14.06.2012

Advanced User proposal and promotion

Dear Wikimapians!

We are happy to present you a new procedure of Advanced User proposal and promotion. We hope that the new system will clear a lot of misunderstanding and vagueness in Advanced User promotion issue.

From now on anyone with 5+ user level can make a request for Advanced User Status (it will be offered automatically) and his/her candidacy will be put to vote. If current Advanced Users decide that a person has approved him/herself as a competent editor and can help Wikimapia by taking additional responsibilities and powers he/she will be invited in Advanced Users group.

Thereby an Advanced User status becomes something that anyone experienced enough can request for, though the voting will proceed on the ground of all user contributions to Wikimapia, in other words not only experience points will be counted, but also your social status, your behavior and communication with other members of Wikimapia community, etc.

We’ve also invented a method of demotion voting on the ground of complaining reports, so that any regular user could influence Advanced User's work. This means that you can leave an anonymous complaining report with your comment and a prooflink about an Advanced User in his profile. But please remember: before leaving a complaint you need to contact the exact Advanced User first and express your displeasure in an open conversation. You can apply a complaint only in case an Advanced User did not solve the issue. Complaining criteria:

  • Low quality of contribution
  • Aggressive behavior/Harassment
  • Failure to resolve a conflict in a civilized way
  • Unrighteous ban

If an Advanced User gets more than 10 complains in a month his candidacy will be put to vote, so other Advanced Users could consider all the complains and make a decision.
Depending on voting results an Advanced User will either get a warning and continue his work or will be released from Advanced User duties. In case of draw voting his/her candidacy will stay in Demotion list until a new voting will determine his/her further status.

Everyone who currently has the status should sign the codex to retain it. There will be no promotion voting for them and their status will be confirmed immediately.

We hope that new procedure of Advanced User status receiving will be more fair and transparent, so that only worthy users will become and stay Advanced Users.

Please note that releasing the new Advanced User promotion system will cause a queue of candidates. For this reason we ask you to be patient. As it was said everyone who has 5th user level will get an opportunity to make a request for Advanced User status, but first of all to be fair we will give this chance to those, who has 7th and 6th levels. Thereby, users who just received the 5th user level will be at the end of the queue and need to wait couple of weeks. They will get the invitation as soon as the requests will be processed.

09.06.2012

Wikimapia official Documentation release

We are happy to inform you that Wikimapia official Documentation is completed. Thanks to Advanced Users and Documentors we’ve reorganized and updated all previous materials and user guide written by Wikimapia Community and added a lot of new articles and sections.

We believe that Wikimapia Documentation will clear a lot of misunderstandings and debates. As all the guidelines and recommendations acquire an official status and significance now, you are able to refer to Documentation when helping new users, exchanging of messages or solving other issues.

We eхpected that some of you may ask about wikimapia.org/wiki. Don’t worry: we are not going to delete it. Wiki will stay like an unofficial storage source, that users can use for any purposes (upload images, make their pages, writing drafts for further projects or documents, etc).

Wikimapia Docs certainly needs to be translated. We are going to start a large-scale translation collaboration later, when everybody will familiarize with the Documentation. As we concede that Docs still may need a light correcting (there were a lot of information to check, so even the most accurate documentors could have missed some mistakes), we encourage you to leave comments at this topic, if you'll find anything obscure or incorrect.

You can find Wikimapia Docs by this link http://wikimapia.org/docs or at the top menu.

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25.05.2012

Happy Birthday Wikimapia!

Wikimapia was launched in 24th May in 2006. For all these years the project has grown and developed a lot as amount of its users as well. Today Wikimapia is 6 years old! For this occasion we’ve been working so much lately and prepared for you a real birthday surprise. Wikimapia Team is so happy to present you some innovations.

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First of all, we changed Wikimapia licence type. We encourage and support any digital creativity and sharing. Therefore to make Wikimapia content more accessible for distribution we decided to change Wikimapia license type to the most popular among Wikis “Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike” (CC BY-SA). This means that from now on Wikimapia offers all of its data for sharing, recasting, transforming or adapting in any form recognizably derived from the original for any use. We think that all content should be free for using and beget new free content. So we encourage you to build your work upon Wikimapia data and require its further distribution under the same or similar license to this one, as it’s written in Wikimapia Terms of Service (http://wikimapia.org/terms_reference.html).

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And the last but not least is the New Wikimapia - the new engine, as you may already heard. It is working as beta-version in parallel mode, so we invite you to contribute to its testing and discussing.

Wikimapia is looking forward to become faster, more open-content and collaborative!

21.05.2012

Meet the New Wikimapia

Meet the New Wikimapia

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Every project needs an update from time to time. Wikimapia started up in 2006. During all these years we’ve been maintaining and developing the project. But some time ago we decided that the moment for a big revision has come, so we’ve started to create a new engine for Wikimapia.

