WikiMapia is an online map and satellite imaging resource that combines Google Maps with a wiki system, allowing users to add information (in the form of a note) to any location on earth. It was created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev, and was launched on May 24, 2006 with the aim of "describing the whole world". It is one of the top 2000 websites visited, and has over 7 million places marked. While registration is not required to edit or add to Wikimapia, over 153,000 users from around the world are currently registered.
Tag a locationEdit
WikiMapia allows any contributor to add a "tag" to any location by marking out a rectangle around the location and then providing a language (to be set as default), a title, and one of the predefined location types, such as "police station", "mountain", etc. An optional note can be provided, as well as keyword tags, images, and embedded YouTube videos, which all appear on the place's information window. For non-rectangular places, green bordered polygons can be added.
Location tagging is fully multi-lingual. Currently a total of 64 languages are supported, and 100% of the interface has been translated for 25 languages.
User accounts and levelsEdit
Optional user accounts were introduced in October, 2006. Since then, a system has been under development whereby users can rise in status. For instance, users can vote in favor or disfavor of other users' contributions, and there are three user levels explained in the Wikimapia FAQ. In October, 2007 a forum started for discussions by registered users.
Places added by new or unregistered users must be verified. Unverified places appear with a yellow outline and can be voted positive or negative on their description window. To be verified they must be at least 24 hours old and receive enough positive votes (for instance 2 positive and 0 negative). Especially in some areas of the world with out-of-date or very expensive mapping, such as India, growth has been phenomenally rapid. However, this rapid growth has brought problems of its own with urban areas being covered with thousands of overlapping rectangles marking the position of private residences, but with no facility available in the WikiMapia interface to display places of public interest (as opposed to private houses, flats and apartments).
Basic tools for measuring distance and land area, and mapping IP addresses to locations are available from the menu at the top of the page.
Registered users can mark the route of roads using a series of segments and points. Once marked, these can be named and described in a similar manner to locations.
Limited WikiMapia functionality is available on:
- Google Earth, using Google Earth dynamic layer in KML file.
- Google Maps Mapplets using special layer.
- Any HTML webpage, using code for a map frame which can found on the top menu, under "Wikimapia:Map on your page"
- Most Java-enabled cellphones using 3rd party software such as Mobile GMaps.
Reuse of content Edit
WikiMapia user submissions are available for personal or educational non-commercial purposes through the website.
- Wikimapia Forum for discussions
- Official Wikimapia Blog
- Matt Jones' Wikimapia Blog
- Meta.Wikimedia/about the connection with Wikipedia
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