Tuesday, February 04, 2014

How to Explore the World with Online Maps

Map Wikipedia is an ESRI map that allows you to search for locations around the world associated with a Wikipedia category. Wikipedia's categories help you to browse through Wikipedia articles organized by topic. Map Wikipedia allows you to view all the locations associated with a Wikipedia category on an ESRI map.

For example, you might want to view all the locations associated with beer and breweries in the United States. To do that all you need to do is type 'beer' into the Map Wikipedia search box and select 'Beer and breweries in the United States' from the suggested categories returned. You can then view all the locations associated with that Wikipedia category on the Map Wikipedia map.

As you might imagine I spend a lot of time exploring online maps and when I come across a location or building that I want to know more about I go straight to Wikimapia. Since the demise of the Wikipedia layer on Google Maps Wikimapia has become my default destination for finding out about geographical features, points of interest or buildings that I find while browsing online maps.

Wikimapia is a collaborative Google Map, that allows users to share their knowledge about a location with the rest of the world and to discover more about unkown locations. Search for a location on Wikimapia and you can click directly on individual buildings, points of information and other features on the map to find out what they are. When you select a location on the map a sidebar opens with a description and photos of the location, as provided by the Wikimapia community.

If you are on your mobile phone the best option for discovering information about nearby points of interest is through Wikipedia's own Nearby.

Nearby is a brilliant way to find interesting places around your current location and to learn all about them by visiting their Wikipedia page. Visit Nearby on your phone (or on your desktop) and you are shown a list of places around you with links to their Wikipedia (mobile) page.

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