Wikipedia:WikiProject Maps/Conventions

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Since we love map making for its clarity, Wikipedians developed several local cartographic styles over the years.

Summary tables of each major map convention used in Wikipedia, across all languages. While the conventions are strongly recommended, cartographers are free to fit their specific needs. Each convention has its own sub-page, containing:

  1. An introduction explaining the style objectives and the most convenient way to create a such map.
  2. A color summary table with two (up-to-date) map examples.
  3. The naming convention for upload, and other advice like the scale or the legend.
  4. An up-to-date SVG template.
  5. Further details on history, limits, and possible expansions.
  6. A gallery of examples.

The image renaming tool working on Commons (request this tool · renaming guidelines), and for admins, the naming conventions can be used to harmonize image names and map names.


Convention sub-page Example image Main feature and usage Example topics
/Orthographic maps (en) People's Republic of China World location Countries, political entities
/Location maps (de)
Madrid is located in Spain
Madrid (Spain)
Political entity borders and divisions, focus on the subject, allow geolocation (automatic dots) Countries, political entities, cities.
/Locator maps (blank) (en) India map blank.svg Blank area for creating Locator maps. Based on simplified Location maps. A province in the country (when the blank map is actually filled).
/Area maps (en)
Range map for fork-marked lemurs
Locator maps that highlight one subject area. Multi-area maps that can include labels, icons, explanations. Locator maps: a country (red) in its region and in the world (corner map). Multi-area: ranges of animals species, languages.
/Gradient maps Internet users Areas colored to show a numerical statistic Population density, per-capita income
/Historical maps (en) Map strictly respecting the Areas conventions Historical maps. Complex maps. Empire with its main cities, neighboring powers. Offensives, battles with units and moves.
/Technical maps (en) Central park Display building locations Archaeology, city close-ups (OpenStreetMap).
/Topographic maps (fr) Geolocalisation relief map of France Display relief, often used as comprehensive backgrounds for other maps Backgrounds for maps of vegetation, agriculture, human settlements as topography may explain a lot with these.
/Exchanges maps (fr) Crau Display exchanges and transport lines Roads, freeways, railroads, canals, sea roads, money flux, human flux, etc.

Our choices[edit]

Most of these conventions are supported by active groups of map makers, and have been created and improved through long and serious discussions. The main intentions are: to display efficiently selected data; to create screen, web, print, creation & share friendly maps; to create a wiki style free of nationalism issues. Accordingly, these conventions provide web suitable screen/web/print/creation/share friendly colours, icons and labels. On the other side, not being a government supported project, we do not have to support state affirmation and nationalistic views, also, these conventions advise that you "do not wipe neighboring countries out of your map", and to use dashed international borders (see Image:Maps_template-en.svg).

SVG Tool box template[edit]

Use an SVG editor. If you don't have one, try Inkscape, free of charge and good enough, more suggestions on the /Software sub-page.

Download the SVG toolbox, drag and drop into your SVG map, ungroup, and enjoy :]

Please, download me and use me a lot!
World background SVG (complete): download me as well