Writing Stellar Descriptions
Published: 23 December 2008
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- A description should be 'stand alone' - with the intention that it is understandable without referring to other images or external websites.
- You can include links to other Geograph images and locations (see Crosslinking descriptions) and even external websites in the description.
- When adding a link, introduce it or make it clear what it is for, eg "For more information Link" and "Museum website Link"
- Descriptions should be readable and useful even if external websites referenced are no longer available.
- If possible please expand non-trivial abbreviations and acronyms - don't assume others will understand them. The same constraint applies to technical and 'local' terms.
- The words used in a description are a powerful way for others to find your image so it's great to mention other things about the image, for example what is visible, both in the foreground and places visible in the distance. Even trivial things such as weather conditions will help find similar images.
- If your image covers a wide area including other grid squares, consider mentioning them in your description. Add a 4-figure grid reference in this format [[TR4523]] (example) to create a clickable link. Your image will then be accessible from those squares. Read more about the broader view
- If the image is part of a collection on a particular theme, a great way to cross-reference them all is first to create a search result that finds the images and then provide a link to that result. (more information to be added). You could also consider using a Shared Description
- Add a Shared Description. Shared descriptions can be used to write a generic description that can be added to multiple related images, or to simply create a quick link to similar photos.
- There is no set limit to the length of the description but probably no more than 300 words is a workable limit. If you have more to say, consider putting it in a separate article (which has the benefit of being able to reference multiple images).
- While other languages are welcomed in the description (where relevant to the image) - they should not be the sole language - please provide an English translation.
Finally note that descriptions aren't final. You can amend them at any time after they have been submitted. It is even possible to leave the description box blank at the time the image is submitted and add the description later.