Category talk:Ships

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Improvements to categorization scheme[edit]

Having seen a painful but productive reorganization of the English Wikipedia ship categories result in a format which is consistent and easily used by people there, and which now results in very few problems for people categorizing items, or for people having to add new categories, I would like to see similar improvements here on the Commons side. Since Commons categories are to be in English per guidelines, it would make sense that many of the improvements on the Wikipedia side would be equally useful on the Commons side. Certain items improved include:

  • 'By country' categories: Eliminating country adjectives and replacing them with noun form references improved clarity drastically. It eliminated arguments about United States vs. American, etc. and made organization of 'by country' categories much cleaner and easier to maintain and find information. By country ship categories are now to be exclusively 'ships of foo' and not 'fooian ships'. It works much better now. - Josh.
Sounds good. One additional item on this note. What do you do with the Soviet navy? Is it a subpart of the Russian navy, with CIS being the present, and Czarist russia being the oldest? Although Soviet Union was also the navy of Ukraine, and so it a bit unfair to call it russian when it was also ukranian, that is just as true of Czarist russia as it was of Soviet Union because they also controlled areas that are now Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc. I vote for making them a subcat of Russian Navy (Or Navy of Russia under your proposal)-Mak.
'Soviet Union' should have its own tree distinct from the 'Russia' tree, but with elements sub-catted to Russian cats. See below for more... Josh 03:03, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 'By type' categories: 'Ships' is not assumed to be 'civilian' or 'naval', but understood to include both. Thus both 'naval ships' and other types of ships are sub-categories of 'ships'. Currently in the commons, the header for 'ships' says it is specifically for civilian ships and that military ships belong under 'naval ships', but yet, 'naval ships' is a sub-cat of 'ships'. Not entirely logical. I agree with 'naval ships' as a sub-cat of 'ships', but 'ships' can not therefore remain solely 'civil'. this is especially true since the reality is that the majority of articles and pictures are of naval ships. Major types ('naval ships'; 'merchant ships'; 'passenger ships'; etc.) should be at the 'ships' level. Additionally, WP uses 'ships by type' as a flat category for all ship types to be listed equally. This allows someone looking for barques for example to find them without having to know that they are sailing ships first. Additionally, there are no hard and fast rules as to what belongs in which category. In fact it is prefered that an item be categorized individually in any applicable categories instead of trying to define rules for what are often subjective names. Thus Nanuchkas could be categorized as corvettes and as missile boats, since they are a grey area. Likewise, French large frigates can quite rightly be listed both under destroyers (what they are recognized as by most of the world) as well as frigates (their official French designation).
I agree. This is long needed for a number of vehicles. EG- where do you put AN-127 Condor. It is a fricking cargo plane. OK it is used for military, but it is used for civilian too. Why list it in both. -Mak.
Barges are mostly much smaller than sea going vessels but not less important. As an owner of a small Dutch barge, the Stella Maris, I was interested in categorising the barges and I did a lot of work without realising the existence of this scheme. Barges are categorised as merchant ships, in my opinion that is not correct. In the old times merchants used ships to sell their stuff indeed, but in modern times that is no longer the case. Barges are operated by barge operating companies and especially in the Netherlands a few thousand barges are used as houseboats. My suggestions are: Barges in category Ships by type, and River ships. River ships themselves classify besides barges all other river ships too. In the category Barges to categorise Barges by country, Traditional barges, Péniches (found in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany) and Towing with horses. It might be a suggestion to split Passenger ships and ceate an extra category River passenger ships, category River ships. River ferries are already a split of Ferries, als well as Cable ferries.--Stunteltje (talk) 10:33, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Seperation of 'operator' categories: One of the early confusions was between 'Category:Fooian Navy ships' and 'Category:Naval ships of Foo'. Often people would think these to be duplicates. However this is not the case. 'Naval ships of foo' is a 'by type' category, with 'naval ships' being the type. On the other hand 'Fooian Navy ships' is an 'operator' category, with 'Fooian Navy' being the proper name of the operator. For example, 'Naval ships of the United States' is NOT the same as 'United States Navy ships'. The first includes Coast Guard and Army vessels, as 'naval ships' globally refers to all military vessels. The later refers very specifically to those ships commissioned by the United States Navy. In the end, it was determined that all nations should have a 'naval ships of foo' category, and then on a case-by-case basis, 'Fooian Navy ships' categories could be created where appropriate. But if only one was to exist, it would be 'naval ships of foo'.
