Commons:Press releases/Wikimedia Commons and Google Earth mashup

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  • Para's "GeoCommons" - Wikimedia Commons + Google Earth
  • Dschwen's "WikiMiniAtlas"
  • Magnus' Geohack
  • ?


After successful geographical coordinates projects on Wikipedia with a total of over 200000 location related articles positioned on earth with a process called geocoding, the vast media repository Wikimedia Commons is now embracing the same process. An initiative to add geographical coordinate information to the media on Commons was launched in February after Commons had reached its 1,000,000 file milepoint in November 2006.

Commons takes geocoding a step further from Wikipedia with the goal of finding the precise camera location for all the media used in Wikipedia articles, and more. Geocoding the media this way offers an intuitive way to find images, audio and video specific to a geographic location that isn't necessarily categorized to that location like media on Commons traditionally is. This will show well concentrated points on a country level of detail or various views of a landmark in closer view.

Geocoded images can be browsed spatially either directly in the web browser using the new WikiMiniAtlas feature or in the popular Google Earth software. Compared to other online image services with geographical coordinates, changes and additions to Wikimedia Commons are visible instantly, or as soon as they get through to the database. Corrections to geocoding can be done directly by the person who notices an error, instead of suggesting a correction. As is common in a wiki environment, every change is reviewed by a number of editors.

People who enjoy looking at photos and satellite images will be at the right place on Commons. A large part of the well described encyclopedic media on Commons is still without exact geographical coordinates, and enthusiasts are needed to compare the available data and give the media a location.

All content in Wikimedia Commons is available under a free license, that is, free for anyone to use and modify for any purpose, while respecting the conditions of the free license. The work is done by volunteers who anyone can join. Everyone is invited to take advantage of this growing resource and perhaps contribute something on the way.