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project contact:



Scott C. Smith


TapAMap is an iPhone/iPad app that allows users to access Wikipedia articles by tapping map locations.

engagement target:

English(?) Wikipedia

strategic priority:

Increasing Reach

total amount requested:

$5,000 USD

2013 round 1

Project idea[edit]

While there are plenty of apps that help you locate a place you already know, there is little that goes the other way: You are at a map location and you want to learn more about it. I have often become curious about a location I can see on a map, then needed to leave the map to go type in the place name (if the map even has that). Wikipedia is almost always the best place to start learning. I began noticing the longitude/latitude coordinates on many place-based articles, and discovered how clicking on it would take me to a choice of maps. But why not do it the other way?

I want to just stay on the map, select a location, then see what Wikipedia has in the immediate area. I don't even need to know a place name.

People with the TapAMap app get quicker, more intuitive, more seamless access to Wikipedia. The access is based on a visual map location, not a string of text.

Project goals[edit]

As a former teacher, I had no programming experience, but in the last 6 or 7 months I have learned Objective-C and iOS Programming and created a first version of TapAMap. It is now free on the App Store. I am getting rave reviews, but always disappoint Android users because TapAMap is only available for Apple devices. Because the Android market is bigger, I need to quickly get a Java-based version of TapAMap. Winning this grant would allow me to pay a Java developer I know to create a Java version of TapAMap so that Android users would enjoy the same map-based access to Wikipedia articles.

Project plan[edit]


Scope and activities[edit]

As I have already developed the iOS version of TapAMap, I will be contacting one or more Java developers to code an Android version of TapAMap. I have one developer already in mind (see Participants), who I would collaborate with to make sure the user-experience in Java is consistent with the iOS version. I will also be organizing promotion of the Android version, as well as continuing to promote the iOS version. By the end of the project, a working Android version of TapAMap will be available in Google Play.

Tools, technologies, and techniques[edit]

I need to hire a Java developer, who will have the tools and technologies to code in Java.


Total amount requested[edit]

$5,000 USD

Budget breakdown[edit]

Java developer: $4,500 USD Project management: $500 USD

Intended impact:[edit]

Target audience[edit]

Users of Android mobile phones and other mobile devices which deploy Java-based apps. Android devices are used by about 75% of the world's mobile users, so providing this audience with TapAMap's access to Wikipedia articles significantly raises the number of potential Wikipedia users.

Fit with strategy[edit]

Increasing Reach: With TapAMap expanded to the Android market, all those users get the opportunity to discover Wikipedia's place-based content through the intuitive touch on a map. Improving Quality: With more people reaching Wikipedia through a map, there's much greater possibility for correcting any mistakes in the geo-coordinates attached to each article, as it will be much more obvious to average users if they come across a misplaced article. Users accessing the articles traditionally are very unlikely to notice a mistake in the coordinates unless they click through to see the location on a map.


Providing TapAMap access to Wikipedia on Android phones gives users a simple, intuitive means of reaching Wikipedia content. Once that's in place, the growth would consist in keeping TapAMap consistent with upgrades in Java operating systems, and perhaps adding some user interface features.

Measures of success[edit]

Success will be availability of TapAMap for Android users. Additional goals would be to increase the number of downloads of TapAMap.


Scott C. Smith: I am a former journalist and elementary school teacher, who learned iOS programming to create TapAMap, an app that I had envisioned because I wanted to be able to easily explore this fascinating world and read non-commercial information about the places I came across. I have long used Wikipedia and found it to be consistently reliable for the kinds of information I'm seeking. I am 48 and the father of two children. I believe TapAMap has the potential for helping people learn things about places far deeper than the stereotyped image generated by the news. And as more people know more about distant places, the less likely conflicts become. My skills include iOS programming/UX design, geographical knowledge and research, Mandarin Chinese and deep curiosity about how humans evolve and learn. I love traveling and camping, and am passionate about natural history and indigenous cultures.

TapAMap Wikimedia grant proposal[edit]


Community Notification:[edit]

Please paste a link to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions, here.


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.

Megan Smith - TapAMap is a creative addition to the world of Apps. Rather than just provide information, it facilitates exploration and stimulates curiosity about the world. It demonstrates constructive and educational use of technology today! This should be available to all cell phone users, not only those with iphones.

"Daniel Rhone" - TapAMap provide cultural context to location! It helps inform as to the "who" and the "what" behind the "where." A fresh idea!

Hilary Bryan - I am inspired by TapAMap's inclusive and expansive approach to geography and education. Its simplicity is powerful, and its sourcing of content is as democratic as the web can be. Expanding its availability to Android users is critical for this educational project.

