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Old discussion from proposal

Copied from Proposed features/External links.

Use this to indicate the english wikipedia's page name for a city (or town, village, etc.)

Comment: But maybe sometimes it is not suitable to concern about only English Wikipedia. There should be a way to select any language which is most related. --Messi 19:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

See also: Collaboration with Wikipedia#Link to Wikipedia articles from within the OSM map data

Note wikipedia articles names will often differ from the names within the name tag.

Special-case: wikipedia=yes to indicate that the wikipedia article has the same name as the city.

For other features, use the tag to indicate that something has its own wikipedia article

Comment: I wish it should it be:

  • wikipedia:en=Moscow (for the english Wikipedia)
  • wikipedia:de=Moskau (for the german version of Wikipedia) Sven Anders 09:32, 8 October 2006 (BST)
I agree to this. There's no reason why English Wikipedia should be preferred. -- Eckhart 13:14, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I think English Wikipedia should be default, but when the page is in another language the language should be mentioned. A good idea is to write the URL in value part.
--Messi 19:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
There is no reason to make the English Wikipedia the default one. Depending on the country of the POI, the "default" language should be chosen (see also the name=* feature). Making one language the default over the locally used language carries the thought of one language being superior to others. That's surely not what we want here in OSM. It's already a problem on projects like Wikimedia Commons. Additionally, I think that devices or computer programms using the data are able to offer the user only those languages he's interested in and/or currently using. That even applies to all the websites, as the preferred language is transferred in the HTTP request. -- MapFlea 07:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
This (wikipedia:xx=yyyy) seems to me the best sollution. I also agree, that no language should be the default one. Leave it to the User to decide! --Peter.doerrie 13:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I think using the URL in the wikipedia tag is the best way to proceed, as this gives an explicit link to the article (e.g. see the London node in the data browser, now that URLs are turned into links) and it includes the language in the URL already so there isn't a need to explicitly specify which version of Wikipedia is being referred to. I've added links in this fashion to most of the places in London (like in this changeset) and the Isle of Man. I believe pointing to the URL gets us a step closer to including OpenStreetMap in the Linked Data cloud as well. --Dankarran 23:55, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

You need to explicitly specify the language since different language Wikipedia articles will have different names. It would be nice to include, for each language, both an article name and URL, since otherwise renders will need to include code to transform an article name into a URL, or vice versa, and if the algorithm for this ever changes on the Wikipedia side it would break all existing applications if the transform is implicitly assumed to be constant by the openstreetmap data. ChrisB 14:14, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Would it be possible to get access to wikipedia's interlanguage links, rather than duplicate their translation effort on OSM?

Totaly agree, but there should be a way to select the main wiki language. Maybe sometimes it is preferred to link to another language of wikipedia except English. --Messi 19:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
There are currently an effort in order to fix the interwiki problem at Wikimedia projects. The proposed solution there is to link each project to a neutral page, avoiding multiple cross-references. This would be and ideal solution to apply to OSM data, but is not working now. --jynus (discusión) 10:16, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Another proposed syntax (the better one)

I'd like to ask everybody to reconsider the choice of wikipedia:xx=Title or wikipedia=URL syntax and instead use wikipedia=xx:Title. Beside being in wide use, this form addresses all of the problems earlier mentioned: the redundancy of title translations and the redundancy in specifying more parts of the URL than are needed, both of which create problems for parsers. A link to any translation of a page is actually a link to the whole group of pages in different languages, it's just a perception that it links to a page in a particular language (in maths those groups are called abstraction classes, if we consider a wikipedia interlink as an equivalence relation). Also there is a pretty good reason to make the English wikipedia the default: it has the highest number of pages, an order of magnitude higher than most other wikipedias, so I propose the form wikipedia=Title be equivalent with wikipedia=en:Title. Note the stuffing "http://<whatever>" in front of the xx:Title form redirects to page (it's one of the nice wikipedia mechanisms) so you get directly to a page about the object, and it's one click away from the page in your desired language, if one exists. This redirection can be trivially done automatically, there are parsers all around for wikipedia pages. (Balrog 03:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC))