  • Clarification of class categories: 'By class' is a valuable search method to find ship information for some researchers. A lot of times, it is debated to close a class category because there are only two or three ships in it. However, it has generally been agreed that class categories are most useful when they are universal. Also, class categories should be categorized by their broad characteristics. Specific ships which deviate can be individually categorized (most common when a few of a class are transferred to antoher country or some such).
There are a lot of abstractions that people strongly hold for very good reasons. What's battleship? According the the en: article, we should be thinking of Ships of the line as Battleships. Ok whatever. Most people will look at an image of Lord Nelson's "Battleship" and say Huh? Ok. So how about Cruisers. In the 19th century, an Ironclad gunboat larger than a frigate but not powerful enough for fleet battle actions was a cruiser. And how about Destroyer? They were first torpedo boat destroyers, in WWI and II more known for their antisub duties. These class categories are useful but far from exact. It's not as useless as Tank designations of Heavy vs. light tank (what was a heavy at the beginning of WWII was a light by the end). But current destroyers are equivalent in tonnage to heavy cruisers of WWII. As far as roles go, they can annihilate an entire city with a nuke tipped missile- a single destroyer superior in firepower to all WWII fleets combined. -Mak 21:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
That's why I don't think we should have strict or arbitrary rules on what is or isn't supposed to be in a type category. If a ship is recognized as a particular type, either during its time, by today's standards, or by some official proclamation, then it is warranted to cat it as such. Rationales and uses for various names can be discussed in an article. Josh 03:03, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 'By era' categories: Instead of a cumbersome decade-based chronological classification, a broader era-based categorization has been implemented. This eliminated the stupidity of ships being listed arbitrarily in decades in which they weren't most notable in. Decade-based categories are cumbersome, arbitrary, and ultimately difficult to accurately maintain. First, by what year do you go? Launch date? Commissioning? Decommissioning? Date of most famous event in its career? The last is the hardest ot nail down, but yet probably is the most useful. However, it has to be consistent to be useful. Not all ships have known dates anyway. It is much better to do these kinds of things with lists. If perfectly implemented, it can work, but reality is that it doesn't. Most editors aren't aware of how the system works since it is not intuitive (except to those who either created or have learned it) and so will either avoid using it or misfile their items within it. -Josh
I go by comission date. It doesn't matter when they were started. Hulls started as battleships were finished as carriers. Some of the post dreadnoughts were redesigned several times due to funding problems and the rapid changes in technology and took near a decade to finish. Even commission date is arbitrary. Take a look at the variations of USS Texas (BB-35) She is launched as a Great white fleet ship, but look at her during WWII. Very different technology after the 1917 refit. Coal furnaces gone in favor of oil, dreadnought like secondary guns gone, lattice towers gone, etc. etc. Are they two different ships? What period does it belong to? I say stick with commission date. It is true that it is misleading, but abstract classes will have even further disagreement. Even simple classifications can have controversies. (eg- what Is Admiral Hipper a battleship "pocket battleship" accordign to the UK, or an armored cruiser? -Mak.
You'd think less defined categories would have such arguments, but I've seen a lot less in the ships cats on WP which are era based versus the year-based aircraft categories. By allowing a little looseness, people can put an item where it really belongs or makes sense without worrying about breaking some technicality or arbitrary line that doesn't give a good sense of where the ship had a real impact or role. If looking for a ship by launch or commissioning, there are tools such as lists that do a better job. To answer your specifics, Texas should be listed under WWI and WWII categories...listing by her launch/commission dates misses both of those. Details on a ship's progression and career are items for discussion within an article, not for categories to try and sort out. I think you are thinking about the Deutschlands, not the Hippers, but the point is that they should be both under battleship and cruiser, as both are appropriate. Pocket Battleship is widely enough known, but in reality they were heavy cruisers (their official designation after a mid-war revision). Categorizing them in both trees removes the problem though. Josh 03:03, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Commons ship categories are currently smaller than the WP counterparts, but that makes it a good time to do some of this reorganization. I know many are resistant to change, but the changes have helped me a lot as an editor and helped cut down on maintenance for the ships categories, as well as cut down on the number of arguments over where to put things. I look forward to any points that folks have, and I highly recommend giving these points serious thought.

