Commons talk:Categories/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 →


Article or category?

When should an article be created and when a category? For example, there is an article Linz and a Category:Linz; there is an article Wien and a Category:Vienna, Austria. Does it make sense to have both? --NeoUrfahraner 11:27, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

This is a really old Q but yes it does make sense to have both -- if the category has enough images. Articles can showcase the "best" of a category, and since you can put captions can also specify why an image is important/interesting without having to check the image description page. Also articles can be in languages other than English, there's no problem with that, both the text as well as the name, whereas categories are still restricted to English. With articles you can group images more meaningfully, eg flags/insignia, then maps, then general images. Images in categories are just all lumped in together. Finally articles don't automatically update when new images are added to the category. So they have different strengths and weaknesses and both are useful for different purposes. pfctdayelise (translate?) 01:26, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
This explanition makes sense to me, but it needs to be stated explicitly on the main page. Category pages are for all files related to that category. The article/gallery page is for a simple overview and highlighting particularly meaningful media. Cacophony 16:46, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

There's apparently some confusion about this. See Commons_talk:First_steps/Sorting#.27images_should_be_categorized.27 for another discussion. It was my understanding that images should always be in categories, and that galleries are supplemental. Is there somewhere we can all discuss this at once? — Omegatron 18:54, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Deleting subcategories from the main categories list

I deleteded some subcategories from Objects/Cameras, you just need to click on the cameras link to see all the subcategories.

I think all the subcategories shown in the "main" categories list, should be removed and placed on a new page (inside the category)

for example:

(remember, you have to be sure that the subcategory youre removing, must appear on the subcategory page, if it doesnt, place it your self there).

  • Europe
    • Spain <--Should be removed.
    • France <--Should be removed.
    • Any_other_subcategory <--Should be removed.

and then...

  • Europe <-- I clicked on the category
  • Subcategories <-- So i see all the subcategories, on the subcategories page
    • Spain
    • France
    • Any_other_subcategory

Bobpatino (3-1-06)

I have thought about this miself, just too many inflating subcats easily avilable by clicking onto the main cat. --Denniss 22:25, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup please

Deutsch: siehe hier

English: The following categories probably overlap a lot. Perhaps they should be merged, or there should be an easy-to-understand guideline for each category, explaining what kind of image it is intended for and how it differs from the other categories. The guideline should be easily accessible from each category.

Thanks in advance! Dustsucker 06:07, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Fixing typo in category name

I have noticed a category with a typo in the name. Categories cannot be "moved" by just anyone, correct? I suppose the thing to do would be to:

  1. Create a new category with the correct spelling;
  2. Check the "What links here" of the old category and update all of the links;
  3. Ask an administrator to delete the old category.

Is this right?

--Ziusudra 17:32, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
The "What links here" only shows links form other pages of Commons. You wouldn't know which Wikipedia pages link to that category. Instead of creating a new category page and deleting the old one, we'd rather:
  1. move the category page, so its history is kept complete;
  2. do check the "What links here" of the old category and update all of the links;
  3. Add a colon at the redirect
(#redirect [[Category:Wrong name]] -->#redirect [[:Category:Right name]])
so the redirect page does not appear listed on the right category page;
  1. Give a time to Wikipedias to update their links before deleting the mispelt entry page.--Javier ME 15:55, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
You can short cut this is you use hotcat.js. Add the redirect to the category first, then use the <±> on each page in the cat. HotCat.js will move the page to the new category when you hit OK. Railwayfan2005 (talk) 15:35, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Uncategorized image template

To assist with sorting, I have created:

When added to an image (a shortcut is {{Uncat}}), it will place the image in Category:Media needing categories. This will make an easy way for some people to tag images which need categories, and others to actually categorize. --Elonka 00:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

That's a very good idea, because the special pages cannot catch up, therefore they are unreliable. I remember a day where I have checked more than 50 image files out of the special pages menu that were already categorized... Mattes 14:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)


We need a statement wheather the tag should appear first or last in the text. I strongly suggest to put it first which is not in used right now. If people work with categories they don't want to scan through several licence and copyright oder user tags. That means: [[Category:Pictures with flowers]] [[Category:High Definition pictures]] [[Category:Young women]] then other tags [[Category:CC-BY-SA-2.0-DE]] [[Category:GFDL]] [[Category:Self-published work]] an so on.

  1. the important categories come first
  2. Information, description, Source, Date, Author, Permission and other versions -- Mattes 14:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

List of categories

On this page I'd like to find a link to the directory of existing categories. --Ulamm 09:02, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


What cat do celebs go in? - Peregrine Fisher 19:08, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

What are they famous for? Goldfritha 20:40, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Sister projects

What about create a page Commons:Categories in Wikimedia projects to armonize and coordinate Wikimedia sister project categories ?. --Mac 13:03, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


Another major factor in Over-categorization is excessive subdivision of the categories, so that the user does not know that one category is the great-great-great-grand child of another category.

I suppose some of this is inevitable, but -- well, Category:Fathers has been subdivided into Category:Father and children, with subcategories for it of Category:Father and daughters and Category:Father and sons -- and all this for a grand total of 28 images of fathers with children. Shouldn't there be some kind of guideline for when not to create categories? I know that I have come back here, remembering some image, and had a murderous time finding it because someone has divided up a small category in three levels of subcategory. And when the structure gets that complicated, overcategorization will occur, because no one knows how to find out what the parents are. Goldfritha 20:39, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Use the special functionalities of Commons Wikimedia. --Juiced lemon 08:36, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


hallo, in fact, how do we merge/delimit categories on commons?

