Placeopedia Links Google Earth to WikiPedia

A new web site was announced last week which allows people to georeference WikiPedia articles. The Wikipedia is one of the grandest resources of information on the planet, created by the people for the people around the world (it’s available in at least 10 languages). The new web site is called Placeopedia. Placeopedia uses a slick Google Maps mashup interface to allow you to view “placemarks” of places linked to Wikipedia articles. Anyone can create a link (just like in WikiPedia, anyone can write or edit a story).

Even more important to Ge users, Placeopedia has created a network link GE File allowing you to see their data dynamically from within GE. It uses a view based reference for accessing their place marks, so just move your view and zoom to an area to see if they have a link to a Wikipedia article available for something you’re interested in. If not, you could go to their site and create a link yourself. If they do have a Placemark, simply click on the Placemark to find a link to the Wikipedia article.
This is a powerful way to link a rich resource of information (the Wikipedia) to a powerful geographical visualization tool (Google Earth). My hat is off to the folks at Placeopedia. I think they have created a nice way to encourage people to help implement the enormous task of georeferencing the Wikipedia information. It won’t be long before a nice consistent interface is created allowing people to link to GE from within Wikipedia articles.
Here’s an idea – when someone creates a Placemark for Google Earth, why not ask them if they can find a link to a Wikipedia article when they create it? I’m going to suggest this to Google.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Understandably, the wiki people don’t want to commit themselves to one, proprietary, service.
    So they are currently developing an extension that seems to work as follows:
    1 – wiki editors add geographical coordinates using a special tag.
    2 – in readmode, this tag is rendered to show a link to a special wiki page
    3 – on this page, links to several virtual mapping tools are then presented, allowing the user to open the geo-coordinates in their preferred mapping site.
    More info on this extension can be found here:
    Aardbij, Netherlands

  2. Thanks for pointing out these details of their plans. I do believe they may end up modifying these plans once they see the number of people using Google Earth and the wide-spread use of KML. I believe KML will become a defacto standard.

  3. Wikipedia is available in more then 10 languages, as you mentioned in the post. It’s actually available in hundreds of lanquages, a complete list available below.
    Complete list of wikipedias in other lanquages

  4. Peter Quodling says:

    I just hope that like google earth this doesn’t get overwhelmed with “Fred’s house” entries.

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