User talk:Grutness/One street per 50,000 people

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Welcome to the discussion

The above was stolen borrowed from Wikipedia talk:Using Wikipedia to gain legitimacy

Acknowledgement: Though User:Grutness was the primary editor of this article, the essay is a collaboration between him and User:BL_Lacertae, discussed at length via email and in person prior to the writing of the essay.

This can't be right...[edit]

Should a city with a population of a million have twenty articles on its streets? That'd warrant around 1200 UK street articles, which is much more than I'm guessing we have...--h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 11:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Your calculations are right, but only if everyone in the UK lives in cities or towns of over 50,000 people. A lot of people live in far smaller places than that. Cornwall, for instance, has half a million people but no towns with more than 30,000 people, so it doesn't warrant any articles on streets on that pasis, not the ten that it would if the overall population of the county was included.
Take Scotland as a bigger example. 5.1 million people = 102 streets. But break it down - Glasgow 35 streets, Edinburgh 10 streets, Aberdeen 5 streets, and nowhere else with more than two. In all, there would be only 60 streets for Scotland, not 102. Expand that over the whole of the UK, and you're looking at about 700 streets, not 1200. Also, it's a rule of thumb to stop people writing about their own street, not a hard and fast rule. If anm Aberdonian stops and thinks "is this street in the 5 most important in Aberdeen?", they're more likely to reconsider whether it's worth writing about.
BTW, just by way of comparison with this estimate, we currently have about 550 categorised articles on urban streets in the UK. Saying that there are another 150 or so that we don't have articles on sounds about right to me. Grutness...wha? 00:23, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I could tell you which streets in Aberdeen were most important, from personal experience...-h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 18:34, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
A lucky coincidence :) So... does five main streets plus any others that are intrinsically notable seem a reasonable number for Aberdeen? Grutness...wha? 00:56, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. I'd say the four most important streets in Aberdeen would be Union Street, Aberdeen, Holburn Street, George Street, Aberdeen, King Street, Aberdeen, but only one of those has articles.-h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 15:03, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, look at it this way - if someone wrote an article on King Street, say, it wouldn't be out of place on Wikipedia, and would probably easily survive AFD - and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see articles on all of the streets you mention being created and being allowed to stay here. But streets much smaller would be much more likely to have articles deleted. Similarly, the city where I live (Dunedin, New Zealand) has three articles on streets, which seems just about the right number for a city of 125,000. Any more than that probably wouldn't survive AFDing. Grutness...wha? 23:06, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


Wouldn't it make more sense if the title were "One street per 50,000 people?" A.Z. 03:55, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

That's a very good point - I'll move it accordingly! Grutness...wha? 00:16, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Why 50,000?[edit]

I'm just curious as to why 50,000 is the number chosen. Why not 10,000 or 100,000? Is 50,000 the median size of an urban locality or something? --Polaron | Talk 15:00, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

An arbitrary decision on my part :) Certainly there'd be nothing wrong with reassessing it with Wikipedia's growth at some point (I'm a Incrementalist), but it was largely due to my own location. Here in New Zealand, 50,000 people is seen as an approximate cutoff for a major provincial centre - it's easy to name everywhere with 100,000 people, impossible for non-experts to name everywhere over 25,000 without looking it up - 50,000 falls into that point where you could theoretically name the lot, but couldn't guarantee you hadn't missed one. It was also partly chosen because the 120,000 city I live in has three streets with articles here, and that seemed to be a reasonable number for its size. Comparing that with the populations of other cities around the world it makes some sense as a size threshold, too: I can well imagine there being 30 or so streets worth mentioning in Glasgow, for instance (with 10,000 it would be 150 streets, surely far too many, and with 100,000 it woud be only 15, probably too few), or eight in Des Moines (rather than 40 or four). Grutness...wha? 23:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
You're right, Grutness. And here's the definition, as per Statistics New Zealand: "A city is a territorial authority which is a distinct entity, is predominately urban in character, and which must have a minimum population of 50,000 and a major centre of activity within its parent region."[1] kabl00ey 16:17, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Whats the big problem?[edit]