-- W!B: 07:18, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

You can use {{Merging category from}} and {{Merging category into}}. --GeorgHH 10:49, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Categories of categories

I've noticed that we have quite a few categories of categories (e.g. Category:Categories by state of the United States) that should never directly contain images. In the last few days, I've moved approximately 200 images out of such categories (my share of this tedious task for a while). I was wondering if we should create something like Category:Categories that should not directly contain images that we could use to mark these, which would allow a bot to identify that images have been inappropriately categorized. - Jmabel | talk 17:29, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

No use ot create a category of Categories that should not directly contain images, since one of these categories could have some subcategories that might contain images directly and others that should not. What would you do with the latter? Keep them in the same [Category:Cs t s n d c is] as their upper category? We could attract attention of bots to these types of categories by inserting a template in the category description page. --Javier ME 21:30, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
See the {{MetaCat}} template. Railwayfan2005 (talk) 15:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Guideline for living organisms

Could there be a point in mentioning on the special guidelines which have been defined for living organisms in Commons:WikiProject Tree of Life? That is, media of a species goes in the species article, which is categorized to a category representing its higher taxa. And a single representative image of a species can go in a gallery page for the higher taxa with a link to the species gallery. -- Slaunger 08:57, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Difficult to understand

Ooh, my. I've read the following, and I can't say I understand it. Is there any chance someone could write it a bit more cogently (or am I just stupid?)?

Once there is a category or gallery named after a person, then all categories that describe the person apply to all images of the person. Such categories should therefore be applied to the category or gallery of that person, and not to individual image pages showing that person. The individual image page should have a link to the category or gallery page for each person depicted, and maybe categories that distinguish this image of that person from other such images.

All categories and galleries named after a person should be included in the category People by alphabet and sorted by their family name: [[Category:People by alphabet|Family name, first name]]. However, do not tag image articles with this category! There are so many image articles of notable people that including them directly would overwhelm the category. Limiting Category:People by alphabet to category and gallery pages greatly reduces the number of entries.

Erk! Qp10qp 18:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I guess I'm responsible for that wording. Let me try to clarify. First, read the preceding paragraph again. I think that's important context. 'Content depicting people can be put in categories and/or galleries which describe them.... Some notable people may have so much content depicting them, or names that are so well known, that it may be worth creating a category or gallery using their name, such as Category:Albert Einstein....'. JimDeLaHunt 21:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Second, how about this rewording? JimDeLaHunt 21:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Some categories are descriptive of persons, e.g. "Category:Physicists from Germany". Where there is a category or gallery named after a person, don't put such descriptive categories into individual image pages showing that person. Always put them instead in the person's category or gallery page. (Why? Because descriptive categories apply to all images of a person, and this rule achieves that with just one descriptive category entry.) So, the only category entries in an individual image page should be a link to the category or gallery page for each person depicted, and maybe categories that distinguish this image of that person from other such images. JimDeLaHunt 21:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
For every gallery or category named after a person, include the category category:People by alphabet and fill in their family name: [[Category:People by alphabet|Family name, first name]]. Again, do not tag image articles with this category! (Why? There are so many image articles of notable people, that including them directly would overwhelm the category. Limiting Category:People by alphabet to category and gallery pages greatly reduces the number of entries.) JimDeLaHunt 21:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Hearing no comments, I went ahead and put in more or less the above wording. I hope it's clearer. Thanks for the feedback! JimDeLaHunt 18:59, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Replace image

I would like to propose to do the replacement below:

--Jarekt 17:52, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I like the new one as well, however it does illustrate the principle of overcategorisation properly enough. Numbers are missing from the old version as well as an extra level. Please improve to reflect the principle as depicted in the old image better. Gryffindor 17:54, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Find an appropriate category

I'm new to this and so was reading through before starting to categorise some images. However the section "4.2 Find an appropriate category" says that "The Category structure section below provides a starting point," but that link doesn't work. Could somebody update the link please and so provide me with the starting point? Many thanks!Extraordinary (talk) 13:24, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow, good catch. The heading Category structure was eliminated on 24 February 2008, but no-one caught the dangling reference until now! The corresponding section title is now Commons:Categories#Major_categories. I've fixed the link. JimDeLaHunt (talk) 04:53, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Uncategorized image templates

Whenever I have uploaded an image, I would usually add a category, but many of the images would then be edited with the categories removed with the note; (As this image is now inserted in a species article, the taxon category is no more needed). I am now seeing the uncategorized template on these very images. I have been adding the categories again whenever I see the template, but just want to know if this is indeed agreed upon, since I do not want to go through the exercise of categorizing these images again, only to have someone remove the categories on the above basis of image being inserted to articles. Please advise.Jnpet (talk) 03:36, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

As you can see in Commons:Categories vs Galleries and all surrounding discussions, there is a growing consensus that we cannot live with the hundreds of thousands of uncategorised images. While this takes some time to get integrated in Three of Life projects, overall, in Commons, we have not a lot of other options. --Foroa (talk) 08:31, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. That answered my question. Jnpet (talk) 10:40, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Over Categorization (part 2)

Re Commons:Categories#Category_structure_in_Wikimedia_Commons

I must take exception here under the circumstance I now find embroiled in. - reference to Commons:Village_Pump#Categorisation_conundrum

On Main Wiki, and on FR own wiki, it is an accepted fact that categorization of a form, Cat:Father, Cat:Son, Cat:Mother (i.e. multi categorising) is allowed, contrary to the image attached to the Commons:Categories#Category_structure_in_Wikimedia_Commons section overleaf. i.e. Over-categorization.svg

We have had another user come in and create a number of Cat:Son type categories, contrary to what has been the previous case. We have a distinct case now whereby one (of many) picture, may contain a Festiniog engine, Festiniog coaches, on a Festiniog line, and yet given what is said, it shouldnt be classed as Cat:Festiniog Railway.