Thanks! Josh 04:58, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

I support rationalization of the category structures. There are a lot of ad hoc categories that went nowhere and could be tidied. I don't really care about the details so much as I care that people can understand what the structure looks like so that they can use it without being a subject matter expert or be required to understand esoteric distinctions. If it takes more than 30 seconds in an emergency to figure out the interface to something- it is probably wrong. So if people have to be reading a lot of theory to understand the category hierarchy, then there is something wrong. I understand about exactness and precision, but you know, the further you go out on the exactness spectrum of choices, the more esoteric you get, and the less people are able to make use of the organization scheme.

Let's not lose sight of the main purpose of the categorization structure is to help people find things. -Mak 21:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I fully agree. Putting a lot of thought into something is good, but the end result should be very clean. Ideally, the system is so natural that most people can use it without a second thought. Josh 02:25, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Just a couple notes - I think the "decade categories" tend to be more problematic than "era categories" because they offer a false precision; a launch of 12/31/09 is "different" from "1/1/10". Also, launch dates are generally better than commission dates, because they are well-defined, apply to both civ and naval, and there is (usually) only one per ship. Finally, my ideal is that the commons categories mirror the WP categories as closely as possible (presumably they are consistent across WP languages, ahem), and interwiki'ed, but that one can conveniently jump back and forth between the WPs and commons. Stan Shebs 23:56, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I think your thoughts about 'decade' categories are the same as mine. WP does not use them for ships but do for aircraft. There is little problem with chronological ship listings and the aircraft listings are more problematic. Thus, I agree that 'decade' based categories are not preferrable. Josh 02:25, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
  1. What are the definitions of World War II ships? Korean War era ships? Cold war Era ships? Vietnam Era Ships? In WP, those are listed as "eras" for ships rather than "participated in a conflict" designations as they are on commons. Is USS Iowa a member of all 4 "eras"? Come now.
  2. What is the purpose of creating ambiguity between "participated in conflict" versus "cutting edge technology at the time of this conflict". There is a huge huge difference between the two, but the same name is being used for both.
  3. Cusps. Don't like the cusp of a ship getting launch one month before the changing of a decade? Well get a load of the navies of WWI. All navies had wooden ships flying sails. WWI era? Well no. WWI event yes. Seems to me you are just exchanging one set of ambiguities for another.
  4. Look at the WP definition for German WWI battleships: "World War I battleships of Germany include all battleships designed, built, or operated in Germany during the World War I era (approximately 1900 to 1919)." Well, you have gotten rid of cusps, because something could be built earlier, just so long as it was operated. But retro ships built late in the period you can still pull in because you can claim it because it was "designed" in your "era". Seems to me you are exchanging ambiguity for fuzzier ambiguity.
  5. How about the ambiguities between mismatched navies? The Spanish American war was fought between a fairly up to date fleet and one that was obsolescent. Both Victorian era/ Span-Am era ships. The technologies were different eras. The commission/float date captures this, the fuzzy "era" does not.
    But the Victorian era was an era of the British empire so that category would exclude spanish ships, since Spain was never a part of that empire. -- 07:31, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
    I think the semantics that Josh was intending was that it apply worldwide. Your interpretation is valid, and if it is confusing, then this is evidence that the proposal does not meet the goal that "most people can use it without a second thought". Whereas it is minorly unclear what a "1870s ship" is, it is majorly unclear about the application of these broad "eras' in which a ship can belong to multiple eras as the victorian and korean war eras. -Mak 17:00, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
  6. If the metric is "most people can use it without a second thought", then how do we explain to folks that a ship built in the 19th century that served in the US Navy during the Korean War is "Korean war era", although it is clearly late Victorian era technology? en:USS Kearsarge (BB-5) served as a crane ship up until 1955. Ok, if this is an easily understood scheme, then USS Cumberland is Victorian Era, but so is USS Maine.
