Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Editing Wikipedia Layer Content

As the Wikipedia layer in Google Earth has caused much excitement, I thought it would be useful to explain more how you can customize this content:

How do I get my Wikipedia article to show up in the Google Earth Geographic Web layer?

You must geotag the article. The simplest way to do this to use one of the "{{coor title d[ms]}}" or "{{coor at d[ms]}}" templates on Wikipedia. These templates can be used anywhere within the article text.

For example, if the article for San Francisco, California contained the following markup anywhere within the article text:

"{{coor title dm|37|46|N|122|26|W}}"

Google recognizes this location and includes the article the next time we publish the layer.

Additionally, Google supports references to the "{{coor d[ms]}}" or {{coor title d[ms]}} or {{coor at d[ms]}} templates within an Infobox template, so long as it is keyed by either "coordinates" or "coords" keywords. For an example of such a template, see the Infobox_CityIT template and an example of its use in the Sorrento, Italy article.

I just read an article in Wikipedia. It has geocoordinates in the text, but I do not see it in the Google Earth Geographic Web layer. Why not?

There are several reasons why this may be happening. For instance, this article may have been altered after Google processed the Wikipedia articles. Additionally, it could be that the coordinates are not posted in a way that Google Earth supports (see previous question).

How can I obtain coordinates for a location in Google Earth?

You can move the cursor over any location on the earth in the 3D viewer and see the coordinates for the location in the status bar at the bottom of the 3D viewer. Learn how to change the latitude/longitude display.

You can also create a placemark for a location and view the coordinates for the location in the New Placemark dialog box.

I will post more about Wikipedia and Google Earth soon. Several of us are working on a FAQ that we hope to share soon.


Nick Moreau said...

Very helpful tutorial.

Okay, so if geotags within infoboxes work, why does [[Brampton Airport]] not show up?

It's at 43.7602, -79.875 or 43°45′37″N, 079°52′30″W

Adam said...

What about pages with multiple coordinate tags, such as a university article that has a {{coor title}} element centered ont he main campus as well as several other {{coor}} elements in the text next to descriptions of satelite campuses and facilities?

Will just the first one be used, the last, or all? If all, will an anchor be made to the particular heading under which the coordinates are placed?

Andrew MacKinnon said...

Placeopedia ( has a large database of Wikipedia entries and geographical locations. Would it be possible to use a bot to import these into Wikipedia itself?

Michael said...

How often is the layer going to be updated from Wikipedia data? The data in the current layer seems at least a few months old.

John said...

Thank you for these excellent questions. I will try to answer them all in the forthcoming FAQ. Please stay tuned.

Michael Fourman said...

The Wikipedia place mark for Leith is (incorrectly) located at roughly
This is within the Queen's Park in Edinburgh - not in Leith.

The wikipedia article for Leith gives correct (although perhaps too precise) coordinates
{{coor title dms|55|58|40|N|3|10|11|W region:GB_type:city}}

Michiel said...

What about the different wikipedia languages? Wille there be a possibility to choose the language layer and show for example german, english or dutch info?

Libyan said...

It appears that {{Infobox settlement}} uses {{coor}} within its code. Does that mean I can do without coor if I use Infobox? (see Ghat for an example)