Template talk:Infobox river

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WikiProject Rivers (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Rivers, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Rivers on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Standardising on one template[edit]

River Penk
River Penk upstream at Penkridge - geograph.org.uk - 1443825.jpg
The River Penk at Penkridge, with Penkridge Viaduct in the background.
Country England
County Staffordshire
 - left Moat Brook, Whiston Brook, Pothooks Brook, Rickerscote Drain
 - right Watershead Brook, Saredon Brook, Deepmoor Drain
Towns Anytown1, Anytown2, Anytown3
Source Perton, South Staffordshire
Mouth Confluence with the Sow
 - coordinates 52°48′12″N 2°04′55″W / 52.80333°N 2.08194°W / 52.80333; -2.08194
Length 36 km (22 mi)
Basin 356 km2 (137 sq mi)
Discharge for Penkridge
 - average 2.27 m3/s (80 cu ft/s)
Wikimedia Commons: River Penk
Progression : Penk—SowTrentHumberNorth Sea
River Penk upstream at Penkridge - geograph.org.uk - 1443825.jpg
The Penk at Penkridge, with Penkridge Viaduct in the background.
Country England
County Staffordshire
Physical characteristics
Main source Perton, South Staffordshire
River mouth Confluence with the Sow
52°48′12″N 2°04′55″W / 52.80333°N 2.08194°W / 52.80333; -2.08194
Length 36 km (22 mi)
  • Average rate:
    2.27 m3/s (80 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Progression SowTrentHumberNorth Sea
Basin size 356 km2 (137 sq mi)
  • Left:
    Moat Brook, Whiston Brook, Pothooks Brook, Rickerscote Drain
  • Right:
    Watershead Brook, Saredon Brook, Deepmoor Drain

Wherever possible, we should replace {{Geobox}} with a more specific template, such as this one, instead of {{Geobox|River}} (examples above; geobox first). Here's a sample conversion. How might we speed up, or automate, this prcess? What are the barriers to doing so completeley? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:28, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