As an example redirects to the Spanish page about OSM. From there you get links to all other languages that have a page about OSM. (Balrog 03:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC))

Hi. Thanks for your suggestions. I'm not convinced by the benefits of using wikipedia=xx:Title over wikipedia:xx=Title though. The main advantage seems to be that it's slightly easier for parsers to use (seeing as you can take advantage of the redirect you outlined), but I don't see this as a huge advantage, as it's pretty trivial to translate wikipedia:xx=Title into If you can demonstrate that this scheme is already more common in OSM than wikipedia:xx=Title, then it'd be worth mentioning on the page. So far, I've never seen it in use.
I think the bigger question would be: Should an object have more than one wikipedia tag entry? I.e. should it have e.g. both wikipedia:en=Blah1 and wikipedia:de=Blah2? If "Blah1" and "Blah2" refer to the "same" article and thus can be obtained from inter-wiki links, then the wikipedia=DE:Blah2 makes sense. If however there is a reason to link to different articles in different languages that would not be linked by inter-wiki links as they aren't equivalent articles, then the wikipedia:en tags would make be needed. This is similar to e.g. the maxspeed debates, where the maxspeed:mph key makes little sense, as the speedlimit expressed in miles per hour and expressed in km/h are always the same. On the other hand, the wikipedia:de syntax seems to have a reasonable number of occurrences already (couple of thousands), so perhaps it is best to leave it like that. Amm 23:03, 07 February 2010 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, parsers must now be able to understand both syntax variations. :-( --Fkv 08:16, 26 September 2012 (BST)
I agree that it's not necessary to link to multiple languages though (as mentioned on the page). There may sometimes be reasons not to link to the English version though - perhaps a page only exists in a different language, or simply that the mapper/tagger is more familiar with that language. Frankie Roberto 22:31, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Have the developer of the database in mind. For Wikipedia=lang:xyz you need only one column in the database and it work if you simple link to I create in the moment a tool that link from OSM to Wikipedia [1] and also doing this so we need a solution. So I will change this. --Kolossos 19:40, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I want to revert what I say. There is too much data basis still existing than to change it. And I see a chance to fullfill all the columns with the help of wikipedia interwikilinks.
The next thing is that we can't be sure that a pure "wikipedia=article" is not a mistake because it doesn't link correct to english wikipedia, so I proposal to prohibit this and give it to a mistake to keep right. So only "Wikipeda:lang=article" and "Wikipedia:lang=URL" would be allowed. What do think about this idea. --Kolossos 22:24, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't have current statistics, but in November 2009 there were more wikipedia=<lang>:Title tags than wikipedia:<lang>=Title (79563 versus 42005), so I would rather prohibit the wikipedia:lang=* tag instead of wikipedia=*, but perhaps neither. --Balrog 23:51, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Visualisation displays a map with the different possible forms of external links, especially wikipedia links. This site is an example of how these tags can be used, and how languages should be treated. It's only tested with Firefox. The supported forms are:

  • wikipedia=yes
  • wikipedia=Page Title (English)
  • wikipedia=<lang>:Page Title
  • wikipedia=URL
  • wikipedia:<lang>=Page Title
  • url=http://<lang>
  • website=http://<lang>
  • and some other forms found in openstreetmap database.

It doesn't matter whether "_" (underscore) or " " (space) is used in the page titles.

The website tries to ignore the language of the link and always link directly to the wikipedia language defined by the browser, so for example an object tagged with wikipedia=en:Spain will link toña or depending just on user language. It uses wikipedia's own inter-wiki links for this.

Why we should not deprecate wikipedia=*

I disagree with this edit. First, the reason given for it isn't conclusive: The discussion on talk-de was about whether we should abolish wikipedia:lang=*. There were objections against doing that, so we should probably keep those tags for now. Not deprecating wikipedia:lang=*, however, doesn't mean that we have to deprecate wikipedia=lang:*!

