Grants talk:IEG/ShareMap

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Hi, thanks for your idea :). I read your project and here is some questions and points to polish or just consider:

  • About the volunteers to teach the usage of ShareMap, how can you elect them? (or you only say "hey, who wants to learn something new?"). This goal haven't a measure of success, so I consider that is out of scope of scope: Your main goal is improve ShareMap, and as consequence of it *may* increase the usage of ShareMap and the volunteers to teach.
  • As I consider, the goals of "allow to users(...)" aren't a goal of the project, because the tool could works without the grant (you marked as done, so those aren't a goals, right?)
  • Why do you need around 720 man-hour of programming if in the "Tools, technologies, and techniques" section you said "most difficault in this project will not be adding new features". The main features are done or mostly done: 6 months of a programmer are expensive in time and resources.
  • Why the tester is more expensive than designer?, how much testers you need?, they must be professional or just wikieditors?
  • The 3rd and 4th points of Measures of success are not measurable by us.

Regards Superzerocool (talk) 05:26, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Questions on eligibility and Wikimedia scope[edit]

Hi Jakub,

Thanks very much for taking the time to draft this proposal, and for your collaborations with MediaWiki so far. Just a reminder that round 2 proposals are due 30 September 2013, so once you've finished adding any further information, please update your infobox to status=PROPOSED to let us know you're ready for eligibility check and review.

I'm adding a few more questions and comments to Superzerocool's, as you're working on your draft:

  • Would you, as the grantee, be the developer working on this code, and then plan to hire others to take the additional roles? I've added a space in your infobox where you can list advisors and volunteers if you've got some other people who may be helping you with this project from the Wikimedia side, as well.
  • From what I understand, most of the code is already written, but you'd like to involve more Wikipedians/Commoners/Wikivoyagers who create maps in your project, to learn how to improve ShareMap for their use-cases. Is that correct? If so, I'd be curious to hear more about how you think you might involve these communities in your development/testing/iteration process. And it would be great to hear directly from community members (as endorsers or with comments on this talk page) about their interest in using these tools as well.
  • I'd encourage you to take a close look at the eligibility and selection criteria for IEGrants, particularly the requirements for technical proposals around compatible licensing - I'm not sure if ShareMap is an open source project or not, but we'd want to know that any code developed as part of a grant would be freely licensed.
  • Finally, underscoring the point made by Superzerocool above, I'd encourage you to focus on measures of success that demonstrate impact and value specifically to Wikimedia projects. Although I understand that you'd like to see more people using ShareMap as a result of future development, we'll be most interested in measures of success that demonstrate how ShareMap is improving workflows or outcomes in line with Wikimedia's sites and communities.

Best wishes finalizing this proposal, and please let me know if I can clarify anything further. Cheers, Siko (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

ShareMap's licensing - confirmation needed[edit]

Hi Jakub, We're finding no clear indication in your proposal, or on Commons or that ShareMap is an open source project. Can you please clarify the source code & licensing situation for the tools being worked on in this project? In order to be eligible, any code or other materials produced must be published and released as free and open-source, and licensing should be compatible with current Wikimedia and MediaWiki practices. Please let us know this week so that we can confirm whether this proposal is eligible for an IEG in this round. Thanks! Siko (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 3 October 2013 (UTC)


Hi Guys thanks for question, I will try address them here and then integrate into description page

Thanks for the answers and updates, Jakub. Based on this, and the updates regarding your intentions for licensing, we're marking this proposal eligible for review. Cheers! Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:25, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for answer my questions :) Superzerocool (talk) 23:56, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Source code license[edit]

Currently ShareMap is published as service and source code is not available online. The entire source code belongs to my right now and in the moment I will receive Wikipedia Grant I will publish it on Apache 2.0 license and all code developed using Wikimedia moneys will be also published on Apache 2.0 license.

