Sunday, May 25, 2008

Google Maps + wiki = WikiMapia

WikiMapia ( is a collaborative mapping tool that combines Google Maps with a wiki system. Users can add information for any location on the earth to this online map and satellite imaging resource. More than 150,000 users have added more than 7,000,000 locations at this point.

Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev created WikiMapia, one of the top 1,000 web sites visited. Their goal was to describe “the whole world." You can view this world with satellite, terrain, or hybrid maps. More than 60 languages are supported.

To add a location, click on Add Place and follow the simple instructions. You draw a rectangle at the spot, provide a title and choose a location type (such as museum). You can include additional information as well as a photo and/or a YouTube ( video.

An upcoming place is a new place that needs to be verified. Locations added by new or unregistered users must be verified. That is accomplished by the location’s receiving enough positive votes.

Basic tools for measuring distance and land area, and mapping IP addresses to locations are available from the GeoTools menu at the top of the page. A GPS receiver can be connected to WikiMapia using a plug-in program (Windows only). To connect WikiMapia with a GPS receiver download the software from the WikiMapia site. Unzip it, start it, and follow the directions.

A WikiMapia data layer for Google Earth is also available.

I added our local historical society (Lake Township Historical Society) museum to WikiMapia as I tested it. Here’s an embedded portion of the WikiMapia map that includes the museum:

And here’s a link to the same site:

Classroom uses for WikiMapia by both students and teachers include…
• history,
• geography,
• science: coastal resources, landforms, changes of earth's surface,
• mathematics: latitude and longitude, and
• literature.

How would you use WikiMapia in your classroom?

Useful links…

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