WikipediaVision (beta). Anonymous edits to English Wikipedia (almost) in real-time. Back to the map.


What is this all about?

WikipediaVision is a visualization of edits to the English (and the German, French, Spanish, Swedish) Wikipedia, almost the same time as they happen. The idea came after seeing flickrvision and twittervision, both created by Dave Troy. WikipediaVision, however, was designed and implemented by me alone.

What is exactly displayed?

For each wikipedia edit I display a box with the title of the article, the summary of the edit (if the person who made it gave any summary), link to the changes that were made to the article, geographical location of the wikipedia user and the time the edit happened. Additionally, if you click the link of the active language on the bottom of the page, a list appears with the most recent edits. The pop-up box can be hidden by moving the mouse cursor away. Additionally some charts can be viewed with a rough estimate of the amount of activity on Wikipedia. Here is a snapshot of the latest edits.

How do you know about who edits what?

There is a public page on wikipedia that is automatically updated and contains all the recent edits, as well as the user name or IP address of anyone who edits an article.

How do you find out the geographical locations?

There are open APIs for translating IP addresses to their corresponding geographical locations, such as hostip.info or GoNew's IP to country service for online geolocation. Currently I am using a database available from MaxMind.

Are the locations always accurate?

No. They are just as accurate as the services above. Some of the locations can be mistaken, for some addresses only the country name is found, for others the location can not be found at all.

Are all the edits displayed?

No. First of all, edits on wikipedia happen at a faster rate, than what is comfortably readable, so I have to skip some of them. Second, a good part of the edits are done by registered users. Their IP address is protected by wikipedia, therefore I could only display anonymous edits. Thirdly, those edits, where the IP address could not be located are skipped. Fourth, edits that are similar or identical to recent edits are often skipped. This still leaves more than enough to be visualized.

Is this at least a statistically representative sample of wikipedia edits (whatever that means)?

No. There are many biases introduced. We only see anonymous edits. We only see edits from IP addresses that could be located. If the location found is very generic (such as European Union), then it is not visualized at all. Hopefully WikipediaVision still captures a general sense of what people are thinking about all over the world.

Do you use any other services in WPV?

For displaying the map I use the Google Maps API, for the charts I use the Google Chart API, for displaying the javascript pop-up box I use Walter Zorn's tooltip library, for displaying the labels on the snapshot map I use the ELabel extension. A big thanks to the creators of all these services. Additionally, I am grateful to Wikimedia Germany and Wikimedia Sweden for their technical help regarding the running of WPV.

How can I support your work?

You can support my projects by buying yourself something at Amazon following this link (I get a tiny percentage through the Amazon affiliate program and there is no extra cost to you). Some books I found interesting recently are listed on the front page.

Who are you?

László Kozma, I am was a grad-student at the Helsinki University of Technology. If you want more info about me, my projects, or want to contact me, check out my page or write to LKozma@gmail.com .

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© László Kozma. See my other projects.