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Wikitravel Press announced its first printed guidebooks, Wikitravel Chicago and Wikitravel Singapore. Like the Wikitravel site, the books are licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike, allowing sharing and adaption, including commercial uses.
Taking collaboratively created material to print is another landmark for the Wikitravel community, and another commercial success for Wikitravel’s founders, who sold the site to Internet Brands in 2006 and subsequently launched Wikitravel Press (they have an agreement with Internet Brands to use the Wikitravel name in this independent business).
Wikitravel Press titles look like normal guidebooks rather than printouts of related wiki articles, but they aren’t stale tomes either — they’re updated every month and printed to order. So while the businesses-built-on-liberal-licenses angle is cool, I think currency is another area in which Wikitravel Press will lead the travel guide pack. As someone who has printed out articles from Wikitravel and other online resources in lieu of buying travel books for a couple years (in spite of always ending up with a disorganized mess of papers by the end of a trip), I wouldn’t go back to the convenient packaging of a book unless it were nearly as up to date as the web.Posted 03 February 2008