Also available in: English | Deutsch | Русский | Svenska | Français | +/-

The current purpose of the OpenStreetMap–Wikipedia collaboration (OSM–WP collaboration) is to display free OSM's maps within Wikipedia's articles. This first need infrastructures (servers and associated server strategy) as well as some programs for smooth display into the articles and accessibility.



OpenStreetMap: is the leading Opensource map 2.0 website. Suitable online map tools were provides on its website, based on the same concepts of collaborative building and free access/edition than Wikipedia/Wiki concepts, the young community of now thousands volunteers mapmakers mapped within the few past years most of developed world with an high rate of coverage, while others country are also slowly mapped.
Wikipedia/Wikimedia: The Wikimedia foundation, mainly know from its Wikipedia free encyclopedia of +10 millions encyclopedic articles freely accessible online, dedicate itself to spread knowledge at low access cost, everywhere internet is accessible. Ten thousands contributers generated and maintain these millions articles. There, when talking about knowledge sharing and encyclopedic knowledge sharing, maps are a critical tool to illustrate selected facts, and explain key historical/etc. process. Accordingly, hundred users has work in independant or organized[1][2] ways to illustrated hundreds thousands articles with maps, mainly satisfying the needs of : Localization of point ; Localization of area ; General mapping (similar to OSM usual display) ; Historical mapping ; Technical mapping (some buildings) ; Topographical mapping ; Exchange/Flux mapping.[3]

Cooperation(s) & Objective's outline

A GPS receiver connected to a laptop showing a slippy map
Similar spirit

The two communities share the common interests to: map the world ; connect semantics to geographic data ; make this widely accessible at low cost ; and make it reusable. Also, a small Team with 8 members was formed to [...](team objective: general longterm collaboration? specific projects?), providing a win-win support. Both projects have the mission to produce free knowledge and information through a collaborative community process. Because of the similarities, there are many users active in both projects – however mutual integration is still lacking.

Collaboration set up

For some time, there have been efforts to bring OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Wikipedia closer together.

In 2008?/2009?, Wikimedia Deutschland (WM-DE, the German Chapter of Wikimedia) are providing funds of 15.000 Euro (almost $20k) and starting a corresponding pilot project. A group of interested Wikipedians and OSM users have partnered up to reach two goals:

  1. The integration of OSM-maps in Wikipedia ;
  2. the installation of a map toolserver.

The map toolserver will serve to prototype new mapping-related projects(?please explain) and preparing them for deployment on the main Wikimedia cluster.



The hardware is in the data center in Amsterdam:

Server Configuration Job Status
Ptolemy Sun Fire X4250, 2x4 cores, 32 GB RAM, 16*146 GB Disks database in production system

Team and project(s)' objectives


NEW and ACTIVE(!): We have set up a maps-l mailing list to coordinate work. Please add yourself to that mailing list.

People and draft(when? still?) project

For that we will use both the know-how of OSM users (e. g. PostGIS for Mapnik basic map) and Wikimedia developers. Still, we have to make clear: we break new ground and have to test the system ourselves to find a fitting setup. We wish to consider first, how our ideas can be implemented. Thus we'll have to gain the much-needed experience in this matter first. Therefore it will take some time until the system can be used.


Below is a manual list of people who've claimed interest in working on various stuff, add yourself to that as well if you're interested.

