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WikiMapia as seen in Firefox with fullscreen mode
Slogan Let's describe the whole World!
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Collaborative mapping
Registration Yes (not compulsory)
Available language(s) 93 languages, including English
Created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev
Launched May 24, 2006
Revenue From AdSense
Current status Active

WikiMapia is an online map and satellite imaging resource that combines Google Maps with a wiki system, allowing users to add information, in the form of a note, to any location on Earth.[1] It was created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev, and was launched on May 24, 2006 with the aim of describing the whole world. It now has over 9,590,000 places marked.[2] Although registration is not required to edit or add to WikiMapia, over 200,000 users from around the world currently are registered.[3]


[edit] Features

[edit] Tag a location

WikiMapia allows any contributor to add a "tag" (placemark) to any location by marking out a polygon around the location and then providing a default language, title, description and one or more categories.[4] An optional note can be provided, as well as images and embedded YouTube videos, which all appear on the place's information window.[5].

You can add multiple categories to the placemark by clicking the add button which shows up when you hover the mouse over a category (the numbers displayed along with category denotes number placemarks belonging to that category). If a Wikipedia page exists for the placemark, you can put the link to that page as well.

Unlike Wikipedia, all user content on WikiMapia is licensed exclusively to WikiMapia. WikiMapia does not use a GFDL license, so royalties and many usage rights are forfeited to WikiMapia upon submission.[6] According to the site's Terms of Service, user submissions are available for personal or educational non-commercial purposes through the website.[7]

In some areas of the world with out-of-date or very expensive mapping, such as India, WikiMapia growth has been phenomenally rapid. This rapid growth brought problems of its own, however. Urban areas became covered with thousands of overlapping rectangles marking the positions of private residences, but there was no provision in the WikiMapia interface for distinguishing those residences from places of public interest. Recently, however, category browsing has been introduced, allowing users to select what category or categories of features they want displayed.

[edit] Pictures

Users also can add pictures to the place. For example, if he were doing a description on the Tinsley Cooling Towers in Sheffield, he would click on Menu in the corner of the description of the place. Then click on Add/Manage Photos and the user can add a photo.

[edit] Languages

Location tagging is fully multi-lingual. Currently a total of 93 languages are supported, and 100% of the interface has been translated into 56 languages. Registered users can help translate the WikiMapia interface at a special page (

[edit] User accounts and levels

Optional user accounts were introduced in October, 2006.[8] Registered users also can send personal messages to each other and use the forum, which was launched in October, 2007.[9] WikiMapia also allows registered users to set up a watchlist to monitor changes on certain areas of the map. For this option you go to Wikimapia->Profile->Watchlist and then add a watchlist of appropriate area size.

There are three user-levels, explained in the WikiMapia FAQ. Users can vote in favor of or against other users' contributions, thereby allowing users to rise in status among the community. There also is a user stats and ranking board which automatically ranks users based on their contributions.

[edit] Wikimapia Beta

In October 2008, a Beta version was made accessible to registered users for testing. The new interface adds new features such as "terrain patches" and a new layer, called "Wikimapia Map". The WikiMapia Map layer shows only information that is made by WikiMapia users, such as polygons and roads -- and the polygons are in different colors depending on the category of the tag, e.g. blue for a lake or reservoir, or green for a park. You can filter what places are displayed by category. A Wikmapia wiki [1] was started for documentation and to help with collaboration.

[edit] Business model

The site generates some income using Google ads. In July 2007, the founders of WikiMapia decided to start looking for an investor to accomplish their plans.[10]

[edit] Interoperability

A GPS receiver can be connected to WikiMapia using a plug-in program (beta, download for Windows OS from WikiMapia site [2]).

Limited WikiMapia functionality is available on:

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Bear, David (2007-01-07). "Getting a bird's-eye view of any place on Earth". Retrieved on 2007-11-13. 
  2. ^ "Wikimapia Main Page". Retrieved on 2008-08-05.  (See upper left corner)
  3. ^ Koriakine, Alexandre (username koriakine) (2008-01-25). "Banning users for vandalism". Retrieved on 2008-01-26. 
  4. ^ Koriakine, Alexandre (2006-12-04). "Place types, etc.". Retrieved on 2007-11-14. 
  5. ^ Jones, Matt (2007-01-11). "How To #5: YouTube in Wikimapia!". Retrieved on 2007-11-14. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Wikimapia Terms of Service". 2007-10-27. Retrieved on 2008-06-24. 
  8. ^ Koriakine, Alexandre (2006-10-08). "Registration started". Retrieved on 2007-11-14. 
  9. ^ "WikiMapia FAQ". 2006-10-08. Retrieved on 2007-11-14. 
  10. ^ Wikimapia blogspot entry
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