Allow the users[edit]

In the fact tool after 2.5 year of development works and provides it main functionality. There is a lot of maps developed using ShareMap that are published using ShareMap. We had already established automatic workflows to publish maps to Wikipedia Commons directly, we are in touch with WikiVoyage community. Also we contributed knowlege to Template:KML team. The scope of this project is to provide tool for users without map design background thatis easy in use and generates content on free licenses. As I mentioned many time - I am believe that GIS professional with professional mapping tools can produce better output, but in my opinion entry bareer is to high. Nevertheless thanks for your opinion - I will rework this section to include only the functionalities that has to be developed/improved.

Hired developers vs volonteers[edit]

Hired developers vs volonteers - I will be very happy to get some volunteers in place of hired developers, but in realistic view even much larger project with wider scope (like GIMP or Inkscape) has a problem with gaining open source contributors. Unfortunately it is easier to recruit contributors for library project rather that tool. Also if look for example on Leaflet Mapping library (which is now used extensively by ShareMap) - this project was mostly boosted after MapBox offered 500k donation for development, earlier development was rather slow. Nevertheless I will correct grant to include open source contributors as an option of possible development.


So improvements of ShareMap in my opinion will have several results:

  • More Wikipedia Articles will be ilustrated with maps
  • Wikipedians that are not map pros and right now they are struggling for the long hours with Grass, QGis and Inkscape will be able to spend their time on other contributions on Wikipedia
  • Readers will be more satisfied because if in one map creation process both static/image map and interactive map will be created. Take a look at for example - on one hand you have see rendition of train route embeded in article on other hand user can see this map easily using interactive map providers ShareMap/Google Maps/Bing/Wikipedia embeded KML viewer)
  • Maps are crucial for WikiVoyage project, and because specific of this project less map creation pros contributes there - easy and straightforward tool will be essential
  • Becaue raw map data will is published on CC-SA license so entire free content enviroment will be enriched by every map created by wikipedia editor - and this map are not only SVG picture (like the maps created for Wikipedia usually) but fullly fledged GIS dataset (that can be exported for example in KML format) that can be then reused in mapy ways. In printed publications etc.

Community involvent[edit]

From what I understand, most of the code is already written, but you'd like to involve more Wikipedians/Commoners/Wikivoyagers who create maps in your project, to learn how to improve ShareMap for their use-cases. Is that correct? If so, I'd be curious to hear more about how you think you might involve these communities in your development/testing/iteration process. And it would be great to hear directly from community members (as endorsers or with comments on this talk page) about their interest in using these tools as well.

This is very good question - most of Wikipedians are focused on their fields of interest and in limited time they have for the project they don't have a time to struggle with too complicated or too difficult tools. Right now ShareMap team used several route for educating Wikipedia editors

  • Education by Example - in this case people in some way related with project created the map for several type of articles (tramway networks, historical maps) this maps are direct proofs that some kind of map can be created using ShareMap. This was rather successful - if you analyze maps created with ShareMap you can see that some people not related with project also created large set of maps (for example take a look )
  • Education by involvement on groups portal - we add information about ShareMap tools in several informational pages on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons (Map Workshop)
  • WikiVoyage - WV is a site that have slightly other requirements that other Wikimedia projects. For two reasons - first of all different type of readers (they want more precise and accurate information even if it is not very visual appearing) and second editors. I expect that WV is more edited by travelers that would like to share their knowledge, rather that by "professional" Wikipedians. Thats the reason that they will not have time to play with Inkscape to create pixel perfect map. The would like to have tool to create map quickly and with standardized look and feel. We receive some voices from WV (of course we should count WV community vs Wikipedia Community) and they are rather positive.
  • People from OSM community - ShareMap is a tool that allows reusing in easy way data from OSM database, this attracts people from OSM project if they want to create some maps for Wikipedia

Getting feedback from community[edit]

This is very hard problem - to get feedback from people that feels that ShareMap is too difficult and not very straightforward. Of course it is much more easy that typical GIS tools (Grass GIS, QGis) but still to hard.

