From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wikiatlas or Wikimedia World (or Commons Atlas) is a wiki-portal on the Wikimedia Commons website, related to the English Wikipedia ,Wikipedia App, Wikipedia Portal Atlas. It contains thousands of gallery pages and maps about many nations or regions of the world.[1][2]

As a collection of map image-galleries, the Wikiatlas links many sets of maps, such as:

maps of Europe, maps of Africa, maps of North America, maps of Asia, maps of Oceania,
Groups of Maps

Atlas of Europe
Atlas of Africa
Atlas of England
Atlas of Italy
Atlas of Mexico
Atlas of Germany
Atlas of Japan
Atlas of the U.S.

Atlas of Texas
Atlas of California
Atlas of Florida

maps of the U.S.A., of Italy, of Germany, of China, of Taiwan,
plus maps of Texas, or maps of Malaysian, and maps of Florida, etc.

Unlike Wikibooks or Wikisource, the Wikiatlas is not a separate wiki website, but rather, a large subset of the Wikimedia website. There are many thousands of maps in the WikiAtlas.

USA (or see: U.S. cities map)
Africa map

 Europe map in Wikiatlas
England map from Wikiatlas
  England map
   Italy map from Wikiatlas
  Italy map
Germany map

Atlas pages are map groupings[change | change source]

The Wikiatlas is based on some simple ideas. All maps are grouped, in the manner of a World atlas, into pages stored with the name "Atlas of..." for each continent, such as:


Similar page titles "Atlas of..." cover each nation or region, such as:


Some of the U.S. states also have Wikiatlas pages, such as:


Similarly, hundreds of other Wikiatlas pages are named as "Atlas of..." for over 200 nations and over 94 other regions of the World.

Wikiatlas page format[change | change source]

Many pages in the Wikiatlas are arranged in a distinctive format: with maps displayed down the left-side of the page, and explanatory text presented to the right-hand side. The description for each nation, territory, or region is written, first, in the official language(s) of the area, followed by other languages, including English.

Because the Wikiatlas is a wiki effort, developed by the Wikimedia volunteers, the level of detail and coverage varies, from section to section, of the Wikiatlas. Some groups of maps are very extensive, while other maps are rudimentary, depending on the time spent by volunteer writers.

History of Wikiatlas[change | change source]

The Wikiatlas was designed, during extended discussions on the Wikimedia website, beginning in 2003.[3] Originally, the concept was to have an "automatic" map-generator, based on giving coordinates.[3] However, use of maps beyond mere location, led to the current vast collections of maps also showing economic areas, precipitation, average-temperature, political regions, earthquake fault-lines, etc. To show a location was only one way to use maps.

Many thousands of maps were collected, over the years. However, by June 2005, the Wikiatlas subproject still lacked sufficient structure to be considered viable.[4] In April 2006, the Wikiatlas was mentioned in an archaeology conference as a "nascent" project.[5] Finally, a coherent page-format was generalized during mid-2007, using page layouts stored in MediaWiki template files.[6] Hundreds of Wikimedia and Wikipedia editors worked on various aspects of the page descriptions in over 100 languages, including uploading and modifying the thousands of map images. Some of the maps were transferred from Wikipedia image pages.

Wikimedia readership[change | change source]

Although readership figures are not specifically available, of the complete grouping of all Wikiatlas pages, the general readership of the Wikimedia website has been based, nearly 50% (in early 2009), within the following: United States 24.5%, Germany 10.7%, India 5.7%, United Kingdom 4.0%, and Italy 3.5%.[7]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. "1. Wikimedia Commons",, 2008, webpage: HowW-ch16s01 Archived 2010-05-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "MapHist: A place to show off your maps", Tony Campbell, email in, February 2008, webpage: pipermail-360: mentions maps are available in the Wikimedia Atlas of the World.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Wikiatlas",, July 2003, webpage: Wikimedia-Meta-atlas.
  4. "*Openstreetmap* Wikimania, August 4-8", Lars Aronsson,, June 25, 2005, webpage: openstreetmap-mail-761.
  5. "Unsuported Assertions: An Analysis of Criticism of Wikipedia and Possible Solutions", Elijah Meeks, University of California, Merced, USA, in "List of Abstracts", 34th Annual Meeting and Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology", April 18-21, 2006, webpage (PDF): caa2006-PDF[permanent dead link].
  6. "Talk:WikiEarth",, revision: 16:28, 24 August 2007, web: TalkWikiE-Aug7.
  7. "Traffic Details from Alexa - wikimedia", Alexa Internet, Inc., March 2009, web: Alexa-wikimedia.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]