    USS CumberlandThese are 'Victorian era'USS Maine
  7. I challenge the premise that this is an either or. What is the basis for ship/commission date being mutually exclusive of "era"s as largely associated with particular miliary struggles?
  8. French Wiki has a robust set of ship classifications by decade, are we going to break all their inbound links to commons decade categories?
  • I propose we keep Ship/Commission date classfication but make the definition clear.
  • As for technology, it is a continuous spectrum. Choosing reference points by conflict is one way, but conflates two meanings- if it is technology, then be clear about it. Steam/ coal/ Diesel. fixed gun ports, swing secondaries, cheesbox turrets, Tomohawks... Sail, Paddle, screw? Oak, Ironclad, Steel Armor.
Technology should have nothing to do with the chronological categorization of an item. Chronology should be determined only by period should be based on whether that vessel was operated during that period. It is meaningful for understanding of the ships of WWII for example to see the entire spectrum of technology from obsolete vessels pressed into emergency service to the latest designs produced near the end of the war. Josh 05:52, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I propose we keep the "participated in conflict" designation with the current meaning dominant in commons now, and not add a meaning / confuse with some abstract "era" notion. The french may not like it, but the Clemenceau looks like a WWII era carrier to me, not one built for the naval jet aviation era.
-Mak 06:19, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Too much back-and-forth for me to keep straight, so I'll philosophize instead. One of the reasons to follow the WPs' systems is so that we don't have to spend time here arguing the same points over and over. Categorization is necessarily going to be imperfect in all kinds of ways, and I don't see it getting solved here by the small number of people editing commons. If WPs have incongruent category schemes, commons should probably adopt the union if there is no plan for the WPs to rework their schemes. The category pages should include notes on these situations, so en: readers can see that a cat exists because of fr:, or vice versa. Right we have so many orphaned images that hundreds of WP articles are going unillustrated or are using dups and copyvios because nobody knows that commons has the free images. Does anybody really think that deciding whether some sailing vessel is "WWI-era" or not is going to do that much to get images used in articles? Stan Shebs 19:49, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Excellent point! I only decided to bring this up as a follow up to the process happening on WP. It has settled down there now and the formula is pretty stable as of this point. I do think that things such as the decade-based cats should probably not be removed if there are WPs using that strategy, but I think it is best to adopt the en:WP strategy as the primary method. Josh 05:52, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
What process? I see the one 1940s ships category nominated for deletion. I saw no discussion or agreement on removal of categories that indicate ship/commission date. Until I hear some rebuttal of the points I made, I am unconvinced that the existing system of well populated decade categories is flawed. The era suggestion may be of use so long as users aren't confused about the definitions- which they will now be. For example- how many users are going to know that WWI ships do not mean ships that participated in WWI, but ships that were operated, built or designed in the period 1900-1919. That's not the most intuitive expectation for a novice. So what are you building this category scheme for- people that use the categories to find information, or subject matter experts who ruminate endlessly on conceptual correctness? -Mak 16:23, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
The reason you don't see it is because it has been pretty well settled down at this point. If you want to review the various discussions on these matters in detail, see the archives from October through about March, during which most of these happened. Josh 22:39, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Reference please? The history on the en:Category_talk:Ships only goes back to june and there are no archives listed for it. -Mak 02:59, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Try en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Ships, better for discussion on a larger scale than a single category. Stan Shebs 00:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer, but I looked there and in the archive (en:Talk:WikiProject_Ships/Archive01 and found only a few isolated comments about decade scheme- certainly with no vote or concensus on the subject. Again, I see no process on WP that agreed to doing away with the decade float/ship scheme method of giving temporal reference points. It has been presented as if there was some sort of precedent here. The only precedent I see is of support- a very richly populated scheme on the French wikipedia. Again- I just don't see the case for Either - Or on this.
