Wikipedia:WikiProject Maps

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Maps are an important part of any encyclopedia. They are useful in presenting key facts within a geographical context and enabling a descriptive overview of a complex concept to be accessed easily and quickly. WikiProject Maps encourages the creation of free maps and their upload on Wikimedia Commons. On the project's pages can be found advice, tools, links to resources and map conventions.

The project suggests some web-friendly map conventions, which may help to make maps more readable. The suggested conventions are free for graphists to adapt to their specific needs. Graphists who are unsure of an appropriate style, colour, or style of labelling, may find these suggestions helpful.


The aim of WikiProject Maps is to improve the quality of maps across the Wikimedia Foundation.

  • The Map conventions page provides advice for creating and improving maps.
  • The Map workshop page can be used to add your map requests and your sources. A graphist will create the requested map. The page is forum-based, to enable cross-teaching conversations to take place.
  • The Resources page provides advice to both beginners (in the form of tutorials) and experienced map-makers.

Please feel free to ask questions on our talk page.

Recommended conventions[edit]

Citing sources[edit]

As maps can be politically charged, it is important to cite your sources and/or your methodology when editing or creating any map. This is particularly true for historical maps.

Topographic maps[edit]

Maps template-en.svg

Historical maps[edit]

Maps template-history patch-en.svg


Map styles is a subject of on-going discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Maps. Please join in the conversation there. For general use, the following is a gallery of maps that have been approved by Wikiproject Maps as exemplars:

File formats to use[edit]

Demonstration of how to create a map using layers: 1.Valley ; 2.Plain ; 3.Hills ; 4.Rivers ; 5.Troops ; 6.Moves ; 7.Text ; 8.Thumbnail map ; 9.Legend.

The use of JPEG is discouraged, since it is a lossy compression format and so will result in a blurry map or diagram. The quality of GIF images is better than JPEG. GIF images allow for the creation of animations.

PNG is a lossless, truecolor image format. It is good for all maps and particularly for maps with more than 256 colours. As a pixel-based image, it is more difficult than an SVG image to edit. Some uploaders prefer to work with SVG and then upload a PNG version.

SVG is vector graphics format, which has three main advantages:

  • Images can be scaled without data loss, which allows large-sized and very high quality maps to be made;
  • It is a text-based XML language and so can be edited and shared quickly and easily.
  • It is a precisely-coded language which can be converted by script or CSS.

When drawing an SVG map, please name any objects, groups and layers you create, so as to assist anyone who wants to correct the map, look at how the map is set up, or learn how to make an image of their own. SVG image support has been retained as a Wikimedia Meta-wiki for historical interest.

Coordinate-referenced map templates[edit]

The process of supplying freely licensed maps for direct use in Wikipedia articles is important to make the articles complete, especially for offline versions. A complementary effort, however, is adding latitude and longitude coordinates to articles about geographically fixed entities. This enables readers to click through to find maps of the surrounding area on external web sites like Google Maps. to be automatically plotted on maps.

To learn how to add geographic coordinates to a page using templates, please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates.

To paste a location map with a dot (using the city of Madrid as an example), copy and paste the following code:

{{Location map|Spain|label=Madrid|mark=Green_pog.svg

This is the result:

Madrid is located in Spain
Madrid (Spain)

To paste multiple dots on one location map, use Template:Location map many or Template:Location map+. For instruction on creating a map template, see Template:Location map/Creating a new map template.

Using multiple icons[edit]

WikiProject Maps is located in Ukraine
WikiProject Maps
First line
Blue-circle.png: mouth of Don River

This layout usually works well. It places major fixed-length items in columns on the left and minor variable-length items on the right. Decimal degrees are easier than degrees-minutes-seconds. Two digits are usually enough. Use negative longitude for the western hemisphere.

{*{Location map+ |Ukraine |width=300|float=right|relief=1|caption=First line<*br/>[*[file:Blue-circle.gif|10px]]: mouth of Don River


{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=50.39|long=24.74|label=Dubno}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=50.45|long=30.52|label=Kiev| marksize=16|label_size=200|background=yellow}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=46.16|long=33.69|label=Perekop| position=top|mark=X solid black 17.gif}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=48.83|long=24.01|label=Lvov| mark=Point carte.svg}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=45.00|long=34.00|label=CRIMEA| position=top|mark=clear pog.svg}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=47.00|long=25.00|label=TRANS-<*br/>SYLVANIA| position=bottom|marksize=0}}

{*{Location map~|Ukraine|lat=47.10|long=39.42|label=| mark=Blue-circle.gif}}<*!--Azov-->


Relief option on the first line turns relief on and off (sometimes). Error messages are poor, so save early and often. Additional information at Template: Location map; Template:Location map many; Template:Location map+; Template:Location map~. Maps can be searched for at Commons:Category:Location maps by country. Icons can be found at Commons:Category:Map icons.

These tricks are sometimes useful (remove the *):

  • Code: <*!--comment-->
  • Label: None: label= or position=none; Big=label_size=200; background=yellow; Split=top<*br/>bottom; Mouseover: label=[*[Jail|Go To]]
  • Icon: None:mark=clear pog.svg or marksize=0; Big: marksize=16
  • Caption: Linefeed: <*br/>; Icon in caption: [*[file:Blue-circle.gif|10px]]:
  • Some good icons:

Arrows1 Pfeil rechts oben.svg =Pfeil (oben,unten,rechts,links,rechts oben).svg

Arrows2 Red Arrow Up.svg =Red Arrow (Up,Down,Right,Left).svg

Dot-yellow.svg =Dot-yellow.svg; Red dot.svg =Red dot.svg; Blue-circle.png =Blue-circle.png; Point carte.svg =Point carte.svg; Solid blue.svg =Solid blue.svg; X solid black 17.gif =X solid black 17.gif; Filled diamond.svg =Filled diamond.svg;

Blue-circle-concentric.png =Blue-circle-concentric.png;Location dot black.svg =Location dot black.svg; Location dot yellow.svg =Location dot yellow.svg;Location dot red.svg =Location dot red.svg;Location dot blue.svg =Location dot blue.svg

Yellow ffff00 pog.svg=Yellow ffff00 pog.svg; Red pog.svg=Red pog.svg; Purple 8000ff pog.svg=Purple 8000ff pog.svg; Blue pog.svg=Blue pog.svg;


Category:WikiProject Maps

Category:Wikipedia maps

Category:Wikipedia geographic image maps


Battle Trebia-en.gifThis user is a member of
WikiProject Maps
Map Workshop (watch)
Cyprus-topographic map-en.svgThis user is interested in maps.


A list of all all subpages of this page.


A template for adding articles to Category:WikiProject Maps articles, {{WikiProject Maps}}, can be added to talk pages:

WikiProject Maps (Rated Project-class)
WikiProject iconThis page is within the scope of WikiProject Maps, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Maps and Cartography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Project  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

See also[edit]