Monday, June 24, 2019
Search the World
Once upon a time Google Maps had a Wikipedia layer. If you opened this layer on Google Maps you could discover all the places around you which had a Wikipedia entry. The layer was a fantastic way to learn about all the interesting things around your current location. It was definitely one of the most useful functions on Google Maps. So Google got rid of it.
Luckily there are a few other interactive maps which can help you learn more about the world around you.
Open up Wiki Atlas and you can immediately view all the places around you which have a Wikipedia entry. Click on any of the mapped links and you can read the entry directly from the map. All the locations with a Wikipedia entry are shown with a 3D tower. The height of the tower relates to how often the entry is viewed on Wikipedia. Therefore the height of these towers can provide a rough guide to the relative importance of all the points of interest around your current location.
Wiki Atlas has a handy search function which allows you to filter the results shown on the map by subject. If you want to find and learn more about nearby parks you can just enter 'parks' and the map will only show you nearby entries which refer to parks.
Geopedia is another interesting way to discover information about places in the world. Like Wiki Atlas Geopedia can be used to find and read Wikipedia entries about points of interest around any location. Geopedia uses the Wikipedia API to load all the Wikipedia entries for places around a location on an OpenStreetMap based map. Enter a location into the search bar or right-click on the map and markers will show all the Wikipedia entries near your chosen location.
If you want to discover more about nearby points of interest then you can also use Wikimapia. Wikimapia is one of the most successful interactive maps of all time. For over ten years Wikimapia has provided a great map based resource for discovering information about locations and points of interest around the world.
In essence Wikimapia is a website which lets you describe locations in the same way that Wikipedia allows you to add and edit articles in its wiki database. Like Wikipedia it provides an invaluable resource for researching and discovering information about the world - only with Wikimapia every entry is a real-world location.
To use Wikimapia you just need to search for a location on the map. and click on any of the highlighted areas to discover information about the selected location. For example, if you see an interesting looking building on your daily travels, you just need to click on the building on the Wikimapia map to read its Wikimapia wiki entry.