Wikivoyage talk:How to use dynamic maps

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Archived discussions

layer W always and not just by default[edit]

Am I right in assuming that the layer parameter does not accept M, O or anything that is external due to user privacy?

At least this is what is written in the description. But also we describe different options, which however have to effect on the displayed map.

Should we adjust the documentation therefore?

Cheers Ceever (talk) 11:21, 22 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How-to video: Create district overview maps[edit]

Swept in from the pub

User *angys* asked me how to create dynamic district overview maps like in Kuala Lumpur or Amsterdam. Thus I made an explanatory video for him. Hopefully it can be helpful to other editors as well:

Create GeoJSON with JOSM and upload to Wikimedia Commons

Some additional explanation

In short there are two options to create a district overview map:

1a. only
Go to, draw the lines/polygons, give them the desired color and title. Copy the GeoJSON file and proceed to step 2. A certain disadvantage with this solution is, that you cannot merge nodes. So if you have 2 polygons right next to each other, they won't be perfectly aligned. With the solution in 1b this problem is nonexistent.
1b. JOSM & (shown in the video above)
Draw polygons as desired and export as .geojson. Important: The export of polygons to .geojson only works as expected in JOSM, if the polygons have a describing tag assigned to it, which is normally applied to an area (e.g. landuse=residential)! You can assign the title tag to each polygon/line right in JOSM, if you don't want to do it in (e.g. title=[[Amsterdam/Noord|Noord]]).
2. Upload to Commons
Create a new map in Wikimedia Commons and paste in the GeoJSON created in 1.
3. Create mapmasks
In order to grey out the irrelevant parts of a district article map you can paste the GeoJSON from 2. into the tool Mapmask <-> GeoJSON Converter to create the mapmask code.

--Renek78 (talk) 02:05, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In case you don't want to give Google clicks: File:Create GeoJSON with JOSM and upload to Wikimedia Commons.webm. Thanks for this, Rene. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:27, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Justin, sounds like a reasonable alternative. Just the resolution is quite poor. --Renek78 (talk) 03:19, 4 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Help exporting mapframe[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Hello! Basque Wikimedians have created a version of WikiVoyage inside Wikibooks (a temptative to see if we can have a community working on tourism related information). The project is on b:eu:Euskal_Herriko_bidaia-gida, but I would like to start adding the great mapframe option. I think I have copied everything needed (b:eu:Lankide:Theklan/Proba_orria) but can't get the listing appear on the map. It may be some .js or .css missing (we are working on having permissions for that) but I would like to know if something else is missing. Thanks! -Theklan (talk) 21:35, 18 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alexander who helped with a map problem a few days ago, or Roland maybe know something? --Ypsilon (talk) 16:29, 19 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikibooks appears not to have group or show parameters implemented for mapframe and maplink. The same situation exists for wikipedia. A solution would be to make a single mapframe (FeatureCollection) with multiple features (ie. with type Point). Separate listings (doubling the work required) would use individual maplinks. Copying templates etc. can be useful and yet unsuccessful because of underlying code. I don't think they will change Kartographer. -- Matroc (talk) 05:06, 20 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Matroc: Ok... so it is something that should be implemented in the core and cannot be solved with the templates? -Theklan (talk) 15:58, 20 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I posted was an observation from what I experienced with wikipedia. First I would find out for sure if this is indeed the issue from those that know more than I. Note: from - The groups feature is only available in Wikivoyage (per VisualEditor team request). If something can be modified to make templates etc. work as envisaged would be great (best outcome). If not, then templates etc. would probably need to be modified (perhaps re-imagined) to produce some semblance of what you are trying to achieve. Don't give up... wait and see!. there are plenty of great minds out there and an awesome community. -- Matroc (talk) 04:34, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mapshapes missing[edit]

I can't figure out why the mapshapes for Zambia and Zimbabwe are not showing on the second map at Southern Africa#Cities. It seems everything is right on Wikidata and OpenStreetMap. Any ideas? Travelwriter1000 (talk) 15:41, 24 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Same problem at Namibia#Regions and Southwest Angola, for example. The mapshapes are absolutely there on Wikidata. I'm probably asking in the wrong place. Travelwriter1000 (talk) 18:59, 24 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to color a map[edit]