Unfortunately this users quits ShareMap after first unsuccessful use without giving us feedback. This doesn't help to create tool that is easily usable for everyone.

To solve this problem volunteer testers are required. This testers with various experience level can share with us - what was fine and what was to difficult.

--Jkan997 (talk) 22:48, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Correction spelling mistakes[edit]

I corrected some spelling mistakes in the draft. Advice: next time, check your spelling with an Office spelling checker. I will get back to you for some more questions and remarks. Wereldburger758 (talk) 05:39, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2013[edit]

IEG review.png

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 review. Please feel free to ask questions here on the talk page and make changes to your proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 begins on 23 October 2013, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Siko (WMF) (talk) 18:26, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

My support for the request[edit]

Sharemap can be a very useful tool for the Wikipedians. It is very difficult to create a decent map from scratch. One of the major obstacles is to find the right map to begin with: a map that will serve as a foundation for the other information that will be placed on top of it. Example: I used Sharemap to get the right map and I used Inkscape to fill in the data.
Wikipedia needs a good tool to help Wikipedians to create maps more easily. Sharemap can fill that need. But Sharemap is far from a finished product and definitely needs more tweaking. Therefore, it is my opion that this grant should be given to Jakub Kaniewski. Wereldburger758 (talk) 11:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Community Notifications[edit]

Hi Jakub,
As you know, the IEG committee will begin their review of round 2 proposals on 23 October 2013. To expedite proposal review, I'm looking over the community notifications section of each eligible application. It looks like the second, fourth, and fifth links in your community notifications section of your proposal don't point to where you might have meant them to. Please re-link to the current locations of those posts so that the committee can follow up more easily. Thanks!
Best of luck!
Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Done - @AKoval thanks for pointing
Np. Happy to help. :) 23:17, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Hey Jakub,
For the record, I just wanted to give you a little wikilove. :) You did something that I thought was very clever! One of your notifications was a link to a post from more than a year ago -- which indicates, to me, that you have been very invested in this project for a while, long before this IEG proposal written. It was the Commons post that you'd linked to. (doesn't look like it's there any more. did you delete it?) In that post, you just wrote this: "I created this map [4] (created with a ShareMap - take a look and opinions. --Jkan997 (talk) 22:39, 24 April 2012 (UTC)." What the comment linked to in the [4] was a map you'd made before but went back and edited to include a small tasteful ad that was clickable and linked to your IEG proposal. It simply said: "ShareMap is applying for Wikimedia grant to continue development. Please support us by giving endorsment." Since those breadcrumbs are no longer there for people to follow, I thought I'd call it out, in a good way. :) Anna Koval (WMF) (talk) 23:17, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Anna, thanks for comment, you are mentioning this page Commons:Graphic_Lab/Map_workshop. In the fact the link to ShareMap is broken because content was copied (by some process) from Wikipedia and Interwiki link that was used for linking to Commons should not be used for page in Commons. It should be handled in some way by the importer but I'll fix it.
You are also right that works on project community was started long before Gran Apply. We are working on multiple fields - IEG Grant (in progress), including to Interwiki (already processed), applying for European Union grant for creating commercial offspring (planned), working with OSM community (in progress), activating WikiVoyage community (in progress). Thanks for support
--Jkan997 (talk) 09:23, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Output format[edit]

Does this tool produce SVG output? Gryllida 08:51, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Hello, thanks for question. ShareMap output formats for Wikimedia are SVG (preferred) ,PNG (can be used in some cases where Wikimedia SVG rendition produce errors) and KML (used extensively in Template:Attached KML).