This only started 2 days ago, and by one person. It has not yet stretched to either the other half of the railway the Welsh Highland Railway, nor has anyone else tried recategorising. I can live with it as an additional category, but to replace the original and main is not acceptable --Keith (talk) 18:12, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I, too, am confused by categories. Although I understand, I think, the issue of over categorization, vis impossibly large numbers of images in parent categories, I'm far from convinced that a plethora of increasingly obscure sub-categories which a hypothetical image-seeker needs to guess is quite the way to go, especially when they might arrive (or not) at an image via several different conceptual routes. I've only uploaded one or two images, of a Hundertwasserhaus in Germany, but it seems to me already problematic. Should it be included in category:Friedensreich Hundertwasser, as many (most?) such pictures are? Should that category have a subcategory category:Hundertwasserhaus at all, since Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an architect, not a building? Why aren't any of the pictures of Friedensreich Hundertwasser himself in category:Friedensreich Hundertwasser, or even in category:Architects, but rather in category:Modern painters? If I want a picture of a particular Hundertwasserhaus which I remember the look of, should I need to also remember that it was in a particular town, or that it was an example not merely of architecture, or Austrian architecture (designed by an Austrian) or maybe German architecture (built in Germany), not just 20th century Austrian (or German) architecture, but perhaps Architecture, Austrian, Or Maybe German, 20th Century, 1983. Or whatever? It seems very confusing, and a bit arbitrary. I'm reluctant to do what I would for, say, a photo library, and categorize liberally, because, we're told, that's over-categorization, and I'd welcome further advice.Speagles (talk) 02:19, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, the way to find a category or picture is to search for them with the search function. You just have to remember his Name, thats all. From there you can easily find your way around and all the stuff related to him in the Subcats to category:Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The pictures of him were Cateorized wrong, i corrected that. The category:Hundertwasserhaus is called like that because the building is called like that. TomAlt (talk) 11:21, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Too many subcategories

Category:Players of West Bromwich Albion FC has had a number of subcategories created, many containing only one file each. Is this not a little over the top? Can I get such categories deleted, as it seems to have created far more subcategories than is necessary. I would also like for the category to be renamed to Category:West Bromwich Albion F.C. players, in line with the English Wikipedia category. How do I do this? Thanks. --Jameboy (talk) 22:35, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

This may not be a bad thing. When players move you can then move the whole player category to the new club category rather then fishing around in each file, ie from Category:Players of West Bromwich Albion FC to Category:Players of Aston Villa FC. It would be better to have Category:Current Players of West Bromwich Albion FC (or simillar) and Category:Former Players of West Bromwich Albion FC. so the relationships can be kept. The rename is done through {{category redirect}} (ish). Railwayfan2005 (talk) 15:42, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Overcategorisation of Ireland images

I noticed that has created about 120 subcategories for Irish related images in the last three days. Most of these categories seem to only contain a few images (two or three) and I believe this overcategorisation will make it much more difficult for editors to find suitable images easily. I always understood that subcategories should be created when a parent category becomes too full and not just to file away a few images. Is this a suitable form of categorisation and is it being overdone? Ww2censor (talk) 18:12, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Why are some Taken with categories hidden and others are not?

Somewhat new to commons and just noticed the Taken by categories. Some of them are hidden categories and some are not. Is there a standard or reason why some are hidden i.e. Category:Taken with Nikon D1 and others are not i.e. Category:Taken with Nikon D50? Just curious. --Captain-tucker (talk) 15:00, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Overcategorisation of CATEGORIES

Hi all,

I am currently discussing an issue that came out of User:Multichill's use of a bot to place "by country" templates on all those categories. The discussions we had about that template are here. As part of this discussion, I complained that the template auto-added Category:Categories by country to any category it was placed on, even when the said category was already in a subcategory of "Category:Categories by country". In other words, Category:Trucks by country suddenly was both in "Category:Categories by country" AND in "Vehicles by country", even though Vehicles by country is a subcat of the first.

When I questioned Multichill on this issue, he said that he did this intentionally, and that COM:OVERCAT (i.e. place files only into the most specific categories) only applied for files, not for categories. The potential consequences of this (whether or not he's right on the "letter of the law" regarding COM:OVERCAT) are very serious.

To give the example I used - According to this logic, a category "Rail transport in Camden" (just a random, probably non-existent example), could be categorised to have ALL the following parent cats, all linking directly:

  1. Rail transport in London
  2. Rail transport in England
  3. Rail transport in the United Kingdom
  4. Rail transport in Europe
  5. Rail transport
  6. (and possibly further up, to "Transport" and beyond...)

As well as

  1. Camden
  2. London
  3. England
  4. Europe
  5. (and possibly further up, to "Continents" and beyond...)

The above doesn't even take into account that I could also sort this into all intervening levels of a branch starting with "Land transport in Camden" and going up. Same logic, same rule (or non-existance of rule to prevent this).

This would mean that 75% of my work on sorting categories (especially, but by no means only, country top-level categories) is useless/wrong, and can be reverted/made useless at any time by bot! I do this work that when (for example) you open up Category:New Zealand, you aren't hit with 300-odd categories - you are presented with a dozen well-sorted top cats that you can then logically navigate to your desired target.

