Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Reading/Add a map to Special:Nearby

Add a map to Special:Nearby

  • Problem: The w:Special:Nearby feature does not show a map, only a list of articles. A map is useful because you can visually make your way to notable sites near you such as landmarks, historic buildings, public art, moments, etc., and then read about them on Wikipedia. This used to be a feature in the Android app, but it was removed due to low usage and maintenance burden.
  • Proposed solution: Improve w:Special:Nearby to show a map. This could potentially then be loaded by the mobile applications without imposing a maintenance burden on the developers.
  • Who would benefit: Travelers, and everyone who enjoys maps and the Nearby feature.
  • More comments: See also: Talk:Community_Wishlist_Survey#"Nearby"_feature
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Another Believer (talk) 20:04, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  • @Another Believer: Unfortunately, as Tacsipacsi points out at Special:Diff/22626483, this feature was intentionally removed by the Android team due to low usage. This normally means a hard "no" from Community Tech, since we explicitly do not undo actions of other teams. However, I may see a path forward here. Tacsipacsi also helpfully pointed out that the Nearby feature in the app is not the same as w:Special:Nearby, which lacks a map (and possibly other things, not sure?). So, what if we were to change this proposal to be about adding a map to the existing web-based Special:Nearby? Then, if the Android team is okay with it, they can load this in a "frame" in the app, basically just loading the Special:Nearby page from the mobile website. This is similar to what happens when you click on "View history" for example; that page isn't built into the app, it's just serving the mobile website version. While this isn't perfect and won't perform as smoothly as the original in-app Nearby experience, it will ensure the Android team doesn't have to worry about maintenance burden, which was their reasoning for removing it. How does that sound? MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 21:42, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't exactly follow, but sure! I'd rather something come from this discussion than nothing. I just appreciated having the ability to pull up a map and make my way to notable sites in the area. If there's any way to do something like that, or even get us one step closer, I'm down. Thanks! -Another Believer (talk) 21:45, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    No problem! With your permission, I have reworded the proposal accordingly. Thanks, MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:45, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    As someone who built this feature (and recently rebuilt it again as the soon to be deployed Extension:NearbyPages), I'd love to see this, but I assure you I would have done it already if we had the means to do so.
    Our maps infrastructure is just not good enough to handle the kind of traffic this would bring. I think there's a lot of work to be done on the operations side to make this even feasible.
    Perhaps if this does get voted, this could live on tools lab or something. The newly built Nearby, can be used as a standalone app: Jdlrobson (talk) 04:21, 31 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Another, IMO even more important limitation of the browser solution is that it requires that the browser tells it the location of the device and it shows articles around that area, while in the app I was able to move around on the map and thus see articles around arbitrary places (or even use the Nearby feature without granting access for the app to the location). Probably this functionality naturally comes from the map-based implementation, but I’d like to mention it explicitly, just to make sure. —Tacsipacsi (talk) 22:54, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not articles, but also see WikiShootMeGhostInTheMachine talk to me 22:44, 28 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Would have supported if I had known voting ended at 18 UTC. Also make it usable without granting GPS access per Tacsipacsi. ~~~~
    User:1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk)
    19:50, 11 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Since this wish was not ranked very high, thus I don’t hope CommTech will work on it, I created two tickets (phab:T303813 and phab:T303814) in the hope that other teams will fulfill the wish. Feel free to subscribe the tickets to track the development. —Tacsipacsi (talk) 11:45, 15 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]