Wikimapia – Let’s Describe The Whole World!

Wikimapia is a fun site that lets you easily annotate google maps by marking off a specific site, adding a title, some facts, and even a picture. According to their FAQ:

“WikiMapia is a Web 2.0 project to describe the whole planet Earth. It was created by Alexandre Koriakine and Evgeniy Saveliev, inspired by Google maps and Wikipedia.”

The actual process is pretty straightforward.

  • click view and choose maps, satellite, or hybrid
  • Click in the search box on the right side of the page and type the name of the place
  • You will see a list of possible matching sites – click the one that best fits your search
  • When you find a place that you want to add a description to click “add place”
  • You will see a transparent resizeable, box with squares at the corners – move it and resize it to cover your site then click save
  • This brings up a box that allows you to type in a title, a short description, choose tags, and add a Wikipedia link if one exists.
  • When you are finished click save
  • You can now click menu and if you have a photograph of the site that you would like to share click edit and choose add/manage photos
  • You can click browse and navigate to the location of your photo and click upload. You will get a message telling you if you were successful. Click on the X to exit from this menu.

Now if you hover your cursor over the site a small box appears with the title you added. If you click that box it will show your description and the photo you added!

Our tech director told us about a class project where the students were formed into groups. They had iPods with clues to lead them to geographic places, GPS to help them get there, and digital cameras to take pictures at the destination. They also had the Tunetalk piece that would allow the students to record voice as they searched for their site. I think that you could take this a step farther and have them go online and put their information on the map using Wikimapia. You might want to add a collaboration piece by working with a class in another part of the world and letting the students exchange data on their respective sites.
If you have Google Earth installed you can click on the link in the FAQ for the Wikimapia data layer and you will be able to download the file to allow you to see the Wikimapia data in Google Earth.