Template talk:NoCoins

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search

A right way?[edit]

As I understand it, there exists a right way to use coins for scale. For instance:

  1. Image:Lycosida on window.jpg, the image that the current version of this template uses as an "Example[] of good practice", contains a shopped line with "25 mm" text in the image.
  2. Image:FP Little People with US quarters.jpg contains two stacks of discs, described in the information box as a "Stack of 3 U.S. quarter dollars (24 mm diameter)".

Both images have a scale reference and the length of this reference. Neither requires familiarity with any country's money to identify the length of the reference. Is 2 worse than 1 because 2's reference is the diameter of a disc rather than the length of a thin rectangle, or because the reference is in accessible text rather than image pixels? If not, isn't this just a problem with the image description text rather than with the image itself? --Damian Yerrick () 06:44, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

It's quite simple. Use a metric ruler and don't use "familiar" objects such as coins, matchboxes et.c. Forcing the user to do math to figure out the scale in the picture is a bad idea. // Liftarn

Can you make out the marks on this ruler?
:Yes, the bigger ones on the bottom are one inch apart. 03:11, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
But will a ruler always be more visible than coins of a known diameter? --Damian Yerrick () 00:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
It is always better, but yes, it should be possible to read the ruler. In some cases it perhaps better to add a ruler later. Simply, the reader should not need to know the diameter of every coin in the world. // Liftarn

My latest edit[edit]

I removed the "standard measurements" as it seems rather harsh to require someone who may have nothing but yardsticks to use a metric measurement (that they don't have). I wouldn't mind discussing this on, say, COM:CP if someone else disagrees. If you do revert it, I request you consider rephrasing "standard measurements" as a "measurement" has to be standardized to be a measurement in the first place (Doesn't it?). 03:10, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

It makes more sense to use an international standard than some odd way of measuring that only exists in one or a small number of countries. Say someone would use a ruler measured in aiwas. That would make very few happy. // Liftarn
Who actually has one of those? Anyway, one of those "Very small number of countries" has several million people for whom a metric ruler is about as useful as a British pound, Russian ruble or Swiss franc, which defeats the entire point again. 01:48, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I have. Ignorance is no excuse. Just use standard measurements instead of something odd like aiwas, hat'h, attoparsec or inches. // Liftarn
"Ignorance is no excuse." Does that include ignorance of coins? Rocket000 07:53, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Coins are not a recognised unit of measurement. SI units are. // Liftarn

What exactly...[edit]

...is a "1$ (sm.)" coin?! 01:49, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

The US has had a large number of $1 coins. The three latest have that measurement (26.5 mm, 1.02 in), and are as follows:
  — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 16:46, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

This is ridiculous.[edit]

It is an example of a policy taking precedence over the actual usefulness of images (and this seems to be the case for many wiki's, beyond just images). Most people find coins a nice point of reference wen they want to see how small something is. A ruler is not nearly as useful. I know that not everyone is from the US but multiple images could be made with different coins. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) at 06:12, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Your blatant disregard for policy is duly noted.   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 16:05, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
By the way, where is this Wikipedia policy listed? -- 16:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

This isn't a policy and never has been. It's not even a guideline. Rocket000 07:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Coins are a good maesurement for scale[edit]

This template is a good example of overregulation. I found the thing being stacked on a couple of my pictures of rocks and rock structures. Argument why I use coins (and sometimes other similar objects) for scale:

