From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Wikipedia2go provides the abstracts of all Wikipedia articles which have geo location tags as Google kml file and Garmin Points of interest (gpi) files. The gpi file is uploaded to the garmin GPS device and allows Wikipedia guided sightseeing.


GPS devices are getting more and more portable, the battery life times are extensive and the devices are made small for the outdoor experience. Opposite to mobile phones, most current GPS-devices do not have web-access. They allow ordinary position tracking and provide card material, but textual descriptions from the surrounding, e.g. for sightseeing, is missing.

With Wikipedia2Go it is intended to prepare signatures about meaningful locations annotated in Wikipedia, which are suitable for uploading to GPS devices. There they are stored as `Points of Interests' and available on the go.


For the first version of Wikipedia2Go, a proof of concept, the full wikipedia articles dump (2009-02-24) is downloaded. All abstracts (everything before the first heading) are transformed to plain text by the PHP version of wiki2xml (Magnus Manske, GPL,, installed locally). In the abstract all words already mentioned in the title are substituted by its initials to reduce storage space. Furthermore, geo locations are extracted from the article. Finally, everything is gathered to a single file in Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format. This file serves as source for gpsbabel to convert to garmin poi files. Gpsbabel is used such that it places a Wikipedia icon to the new, custom points of interest.


My Garmin eTrex Vista HCx now shows the Wikipedia icon for all available and worth mentioning locations. On clicking the icons one gets the name of these points and a rudimentary description. Now one can do guided sightseeing and impress friends and wifes.

One issue with my Garmin is that it only allows 100 characters of text being displayed as description. Perhaps future product releases exceed this limitation. To compensate it, in the meanwhile it is possible to fill up the location title with a prefix from the abstract to provide maximal text. The location title can have as many as 50 characters.


You may download the German gpi file from The English Wikipedia is in preparation.