User talk:Downtowngal

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English: Welcome to the Commons, Downtowngal!
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Manecke 21:31, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the scanned postcards[edit]

I particularly like the ones from Birmingham. Estillbham (talk) 02:46, 10 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi there! Fellow downtown L.A. dweller stopping to send my regards on all the great photographs you've taken. It looks like you do a lot of traveling in the state -- glad to see you've brought back photographic souvenirs for Wikimedia Commons. Keep up the fine work! --Amineshaker (talk) 00:20, 11 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a courtesy to other contributors could we please discuss controversial edits on the talk page, not in our edit summaries?[edit]

As a courtesy to other contributors could we please discuss controversial edits on the talk page, not in our edit summaries?

You removed material from Category:Second_Cup with the edit summary "Removed advertising text". I dispute that this was "advertising text". I request you return to the talk page and offer a more meaningful explanation for your excision. Geo Swan (talk) 09:31, 26 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

calling for discussion[edit]

You left this message at Category talk:Second Cup and you removed some text I added to Category:Second Cup. You called that text "advertizing". Your message pointed to Commons:Welcome -- as if it justified your excision.

You and I are both experience commons contributors.

  1. I don't see Commons:Welcome proscribing text like that I added;
  2. I dispute your characterization that the text was "advertizing". I have no ties to Second Cup, and haven't ordered a coffee there in over a year.

In my opinion the general lack of introductory text in categories is a serious weakness. The problem is that good faith contributors look for relevant categories, think they have found one, think some image "obviously" belongs there -- however what belongs in categories is not obvious. Different contributors have different opinions on what belongs.

The result of the lack of introductory text is creep in the use of categories -- creep that wouldn't occur if all categories had introductory text to begin with.

Forgive me if I offer an example of the general problem that besets commons and wikipedia categories with an example from my pre-internet life. I used to be a member of a small food coop. This was in the days when both bulk stores and organic food stores weren't widely available, and most of our stock was either bulk or organic stuff.

We kept track of our stock on a rolodex. The plan was to have a 3x5 inch rolodex card for every item we carried. Every time we purchased more stock we would add an entry to the card with the date, amount, price. For several years my volunteer duty was to meet the truck that shipped most of our food, confirm the shipment contained what we ordered, and then update the record of our stock.

The cards were organized into broad categories. Sometimes I would have to add a new card for an item when I couldn't find an existing card. This wasn't always because we didn't have a card for that item. Even with a small rolodex, with less than 200 cards, I would sometimes fail to find an existing card when my idea of the obvious broad category for an item differed from someone else's idea of the obvious category.

When I started paying attention to the rolodex there were about a dozen cards in a category labelled "cereals", which contained Wheat, Oats, Barley, Millet. Adding oatmeal to the cereals category didn't seem much of a stretch. But then our supplier made available some organic prepared breakfast foods, organic equivalents to Cheerios and Cornflakes. After I stopped taking responsibility for the inventory someone else added a bunch of cards to the "cereals" category for these prepared foods. A year or so later yet another volunteer decided that grains obviously didn't belong in the same category as prepared breakfast foods, and they created a new category for "grains and nuts".

Chaos results when volunteers share the responsibility for adding items to a category, or adding new categories, when those volunteers don't use the means available to them to communicate with one another. That was true at the food coop, and it is true here.

I am going to repeat that I think it would be best if all of our categories had some brief introductory text.

Your note seemed to indicate you were answering some kind of question. Well, if so, where was this question. Geo Swan (talk) 09:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The question is the one you asked above: What is the "more meaningful explanation for your excision"?
  • Wikimedia Commons is not very useful for the person who is searching for images. I directed you to the Commons:Welcome page because the mission of Commons is described there. I recall a discussion a couple of years ago (probably on Village Pump) where I brought up the difficulty of finding images and categorizing them correctly. Someone pointed out (I think this is what they said) that Commons is an image repository using software designed for an encyclopedia.
  • I agree that it isn't flexible enough. Lots of people agree. Unless a person has a really good command of English and knowledge of how things are categorized (to assist Wikipedia article writers to illustrate articles), they will have a hard time finding all the images that might be useful for them. However, that is the way Commons is designed. I am not the person to complain about it to. Any further discussion of making Commons more user-friendly belongs on the Village Pump page. I suggest you make suggestions there.
  • There is text permitted at the top of category pages. For example, see Category:Old photographs. The text tells the user what kind of images belong on the pages, and directs them to other categories that are likely to be useful to them. Other examples showing text that assists the reader in determining if they are on the right page are Category:Oranges and Category:São Paulo.
  • You will see that Commons convention is to only put text at the top of the page that assists the reader in determining if they are at the right category. The readers should be able to tell if they are at least in the vicinity of the right category by looking at the categories one level up, which appear on the page. The text you placed, I deleted, and you replaced on the page Category:Second Cup does not follow Commons conventions. I will assume you did it innocently and it is not "advertising" (which is what I typed, not "advertizing"). It should be removed. This kind of descriptive text belongs in Wikipedia and in the image descriptions, not on a category page. What you consider "informative text" is not necessarily what I would consider informative text. There would be no end to editing of these text sections of the category pages and people would take advantage of their existence to expand them to the length of a Wikipedia article, or longer.
  • One thing that is helpful and I think should be created MUCH more often is redirect pages, such as Category:Los_Angeles, as people from different countries use different default terms (e.g., British "wooden fences", American "wood fences"). There is always going to be some arbitrariness in what is chosen as 'the' category. Downtowngal (talk) 01:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of time & place category[edit]

