This is to let everybody know about a campaign to try to find 10,000
digitised maps 'hidden' in 13,000 books in the set of a million images
that the British Library uploaded to Flickr last year.
Once they've been identified, the BL will then run the maps through its
Georeferencer crowd-activity (from which we can download the full
output). But first the files need to be identified on Flickr, and
tagged as maps.
A draft article for this week's en-wiki Signpost can be found under
There's also going to be an all-day tagathon session at the British
Library in London to launch the effort, to which anyone who can make it
is very welcome. (Even more welcome if you register first, but that's
not absolutely essential), see:
There is coverage of maps from all over the world, as shown by this plot
of 3,000 maps on the globe, that have already been found and georeferenced:
(Non-map images in the collection have a similar distribution).
The BL Labs group are having their annual symposium meeting on Monday
3rd November. It would be fantastic, as a demonstration of the power
of openness, if the lion's share of the index could have been worked
through by that afternoon.
Make-or-break for that target is whether people can be encouraged to
help on the internet.
So I would really appreciate anything anyone can do to help get the word
out -- eg perhaps with mentions in the equivalents of the Signpost in
I'm afraid everything is in English so far, but perhaps there is still
time to do something about that.
The project status page is here,
which has links to all the geographical index pages, with their pink
"Untagged maps" templates.
These page will go live at 11:00 UTC on Friday. (Edits to them before
then will probably be over-written -- though tags added on Flickr would
I would be really grateful for any help anyone could give with this over
the weekend, or encourage others to give. Even an hour, or half an hour
to go through a block of 15 books in the index, would make a difference.
So anything anyone could do between now and then to get the word out
would be very very appreciated.
Around the time of the Toolserver shutdown, WIWOSM started fetching
tiles from the tiles.wmflabs.org/osm-multilingual tile server. But as
far as I can tell, it only supports de, en, fi, fr, pt, and ru. For
other languages, it seems to return only a few tiles that had been
generated before the switchover.
Are there plans to extend this service to the wide range of languages
supported by the old multilingual tile server? In particular,
openstreetmap.vn and the OSM gadget at the Vietnamese Wikipedia both
make use of the multilingual tiles, but now most Wikipedia articles end
up showing the default OSM tiles.