Commons:Map resources

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shortcuts: COM:MAP • COM:MAPS

To find categorized maps, atlases, and satellite pictures please see:

Many maps are ineligible for copyright, and are in the public domain


See Commons:Threshold of originality#Maps. Use {{PD-map}} on maps which are ineligible for copyright.

Create maps online for free

Note: Please add more free sites. Resulting maps must be free according to Wikimedia standards.

Anybody can create maps for free at the sites below and upload them to the Commons.

Map resource subpages


The subpages are a repository of various files useful for creating new maps for various wiki projects. The files in the subpages are not necessarily opened through web browsers since many of them are in graphic applications generic formats, like GIMP.

Where to request new or improved maps


Wikimedia Commons map resources



User-editable maps


These SVG maps have user-editable sections (any text editor) to allow creation of more maps on more topics. Just paste in a list of states and values. See examples at Category:English-language SVG maps of the United States made with templates. Feel free to create map templates for other countries too. Cmglee may be able to help with that.

Version 2: Convert a US list/table to a state-by-state data map. With examples and step-by step instructions. Example:
Homicide rates per 100,000 by state. FBI.
Simple map below with state names and colored states. See its talk page.
Medicaid expansion map of US. Affordable Care Act

SVG file checkers


3 SVG file checkers are listed below. Use them on SVG maps (like the ones in the previous section). Some text editors such as en:Notepad++ will both edit SVG files, and show line numbers. File checkers list errors by line number.

  • WMF Labs SVG check. Among other things it will tell you if there is a font that does not exist on Wikimedia wikis. And it will show you what the map may look like on the Commons without having to upload it permanently first. It depends on if the software versions are the same. Commons rendering can be different from what a map looks like in a browser before uploading.
  • Commons SVG Checker. If checking via file name do not include "File:"
  • validator. Upload file. Don't use Commons file URL.

Accessibility and map colors


Color blindness:

  • Coblis — Color Blindness Simulator - Colblindor. Easy to use.
  • Color vision deficiency emulator. Easy to use. Upload a PNG/JPG/JPEG map. Download a PNG map from various-size links on Commons SVG file description page. After uploading to the emulator save the "All" tab with all the test results compiled on one page. That way you can compare different images. The emulator will stop working if you try to upload too many images, especially the same exact image, because you forgot what the results were.

Contrast checkers:

Wikipedia help:

Wikimedia Meta map resources



MediaWiki map resources


On mediawiki.orgMediaWiki.

Wikipedia map resources





Note: See also the user-editable map section higher up.

Geographic coordinates, geotagging, and geocoding


Other free or public-domain map resources online


Please upload more free maps to Commons. Resulting maps must be free according to Wikimedia standards.

Resources with image license templates


Resources with public-domain statements


See Public Domain.

  • Create Custom Map - MapChart at – see Terms of service. Use {{}}.
  • Perry-Castañeda Library – the Map Collection [8] is in the public domain (see FAQ: [9]): "Most of the maps scanned by the University of Texas Libraries and served from this web site are in the public domain. No permissions are needed to copy them. You may download them and use them as you wish. We appreciate credit to "University of Texas Libraries" as the source of the scanned images. A few maps are copyrighted, and are clearly marked as such."
  • Map Maker Trust [10] – "The Map Maker Trust is a source of free map data and mapping software for developing countries. The idea behind the Map Maker Trust is that the lack of good, simple maps is a serious obstacle to development in all kinds of fields, from health care to urban management, from de-mining to environmental protection. The Trust's purpose is two fold: to make public domain mapping data more readily available for developing countries, and to provide free, easy to use software to facilitate map making by non-experts."

Resources with unclear free-image statements


These resources may need further clarification. If you upload images from these resources to the commons, then there is a possibility that they may be put up for deletion. Consider this an opportunity to show that they are truly free images, and that they can be used both non-commercially and commercially. The Wikimedia Commons also requires that the images can be modified without asking permission (derivative use). To prove all this you may have to contact the resource and send their reply to the VRT.

  • UC Atlas of Global Inequality – home page [11]: "The Atlas of Global Inequality explores some aspects of inequality using online, downloadable maps and graphics. All these materials can be used freely providing they are attributed to the UC Atlas of Global Inequality." University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Free blank maps of countries and continents at [12]. Overall map portal at
    • [13]. It is not at all clear which maps are completely free, and which are not.
    • Someone might ask at the Geography forums at [14].
    • Guest entry to view forums: [15]
  • Maps of Canada and Atlas of the World maps. Online Historical Map Digitization Project Publisher queries and map re-use information

Lists of public domain and other free maps


Resources for clickable image maps



Adding map legends to map captions

Drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people by state in the United States in 2016.

On the file description page there are several examples of map legends:

See also:

Free open-source tools for map and chart creation


See also

On Wikipedia