Announcing Stubs and Other Changes to the Place Contribution Process 3/28

Hello! We’re always working to improve the Atlas Obscura experience for our community, and we’ve recently made a couple of changes that we’re excited to share with you.

First off, in response to a great deal of reader feedback, we’ve made some changes to our notification processes, which should ensure clearer and more timely communication about the status of your Place contributions. These changes will allow us to provide more proactive feedback on your Places, greater details on what may be preventing your contribution from being published, and alerts about the status of your Place.

The other major change is the reintroduction of “Stub” status to Places. Stubs are Place entries that we think belong in the Atlas, but would benefit from additional text or images. By assigning Stub status to an in-progress Place, we can publish it more quickly, and at the same time give other members of the Atlas Obscura community the opportunity to contribute additional information or photos. Some older unpublished Places may be published as Stubs as well, but this will only occur on a small scale. Either way, you will receive an email notification when your contribution is published as a Stub.

We hope that by using Stubs, we can publish even more exciting places to the Atlas for travelers to discover, while at the same time giving more readers an opportunity to participate in growing Atlas Obscura themselves. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite Stubs on the forums as they come in, so keep an eye out for new place entries that you might be able to add to!

If you have any questions about these changes or anything else, please feel free to contact our Places editors at, or leave your questions in the comments below. Thanks again for being a part of the Atlas Obscura Community. We hope that these improvements make the experience of contributing to our site easier and more enjoyable, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback for ways we can improve in the future.


Any chance of being able to submit a place without a photo?

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Is there a list of stubs for people to look over?

Also if one edits a stub and it gets ‘published’ does that count as an edit or a ‘submitted’ place? I’d argue for the second and make the submission shared.

Hi @tiffanyyoung. Currently, due mainly to our display options, our Places, even Stubs, will still require at least one usable image to be published. I hope that’s not too great an inconvenience, but thank you for reaching out!

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Knowing how the Place contributions queue up is a great idea Eric!

Is it active now and if so, where do we find the list? via our email?

Hey @CoolCrab! At current, there is not one centralized place where the Stubs live, but I’m going to post a couple of them to forum each week to see if there are others that would like to help. That is a great idea though! Currently if another contributor adds to a Stub, they will be added to the “Edited” list, but the “Submitted by” credit will remain the same. As our system becomes more robust, there may be room to change that in the future, but for now, taking action on Stubs will behave like making an edit or adding any image does with any Place page. Thanks again for the feedback!


I’m all about this idea. I can imagine taking a road trip (within reason) to check a place that needs a little more exposition out.


That would be the ideal outcome!

Hey @cscheele. We don’t have a centralized home for Stubs just yet but it is now in the works and we’ll hopefully have one soon. In the meantime, be on the lookout in the forums for Stubs being posted that need a little extra love.

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Thanks for addressing the question!

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It is hard to wait. Knowing when I am published would encourage me to submit more Places.

Already have a unique spot or two I know you folks would like.

Plus this is helping tune up my writing skills for the for-profit authorship sector

An ETA would be encouraging to me and other contributors!

Charlie Scheele

Hey Charlie! Hopefully the new notification processes should be able to give you an accurate idea when your contribution will be published. But if you ever have any questions about the status of a Place or Food you can always email the editors at

I just noticed that all leaderboards are now gone. This is not a permanent thing right?

Nope! Just working on some technical issues. They’ll be back in a little bit.

My latest submission went from “Pending Review” to “Unpublished”, does that mean it was not approved or is standing by for publication? I assume this is also among the changes since is the first time I see it happen.

Hey @CDVV86! You actually caught us in the middle of changing some verbiage on the site. Going forward, the site notification that was read “Pending Review” will simply read “Unpublished.” Nothing was changed with the status of your Place page itself (although that Place looks like it is set to be published soon). Sorry about the confusion, and thanks again for reaching out. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns!

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Is there a list of stubs somewhere? Also it would really help if we could see whats missing fo each of them. Pictures are hard to get, but text could be edited in by someone who was interested in the place.

Hey again @CoolCrab! You can see all published Stubs here:

And thanks for the suggestion about communicating what each stub needs! We’ll keep it in mind as we make future improvements.

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I think there should be a “draft” status, so you can do a write up but have in on stand by for a couple of days as you might do more research or sort though your photo albums. The only option currently is to cancel a write up or submit. Maybe drafts would be permanent or expire after a month, or be linked to someone else if they start writing about the same place so it could be combined into a finished article.


I couldn’t agree more.

We should have an option to save our progress and continue later. In the past, I had to re-write submissions because of connectivity or server issues and is really infuriating when your work vanishes due to something out of your control. Not to mention having to re-upload the pictures and their descriptions, posting the reference links, etc.