The Wikiatlas or Wikimedia Atlas of the World (or Commons Atlas) is a wiki-portal[clarification needed] on the Wikimedia Commons website, related to the English Wikipedia Portal:Atlas. It contains thousands of gallery pages and maps about various nations or regions of the world.
As a collection of map image-galleries, the Wikiatlas links various sets of maps, such as:
|Groups of Maps|
- maps of the U.S.A., of Italy, of Germany, of China, of Taiwan,
plus maps of Texas, or maps of California, and maps of Florida, etc.
Europe map in Wikiatlas
Atlas pages are map groupings
The Wikiatlas is organized around some simple principles. All maps are grouped, in the manner of a World atlas, into pages named with the title "Atlas of..." for each continent, such as:
Similar page titles "Atlas of..." cover each nation or region, such as:
Some of the U.S. states also have Wikiatlas pages, such as:
Similarly, hundreds of other Wikiatlas pages are named as "Atlas of..." for over 200 nations and over 94 other regions of the World.
Wikiatlas page format
Many pages in the Wikiatlas are arranged in a distinctive format: with maps displayed down the left-side of the page, and explanatory text presented to the right-hand side. The description for each nation, territory, or region is written, first, in the official language(s) of the area, followed by other languages, including English.
Because the Wikiatlas is a wiki effort, developed by the Wikimedia volunteers, the level of detail and coverage varies, from section to section, of the Wikiatlas. Some groups of maps are very extensive, while other maps are rudimentary, depending on the time spent by volunteer writers.
History of Wikiatlas
The Wikiatlas was designed, during extended discussions on the Wikimedia website, beginning in 2003. Originally, the concept was to have an "automatic" map-generator, based on giving coordinates. However, use of maps beyond mere location, led to the current vast collections of maps also showing economic areas, precipitation, average-temperature, political regions, earthquake fault-lines, etc. To show a location was only one way to use maps.
Many thousands of maps were collected, over the years. However, by June 2005, the Wikiatlas subproject still lacked sufficient structure to be considered viable. In April 2006, the Wikiatlas was mentioned in an archaeology conference as a "nascent" project. Finally, a coherent page-format was generalized during mid-2007, using page layouts stored in MediaWiki template files. Hundreds of Wikimedia and Wikipedia editors worked on various aspects of the page descriptions in over 100 languages, including uploading and modifying the thousands of map images. Some of the maps were transferred from Wikipedia image pages.
Although readership figures are not specifically available, of the complete grouping of all Wikiatlas pages, the general readership of the Wikimedia website has been based, nearly 50% (in early 2009), within the following: United States 24.5%, Germany 10.7%, India 5.7%, United Kingdom 4.0%, and Italy 3.5%.
- "1. Wikimedia Commons", HowWikipediaWorks.com, 2008, webpage: HowW-ch16s01.
- "MapHist: A place to show off your maps", Tony Campbell, email in mailman.geo.uu.nl, February 2008, webpage: pipermail-360: mentions maps are available in the Wikimedia Atlas of the World.
- "Unsuported Assertions: An Analysis of Criticism of Wikipedia and Possible Solutions", Elijah Meeks, University of California, Merced, USA, in "List of Abstracts", 34th Annual Meeting and Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology", April 18-21, 2006, webpage (PDF): caa2006-PDF.
- "Maps of Switzerland" (websites), MattNetwork.com, 2009, web: MF-Switz.
- "Wikiatlas", Wikimedia.org, July 2003, webpage: Wikimedia-Meta-atlas.
- "*Openstreetmap* Wikimania, August 4-8", Lars Aronsson, Openstreetmap.org, June 25, 2005, webpage: openstreetmap-mail-761.
- "Talk:WikiEarth", e-katalog.com.pl, revision: 16:28, 24 August 2007, web: TalkWikiE-Aug7.
- "Traffic Details from Alexa - wikimedia", Alexa Internet, Inc., March 2009, web: Alexa-wikimedia.
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (March 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Wikiatlas main page on Wikimedia Commons.