25.10.2012

7 best Halloween sights of all times.

The Halloween is comming! Already decided how to celebrate the All Hallows' Eve? Wikimapia prepared a list of most inspiring classic creepy Halloween sightes of all times. We bet even the bravest man would get goosebumps spending the Halloween night here!


Frankenstein Castle is a hilltop castle in Germany. In the middle of 13th century Reiz von Breuberg erected Frankenstein Castle and named himself von und zu Frankenstein. In 1673, the legendary alchemist Johann Conrad Dippel was born at the castle. There have been claims of Dippel influencing Mary Shelley to write her Frankenstein novel. It is known that in 1814, prior to writing the famous novel, Mary took a journey on the river Rhine. She spent a few hours in the town of Gernsheim, which is located about ten miles away from the castle. In 1976, American soldiers stationed in Darmstadt founded an annual Halloween festival at the castle, which has grown to become one of the biggest Halloween festivals in Europe.



According to the legends, the Lysa Hora hill, which is located in Kiev, Ukraine, is the largest and most famous location of the mystical "Bald Mountain" - a traditional site of the witch gatherings. Particularly, it is asserted in the writings of Nikolay Gogol.



Sleepy Hollow is a village in the town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County, New York, United States. Originally known as North Tarrytown, it was given its current name in 1996 when residents voted to have it changed to honor the Washington Irving story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", who is buried on Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.



Bran Castle is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle", it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. The castle is now a museum opened for tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.



The Brocken mountain is the highest peak of the Harz mountain range and also the highest peak of Northern Germany. The Brocken has always played a role in legends and has been connected with witches and devils. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe took up the legends in his play Faust.



The Winchester Mystery House was built by Sara Winchester because of a supposed threat by the victims of her husbands rifles. Every man and woman shot down by the Winchester rifle is believed to reside in the home, and the home's countless doorways and windows that lead to nowhere are to misguide the spirits that chased Sara in life.



Salem town, USA is knowm as the location for notorious 1692 Witch Trials, where twenty-six people accused of witchcraft were tried, convicted and put to death. The most popular town site is the 17th century Witch House, which still stands on the corner of North and Essex streets.

Are there some creepy Halloween places in your hometown? Tag them on Wikimapia and tell the whole world!

02.10.2012

Wikimapia September news

First Autumn month was cool and sunny. A perfect period for new developments. This time we have really big news for you!

We’ve launched the mobile version of Wikimapia! And that is huge! Now you can be in touch with Wikimapia wherever you are. Go to wikimapia.org on your phone and the mobile version will load automatically. See the details in Wikimapia blog news.


Wikimapia facebook has reached 10 000 subscribers already! And that is no surprise! We post interesting places and latest news here every day. Subscribe now and explore world's best sights with Wikimapia!


As you know, we’ve launched New Wikimapia in parallel mode in June. And today we finished with testing the new engine. Now, with roads interactivity, geolocation button, more satellite imagery providers and other new features (see the details in news about New Wikimapia) we are going to substitute the new version for the old one permanently soon. Stay tuned for updates.


We keep developing Wikimapia every day and we would be glad to receive a feedback on our work. If you have a bright idea of how to improve Wikimapia or you've found a bug, please make a report in our issue tracker. Participate in process of Wikimapia development!


P.S. painting: Albrecht Durer, Stag Beetle

28.09.2012

Mobile version of Wikimapia

Today we are happy to introduce you the result of our recent efforts - mobile version of Wikimapia! To use Wikimapia on your mobile phone go to wikimapia.org and the mobile version of the site will open automatically.

Mobile version is read-only yet, which means you can browse through Wikimapia data from the map, use search and see places around you. Another useful feature is geolocation, that helps to orientate yourself and shows all places around your location.

Launching the mobile version of WM is marking the beginning of our way towards the support of mobile devices and the moment when it will be possible to add and edit places in real time, looking right at them.
We hope it will help our users to be in touch with our project every day and keep Wikimapia content more up-to-date. Stay tuned for the news in this area.

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27.09.2012

Need for Speed

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Wikimaipia main goal is providing a free access for all our data. That makes our project a helpfull source. The number of tagged objects on Wikimapia increases every day, now there are 19,5 mln places already. We are happy to see, how our project broadens, though such a great amount of data effects the speed of loading badly.

To meet your demands and keep the speed of loading high we were working on this issue. Today we are happy to inform you that we’ve improved the data compression algorithm and the positive results didn't take long to appear.

Have you mentioned that the speed of loading went 1,5 times higher now?

21.09.2012

Most famous Museum Ships

As you know, we on Wikimapia do not tag vehicles, as they are movable objects. Though Wikimapia guidelines say that "planes and submarines, circuses and other movable objects may be added if they are unmovable at least for a week and staying still at the moment of adding". And that is what our today's article about. Let's take a look at most famous Museum Ships in the world. These legendary sea giants saw battles during many wars and rendered a good service for their nations. Today they are acting museums that attract thousands of tourist every year.


Portrait of HMS Victory by Cornelis de Vries



HMS Victory was built at Chatham Dockyard in 1759-65 as a first-rate ship for the British Navy. It fought in the battles such as Ushant and Cape St. Vincent, but was most famous when it was used as Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson won the battle but was killed during it. The ship was placed in this dry dock in 1922 and has stayed there since. Today the ship is a big tourist attraction at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, England and is the oldest commissioned warship.


