WikiProject Kiribati

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Kiribati, Micronesia, Oceania

latitude: -3.4, longitude: -170.3
Browse map of Kiribati 3°24′00.00″ S, 170°18′00.00″ W
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Kiribati is a country in Micronesia, Oceania at latitude 3°24′00.00″ South, longitude 170°18′00.00″ West.

About Kiribati

Kiribati is located in Oceania, spanning over 3.5 million km², mostly sea. The landmass is only about 811km². There are 32 atolls and 1 separate island. About 110,000 people live there. What is somewhat important for mappers: Kiribati may be the first country to disappear due to sea level rise.

More about Kiribati on Wikipedia.


Users interested in mapping Kiribati: User:edvac, User:Quarksteilchen, User:hanzlan, User:makauro, User:Kiribati, User:SonoCrasheR

Users located in Kiribati:

Data sources

Already used data sources

  • Bing Aerial Images are available for a good portion of the islands
  • Mapbox Aerial Images are available for even more islands, but slightly lower quality

Possible data sources

  • Department of Ordnance Survey (DOS) triangulation maps, found on wikipedia.
  • Local with Walkingpapers for POIs and other details.
  • Ask map copyright holders.

Kiribati-specific features

Villages and maneabas

Maneaba in Babaroroa, North of Arorae island.

The heart of any Kiribati community is its  Maneaba or meeting house. The maneaba is not just the biggest building in any village; it is the centre of village life and the basis of island and national governance.

There are also church maneabas that belong to its corresponding church, that are usually near to each other. And there are sometimes maneabas inside the schools.

A traditional maneaba is an imposing structure, with slabs of coral supporting a huge roof formed from coconut wood, held together with coconut string and thatched with pandanus leaves. The whole community is involved in its construction, and every aspect of the maneaba has a symbolic as well as a practical function.

But nowadays, many maneabas are constructed with concrete, and the roofs with corrugated metal.

Mapping a maneaba from aerial imagery

Spotting a maneaba when using imagery is normally easy, as you will see a big rectangular building that seems to have an inner roof inside the outer roof. This is due to the way the entire roof is built, as you can see in the image above. Be aware that many maneabas are nowadays built with industrial materials, using corrugated metalic material for the roofs.

Following is a collection of different maneabas around the islands of Kiribati:

Tagging of maneabas

As they are centres of a village life, maneabas should be tagged as:

name=* (in case you know it. Please, avoid name=maneaba)
operator=* (in case you know who operates it)

In the case of church maneabas, they are still quite a community centre. But in the case of school maneabas, they should be tagged as just another building of the school: building=school

Coral atolls

All islands in Kiribati are coral atolls. A coral atoll is a coral reef including a coral rim with cays (sandy islets) that encircle a lagoon. Some atolls in Kiribati don't have lagoon (like Arorae and Tamana in the Gilbert Group). But the majority of atolls do have a lagoon, that usually connects with the coral rim through the spaces between the islands and islets that conform the atoll. Some atolls like Kiritimati (Christmas Island) have one or more lagoons that are completely surrounded by land.

Some of the islets and islands are connected each other through bridges or causeways.


For the tagging of an atoll we will consider an atoll that has a lagoon conected to the sea in different points, and a completely enclosed lagoon inside one of the islands of the atoll, with a small islet inside it. Islands have beaches, forests and residential areas.

The proposed tagging of the whole atoll would be as follows:

  • Trace the coral reef, and tag it as
  • If there are parts where there is no reef, that means, stretches where the open sea enters freely to the lagoon, just connect one end of the reef with the following with a line.
  • In case the reef surrounds all the atoll in one single line, add the following tags to the reef:
name=* Name of the atoll
  • In case the reef consists of several lines, put all of them and the connecting lines between them in a relation:
name=* Name of the atoll
Role is Role outer for all the members.
  • The perimeter line of each islet or island would be tagged in general as:
name=* Name of the island or islet
Remember that the coastline has to be traced with the sea to its right.
But to properly trace beaches, forests, residential areas, etc, we have to do it using multipolygon relations.
This means we will have to cut the coastline in several parts, unless a beach or forest surrounds all the island. If you do that, move the place=island and the name=* to the multipolygon defining the whole island and listing all coastlines as its members with role Role outer.
  • Then, we collect all the lines of the coastline in one relation, as follows:
place=island or place=islet
name=* Name of the island in its original language, if you know it
Needless to say, the members of the multipolygon have to be all the parts of the coastline that conform the island, with role Role outer.
With this tagging schema, we can now reuse any parts of the coasline for beaches, forests, etc.
  • For a beach, it would be a relation like this:
name=* Name of the beach, in case you know it
  • Finally, a lake inside one island should be tagged as:
natural=water or
natural=wetland, depending on what it is.
If you have an islet inside that lake, then you would have to map it as a relation of type=multipolygon, with the perimeter of the lake as role Role outer, and the perimeter of the islet as role Role inner.

