Spatial Wiki Blog

This is a mock image taken from Google Maps of the area where I live in Victoria, BC.

You can see three "sites" on the map, each having an icon - "St. Anne's Academy", "Christ Church Cathedral", and "Dave Blasby's Apartment".

Clicking on one of the icons brings up a Wiki and/or blog page for that location. Anyone can add content - links, pictures, stories, etc... to the page.

Basic Usage

User will be able to:

1. search by address, get a map of the location
2. search by city, get a map of the location
3. browse the map (move around, zoom pan)
4. "normal" text searching
5. click on a map icon to go to a wiki site
6. add a new wiki site, and have the system convert an uploaded picture into an icon.
7. modify content in the wiki
8. make minor adjustements to the location and icon so it "looks good".


The technology goals include:

  • making a nicely styled US-wide TIGER road WMS available to everyone
  • Geoserver demonstration site - both in terms of WMS, but also in terms of web application development
  • finding usage issues in Geoserver by actually using it
  • evaluate Geoserver scalability
  • demonstration site for WFS-T capabilities
  • demonstration for new Geoserver plug-in architecture (Geocoder and Gazetter)
  • built totally on open data, standards, and source code.

The usability goals include:

  • "community mapping"
  • give spatial context to information and idea
  • place for people to put pictures of their community/holiday
  • place for people to put stories and such
  • place for people to learn more about their community - fun things as well as political, economic, and environmental issues.


Use TIGER road and landmark data as the base GIS dataset.

Use a Spatial DB in a Box or PostGIS database to store the "wiki site" spatial location, URL, and display icon.

Use Geoserver WMS to serve up the maps.

Use a standard Wiki to handle all the Wiki sites.

A WMS client is required - there are a few options available, but this needs more investigation as to which one to use. IGF might be worth looking into.

Added by dblasby, last edited by dblasby on Feb 22, 2005  (view change)


rschulz says:

Hey, you stole my idea! A while ago I was thinking that all of the geographic information on (ex. city locations) would allow people to browse articles sptatially.

Actually, other people already had this idea before me. See the following for people working on the standards/ infrastructure to make this possible in wikipedia.

jmarca says:

Good idea. I've been thinking about the same myself.

I've built a TIGER network plotter in java, based on postgis/postgresql, but lately I've been moving to using the high resolution ortho imagery from EROS/USGS.

One problem I have run into (and that I am sure is well known) is that TIGER files have errors and/or are out of date with respect to the roads. While the TIGER folks at the Census would probably love to have a wiki that fixed their data for them, how to do so properly is not clear. I have two pictures that illustrate this problem for a new offramp near me, and I will try to attach them to this page.

GPS data and a TIGER network I generated, at 16 meters per pixel:

GPS data plotted on a high resolution ortho image taken from EROS/USGS, also at 16 m/pixel:

Zooming in to just the offramp in the ortho image:

The offramp is in the photo, but not in the TIGER set.
The problem with ortho images is that you don't have the network structure of the roads, and so you can't do interesting things like shortest path, etc. Also, there are not high resolution images available for every urban area.

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