Anton Otto Fischer (1882–1962),Chase of the Constitution, July 1812


USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. Launched in 1797, Constitution was one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Built in Boston, Massachusetts, at Edmund Hartt's shipyard, her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.
Constitution is most famous for her actions during the War of 1812 against Great Britain, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships. She continued to actively serve the nation as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons, and circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy and carried artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878. Retired from active service in 1881, she served as a receiving ship until designated a museum ship in 1907 and in 1934 she completed a three-year, 90-port tour of the nation. Constitution sailed under her own power for her 200th birthday in 1997, and again in August 2012, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere.
The mission of Constitution is to promote understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace through active participation in public events and education through outreach programs, public access, and historic demonstration. Her crew of 60 officers and enlisted participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping the ship open to visitors year-round and providing free tours. The crewmen are all active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.


Aurora cruiser


Aurora is a 1900 Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. She battled the Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. One of the first incidents of the October Revolution in Russia took place on the cruiser Aurora. As a museum ship, the cruiser Aurora became one of the many tourist attractions of Saint Petersburg, and continued to be a symbol of the October Socialist Revolution and a prominent attribute of Russian history. In addition to the museum space, a part of the ship continued to house a naval crew whose duties included caring for the ship, providing security and participating in government and military ceremonies. The crew was considered to be on active duty and was subject to military training and laws.
Having long served as a museum ship, from 1984 to 1987 the cruiser was once again placed in her construction yard, the Admiralty Shipyard, for capital restoration. Aurora stands today as the oldest commissioned ship of the Russian Navy, still flying the naval ensign under which she was commissioned, but now under the care of the Central Naval Museum. She is still manned by an active service crew commanded by a Captain of the 1st Rank.
From 1956 to the present day 28 million people have visited the cruiser Aurora.


USS Missouri photo


USS Missouri (BB-63) first launched into the East River on January 29, 1944, and was the final battleship built by the United States and the second-to-last in the world. During World War II, Missouri saw action at the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa, and shelled the Japanese home islands of Hokkaido and Honshū several times. During all its life USS MIssouri took part in the Korean War, participated in several Midshipmen training cruises, in 1984 she was extensively modernized for active service in the modern US Navy, spent couple of years taking part in exercises and good will cruises, than Misspuri was called to action again as part of Operation Earnest Will in 1987. Only four years later, Missouri would return to the Persian Gulf, this time as part of the US-led coalition intent on repulsing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991.
Missouri remained in commission for only a year after the Gulf War, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War she was deemed surplus to the needs of the Navy. USS Missouri was decommissioned for the final time on March 31, 1992. On May 4, 1998 she was donated to serve as a museum ship at Pearl Harbor, where her place in history as the site where the Second World War ended would be secure alongside the USS Arizona, where the Second World War began for the United States.


ORP Blyskawica Painting, James Williamson


ORP Błyskawica is a historic Polish Grom-class destroyer serving in the Polish Navy during World War II, preserved as a museum in Gdynia. She is the only ship of the Polish Navy awarded with the Virtuti Militari medal, as well as the oldest preserved destroyer in the world. The name means Lightning. She was one of the two legendary Groms, the most heavily-armed and fastest destroyers on the seas of that times.

There is no special category on Wikimapia for museum ships yet, though we consider it might be very helpful. We encourage our users to pay attention to this fact. Let's improve Wikimapia together!

07.09.2012

200 anniversary of The Battle of Borodino

Today on 7th September is the 200 anniversary of The Battle of Borodino, the largest and bloodiest single-day battle of the Napoleonic Wars, that happened in 1812. The battle involved more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties.
We on Wikimapia have the “French invasion of Russia in 1812” category, which helps to recall the main events of the Patriotic War of 1812, that changed the world geography and history and had a huge impact on arts.


Battle of Borodino, painting by Louis-François, Baron Lejeune, 1822


Battle of Borodino reconstructions take place every year. Thousands of people gather here in the beginning of September, dressed like Russian and French soldiers of that time, to recreate this huge event in details. It is indeed a breathtaking thing to see.



The Triumphal Arch in Moscow, 1909. Photo by Murray Howe


Triumphal Arch in Moscow commemorates Russian victory in the 1812 (Napoleonic) Patriotic war. It was originally erected near the current Belorussuan railway station - at the end of Tverskaya street, but demolished in 1936 during reconstruction of the square; later (1966—1968) it was demolished but reconstructed here (so this is actually a copy). Architect Joseph Bove (he is also famous as the architect of the Bolshoy theatre), sculptors Ivan Vitali and Ivan Timofeyev.

05.09.2012

Wikimapia August news

Summer is coming to the end, while the active life and improvement of Wikimapia continues as usual! Here are the latest news on Wikimapia for August.

Every day we pick out most amazing places from Wikimapia map and share them with our friends in Facebook and Twitter. We post the latest news here as well. Subscribe on Wikimapia pages and take part in discussions.


Translation of the official Wikimapia Documentation has started in July. We are glad to inform you that the first steps were made. Some parts of Docs in Russian and Portuguese have already appeared. But still there is a lot of work to do and we seek people, who'd like to help our Documentors. See how you can participate in the process at Wikimapia Docs translation forum thread.


New articles, dedicated to most amusing places on our map, appeared in Wikimapia blog. This month we were exploring volcanoes in North America, places of nuclear weapon tests, where to find the best cheese in the world and most magnificent tombs of all the times. We post all the latest news in Blog as well.


Wikimapia forum is the main ground for discussions of our community. One of the latest threads is dedicated to Wikimapia User level system improvement. If you have any ideas or suggestions on the topic, please share it on the forum.


We made About Wikimapia page. Here you can see general info about our project, philosophy and team.


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Wikimapia Community expanding every day! Here is some stats for the last month:

- 297674 new places were added on Wikimapia
- 26 292 new users joined Wikimapia community