Wikipedia Gets Location-Based with Nearby

Wikipedia has introduced Nearby, a location-based page which presents the user with Wiki articles relevant to their surrounding area.

“Thanks to the terrific work of our editor community, Wikipedia has accumulated a massive amount of location data associated with its millions of articles,” said Jon Robson, mobile software engineer at Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia. “Until now we have not fully taken advantage of this information.”

The motivation behind Nearbys launch is twofold: to enable users to learn more about whats around them, and to attract new editors to Wikipedia. Entries without a properly licensed image are flagged up, and when visited, these pages will prompt the user to add an illustration by taking and uploading photos from their mobile.

“In the future, we envision this as a useful step in the editing onboarding process, helping new users learn about editing by encouraging them to improve an article on a topic nearby.”

The Nearby feature is also available on desktop, but according to Robson, it was “designed with the mobile experience in mind”.