Benjamin Bengfort - TapAMap is a useful interface for exploring wiki content in a geography specific and mobile fashion. It will open up Wiki content to learners whose primary access to the Internet is through a mobile phone instead of a browser.

Peter Billings - TapAMap is a great example of a motivated individual leveraging the amazing thing that is Wiki in a new way for a new audience. It's a whole new way for people to explore the world with Wiki. And it's mega fun!

Cathleen Corlett - TapAMap - A creative way to unlock information in a place-based and educational format!

Colin Green - Connecting Wikipedia entries to geographic locations accessible from anywhere is a great idea and great use of technology to encourage people to explore and learn. The possibilities are endless to expand on this core idea and reach more people and spread more knowledge about the world we live in and have made.

Bonnie Sterling - As a parent of a former middle school student, Mr Smith, who developed TapAMap, brought his love and fascination with our world to students. Having TapAMap is a little like bringing someone with Mr. Smiths knowledge to wherever we adventure. As a family that has RV's to many of the best the west US has to offer, we could have used this ap countless times in the past. So excited to be taking it on our next trip.

Phil Rowe--What a great App. It's uses are endless, but in all it makes the world a smaller place. If knowledge is power then this is a very powerful tool!

Luis De Avila - In my mind the reasons why Scott has earned a wikimedia grant are more basic and more important than the benefits TapAMap brings to Wikipedia. Scott has combined dream and do. Scott had an idea for an app and built it. People with ideas are rare. People that put in the work to make their ideas a reality are even more rare. We need more people who dream and do. You should support Scott in his efforts to expand on his dream.

Sujata Bhatt - It's terrific for promoting students' curiosities--like wandering the library and the world at the same time!

Manoj Saranathan - What a simple but a neat idea TapAMap is. This is an educational and fun app and I look forward to using it more esp since I am switching to an Android phone !

Michael Sueoka - I think this is a really great idea from a simple to use app. I would love to see this expanded!

David Turner - Having hiked and explored extensively with Scott Smith, I can say he is almost a wiki on the natural environs and history of the west. His app is cool, and as an android user, I want it! Code on Scott!

C. Christmas - TapAMap possibilities are endless. One tap at a time :)

L. Boucher - Inspirational to see how quickly Scott learned to write an app and then turned that into action with TapAMap. I'd love to see him grow both his expertise AND the availability of an awesome tool

S. Li - Scott's determination to build out what he envisioned and learning how to code in the short few months is an inspiration and attests to his ability to follow through and build a fun and useful application. It's really quite an ingenious spin on how maps can be explored.

Raffi Aftandelian - Tapamap is a brilliant and elegant tool that has at first glance many applications in education and research. I think this tool's value extends far beyond its practical use for learning and could inspire other applications with interesting and unexpected benefits in the field of teaching and schools. Hats off to Scott for putting together Tapamap! I have an Android smartphone and eagerly await its release on this platform.

Blaine Snow - I love Tapamap. It works well on my iPhone and I can see great potential in future versions. Scott is an amazing thinker, scholar, and has extensive integrative knowledge that will make Tapamap a tool everyone will want to use.

Chris McCarthy - This would be a worthwhile use of grant funds. It would expand the accessibility of this excellent application and, I think, inspire a new generation of digital geographers.

Tasha S. - Scott's story is a great one: going from a student to introducing an app to the App Store within a short time frame is impressive. This grant would allow him to continue to learn and develop.

D. Haberer - Tapamap offers interesting and useful information in an easy to use and accessible format. It has great potential for expansion and further development.

Jeff Overbeek - Tapamap is exactly what I have tried to find for what I like to call 'virtual vacations.' Also, Scott has inspired me with his perseverance and progress on what he wanted to achieve. I am glad to endorse Tapamap as the project to fund.

Zhenya Che - Tapamap is the app that reintroduced me to the places that I have visited before. I was born and raised in Siberia and, 20 years later after I left Siberia, with Scott and Wikipedia, I made the most fascinating trip back to my home rediscovering places! I am glad to endorse Tapamap as the project to fund.


  • Google maps already has Wikipedia integrated into it. If you click on the down tab you can select Wikipedia from the list.
—Yes. It's great. But the iPhone version of Google maps doesn't have this feature.
  • Wikivoyage has recently developed a map for that sit [1]
—Wikivoyage looks great. But again, I'm not aware of an iPhone mobile version.
  • This does look interesting though. Who owns it / what is the copyright? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
—Doc James, I, Scott C. Smith, developed TapAMap on my own; the code is signed to me.
  • Would you retain the copyright or license it under a CC-BY-SA compatible version? I'd be concerned about funding an application that was not open-licensed. Cheers, Ocaasi (talk) 18:53, 18 February 2013 (UTC)