What people on talk-de did agree on was that Wikipedia's interlanguage links can be used to provide localized Wikipedia articles where they exist. Unless we want to act against that consensus, we actually cannot abolish wikipedia=lang:*: If there is more than one wikipedia:lang=* tag (and that possibility is the one reason to keep them, after all), it would be impossible to select the article to retrieve the interlanguage links from!

Thus, there needs to be one "primary" wikipedia link, and the wikipedia=* key is the appropriate tool for that - precisely because of the fact that there can be only one of these. --Tordanik 22:03, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

For that matters, even the "primary" wikipedia link can be replaced by a single "wikidata" to provide the list of wikipedias (preferable to using a reference to a single wikidata which may be restructured (splitted/merged with another article) or renamed (for example by appending a disambiguation suffix when a new homonymy occurs), while the wikidata entry will remain and will track all these changes (including the replacement of a link to a distinctive article by a link to another article with an anchor).
Wikidata is more stable than any other wikipedia link, even if sometimes some wikidata entries are deleted (this occurs rarely, but happens when two entries for the same entity are detected and merged, but even in that case Wikidata keeps a redirect that preserves the old Qnnnn id at least as a redirected alias: Qnnnn ids are normally never reused).
In summary, we can avoid most problems by adding Wikidata in OSM: if any wikipedia=* or wikipedia:lang=* tag causes problems later, we can inspect the wikidata entry and fix these OSM tags, or simply drop them.
However some minimal wikipedia=* tag can be kept, and ideally it should be the article in the primary language spoken in that area (this is normally the article which is the most relevant and most updated, all other wikipedias are more or less based on that)
this means that if someone has put a "wikipedia=de:Platzname" link to a German Wikipedia article for a place where German is not even spoken there (e.g. in UK or France), it should be replaced by "wikipedia=PlaceName" or "wikipedia=fr:NomDeLieu" depending on the location, if that article exists for the relevant language (for France and UK, you can be almost always sure that these places have an article if these are municipalities or names of larger entities, or a suburb in large municipalities). There's in fact little use (or no use at all) to keep (ans maintain) the link to article in German in "wikipedia:de=Platzname" : if you drop that entry, then please consider adding "wikidata=Qnnnn" in OSM tags if it is missing (make sure that the article kept in "wikipedia=PlaceName" or "wikipedia=fr:NomDeLieu" has an entry in Wikidata and add it to Wikidata, and add to Wikidata the other link to Wikipedia in German you found and checked: it is easy to do that directly from Wikipedia using the languages sidebar which has an easy wizzard to add another language: it creates automatically any wikidata item that is missing (but it will not add any other Wikidata properties, and does not add any description label that you may want to fill in from data collected from the wikipedia articles you found).
Then all the maintenance will be centralized in Wikidata, which as stronger semantics than Wikipedia or OSM themselves; OSM data will be more stable, and you won't have to edit also pages in hundreds of Wikipedias. In addition Wikdata is more friendly than any Wikipedia for the language spoken by contributors, it is fully multilingual, and provides many semantic checks for its many item properties, whch means that Wikidata can easily detect many more errors.
But of course, make sure you correctly set in OSM the correct "wikidata=Qnnn" id ! In case of errors, keeping only "wikipedia=PlaceName" or "wikipedia=fr:NomDeLieu" will not allow our own OSM QA tools to detect incoherences, but using both will provide us a way to repair in case one or the other is no longer relevant or contained an error (it is not easy to do that in OSM data if all we have is "wikidata=Qnnnn"). — Verdy_p (talk) 10:15, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
The "wikidata" has a lot of potential, but it is far from addressing issues of the real world. For example:
  • There are many places where the "main language" is hard to determine.
  • Wikidata does not identify the "main language" for the wikipedia articles.
  • Many countries have multiple official languages and many of them require equality between them.
  • Neither wikidata nor OSM have a simple interface for convert a "wikidata=Qnnnn" tag into a wikipedia link in a desired language.
For example, I wish that given an "wikidata=Q9876" OSM tag, there will be a link that would open the Arabic Wikipedia article on this OSM entry.
  • The process required for showing a wikipedia article in a language different than the "wikipedia=" tag is manual, cumbersom, and unknown for many users.
My conclusions:
  1. Deprecating "wikipedia" tag is premature.
  2. The "wikipedia:<lang>" tags are required for certain OSM entities.
Zstadler (talk) 12:23, 23 January 2018 (UTC)