I'm asking for comment, and also, by extension, a clarification that COM:OVERCAT applies to categories on categories as well. Otherwise, we are not only being inconsistent, we will eventually end up with categories so full of subcategories that we have the same issue with them as we have/had with images (i.e. there are so many in a single category that finding anything is next to hopeless). Cheers, Ingolfson (talk) 11:12, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm on your side with this one. Back when I still had the motive to do some work on the transportation articles, I had this exactly in mind: as specific as possible. Category:Categories by country, in my opinion, is just a complete mess right now... it could certainly be tidied up by combining a number of those items. Aesthetics is just another word for "good user interface". --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 16:27, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Who is actually going to use the Category:Categories by country? Does anybody actually follow this navigation path when seeking pictures of Kiwi birds? Category:Categories by country > Category:Animals by country > Category:Animals of New Zealand > Category:Birds of New Zealand > Category:Apteryx mantelli? I think the real users of Category:Categories by country will be bots and all these extra tiers just create more places for files to be miscategorised into. Railwayfan2005 (talk) 16:33, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Railwayfan2005. It's all fine and great to categorize, but we should remember that Commons is not trying to be somekind of semantic map of all things in the world. Such a map would probably be awesome but when it comes to categorizing, our purpose is to categorize media files so that they can be found and used by the general public, nothing more. Samulili (talk) 17:56, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I have never been very happy with the "overcategorization" rule. We are always categorising from a certain point of vieuw (or categorisation logic), and for that specific point of view, it is logical that there is no overcategorisation. For example, for rail transport as the example above, a lot of people will take the example geographical point of vieuw as a first point of view/categorisation logic. There will be however other categorisation logics such as manufacturer, era, operating company, color, type of energy, ... That will create separate trees, mostly coming back to the same node, and can be called overcategorisation by purists.
The categorisation per continent in some classifications runs mostly in parallel with the categories per country, so could be called overcategorisation. Rivers can be categorised per country, but is some countries, they connect to the rivers in which they are streaming: another case of what some will call overcategorisation. In fact, all this is not bad as it not only expresses some relations but helps people finding things. One would be surprised how little the geographical categorisation is helpful in finding things: it is just a categorisation logic as any other.
The fact that we have many thousands of "per country" categories, basically meta categories to keep it manageable, shows that we have to do something about it in terms of coherence and standard relations (many per country cats are even not connected to the country). So it is normal that we have super-meta-cats to group them and they are very handy if one is searching for a useful "per country" cat.
Today, the bot "per country" cat sorts are all different per case. The nice thing about the bot inserts is that it imposes a sort rule and logic, so at least we are progressing on that (with a de facto standard). Personally, I can live with the current bot sort/template rule (Pipe:space+Country) under the condition that it is consistently applied for other bot inserted meta-cats too. I certainly do not support the idea of using the page/cat name as a sort key. If there are people that propose another sort logic, this can be easily discussed and changed when needed, but at least we would converge to some sort of standard. It could just simply be an additional template argument, but then we are breaking a potential standard again. --Foroa (talk) 18:50, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Foroa - not too concerned about the sorting key issue here, lets discuss that on the talk page of "by country"? I feel the overcategorisation issue has much wider implications.

Basically, if we do not apply the overcategorisation logic to categories as well, not only can I freely place "Rail transport in Camden" into all the categories listed above (and a few more), I can also have a bot place ALL subcategories with the words "rail transport in/rail transport by/Rail transport whatever" directly into the "rail transport" category. There are several hundreds of those subcategories (starting with 110 "by country" ones), and the number will keep growing as editors upload more pictures and sort images more finely. By this very logic, intermediate categories like "by country" become somewhat obselete (!) - why have them if it is acceptable to place all subcategories straight into the parent category?

And to respond to Railwayfan2005 and Samulili - why is trying to get a semantic logic working in the Commons category system a hopeless goal? The example you make of a user navigating the whole length of a tree is of course rather rare. But if he uses only part of the length of the path, how does that challenge the concept? Meanwhile, the fact that parts of the category system will always be a work in progress is a Wiki fact, not a reason to abandon the idea. And where is the ease of use when you are faced with hundreds of hundreds of subcategories sorted in no other way except alphabetically?

There are certain situations where this makes sense (such as in Category:Companies by alphabet) and I am not against the idea that specific categories mostly used by admins/heavy editors and bots could ignore the overcategorisation rule individually. But this should not be the generic rule for Commons - I would find it very disheartening for anyone doing category sorting work like me if all this was done only "on sufferance", knowing that all that work (which cannot be done by bot!) can always be undone in one automated swoop later.

Therefore I consider that COM:OVERCAT ("place only into the most specific categories") is applicable to categories as well, and that anyone wanting to link straight up to an organisational category (especially using a bot) should first get consensus that this is acceptable for the specific category. Ingolfson (talk) 05:41, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

In the meantime, User Multichill has suggested a very sensible solution for the specific case which set me off ranting (apologies again!) - please see at Template_talk:By_country_category. Basically, the proposal for a Category:Categories by country by alphabet is exactly what is needed to marry the category tree logic with the need/wish to have all subcategories together in one place as well. Ingolfson (talk) 05:45, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
It looks as if the replacement of Category:Categories by country by Category:Categories by country by alphabet solves all your problems. I have no problem with that, but to me, it is not worth the effort. Of course, it is the one or the other. --Foroa (talk) 11:11, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I support Category:Categories by country by alphabet. Railwayfan2005 (talk) 20:08, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Categories by alphabet

