[Foundation-l] NEH grant

teun spaans teun.spaans at gmail.com
Fri Jan 12 21:11:04 UTC 2007

I woul consider integration of wikimedia projects with geographical
information a major asset.

When I go to flickr.com, I can go add my photos to the map and see
what other pix have ben taken in the neighbourhood. To have a similar
facility would enable commons to become a major player along with
Also the integration with the wikipedias could enable visitors to see
what has ben written about subjects in the neighbourhooud. We would
become a major travellingguide, and more than that. Ithink we would
become a major researchtool. Wikiversity would have a possibly to see
what other researches have been carried out in, for example, the same
nature reserve.

On 1/12/07, Aude <audevivere at gmail.com> wrote:
> One of the greatest shortcomings I see with Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects
> is with our use of maps and geospatial data.  I have seen ideas here and
> there on this mailing list and other places, but it's a big issue to work
> through.
> I have background in geography/GIS, ability to use state-of-the-art software
> such as ArcGIS (http://www.esri.com) that is generally beyond the means of
> consumers, and knowledge/skills on how to use it to make maps for
> Wikipedia.  But, the potential demand for maps on Wikipedia is very high,
> the process of making them can be time consuming, and the number of
> Wikipedians to fulfill it is limited.  I did one a while back for Shoshone
> National Forest.  I could refine the look of this map, come up with some
> standard, and given lots of time could make one for every protected area in
> the U.S. (and then there's Canada and other countries). Despite this
> possibility (with significant effort), I'm not entirely sure having only
> static, non-interactive maps (quickly can become outdate) is the way to go.
> I could probably write scripts on the GIS-end of things to help automate it,
> and a bot on the wiki-end to ease the process. I have also played around
> with the MediaWiki source code and been learning about writing extensions.
> Also it would be fantastic to be able to use resources such as the
> "collection of rare maps of Africa, dating from 1530 to 1915" that's been
> mentioned.  Depending on the map, sometimes it is helpful to georeference
> them (geoTIFF is the format for this).  Also, check out
> http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/faq.html#3.html (see "Where are the rest of
> your maps?")  And, the map library at Penn State (
> http://www.libraries.psu.edu/maps/) is quite extensive.
> I know it's a significant undertaking to develop/integrate any capability
> beyond static maps.  It's beyond the scope of what Brion and the current
> developers can handle, given our current resources.  But, I think we could
> use some discussion to learn what kind of maps/mapping/geospatial data
> capability that people would like to see with Wikipedia?  If given more
> resources, such as support from a grant, along with well developed and
> thought out ideas, and interest from the community, I think there is
> possiblity to improve from the status quo.
> I have put some more detailed thoughts about this issue here -
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:AudeVivere/GIS
> I mention issues concerning locator maps for articles, offline
> maps/resources, GIS data resources available, copyright issues with data
> from some sources, open source mapping/GIS capabilities that exist,
> previous/current efforts - such as geocoordinates in articles, and other
> ideas. Feedback welcome!
> If this interests people, I think we could work to develop specific,
> feasible ideas.  I also have knowledge about writing grant applications and
> would be glad to help.
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