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A geonotice is a notice similar to a sitenotice, anonnotice or watchlist notice, but it is displayed only to users who are physically located in some subset of the Earth. The purpose of geonotices is to announce events that would be of great interest to people in a specific region, but that would not be interesting to most of our readers. The use of targeted messages allows us to scale our communication better; rather than flooding people with multiple messages or avoiding messages entirely, we can display messages only to the people who are most likely to find them useful.

Example uses for targeted messages are: to announce upcoming Wikipedia meetups and local events, for local chapter activities and to advertise mailing lists focused on geographical areas. They might also be used to display customized fundraiser notices that are better targeted to improve our fundraising results.

Currently, only a watchlist geonotice exists (although you can also make CentralNotice banners geotargeted).

For more technical details, see Wikipedia:Geonotice.


The current geolocalization system is based on data provided via geoiplookup.wikimedia.org. The system is useful for wide areas but of little or no use for smaller areas or regions with particular conformation.

Having the ability to geotargeting messages will benefit the community in the following ways:

  • for readers, the messages displayed being more accurately targeted should be of greater interest
  • for projects, which could see an increase of participation at local meetups or other real life events as edit-a-thon, Wiki takes events, etc.

Improvement proposal[edit]

In a nutshell: use the geolocalization capabilities of most modern browsers to improve the geonotice and contact local user for projects.

Last November in Italian Wikipedia it.wiki community discussed[1] for announcement of local meetups and local wikiprojects. Anyway we noticed that geolocalization provided by geoiplookup.wikimedia.org is too inaccurate to be useful in Italy since the Italian peninsula is narrow and long. So a survey was conducted comparing the geolocalization provided by geoiplookup.wikimedia.org and the geolocalization via browser.

Here we present the results (please note that the sample is not statistically significant): survey results.

Based on the survey results we propose to use the geolocalization capabilities of modern browsers[2]. Please note that this kind of functionality is already used by the mobile Wikipedia app.

Open questions (feedback welcome)[edit]

  • Using browser localization capabilities may be perceived as invasive. Would you like to use browser localization tool in Wikipedia? (yes/no, why?)
  • Do you think the trade-off between bothering user asking to send position information and potential benefits (more accurately localized messages) is worth?
  • Are you happy with the current system ?
  • Do you think a deeper study of the issue (i.e. a new survey, conducted on a broader sample and in a more scientifically precise way) would be useful or would help you make a more informed decision?
  • Have you any further proposal for the use of the system?