Wer kann die Artikelseite auf Deutsch übersetzen? Danke, --Markus 07:25, 24 September 2010 (BST)

Mach ich. --Tordanik 12:34, 24 September 2010 (BST)

Primary language of choice - wp links in map data

from Ceyockey — During the uploading of Department and Municipality data for Colombia (see 2010 Colombia floods/ImportDept, for instance), I have been adding wikipedia=* with values of es:xxxxx. The presumption here is that tagging with language-specific links to wikipedia which conform to the main / official language of the country / locality where a map feature exists would be desirable versus tagging everything to either English or a polyglot of all available wp-languages. It would be useful if I could get some affirmation that this is generally in-line with consensus ... or that it flies in the face of consensus; either would be useful. Thanks. (15:27, 28 January 2011 (UTC))

Sounds fine, also if I prefer wikipedia:es=XXXXX ,but this makes not big different. --Kolossos 20:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
One thing which goes hand-in-hand with the use of single-language links into Wikipedia is that this should not be a dead-end for people following the link. I've found that somewhat more than 80% of all of the es:xxx articles for the Colombian municipalities are represented in the English Wikipedia and have inter-language links implemented (es→en and es←en). In those cases where the link is missing, best practice would be to implement the inter-language links in Wikipedia when putting the link into the OSM data. Should the 2nd language always be English? No; in my opinion, the 2nd language should be the editor's primary language or English if the editor's primary language is the language they are working in (for instance a native spanish speaker would verify the existence of the english link in a spanish article; a native german speaker would verify the existence of a german link in the spanish article). --Ceyockey 15:23, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Scope for valid Wikipedia links

Should the Wikipedia tag only be used to link to an article which is about the actual feature on the ground (ie from Buckingham Palace in OSM to the article in Wikipedia about the palace)? If so, then I would suggest that these more general wikipedia links should be discouraged:

Personally I think Wikipedia links should probably only be used to link to an article which is very specific about to the relevant physical feature and probably only where it would be appropriate to add a geo-code to the relevant Wikipedia article linking back to the OSM feature? Any thoughts? Possibly we could recommend a new 'operator:wikipedia' tag for the above if people insist on including them.

-- PeterIto 16:03, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia links are for the "article about the feature". Not for articles merely related to the feature - such as articles about the feature's operator, the feature's architect, the category of things the feature belongs to (I have seen links to Wikipedia articles about a tree species...) or anything like that.
I don't really have a suggestion for tagging those "if you are interested in this place, our mappers think you might also want to read these more-or-less related Wikipedia articles" links, though. Maybe it's best to just avoid them entirely due to their subjectivity, but wikipedia:operator, wikipedia:architect, wikipedia:species, ... could be a compromise. --Tordanik 13:33, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks. I totally agree. The only question I have now is, should it be 'wikipedia:operation' or 'operator:wikipedia' (should someone insist in including it). Personally I think it should be the later. I will now clarify in the article that links should only be to an 'article about the feature'. PeterIto 13:02, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't insist on either wikipedia:operator vs. operator:wikipedia, using wikipedia:operator as an example was simply based on existing tags such as source:name/addr/operator etc. without any particular reason for or against it. --Tordanik 13:53, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Fine by me. I suspect that the namespace stacking is a bit random across OSM as yet, but lets stick with your proposed ordering. I am adjusted the article. PeterIto 16:27, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Another thought. Would it be reasonable to suggest that where there is a main wikipedia link to a directly relevant article that secondary links should be discouraged? For example, if there is already a link from St Paul's to wikipedia then should one discourage the inclusion of a secondadry link to the architect? I suggest that we should discourage it, especially as the architect is linked from the infobox in wikipedia article. PeterIto 13:14, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
This depends on the circumstances. for St Paul's, the architect is mentioned (and is available programmatically, to computers) in the article. But for a statue of, say, James Watt, the article on Watt will not give the sculptor. Note also discussion in the following section. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:02, 18 June 2012 (BST)