  • This is common practice in scientific literature on geology. Many scientific papers on rock structures use pictures with coins for scale and textbooks on rock structures are full of them too. Sometimes this includes coins that are not well-known around the globe (South African or from Iceland f.a.) without any reference to the size of the used coins. As no wikiproject has yet reached the level of accuracy or reliability of scientific literature, there is no reason to have such accuracy in pictures on commons.
  • The actual size of all coins is between 0,5 and 3,5 cm. That means a coin can give an upper and bottom limit for scale. For most geologic puposes, a more precise indication of scale is not needed.
  • When I am spending a day in the field to examine local geology, often climbing mountainsides or crossing overgrown hillsides, I am only carying the most immediately useful things. An accurate scalebar (as perhaps available in laboratories) is not among them. This is when I take my pictures.
  • The coin I used in my pictures is a coin of 1 euro. This coin has the advantage of being used every day by about 350 million people, and being known by many more around the globe. Secondly, on the English wikipedia it has its own article, in which the exact size is given. Its size, I presume then, is not entirely a mystery! Woudloper 11:18, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Coins are indeed better than nothing, but then nothing is almost the anything they are better than. // Liftarn
Euro coins are used by 350 million people, maybe, but that's far from the entire world population. On the other hand, metric units of measurement are pretty much understood worldwide.
This isn't overregulation at all. Why force somebody to look up the size of a coin in order to determine the size of some other object, rather than telling the reader the size of that object directly? Smjg (talk) 22:50, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I just realised I didn't read it properly. For rock samples, yes, a precise indication of scale may not be necessary. But one kind of object for which it doesn't really matter doesn't magically mean that it doesn't matter for any kind of object whatsoever that may be illustrated in an image. So the application of the template to rocks and rock structures might be overregulation, but the template itself absolutely isn't. Smjg (talk) 13:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Substitute image, please[edit]

Can we not link to a spider completely without warning, please? Some of us have problems with this sort of thing. Surely there is another image that would work just as well. Chick Bowen 05:58, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Be bold. Find one and use that instead. // Liftarn
Um, what am I looking for? I can't look at the example image to see what it looks like. . . Thanks. Chick Bowen 18:03, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that is a problem. // Liftarn

Image replaced. I hope nobody has phobia for USB memories. // Liftarn

Erm, seems the scale is off, tho. Based on my quarter-to-pixel conversion, pretty sure the USB drive is 80mm long. Double-check? // Alpinwolf (from Wikipedia)

Obviously an error. Hypocrytese speaks...[edit]

Of course this assumes that the majority of world people are more familiar with a ruler than with a coin. Even among the third world coins of common use they should be able to demonstait their size within about 150%. The chart domonstraits the conversion to metric very well. I wonder, if the reader weren't familiar with a centimeter what would the writer describe the size as? Also in the near future it may be geographically biased to assume someone has access to an image editor instead of that they are posting this Wikipedia Entry from thier cell phone in subsaharan africa. If the writer breaks every rule he is aspousing he must mean something else. What is this writer realy proposing? the preceding unsigned comment was added by XgenX (talk • contribs)

<sarcasm>Please look up rai coins.</sarcasm> Seriously, I take it that your contention is that people should assume that all coins in common circulation are about 20 mm across, and that won't differ by more than 50 percent from the true value. But that doesn't solve the problem of copyrighted coin designs, nor does it say how big bank notes are. --Damian Yerrick () 19:05, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Then there's the Swedish daler copper coins, used during the 17th and 18th century. The largest weighted about 20 kg. Tasnu Arakun (talk) 14:29, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

This is kinda silly.[edit]

