Wikipedia:WikiProject Maps/Conventions/Location maps

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This page provides conventions for the creation of location maps.
Location maps are an extremely light and chartjunk-free style, use especially in geolocalisation infobox ({{Location map}}). Location maps focus on the subject, most of the time a country, and its official borders and subdivisions borders. This style is on purpose using soft and print-friendly colors, to ease the superimposition of labels or dots, as well as non-CIA based colors.

Usage: These maps are often used as background for png locator maps to enlight the place and area of a major sub-division's in a country, of an species range, etc. They may also be use as background for Exchanges maps, or as an administrative layer up on Topographic maps by keeping the borders only.

Where: these maps can be found on commons, in the category Location_maps_(2008_standard).


Maps template-fr.svg
Convention for location maps.
Subject Colorimetry (RGB/hex)
Toponymes (names)
R:0 V:0 B:0
Border. Labels (country/state/province's name)
R:100 V:100 B:100
Subject's area (country, province)
R:254 V:254 B:233
Other areas part of the same political unity
R:246 V:225 B:185
Outside area
R:224 V:224 B:224
Coasts of lakes, rivers, seas, and hydronyms
(Temporary coastlines, color and ratio: opacity:0.6;dasharray:4, 4;stroke-width:1;)
R:9 V:120 B:171
Ocean, sea, lake
(Temporary body, color and ratio: opacity:0.6;stroke-dasharray:4, 4;stroke-width:1;)
R:198 V:236 B:255

Naming (upload):

  • File:{Country name in English} location map.svg
  • File:{Country name in English} {Sub-division name in English} location map.svg

and so on, but please focus your energy on countries first.

Further needs:
Legend: not needed.
Scale: not needed (since misleading), acceptable for <200km large/high maps.
Projections: Equirectangular projection (except for extreme north or extreme south country.)
{Location map}: use such {{Location map|Spain|label=Madrid|mark=Green_pog.svg|lat=40.5|long=-3.7|width=230|float=center}}

SVG template: if you need some labels, please use Image:Maps_template-en.svg which provide further label conventions.


This project focuses on making location maps for articles in the English Wikipedia, although map making is a cross-language effort coordinated across Wikipedias of various languages. A convention and set style is followed when constructing these maps.

Location maps are widely used with the {{Superimpose}} and {{Location map}} templates, to display the coordinates of a city, building, battle, etc. Accordingly, they are used in the infoboxes of many articles.

History and current work[edit]


This convention takes its style from the Public Domain CIA World Factbook's maps previously uploaded on Wikipedia, but has evolved toward a more web-friendly, screen friendly, and wiki-specific style. User:STyx (fr) made the first basic proposal. Dozens of discussions on several wikipedias have eventually lead to this current style, with User:Sting (fr), NNW (de) & co helping a lot to spread the decided conventions by producing a large number of such maps. In 2008 the French and German cartographic labs —the two most productive organized teams— synchronized their styles.

Interesting innovations

Traditionally. most book's maps display borders, especially international ones, using bold lines while neighboring countries' territories may suddenly be whitened and erased from the map. Following a talk, a consensus encouraged to instead use doted lines for borders such —–—–— or ––– (ex: Portugal_administrative_map-fr.svg), the rationale being that borders are not walls, people have always crossed them, and as an NGO and international community of volunteers, we do not support the nationalistic view that space stops at a country's border. Also, as a second consensus, neighbor countries or territories should NOT be “wiped off the map”, that's considered as rude, and doesn't make sense geographically.


Currently, the German team has initiated a large project (Europe 96% done, etc.), and work continent after continent and country after country, to provide a complete set of SVG location maps, respecting these conventions. NNW, Chumwa, Sting, TUBS are the main contributors, several German and non-German users also contribute actively. These users work using GIS software and GIS databases such Recently (2012), there has been a push on commons for derivated locator maps (example: File:New_York_in_United_States.svg) Further help is welcome !


Location maps
Location maps in use
Madrid is located in Spain
Madrid (Spain)

Map with up-to-date example of this style. > Madrid
Derivated usages

See also[edit]