Anyone care to take a stab at some of the pathological cases that the proposed era scheme creates EG. Cumberland wood square rigger and pre-dreadnaughts in the same era, USS Texas listed in Victorian era as well as Korean war era. -Mak 01:20, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm really not interested in discussing "pathological cases", I have better things to do with my life. Follow the WPs' lead, fr: if it's so much better than en:. Be sure the explanations make sense (if only "doing what fr: does) so future editors will follow your scheme rather than undo it. Stan Shebs 14:52, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Mak, I agree that the decade scheme should not be eliminated, because it is in use on FR. Commons is supposed to support the other wikis. Josh 13:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Hey, if the pathological cases were rare, then sure, it is pointless to discuss them. Take the victorian subissue for example. A large number of the Victorian era tagged ships would be pathological because you will have civil war vintage wood hull square riggers grouped with all steel turretted battleships. I pointed out that subgroups are problematic for that era.
Ok, that is just the victorian subissue. You think the long lives and ridiculous number of memberships in multiple eras of USS Texas and USS Iowa are rare? Consider the common practice of selling obsolete ships to third world countries. Is General Belgrano a "Falklands War" era ship that was sunk by a nuclear attack sub, also a "Falklands War" era ship? Like I said, if this were rare, then it would be pointless to discuss it, but these pathological cases are endemic to the proposed system. I am not opposed to associating ships with conflicts. That is pretty crisply defined. But the notion that this system so much more conceptually powerful that it is the only temporal feature we should force everyone to use just seems a little preposterous.
As for the suggestion that folks use the established french decade classification system on commons if they think it works, well- people have done just that. Those categories are already well populated here.
By the way, this system of classification by temporal units like decades or centuries is broadly used across diverse disciplines despite the cusp issue. Outside of the military subject matter area, consider paintings or sculptures by century for example. Anyway, if anyone has some rebuttals to the points I made, let's hear them.
As it stands, this proposal to do away with the decade system is unsupported by argument or precedent.-Mak 16:26, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Chronological classification, whether by era or year, is not concerned with technological differentiation. It is true for every era that a wide range of technology is covered, and some is quite out of place technologically. However, if a particular ship played a role in a particular era, then it belongs listed within it, and if it is technologically anachronous to the other vessels of the period, this is even more reason to include it, as that fact may prove informative to someone studying ships of the period.
I agree that the decade system should not be eliminated, but not because it is unsupported by argument or precedent. It was pointed out that a major wiki (FR) uses the system in their categorization and arbitrarily zapping it in Commons would make it more difficult for fr users and editors to find media. However, this is the same reason I strongly would like to see the era system adopted, since it is the only chronological categorization of the English wiki, and the same argument applies.
If you are concerned about the breadth of a 'era', remember you can always sub-cat chronologically to adress a specific sub-era or conflict for more definition whenever you think it is appropriate. For technological definition however, please don't look to chronology to do that for you. Even yearly cats will have the same 'pathological' cases you are worried about, as many times ships of vastly different technological levels have been under construction simultaneously. If you are looking for a specific technology, then the cats under 'ships by type' are more appropriate than chronological cats for defining that. Josh 13:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
ps: By the way, if you're looking for the discussions on WP, most of them are in the archives of en:Wikipedia:Categories for deletion, not en:Category:Ships talk pages. Josh 13:24, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I have modified Commons:Category scheme ships to reflect the discussion here regarding retaining a 'by year' scheme. Josh 13:38, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

