Wikivoyage:Offline reader Expedition

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Offline version of Wikivoyage running on Kiwix

The Offline Reader Expedition is a Wikivoyage Expedition to make it possible to download and use Wikivoyage articles off-line (while not connected to the Internet.)


Sorted by last data update:

Name Android iOS Other Price Open source Size on disk for all destinations Images Maps Editing Partial down​load Last data update Notes
Kiwix Yes Yes Windows,
Mac OS X,
Free Yes w. pictures: ~900 MB
without: ~70 MB
Yes Yes No No < 1 month Easy to read, full-text search, rock-solid app. First install Kiwix then download the ZIM file.
OxygenGuide Yes No Kindle, PC Free Yes 267MB No No No No 20131130 Plain simple HTML pages
Wikivoyage Offline • World Travel Guides No Yes No Free No 80MB (English Version) 40MB (German Version) Soon No No No 20130706 No Ads! Offers in-page search, bookmarking, and other features.
Wiki Triip No Yes No Free No 150mb (English version only) Yes Yes Yes No 20130623 Beautiful interface. All Wikipedia pages can be used offline. Can use built-in Map for location-tagged articles, best reading experience,in-page search, bookmarking, change Font size, Social share. No ads. Monthly updated by
MediaWiki XML to phonegap Soon Possibly Possibly Free GPLv2+ around 250MB No No No No soon Simple HTML, based on
Screenshot of OxygenGuide

E-book generator[edit]

Wikivoyage now has partial and experimental support for creating books, which can be exported to PDF, EPUB or printed as bound paper books. Special:Book lets you get started creating your own books, or see Help:Books on Wikipedia for an illustrated tutorial.

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.
  • OpenDocument
  • OpenZIM
  • .pdf Poorly-supported at this screen size. A PDF is already formatted for print at a specific page size (typically A4 or 8.5 x 11") which doesn't easily fit within the 7" or 8" screens on a typical e-reader. The file will display, but one must scroll constantly to attempt to read it. Wikimedia's book generation tools (on the wiki sidebar) do support this format to generate documents for laptop/desktop PC's or for print.

Some devices will support additional formats, typically a subset of those originally developed for books on PDA's. An e-book reader is not a general-purpose computer and (unlike PDAs/smartphones or standard tablets) there is typically no ability to edit documents on the device itself. It is not possible to deploy applications which contain executable code. An offline reader file targeted to these readers will be usable on a tablet or other intelligent device; it therefore is valuable as a lowest common denominator.

User interface brainstorming[edit]

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[edit]

Other format could theoretically be used:

  • TomeRaider 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 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 Proprietary Software. This is PalmOS version of Wiki browser/editor. It understands TWiki flavor of Wiki syntax.
  • DICT together with Wik2dict. Several free (as in speech) servers and clients available. Plain text, no images, though includes links.
  • Encyclopodia 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.
  • Wiki2Touch 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) * 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.