Wikipedia:Picture of the day/Guidelines

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These are the guidelines for writing Picture of the day (POTD) blurbs.

The steps to take, in order, are:

  1. Select an image to be the POTD (see #Scheduling).
  2. Add {{picture of the day|Month day, year}} to the image description page. If it's a rerun, add an additional date parameter to the already-existing template.
  3. Write the blurb (see #Writing the blurb).
  4. Notify the nominator and/or uploader using {{subst:NotifyPOTD|salutation|Imagename.jpg|YYYY-MM-DD|Additional information [optional]}}.
  5. Place a note on the article's talk page using {{subst:UpcomingPOTD|Imagename.jpg|YYYY-MM-DD}}.
  6. When it gets near to the scheduled date, create the protected version. If you are not an administrator, this must be done at least 24 hours in advance.

Scheduling[edit]

The PsOTD are taken from the featured pictures generally in the order of their promotion (FIFO). The promotion order can be found either by going through the archives or in reverse order on the various group pages of Wikipedia:Featured pictures thumbs. In order for them to be properly protected and be reviewed for content, they should be done at least three days in advance.

Try not to schedule the same "theme" in close succession (such as having two bird pictures right after each other). If there are two images of the same subject that were promoted close together, put a gap in between their appearances (such as these two carbon nanotube images which were promoted in close succession).

Certain images may be placed on specific days to honor anniversaries, such as this map of India, which ran on Indian Independence Day.

Not all Featured Pictures will be scheduled for POTD. For example, Image:Earth-Moon.png is just too wide to fit into the layout, Image:Michele Merkin 1.jpg is a bit too salacious, and Image:Japanesesuicide.jpg is too grotesque. The standard for inclusion on editorial grounds (as opposed to technical ones) is to use an analogy: If a picture probably wouldn't make the front page of a major newspaper like The New York Times, then it shouldn't be on the front page of Wikipedia either. If you skip one, be sure to add it to Wikipedia:Picture of the day/Unused with the explanation.

Monthly archive page[edit]

If a page for the month does not yet exist, you will have to create it. It's rather simple: Each day's entry consists of a template call: {{POTD/Day|YYYY-MM-DD}}. Add one template for each day in the month. It's easiest just to copy the source from the same month in a previous year and just change the date.

Writing the blurb[edit]

To schedule a new POTD, click the "create" link on the month's archive page. This will create a new page preloaded with a template call.

Template parameters[edit]

Parameter Example Purpose
image Example.png The image name, without the "Image:" or "File:" prefix. Occasionally, for images that do not fit into the template well, you may have to alter the image (e.g., rotate or crop a portion) for it to fit the template. Keep in mind that the Main Page version (the "protected" version is substituted so the layout can be tinkered with.
thumb Example.png (Optional) A thumbnail image, to be used in the Main Page version in place of the actual image. This is used for animated GIFs, such as this one, so that only a single frame (you may have to create it) will appear on the Main Page (for bandwidth considerations).
imagelink Example.png (Optional) A destination page that people will get when they click on the thumbnail. This is useful for animated GIFs, or for when the Main Page file is a cropped version of the actual Featured Picture. If you set this, but don't set "thumb", it will be ignored.
thumbtime 5 (Optional) For video files, the default thumbnail generated may not be suitable for appearance on the Main Page. In those cases, you can select an alternate frame to use as the thumbnail by using this parameter (the value is in seconds, so "5" means "use the frame 5 seconds after the video starts").
size 300 (Optional) The image's size, without "px". Standard sizing:
  • Landscape orientation: 300 (the default, so this line may be omitted in these cases)
  • Portrait orientation: 250
  • Square (1:1 aspect ratio) or close enough: 275
  • Panorama: 500 or 550, depending on how tall it is (see also the "wide" parameter, below)
  • Really tall image: Use your best judgment. You may even have to crop the image to make it look good, such as in Template:POTD/2009-12-10 (see also the "tall" parameter, below)

These are the usual sizes, but you can always put something different if looks better.

rowsize 350 (Optional) The image's size in the "row" version (this appears on the Main Page). Standard sizing:
  • Landscape orientation: 350 (the default, so this line may be omitted in these cases)
  • Portrait orientation: 250
  • Square (1:1 aspect ratio) or close enough: 180
  • Panorama: 500 or 550, depending on how tall it is
  • Really tall image: As above, use your best judgment.

If this parameter is omitted, "rowsize" will be set to the same value as "size".

colsize 300 (Optional) The image's size in the "column" version (this appears on some of the Main Page alternatives and some user pages). Standard sizing:
  • Landscape orientation: 300 (the default, so this line may be omitted)
  • Portrait orientation: 250
  • Square (1:1 aspect ratio) or close enough: 275
  • Panorama: 400 – any wider than this, and layouts of those pages using this version will likely break (see also the "wide" parameter, below).
  • Really tall image: As above.

If this parameter is omitted, "colsize" will be set to the same value as "size".

wide (Optional) y This indicates that the image is very wide and should be displayed using {{wide image-noborder}}. This is best when the aspect ratio of the image is such that at 550px wide, the image ends up being too short (example). Omit if not needed.
tall (Optional) y This indicates that the image is very tall and should be displayed using {{tall image}}. Omit if not needed.
title [[Article name]] This serves as the wikilinked title for the "condensed" (no text) version. The article should be the one that is best represented by the image, but in some cases it may be too difficult. See this and this for examples of the latter.
alttext (Optional) Alternate text This serves as the alt attribute of the image. If this omitted, the "texttitle" parameter will be used.
texttitle Short description This is shown in the "row" version as the titles of the recently featured pictures. Often, this will be the same as the title parameter, but can also be a very short caption (try to limit as few words as possible) that is more descriptive of the image than the article title would be.
caption (see any existing PsOTD) The caption should be as specific as possible about the image itself. If there is not enough to fill the entire space, then you may take some text from the article. If there is not much to say about the image, try to get a part of the article that is illustrated by the image. The name of article (the same one you chose for the title parameter) should be in bold and wikilinked. Do not link to articles that do not exist (i.e., no red links on the Main Page).

How much should you write? The total amount of text, including the image credits, should stay within the top and bottom borders of the image. This means there will be a lot more room for portrait-oriented pictures than landscape-oriented ones. For panoramas, there is no set limit, but try not to be too wordy.

Examples:

Examples of bad POTD captions:

  • Euro symbol – this caption doesn't describe the image at all, but talks about euros and the euro symbol in general.
  • Child labor – this caption just talks about child labor in general. Contrast this with its second appearance as POTD.

You should also familiarize yourself with the existing Featured Pictures. If there is another image that covers the same topic/article, try to make the caption different than what was written for the previous FP.

credit (Optional) Photo: Jimbo Wales The credit for the image. If the image was a collaboration, add the name of everyone who worked on it. If it's a Wikipedian and they don't have a user page, link to their talk page instead. We usually do not have off-site links to photographers' web pages (on Flickr, for example). Even if the author is unknown, say so. This can be left out if the creator is called out within the blurb itself (example). Restoration credit should also be given when appropriate.

Protected version[edit]

The protected version is the one that will actually be transcluded onto the Main Page. Having two versions allows non-admins to make updates to the POTD caption while it's protected, but prevents vandalism from appearing on the Main Page. The protected version should be created about 48 hours before the POTD date. Its transclusion in Wikipedia:Main Page/Tomorrow means it will automatically be cascade-protected. It is created by replacing the first line of the template with {{subst:POTD row (note no closing braces).