As discussed elsewhere some time ago, there is a bot sweep currently in progress (by SporkBot) - see section above. Once that is done, it will be fairly easy to switch articles to use this template, as all the necessary fields of Geobox are now in Infobox River. Or if you like, you may wish to manually change articles for now, or request a separate bot task to change the uses of Geobox to this template. P.s. I have collapsed the infobox examples which you have provided, hope you dont mind. Regards, Rehman 14:47, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Until there is a way to present information in Infobox River in a way that is best-suited to the size and geographic extent of the river being described, I would strongly, strongly oppose a sweeping effort to switch from one infobox to another, especially an automated effort deployed just for the sake of switching, without regard for whether the change from one to the other constitutes an improvement to a given article. Looking at Sycamore Creek (Michigan), it appears to me that a switch from Geobox to Infobox River would wipe out the state, county, municipality, and township fields. It would also, illogically for a stream that flows through one U.S. state only, present to the reader first the location of the source (someplace in Michigan), then the location of the mouth (someplace in Michigan), and only THEN tell the reader that the stream's watershed is in the United States. Presenting "basin countries" AFTER the source and mouth information might make sense for large multi-country rivers, but most rivers aren't large. And the infobox's political jurisdiction options won't currently accommodate whichever levels of jurisdiction are most relevant to the size and geographical extent of the river being described, as the Geobox does. I think improvement of the information being communicated in an article ought to be the primary consideration when deciding, on a case-by-case basis, to switch from one infobox to another, and I don't think a switch to Infobox River in its current form would improve the Sycamore Creek (Michigan) article. In this case and many others, I think such a change would reduce the quality of the information provided to the reader. --TimK MSI (talk) 02:11, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@TimK MSI: In his reply above, User:Rehman says "all the necessary fields of Geobox are now in Infobox River". Are you saying that that is not the case? Otherwise, what changes would you say are needed to this template, to satisfy your concern? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:12, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I'm saying that all the necessary fields of Geobox are not in Infobox River, and I pointed to several examples above as a start. I'll also point out that in the River Penk example shown, the "Counties" field was stripped out in the change to Infobox River. --TimK MSI (talk) 12:39, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Strongly agree with TimK, a mass change from Infobox to Geobox is not supported by WP:INFOBOXUSE. The Geobox has the advantage of inbuilt conversions, and a degree of adaptability, note how Staffordshire appears as a County in the Geobox (adapted from region), and can’t be included in the Infobox at all. In the example given, it looks better as a Geobox, maybe we should convert the Infoboxes instead...Jokulhlaup (talk) 14:05, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
I think the Geobox version looks bloody awful. But neither view is grounds for a separate template. We should standardise on one, and reach consensus as to what features, and style it should use. If your arguments are persuasive, then the end result will be more articles using your preferences! Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:52, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Completely agree. Lets have a proper discussion/vote as soon as the current tasks are complete. Rehman 23:38, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi all. Together with the concern raised in the section immediately below, I went ahead and did the necessary corrections (as it doesn't impact the current ongoing bot task). The countries field at the bottom, and other key parameters not being where it should be was something that I overlooked when doing the template cleanup. Hope things are better now? Cheers, Rehman 13:45, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
@TimK MSI: Are you now satisfied that "all the necessary fields of Geobox are now in Infobox River"? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:05, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for asking, I'm away from my computer for a few days but I will investigate next week.--TimK MSI (talk) 12:11, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Hi TimK MSI. Just pinging you in case you find time to go through this again. :-) Rehman 01:41, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
It appears that User:TimK MSI, who has edited on five separate days (UTC) since your ping (and on around 30 days, since their last post here), has lost interest. I suggest we proceed. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:34, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I haven't lost interest, I've been busy with other matters, sorry. One issue that remains is that the infobox lacks The geobox expresses the place names and landform names for the source and mouth in multiple fields for both source and mouth, whereas the infobox crams all of this into one field each for source and mouth. (This is something that would need to be handled carefully in any programmatic transfer of data from geobox to infobox.) I think at a minimum, something like source_landform and mouth_waterbody fields should be added to the infobox, to allow editors to express things like mountain ranges and seas separately from political jurisdictions. (I know not all rivers end in a body of water, but I don't think it would be problematic to enter, say, a desert name in a mouth_waterbody field when necessary; alternatively the field could have a name like mouth_landform.) --TimK MSI (talk) 18:27, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
@Rehman: Is there any progress in addressing TimK MSI concerns? Keith D (talk) 01:08, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Hey Keith. It's been a very tough start of 2017 for me in RL, hence I apologise for loosing track of most things that were ongoing here. May I ask which points you're referring to in particular? I believe all earlier concerns were already sorted. As for the last paragraph by TimK, I believe such uses fits in the current template? Please correct me if I'm wrong TimK MSI. Cheers, Rehman 07:59, 4 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for reply, I was just looking at the last post by TimK MSI on 27 December 2016 that raised some concerns about missing "a dedicated field to accommodate the landforms and waterbodies at the source and the mouth." Keith D (talk) 11:44, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that was my concern. There is currently a single field each for source and mouth to accommodate very different data points-- political jurisdiction and landform/waterbody. The Geobox allows these to be split between separate fields (two for source and two for mouth, vs. the infobox having one for each -- the Mississippi River geobox illustrates this). I also think there could be some adjustments to the organization of information in the infobox (in the "organization suggestions" discussion below). Thanks--TimK MSI (talk) 12:01, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
@TimK MSI. I went ahead and added it. Is it better? Rehman 01:07, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Rehman -- yes. Thank you! --TimK MSI (talk) 13:43, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Hello Andy, Tim, and Keith. Do you believe everything is now in order, to deprecate the Geobox? Rehman 02:17, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

Works for me. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 09:56, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Go for it. Keith D (talk) 19:03, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
It's fine with me, though first I think it would be good to fully implement the organization suggestions below. Rehman reports in that section that it should be soon. --TimK MSI (talk) 22:01, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
That is resolved (commenting here too, in case this section is archived). There are approximately 15,600 articles that uses Geobox River template at the moment. I'm not too sure if it make sense to do such a large sweep. But then again, it is always better to get things done now, rather than later. Suggestions open... Rehman 09:30, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Whichever way it is done it needs a list of Geobox field against Infobox field names to enable the transformation to be done. I guess that a BOT would be best for that many articles as it would take a long time to manually convert them over. Keith D (talk) 20:30, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I have raised an RfC at the Rivers WikiProject to help find a consensus on this course of action...Jokulhlaup (talk) 17:26, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Format for specifying coordinates[edit]

