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Original author(s)
  • Michael Ivanov
  • Philip Neustrom
Stable release
Preview release
Written inPython
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LocalWiki is a collaborative project that aims to collect and open the world's local knowledge. The LocalWiki project was founded by DavisWiki creators Mike Ivanov and Philip Neustrom[1] and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[2] based in San Francisco, California.[3] LocalWiki is both the name of the project and the software that runs the project's websites.


In 2004, Ivanov and Neustrom started DavisWiki, an experimental project to collect and share local information about the town of Davis, California, editable by anyone.[2] It became a large and active community wiki.[4] According to its founders, at least half of the local residents use it.[5] The LocalWiki project aims to provide "institutional memory" and context for local news.[6] LocalWiki is built on the Django framework in Python.[7]

In June 2010, LocalWiki won a $350,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge.[8][9] After winning the grant to develop the software, they ran a Kickstarter project to raise $25,000 to help fund outreach,[10] which was successful.[11]

In December 2011, the project announced its first "focus community", Denton, Texas.[12] Its second focus community was the Triangle region of Durham, North Carolina, with initial contributions about transportation infrastructure and parks,[13] and a goal of compiling information about historic events.[14] A nonprofit in Tallahassee, Florida helped start TallahasseeWiki with knowledge from residents.[15] The LocalWiki project for Oakland, California is supported by volunteers meeting in person to collaborate on historical information.[16]

In 2012 the LocalWiki team assembled a comprehensive high-definition map of the Antarctic continent, available on "Open Antarctica", a LocalWiki instance for Antarctica.[17] Neustrom explained that the map was "pieced together from very-hard-to-find NASA aerial imagery and coastline datasets".[18][19]

In April 2015, Idmloco focused on Davis LocalWiki as part of a public relations operation for U C Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.[20]


The LocalWiki software includes a WYSIWYG editing interface to help make editing simpler.[7] It also includes mapping features: each article can have an associated annotated map, and the website has an overview map with those annotations.[7]

Notable LocalWiki communities[edit]

As of 2013, major LocalWiki communities include Santa Cruz County, California; Oakland, California; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Denton, Texas;[citation needed] Ann Arbor, Michigan;[21] and Tokyo, Japan.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Badger, Emily (10 May 2012). "A Crowdsourced Hyperlocal City Guide, Coming To You Soon". Fast Company. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b Andersen, Michael. "Welcome to Davis, Calif.: Six lessons from the world's best local wiki". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  3. ^ LocalWiki. "About". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  4. ^ Haller, Chris (February 25, 2013). "Davis Wiki: Crowdsourcing hyperlocal information". EngagingCities. Urban Interactive Studio. Archived from the original on 1 March 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  5. ^ Neustrom, Philip (5 October 2010). "LocalWiki to Create Collaborative, Community-Owned Local Media". Knight Projects Idea Lab. PBS.org. Archived from the original on 9 October 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Davis Wiki Wins Knight News Challenge Grant". The People's Vanguard of Davis. June 18, 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Willis, Nathan (27 April 2012). "Weekend Project: Get to Know LocalWiki for Local Information Sites". Linux.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  8. ^ Myers, Steve (16 June 2010). "Data Visualization, Community Involvement Among Winning Ideas in Knight News Challenge". Poynter. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  9. ^ McGann, Laura (18 June 2010). "Knight News Challenge: Is a wiki site coming to your city? Local Wiki will build software to make it simple". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  10. ^ Jessy Wei (August 2, 2010). "DavisWiki goes national with the LocalWiki Project". The California Aggie. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  11. ^ Becky Peterson (23 September 2010). "LocalWiki project raises over $25,000". The California Aggie. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  12. ^ Everts, Denise (28 December 2011). "Idea Lab: Year in Review 2011". Knight Projects Idea Lab. PBS.org. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  13. ^ Chris Haller (13 April 2012). "The Triangle Region: Joins 180 Independent Groups Taking Advantage of LocalWiki's Free Open-Source Software". National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  14. ^ Chelsea Kellner (15 November 2011). "Something Wiki this way comes, contributors sought". Midtown Raleigh News. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  15. ^ Joyner, Liz (November 20, 2012). "Expanding civic engagement in Tallahassee with help from LocalWiki (and an enterprising retiree)". Knight Blog. John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ Grossberg, Adam (January 14, 2013). "Weekly Oakland Wiki Edit-a-thons start at the History Room". OaklandNorth. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Open Antarctica". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  18. ^ Jardin, Xeni (12 October 2012). "LocalWiki Antarctica, a crowdsourced map of the icy southern continent". BoingBoing. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  19. ^ Neustrom, Philip. "Antarctica Like You've Never Seen It Before". LocalWiki Blog. Archived from the original on 1 March 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  20. ^ The Sacramento Bee (subscription required)
  21. ^ Ann Arbor’s Wikipedia: Writing what you know about in town Archived 2013-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, Ann Arbor Observer, July 2013
  22. ^ "Communities". Localwiki Guide. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

External links[edit]