By Decade category- Keel laying date, float date or first Commission date?[edit]

The Decade scheme eg. [1910s ships] has been retained. The question now turns to which date to use. Whichever way we choose, any scheme will bear the generic problem with any specific date (cusp issue December 1899 date misleading readers). My vote has been for First commission date because the time to build some of the important vessels was quite extended during which rapid advances took place, and the date should reflect the important technology the vessel possessed. Most often (though certainly not always) this technology had to do with the final portions added rather than aspects of the hull. So my vote is to follow the practice with decade aircraft- When they first came into service (first deliveries were taken) rather than when first prototypes were flown. I will take a look at the guidance if any on the french site (since they use the ship decade scheme) and report back. -Mak 17:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

The french use Commission date (date entering service) according to fr:Catégorie:Bateau par époque, utilizing "la date de mise en service", however they do add that this rule isn't enforced in an exacting fashion. Hence, the Historic Russian cruiser Aurora, laid down in 1896, is commissioned in 1903, and so is "Bateau des années 1900".

So I am even more of the opinion that first entry into service (Commission date) is the best definition for assigning cats. I'm ok with the french scheme which seems to allow for fudging cusp ships that are properly in the former or latter decade. If no arguments to the contrary or modification of the principle then I'll add it to the scheme. -Mak 03:18, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Ships by Name[edit]

What do people think of a category:Ships by name? Same rules as other "by name" categories like Category:People by alphabet- no images, only articles and category pages devoted to a specfic ship- no general subcats like Sailboat names or Ships named Enterprise.

The english and Japanese WPs have it somewhat, and the French have a richly produced and largely consistent one. fr:Catégorie:Nom de bateau.

Or should this sort of thing be a list? -Mak 07:08, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

By name is not so usefull. You can always find a ship by name via Google. I assumed it was more of interest what happened with a ship, so I created a new Category:Ships by IMO number and there you'll find all information. See e.g. Category:IMO 7126322 of for the Dutch Category:IMO 5328512. It is a hell of a job to put all ships in an IMO category, so I will be very glad with some assistance, e.g. when a ship gets a recat. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:04, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

By countries[edit]

Bidding fond farewell to German submarines, US Navy aircraft carriers, and japanese battleships. Today we are for the most part in line with the wiki scheme of ShipType of CountryName pattern.

BTW- That was a heck of a lot of individual edits.

-Mak 06:27, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

As I was doing the conversion, I noticed a problem with the "by country" subcat. For example with the Category:Battleships, formerly german battleships etc populated it, but after the conversion, what I believe would be a popular navigation category it was largely empty since Battleships of Germany etc were burried in Battleships by country. It created a pathological situation because the only things visible were the not yet categorized or miscategorized images and articles. So great- what kind of impression does that give? You go to all this effort and it makes the popular categories look really sloppy.
To alieviate this vacant house situation, I have temporarily set cathead to place the [ship type]-of-country in both categories even though it is redundant. Once we get the cat populated better (battleships by period), (battleships by war), (battleship naval engagement), (battleships by floral arrangements), whatever- then it can go back to normal. -Mak 19:10, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

River boats / Riverboats / Barges / Ships[edit]

I have a problem in categorising ships normally in use on the river. I myself tried to solve that problem for European "Barges", as I added a gallery where you can find the ENI- and Europenumbers for categorising Barges by country. I tried the same solution for "Search and Rescue ships" / "Lifeboats", but unfortunately Search and Rescue vessels of the United Kingdom have painted "Lifeboat" on them.

Passenger ships can be divided in ships for sea and for river; to ferry, lining or for cruising; and so on. The expression for Paddle steamers, used on American rivers, is by my knowledge "Riverboats" or "Sternwheelers". River boats are just boats used on inland waters.

