The Offline Expedition is a Wikivoyage Expedition to make it possible to use Wikivoyage offline (while not connected to the Internet).
Reading articles offline
Any smartphone can display Wikivoyage listings on maps, and provide GPS directions:
- Install OsmAnd,
- Within OsmAnd, download the map(s) for each area you plan to visit,
- On GpxMap, select the area you plan to visit and click the download icon,
- Open the resulting .gpx file in OsmAnd to show all listings.
Let the GPS guide you to the listing you want to visit. GPS navigation does not require any Internet connection.
An e-book reader is a tablet-sized device intended for single-purpose use displaying text from books stored on a flash memory card. Most are of limited capability compared to general-purpose Android or its rival platforms; the screens are often monochrome and designed to only take power when turning to the next page. This extends battery life at the expense of no colour or backlighting. File size which can be handled as one "volume" of an electronic book is limited - it may be best to split the guide into ten-megabyte sections where each is a guidebook to one region or one large country, much like printed encyclopaedias are shelved as multiple volumes. Wikipedia has been adapted to this platform by taking a 5000-article subset, replacing images with small thumbnails and splitting the collection into 15 volumes. The devices are small, lightweight and portable.
- .epub Used by Nook and Kobo, among others. Each book volume in this file format is basically an oversize .zip file which contains a web page for each chapter of the book and some XML to provide a table of contents. Sigil is one good, free editor to create .epub books from individual web (html) files.
- .pdf Convenient for laptops, but inconvenient for mobile due to incessant scrolling.
Comparizon of all offline readers
Sorted by last data update:
|Name||Android||iOS||Other||Price||Open source||Size on disk for all destinations||Images||Dynamic maps||Editing||Partial download||Last data update||Notes|
Mac OS X,
|Free||Yes||w. pictures: ~900 MB
without: ~70 MB
|Yes||No||No||No||Every month for the data, every two months for the apps||Easy to read, full-text search, rock-solid app. First install Kiwix then download the ZIM file.|
|OxygenGuide||Yes||No||Kindle, PC||Free||Yes||400MB||No||No||No||No||20150409||Plain simple HTML pages|
|Wiki Triip||No||Yes||No||Free||No||150mb (English version only)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||20130623||Can use built-in map for location-tagged articles. In-page search, bookmarking, change font size, social share, no ads.|
There are several levels of UI we could provide.
- Download a single article. The user would be able to download a single article in Plucker format. The link for Plucker download would be next to the "Printable version" link.
- Download a group of articles. Most travellers won't be going to just one place. It'd be nice if they could add articles to a "shopping cart" of some kind, and then download all the articles in their "cart" at once.
- Download a prepackaged country or region guide. An entire region of Western Europe or one large country like US or Russia as an e-book, sized to fit on a device (such as a portable e-reader) on which the entire world in one huge file would be unmanageable.
- Update articles offline. Of course, the dream scenario is that Wikivoyagers could download articles to their local computer or PDA, edit the articles on the road, and then upload the edited versions when they get back to an Internet connection. This is probably a little pie-in-the-sky, but it sure would make sure we had up-to-date info.
The normal Wikivoyage home page is too crowded and fast-changing for offline readers, instead here is the home page used by the Kiwix-based app.
Other formats that could be used
Other format could theoretically be used:
- TomeRaider http://www.tomeraider.com/ Shareware program. There's already been some work to make Wikipedia available in TomeRaider format, but it's the entire database and adds up to close to one gigabyte of data. Wikivoyage will be a much smaller database, though. There are 2 different versions of the Wikipedia database available - with images and without.
- Plucker http://www.plkr.org/ Free Software. This has some nice features, including better support of images. It also has software included for generating new Plucker pages, which might be useful for Wikivoyage.
- HWiki http://www.hexlet.com/Products/hwiki.html Proprietary Software. This is PalmOS version of Wiki browser/editor. It understands TWiki flavor of Wiki syntax.
- DICT http://www.dict.org/links.html together with Wik2dict. Several free (as in speech) servers and clients available. Plain text, no images, though includes links.
- Encyclopodia http://encyclopodia.sourceforge.net/en/ Free software. Encyclopodia is a Linux-based package which runs on 1st through 4th generation Apple iPods. Its source-tree includes a tool to convert Mediawiki dumps offline for easy parsing on the iPod.
- .mobi Used by Kindle; calibre can convert .epub to this and other formats once any copy protection has been removed from the data (and an .epub generated locally from open-source text should be fine in this respect as it's already free).
- Raw XML As outputted by MediaWiki. Can be converted to a number of formats, imported to a local MediaWiki install, or used directly (as done by Wikifilter. http://wikifilter.sourceforge.net/)
- Wiki2Touch http://www.infodisiac.com/Wikipedia/Wiki2Touch/DownloadFilesW2T.html Free application for Jailbroken iPod touches and iPhones. Takes an xml.bz2 dump of wiki databases and turns it into it own format not much larger than the original file. Works exceptionally well.
- WikiTaxi is an offline reader, viewer, and browser for MediaWiki wikis. WikiTaxi works extremely well on huge Wikipedias (English, German, Japanese, etc) *.xml.bz database dumps. Multi-language support makes sure it works with Wikivoyage also. For Windows. Freeware.
- Evopedia Free open source offline dump reader and browser for MediaWiki wikis using devices default web browser to display results. Target devices include Linux tablets and smartphones using Nokia Maemo OS, OpenMoko SHR, and devices and computers running Ubuntu and Arch Linux distros. Evopedia requires processed dumps available at their website or custom databases which can be made with free tools. Wikivoyage, Wikipedia and Wiktionary dumps are available on Evopedia's site.