Commons talk:Wikimaps

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Related : Commons:Wikimaps/2013 hackathon

Post Hackathon talk[edit]

Scope: @Susanna, I would also advice your project to focus on geolocalising ancient maps using tools such and tagging of these maps. That's already a big project. Your current objectives sections is rather a list of needs. As objectives, it's quite big.

Renaming: If so, I think it would be better to name Susanna's project Commons:Ancient maps project, similar naming scheme than the Commons:Ancient Chinese characters project. Yug (talk) 19:17, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Introducing new {{Map}} template[edit]

Introducing new {{Map}} template. Please come and help designing and developing it. --Jarekt (talk) 13:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Can it be ...[edit]

... that this feature does not worked? When i go to the "Georeference map" of any of the listed pictures i get timeouts since several days. Or did i do something wrong? --Arnd (talk) 07:22, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your feedback. Due to changes in the Labs, we (I) had not updated the link to reflect the changes. Apologies. Now it should work. --Susannaanas (talk) 09:39, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Maps-warper down?[edit]

It seems that maps-warper is not working. Is this a temporary problem or is this project canceled or what? --Pustekuchen2014 (talk) 17:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

I have not realized the change all occurrences of the url. It has been changed into Found one in the text and corrected it. --Susannaanas (talk)
Ok, thank you! --Pustekuchen2014 (talk) 20:20, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
I found a few other links to the old site which I'll be cleaning up during the day. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 09:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Done. Now the link in this discussion should be the only one pointing to the old url. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 09:26, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! --Pustekuchen2014 (talk) 12:08, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Digitizing maps[edit]

Hello, is it possible to digitize old maps by bringing the scanned words into a digital format? Something like the ImageAnnotator so the maps would be searchable? Wouldn't this be a great thing? --Pustekuchen2014 (talk) 12:28, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

NYPL maps, with (ongoing) Georeferencing data[edit]

Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, in 1846. Part of the NYPL maps collection.
Further information: Commons:Batch uploading/NYPL Maps

As people probably know, the NYPL last month released 20,000 hi-res maps, over 4,000 of which already have geo-referencing data [1], with the crowd being actively encouraged to source more.

Fae (talk · contribs) has initiated a project to get copy the image files over to here in bulk, and is wondering what to do about the associated KML files.

IMO, if we want to get Wikimaps kick-started into life, this would be a brilliant place to begin. The data and the images are already out there, plus the NYPL appears to be using the same software that we are. So we have the opportunity of getting to the position of having a lot of maps on Wikimaps, with a lot of geo-data, in a single step.

To follow this up suggests two development areas for priority attention:

  • (1) How to indicate to users that they can click through to view a geo-referenced version of the map. The present template is (IMO) far too polite. What is needed is something much more striking, probably more colourful and right-justified, rather than blending in to the {{Information}} template. A good feature, I think, would be the template to state the number of geo-referenced points, in the way that the NYPL summary or our clone of it does.
  • (2) To develop a bot to synchronise our geodata and the NYPL geodata, as points get added (or moved) on both sites.

With these two in place, the project would be good to go.

One further question that I have been wondering about, is where does the KML data live? A natural page would seem to be in a sub-page of the map image page, so that the existing Wiki software could track editors and updates. Export options should follow, of course; but being able to track changes and display results would seem to be the key first functionality.

So does this seem realistic; and in particular, how quickly could the synchronisation bot be developed? Jheald (talk) 12:50, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

