WikiMapia

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Not to be confused with Wikipedia:WikiProject_Maps.
The correct title of this article is Wikimapia. It appears incorrectly here because of technical restrictions.
Wikimapia
WikimapiaLogo.PNG
Web address www.wikimapia.org
Slogan Let's describe the whole world!
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Collaborative mapping
Registration Optional
Available in 101 languages, including English
Content license
Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA)[1]
Created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev[2]
Launched May 24, 2006; 9 years ago (2006-05-24)
Revenue From AdSense and Wikimapia Ads [3]
Alexa rank
negative increase 2,530 (August 2015)[4]
Current status Active

Wikimapia[5] is a privately owned open-content collaborative mapping project, that utilizes an interactive "clickable" web map with a geographically-referenced wiki system, with the aim to mark and describe all geographical objects in the world.

Created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev on May 2006,[2] it has become one of the popular mapping websites. The data, a crowdsourced collection of places marked by registered users and guests, has grown to over 25,000,115 objects as of August 2015,[6] and is released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).[1][7]

Although the project's name is reminiscent to that of Wikipedia and that the creators share the "wiki" philosophy,[2] it is not a part of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, though there had been plans on its integration with Wikipedia.[8]

Main principles[edit]

According to the website, Wikimapia is an open-content collaborative mapping project, aimed at marking all geographical objects in the world and providing a useful description of them.[9] It aims to, create and maintain a free, complete, multilingual and up-to-date map of the whole world. Wikimapia intends to contain detailed information about every place on Earth."[9]

History[edit]

Wikimapia was launched on 24 of May in 2006 by two Russian Internet entrepreneurs, Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev.[2]

The website, in its early stages, had initially very limited functionality. A place could be added (or "tagged") utilizing only a rectangle box that only showed on top of the Satellite image but did not have an effect in the Wikimapia map layer. In 2009, the rectangle was eliminated and the outline (or polygon) became compulsory when adding a place.[10]

A complete redesign of the website was released in 2012 and was dubbed the "New Wikimapia".[11]

On September 28, 2012, the mobile version of Wikimapia was launched. The version is automatically opened upon visiting the website using a mobile phone, and has a different user interface.[12]

By August 2015, the website had over 2.4 million registered users.[6]

Features[edit]

Viewing[edit]

The Wikimapia website provides a Google Maps API-based interactive web map that consists of user-generated information layered on top of Google Maps satellite imagery and other resources. The navigation interface provides scroll and zoom functionality similar to that of Google Maps.

The Wikimapia layer is a collection of "objects" with a polygonal outline (buildings and lakes) and "linear features" (streets, railroads, rivers, ferry). Streets are connected by intersection points to form a street grid. Both kinds of items may have textual descriptions and photos attached to them. Viewers are able to click on any marked object or street segment to see its description. Descriptions can be searched by a built-in search tool. Tools for refining existing places according to category as well as measuring distances between objects are also available.

The interface is available in many languages, and the textual description of each item may have multiple versions in different languages.

Wikimapia maps can also be embedded on other websites.

Map editing[edit]

The data in Wikimapia is derived from voluntary crowdsourcing.[1] All users, registered or unregistered (guest), are allowed to add a place on the Wikimapia layer. Using a simple graphical editing tool, users are able to draw to draw an outline or polygon that matches the satellite image layer underneath. Each object or "tag" has specific information fields which include categories, a textual description, street address, and a related Wikipedia link. Users are likewise capable of uploading several relevant photos.

Fewer restrictions in map editing are given to registered users, who are able to edit and/or delete existing places as well as draw "linear features" (roads, railroads, rivers and ferry lines). A "watchlist" could be manually set up to monitor all activity or object changes made in one or more of the assigned rectangular areas on the map.

Administration[edit]

The website is maintained and developed by a small team of administrators (the Wikimapia Team), who introduce new features and determine further evolution course.[2] Improvements are largely based on a feedback system from registered users through public forum discussions, bug reports and feature requests.

