Harnessing the power of technology, crowdsourcing data and maps draws upon a large group of people from all over the globe in order to pull together ideas, content, or services, and those who take part in are mostly volunteers. A good example of geographic data crowdsourcing is OpenStreetMap, a collaborative effort by local experts to share data about roads, attractions, and public transportation, and all of it can be accessed for free for any purpose.
Wikia is jumping on the crowdsourcing bandwagon with the unveiling of Wikia Maps, an online tool that allows users to create their own custom maps and add pins to them. Wikia is an offspring of the ever popular Wikipedia, the online crowdsourced encyclopedia that runs entirely off donations. Wikia, on the other hand, is a for-profit site founded by the same individual, Jimmy Wales, in 2006. Wikia operates much the same as Wikipedia, only it is focused more on popular culture including games, TV shows, movies, books, comics and recipes. Wikia regularly attracts more than 110 million visitors every month.
In July of 2014, Wikia announced the unveiling of its new Wikia Maps. Users can sign up for an account and begin creating their own maps, both real and fictional, based on any theme imaginable. These maps are interactive, imaged-based, and fully customizable. Moreover, any member of Wikia can contribute to the map by adding their own pins and share by embedding them into any webpage.
The best part of Wikia Maps is that the maps created do not even have to be from the real world. Pins can be added to any image including those of concerts, posters, or original designs of your favorite fictional world. For example, Star Wars fans have already created a Wikia Map of the Millennium Falcon and added their own unique pins. One pin is labeled as “Smuggling holes,” and described as Han Solo’s favorite places to hide illegal cargo. Other featured maps on Wikia are Game of Thrones, the 2014 Oscars, and Recipes of the World.
To start creating customized maps of your own, all you need to do is have or create a Wikia account. After clicking on Create a Map, users have the option of producing a real or custom map. Real maps are based on content from OpenStreetMap. Just zoom in on a particular area of the world and begin to drop pins on particular locations. You even have the option to create your own types of pins. On the Millennium Falcon map, pins are designated as locations, characters, and weapons among others.
Generating custom maps can be a bit more of a challenge but more fun at the same time. Under this option, users can upload their own images from their computer and start pinning. Other users have the ability to drop pins on your own map and embed them on Wikia or any website. Best of all, there is no limit to the maps you create; the only restriction is that the content must be copyright-free.
“Maps Wiki.” http://maps.wikia.com/wiki/Maps_Wiki
“Wikia Maps a Playground for Amateur Cartogrpahers.” http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-07/22/wikia-maps
“Wikia Maps Wikia Wants to Bring out the True Geek in You With its New Collaborative Mapping Tool.” http://thenextweb.com/apps/2014/07/22/wikia-wants-bring-true-geek-new-collaborative-mapping-tool/
“Wikia Debuts New Interactive, Embeddable Maps.” http://www.wikia.com/Wikia_Debuts_New_Interactive,_Embeddable_Maps