--Jkan997 (talk) 10:32, 28 October 2013 (UTC)


If you take a map with a point on it (say, Australia with Canberra on it), and then the continent shrinks half a year later, would there be means for automatic update of that fact on the map? Or only manually? Thanks. Smiley.svg Gryllida 09:46, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi @Gryllida, thanks for question. ShareMap typically contains two layers - vector GIS data and raster background (most typically OpenStreetMap). Neither of this layers are upgraded automatically. To update OSM layer (as in your example) map rendition have to be rexported from ShareMap to Wikimedia Commons. Any updates on vector data should be done in manual way because in many scenarios it is preferred to keep some shapes from historic data (ie. map of dismantled railway route). --Jkan997 (talk) 09:14, 31 October 2013 (UTC)


Is this a purely external tool, or are there means and plans to integrate it into wiki interface? As a gadget for example? Gryllida 20:14, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

Sharemap diagram
Hi @Gryllida, in fact ShareMap is not a single tool but rather technology that use stack of technologies (take a look to the scheme on the right)). There are multiple ways of integrating with Wikimedia sites and integrating into Wiki interfaces is one them. But this will require long discussion in community to achieve some consensus. At earlier stage the ShareMap will run separately as site sharing similar values (CC-SA 3 content, user collaboration etc.). We will focus on data level integration (automatic publication to Wikimedia using Media Wiki API etc.). At later stage more tight integration with Wikidata might be possibly, an finally bigger technology stack migration can be considered. --Jkan997 (talk) 00:49, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Measures of success[edit]

The currently documented measures of success involve evaluating popularity of and its content. In these measures, would you consider a stronger focus on ShareMap use in Wikimedia projects? Gryllida 08:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Please disregard this query: I have located an answer on the proposal page, and added nested headings for the two bits. Gryllida 09:29, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Gryllida - thanks for making this changes. At early draft version of ShareMap grant form I received suggestions that some of measures are not directly connected with Wikimedia projects. I decided to not remove them, but to clearly name them as goals in broader scope that may be interesting, but does not have to be included in formal grant evaluation process. --Jkan997 (talk) 21:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for ShareMap[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weakest 5=strongest
Potential for impact
(A) The project fits with the Wikimedia movement's strategic priorities 4
(B) The project has the potential to lead to significant online impact. 4
(C) The impact of the project can be sustained after the grant ends. 4
(D) The project has potential to be scaled or adapted for other languages or projects. 4
Ability to execute
(E) The project has demonstrated interest from a community it aims to serve. 4.5
(F) The project can be completed as scoped within 6 months with the requested funds. 4
(G) The budget is reasonable and an efficient use of funds. 4
(H) The individual(s) proposing the project have the required skills and experience needed to complete it. 4.5
Fostering innovation and learning
(I) The project has innovative potential to add new strategies and knowledge for solving important issues in the movement. 3
(J) The risk involved in the project's size and approach is appropriately balanced with its potential gain in terms of impact. 3.5
(K) The proposed measures of success are useful for evaluating whether or not the project was successful. 3.5
(L) The project supports or grows the diversity of the Wikimedia movement. 3
Comments from the committee:
  • A large but reasonable plan for the proposed tasks to allow for creating and modifying maps, in a strategically useful project.
  • Strong community support.
  • Some budget concerns - this seems like a high cost for a proposal to add features to an existing codebase.
  • Funding this project would be dependent on ShareMap being fully open-source. We have some concerns about connections with commercial products like Adobe Flex, which would close access to other volunteers not experienced in this technology.

Thank you for submitting this proposal. The committee is now deliberating based on these scoring results.

Funding decisions will be announced by December 16. — ΛΧΣ21 00:21, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Adobe Flex[edit]

@ΛΧΣ & review team:
One small remark - Adobe Flex is an open source framework. was published on en:Mozilla Public License from version 3.0 (released in 2007). In 2011 entire project was donated to Apache and after short (one year) incubation period it was raised to Apache Top Level Project level. Against some prediction project has very big and vibrant community (take a look to mailing list) - release cycle is faster after donation to Apache. ShareMap technically uses still Adobe Flex (because it utilizes Flex 4.1) but upgrade to Apache Flex (version Flex 4.11) is almost sure.

