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This page aim to introduce non-cartographers to both :

  • the need of more standardized maps ;
  • the new graphic/map techologies ;
  • the possibilities of a closer association with ;

The ultimate wish would be to produce a " Encyclopedic OpenStreetMap system ", able to provide illustration to Wikipedia articles.

Keys facts[edit]

  • Maps are a key media for knowledge sharing, especially in History, but in almost all other fields too ;
  • We have ... maps on commons ;
  • >45% of images requests are maps[1]

We currently work

  • in PNG, JPG or SVG ;
  • create one file by map ;
  • create one copy-file by language ;
  • sometime create PNG/JPG copy too ;
  • almost each user have his own specific legend and color code ;
  • each file being isolate, update it to done one file after one ;

Since several years, new sustainable map technologies have emerged:

  • SVG technologies allow easy translations, automatic style update ;
  • Global Map System such Google maps, OpenStreetMap save hundreds of maps on a same background, avoiding background duplicata, easing update ;

Despite of that, we are still working in a pixel-way, with isolated files.

Boost association[edit]

In Mozilla and Wikimedia Join Forces to Support Open Video, of January 26th, 2009, we can read :

Mozilla has awarded a grant of $100,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation to help coordinate improvements to the development of Ogg Theora and related open video technologies.

On Commons, OGG files are far fewer than maps[2]. The Mozilla and Wikimedia to OGG is a good thing and an extrem example of support.

For maps, the Wikimedia foundation should ask herself :

  • how can I boost maps standardization ;
  • where are the future technologies of Encyclopedic Map Creation ;
  • how switch as early as possible to these future technologies.

The first need it to understand that YES, we can improve maps, and the foundation can boost this.

OSM contacts
cn on > StyleEditor
Wikimedia contacts

Indeed, Map conventions may be strengthen just by some words of support. OpenStreetMap's leaders need an "official contact" to confirm the reciprocal interest in an association and technologies exploration project.
Confirm this reciprocal interest will encourage OSM contributors to involve themselves in huge pro-Wikipedia moves, such cuztomize the code of existing tools (StyleEditor), gather new data (topographic ones will be need !), or to code new 'encyclopedic functions' into their OpenStreetMap software.
Confirm officially this technologies exploration project will also encourage wikipedia's programmers to learn about OSM, and to join OSM's programmers work.

I personnaly trust that this is the best way to produce an " Encyclopedic OpenStreetMap system ", suitable for Wikipedia, and making us switch to a really need sustainable map technology.

Conventions ?[edit]

On Wikipedia and OSM[edit]

Several leading wiki-cartographers are aware and lobbying to get more conventional maps on wikipedia. We also had talk were we state that we dream day and night of an " Encyclopedic OpenStreetMap systeme ".

But, on the "political issue", wikipedia is largely anarchist. The Wikimedia foundation hardly get involve in a new technical cause. Accordingly, there is just the opinion of some dozen of wiki-cartographers. We aim to manage a first contact with OSM, and, we hope, the Wikimedia Foundation will see this 1st contact success, and then involve its large energy :]

On the future, the OpenStreetMap technology is for some of us THE FUTURE (in big) of Map Making on Wikipedia. We can also say it in an other way : OpenStreetMap is the online map editor the closest to allow free Encyclopedic Map creations. Free, means free sources, but with StyleEditor, that will also means Free Style :] And this is really Great.

On StyleEditor and the Wiki-Exchange map Convention[edit]

First, did you seen our "Beta Conventions" ? If not, please take a look there :

  • Our section about Exchange maps conventions

Less important, the page also display 6 other kind of other specific conventions. All together, this set of 7 kinds of maps probably gather 98% of wikipedia's maps.

The technical difficulties will be largely resolve by your StyleEditor, especially if you add the some features I requested. The Wikipedia Exchange Map style being the closest from OpenStreetMap style.

See also & references[edit]

  1. The Graphic Labs created or improved about 6.000 images in 3 years : 2.800 were maps. Source: Template:Graphic_Lab/doc.
  2. An user suggested that it was about 40.000 maps on commons.