So I think a logical categorising of River boats on this subjest can be:

Category:Passenger ships and Category:River boats both have a sub category

where also Category:Paddle steamers have a sub-category

where both categories Category:Sternheelers have a Category:Riverboats

I think it is not so usefull to make a difference on liners and cruisers on the river, als the knowledge of the use of old ships is mostly lacking. What is the opinion of the experts? Go for it? --Stunteltje (talk) 16:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable - I know the boat/ship distinction is often (and will remain) as clear as mud. All I wanted to make sure is that a river boat is still found within the "boat" category structure... Ingolfson (talk) 06:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Category:Ships by type and by name[edit]

Suggestion: Can be "Ships by name via type" --Stunteltje (talk) 10:25, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

renamed vessels and cyclic graphs[edit]

Category:Kronprinz Wilhelm (NDL) and Category:USS Von Steuben (ID-3017) are the same ship. These categories are subcategories of each other. How should this be resolved? John Vandenberg (chat) 23:53, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

By renaming the categories as a lot of categories of ships already and besides that making a note in the category that we talk on the same ship. So: Category:Kronprinz Wilhelm (ship, 1901) and Category:Von Steuben (ship, 1901), both categories mentioned at the ships, and in both categories a Note: On 9 June 1917, Kronprinz Wilhelm was renamed Von Steuben in honor of Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the German hero of the American Revolution, and commissioned in the United States Navy at Philadelphia. --Stunteltje (talk) 07:06, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I follow the convention noted at Category:Ships by name. --  Docu  at 11:19, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Under Category:Ships by country, we have these cycles in the category 'tree':

John Vandenberg (chat) 06:08, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

20,000 ships[edit]

Variatie (ship, 1949)
"Ships by name"-category covers 20,000 ships

One year after the 10,000th ship, the 20,000th subcategory for an individual ships is created: Category:Variatie (ship, 1949).

Commons provides consistently named categories with basic information on vessels, many of which don't have Wikipedia articles yet. Several "by" subcategories of Category:Ships allow to find vessels (and images of vessels) with different criteria.

Participants aim to identify ships by name (20,000 by now), year of completion (97%), flag, type/function, IMO or ENI, country of construction (58%), etc. The 20,000 categories include ca. 100,000 images in their main category. 33% of these images are used at Wikipedia.

See: Category:Ships by name, Category:Unidentified ships, New ships

Above is the text we used for #10000 slightly updated. Please feel free to expand/re-write it.

Shall we add it to Commons:Community portal? --  Docu  at 18:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Fine to me. I myself prefer the image where the ship rounds the IJsselkop, leaves the Rhine and goes downstream the IJssel. More eventful than the clean ship image. --Stunteltje (talk) 22:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I started out with File:ENI 02307438 VARIATIE (05).JPG, but then opted for File:ENI 02307438 VARIATIE (06).JPG as I liked the stern part. Cropping part of the sky might have made it a better fit for the notice though.
File:ENI 02307438 VARIATIE (07).JPG is a good choice as well. --  Docu  at 04:35, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

✓ Done --  Docu  at 17:54, 29 August 2012 (UTC) Added to Commons:Village_pump#Now_20.2C000_ships as well. --  Docu  at 17:57, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Ships photographed by .. / at ..[edit]

At Category:Images by Albert Bridge, I added a list of ships photographed by this users. I will try to update it once in a while.

If you want me to add a similar list to your user category or to an event category, I'd be glad to do so.

It could also made into a separate table, e.g. with year built, IMO nb etc. --  Docu  at 13:45, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Another list is at Kilkeel Harbour.
It includes ships from Category:Ships by name, if that ship is on one of the images in the category. It's built with CatScan2. --  Docu  at 17:55, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
One for Alf van Beem: here. --  Docu  at 12:58, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
A slightly different one is at Ships at Tonnerres de Brest 2012. --  Docu  at 04:59, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Overcategorizing and single-use categories[edit]

It seems that uniquely for commons, some users are heavily overcategorizing certain ship categories. For example Category:APL Sentosa (ship, 2014) is categorized as Ship of American President Lines but also in Category:Container ships (a parental category of the former).

Also, IMO categories are not used to their full potential. Instead most subcats of IMO categories are categorized by built year individually instead of using the IMO category for that.

The result are bloated categories (Category:Container ships has more than 700 direct subcategories). Category maintenance becomes difficult or impossible.

Efforts to improve the situation regularly get reverted by some users.

We need to discuss, how we want to handle this situation.

--MB-one (talk) 16:12, 29 October 2014 (UTC)