I am not sure what metadata NYPL Maps come with, but I would propose to use {{Map}} (for map related metadata + link to KML) with {{Book}} (for author and publisher matadata). The KMLs traditionally were living in subpages of file namespace unfortunately those pages are not well supported by the current wikimedia software (no link to the main file, pollution of Commons:Database reports/File description pages without an associated file, etc.), so if we suddenly get a lot of them we might want to make sure we are prepared for them. --Jarekt (talk) 14:50, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
@Jarekt: I did play around with using {{Map}} for the NYPL files when doing my initial run, however it did not fit well at all to the metadata or the fact that the set of atlantes includes pages which are topological representations, ethnographic artwork or cover and index pages. It might be that for the subset with KML files we can reverse engineer some relevant geocoords, but the ancient maps themselves are too inconsistent using the data from the catalogue. As a result I am using a highly customized form of the {{Information}}, though I would not be averse to improving this once the upload is complete, I would be happy for some experimental re-mapping using some samples. The main thing is to keep the set of maps consistent, with more than 10,000 images we don't want to end up doing manual fixes! -- (talk) 23:06, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
You are right about the manual fixes, but I do not like the part about using {{Information field}} in the files themselves, that part should be hidden in Collection dependent template like {{Walters Art Museum artwork}} or {{NARA-image-full}}. That way also the future improvements can be done to the template itself instead requiring changes to 10k files. --Jarekt (talk) 01:00, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
True, I have preferred to use targeted data-ingestion templates for this reason (e.g. {{Milim}}). Unfortunately the GWToolset is not very flexible right now in using custom templates, there is a limited number to choose from using a drop-list. A future upgrade might sort this out, but for this batch upload (which would otherwise take many months for me to finish, due to the constraints of my home bandwidth being unable to handle huge 100MB+ tiffs), we'll have to think about post-upload work-arounds such as Faebot doing some housekeeping to remap better templates. The good news is that if you examine the image page for one of the maps I've uploaded, the GWToolset includes the raw metadata as a hidden comment, independent of the template, so this can be mined later too. -- (talk) 11:08, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes it would be great if bugzilla:63889 (please vote for it) was fixed, but in the mean time we can do postprocessing. --Jarekt (talk) 12:32, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
@: It seems these discussion have gone unattended by me, very sorry for that! Could you please discuss the current proposal for the Map template for pros and cons. We would be very happy to release it before major uploads (late for this one, though). It is / will be included in the GWToolset. Thanks! --Susannaanas (talk) 09:18, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Control point data[edit]

  • NYPL control point data can be exposed by going into the NYPL georeferencer for a map, clicking on the "Rectify" tab eg [2], then clicking on the "Control Points" link in the Control Panel section below the paired images.
Still looking into whether the info is stored in any of the page source. Jheald (talk) 16:19, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Having talked to Tim Waters (User:Chippyy) at Wikimania, I now know that control point data is accessible as JSON at eg:
where 13377 is the mapwarper id for this map. For documentation, see:
and find "Ground Control Points" in the page (line 473) -- Jheald (talk) 16:08, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Maps from the British Library Mechanical Curator set[edit]

Another group of maps that may be of interest are maps from the British Library "Mechanical Curator" set. This is a set of over a million illustrations from over 50,000 mostly 19th century books that the BL released and uploaded to Flickr last December. Non-fiction books were particularly chosen to have a geographical/travel/world history theme, so the release includes many many maps.

Unlike the NYPL project, the metadata is very weak -- usually just book titles and page numbers, not image titles or even recognition that images are maps, so update to WP has been much more manual. Nevertheless, over 5000 images (and rising) have now been uploaded to WP, including (currently) 336 identified maps, which can be found at

Category:Maps from the Mechanical Curator collection

So far this reflects only the tip of the iceberg of which books people have been interested enough to upload the images from.

There is also now quite developed book-title index to the collection, organised by geographical location, at


linking to the images from the books on Flickr, in which atlases and books rich in maps can often readily be identified.

More information can be found on the project page,

Commons:British Library/Mechanical Curator collection.

Public crowdsourced geo-referencing is something the BL has quite a lot of experience in [3], using the "Georeferencer" development of the Warper program, by Klokan Technologies and the Moravian Library.

The BL themselves have casually talked about opening up some of these images for geo-referencing on their platform, but so far haven't launched anything concrete, perhaps because the images are currently on Flickr rather than the BL's own site, and also because only a fraction of the maps included in the set have so far been identified. But they should I think be reasonably open if we want to share / get involved as well. Jheald (talk) 22:53, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

One other issue to flag about the collection, for future reference. Files uploaded here will often have been cropped by the uploader, either before or soon after upload. (And sometimes also colour/greyscale-adjusted.) So if any geodata added to ours eventually needs to be kept in sync with anybody else's, the likelihood of the two images crops having been cropped slightly different is an issue that will maybe need to be factored in. Jheald (talk) 21:32, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Ordnance Survey Drawings[edit]

Category:Ordnance Survey Drawings may be worth a look too. The drawings here all have bounding-box geolocation info. The originals on the British Library website also have accessible geo-located points data. Jheald (talk) 00:02, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Interestingly, adding {{GeoGroupTemplate}} works -- though it could be tidier. The template successfully picks up all the co-ordinates and passes them to Google. However, it doesn't distinguish map-centre from map-corners from map-bounding-box, so the display on Google (at least when zoomed out) looks a bit of a mess. But still, quite useful even so, as a 'picker' to help one pick the right map from the category. Jheald (talk) 00:09, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Control point locations can be obtained by downloading the html source from the "georeference" tab of the georeferencer. Jheald (talk) 15:30, 6 August 2014 (UTC)