User levels and special roles[edit]

The registered user community is largely self-organized, with users communicating through an internal message system and through a public forum. Map editing rewards the user "experience points" and milestone "awards" assigned by the system.[13][14]

Registered users are automatically ranked in levels according to accumulated experience points, with higher levels gaining access to advanced tools and having less restrictions on editing activity. A registered user may be promoted to an "Advanced User" (AU) status as other existing AUs deem it fit. Additional editing and moderation tools, which includes the authority to ban users are given to an Advanced User, who is given the responsibility of countering vandalism in the map.[15][16]

Special roles of maintaining the website forum, place categories, and the Wikimapia Documentation (Docs) are also given by the Wikimapia Team to some users.[16]

Quality of contents[edit]

The data in Wikimapia is derived from voluntary contributors who visit and add the information on the website.[1] The textual description attached to each place object is in free format, having no restriction about style, with the exception of possessing a Neutral Point of View, where "neutral" is explained to exclude "Feelings, opinions, experiences, words which display a personal bias or agenda, politics and/or religion".[9] Citing the source of the information is optional, and a link to a relevant and existing Wikipedia article is encouraged.

In spite of these recommendations, map coverage is generally uneven, with some areas, usually in developing countries, being cluttered with crude outlines, private residences, subjective evaluations or advertisements, requiring constant attention and refining by regular editors.[vague] Information can either be edited or deleted by registered users as they deem it inappropriate.

Licensing[edit]

In December 2009, Wikimapia launched an API and made its content available in several formats for non-commercial use. In December 2010, the data was announced as being available under a Non-Commercial Creative Commons license.

In May 2012, Wikimapia announced that all the content was available under Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).[1][7]

Despite this, because the WikiMapia's geo-located data is largely derived from aerial imagery provided from Google Maps (whose imagery is from a number of partners including TerraMetrics, Bluesky), the dataset (and any further derivations from it) may constitute a "derived work". Whilst dependent on jurisdiction, the principle allows aerial photography companies to license their exclusive right to derive geo-data from their imagery (commercially, or under proprietary restrictions).[original research?] Concerns have been raised about this, particularly from similar mapping websites.[17][18]

Business model[edit]

The site generates some income using Google ads and Wikimapia Ads.[3]

Interoperability[edit]

WikiMapia functionality is available on:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Wikimapia terms reference; Terms of Service, Copyright Notice and Privacy Notice.". Wikimapia.org. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Wikimapia Team". Wikimapia.org. 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Wikimapia Ads". Wikimapia.org. 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Wikimapia.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  5. ^ "Wikimapia Docs; Help/FAQ". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. Is it WikiMapia or Wikimapia? This website is usually more referred to as Wikimapia. 
  6. ^ a b "Wikimapia Statistics". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b ""Happy Birthday Wikimapia!" forum page". Wikimapia.org. 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2015. Therefore to make Wikimapia content more accessible for distribution we decided to change Wikimapia license type to the most popular among Wikis "Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike" (CC BY-SA). 
  8. ^ "Wikimapia; Proposal to integrate WikiMapia with Wikipedia". Wikimedia Meta-Wiki. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c "Wikimapia Docs; About Wikimapia". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "New version of Wikimapia released". Wikimapia.org (Forum page). 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Wikimapia's new face released!". Wikimapia.org (Forum page). 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Mobile version of Wikimapia". Wikimapia.org Blog. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Wikimapia Awards". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Wikimapia; Users Rank". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Wikimapia Special Role; Advanced User". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Wikimapia Docs (Community)". Wikimapia.org. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Wikimapia.org: CC-BY-SA Clarifcation forum page.
  18. ^ wiki.OpenStreetMaps.org: [1] commentary on Wikimapia by openstreetmaps
  19. ^ Wikimapia.org
  20. ^ Wikimapia.org: Wikimapia's main page, menu "Login"/"Map on your page".
  21. ^ Vitaly Pronkin. "Mifki.com". 
  22. ^ "Wikimapia Maps". Google Play Store. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 

External links[edit]