Coins are a good measurement for scale. That's why people use them. Rulers actually aren't that good of a substitute since they come in all shapes and sizes. People have to visualize what a certain measurement is in their head—and most the world sucks at that. That's if they can even read the measurement correctly. We're getting free images and people complain about things like this. It's not very encouraging when someone uploads some images with coins in them for scale because that's how they saw it done in textbooks, journals, and everywhere else in world. Looking at the comments above and the history, I don't believe this has any consensus (not that it was a policy anyway—just someone's opinion). We should remove all the opinionated stuff like "Coins are particularly bad..." and "Ideally, a photograph should include a ruler". Says who? I don't agree, for one. We shouldn't be slapping this on all images with coins without some type of consensus. It sends the wrong idea out—that we as a community support this. Rocket000 07:47, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. Rulers are a good measurement for scale. That's why people tend to use rulers and not coins to measure things. I also do not believe that the use of coins is as universal as you say. In Sweden for example I believe matchboxes are more commonly used for size comparisons than are coins. It'd be interesting to know where the consensus stands. Tasnu Arakun (talk) 14:54, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Rulers come in all shapes and sizes? What's that to do with it? A ruler has the exact measurement marked on it. Centimetres come in only one size. On the other hand, if I see a photo of some object next to a foreign coin, why should I know how big that coin is in order to judge the size of said object? That is the whole point of this template.
But the example given in the template of a measurement being added using a graphic editor is stupid - the measurement that's been added is that of the coin being used for scale. What's the point of this, rather than adding the measurement of the object that the picture is primarily illustrating? What next - coins being used to show the scale of coins? Smjg (talk) 23:32, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Meanwhile, I've removed the link to the terrible "example". If anybody can find a good example of a scale marking being added to the object being measured, please add it in its place. Smjg (talk) 13:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Loony template usage[edit]

This template has some clear limitations in applicability. For example, when making a comparison with a metal, f.ex. as in File:CadmiumMetalUSGOV.jpg, a ruler is not a good idea. I think the usage of the {{NoCoins}} doesn't apply to metal luster comparisons. Rursus (talk) 10:38, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I added a note of usage in Template:NoCoins/doc. Normally I would await some comments here, since it's a template, but since the template is noncritical for article layout and of the maintenance kind, and since I'm very impatient, I'll instead ACT NOW, then take any blames afterwards as per the reknowned WP:BOLD.
Furthermore: there's a lot of templates usages besides that of cadmium above, on pictures comparing minerals and metals with coins. The size of a mineral and metal slab is of no importance whatsoever, the color is the issue, so unless someone is protesting very much, I'll delete the template calls from those images. Rursus (talk) 11:06, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
This ofcourse require that you know the colour of the coin. And on top of that the colour of a coin depends on how new it is and if it has been polished or not. // Liftarn (talk) 11:55, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yes of course. (Gott nytt år förresten)! Using coins for color comparisons is not problem free. A combination of standard background, standard illumination and standard camera type/distance from object would be preferred, and a slab of material that is cut in a standard fashion would be preferrable. All I say is that a random color ruler has no value for color comparisons. Rursus (talk) 12:01, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't a color chart be a better option? While a coin provides only one reference point and can vary (as Liftarn said), a color chart provides multiple reference points and is reliable. --Slomox (talk) 13:25, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


Image:StrikeAlert.jpg is perfect. It's metric, it's Imperial, it has a coin. Noone is left out! I'm adding this to the template as an example 11:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Interesting idea...[edit]

...we could just go around and annotate the size of the coins into all the images as a stopgap... 12:00, 5 June 2010 (UTC)


The english translation lists diameters for reference like this:

  • ¢: 19.05 mm, 0.75 in

The comma separates the particular measure in millimeters or inch, whereas reference diameters with a metric measure only are displayed like this:

  • 1¢: 19,05 mm,

Especially in this case, a comma at the end of the line is both unusual and not necessary. I guess this may be fixed somewhere in the layout template:

| {{Formatnum|19.05|{{{lang|}}}}} {{{mm|}}}, ← here? }} {{#if: {{{in|}}} | {{Formatnum|0.75|{{{lang|}}}}} {{{in|}}} }}

I'd never dare to fumble with sensitive code, so perhaps someone familiar with this particular template could move the commas betwixt some other pair of triple of curly braces. -- Gohnarch 10:32, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

fixed --androl (talk) 16:24, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Number Error[edit]

Size of five US cents don't have consistent values for inches vs mm, whereas the same-sized canadian coins have consistent figures. I suppose 0.83 inches should be written for both.


what does the {{{1}}} parameter that is given to the autotranslate template? I can't see any effect. Instead, we could use {{NoCoins|euro}} to put images into the Category:Images with coins to indicate scale (euro). Just being bold... --androl (talk) 16:02, 6 February 2012 (UTC)