GIS Wiki World

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While Wikipedia is a widely popular site with additions and contributions to the all encompassing encyclopedia occurring around the clock, not everyone in the geospatial field has been impressed with the entries relating to GIS and spatial technologies. James Fee dedicated a blog entry about his view on wikipedia’s GIS article, saying ” The GIS Wikipedia article is such a mess I wouldn’t direct anyone there in the first place even if I trusted the sources.” The integrity of posts by companies seeming to post their own promotional information has also been called into question.

This leads to the question, what other GIS related wiki options are out there? The short answer is, not much. On the surface, the most promising wiki is housed at http://giswiki.org. The wiki is available in both German and English. There is contribution activity for both language versions but from browsing through the English site, the additions seem to be mostly in the arena of adding links to other sites and posting event information. There are some articles posted but most are minimal. This was the only general GIS wiki project that was apparent on the web. Another promising Wiki that seems to be active is Mapbender. The opening sentence defines the site as “an Open Source Geospatial Foundation project and all about maps.”

Other GIS related wiki efforts seem to be mostly software specific. There are wikis for MapServer (http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wiki.pl – wiki no longer active), GRASS (http://grass.gdf-hannover.de/wiki/Main_Page), QuantumGIS (http://wiki.qgis.org/qgiswiki), and PostGIS (http://postgis.refractions.net/support/wiki/).

It seems, for at least the present, the the GIS entry in Wikipedia remains the dominant community collaboration effort when it comes to chronicling geographic information systems and associated concepts. It will be interesting to watch the offer GIS related wiki efforts to see if the geospatial community will adopt one of them to collaborate on.


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