Marking the upcoming Wikimapia 6th Anniversary, our team is happy to introduce you the result of our efforts - the New Wikimapia. The New Wikimapia is an independent and structured engine that contains every Wikimapia’s tool rewritten from scratch. In short, the new engine is a whole lot faster, cleaner and easier to maintain. We understand that testing and getting familiar with the new engine might take some time, so we decided to launch the New Wikimapia in parallel mode. This means that you have an opportunity to try it for several months before we will substitute the new version for the old one permanently. We suggest you to check out the new engine and let us know about positive changes or drawbacks that you may find. New Wikimapia is still a beta version, so it can or even might have some glitches and bugs. Please keep reporting us abouts bugs, so we could fix them and totally assume to the New Wikimapia.

You can already notice some improvements and new functions appeared:
  • More map or satellite imagery providers (bing, yandex, ovi, yahoo and OSM) are now available. This, for example, can be helpful when exploring a place which picture quality differs for various providers.
  • The river editor has been revised.
  • The algorithm of drawing polygons also has been amended. It easier to draw correctly a complicated polygon.
  • New road types are added: pedestrian and bicycle paths, railroad types.
  • The New Wikimapia is designed to change languages without reloading the page. It means less waiting, as all the titles and buttons will change simultaneously.
  • Finally, the whole appearance of the New Wikimapia already slightly differs from the old version. Eventually we will change the look of all the interface for your convenience.

We believe that the new engine will be a real time saver, so you’ll enjoy Wikimapia even more.

http://new.wikimapia.org

16.05.2012

New changes in Satellite images updates tool (MapShift)

A month ago the "Satellite images updates list" tool has been launched. Since that moment we’ve been watching its functioning and analysing what more should be done. Today we made a revision of the tool to improve its work and would gladly see your comments.

What’s new:
- A user can draw one vector for each overlay zone only.
- At least 4 users needed for a map shift to be done (or its cancellation).
- To prevent a mistaken shift, the system will decline those vectors that differ significantly from others (e.g. if it has the opposite direction).
- If a user has drawn a vector or marked that this part of the map does not need any shifting his username will appear in a special list at the right top corner of the page. This can help figuring out why a map shift was accepted or declined.
- If you add a shift vector of your own, you’ll be able to see what directions other users marked.
- The system will also report how many vectors are still needed to confirm (or decline) the shift. The more users mark correct vectors the less users will be needed for confirmation and vice versa.
- For drawing every shift vector (or choosing “yes, its fine”) a user gets 200 points.

10.04.2012

A tool to handle Satellite images updates: new "Map Shift"

A tool to handle Satellite images updates: "Map Shift"
For those who don't know what is this about - a short introduction: every month or so Google updates their satellite imagery and sometimes as a result of it this outline positions of Wikimapia objects in some areas become out of sync. This is an example of how it may look like:
Image

Such areas need to be fixed. To avoid doing this for each object individually, we have designed a special tool, which allows simply to update the whole areas, where this problem occurs.
You may be familiar with it, it is called "Map shift" and is accessible from the user tools page in the top menu or user profile page and via direct link: http://wikimapia.org/#m=b&show=/user/to ... /status=0/ .
Now we are releasing a new version of it and making it available to more users than before.

How it works:
The tool provides a list of areas, where the satellite imagery was updated. Most of the outlines of these areas are imported automatically from the data published by Google, so naturally not all of them have actual problems, some imagery updates are fitting perfectly well . There are also problematic areas in this list that are spotted and marked by our users. Every area in the list needs to be verified by several users in order to fix it or leave it as it is. If the outlined area has a visible gap between Wikimapia objects and satellite photography in it, you can set a direction and distance of shift required to put them back together. If not, you can confirm it by simply pressing a button. You can also add an area yourself, if you are sure it is not contained by any other listed there.

After the area has been verified by sufficient number of users, system automatically calculates the average values and some statistics and decides whether objects in the area should be updated and how.

Unlike the two previous versions of this tool, the new one doesn't need advanced users to sign the shifts and Wikimapia team to finally approve them. All the shifts are being processed by the system automatically and carried out in background, so you can check their status using the filter in the satellite images updates list.

Full tool usage instruction and overview is available in Wikimapia wiki: http://wikimapia.org/docs/Satellite_images_updates_list.

15.03.2012

Wikimapia important code update

We are in a process of updating Wikimapia code to make sure it will be working well with Google Maps. It’s necessary update as Google marked as deprecated their version 2 of Google Maps API and encourage all developers to change the code to work with version 3.

As the essential changes affect all Wikimapia features you are possibly using, expect some minor bugs to appear shortly, don't be confused, post them here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9548 so we can fix them quickly.