Plot out Wikipedia Articles on a Map

Several years ago the thing was to demonstrate new searching technology by taking ODP data and Doing Things to it. Now it appears the data pool of choice is Wikipedia. I am not complaining. The latest one I’ve come across is PediaX, which is in beta. PediaX ( http://en.pediax.org/ ) allows you to browse Wikipedia via a map.

When you first hit the site you’ll get a map with radio-button toggles to narrow down the kind of markers you want to find on the map. (There are tens of thousands of articles mapped here; available marks include cities, states, countries, landmarks, and mountains. The markers are the typical red Google upside-down teardrop things.) You’ll get different markers depending on what you zoom in on; the map displays the markers for the 20 most popular articles for that area. (Some parts of the map, especially bodies of water, don’t have 20 markers.) Look to the nav on the left for a permanent link to the map at that zoom level.

Click on a marker and you’ll get a popup window with the first part of the relevant Wikipedia article, with a link to get the entire Wikipedia article on PediaX.org. PediaX’s Wikipedia version offers a framed page with content in the middle, nav on the left, and on the right nav for the article as well as link to the most popular incoming and outgoing links (I think; I couldn’t get these to work with Firefox.)

In addition to wandering around the map you can search; PediaX offers search suggestions (as you type it’ll provide you with possible searches.) A search for Indianapolis provided a dozen search suggestions, some of which I would have guessed (Indianapolis Colts) and some I wouldn’t (Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan area.) Search results for these will take you directly to the Wikipedia page, though; results are not mapped (wouldn’t that be cool?)

Now obviously you can’t map everything in Wikipedia. But I can easily imagine planning to go on a trip somewhere and using this resource to browse the Wikipedia articles for the area. Worth a look.

About Tara Calishain

Covering the world of search engines, databases, and other online information collections since 1996.

Posted on January 21, 2007, in News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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