How high up the tree should these be created? Should we have Category:Train stations by alphabet or Category:Railway stations by alphabet at the highest level or do we need to go down to Category:Railway stations of London by alphabet? Railwayfan2005 (talk) 22:43, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I think they should be created where and when people feel the need exists. In the case you mention, it seems less required, because while someone may want to find a railway/train station by alphabetic name, he is likely to at least know which country it is in - so simply going to the appropriate country category (where train stations are already sorted by alphabet within) should do in most cases. Eventually, when many subcategories like "railway stations of London" are created, a separate Category:Railway stations in the United Kingdom by alphabet" may make sense. As I said, when and where people see a need seems to be the best solution. Ingolfson (talk) 05:03, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
It was always unclear to me why do we have any "by alphabet" categories, since all files and directories are by default sorted alphabetically. We could add "by alphabet" ending to most categories on commons. --Jarekt (talk) 14:41, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I have the same question: by default, it is by alphabet unless some other "by location/name/number/year" is in the category name. --Foroa (talk) 18:45, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
By alphabet indicates that all other possibel sub categorisations have been ignored to produce a straight listing of all categories. ie Category:Railway stations in the United Kingdom by alphabet will contain all stations regardless of whether they are in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Where as Category:Railway stations in the United Kingdom will only contain the sub cats Category:Railway stations in England, Category:Railway stations in Scotland, Category:Railway stations in Wales and Category:Railway stations in Northern Ireland. And these may be further categorised down to Category:Railway stations in London etc. Railwayfan2005 (talk) 19:46, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Category:Commons categories maintenance

in fact we have a lot of good ideas about categories, but no plan - recently I put sone cats as Category:Maps needing categories, Category:Unsorted, and so on to Category:Media needing category review, but got told, this is just for {{Check categories}} (in fact, that was nowhere documented)

why don't we do a main cat, where all helps and conventions, cat maintenance cats, cat maintenance templates, and projects dealing with categorizing are sorted together, to get an overview where to inform about, ask or discuss specifics? lets put it into main Category:Commons maintenance content --W!B: (talk) 15:17, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi W!B, last year i created Category:Media needing category review to keep track of images tagged with {{Check categories}}. By now about 100.000 images (stats). I don't think you should mix this tracking category with other categories. I don't know where you would like to see this documented, feel free to copy and paste this text. Category:Uncategorized is a tracking category for {{Uncategorized}} so you shouldn't mix that with other categories either. You pointed out Category:Maps needing categories and Category:Unsorted. I don't think these categories are in line with all our other categories. All images in Category:Maps needing categories should be in Category:Maps or in one of the subcategories af category:Maps. Same goes for example Category:Fractals (unsorted). I understand people like to have placeholder categories to later sort out. I think we already have a category structure for that : Category:Unidentified subjects. So rename Category:Maps needing categories to Category:Unidentified maps, maybe rename some subcategories of Category:Unsorted and nuke Category:Unsorted. Multichill (talk) 21:07, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
ah well, fine idea, I would't have thought of that - I'll suggest that, and we keep "unsorted" and "unknown" and so on as redirects.. --W!B: (talk) 17:00, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposed changes to Categorization tips

I would like to replace 'Categorization tips' section by the section below:

The categories (or galleries) you choose for your uploads should answer as many as possible of the following questions:

The above questions cover the main aspects of the image to be categorized. For some images it makes sense to use all, for other images only one or two are reasonable. In addition there are several other aspects of the images that can be used to categorize the image:

This last set is useful and important but should always be done in addition of the main set of criteria.

--Jarekt (talk) 15:19, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Category redirects

Hard category redirects (#REDIRECT [[:Category:Foo]]) now work more or less as users would expect. See the En-Wikipedia discussion of this issue for details. Question: should we now convert all the existing soft {{category redirect}}s on Commons to hard redirects? --R'n'B (talk) 18:26, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, maybe not. It looks like the software change has been reverted, at least for now. --R'n'B (talk) 11:22, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Please start this page with a *practical* link.

Many of us get here after we upload content to Wikimedia commons, often for the first time, and get nagged about how our images aren't categorized. Fine, happy to do it. But the context behind how we get to this page is very imprtant. Please show us the link that describes the nuts and bolts of how to actually enter it! Crosslink (talk) 01:41, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

It's on the article page, see Commons:Categories#Categorizing_pages, but I think they want you to read the rest of the page before adding categories ;-) --Tony Wills (talk) 22:47, 28 February 2009 (UTC)


Needs one. How does one do that? Zipity11 (talk) 09:46, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Category:People by alphabet

I'm having trouble understanding why this category is useful and can't find any explanation here or in the category's description. Could someone please shed some light on this? Also, what is the category's name supposed to mean? Cheers, Pruneautalk 20:52, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Everybody who has more than one image on Commons should appear in Category:People by alphabet. To find them navigate to their family name and browse until you find the correct person. For example see [1] to find Albert Einstein. The name is part of a convention. "by Alphabet" in a category name means "here is an alphabetical list of everything on this topic at this level". HTH Railwayfan2005 (talk)

Naming policy: Associative category names containing "... with ..." or "... and ...". "

At Category talk:People with water, the question lately came up if categories describing relations should be named "... with ..." or "... and ...". Right now, we have both versions in use (> 20). Any suggestions? --Mattes (talk) 05:18, 9 April 2009 (UTC) ...who supports "with"

yes, but how?

Hi, I am new to Wiki Commons and have started uploading images, only to find (despite having added categories as suggested by the basic upload form) that my images are 'uncategorised'. Some time spent trawling through the various FAQ and How To sites has not caused dawn to break either. I get that the Category needs to be added to the description page, but where? Because I have tried several locations so far with no joy. Is there an image format I can be directed to so I can copy it? A weblink that will show me the actual nuts and bolts? Something /Someone to help? thanks in advance Seascapeza (talk) 08:02, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Your syntax is a little off. For example File:Hunchback amphipods.jpg had Category:Amphipoda, Cape Peninsula, South Africa but there is no such category. I assumed you meant Category:Amphipoda Category:Cape Peninsula Category:South Africa but for that image Category:Cape Peninsula Category:Amphipoda Category:Taken with Nikonos V camera Category:Marine life of South Africa better describe it. See this and other changes here. I would suggest doing similar changes to your other images. --Jarekt (talk) 13:07, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Subject vs Content

