Submissions/Maps for Mobile Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Maps for Mobile Wikipedia
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Katie Filbert (possibly with co-presenters TBD from OSM / mobile team)
E-mail address

email me

Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

A new mobile app is available as a beta release and it's becoming interactive! New features coming soon or already available in the beta app include photo uploading and a map with markers displaying articles "near me".

The app started out using the default OpenStreetMap (OSM) map tiles and, as an interim solution, uses MapQuest open maps. To scale and make the maps more customized to fit the needs of the mobile app, production-level OSM map rendering is required. Experiments have been done for a few years now with OSM rendering on the toolserver. For mobile maps, we have a project on the new Wikimedia Labs to test various configurations and tools for OSM rendering, optimize them, use puppet to standardize the configure them and put onto production servers for more optimization and testing.

Approaches to OSM tile rendering including using a node.js software stack with Mapnik, or to use an Apache module (mod_tile) and Tirex (also with Mapnik). The pros and cons of each approach will be discussed and considerations for Wikimedia production rendering, including multilingual maps.

The mobile app, with it's mostly monochrome color skin, also calls for a customized map style. The mobile app team is collaborating with Stamen Design, Wikimedia Deutschland, and volunteers to create a simple map style that works well in mobile. A quick walk through of the design process and tools available will also be presented.

On the front end, the app uses the Leaflet.JS library which is fairly lightweight but also allows rendering vector map features. The app shows locations of Wikipedia articles "near me", extracted from coordinates templates. Originally the app used the Geonames API which contains the Wikipedia coordinate data, but the API is not free and not scalable. To solve that issue, a GeoData MediaWiki extension has been developed that stores geocoordinates directly in the database. This allows the mobile app (and others) to extract coordinates easily from the Wikipedia API.

  • Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
  • 25 minutes
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  1. Kul (talk) 00:08, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Guaka (talk) 23:01, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
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