Mapping progress

Island group Name Bing Progress Notes Location
Gilbert Islands Abaiang yes 75% roads, atoll, buildings N1.85° E172.94°
Abemama yes 70% roads, some buildings, some pois N0.34° E173.86°
Aranuka yes 65% roads, some buildings N0.16° E173.61°
Arorae yes 80% buildings, some POIs N-2.64° E176.82°
Beru (Island) yes 65% roads, some buildings, names N-1.33° E175.98°
Butaritari yes 40% main road, some features N3.16° E172.79°
Kuria (islands) yes 85% roads, buildings, names, features, correct atoll N0.26° E173.39°
Maiana yes 60% main road, some buildings, names N0.92° E172.99°
Makin (islands) yes 25% airport, lake N3.38° E173.00°
Nikunau yes 65% roads, some buildings, some features N-1.36° E176.46°
Nonouti yes 60% main road, some tracks, some buildings N-0.69° E174.40°
Onotoa yes 65% roads, buildings, features, atoll problem N-1.86° E175.56°
Tabiteuea yes 65% main road, some buildings, features, atoll problem N-1.32° E174.87°
Tamana mostly 65% streets, some buildings N-2.50° E175.98°
Tarawa yes 70% nominatim n.f.!!! road tracks buildings, atoll problem N1.42° E172.98°
Line Islands Caroline Island mb part 5% nominatim nf, PGS only N-9.95° E-150.21°
Flint Island mapbox 95% uninhabited, correct atoll, lakes, features N-11.43° E-151.82°
Kiritimati (Christmas Island) yes 75% N1.95° E-157.47°
Malden Island mapbox 90% uninhabited, a-bomb tests, features N-4.02° E-154.93°
Starbuck Island mapbox 80% features, ruins N-5.64° E-155.90°
Tabuaeran (Fanning Island) yes 70% main road, some buildings N3.88° E-159.33°
Teraina (Washington Island) yes 85% roads tracks buildings N4.68° E-160.38°
Vostok Island no 90% uninhabited N-10.06° E-152.31°
Phoenix Islands Abariringa (Canton Island) yes 80% roads tracks buildings, nominatim nf N-2.81° E-171.68°
Birnie Island mapbox 40% mapbox, lake, woods, uninhabited N-3.58° E-171.52°
Enderbury Island yes 35% woods, uninhabited N-3.13° E-171.08°
Manra Island (Sydney Island) yes 70% lake, woods, uninhabited N-4.45° E-171.24°
McKean Island mapbox 90% mapbox coastline, shipwreck, ruins, uninhabited N-3.59° E-174.12°
Nikumaroro (Gardner Island) mapbox 90% mapbox coastline, natural, features, uninhabited N-4.67° E-174.52°
Orona (Hull Island) yes 20% coastline, uninhabited? N-4.51° E-172.19°
Rawaki Island (Phoenix Island) mapbox 20% coastline, uninhabited N-3.72 E-170.72°
Ocean Island Banaba (Ocean Island) mapbox 65% streets, areas, inhabited N-0.85° E169.54°

Note that the progress percentage is currently only vaguely estimated on subjective appearance.


  • keepright: [1] and [2] (zoom in to see quality issues)

Oceania – Countries and territories
Countries: Australia · Fiji · Kiribati · Marshall Islands · Micronesia · Nauru · New Zealand · Palau · Papua New Guinea · Samoa · Solomon Islands · Tonga · Tuvalu · Vanuatu ·
Territories: American Samoa (US) · Bougainville (PG) · Christmas Island (AU) · Clipperton Island (FR) · Cocos (Keeling) Islands (AU) · Cook Islands (NZ) · French Polynesia (FR) · Guam (US) · New Caledonia (FR) · Niue (NZ) · Norfolk Island (AU) · Mariana Islands (US) · Papua (ID) · Pitcairn Islands (UK) · Tokelau (NZ) · Wallis and Futuna (FR) · United States Minor Outlying Islands (US)