Commons:Project Mapmaking Wiki Standards

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Set up a wikimedia's mapmaking standard

  • A professional or semi-professional team of cartographers is needed to rebuild this page, and to set up an efficient guideline for wikimedia's maps (see talk page).
    I, Yug, have just abilities to organize the begin of this. The most capable contributors that I found out to make this work and set up new standards are: en:Planemad (busy in true life) and fr:STyx, which respectively had set up local standards for the english «Indian map project», and for the French «Atelier de Cartographie». Valuable help may be give by Saravask (indian maps), Nichalp (indian maps), Sting (topographic and road maps), Fabienkhan (historical maps).

Note that this project look for expert consensus.
The opinions of Users who already have huge experience on mapmaking will be follow. Other users can assist them and give them advices.

If you came here to request map improvement, please go to the Commons:Graphic Lab. See also en:Category:Wikipedia requested maps (many open requests there).

First standards to set up:

  • Standard for blank maps
  • Standard for Gradiant maps (with no special topic: which colors should we use? I.e. rate of internet connection map; right of woman; ...)
  • Geobiological maps (colors according to: "swiming; walking; flight; plants" or "Bacteria; Plants; Molluscs; Reptiles; Mammals; Birds"?)

Here are the confirmed Wiki standards for map making (work not finished)

Standards, palette, and example maps to paste here when optimized and approved.

To en:User talk:Planemad: Set up a standard of maps for all Wikimedian maps[edit]

<Ci dessous, le message à envoyer à Planemad quand tu le jugera necessaire. Ce message est améliorable. >

Such legend need to be set up for each "big family" of maps.
Such legend need to be set up for each "big family" of maps.

Hello Planemad,

I'm a bit sorry to come here with this huge task to do, but I prepared this for 3 months, and it appears that you are probably the most able to set up standards for maps as best as possible.

To introduce myself here, I'm a french student, admin on fr and on commons, and I "invented" the french Graphic Lab in 2005, and then spread it to wiki-en in 2006.

The french Graphic Lab already has a working /Maps Lab, for more than one year. It quickly appeared a big need of standardization, exactly like what you've done on your Indian maps project. I have tried to set up such standardization, but I'm not good enough in Cartography/mapmaking and in graphism neither to set up such standard, and to do a good work.

Looking around (commons, fr, en), I found your pretty nice Indian map project, where you set up a clear legend and a set of icons for map making. I come here to ask for your help, to set up on Commons a "perfectly well thought" set of standard rules and icons for all major families of maps. This work may be done on 4 or 6 months if needed. The french users STyx and Sting also have set up some french maping standard.

Just below are all the scrap that I did, I can't do really more according to my little graphic abilities. Feel free to delete all of these and to do better choices.

The tools needed for each style
  • Precise rules for the background [1]
  • Precise standard color gradients for layers, arrows, etc.[2]
  • Precise standards for icons.
  • Precise rules to show the legend (internationalization: no words).
  • Precise system for file names [3]

The 6 main families of maps that I found
  • geologic maps (for minerals);
  • topographic maps (for reliefs);
  • geobiologic maps (for animals and plants) ;
  • geopolitic maps (like those from CIA world fact book) ;
  • exchanges maps (roads, trains, planes lines, economic exchanges, etc.) ;
  • historical maps (territories; contested area; wars and battles; extensions and moves of armies);

I sincerely think we need such universal legends and standards to make one more step towards professionalism. Wikimedia needs to have all its maps with the same standard.

The rules set up will be used to redraw all maps of all wikipedia's, according to the new standard, between 2007 and 2008/2009.

After putting a clear standardization, the Commons:Graphic Lab/Maps will open, it and all Graphic labs will convert maps, make maps, and help to make maps according to those new standards. That's why it needs to be perfectly optimized, for each point. These rules will be used to redraw all maps of wikimedia, they should be totally professional, and forgetting nothing.

I think your experience on the Indian map project can be really useful and can allow you to do this huge work, slowly, in six months.

If you have time to lead this project, please contact me.


  1. (example: historical maps need to show topography, which explain population locations and strategies)
  2. (example: for historical maps, pastel, brown pastel, are more serious than red, pink, and green.)
  3. (ex: Image:*-fr.ext for french translation of the map Image:*.ext. This according to the code name of the wiki which will host the file.)