Hello. What was your reasoning for removing "Category:1973 in New York" in this edit from a photo that the description indicates was taken in New York in 1973? The category seems appropriate to me. -- Infrogmation (talk) 13:28, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For almost all the DOCUMERICA sets, the category "Photographer's name" and "197x in X location" will lead the Commons user to the same set of photographs. To save on categorization time, nstead of the "197x in X location", I decided to put a text link to the photographer's name in the closest meta-year category: see Category:1973 in New York for what I would like to do with all the DOCUMERICA sets. Downtowngal (talk) 17:23, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If every single photograph by a particular photographer that we have or might potentially ever get under a free license were taken at a particular time and place, you might consider making "Category:photographs by [photographer name]" a subcategory of "Category:[date] in [location]". Personally I'd prefer to err on the side of caution (since most photographers were active at least on occasion in more than one place and in more than one year) and create subcategories - Maybe something like "1973 in [so and so County or region] by [photographer name]". (eg, perhaps a "Category:1973 in Old Forge, New York, by Anne LaBastille"?) I agree that when we get much more than 100 or so pix in a category it's usually useful to do some rearranging, but I think making sub-categories would be better than simply removing the photos from the relevant category (even if there is some hypothetical alternative way people might find the photo by other an other route). Other thoughts? Cheers, -- Infrogmation (talk) 19:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the match may not always be 100%, but one way to handle it would be, for each involved photographer, to create a subcategory of the photographer called "DOCUMERICA set of (date) (location/topic) photos by (name)". Then the user would go to the photographer and see the set. I would still rather keep the photographer's name as the main pointer because the photos' individual categories could be quite different, and the name "DOCUMERICA set of 1973 Upstate New York photos by Anne LaBastille" is my interpretation of her project scope, which may not be correct. Ideally, there would be a list of 'project titles' or 'project scopes' for the DOCUMERICA series placed on the Wikipedia page and on the Commons DOCUMERICA page, but I haven't found one. Downtowngal (talk) 23:48, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category mistake[edit]

An apparent category mistake in this edit. I can't say if the Mulkey Square neighborhood of Kansas City Missouri extends into Bonner Springs, Kansas, but I can certainly say that 1973 is a different year from 1975. I'm not sure what your were trying to do here, but as this was clearly wrong I reverted it. -- Infrogmation (talk) 14:10, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rationale was that this entire set by Kenneth Paik appears to be on the theme of "a neighborhood about to be destroyed for the highway", and as I don't live there and in addition the neighborhoods that do exist now may not have the same boundaries, I put the whole set under the photographer's name. I don't think it's worth time to refine the categorization of 40-year-old photographs, many of which are discolored. If someone from that area wants to, at least now they can find them all in one place. The date was a mistake: I would swear I saw a 1975 date on the one photo from the set I checked before making the category. I will move the entire set to "Mulkey Square in 1973". Downtowngal (talk) 17:23, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why have you removed this parent category? Orrlingtalk 03:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It appears to me that the category "Subdivisions" is really a meta-category for the smaller geographical jurisdictions that a place can be divided into, such as counties, zones and regions. Americans use "subdivisions" to refer to (usually) rural pieces of land that have been divided into building lots for a large number of similar houses. I added disambiguation text at the top of the page to direct readers looking for those to "Land development". Not the best solution, so I welcome alternative suggestions. As to "road traffic lanes", I do not see how that fits into either of the two concepts of subdivision I have just described, or why it would be useful to any person looking for an image of a road traffic lane to have them available under "subdivision." I think "road traffic lanes" should be a subcategory of "roads" or some category of road engineering. We could be putting everything that's a subdivision of something in this category and I don't see that as useful. Downtowngal (talk) 00:37, 19 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's probably correct that readers won't start their search after a road-lane illustration by going to Category:Subdivisions. But at the same time, my sincere impression is that traffic lanes are in no way associated only by the engineering dimension but also - as accurate - by the fact that a lane of a road is clearly a result of a conscious subdividing-mindedness for that road. By far this has more relevance than, as you say, 'everything that's a subdivision of something'. I similarly tagged Category:Parts at Subdivisions, for the same logic (but have now reversed the direction...). I also created Category:Land lots, that is more realty-oriented. I'll be happy if you check it or add content to it. Orrlingtalk 21:52, 26 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A barnstar for you![edit]

