Wikipedia:How to add geocodes to articles

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--Joan McHale (talk) 23:37, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

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This is a short guide to how to add geographic coordinate tags to Wikipedia articles.

Why geocode articles?[edit]

By adding coordinates, a Wikipedia reader can easily view the location on a street map, nautical chart, topographic map, by satellite photo, realtime weather map, and many other options. Coordinate data makes an article eventually appear in various services such as Google Maps Wikipedia overlay, Google Earth, and Wikimedia's map service. Coordinate data also helps readers looking for geographically --Joan McHale (talk) 23:22, 6 April 2015 (UTC)based data, such as locations near a reference point, or related information. For example, this link from Mount Hood simultaneously shows the location of the summit and of all its glaciers.

How to tag an article[edit]

For most geographically based articles lacking a coordinate, a {{coord missing}} tag was added to the article's source wikitext. Just replace it with {{coord|latitude|longitude|display=title}} suitably customized. Once the coordinate data is added, the article displays a mapping link at the top right, alongside the article title. Anyone can then access map resources using that link.

Quick how to
To add 57°18′22″N 4°27′32″W / 57.30611°N 4.45889°W / 57.30611; -4.45889 to the top of an article, use {{Coord}}, thus:
{{Coord|57|18|22|N|4|27|32|W|display=title}}

These coordinates are in degrees, minutes, and seconds of arc.

'title' means that the coordinates will be displayed next to the title.

To add 44°06′43″N 87°54′47″W / 44.112°N 87.913°W / 44.112; -87.913 to the top of an article, use either
{{Coord|44.112|N|87.913|W|display=title}}

or

{{Coord|44.112|-87.913|display=title}}

These coordinates are in decimal degrees.

  • Degrees, minutes and seconds must be separated by a pipe ("|").
  • Map datum must be WGS84 (except for off-earth bodies).
  • Avoid excessive precision (0.0001° is <11 m, 1″ is <31 m).
  • Latitude (N/S) must appear before longitude (E/W).
Optional coordinate parameters follow the longitude and are separated by an underscore ("_"):

Other optional parameters are separated by a pipe ("|"):

  • display
    |display=inline (the default) to display in the body of the article only,
    |display=title to display at the top of the article only, or
    |display=inline,title to display in both places.
  • name
    name=X to label the place on maps (default is PAGENAME)

Thus: {{Coord|44.117|-87.913|dim:30_region:US-WI_type:event

|display=inline,title|name=accident site}}

Use |display=title (or |display=inline,title) once per article, for the subject of the article, where appropriate.

  • For a village, use the centre of the current village, where this is difficult choose the earliest known settlement of that name, or the central post office if all else fails.
  • For large military and industrial establishments (castles, barracks, dockyards, car plants) use the main gate, or if that cannot be found, the approximate centre of the establishment. See here for further help
  • For administrative districts, use the location of the head office, or if that cannot be found, the approximate centre of the district.

Linear features[edit]

The possible methods of tagging linear features (rivers, roads, tunnels, etc.) are being discussed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates/Linear in order to formulate a policy. Please contribute!

How to determine geographical coordinates[edit]

You can find a list of ways to get geographical coordinates at Wikipedia:Obtaining geographic coordinates.

Note that regardless of the source of coordinates, it is good practice to evaluate whether they appear reasonable at first glance. In particular, more than one place in a country may have the same name; in which case, you should very carefully check which place is meant—or if you are unsure—leave the article for someone with local knowledge to tag later.

Please don't be overly precise, but do ensure that the single point that the chosen pair of coordinates represents does fall on or within the feature.

How to find more articles to tag[edit]

You may already have had a list of articles missing coordinates posted in the message to your WikiProject. (If so, please remove articles from that list when you're done with them. This will help other editors by eliminating duplication of effort.)

Alternatively, up-to-date lists of articles on articles missing coordinates for most countries are in the subcategories of Category:Articles missing geocoordinate data by country.

More advanced users may want to use Wikipedia:CatScan to intersect one of the sub-categories of Category:Articles missing geocoordinate data by country with other, subject-specific categories to provide up-to-date lists of eligible articles for particular subjects. For example, this CatScan finds articles missing coordinate data related to the U.S. state of Oregon. Use that as a starting place.

When an article should not be tagged[edit]

The lists of articles for tagging are generated automatically by a bot. Although we've tried our best to eliminate errors, occasional articles may have been listed by the bot that cannot or should not be geocoded.

When this is the case, simply remove the {{coord missing}} tag from the article, and this will remove the article from future requests. (The tag is usually placed nearly at the bottom of the wikitext, below External links and above the category and stub tags.)

Further information[edit]

To learn more about geographic coordinates on Wikipedia, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates - and feel free to sign up!