Linking to related subjects

For objects like statues, memorials, and (blue) plaques it seems reasonable to link to the Wikipedia article about the person or event commemorated, where there is no article about the object specifically. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:17, 13 June 2012 (BST)

I hear what you are saying, but can be make a distinction between a link to an article which is directly associated and one which is related. How about wikipedia:related=* or something. One would have to consider what to do if there were more than one related articles. PeterIto 13:56, 13 June 2012 (BST)
I also think that if this is done, it should not use the same tag that is used for articles about the object itself. So if you want to do this despite the problems, please use something like wikipedia:related. There is the more fundamental issue that "being related to" is subjective, though, and that there are potentially many "related" articles: Is a statue related to the person commemorated or to the artist who created it, for example? --Tordanik 14:15, 13 June 2012 (BST)
In that case, we may be better with wikipedia:subject=*, wikipedia:sculptor=*, wikipedia:architect=* (or possibly a more generic wikipedia:maker=*) and so on. I'll be glad to use such tags, once a community consensus as to what they should be is identified. However, note that I only suggested a single link for the subject; as does another mapper in the section above. Conversely, though, note also that using such Wikipedia links will help to disambiguate between two sculptors, architects etc., or indeed, subjects, with the same name. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 11:53, 18 June 2012 (BST)
Makes sense. A Wikipedia link for an architect is is a much better link than a text field for the architect's name. To be clear, are you suggesting that the wikipedia:subject=* would do same job as done currently by wikipedia=*? PeterIto 12:24, 18 June 2012 (BST)
No; I'm suggesting that for cases where the article is about the subject of an object (a plaque, memorial or statue), but not about the object itself. BTW, please don't leave white space between comments; wiki markup colons are rendered as HTML definition list items; and white space breaks that. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:28, 18 June 2012 (BST)
I see no need to make a distinction. If there's a wikipedia article about the object, link to that article. Otherwise link to the article about the subject of the object. When a wikipedia article is created on the object itself later, we can replace the link. Keys like wikipedia:architect would tempt mappers to set a bunch of such kind of wikipedia:* tags on any object, making OSM function as an encyclopedia. I think that we should leave that to Wikipedia and keep our focus on geographical data. --Fkv 07:59, 27 September 2012 (BST)
The need arises because I don't want operator wikipedia links in my map at all - or at least not indistinguishable from articles about the feature itself which are much more interesting for me -, and this decision can only really be made by a map designer if these use a separate key. You are right, though, that it isn't really a good idea to duplicate all of Wikipedia's internal links in OSM. I would like these to be used mainly if there is no main wikipedia link. If there is one, and it has e.g. an infobox with links to these related articles, then the additional wikipedia:* tags in OSM seem somewhat redundant indeed. --Tordanik 09:32, 27 September 2012 (BST)
I added language specification to the proposal, because it's necessary to be machine readable. --Kolossos 11:23, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
There is a discussion (currently in German) about this topic in relation to Wikipedia articles of memorial (Stolpersteine) subjects: Talk:Stolpersteine#wikipedia. --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 14:36, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

is it wikipedia=lang:"page name" or wikipedia:lang="page name"?