This distinction is not made very clearly on the project page, and so I'd like to ask a little more about overcategorization. Redundant categorization (two categories in the same tree) is clear enough, but should minor contents of an image also be categorized. For example, should File:Auto_Mechanic.jpg be categorized as "mechanic" or even "car shop", or should everything visible in the image be included in the categories? Perhaps some technical categories about the car parts, but how about Category:Tires for the half included tires? Category:Wristwatches, Category:Wedding rings, Category:Belts, Category:Blue clothing, Category:Noses? I know I'm taking this to extremes, but perhaps this should be made more clear in the guidelines? - Themightyquill (talk) 00:33, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Aside from categories related to the main subject, I would tend to include anything where:
  • It would make a useful illustration for an article on that topic.
  • It shows some aspect of that subject that might otherwise not be readily available. For example, some images in Category:Space Needle only tangentially include that building, but they provide unique views of it.
Otherwise, not very useful. Jmabel ! talk 00:19, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Category:"View of B from A"

How should this category be linked to "Category:A" and "Category:B"? Sample choices:

  1. Parent category of B, subcategory of A?
  2. Parent category of A, subcategory of B?
  3. Subcategory of A and B?
  4. Parent category of A and B?
  5. Subcategory of one, related category (see also) of the other?

Personally, I'd go for "Parent category of B, subcategory of A". -- User:Docu - June 14, 2009

✓  Done I added this to Commons:Categories#Landscapes, outdoor views -- User:Docu (talk) at 14:21, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't like your advice there ('If there are series of similar views of "B", these can be categorized in a category "View of B from A". This category should be a subcategory of "A". "B" should be a subcategory of "View of B from A"'). I'd prefer subcategory of A & B (and in the latter case maybe one more remove). For example, consider skylines of a city from particular points of view. Presumably we don't want to put the city into a ton of "skyline from this, that, and the other" categories. I would think we'd want:
  • Place A
    • (optional) Views from Place A (or equivalent cat)
      • Views of B from Place A
  • Place B
    • (optional) Views of Place B (or equivalent cat)
      • Views of B from Place A
  • Empire State Building
    • Views from Empire State Building
      • Views of East River from Empire State Building
  • East River
    • optional category omitted in this case
      • Views of East River from Empire State Building
  • West Seattle, Seattle, Washington
    • optional category omitted in this case
      • Seattle skylines from West Seattle
  • Seattle, Washington
    • Seattle skylines
      • Seattle skylines from West Seattle
- Jmabel ! talk 00:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
After a couple of edits, I changed my mind on this and agree with you. It should work better for, e.g. Category:Land axis from Mount Ainslie -- User:Docu at 10:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Where to put a category for fish procesing?

Trying to find an appropriate category or categories for File:General history, Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, fully illustrated - meet me in Seattle 1909 - Page 112.jpg. It can't be the only piece of fish processing equipment, but we don't have a Category:Fish processing or even an Category:Food processing. We have a somewhat analogous Category:Agricultural machines, but fishing isn't agriculture. Any suggestions? Is there a big gap of coverage here, lack of a good category name, or just something that I'm failing to find? - Jmabel ! talk 00:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

We do have Category:Food industry and Category:Food manufacturing and I added Category:Fish processing in the same neighborhood. --Jarekt (talk) 13:07, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, hadn't found that. You'd think after all these years I could reliably find my way around the hierarchy, but sometimes not. - 07:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC)


I gotta tell ya, this page is a cluster-you-know-what. I rarely upload a picture, and I believe I gave up trying to find a category every time before, too. Incredibly, for instance, the section "Find an appropriate category" does not contain a link to a place where one might actually find one of those. How about a step-by-step section for idiots like me? --Milkbreath (talk) 19:50, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Finding one should probably be done through the search engine or looking at similar images and then climbing through the category tree. Commons:Categories#Categorization tips gives a few pointers. A risk of listing some sample categories is that they get outdated or people just dump images in there.
As you seem to have figured out some of it, you might more easily write a step-by-step guide than someone using it more frequently. Don't hesitate to edit the page.
Some sections just answer one question, but don't necessarily give an overview. -- User:Docu at 17:58, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

To start, would you want to expand on Commons:Categories#Quick_guide? -- User:Docu at 22:26, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Use Wikipedia for help

It might be good to add somewhere that if Wikipedia has an article on the topic it's good to look at how it's categorized there for guidance. I do this very frequently with everything from photos of birds or insects to individual people. Of course often more or less specific categories are available here. It would be nice if there was a tool for taking red categories from WP and automatically searching out appropriate parent categories to use instead. Richard001 (talk) 22:33, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

2 people

Let's say thee are 2 important people, X and Y, with their own categories. We have a lot of images with both X and Y, wich are then categorized at both places. But is it a good idea to make a new subcategory of "X and Y" images, or is that a little forced? Belgrano (talk) 01:36, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

If there are many, it can be worth doing subcategories. Pictures of some people are just categorized by year, e.g. X in 2001, X in 2002 .. if pictures they are also categorized in a category for Y, one can use category intersection to find them easily.
My recent addition at Commons:Categories#People comes mainly from existing ones, such as the ones listed at Cfd: Two persons categories. These are essentially pictures of X and Y meeting, so it does make sense to put them in a category. Generally all images are taken by either X or Y's staff photographers. When renaming these (and a few related ones), I found more and more. I will finish them once the problems with Mediawiki are solved. But, back to your question: it can be a good idea. -- User:Docu at 06:34, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Linking doesn't work

Since two days or so I put categories to pics as usual, but they don't show up after uploading the picture. Has anybody else this problem? Is it a bug? --Paulae (talk) 12:11, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