If people want to write about relatively trivial affairs, why stop them? I cant imagine the strain on the servers are the limiting factor but peoples concern of the maintenance of standards. I have faith that people wont write total crap and so any additional information would be a benefit.Chendy 17:50, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Speaking as someone who has been around here a few years and actively involved in the deletion process pages for over two of those years, your faith, though touching, is completely unfounded. You'd be amazed at the crap people write about totally trivial items and totally trivial places. The reason this page was started was in response to the very high proportion of articles beeing nominated for deletion at WP:AFD that were non-notable streets - almost all of which are regularly deleted. As WP's official policy states, Wikipedia is not a directory. Grutness...wha? 23:40, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Bias towards populous countries[edit]

If this were to be followed, wouldn't most street articles be about Chinese, Indian and U.S. streets giving a raw deal to the streets that happen to be in other countries? :-) -- Paddu 08:42, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Yes and no :) Yes, there will be more streets about places with big populations, that is true, but it's arguable that that should be the case anyway. But since this is for streets "not inherently notable due to some specific historical, geographical, or other quirk", it might actually favour the places with small populations. I think it's more likely to reduce the number of articles on insignificant streets in populous countries more than it is limit the number for tiny countries, simply because the streets from those places are more likely to be notable in other ways. For example "the main street of Liechtenstein's oldest city" would already be mentioned in terms of its notability, despite the fact that that city probably only has a few thousand people, but people in larger centres might be more likely to think twice about putting in streets that might otherwise have articles. Grutness...wha? 05:40, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Disagree - because of numbers[edit]

I disagree with this standard per WP:BIG. Numbers are not what decides whether or not something is notable. Notability is not about how many (or few) Google hits something has, how popular something is, how famous or well-known something is, etc.

If a guideline like this were to come into effect, you could say there could only be an article about X number of people per city, town, or out of so many within the world's population. The same could be applied to anything else thereafter. This just won't work. Sebwite (talk) 18:40, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

That would all be true if it wasn't for one thing - the separate notability criterion built into this essay. A city with 100,000 people may have a dozen or more strrets that are truly notable in their own right - in which case each of them should auutomatically pass the notability criteria for separate articles. This essay refers only to those streets which are notable only as being major streets in an urban area. Thus, taking the city I live in as an example, there are articles on five streets. Two of them are notable in their own right, and would be irrespective of the size of the city. The other three aren't notable intrinsically, other than being the main three streets in a city of 150,000 people, but as such they would qualify by this guideline. The analogy to people within a city doesn't hold up - people have to be notable in their own right to have articles, but if tghey aree there is no limitation to the number who may have articles. You can't simply write an essay on someone because they come from a large city. The same is true with many other things in a city. Grutness...wha? 02:03, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Impractical and improper[edit]

  • This essay does not conform to the general notability guideline: WP:NOTABILITY. And by proposing an absolute and prescriptive numerical rule, it contravenes our official policies WP:NOTLAW and WP:BURO. Furthermore, it is quite impractical since there is no sensible method of deciding upon the areas to be measured. Nor, if one were able to measure the quantities required - the population and the corresponding streets, would there be any practical way of deciding which streets should bear the burden of this rule. In summary, this proposal is improper and impractical. Colonel Warden (talk) 22:34, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Oh, I agree entirely that if this were a proposal it would be a poor one - and if it were as proposal it would be voted down for just those reasons. But it isn't a proposal - it's an essay. As such, it's an opinion piece on how I - and the other users who have edited or used it - regard articles on streets. It makes it quite clear in the text that it is a rule of thumb. At no point does it suggest that it is a proposal. Grutness...wha? 00:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
      • I think way too many people that read this are missing the point. The problem with satire is that occasionally people are too dense to recognize it as being such. Grutness never suggests that this is anything except a statement about a certain facet of Wikipedia with a dose of humor and irony mixed in for fun. Trusilver 04:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)