The only commercial requirement of entire ShareMap project is requirement for Adobe Flash Plugin for map editors (map viewers can use map without Flash). Adobe Flash plugin is free, multi platform (Windows,Linux,Mac OS X) and already installed by more than 90% of desktop computers. Adobe guarantee that it will be supported in next 5 years. Nevertheless project authors observes some technologies that at some level may allow to publish version of ShareMap without requiring Flash plugin - Mozilla Shumway Project

--Jkan997 (talk) 22:01, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

In light of your explanation above (thanks for that!), Jkan997, it is nice to know with Shumway users can user open-source software only to access How about on the server side? It is important for the project to be sustainable (in the eyes of the Wikimedia movement), the whole server should be replicable, by anyone without specific authorization, in an environment like Wikimedia Labs, where one must not install proprietary software, basically. Is it a viable option to ensure the "free software only" status on the server side? --whym (talk) 09:17, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

ShareMap server side technology stack[edit]

Hi Whym, thanks for good question

The only closed source and commercial product involved with ShareMap is Adobe Flash Plugin (free) which in future (but to be honest not very close) will be replaced with open source SWF interpreter like Shumway. As mentioned before this requirement is only for map editors not map consumers.

The entire server side side is open source based:

Current configuration of ShareMap server:

  • Linux OS
  • Tomcat 7 as web container running on Java 7
  • Java web application based utilizing open source libraries or frameworks
  • Jackrabbit Content repository run inside Tomcat (open source)
  • Apache 2 as HTTP server
  • GDAL tools invoked from java code
  • ImageMagick tools invoked from java code
  • PostgreSQL database with PostGIS as one source of geo data (with Natural Earth data inside)

Moving entire ShareMap service from one server to another requires about half day of work. For sure it is possible to configure entire ShareMap ecosystem on Linux and Mac OS X. On Windows Environment it can be little harder.

Day by day ShareMap backups are currently stored on DropBox (rotating, 500 MB, currently complete backup not incremental) if any space on FTP will be granted dumping repository to FTP can be easily added therefore anyone wishing will be able to recreate entire ecosystem.

ShareMap requires server with good performance because some operations performed under the hood are resource intensive (SVG rendering, map warping using GDAL, versioning etc.)

--Jkan997 (talk) 14:13, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again, Jkan997. Just to make sure: isn't it required to have some proprietary software to produce/update swf files that are served by the ShareMap server? Please remember that free in this context means freedom to use, redistribute, and make modified versions. Most of the ones in the stack look easily pass the definition, but I'm not still sure about the Flash part. --whym (talk) 15:16, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
ShareMap can be compiled from command line with only Apache Flex installed. Entire these packages are on open licenses, any commercial part of code is not required in code compilation phase, therefore generated SWF is can be distributed on Apache License. Please take a look to Potlach 2 project on OSM - it uses very similiar technologies like ShareMap and it is published on open source license. I think that this paragraph describe this in precise way. --Jkan997 (talk) 17:19, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Understood. Thanks a lot for your explanation! --whym (talk) 13:58, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Status update[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
We appreciate the value of ShareMap’s goal to create a mapping community that is easy for new users, and all of the lovely maps that you have contributed to Commons so far. We also appreciate your willingness to re-scope focus on Wikimedia use-cases only for the purposes of this grant. However, we feel it may be best for ShareMap to find a longer-term funding partner that is able to meet more of ShareMap’s needs, including helping to resolve the hosting dependency. We’d also encourage you to continue moving towards open licensing for ShareMap, regardless! If you find in the future that there are still unmet needs for this project and you would like to return with an updated proposal based on some of the above feedback (including a move away from the use of a Flash editor), you’d be welcome to resubmit in a future round of IEG. Wishing you best of luck, meanwhile!

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.

Questions? Contact us.