File:Wandbrunnen Zwinger1.JPG seems ok. It may be a cache issue, try w:Wikipedia:Bypass your cache. The other day, there was a problem at the creation of new categories, but this seems resolved. -- User:Docu at 12:32, 25 September 2009 (UTC)"
Make sure that hidden category display is enabled in your preferences. (You should see "Hidden categories: CC-BY-SA-3.0 | License migration redundant | GFDL | Self-published work " on the bottom of the image) --Foroa (talk) 12:47, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I did everything you two told me. I just uploaded this picture and categorized it as Category:Zwinger, Dresden, but the cat doesn't show up. I don't know why. --Paulae (talk) 12:54, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
As you see here, the image was not categorised when you uploaded it. Bottom line shows correctly the hidden categories. --Foroa (talk) 13:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC) On File:Wandbrunnen Zwinger 3.JPG this one, you did OK. --Foroa (talk) 13:12, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
No I didn't! I had to put the cat in AFTER I uploaded the pic. You can see that in the history of the file. I use the box for categorizing, type the cat in and click categorize. The cat that shows up in blue. I uploaded several hundred pics up to the commons and know how to categorize pictures. I categorized them like i always do. Somehow, the cat doesn't show up after uploading the picture. I didn't change a thing in categorizing, and for the last years it all worked fine. So the problem is not on me. --Paulae (talk) 13:16, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
There should be something wrong with the upload form. I have no experience with that. Maybe try Commons:Help desk or COM:VP. --Foroa (talk) 13:44, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Clocks by time

Category:Clocks by time sorts clocks by the time they display. I added a category description and a template that can be used for subcategories. If a category is made for every minute, there should 720 subcategories. Currently there are already images for about 250 (see Special:Categories/Time_00). While one could create a new category each time this is needed, this isn't terribly efficient and will likely result in some inconsistency. My question: shall I create all 720 categories now or just the 250. I plan on going through more categories, but obviously it's unlikely that the next 470 images will fit the remaining categories. There should be quite a lot more images to categorize though. -- User:Docu at 14:16, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

For now, I decided to create just the ones that are needed (about 360 categories for 552 images) and wait for additional input for the remaining ones. One could also create remaining ones in series of 50 or 100 once they are needed (red). -- User:Docu at 22:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Finally I found an easy way to create new categories fairly easily once they are needed. I will check for red categories on Special:Categories/Time_00 once in a while. -- User:Docu at 15:55, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
<reminder of discussion moved to Category talk:Clocks by time/>

Category descriptions / Info templates

There is a proposal by Lar about info templates used as category descriptions, their placement in template namespace and transclusion into file description pages at COM:VP#Move Info:Hospital ships to category namespace?. If accepted, this would need to be included here. -- User:Docu at 12:11, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Categories names only in English

Can you please provide a link to the discussion, where this was agreed? --Ragimiri (talk) 22:12, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Paris, Texas and Category:Paris

Please see Commons:Categories for discussion/2009/11/Category:Paris, Texas. -- User:Docu at 10:36, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

And ? There is nothing to do --Hercule (talk) 09:38, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
To do:
  1. participate in the discussion at Commons:Categories for discussion/2009/11/Category:Paris, Texas
  2. close/write a conclusion of the discussion at Commons:Categories for discussion/2009/11/Category:Paris, Texas
  3. update Commons:Categories accordingly
  4. remove similar subcategories as one comes across them
-- User:Docu at 11:48, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Non-English category names for places

Can we add a section about the existence of non-English category names? e.g. the other day, Foroa moved "Lake Zurich" to "Zürichsee". How shall we accurately describe the current usage? -- User:Docu at 22:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

For a start, it's needed to shortly describe current practices and to mention types of categories and types of subjects which are neglected in the current text of this help-page. I tried to desribe the current usage but Foroa reverted whole formulation without any constructive and consistent opinion. The English Wikipedia can be a good base and guidance for formation of Commons policy which isn't precised yet.
The advisable degree of preference of English exonyms or of stable and official local names should be sought and discussed. But it's unquestionable that many proper names shouldn't be translated and that names of most famous individual objects should be in English. The borderline between this two possibilities is fuzzy but utilizable. We know that Foroa asserts extremely his effort to translate many proper names which haven't an established and widespread English form. Many other users more likely prefer oficial, original and most worldwide used forms of proper and stable names. Accessible maps of Helsinki hold local proper names in Finnish, maps of Budapest in Hungarian, maps of Madrid in Spanish. Original names of streets, squares or stations are generally more usable than English translation-trials. Even English-speaking user can find by Google or in a map rather "Karlovy Vary dolní nádraží" than "Carl's Wells Lower Station" or some hybrid name. Category name of Category:Cabbage Square (Brno) isn't a good tool to identification of "Zelný trh" in Brno and to find it in a map of Brno. Famous mountain-ranges, seas, countries and metropolises should be named in English, but in case of famous buildings, squares, streets and many other objects, we should consider whether a benefit from the English name is greater than the inconsistence toward names of less known places and than the incongruity toward the official or most used form of the name.
Also it is evident that many terms relating to non-English-speaking-countries realia haven't an established English equivalent. --ŠJů (talk) 01:43, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I support ŠJů and I recall that I asked for a reference to the debate on the adoption of this rule at November 22 with no reply. --Ragimiri (talk) 09:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I suggest to continue the discussion on one single place: Commons_talk:Naming_categories. --Foroa (talk) 11:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The Zürichsee problem has been discussed in a period where people invented all the time English names and moved back and forwards many Swiss lakes without any sort of concertation. I defended the case of endonymn, Docu the case of exonym. We invited another administrator to step in and to decide (with hindsight, Lake Zürich is the right name). Finally, Docu decided to execute the move himself and to close the discussion without concensus. I reverted that unilateral decision. --Foroa (talk) 11:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Last time, if I recall correctly, you explained that you moved the category from "Lake Zurich" to "Zürichsee", because one of the categories it was in, had other subcategories that were all in German, this despite that the article Lake Zurich hasn't moved. -- User:Docu at 11:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think we should make a better effort to describe current practice. It's just too much disruption that way it's currently done. -- User:Docu at 11:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