See this RFC. basically, there is now a LUA module which can take a {{coord|XX|YY|ZZ|NS|AA|BB|CC|DD|EW}} as input and return the latitude and longitude from inside the template. since this is more compact than the method used by this template, the RFC proposes using this more compact method and deprecating the less compact form. Frietjes (talk) 12:12, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

What was the outcome of the RfC? Agathoclea (talk) 19:42, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Frietjes: I personally don't see any negative impact of using the compact form on this template... If that method is the new norm, would you be able to show the way forward from here? Is it as simple as a bot updating the instances in the articles? And if so, will we be able to simply insert a {{Coord}} into a simple parameter like |coordinates=? Sorry for the dumb question, I'm not too familiar with the way the coord template works... Cheers, Rehman 01:50, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
The outcome of the RFC was to replace all individual coordinate parameters with coordinates = {{coord}}. A bot can do the work for all or most infoboxes that use coordinates. See Wikipedia:Coordinates in infoboxes, which may look daunting, but you don't have to make the changes yourself. We will get to each infobox in due time. – Jonesey95 (talk) 06:36, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Rehman and Jonesey95, I have added alternative syntax, Category:Pages using infobox river with deprecated coordinates parameters for tracking, and updated the documentation. I decided to use a separate tracking category since the mouth_, source1_ syntax here is a bit different from the other infoboxes, and we may be able to get Plastikspork to help. I am sure he is going to be please since he just performed the opposite transformation for us a few months ago. Frietjes (talk) 15:08, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Frietjes, that's great. Do you think we can do the syntax update along with this? Rehman 15:23, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Rehman, if that bot can do the coordinate transformations, that would be great to combine the tasks. otherwise, we will need a second bot run. Frietjes (talk) 15:26, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
it looks like these have all been fixed, so I have updated the template syntax, but temporarily kept the tracking in there in case any new ones pop up. I have also added some checking for parameters without units in Category:Pages using infobox river without units after spotting a few problematic articles. for the elevation it's particularly bad since there is no label associated with the number either, so you just get a floating number with no context. Frietjes (talk) 15:12, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Organization suggestions[edit]

I think of a river's source and mouth as being characteristics of the river rather than the basin -- particularly in cases in which a river's source is expressed in the infobox as the confluence of two smaller streams. I think these changes would make sense:

  • Move the "main source" and "river mouth" fields to the top of the "physical characteristics" section
  • Move the "physical characteristics" section ahead of the "basin" section
  • Rename "main source" to "source" and "river mouth" to "mouth."

Agreements/disagreements? Thanks-- TimK MSI (talk) 18:46, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