Would it be an idea to create a category here on Commons for digitized historical documents which either are old gazetteers or contain information that is suitable for the creation of a historical gazetteer? There are some works which maybe could be included in such a category, for example File:Underdånigt betänkande angående reglering af oregelbundenheter i rikets administrativa judiciela ecklesiastika och kommunala indelningar.djvu, File:Civildepartementet 1885-04-17 Ang ifrågasatt namnförändring å vissa socknar.djvu, File:Geokod.djvu, File:1866 K brev ang Djurgårdens förläggande till Stockholm.djvu. Edaen (talk) 08:02, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Wikimaps plan for 2014 - end 2015[edit]

Note that Susanna has now put up Commons:Wikimaps/Wikimaps plan for 2015.

Collaborative commentary and participation very much desired! -- Jheald (talk) 18:39, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


Hello. How can I add coordinates to the template Map. We have all four corners as coordinates. But how to add it? There is a help page missing. Thanks in advance. --Micha (talk) 13:39, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi! The info should be on the help doc. See lines latitude and longitude on Template:Map. The following applies to both lat and long:
Latitude used to describe geographic limits or range. Parameters "latitude" and "longitude" can take several forms, differentiated by number of values provided. The values are separated by "/":
  • 4 values: Latitude and longitude of four corners of the map. Corners have to be in the counter-clockwise order starting with lower left corner, so they are in lower left, lower right, upper right and upper left corner order.
  • 2 values: Latitude and longitude of each edge of the map. Parameter "latitude" will store South/North latitudes of lower/upper edge and parameter "longitude" will store West/East longitudes of left/right edge
  • 1 value: Latitude and longitude of map center.
Cheers, Susannaanas (talk) 13:59, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi Susannaanas. Thank you for the quick response. Is there an example where this bbox is already in use? --Micha (talk) 14:02, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I haven't tried it in action myself, and I don't remember having seen it used yet. I'll be able to search in a while. / Susannaanas (talk) 14:05, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
If you find one example that would help us. My tests are here User:Micha L. Rieser/TestMap. --Micha (talk) 14:08, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
The main things to note are that:
To illustrate what this looks like I've created Template:Map/Examples#Coordinate_examples. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 14:56, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
After I wrote the original Template:Map and Template:Map/bbox, I was very careful to be as clear as possible in documenting "latitude" and "longitude" parameters. Is something is not clear may be someone can suggest improvements. --Jarekt (talk) 17:50, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


Attack on Harper's Ferrypass5

Hi, do you know Commons:Geocoding/Overlay? Old project (2007?), similar goal. See LinksHere and Category:Geographic_Overlays. It works with kml and adds a template on the file page: "Open this image as an overlay in Google Earth (Google Maps, Bing)" - but opening doesn't work for Google Maps, Bing. Or is it just me? (Try the map at the right side) Do you think Commons:Geocoding/Overlay and Commons:Wikimaps should be linked somehow? --Atlasowa (talk) 10:25, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Think I saw a mention somewhere that Google Maps no longer supports on the fly showing of kml. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 08:50, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Here: w:Template talk:Attached KML and also in that page's archive. Edaen (talk) 14:42, 22 June 2015 (UTC)


Can heatmaps created on OpenHeatMaps be used on Wikipedia? Basically they allow you to plug in a csv file. For this one I took breastfeeding rates in different countries [4]

It states that the data is from OpenStreetMaps so I imagine yes. Are their other tools for easily creating heatmaps? James Heilman, MD (talk) 23:02, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi James Heilman, MD, good question! You're using the word heatmaps broadly, not exactly like Category:Heat_maps, but as coloured maps, right?
--Atlasowa (talk) 13:42, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks yes we have been working on this in Mexico. Just heard about this extension. Really exciting. James Heilman, MD (talk) 23:02, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Choose a map for georeferencing[edit]

I want to georeference all maps I scanned and tried like this page says "... Click on the warper link (first row in the metadata)" but there is no warper link. How can I uses the warper on maps I scanned? Ogmios (Talk) 11:44, 30 December 2015 (UTC)