Cyclopedia (iPhone application)

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Initial release July 14, 2009 (2009-07-14)
Stable release
2.0 / August 16, 2009 (2009-08-16)
Available in English (plus six others)
Type "Lifestyle"

Cyclopedia is an iPhone application that overlays geotagged Wikipedia articles on a GPS-enabled Google street view, such that one is able to see what notable Wikipedia-defined places and landmarks are near one’s own location. It provides paragraph summary, distance, direction, and Wikipedia article connection for each location.[1] As of July 2010, the application connects to Wikipedia articles in seven different languages, is only available for the iPhone 3GS and 4.0, and costs $1.99.


The app works in two ways. First, in the 360˚ mode shown below, one will see bottom tabs showing place and distance (e.g. Southwark, Distance 0.4 miles) depending on which degree the phone is pointed. When the tab is clicked a small paragraph summary appears, giving an overview of that location. When the overview is tapped, it takes the user to the Wikipedia article.

In the other mode known as street-view mode, shown above (right), one sees his or her current location as well as location mark arrows surrounding it, each with its respective Wikipedia article.

The 360˚ mode showing someone standing on a bridge in London, indicating that pointed directly ahead of them is Tate Modern, 0.2 miles away, Britain's national museum of international modern art, among other possible sites to visit.

In streetview mode, different Wikipedia articles appear depending on the direction which the phone is pointed. When the location arrow is clicked the first time it brings up a Google maps popup-style overview box, showing name and distance (e.g. Cleopatra's Needle, Distance 0.2 miles). When the popup box is clicked it takes the user to the Wikipedia article. No overview paragraph is provided in the streetview mode.

GPS wiki-edits[edit]

Keeping with the wiki-theme, if one is at a location that they feel needs to be included, the person can connect directly to the Wikipedia page and add the GPS data and it will eventually pop up in the app.


The application was conceived and developed by a Los Angeles-based company called Chemical Weddings, founded by Toby Evetts, Simon Reeves, and Nic Sadler.[2]


  1. ^ Anon. (2009). “Cyclopedia Augmented Reality iPhone App Drenches Your World in Wikipedia”,, Oct. 01.
  2. ^ Cyclopedia –