Type of site
Collaborative mapping
Available in 101 languages, including English
Created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev[1]
Revenue From AdSense and Wikimapia Ads [2]
Slogan(s) Let's describe the whole world!
Alexa rank Decrease 3,228 (July 2016)[3]
Commercial Yes
Registration Optional
Launched May 24, 2006 (2006-05-24)
Current status Active
Content license
Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA)[4]

Wikimapia[5] is a privately owned open-content collaborative mapping project, that utilizes an interactive "clickable" web map with a geographically-referenced wiki system, with the aim to mark and describe all geographical objects in the world.

Created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev on May 2006,[1] since then it has become a popular mapping website. The data, a crowdsourced collection of places marked by registered users and guests, has grown to over 25,000,000 objects as of August 2015,[6] and is released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).[4][7]

Although the project's name is reminiscent to that of Wikipedia and that the creators share the "wiki" philosophy,[1] it is not a part of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation family of wikis.

Main principles

According to the website, Wikimapia is an open-content collaborative mapping project, aimed at marking all geographical objects in the world and providing a useful description of them.[8] It aims to, create and maintain a free, complete, multilingual and up-to-date map of the whole world. Wikimapia intends to contain detailed information about every place on Earth."[8]



The Wikimapia website provides a Google Maps API-based interactive web map that consists of user-generated information layered on top of Google Maps satellite imagery and other resources. The navigation interface provides scroll and zoom functionality similar to that of Google Maps.

The Wikimapia layer is a collection of "objects" with a polygonal outline (like buildings, forests or lakes) and "linear features" (streets, railroads, rivers, ferry). Streets are connected by intersection points to form a street grid. Both kinds of items may have textual descriptions and photos attached to them. Viewers are able to click on any marked object or street segment to see its description. Descriptions can be searched by a built-in search tool. Tools for refining existing places according to category as well as measuring distances between objects are also available.

The interface is available in many languages, and the textual description of each item may have multiple versions in different languages.

Wikimapia maps can also be embedded on other websites.

Map editing

The data in Wikimapia is derived from voluntary crowdsourcing.[4] All users, registered or unregistered (guest), are allowed to add a place on the Wikimapia layer. Using a simple graphical editing tool, users are able to draw an outline or polygon that matches the satellite image layer underneath. Each object or "tag" has specific information fields which include categories, a textual description, street address, and a related Wikipedia link. Users are likewise capable of uploading several relevant photos.

Fewer restrictions in map editing are given to registered users, who are able to edit and/or delete existing places as well as draw "linear features" (roads, railroads, rivers and ferry lines). A "watchlist" could be manually set up to monitor all activity or object changes made in one or more of the assigned rectangular areas on the map.


The website is maintained and developed by a small team of administrators (the Wikimapia Team), who introduce new features and determine further evolution course.[1] Improvements are largely based on a feedback system from registered users through public forum discussions, bug reports and feature requests.

User levels and special roles

The registered user community is largely self-organized, with users communicating through an internal message system and through a public forum. Map editing rewards the user "experience points" and milestone "awards" assigned by the system.[9][10]

Registered users are automatically ranked in levels according to accumulated experience points, with higher levels gaining access to advanced tools and having less restrictions on editing activity. A registered user may be promoted to an "Advanced User" (AU) status as other existing AUs deem it fit. Additional editing and moderation tools, which includes the authority to ban users are given to an Advanced User, who is given the responsibility of countering vandalism in the map.[11][12]

Special roles of maintaining the website forum, place categories, and the Wikimapia Documentation (Docs) are also given by the Wikimapia Team to some users.[12]

Quality of contents

The data in Wikimapia is derived from voluntary contributors who visit and add the information on the website.[4] The textual description attached to each place object is in free format, having no restriction about style, with the exception of possessing a Neutral Point of View, where "neutral" is explained to exclude "Feelings, opinions, experiences, words which display a personal bias or agenda, politics and/or religion".[8] Citing the source of the information is optional, and a link to a relevant and existing Wikipedia article is encouraged.

In spite of these recommendations, map coverage is generally uneven, with some areas, usually in developing countries, being cluttered with crude outlines, private residences, subjective evaluations or advertisements, requiring constant attention and refining by regular editors. Information can either be edited or deleted by registered users as they deem it inappropriate.


In December 2009, Wikimapia launched an API and made its content available in several formats for non-commercial use. In December 2010, the data was announced as being available under a Non-Commercial Creative Commons license.

In May 2012, Wikimapia announced that all the content was available under Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).[4][7]

Despite this, because the WikiMapia's geo-located data is largely derived from aerial imagery provided from Google Maps (whose imagery is from a number of partners including TerraMetrics, Bluesky), the dataset (and any further derivations from it) may constitute a "derived work". Whilst dependent on jurisdiction, the principle allows aerial photography companies to license their exclusive right to derive geo-data from their imagery (commercially, or under proprietary restrictions). Concerns have been raised about this, particularly from similar mapping websites.[13][14]

Business model

The site generates some income from AdSense and Wikimapia Ads . [2]


Wikimapia functionality is available on:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Wikimapia Team". 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Wikimapia Ads". 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Wikimapia terms reference; Terms of Service, Copyright Notice and Privacy Notice.". 24 May 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  5. "Wikimapia Docs; Help/FAQ". Retrieved 24 August 2015. Is it WikiMapia or Wikimapia? This website is usually more referred to as Wikimapia.
  6. "Wikimapia Statistics". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  7. 1 2 ""Happy Birthday Wikimapia!" forum page". 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2015. Therefore to make Wikimapia content more accessible for distribution we decided to change Wikimapia license type to the most popular among Wikis "Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike" (CC BY-SA).
  8. 1 2 3 "Wikimapia Docs; About Wikimapia". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  9. "Wikimapia Awards". Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  10. "Wikimapia; Users Rank". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  11. "Wikimapia Special Role; Advanced User". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  12. 1 2 "Wikimapia Docs (Community)". Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  13. CC-BY-SA Clarifcation forum page.
  14. commentary on Wikimapia by OpenStreetMap
  16. Wikimapia's main page, menu "Login"/"Map on your page".
  17. Vitaly Pronkin. "".
  18. "Wikimapia Maps". Google Play Store. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wikimapia.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.