Today we are making changes in our semi-protection policy. There are lots of objects that are protected since they've been created and they stay unable to be edited by unregistered and new users. In fact most objects don't need such protection. Initially, semi-protection was an indispensable tool to save the map from vandals, but since then new tools such as watchlist, mail confirmation, guest's actions viewing, banning for edition had arrived which gives possibility to make objects protection system more flexible and soft. Semi-protection should not be used solely to prevent editing by unregistered and newly registered users, nor should it be used as a pre-emptive measure against vandalism that has not yet occurred.
That's why we made semi-protection limited in time. Advanced Users may apply temporary semi-protection to objects which are subject to heavy and persistent vandalism; but after 7 days the protection will be removed automatically (it also could be removed by any Advanced Users anytime). Also, now while obejct is semi-protected, only Advanced Users can edit it (all users with experience level 2 or higher were able to do it before).
All legacy protection will be automatically removed from all objects which are semiprotected for the moment in next several hours.
Today we have released a powerful new tool to help in monitoring and improving the map: the Status Grid. You can find it on the Tools page, it is avaliable for all registered users. The grid is a colorized layer over the map which collects and shows basic statistics about places for each grid cell. It should be helpful in finding badly described areas and tags. The status grid works at zoom levels between 5 and 15.
The first three lines present common grid cell statistics: total number of places, number of road segments and their length. Below that are information deficiencies in the selected cell grouped by importance. The most important criteria are: how many places don't have a polygon or have a triangular polygon. Less critical are: places without categories, a description or buildings without an address. The final and not critical deficiency is lack of photos. Each group of values has its measure (factor) of influence on the summary percent (in left top corner) and color of the grid cell. (Each group of values affects the summary quality percentage of the cell and its color differently.) The best areas are colored green and have summary statistics percent about 100, the worst have 0% and are colored red. Significant deficiencies (like triangular polygons) render the grid cell red much faster than the others (like a lack of photos). You can see the formula for calculating the summary percent here [here would be a link to the post about Status grid formula, the main text of it is located below in this topic].
Each of those 6 lines is an active link to the category layer which shows all places with the selected deficiency located in the current grid cell, for example:
The lines with basic info are not clickable, but they will help you make your own quality assessment of this grid cell. For example, a cell with no objects in it will be green and has 100% summary percent because it has no bad places in it. Such cells are fine somewhere in the ocean, but in the middle of the city it is the opposite: nobody has created any objects here yet, and this area needs attention. The same thing with the roads: the statistics just shows you how many road segments are in the grid cell, but it doesn't affect the color of the cell.
In most cases the statistics of the cell updates just after you save an object in it, but sometimes it could take a while, so don't worry if it doesn't update immediately. Please note: Status grid categories are system categories and they can’t be added or removed manually. These categories are used only in the Status grid and are not shown on a place page.
To help and improve the coordination, we added a link icon to each cell of the grid - you can send this in a PM or IM and work on the cell together.
If you are interested in how the Grid works and analyses the map join the Status Grid Formula discussion.
Today we are introducing Wikimapia Experience points list - the list where users can view all experience points for any action at current moment. You will find it on Wikimapia Tools page. Each action contains basic experience points, which are certainly given for any registered user, and extra points which are given only for collaboration participants only for special actions.
Watch the experience rules updates and join the collaborations to gain more experience!
We are introducing a new feature in the objects edition process. Now you can briefly describe the changes you have made during the creation of a place or road edition. Every history revision may have a comment, which would be shown in the history list and the revision page, but not in the watchlist. This should make objects correction more clear. Users whose revisions were undone or corrected can see the reason or explanation for the action. Commenting the revision is an optional feature, you always may leave the edit summary field blank.
The recent launch of the Cityguides had drawn our attention to the number of street duplicates on Wikimapia. We have taken some measures aimed at eliminating those duplicates.
1) The street name input in the address field when creating and editing places was changed.
Based on collected statistics we found that most of the duplicated streets are being created when adding or editing place addresses. Accordingly we have changed the input widget to be the same as the one used in street creation. It has proven itself very effective helping to avoid duplicates while naming segments.
2) Relevant watchlist bug fixed
Until now the streets created through the address form on place edit pages did not appear on the watchlists. Now all the streets added using the place edit form are shown correctly on the watchlists, thus making detection of duplicates an easier task.
3) Street duplicates merged automatically
We have programmatically merged some nearest street duplicates. Altogether more than 40 000 duplicates were eliminated. Streets with additional photos or descriptions in more than one language were left intact to avoid data loss, so some of the duplicates still need to be merged manually.
We are introducing e-mail verification for new users, to help in the struggle against spammers and vandals.
Now every new user will have to verify his e-mail address after registration. Until the user completes this step his access level will be reduced to the same as a Guest's, so registration with a fake e-mail address gives spammers no advantage and no access to fully fledged users' features. It is also impossible to use the same e-mail address for more than one user account. For all email duplicates (of course we found some) we left last one (those, which have the newest 'lastseen' time) as is, and the others were renamed with suffix '__dupl%' (% - number of founded duplicate). All renamed mails are not verified.
All other currently registered users' e-mail addresses are considered as verified. But please note - if you change your e-mail address in your profile settings, you will have to verify it.
We are taking the firsts steps with vector data in Wikimapia. From now it is possible to add polygon info for places (only for registered users at this moment).
Currently we cannot show many polygons (browsers are too slow with them), later we will find a better way to present polygons. For now we are just highlighting polygon when you mouseover the place.
If you have any ideas, suggestions for improvement, bug reports or comments email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or discuss it at Wikimapia forum.
We have added new features that allow to measure distances and areas. We hope you would find them useful. Look for them in the main Wikimapia menu.