Grants:IdeaLab/Wikimaps user group

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Wikimaps user group
Wikimaps could mature into an established community in Wikimedia, focusing more broadly on enabling content projects including geographic or mapping aspects.
idea creatorSusannaanas
this project needs...
created on06:06, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

The international Wikimaps community is spread geographically, and would benefit from a stronger sense of community and support.

What is your solution?[edit]

A user group would create an established Wikimedia community, but it would still remain a lightweight non-organization. Ideas could more easily be matured in collaboration and brought forward in the Wikimedia movement.


Wikimaps activities have been focusing on historical mapping, but the user group would be made for all mapping related activities. The goal is that people with many different ideas for using the geographic component in their projects would come together, share their expertise and help each other forward.

There is already an active Facebook group with 338 members. The maps-l mailing list at Wikimedia could be used for communication within the group. The Wikimaps blog is being hosted by Wikimedia Finland, but can be transferred, if needed.

Additionally the group could write a newsletter promoting projects, announcing events and discussing technical development.

The group would select a representative to Wikimedia Conference to connect more closely with programmatic planning in the movement.

Wiki Loves Maps Helsinki was an event hosted in Helsinki in 2015. Last weekend a similar event took place in Norway at #Hack4NO. I also propose that Wiki Loves Maps would become a yearly event as a meeting and a creative hack event between the OpenStreetMap, Wikimedia and other open geodata communities, such as humanitarian mapping, governmental open geodata, data journalism or digital humanities groups.

Get Involved[edit]

About the idea creator[edit]

I have worked on mapping related projects, especially the Wikimaps Warper and Wikimaps Nordic projects. Currently, I am enthusiastic about expanding workflows for historical mapping to include historical pictures and data about places.


Want to join this idea? Add your name by clicking the button in the infobox, or edit this section directly.

  • Volunteer I would like to be a member of the user group. Susanna Ånäs (Susannaanas) (talk) 09:34, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Previously both involved in the Wikimaps Nordics project and the Wikimaps Warper one . I would like to be a member of this group. Abbe98 (talk) 10:02, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer As an OSM mapper, I would like to join and at this moment I'm more interested in current geodata than historical. Sabas88 (talk) 11:45, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I have been building a crowdsourcing geotagging platform for old pictures (mostly photographs, but also paintings, graphic art), that would benefit a lot from georeferenced old maps and has many other overlapping aspects with open mapping. Puik (talk) 05:51, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I make underwater dive site maps for Wikivoyage. I don't know how I can help, but it may be possible. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:51, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I am willing to provide expertise and experience in the mapping projects, tools and software that l have interacted with in my line of work to help the community grow, prosper and make a difference in the world 05:55, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I mostly edit for classical history, I don't know how much I can help but ill try. Iazyges (talk) 15:50, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I would like to be a member of the user group. Sami Mlouhi (talk) 17:26, 22 December 2016 (UTC)


Want to endorse this as a good idea? Add your name by clicking the button in the infobox, or edit this section directly.

  • Support Support - Much needed. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 07:15, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Good to get more coordination for activities that span across so many wikis. Ainali (talk) 07:25, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • As Wikidata becomes more populated making maps will become much easier to create John Cummings (talk) 07:51, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support Maps and linking them in many ways is so important to understand how the shape and sizes of countries changed over time. Thanks, GerardM (talk) 08:05, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • A map can often tell more than a thousand words, especially in a historical context. HenrikKbh (talk) 08:28, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support -Geraki TL 08:50, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support the idea, but "Wikimaps" might be a little too similar to Wikimapia. This would also link into cooperation with OpenStreetMap. Jc86035 (talk) 09:57, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support Very needed as there has been to little coordination between the community and Chapters/WMF. --Abbe98 (talk) 10:15, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment Although supporting this proposal, I would like to raise the question if it's a risk that this could become a very nordic-centric group, based on the people involved, previous projects and recent chapter activity(APG;s, projects etc). --Abbe98 (talk) 10:15, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
I guess that would depend on who joins. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:48, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I make specialised maps (for Wikivoyage), this may help my work. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:43, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I maintain a repository of historical administrative borders that rely heavily on WikiData, and to some extent on other contributions in the Wikimedia universe. A unification of the Wikimaps communities could make it easier for us to contribute back towards this universe, something we would very much like to do. //Rotsee (talk) 08:36, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • As a user both of Wikimedia and Mediawiki (the latter in an academic context, perhaps also political in future), I wish to be abreast of mapping developments. Michaelgraaf (talk) 14:10, 7 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Mostly everything I'd write has already been written above.
    Danny B. 22:49, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support very useful for classical history which tends to have a lack of legible maps. Iazyges (talk) 15:50, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support - This is a great idea. Go for it! If you need assistance with the application process, feel free to ping me. --Rosiestep (talk) 19:25, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support – As another old osm-mapper, I think we are not using maps enough. Nikerabbit (talk) 06:59, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Location is an important context to almost any piece of human knowledge or information. Maps can essentially become the glue that could link so many layers of knowledge that has been collected and bifurcated across various Wiki sites and projects. With the Wikimedia Maps effort moving ahead, its important to form a user community around maps to better support and sustain this effort, and also bring closer ties with the OSM community. As an active mapper on OSM for the last 10 years, and a big contributor of hand made maps to Commons, I feel this is a very important user group to have. Planemad (talk) 10:14, 20 December 2016 (UTC)