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Tech:Add SpecialMap using Mapstraction link for geo-tagged pages and for single listings

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Moved from en:Wikitravel:Feature requests by Evan

We're building up a lot of lat-long information with geocoding; IWBNI we could show these geographical points on an automated mapping system. I'm not thrilled about favoring one or another map server, so I like the Mapstraction library, which works with the three major map servers and will hopefully work with more in the future.

The idea is to put a link for each city that's geocoded, and for listings that are geocoded, to go a map to show that point. Further enhancements would show the city or district and all listings within it.

The big question is how this would interrelate with the en:Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition. My feeling is that a tourist map is significantly different from a precise street map, and that we would still need to create the former. It's possible that at some point in the future we could find some embeddable SVG-generating map server (see ArcWeb SVG Map Viewer for an example) that we could push Wikitravel listings into automatically, and then get SVG out. We could then create tourist maps with a lot less trouble.

That's a ways down the road, though. --Evan 16:28, 17 June 2006 (EDT)

I've taken a first step with this, making Special:Mapstraction that takes lat/long or a destination name as parameters. It uses the "big three" mapping services (Google, Yahoo, MS); I'm going to try to integrate some of the others soon. Articles marked up with en:Wikitravel:geocoding will have a "map" link in the nav bar (I'm not happy with the formatting, by the way). As a bonus, there's a geo microformat. In the future, the map will be more interactive and show points for stuff in listings. --Evan 20:05, 12 December 2006 (EST)
I think a solution is to do something like what Wikipedia did for their geographic coordinate information. Everytime you use the geographic coordinate template, the geographic coordinate is displayed in the article, and the text links to a page where you can select from a mind boggling array of mapping options. It's really paying off for them especially to use Google Earth. GE has listed wikipedia as a special layer of contributed content, which displays a wikipedia icon at every point where there's a related article. It allows people to geographically browse wikipedia content, and it provides great free advertising for the project. Of course wikitravel can at least make a network link of all the content in kmz format (should be just a matter of writing a script to convert to the right format), and maybe Google Earth will include it in the featured content in the near future. There are two stages in a users experience where geographic information is important: 1) when they are planning their trip, and 2) when they are on their trip. For the first point, it's nice to have a geographic browser such as google earth. For the second, it's nice to have something you can print out and take with you that marks the important things with recognizable icons. 14:22, 19 December 2006 (EST)