covered by the phrase "those who fall gravely ill must be taken to another part of Norway..." SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 16:43, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok, i took the 3 minutes to email the office of the Governor of Svalbard asking for clarification and this is response i received.

Subject:        VS: Question concerning statutes on Longyearbyen
Date:   February 17, 2009 11:18:06 AM CEST
To:     loki@xxxx

Hello Loki

Thank you for your email. 
I will try to answer it:

It is not forbidden to die in Longyearbyen. But the Norwegian government
does not wish to organize the community so that people, who are so old
that they need help and nursing, can stay here. There is no public
domiciliary care here. All inhabitants in Longyearbyen have to keep an
address on the main land, and when they get old and need help and nursing
from the society, they have to move back to the main land.

Med vennlig hilsen / Best regards 

Liv Asta Ødegaard
Informasjonsrådgiver/Information Adviser

-----Opprinnelig melding-----
Fra: loki der quaeler [mailto:loki@xxx] 
Sendt: 16. februar 2009 17:32
Til: Firmapost
Emne: Question concerning statutes on Longyearbyen


I'm attempting to edit a Wikipedia article concerning Longyearbyen and  
there is some dispute concerning a BBC article done in July, 2008  
which stated that "It is forbidden to die in the Arctic town of  

Could you provide some clarification on this? Is there an actual  
current law which makes the act of dying in that town a criminal  
action? If so, could you point me to an online link giving the text of  
the law (Norsk would be acceptable, though of course English would be  

Thank you for any assistance,

So it looks like this is a non-issue; it's not forbidden to die (so, also, do not edit Prohibition of death). Quaeler (talk) 11:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Longyearbyen Municipal Council[edit]

The Longbearbyen Municipal Council was set up. There is a website. Some section about this should be put in. Also in the Svalbard article. Thank you-RFD (talk) 17:02, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Warmer July than indicated in climate table in article[edit]

I have checked the average daily high in Longyearbyen in July, using the data from Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which has made their data available at eKlima for everyone, you only need to establish an account. I used data for Longyearbyen from 1961-1976 (discontinued) and Svalbard airport 1977 -1990 (the airport is close to the town, 1961-90 is the internationally agreed base period). These are the official weather stations, and the data showed that: The average daily high in July for these 30 years was 8.6 C on average (see Geography of Norway). Warmest year was 1979, with average high of 11.7 C and the coldest was 1963 with average high of 6.6 C. Some of the latest years have been very warm so a later base period would almost certainly give warmer average high. So, why is the table wrong? Is it based on data from other weather stations, like Sveagruva? Orcaborealis (talk) 19:53, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Longyearbyen/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Grandiose (talk · contribs) 20:29, 19 April 2012 (UTC) Fortunately I won't be able to say much: the article is in very good shape. I've tweaked the lead, please review these changes if you can.

  • Images check out.
  • I would like to just check if Holm is really the only source here though. It's used a lot, and I'm always a bit weary of doing that, even if we trust the source (which I do) in itself. Are there are sources you could just slot or duplicate to confirm the details. I really would like to see that, it helps on several of the criteria. Otherwise sourcing, referencing, verifiability good (checked a couple where I lack of Norwegian wasn't a problem).
  • Layout's good, lead is generally good (per changes).
  • Focus is pretty good. I think some careful consideration is needed over quite what details of Svalbard in general are required here, but the article still meets the criteria in this respect.

If you could just give other sources a look, then I'm happy to pass. (On hold.) Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:29, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much for taking the time to review the article. The advantage of Holm, beyond being reliable, is that she is good at sticking dates to activities and is good at covering some of the less grandeur aspects of the communities history. The problem with Arlov is that the books has very little detail, although it does cover some of the general points, which is why I've cited him where I can. I've taken a look at a few sources and they are not as accurate as Holm, but I've made a few substitutions where sufficient detail could be found. To be a bit frank, I would have to spend hours doing what you ask, without any guarantee of success, while I am confident that the article does meet the GA criteria as it stands now. I would much rather spend that time writing other article in need. Arsenikk (talk) 21:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
And an impressive record you have too. Thanks for taking a look, I'm prepared to accept that. If you're fine with the lead changes (and I'm assuming you are), I'll process the pass tomorrow. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 21:39, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Lead changes look good; I'm always glad to have a second pair of eyes look at the prose. Arsenikk (talk) 21:51, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Size of church[edit]

The article states "The congregational hall is 126 km2 (49 sq mi) while the sitting room is 112 km2 (43 sq mi).". 126 square km sounds a bit large for a church. Pictures of it seem to show a church of fairly normal size, but I can't find any reference on the exact size. Could it perhaps be 126 square _meters_? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mreftel (talkcontribs) 13:41, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

This has been fixed. ◦◦derekbd◦my talk◦◦ 14:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

New York Times[edit]

I'll just leave this right here: Gamaliel (talk) 18:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)