Wikipedia:Notability (geographic features)
|This page documents an English Wikipedia notability guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.|
|This page in a nutshell:
Notability on Wikipedia is an inclusion criterion based on the encyclopedic suitability of an article topic. Per Wikipedia's Five pillars, the encyclopedia also functions as a gazetteer; therefore, geographical features meeting Wikipedia's General notability guideline (GNG) are presumed, but not guaranteed, to be notable. Therefore, the notability of some geographical features (places, roadways, objects, etc.) may be called into question.
This guideline summarizes the existing overall consensus for geographical feature notability and provides guidance on inclusion of information about geographic features into Wikipedia.
Even the smallest geographical features usually may be found in numerous reliable sources: you can easily see creeks in maps, hamlets in census tables, etc. There may be hundreds of them. They do provide reliable information about the subject. However this guideline specifically excludes them from consideration when establishing topic notability, because these sources often establish little except the existence of the subject. Still, they do contribute to the satisfaction of the requirement of verifiability.
On the other hand, sources that describe the subject instead of simply mentioning it do establish notability.
Unreliable sources such as Facebook and most blogs or YouTube videos should be avoided when establishing the verifiability or notability of a geographical feature.
Geographic regions, areas and places
- Populated, legally-recognized places are typically considered notable, even if their population is very low. Even abandoned places can remain notable, because notability encompasses their entire history. One exception is that census tracts are usually not considered notable.
- Populated places without legal recognition are considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the GNG. Examples may include subdivisions, business parks, housing developments, informal regions of a state, unofficial neighborhoods, etc. – any of which could be considered notable on a case-by-case basis, given non-trivial coverage in multiple, independent reliable sources. If a Wikipedia article cannot be developed using known sources, information on the informal place should be included in the more general article on the legally-recognized populated place or administrative subdivision that contains it.
- Disputed regions are generally considered case-by-case. Their notability for Wikipedia is independent of the validity of their claims. Sometimes it may be more appropriate to merge these articles to ones on a broader conflict or political movement, or to merge articles on multiple disputed names for the same region into one article.
- Named natural features are often notable, provided information beyond statistics and coordinates is known to exist. This includes mountains, lakes, streams, islands, etc. The number of known sources should be considered to ensure there is enough verifiable content for an encyclopedic article. If a Wikipedia article cannot be developed using known sources, information on the feature should be included in a more general article on local geography. For example, a river island with no information available except the name and the location should probably be described in the article on the river.
Buildings and objects
Many artificial geographical features may be mentioned in plenty of reliable sources, but they may not necessarily be notable. The inclusion of a man-made geographical feature on maps or in directories is insufficient to establish topic notability.
- Artificial geographical features that are officially assigned the status of cultural heritage or national heritage, or of any other protected status on a national level and which verifiable information beyond simple statistics are available are presumed to be notable.
- Buildings, including private residences and commercial developments can be notable as a result of their historic, social, economic, or architectural importance. They require significant coverage by reliable, third-party sources to establish notability.
- Artificial features related to infrastructure (for example, bridges and dams) can be notable under Wikipedia's GNG. Where their notability is unclear, they generally redirect to more general articles or to a named natural feature that prompted their creation, e.g., to an article about the notable road it carries or the notable obstacle it spans.
International road networks (such as the International E-road network), Interstate, national, state and provincial highways are typically notable. Topic notability for county roads, regional roads (such as Ireland's regional roads), local roads and motorway service areas may vary, and are presumed to be notable if they have been the subject of multiple published secondary sources which are reliable and independent of the subject.
No inherited notability
- Common AfD outcomes – Geography and astronomy articles – an essay
- Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Precedents – listings of AfD outcomes from WikiProject U.S. Roads
- Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/Notability – an essay about the notability of U.S. roads
- Wikipedia:Notability (highways) – an essay
- Wikipedia:Places of local interest – an essay
- Wikipedia:Notability (astronomical objects) – a guideline for celestial bodies
- Wikipedia:Notability – a guideline for topic notability
- Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not – a policy