Wikimedia Foundation, the charitable organization behind Wikipedia and other online collaborative projects, has introduced a new Nearby page as it looks to surface articles based on a user’s location. Back in January, the Wikimedia Foundation announced a new GeoData extension for MediaWiki, which promised to provide a “structured way to store geo-coordinates for articles,” this was in addition to an API so developers could build tools based on this data. In real terms, this means that location coordinates associated with articles are stored separately in the Wikipedia database which makes it easier to ‘query’ the coordinates of a particular Wikipedia page. It’s all about mining and mapping. One of the first uses of this data was in the experimental mode of the Wikipedia mobile site, which allowed opt-in beta users to see a list of articles based on their location – this was particularly useful for those looking to read more about places nearby.
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