Photographer Barnstar.png The Photographer's Barnstar
For all your wonderful public domain postcards!! Thank you :) Victorgrigas (talk) 06:25, 1 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notice of Redistribution (and Gratitude) for Reuse of Your N. Broadway LA River Photo[edit]

Hello Downtowngal, You don't seem to have a traditional contact link anywhere on your page, so I've decided to post using your discussion page. I wish to let you know and thank you that I've reused your beautiful photo of the LA River at N. Broadway on my tumblr page. --Merlot70

Someone just left a comment on en:Talk:Vernon, California pointing out the actual location of this image, which can be verified by viewing map imagery (it's a fairly unique combination of angles and features). I've added the coords to the image and changed the description... if you agree after viewing the map source of your choice, you may want to change the file name? I also added the photo to en:Coyote Creek bicycle path, maybe you want to add it to en:Coyote Creek (San Gabriel River) as well? It's a nice picture. :) --Junkyardsparkle (talk) 21:39, 22 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incorrect identification of buildings in 2 of your photographs[edit]

Westfield Topanga mall sunset.jpg
Westfield Promenade mall vista.jpg

Just want to let you know that the building that you had incorrectly identified the buildings in our photographs File:Westfield Topanga mall sunset.jpg and File:Westfield Topanga vista.jpg as the en:Westfield Topanga Mall are actually of the nearby en:Westfield Promenade Mall.

The big clue is the AMC Theatre, which the Promenade has but Topanga does not. If you zoom in on sign of the AMC Theatre, you would be able to see AMC Promenade 16 Theatre on the sign.

It is very easy to confuse the two malls since they are only 1-2 blocks apart. Please take a look at the area via Google Maps streetview and satellite view.

I would suggest renaming both images and update their file descriptions.

Do you have any photographs of the Westfield Topanga mall itself?

BTW, where were you standing to take those great photos?

-- 00:02, 6 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you[edit]

Thank you for letting me know. It looks like the file names and descriptions have already been updated. The photos are from an upper floor in the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills. No, I don't have any other photos of the malls. Downtowngal (talk) 01:49, 7 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your help and for the information. The mall picture at sunset is still a great picture. I hope that someone would be able to stand in the same spot where you had stood but in 20 years in future when Westfield finally replaces the mall with its Promenade 2035 development. The two pictures from the same POV but ~20 years apart would look great together. -- 04:49, 10 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Category discussion warning

Spinsters has been listed at Commons:Categories for discussion so that the community can discuss ways in which it should be changed. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this category, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for discussion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it. If the category is up for deletion because it has been superseded, consider the notion that although the category may be deleted, your hard work (which we all greatly appreciate) lives on in the new category.

In all cases, please do not take the category discussion personally. It is never intended as such. Thank you!

Auntof6 (talk) 05:54, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FP Promotion[edit]

Sponge fishing LCCN2003666909 restored.jpg
This image has been promoted to Featured picture!

The image File:Sponge fishing LCCN2003666909 restored.jpg, that you nominated on Commons:Featured picture candidates/File:Sponge fishing LCCN2003666909 restored.jpg has been promoted. Thank you for your contribution. If you would like to nominate another image, please do so.


/FPCBot (talk) 21:01, 16 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your Playa Vista photo[edit]

Maybe you already know but I think your Playa Vista photo was used on the cover of this report about Ballona watershed.

Cheers Jengod (talk) 14:25, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks much. Downtowngal (talk) 20:39, 18 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A barnstar for you![edit]

Photographer Barnstar.png The Photographer's Barnstar
For your 1978 black and white photos of Chicago Victorgrigas (talk) 01:21, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow, thank you. I am so glad that other people appreciate these photos. I set out in 1978 and 1979 and 1979 in Chicago Lawn to document the non-gentrified city of Chicago. Thanks to available scanning and editing technology, and Wikimedia, I can share these photos with the world 44 years later. Again, thank you! Downtowngal (talk) 01:32, 22 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]