WikiLocation: A Geo API for Wikipedia

Adam DuVander
Mar. 01 2011, 12:00AM EST

There are any number of questions that can be answered by Wikipedia, but you can add "where am I?" to the list. Given any latitude/longitude coordinates, the WikiLocation API will find you corresponding Wikipedia articles to tell you about your surroundings.

Now you can create maps like the flagship Google Maps site has done, showing Wikipedia articles on a map. WikiLocation will be most useful from mobile applications. Help travelers find out the historical significance of their location, or use it to learn something about your own city that you don't know.

The API also connects itself to several other services, including the Foursquare API, Gowalla API and Yahoo "where on earth" (WOE) IDs. Rather than using coordinates, you can pass an ID from one of these services to retrieve Wikipedia articles.

WikiLocation is an unofficial API and was created by mobile developer Ben Dodson. Dodson also created the Tube Updates API, an unofficial service built from Transport For London's station update website.

Where am I? There are many ways that technology helps answer that question. It's also possible to answer

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.




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[...] Wikipedia heeft drie weken geleden een Application Programming Interface (API) gepubliceerd die het mogelijk maakt dat de geografische data die horen bij de inhoud van de encyclopedie worden gekoppeld aan andere software. Dat is goed nieuws, want locatiegebaseerde toepassingen (van Foursquare tot Twitter) worden steeds populairder. Het is goed dat Wikipedia daar ook op inspeelt. [...]