I personally like your suggestions. I'm not too sure about the last point though, as the template supports multiple sources/mouths. Cheers, Rehman 22:53, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! In the case of rivers with multiple sources that were separately specified in the infobox, would it be undesirable/confusing to have the "Main source" field read "Source" instead, given that additional sources would be specified as "2nd source," "3rd source," etc.? Looking at the the definitions given in the "River source" article, I think "main source" implies the "the most distant headwater source (irrespective of stream name)." In practice, we often give the source in the infobox as a confluence of other streams, or the location of the farthest headwater assigned the same name (irrespective of distance from the river mouth). I think "source" is a better label than "main source" in these latter instances.
It's not clear to me from the documentation how one would add multiple mouths to the infobox. If it's possible to do so, I think it would be uncommon, and if it were to be labeled as a "secondary mouth" or "other mouth," I don't think it would be confusing if the current "river mouth" field were relabeled "mouth" for conciseness.
Thanks-- TimK MSI (talk) 17:22, 13 November 2016 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply, TimK MSI, RL has been quite tough for me lately. Yes, you are right, there should be no issue with your 3rd point well. I'd like to add further points as well, before we proceed with the change:
  • altitude_difference is used to state the alt. diff between the source and the mouth. Since the mouth is almost always at 0m above sea level, the alt-diff is almost always equal to source1_elevation. Maybe we should remove this? I added this sometime back, but now I'm wondering if that was a dumb move.
  • If the above is done, it leaves us with just five short labels under the "Basin" heading. I propose we merge that to the "Features" section below, and just label is as...well... "Basin features". Any comments?
Kind regards, Rehman 02:07, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Many rivers do not run to the sea (at least not directly) Rmhermen (talk) 06:23, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Apologies again for the delay. Regarding altitude_difference, I agree that most rivers don't run to the sea. But I guess I don't see the value of displaying a number that results from a simple subtraction calculation of two numbers already displayed in the infobox. Are there scientific (or other) circumstances in which people would use "difference between source elevation and mouth elevation" as a meaningful data point when comparing multiple rivers to one another? I think I've seen "fall per mile" or "fall per km" used as a meaningful data point, but not a simple altitude difference. --TimK MSI (talk) 18:40, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
On the separate matter of groupings of fields and what they should be labeled, I think "basin features" could work as suggested by User:Rehman. But I wonder if we could somehow follow the example of Template:Infobox settlement and eliminate the named banners altogether? Could we just have logical groupings separated by lines, instead of named banners? One issue I've noticed with the existing "features" section is that it is also the location of custom fields that can be used for things like GNIS and HUC identifiers. These don't really make sense in a section labeled "features." If the sections weren't labeled, the custom fields could just be in an unnamed rectangle of their own, as they are on the settlement infobox. --TimK MSI (talk) 18:52, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
@Rehman: Any thoughts on these suggestions? Thanks! --TimK MSI (talk) 12:00, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
TimK MSI: I have merged the sections for now. If I am correct, the no-header format is based on an entirely different way of writing the template. Either way, we can always do that in the days to come. For now, we have a "Basin Features" section! :) Let me know if you have any comments on the changes made. Cheers. Rehman 01:10, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Rehman: Thank you! I'd still like to see the source and mouth pulled out of the "basin features" section and moved to the top of the section that contains the river length, on the grounds that these fields (source and mouth) are most applicable to the river, rather than its basin. And I'd like to see that section moved ahead of the "basin features" section -- the logic being, first we're describing the river: its jurisdictions, where it starts and ends, its length and size. Then we're describing the basin. Does that make sense?/sound good?/sound bad? --TimK MSI (talk) 13:41, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it makes sense. Will start working on it. Cheers, Rehman 23:54, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Apologies for the long delay, TimK MSI (I forgot about it). I'll be doing this soon, as there were no objections to it. Rehman 02:31, 1 October 2017 (UTC)

This is done, TimK MSI. Is it better now? Rehman 22:59, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
Rehman, thanks!, I'm still waiting for the changes to slowly be implemented across more articles to fully assess. But it looks like the length/source/mouth all got moved to the top section? I was thinking the change would result in a "Physical characteristics" section containing Source, Mouth, Length, Width, Depth, Discharge, in that order. (As it stands now, "Physical characteristics" has gotten pretty slim and contains mostly little-used fields, and the top section is a bit overcrowded with frequently-used fields.) I'm sorry I wasn't clearer! By using your edit as a guide I *think* I could manage to make changes to that effect, if necessary. Thanks-- TimK MSI (talk) 21:01, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
No worries. I went ahead and changed again. Is this better? Rehman 03:27, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thank you! --TimK MSI (talk) 09:23, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Deprecation of basin_countries[edit]

There is a consensus to replace instances of {{{basin_countries}}} with {{{subdivision_name1}}} and to deprecate {{{basin_countries}}} and track it with Category:Pages using infobox river with "basin countries" parameter.

Three editors supported the change: Zackmann08, Rehman, and TimK MSI.

Three editors had "no opinion" or "no comment": Jonesey95, JJMC89, and Frietjes.

Frietjes noted that a bot has been approved for this task at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/SporkBot 7.