This page is very confusing. At the top it seems to suggest that wikipedia=lang:"page name" is the preferred usage, but towards the bottom it suggests wikipedia:lang="page name". It's not clear to be which is the best practice, see also my diary entry on the topic: --Fiveisalive 20:19, 11 September 2012 (BST)

Always use wikipedia=lang:"page name". That Wikipedia page will then contain links to articles in other languages and these can be parsed automatically. Therefore, that one tag is usually sufficient.
Only where one of these interlanguage links within Wikipedia is missing or not appropriate, and this cannot be corrected within Wikipedia, add wikipedia:lang="page name" for that language. That's what the text at the bottom is essentially about. --Tordanik 23:47, 11 September 2012 (BST)
That text is a botch. If wikipedia=lang:"page name" is the preferred syntax, multiple values should be joined with semicolons. If semicolons are considered bad, wikipedia:lang="page name" should be preferred in the first place. --Fkv 08:27, 26 September 2012 (BST)
Think about it this way: The wikipedia=lang:"page name" tagging is used to link to a set of articles (connected with each other on Wikipedia through interlanguage links), whereas wikipedia:lang="page name" links to a single article for that language only.
The distinction is necessary to make conflict handling unambiguous. Otherwise, you might end up with wikipedia:de=A and wikipedia:en=B, and wouldn't know which article's interlanguage links for French, Spanish and Chinese you should give preference to. --Tordanik 11:11, 26 September 2012 (BST)
I would take the first that I come across. --Fkv 19:19, 26 September 2012 (BST)
Which is completely unhelpful because the order is pretty much random with separate tags and only one of these articles will have the "right" interlanguage links. Essentially, a mapper would always have to tag all (potentially dozens) of article links if two languages have inconsistent sets of links. --Tordanik 00:15, 27 September 2012 (BST)
If there's an inconsistency in Wikipedia data, this should be corrected in Wikipedia. It's no good to do inconsistent tagging in OSM (see topic) as a workaround for inconsistencies in Wikipedia. That just doubles the headache. --Fkv 07:35, 27 September 2012 (BST)
As I've mentioned before, correcting Wikipedia is of course preferable - if it's something they also consider wrong. However, Wikipedia considers some situations "correct" that still require us to add exceptions, so these will not be fixed on their side. The most common case (which is even mentioned as an example on the article page) are list articles. These cannot be properly integrated into an interlanguage article set, but are nevertheless common practice in Wikipedia. --Tordanik 09:21, 27 September 2012 (BST)

How about Wikidata?

The interlanguage links in Wikipedia are almost globally managed by Wikidata now. Should we at some point migrate to using Wikidata entries instead of Wikipedia entries? --Palnatoke (talk) 14:34, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

And then I saw that it is already mentioned here... --Palnatoke (talk) 14:35, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I think we came to the conclusion to use wikipedia=d:* (prefered) and wikipedia:d=*, for example wikipedia=d:Q173882 for St Paul’s Cathedral. That would fit perfectly into the established syntax. Can we simply change the article text? --Reclus (talk) 12:40, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Tags are supposed to be human readable and editable. Sure, go ahead and add wikidata=* with fancy values if you want to, but if there exists a wikipedia article, use that title as the value for wikipedia=*. Alv (talk) 21:41, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
The knowledge about WD will raise. For sure, a name is nicer (and no problem if it is added as a start), but more fragile if the article is renamed for example. Unsupported charcodes on the clientside could be a problem, too. Think of changing a persian wikipedia article name on a low end mobile editor. Double content (WD and WP) to the same thing is not maintainable. --Zuse (talk) 07:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the problem is that d is not a language.--Shmias (talk) 10:05, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
I am definitely for the use of the Wikidata code. I am aware that it will be less understandable by users; however, this will (1) rule out the problems of the articles being renamed, (2) automatically add new articles. I personnaly think that the pros outweight the cons by far. Chtfn (talk) 03:12, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
The admin of WIWOSM said, that not so many articles are renamed. The link is quite stable. If we link to one language the interwikilinks will "automatically add new articles" as well.--Zuse (talk) 07:06, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Adding tags automatically

I'm working on a proposal to automate the addition of Wikipedia tags to some OSM features. Please see User:Pigsonthewing/Wikipedia and comment on the talk page there. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 07:53, 12 September 2013 (UTC)