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Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Miscellaneous/Kartographer improvements

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Kartographer improvements

  • Problem: The development of the Kartographer tool should be continued. Main wishes are map internationalization (exchange of Latin and non-Latin labels) and the addition of zoom level 19. Minor wishes are the move of all controls to the left map side like nearby, full-screen, layers controls, adding an additional zoom-level control, several pushpin symbol improvements like usage of short strings, 3-digit numbers etc. A nearby map mode showing links to nearby articles should be added. Kartographer documentation should be improved.
  • Who would benefit: All wikis including Wikipedia, Commons, Wikidata, Wikivoyage, etc.
  • Proposed solution: OpenStreetMap supports map internationalization with, for instance, name:en tag in case of non-Latin names. International names can be fetched from Wikidata, too. Maybe a collaboration with OSM programmers is useful. Instead of complete graphical pushpins, pushpins with a text box should be added.
  • More comments: It is very difficult to estimate the developing time. I think minimumly a year, better two years are needed.


It's a timely proposal. I would like to list two additional features, although not sure whether they are major or minor:

  • We need the functionality of reading and displaying POIs from several articles. The current version of Kartographer would only allow to display objects contained in one article. Retrieving information from multiple articles is needed for lists on Wikipedia (e.g., cultural heritage) and for travel guides (Wikivoyage).
  • We should be able to download coordinates as GPX or similar files for offline use. This feature is especially important for Wikivoyage, because travel guides are often used offline, but it may also have broader implications, because it is a general tool for re-using geo-data collected in Wikimedia projects.

--Alexander (talk) 19:17, 18 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Supporting this. It is unfortunate the development has been stopped.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:11, 18 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Can only support this and the general return to the development of Maps as one of the people involved in making the Russian Wikipedia the first major Wikimedia project to include interactive maps instead of Geohack links as a default option. It was really sad to see that just after we got the community consensus on this, the entire Maps team was set off IIRC. stjn[ru] 00:01, 19 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I would very much like for this to happen, and note that phabricator:tag/map-styles has a lot more styling bugs that need to be fixed. Jc86035 (talk) 01:44, 20 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've added T155601 to the list above. This bug tracks the bugs the development team (or what's left of it) think are the most important. - Gareth (talk) 09:17, 22 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've added T181604 to the list above. A pain for it:voy since long time. --Andyrom75 (talk) 08:07, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I see a few issues with our current handling of maps, not all of which have existing Phabricator tasks. Kartographer seems to handle the cases where a territory is divided into multiple, colour-coded subregions poorly - to the point where even relatively-simple regions like voy:Adirondacks are using static maps instead of dynamic maps and (de-facto) a "star" featured article still needs a hand-made static map. GPX tracks (like the trail traced onto voy:Oregon Trail) need to be converted to GeoJSON and we don't have a good means of storing these (they're either in the article itself or on an external wiki); the switch to GeoJSON also means there's no easy way to download the trace from the article and load it onto a handheld GPS (as Garmin is natively GPX). There's no way to turn off OSM's POI's (cities, villages, hotels, museums...) if we want to replace them with our own, our POI markers are just generic circle-pointers instead of AIGA-style type-specific icons for food, lodging and attractions. The sequentially-numbered icons stop at 99, 99, 99... and the dynamic map provides no suitable fallback for the print version. Dynamic maps are a great idea, but they need work before they will ever replace the painstaking creation of hand-made static cartography. K7L (talk) 16:10, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Important note from Community Tech[edit]

Hi everyone, There's a lot of excitement and support around this proposal, so I want to make sure that people understand the scope of what Community Tech will be able to do, if this ends up in the top 10.

This proposal and the discussion comments include a bunch of feature requests -- some small, some really big -- and the proposal specifically mentions this taking a year or two of the team's work. That level of a request is out of scope for the Community Wishlist Survey. We're responsible for addressing the top 10 wishes in 2018, so if this wish gets into the top 10, it'll be 1 out of 10 projects that the team works on. We can't turn the Community Tech team into a Maps team for a year. :)

It's hard to estimate the amount of work that's involved in all of these tickets and requests; that's investigation work that we would have to do as the beginning of the project. What I can say now is that we can investigate all the requests, report back with an explanation of what's feasible, and then do the work that we can feasibly do, given the size of the other 9 wishes in the top 10. We take all the top 10 wishes seriously, so it won't be a few easy fixes and then we blow the rest off; we'd want to make a significant improvement that honors the spirit of this proposal.

I should have posted about this before voting started -- RolandUnger, I'm sorry for the oversight. Let me know if folks have any questions. Thanks! -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 20:34, 28 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

@DannyH (WMF): Would the WMF consider bringing back the Maps team? Jc86035 (talk) 07:55, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe if this ends at #1 there is ;) —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:29, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
As far as I know, there aren't any plans to bring back a specific Maps development team. And -- sorry to contradict TheDJ -- I want to make it clear that voting for this wish will not lead to a Maps team. Decisions about a full-time Maps team are totally separate from the wishlist survey. But voting for this wish does mean that the Community Tech team will do some work on maps next year, which is exciting, and I'm sure we'll make some good improvements. -- DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:08, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
DannyH (WMF), the goal of this proposal is having at least some of the pending Kartographer issues fixed. Independent of that, it would be good to know how to start a discussion about the full-time Maps team, which is clearly wished for by the community. --Alexander (talk) 19:32, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@DannyH (WMF) you are not contradicting me. I'm saying that anything that ends up in the top 3 of the wishlist, wether or not the com tech team can take on the task or not, is likely to shape long term decision making in some form or another ;) —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:13, 29 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
This proposal shows, what the community is eagerly awaiting for. Every mobile app is asking for access to the owners position. Every information is geotagged nowadays. Coordinates and the presentation on a map is essential to every information system. We maintain lists of e. g. monuments of every town or region on Wikipedia. Proper map features an the integration to the website (including the mobile version) are really important. -- DerFussi 21:25, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Many thoughts, proposals and wishes are contributor orientated. We should think about the users and readers as well - because they do not vote here, because they do not know the meta wiki. -- DerFussi 21:42, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]