Go on a Wikipedia scavenger hunt with Wikipedia Nearby

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This post is available in 2 languages

The Nearby feature in Vatican City

We are quick to use mobile applications to find places that fulfil our needs, whether it’s a place to grab a coffee that your friend recommends, where the nearest bus stop is, or where to go for a perfect first date.

But how hard have you thought about the history of your neighborhood, or the events that have shaped the place where you live? There is a wealth of information all around you as you read this blog post. There are historic sites, parks, museums, theatres, cafes and religious buildings. Thanks to the terrific work of our editor community, Wikipedia has accumulated a massive amount of location data associated with its millions of articles; until now we have not fully taken advantage of this information.

We are happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation mobile team has been working on a Nearby page to surface this information. Along with the goal of bringing awareness of the surrounding areas to our existing readers, we hope that this simple tool can attract new editors to these articles, whether it is to update the information on the exhibits in a local museum, or simply to add a photo of a nearby park that is in severe need of a properly licensed lead image.

Look out for the camera icon to show those articles that need your photos

As a first pass, the mobile team has focused on using the Nearby page to surfaces articles in close proximity that lack images, inviting users to add one. Upon visiting those pages, the user will be prompted to illustrate the article, which they can do quickly and easily if they’re on a mobile device that supports taking and uploading photos.

The Nearby feature, although designed with the Wikipedia mobile experience in mind, also works on the desktop version of Wikipedia. In the future, we envision this as a useful step in the editing onboarding process, helping new users learn about editing by encouraging them to improve an article on a topic nearby.

Help make Wikipedia more beautiful, vibrant and educational for all our readers! Explore your local area and find the pages near you that need a photo or updated information. Stay tuned to the Wikimedia blog for more opportunities to contribute via the mobile web, coming soon.

Jon Robson
Software Engineer, Mobile
Wikimedia Foundation

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9 Comments on Go on a Wikipedia scavenger hunt with Wikipedia Nearby

Andy Mabbett 2 years

It’s very frustrating that this useful feature was removed. without comment, or notification, in the June 2014 “upgrade” to v2 of the Android app.

Matt 3 years

It’s actually ”’fulfil”’ in British English and ”’fulfil”’ in American English. See http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/fulfill

Amqui 3 years

There is an app “Wiki Nearby” sold for around $5 in the Android Market…

PrimeHunter 3 years

There is agreement at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Village_pump_%28technical%29#Passing_a_location_to_Special:Nearby.3F that an option to choose location would be great even if it requires longitude and latitude. Especially if it works with a wikilink like “Special:Nearby/coords” so various templates and tools can generate a link.

Wedding Horses 3 years

My business is Nationwwide in various UK locations. I also operate in France and USA at the moment and will be expanding to Australia shortly. How would I add my business locations to Wikimedia?
Giovanni. Fulfill is spelled this way, you are correct.

Giovanni 3 years

“Fulfill” is perfectly correct in British English, otherwise known as “proper” English.

Mono 3 years

Fulfill is spelled ‘fulfil’ in the first line.

Jon Robson 3 years

Currently there is no option to manually insert a location but it would be trivial to add this functionality. The main complication around doing this is the design Ideally we hope to integrate a map feature in future which would make it easy to drop a pin and see nearby articles. It doesn’t really make sense to allow users to enter a longitude and latitude coordinate as these are not very human friendly :)

Michael Robinson 3 years

Where’s the option to manually insert a location? I don’t have a GPS-enabled mobile device.

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