This discussion is moved and merged to Commons talk:Naming categories#Non-English category names for places. --ŠJů (talk) 15:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorting in categories

I have recently been uploading some 300 audio files for german wiktionary. They are found in Category:German pronunciation. I'm willing to provide many thousands of sound files for german Wiktionary, and I'm currently using the commonist tool to upload the files. As it is, it will be impossible to type [[:Category:German pronunciation|...]] each single time by hand. Is it possible to have some bot do this (for me)? Or is there any other way to conveniently upload many files with the precise category? Thanks, Jakob.scholbach (talk) 23:34, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Try Commons:Bot requests. -- User:Docu at 16:14, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Self-categorized categories

To clean-up Commons:Database reports/Self-categorized categories, the first step seems to be have a bot remove all categories identical to the category name. Some may then end up on Special:UncategorizedCategories, but that's another task. -- User:Docu at 16:14, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Not a good idea. I removed close to 180 self-categorisations where, besides the self-cat, there where one or two no significant categories such as xxx births, xxx deaths, people by alphabet and living people. So if you remove the selfcat, nothing is really solved. Most important thing is to have the list timely refreshed as the list of uncategorised categories. (See User_talk:MZMcBride#Database_reports.2FSelf-categorized_categories) --Foroa (talk) 13:33, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
If you want to combine it with some other tasks, this is ok with me.
You might want to request another report for the additional problems you found. These could be present without the self-categorization issue. This would improve overall categorization more than a refreshed list.
BTW the bot could also output a log for you to check. -- User:Docu at 13:17, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
For me, a daily list of uncategorised and self-categorised categories (say 15 to 30 items per day) would be fine and allows for correction of novice categorisers. On a daily base, this is manageable; a list with hundreds of items every x weeks is not. --Foroa (talk) 14:34, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
True, let's ask our report specialist to set this up. -- User:Docu at 14:37, 21 January 2010 (UTC)


Yes check.svg Resolvedone was redirected.

The Category:Kanafeh (english name) and Category:Kadaif (turkish name for the same thing - originating from turkish or arab cuisin). One of these two Categories should be deleted, but which one? Who can do it? I am personally not interested in long discussions. -- 19:15, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

By name / by alphabet question

Some time ago there was a lenghty discussion on this question (see Cfd: Some of categories "by alphabet"). A large majority of the participants either agreed with a "by name" standardization and or were indifferent to changing it to that. The discussion was closed in January with the conclusion to rename the categories. Some categories have already been renamed to this new standard. Foroa declined an invitation to have the conclusion of the discussion reviewed by others.

Apparently the change was vetoed by Foroa or "vehemently opposed" as she puts it. Should this be taken in account?

Otherwise, I think the corresponding update to this page should be restored. -- User:Docu at 06:58, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Disambiguation categories

For a lengthy discussion, please see Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#Category:Vals. A bug in {{diambiguation}} was fixed.

If interested, please participate in the discussion. -- User:Docu at 19:17, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Plural in non-english category names

A question concerning the naming policy for categories that may be of some general interest. It is stated that category names that refer to types of objects or groups of people should generally be in plural form. But how do we deal with subcategories with non-english names like Category:Auca (a traditional catalan pictures story) or Category:Masia (a typical catalan farm house)? The correct plural forms in catalan would be Auca → Auques and Masia → Masies. Should we use these forms, keep the singular form or “create” english plural forms like Aucas and Masias? --Gepardenforellenfischer (talk) 17:04, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Any ideas/ opinions on this topic? --Gepardenforellenfischer (talk) 17:25, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that it is realistic that people will find plurals for words in other languages. Personally, I try to avoid plural when the plural is not "natural" for English speaking people, but some people insist. Another example iscategory:Cul-de-sac where the correct plural is category:Culs-de-sac but where English speaking people will tend to use category:Cul-de-sacs. Similar questions will arise for "imported" words such as replica, mascara, ... Not to mention the latin plurals (aboretums/arboreta, forums/fora, ...) --Foroa (talk) 17:42, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Given the encylcopedic roots of Commons, I think it's foolish to have things organised under the incorrect names. However, the English language is defined by usage, not committee, so the choice of plural comes down to what is the English plural of this "foreign" word. The Cul-de-sac example is a clear case of a "foreign" word becoming aglicised and aquiring an English plural. However much fans of "correct" English may protest "Cul-de-sacs" (2,750,000 v 452,000 hits on Google) is the normal English plural of "Cul-de-sac". As such the redirect from category:Cul-de-sacs to category:Cul-de-sac points the wrong way (IMO). Having the corresponding redirect from category:Culs-de-sac to category:Cul-de-sacs would aid navigability for those who are aware of the correct plural. "Auca" is not a word I've encountered as an adopted English word and as such I see no harm in using the correct plural for the category. A redirect from Auca to Auques would aid navigability. Sorry there's no precise answer here but it really does depend on how the word has been incorperated into English usage. I recomend avoiding making up "English" plurals where there's no evidence that the word is in use. When we get the ability to correctly name a category in multiple languages things will change. (Googling "Aucas" turns up pages on a very different subject to "Auques" so the choice of plural here seems clear enough). Railwayfan2005 (talk) 20:20, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

See also Commons talk:Naming categories, and Category:Umgebindehäuser. --ŠJů (talk) 04:22, 13 April 2010 (UTC)