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Any possibilities for Wikipedia housing almanac data? Granted it may be better for en:Nupedia since we probably don't want just anyone fudging statistical data, but it seems to me there is a great need for this data to be publicly accessible and actually searchable such as on the internet. I do not find there are many resources already existing on-line, or they do not necessarily have the full amount of data as the print versions. - Brettz9 18:22 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure just what kind of data you're looking for here, but it sounds like this might be a case for a related side project... You might compare discussion at Wikiteer et al. --Brion 19:36 Mar 5, 2003 (UTC)

Well, it seems at another page I was directed to en:List of reference tables which seems to have the kind of information I had in mind, but I also suggested the main page reflect an entry such as en:Atlas to ensure those of us searching for that term would find the data we were seeking. - Brettz9 07:07 Mar 6, 2003 (UTC)

See also Wikipediatlas for discussion of map generation. --Brion 15:58 Nov 25, 2002 (UTC)

Ah.. yes. Personally I feel that wikipedia is being swamped by the Ram-bot entries. I am in favor of moving the majority of gazeteer stlye articles to a Wikiteer or whatever. Of course some of the more prominent places deserve entries of their own in Wikipedia, but surely not every one horse town and truck stop?
My inclination would be that the meat of something like this would be actual Wikipedia articles housed right in the main project; the gazeteer as such would be basically a geographically-aware index / search engine to the 'pedia. --Brion VIBBER

How will we decide whether a place article goes in the Wikiteer or the Wikipedia? Presumably en:London is a Wikipedia article. what is the cutoff point? -- Tarquin

It is probably obvious that I think the county and city articles are just as valid as other articles. Of course I wish there was a greater balance instead of 1/3rd of the articles being geographical in nature. But that is a problem of a Wikipedia that is in an infantile stage. But being inbalanced means we need more contributors to *other* areas. I just do my part in this one area of focus. I am opposed to a Wikiteer on the basis that the articles belong in an encyclopedia. FWIW, I am planning on adding the FIPS numbers, postal codes, and Lat. and Long. Coordinates to the existing articles in the near future (within a month or two). -- Ram-Man

Good. I suggest that we concoct new pseudo-namespaces for this purpose, for example, as above. -- Anon.

I'm not sure I understand the objection to geographical entries. If the problem is lack of useful content, get busy and start filling in. If the problem is significance of the subject, who decides? I'm inclined to err on the side of inclusiveness. [Anon]

I've made a quick mockup for Wikiteer here. Is anyone still interested in this project? Anthony DiPierro 15:10, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Public domain is a horrible choice. US GIS data are already in the public domain and the result is that everybody creates their own proprietary derivative versions which cannot be used to improve the original. A copyleft license would create backwards compatibility with what we do here. And Wikiteer is a horrible name; Wikimaps or even WikiGIS would be much better (we already own the .com and .org of each). --Daniel Mayer 17:54, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What is wrong with the name Wikiteer? This project isn't just about maps, so I don't think that would be a good name. As for WikiGIS, it's a bit awkward (unless we're going to call it wiki jizz), and I'm not sure it's appropriate. I believe the intention is to produce a product, not a set of systems. WikiGISData, perhaps, but that's rediculously more awkward than Wikiteer. Anthony DiPierro 16:22, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Is the name Wikiteer international? I've never heard of 'Gazetteer', and I would never associate a name like 'Wikiteer' with something geographical. To me it sounds like 'volunteer', when I saw the name at first, I thought it was something to list all Wikimedia-volunteers ... Would something like 'Geowiki' be an option? Fruggo 18:31, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Gazetteer "geographical dictionary" is from Laurence Eachard's 1693 geographical handbook for journalists, "The Gazetteer's, or Newsman's, Interpreter," second edition simply titled "The Gazetteer." [1] So it's international, as in it originated in England and was carried over into the United States. But I suppose it's not as well generated a name as Wikipedia or even Geowiki, which consist of roots based in foreign languages. Geowiki sounds fine with me. But is already registered. Maybe it's by one of us, or someone who can be convinced to work with us. Or maybe just having is enough. That seems to be available. Anthony DiPierro 02:10, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As for public domain vs. copyleft, I don't think anything is gained by using copyleft, and a whole lot is lost. For instance, if we used anything but GFDL (and I think it'd be ludicrous to license GIS data under the GFDL), then Wikipedia would be on shaky legal grounds in including the data on its website. Sure, it'd probably be able to do it anyway, since you can't copyright data (at least not in the USA), but if we're going to rely on that then it makes little sense to pretend that we hold copyright on the data. The problem with US GIS data and proprietary derivatives is that US GIS data is not freely distributed. Sure, it's public domain, but you have to pay thousands of dollars (in many cases) to get a CD of that public domain data. Wikiteer would not charge any more than the cost of the media to get a full copy of everything it has. It would put the people making the proprietary derivatives of US GIS data out of business. Frankly, copylefting the data wouldn't do this. Anyone who wanted to use the data for any project not under the exact same license would have to go to the US Government and fork out thousands of dollars.

