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File:WikiMapia Growth 2006-05 to 2008-01.jpg

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.[2] 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,[3] and has over 7 million places marked.[4] While registration is not required to edit or add to Wikimapia, over 153,000 users from around the world are currently registered.[5]

FeaturesEdit

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.[6] 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.[7] For non-rectangular places, green bordered polygons can be added.

Multi-lingualEdit

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.[8]

User accounts and levelsEdit

Optional user accounts were introduced in October, 2006.[9] 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receive enough positive votes (for instance 2 positive and 0 negative).[10] Especially in some areas of the world with out-of-date or very expensive mapping, such as India, growth has been phenomenally rapid.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).

GeoToolsEdit

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.

RoadsEdit

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.

Business modelEdit

The site generates some income with Google ads. In July 2007, the founders of WikiMapia decided to start looking for an investor to accomplish their plans.

InteroperabilityEdit

A GPS receiver can be connected to WikiMapia using a plug-in program (beta, download for Windows OS from WikiMapia site [1]).

Limited WikiMapia functionality is available on:

Reuse of content Edit

WikiMapia user submissions are available for personal or educational non-commercial purposes through the website.[11]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

References Edit

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