Needs and assets, problems, stakeholders...

  • Enhance the use of geographic materials  in Wikimedia projects
  • Provide avenues for GLAMs to allow reuse of their materials
  • Provide resources and tools for amateur & academic historians
  • Promote the use of open materials in the Humanities


Mission, vision, values, mandates, resources, local dynamics, collaborators...

  • Open Source
  • International, multilingual, multicultural
  • Bottom-up, third sector, volunteer-driven
  • Reciprocity, mutual benefit of organizations and users





Activities What

Participation Who




- Manage maps metadata well using the Map template

- Aim for structured metadata for the maps in Wikidata or Commons

- Foster maps batch uploads with institutions (structured metadata)

- Advance geospatial and textual search for maps

- Use maps in Wikipedias, engage volunteers

Make rectified historical maps available in Wikimedia Commons

Amateur historians, app developers

Amateur historians find compelling materials that they can use in their research of specific locations

Make collecting and displaying historical geographic data fun and easy for everyone

Promote contributing to open repositories and opening one’s hobbyist research for collaborative action.


Have available a rich collection of visual geographically aware materials

Be able to illustrate Wikipedia in new ways. Historical as well as maps (geo) in general

Enhances the quality and usefulness of Wikipedia


Provide an avenue to expose cultural artefacts to wide audiences and invite them to contribute to interpreting them

Promote new ways of gathering and disseminating institutional knowledge.

Promote the use of open cultural heritage resources, promote reciprocity as a motivational factor.


Will be able to combine materials from several repositories in their research

Learn to accept non-academic resources and sources

Promote the use of geographic materials in (Humanities) research

Contiue hosting and developing MapWarper

Have an accessible tool for georectifying in Wikimedia

Volunteers, amateur historians, maps buffs

Have access to easy geo tools

Contribute to open repositories while working

There will be richer data that will be expressed in applications, remixes, productions and studies for education, planning, leisure, business, communications and is available for further study and reuse.


Labour-intensive work to geolocate maps can be shared with volunteers

Unlock data on old maps and documents more rapidly

Civil servants

Allows initiating public open crowdsourced projects that will benefit wider communities

Data can be used by other types of projects

Connect a variety of tools in the same open “maker space” (a website or a toolpack)

- MapWarper

- OpenHistoricalMap

- Tools for images

- Use Wikidata to store historical data for places

- and more

Developers, companies, research groups, governmental organizations

Enables collaborative historical research, builds upon collected resources from repositories all over the web

Creates a space and tools to access and enrich open historical geographic documents from different sources

Creates a true cultural Commons where mutual resources are used to benefit all.

Volunteers, amateur historians, maps buffs, civil service professionals

Remixing, recontextualizing, researching for a variety of purposes.

Returning enriched data that benefits many other purposes


Structured data for Commons

Bridging between OSM/OHM & Wikimedia

Interconnect materials across projects based on time and location

All users

Be able to visualize historical things around one’s location

Be able to investigate the knowledge spheres from the first person perspective – here, me

(Re)create a sense of place for education, travel, research, time-travel... Strengthening cultural identities.

Develop Metapipe transformation tool

Connect wit GWToolset and the new IEG upload tool project

The metadata enhancement tool Metapipe

Uploaders: GLAMs / Wikimedia volunteers / chapters

Help make organizational metadata suitable for several open repositories and reuse previous transformations made by the users

Provide same data to different repositories: Commons, Wikidata, Flickr, Ajapaik, Mapillary will help synchronizing between them.

Make opening content default practice for GLAMs.

Users of the uploaded objects

Make more use of metadata recorded with the archival objects when it is well formatted.

Allows rich connections across repositories.

Make the maps findable, connected, allow reuse.

Wikimedia enhancements:

- Map template

- Template conversion gadget

- Map display for articles

Wikipedians, Wikimedians

Find missing parts in bringing data to Wikimaps and back

Make data usable for Wikimaps and make data produced and linked in Wikimaps usable for Wikimedia

Wikimaps API


Is needed to create a new interface

Makes the Warper widely available to applications and its own user interface

Warper usable by 3rd party applications

Decoupling Wikimaps application  parts: UI, control point interface, cropping, transformations etc.


Makes it easier for developers to contribute to the codebase

More up-to-date features will be implemented by developers

Contributes to the vitality and sustainability of the project

New Wikimaps user interface

Volunteers, users

Is needed to make using the tool attractive and easy to use

Makes the Warper widely available for volunteers

Enable OHM with Commons maps

Historical mappers at large

A way to get information from maps, names, vectors, change

This is a resource for WIkimedia and other research


  • Wikimedia is a neutral and stable environment for hosting historical documents
  • It will be possible to work with several open source projects together in producing and cross-referencing the tools and knowledge.
  • Academic and public sector users will show growing interest when the environment gets more stable. They will be interested in the participatory channel the environment provides for enriching their original materials.
  • Sustainability: Collaboratively maintaining the data is more sustainable. Collaboratively enriching the data will be more efficient than hosting niche projects (governmental, hobbyist, academic)

External factors

  • The strength of the historical mapping and developer community. This project can help create and sustain it. Wikimedia mapping community is small, but this project seeks to reach outside the Wikimedia community as well.
  • Resistance: Academic projects may look for control that is not guaranteed with open projects and look for commercial providers. Commercial actors will see a business opportunity in creating similar tools. The public sector is relatively well aligned and geared towards the open.
  • Scoping: Notability and original research guidelines pose challenges. Wikimedia should be considered a secondary source, which helps align the project within other projects.
  • Resources, quality: Project based funding adds volatility and threatens the stability of the environment for established partners to gain trust.


Identification – Design – Implementation – Completion/Follow-up