Person Focus
OSM team
Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason Development/Software
Aude Development/Software (GIS developer and long-time Wikipedian)
Kolossos Development/Software
Tim „Avatar” Bartel Member of the Wikimedia Deutschland board
Mark Bergsma Hardware, Installation
Jens „JeLuF” Frank Project leader, Hardware, Setup
Daniel „Duesentrieb” Kinzler Toolserver, WM-DE
Catrin Schoneville Communications
Jochen Topf OSM background knowledge, Strategy
Christian Becker Development/Software (will try to port DBpedia Mobile to OpenLayers)
Brion Vibber WMF coordination/dev and hardware advice/whatever :D
Historybuff Wikiversity, OSM enthusiast
Yug Graphic lab lover and Map maker ! OSM enthusiast ! Wiki Map conventions editor !
Prolineserver Development/Software (monobook-hack)
Hugh Barnes Not sure yet, maybe UI and machine interfaces, or just cheering from the side
Lorenzo De Tomasi Graphic interface design, information architecture and information design
seav English Wikipedian and OpenStreetMapper - map styles, general feedback
Andreas „saerdnaer” Hubel Development/Software; OpenStreetMapper
Firefishy OpenStreetMap Sysadmin; OSMF Team Member; OpenStreetMapper
Purodha Wikipedian, software development, multilingual aspects
RobertL Localisation coordination and support.
Colin Marquardt OpenStreetMapper, Hike & Bike Map (
Saper Architecture, software, system setup and other technicalities, including actual work.
Jeroen De Dauw Providing a MediaWiki extension supporting static and dynamic OSM maps.
Alexrk2 Kartenwerkstatt (map lab)
Enock4seth OpenStreetMap and Wikimedian - map styles, GIS and feedback

Dates and milestones


TO COMPLETE(!): List of past meetings and links/finding/presentations ; List of planned meetings

Past meetings
  • 4th April 2009: Team-meeting on the MediaWiki Developer Meetup in Berlin.
  • 6th July 2009: Full functionality(?) is expected starting.
Next meetings
  • [complete here]



Project description


Maps in Wikipedia


Maps are an important part of the information in encyclopaedic articles - however currently mostly static maps are used. With interactive free maps and a marking system a way of presenting information can be created.

For some time there have been MediaWiki Extensions available for embedding OpenStreetMap maps into MediaWiki. That's a great start, but it isn't enough. If these extensions were deployed on Wikipedia without any kind of proxy set-up, the OpenStreetMap tile servers would struggle to handle the traffic.

One of our aims is to build an infrastructure in the Wikimedia projects that allows us to keep the OSM data, or at least the tile images, ready locally in the Wikimedia network. We still have to gain some experience about this, but we are optimistic about that. On one side, we have a number of Wikipedians in the team, who are versed in MediaWiki and scaling software systems, and on the other side we have OSM users who can set up the necessary geo database.

“Map Toolserver”


We learned much from the use of the Wikimedia-Toolservers – for example that on a platform for experimenting, many more useful tools were developed than was predicted. Interested developers have a good starting position to develop new tools with new possibilities.

We expect similar results from the map toolserver. As soon as it is online, everyone who is interested and presents his ideas of development projects and his state of knowledge can apply for an account. We want to allow as many users as possible to implement their ideas without having to care about the basic setup. We hope that in the spirit of the creation and distribution of free content many new maps and visualisations emerge.

Project goals


Please see also earlier Wikimaps proposal

Brainstorming(when? still?)

Nevertheless we wish to start now to collect ideas. You can bring in your ideas on the talk page. Time will show which ideas will be implemented (and whether the proponents will implement them themselves).

What to give to the users

  • To deliver possibility to embed static maps into Wiki articles
  • To deliver possibility to have a dynamic map browsing embedded into a Wiki article
  • Import metadata from the OSM into Wikis
  • Export metadata from articles onto OSM (e.g. translations of names)
  • Have a possibility to localize generated maps
  • Users should have possibility to "edit" the map, with changes sent back to the master OSM database via the OSM api.
    • Use Potlatch or JOSM? or other tool, integrated with MediaWiki interface?
  • Hosting of free aerial photographs and satellite imagery served with Web Map Service (future?)
    • We can get a copy of NASA World Wind satellite imagery (Landsat, Blue Marble) and NAPP aerial photography for the U.S. and perhaps more from other providers. The Landsat and Blue Marble imagery is 3-4 TB; with NAPP, it's 30 TB.

Technical platform necessary to do the above

  • To provide platform to develop MediaWiki extensions/JavaScript code to do above
  • To provide platform to develop rendering stylesheets
  • To provide platform to deliver rendered tiles fast
  • To provider a scalable rendering platform
  • Provide various search or metadata APIs

Interesting sub-projects



  • MapCloud - allow to customize OSM display


  • Map Lab[1] & Map Conventions[3]
  • Location maps project[2]

Where we are so far ?


note: you can also expand the previous section's list, and add {done} (  Done) when a part of the project is done.


Wikimedia web


OpenStreetMap web