The key distinction wouldn't be whether or not people would repackage already public domain data under a proprietary license. The difference is whether or not people would be able to use that data in significantly transformative ways without copylefting the derivatives. Now granted, I can see the argument for wanting to force a mapmaker to release a map based on Wikiteer data under a free license. I'd even support this, if we could agree on using CC-SA as the license. But that would put reusers like Wikipedia or Wikitravel in disputable compliance, and realistically US Copyright law can't stop a mapmaker from using data in any way she wants without any license agreements. We'd have to resort to EULAs to adequetely protect the data. That's what those distributors of "proprietary derivative versions" do. (compare en:Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Serv. Co. with en:ProCD Inc. v. Zeidenberg). Anthony DiPierro 16:41, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I just looked at the mock-up. It is a 100% fork of WikiProjects Countries and Cities. I therefore do not support this project at all. --Daniel Mayer 17:58, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Such a thing should be primarily map-based, since it is about map data and information. Perhaps its primary 'article' could be an image with hotspots, each of which would bring up editable text in a separate window? See (redirecting to, for instance. I agree that this should not be a 'countries and cities' knockoff. +sj+ 21:19, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The mock-up was much more about design than content. However, I'll take this objection into consideration when completing the mockup. It should also be noted that the data originally came from the CIA factbook [2], not WikiProjects Countries and Cities. The primary source for Wikiteer would be government and other public domain data. In fact, the current proposal would be for Wikiteer to be completely public domain, so wholesale forking from Wikipedia would be impossible. Anthony DiPierro 16:11, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and finally, the formatting of the data in Wikipedia was done by me, after I had already done the Wikiteer mock-up [3]. The Wikipedia page was just a dump of the CIA Factbook [4] [5]. So if anything Wikipedia was a fork of Wikiteer. I guess one thing I can do to make this more clear is stop including my work on the Wikiteer mockup in Wikipedia. Anthony DiPierro 16:17, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

google is the competitionEdit

Google maps are already good, and getting better month by month. Their searching technology is much better than the "search go/search" system, so that they can provide material well even for sloppy queries. And their database is surely only going to get larger and better as time goes on. Google-map from a year ago is nothing like it is today, and tomorrow, with 3D maps of cities, gosh.

Now, Google is missing some things. They need better control over route generation (e.g. letting me pick a route that avoids large highways, or that takes me near campsites) and over placename label density. They need better satellite images in many places. And of course they need a choice of projections and a scale on the maps! But these are all tiny things for the brains at google, and they certainly have the processing power to generate the content. (I worry about wiki systems having the computing power to do any more than show static content ... there are trig operations involved in changing map projections for individualized views, and these are slower than just grabbing an image from a directory whose name is hashed for speed.)

I think wiki folks should devote their time to things that are not otherwise available. For example, spend time adding wikipedia content about your hometown, or the repaving project that slowed down your trip last week. Those are things that google won't provide because they have to come from humans, hence they are things to which wiki technology is suited.

--Dan Kelley 11:03, 2005 Jun 28 (UTC)

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