Cunard (talk) 05:23, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I am looking at cleaning up this infobox. I was going to replace instances of {{{basin_countries}}} with {{{subdivision_name1}}}. The param is deprecated and tracked with Category:Pages using infobox river with "basin countries" parameter. Just wanted to make sure there were no objections. Any thoughts, including statements of support? --Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 03:47, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

For anyone interested, the related bot request is at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/ZackBot 4. Rehman 06:44, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
@JJMC89, Jonesey95, Frietjes, TimK MSI, Rehman, Jakec, Tagishsimon, Plastikspork, Mr. Stradivarius, and Pigsonthewing: You've all contributed to this template. Would love some input. The WP:BRFA has stalled because while this parameter has been deprecated, there has not been a clear discussion reaching a consensus to replace {{{basin_countries}}} with {{{subdivision_name1}}}. --Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 16:54, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, as stated on the BRFA earlier. Rehman 23:24, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • No opinion. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:40, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • No comment – I only edited the template as part of my work on migrating infobox coordinates. — JJMC89(T·C) 17:49, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Support the replacement. Thanks --TimK MSI (talk) 23:17, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  • no opinion, but it would seem as though we already have a bot approved for this task here, so we could have Plastikspork do it, if he is available. Frietjes (talk) 15:43, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Plastikspork (talk · contribs) is this something that you could do? It appears to have been hanging around since January. Keith D (talk) 21:25, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Location map[edit]

I imported the location map feature from {{infobox settlement}}, so this works. this should help simplify the maps that Aymatth2 has been adding to river articles. please let me know if there are any problems. Frietjes (talk) 16:19, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

That is a big improvement. Even with a basic stub like Vermelho River (São Lourenço River) we should at least know the mouth coordinates. A map makes the stub much more informative, and |pushpin_map= ... |mouth_coordinates= {{coord ... parameters make the river template more like other location-type templates. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:03, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Lots of rivers with images on Wikidata, but not in the infobox[edit]

Hey all. I wanted to suggest that for at least the images in the infobox, that they should default to Wikidata described images, unless a locally designated image is superceded in the template. There are a lot of Rivers in the category Category:No_local_image_but_image_on_Wikidata, many of which are in non-English dominate countries -- so its likely a case, where the image has been updated by someone locally familiar with the item on Wikidata, or who has updated their local-language Wikipedia, but hasn't updated English. {{Infobox_telescope}} and a number of infoboxes draw on Wikidata either in part or in whole. I am not suggesting that we should overhaul the whole template (I am not very familiar with the quality of the data elsewhere in Wikidata for rivers, and assume that for right now its better to keep it referenced and updated here), but rather just the images and/or the Commons Categories. Sadads (talk) 03:27, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Support - no harm in piping images. -- Pankaj Jain Capankajsmilyo (talk · contribs · count) 03:30, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there can be lots of harm in piping to an obscure, off-site, and possibly underwatched depository. Taking Rhine for an example, at one point a bot decided that the best defining image of the Rhine River was a German-language map. After a number of months a person changed the map to a map parameter and a few days later another person decided that a panorama (which cut off the river in the center of the image) was "the best". Neither of those would be appropriate to use in the infobox of our English-language Wikipedia. And if I notice the image is wrong in our article, I can't click edit and change it. I have to notice a separate "edit at Wikidata" line in the infobox and go to that website to make the change - and hope that no other language community disagrees with my change. How Wikidata's policy handles different language wikis conflicting local policies and rules I don't know. Rmhermen (talk) 04:50, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
    @Rmherman: I have been editing Wikidata off and on for the past year or so: in my experience the ratio of image errors is about as high as our existing pages on EnWiki. What I am suggesting is adding images if and only if we don't have an image identified on EnWiki's infobox already. We can include a variable which turns off the Wikidata usage (as [[tl|Infobox telescope}} does). Wikidata (see the stats) has a similar size community to Commons (see the stats), yet we are trusting the Commons community to review and ensure that the copyright and description of media files is accurate. I am not sure that we can describe it as "obscure" or "underwatched". By placing very clear documentation for the template, this could be a good light-weight way for more folks to gain experience from Wikidata (and if we find errors, we help fix them for smaller Wikipedia's with less ability to patrol/curate their content). Sadads (talk) 13:37, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per nom, and Sadads comment. Rehman 02:35, 1 October 2017 (UTC)