Wikitravel:Geographical data and metadata
This article is about incorporating geographical data and metadata into Wikitravel.
What is geographical data?
Geographical data, for this discussion, is information about the latitude and longitude of something on the face of planet Earth. Given a latitude and longitude pair of sufficient precision, a more-or-less exact spot on Earth can be determined.
What is geographical metadata?
Metadata is data about other data. For Wikitravel, it means adding information about a page or the subject of that page.
There's an informal standard for representing geographical metadata in HTML pages, using the <meta> HTML tag. A metatag for latitude and longitude looks like this:
Proposed by GeoURL
<meta name="ICBM" content="latitude, longitude">
The "ICBM" name comes from an old Internet joke that a lat-long pair is an "ICBM address", that is, how you would send an intercontinental ballistic missile somewhere.
<meta name="geo.position" content="latitude; longitude"> <meta name="geo.placename" content="Human Readable Placename"> <meta name="geo.region" content="Country Code as in ISO-3166-2">
It's unstated whether the ICBM address or geo.position refers to where the Web server is located, where the author of the page is located, or where the subject of the Web page is located. The same tag is used for all these purposes.
Geographical metadata on the Web
Some Web sites use geographical metadata to cluster Web pages according to their geographical metadata. A prominent one is GeoURL. And there are Web sites that help you to create these metadata online. One is Geo-Tag.de.
Uses for Wikitravel
A few possible uses for geographical metadata exist in Wikitravel.
Although this is all pretty nifty stuff, there's some question as to the utility of geographical data and metadata.
Adding geographical metadata
The software we use, MediaWiki, doesn't support adding free-form metadata to articles. There's a proposal for adding some metadata to articles in the next release. This is probably the best bet for getting ICBM meta tags added to articles.