From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

About a collaborative project to collect speed limits. Not to be confused with the wiki game of the same name[1]

Wikispeedia is an open data collaborative project to collect a database of the locations of all speed limits around the world. It was started in 2005.


Wikispeedia was created in 2005 to create a cruise control system that was responsive to local speed limits.[2] It turned it into a DIY kit tested initially by Matt Despain in Salt Lake City.[3] A suitable speed limit database was not available so the Open Speed Limit Database project was created in 2006 to collect the required information (originally known as In 2007, the project was renamed[4] The launch of the iPhone in 2007 led to increased demand for speed limits data but there was still limited data in the database.[citation needed]

In 2009 some fifth and sixth grade school children developed an online computer game to virtually drive around a city using Google Street View finding speed limit signs which could then be transcribed into wikispeedia for the FIRST Robotics Competition.[5] By 2011 some 300 volunteers had collected 30,000 signs at which point a further 26,000,000 'default' speed limits were added algorithmically worldwide based on Tiger road data.[6] In late 2010 the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Delaware Department of Transportation allowed WikiSpeedia access to their realtime variable speed limits.[citation needed] By early 2011 the Wikispeedia database contained 28 million speed limit entries.[7] Wikispeedia is registered as a 502(a)(2) charity with the state of Tennessee.[8]

Growth from Contributors

Minnesota: In Oct 2011, MN became the first entity to contact WikiSpeedia for a bi-directional data share of highway speed limits. [9] In 2012 Sam Krajewski from contributed 35k signs.[10]


A number of products use Wikispeedia data, including:

  • Speed limit indicator[11]
  • In 2012, Doug Moeller entered into a speed-limit sharing conversation by offsetting some Wikispeedia hosting costs. He has a related app called Speed Tracker.[12]
  • In 2009, Alex BenBassat purchased a snapshot of speed limits for his aSafeDrive App.[13]
  • Instant Speed Limit Viewer[14]
  • Speederaser,[15] Speed Limit,[16] Back Seat Driver Pro[17]
  • Details of how to build an Android app.[18]


Data can be used without charge as long as individual contributions are attributed.[19]

Anyone can add a sign and their name will be given as the Copyright/license holder for that limit.[20] Wikispeedia is a TN charity. By payment of a small donation, a product developer can make use the data without crediting each individual contributor.[citation needed]

Wikispeedia is a Database as a compilation and as such is copyrighted.[21]


Speed limits can be read by submitting a box as follows:

Same as above with the Since Capability

Similar commands exist for submitting and deleting signs from the database. (see FAQ below)

You can access Wikispeedia data through the API from R, using the R package rwikispeedia.

Visualizations of Wikispeedia data[edit]

Visualization of speed limit changes in St. Louis using Google Visualizations. Find the visualization here.


  1. ^ "". Website of the wiki game called Wikispeedia. 
  2. ^ "Mp3car". Thought you might learning that we are building a gps-cruisecontrol. We need help somehow in creating a big database of US speedlimit signs. Please help. 
  3. ^ "Matt Despain bought a DIY cruise control kit in 2006". Matt bought a DIY kit in 2006 
  4. ^ "". Fight back by adding some speed limits at Wikispeedia ( 
  5. ^ "". We think that having an online collection of speed limit data is a neat idea,” added Thompson. The Red Team started entering data for the Lincoln area and has logged about 200 speed limit signs. As a result of these contributions, the Red Team has been highlighted on Wikispeedia. 
  6. ^ "Crowdsourcing eventually bloats (or does it)". "In five years we have netted 50k signs with 300 unique contributors...Last year my buddy Ben de Waal from Germany suggested that we put in "suggested" speed limits based on road-type. So I went off to, and harvested 26 Million "suggested" speed limits. Turns out this data is available for other countries, so if people help me understand the language, we do other countries as well. This is free data, but as you see below, the census system has lousy precision, only 4 digits of lat, lon, and even that last digit has round off errors". 
  7. ^ "Contributions". 28 million Contributions 
  8. ^ "Wikispeedia". Charity 
  9. ^ "Minnesota". Nathan Drews of Minnesota DOT requests a bi-directional speed limit share. 
  10. ^ "Maine". Sam Krajewski from contributes signs. 
  11. ^ "Viewer". Speed limit indicator.: 
  12. ^ "Speed Tracker Safety App". Safety App: 
  13. ^ "aSafeDrive iPhone App". Safety App: 
  14. ^ "Viewer". Shows the Speed Limit from any location aware browser.: 
  15. ^ "Speederaser". Aftermarket cruise control that slows down in speed zones. Proceeds go to the wikiSPEEDia charity.: 
  16. ^ "Speed Limit app on Amazon Market". Apps on Amazon market: 
  17. ^ "Backseet driver Pro". Android app which uses WikiSPEEDia: 
  18. ^ "How to build a cruise control using a smartphone". Instructable uses WikiSPEEDia: 
  19. ^ "Wikispeedia Terms of Service". Wikispeedia Terms of Service: 
  20. ^ "How to add a Mph or Kph speed limit sign.". How to add a Mph or Kph speed limit sign. 
  21. ^ "Database Copyrights". Databases as Compilations: 

External links[edit]