Swept in from the pub

At Florida Panhandle there is a map of the region which is supposed to be colored as stated at Florida Panhandle#Regions. However, the Emerald Coast and Forgotten Coast are miscolored, one being colored in gray and the other not being colored at all -- and, for that matter, I can't even tell from this which subregion is which. Could someone point out a help page or guide which explains how we color maps like this? --Metropolitan90 (talk) 04:18, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe SelfieCity might know more about coloured maps, but I think this also has something to do with Wikidata. I think hex colours are also used, but not too sure. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:27, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On my screen the colors look fine. However, I’m aware that regions on dynamic maps intermittently don’t show, which is why we like static maps. I could do more to distinguish between the two purple colors, but I’m not sure how to fix the intermittent problem. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:25, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) @Metropolitan90: Dynamic maps expedition and How to use dynamic maps seem to be the pages you're looking for.
That said, I see no miscolouring myself by looking at the source code for #Regions. All of them use the same standard colours in the dynamic map template ({{mapshape}}) as they do in {{Regionlist}}. That said, mapshapes are printed with an opacity of what I believe is 50%, so that the underlying map can still be seen and used. This can mess with colours a bit. That said, have a look at {{StdColor}} and pick out alternative standard colours that would be more distinguishable from each other, and then enter those codes (T##) into the mapshape and regionlist templates. For maps with only a handful of regions I usually stick with T2, T5, T7, T9 and T10 myself, but legibility of the colours can also be improved by not letting regions with similar colours border each other. -- Wauteurz (talk) 11:33, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure what's changed since I started this thread, since I don't see any edits to the page since then, but now I can see four different colors for the four regions on the map. (Previously, it had not been clear to me that one of the regions was noncontiguous.) So if someone solved the problem, thank you to that person. Thank you to Wauteurz for providing some additional links as well. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 16:11, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. As I noted in my previous comment, it’s an intermittent problem. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:20, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wonder if there's anything that can be done about it. I see it all the time on the Portugal articles. Even the country article uses a dynamic map, because the regions changed not long ago, and I have zero static map skills. I suspect that OpenStreetMap is throttling us. Wikidata could also be the culprit, but that's unlikely; I think they're just a part of the chain of events between OSM and WV. Nelson Ricardo 2500 (talk) 20:14, 29 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do the regions fall on government boundaries? If so, making a static map isn’t hard. However, if they don’t follow political boundaries, I’m not sure how to convert to a Wikivoyage-style static map. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:28, 31 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know I will swerve off-topic, as I have some fairly strong opinions about maps here, but I'll try to steer away from those.
@Nelson Ricardo 2500: There is indeed a fix and it is a relatively easy fix, though it is a different approach altogether: Make a dynamic map with static regions instead of relying on the Wikidata/OSM link. What does that mean? It means creating a GeoJSON file through one of several online tools such as and/or, exporting those files, and uploading them to Commons, to then use them in the dynamic map directly. This is already done for quite a few districts, such as those for Amsterdam. If Wikidata proves to be unreliable over time, which in this case would apply, I'd suggest we cut out that middleman and call the regions from Commons directly. The bonus advantage being that GeoJSONs take a lot less time to create than static maps, meaning that they're easier to update and easier to make. Honestly, I think that Wikivoyage would benefit from making this the standard for countries and everything above it, as it is by far more reliable. It feels to me as if most of the problems we experience with dynamic maps is with Wikidata, OSM or the link between those two.
@SelfieCity: Boundaries don't matter that much on static maps. I personally take screenshots of OSM, stitch them together, and build static maps on top of them. Lousy stitching makes a few alignment errors here and there, but nothing that would matter in the long run. If you have enough detail on those screenshots, the political boundaries don't matter that much at all, as you can often find the features on the map that the boundaries-to-be-drawn are based upon. The problem with static maps is moreso that if you want to do them well, they take an awfully long time to make. I've got maps in the works that are 80% done, with just infrastructure to add, but that is tedious work, and I am a bit of a perfectionist myself. Regardless, I have maps for Wales and Brussels that are in that phase, with about 20 hours of work on both, but finishing them is annoying work that I keep on putting off. Updating maps is even less enjoyable.
Here's something I wonder though: Would more people be interested in creating maps (in general) if the information was less all-over the place. For dynamic maps specifically, information is spread between expeditions, WV namespace and templates. For static maps, there's a sizeable learning curve to overcome. Also, do we still see static maps as a necessity? I would argue that they're not. A well-made dynamic map does the same as a static map would, but a lot better. For one, it is zoom-able, scrollable and browse-able, whereas a static map is just a JPEG or PNG and needs additional information written in text to back it up. This is definitely off-topic from this discussion though, but I am still wondering about this.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 15:15, 31 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've always felt that static maps are outside of my skill set, and that makes it more difficult to consider improvements in regional organization of articles, as I mentioned in Talk:Northern Ontario recently. A "how to" guide would get me started on trying to create maps. Ground Zero (talk) 16:32, 31 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I like static maps due to their reliability, but the info about GeoJSON does shift my opinion toward dynamic maps. Wauteurz, what program do you use to import static map layers? I’d be interested in trying but question whether the info at our tutorial is up to date. And do you use Inkscape? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:05, 31 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@SelfieCity: Following GZ's response above, I've gone ahead and compiled the pages I know of into a single place with a bit of context so it's at least a bit easier to find for now. If you'll look at the comments I added in the source text, then yes, you would find that I tend to agree that the information we supply is in most cases outdated, superfluous, or just unnecessary and causing more confusion than needed. For example, some of the services/tools listed aren't working any more due to mergers or changes of hosts - heck, even OSM itself only allows for exporting XML data. That's hardly useful for static maps. Giving half a dozen different methods doesn't make troubleshooting that easy either. Regardless, my process uses:
  • The equipment I use is Inkscape indeed (v0.98 because I don't like 1.x, but that's because of personal preference);
  • The Windows Snippet Tool or a similar program that lets you capture what is displayed in a single active window;
  • Firefox, but any modern browser should work.
The process then is as follows:
  • Boot up Inkscape, and create a layer for the background material. I often name it "src" or "map". Names don't matter though, it's whatever works for you.
  • Open up OpenStreetMap in your browser, and using Inspect Element (Shortcut: F12), remove the headers and adjust the window. This would need more explanation in a real manual for sure, but the elements are transparent anyway, so it's not an essential step, merely a convenient one. The only element I leave is the scale bar in the bottom left for the one our map needs. You should be able to mouse-over elements on the page to see what's what and then be able to disable those elements. If you pick the wrong thing, then simply undo with Ctrl+Z. It doesn't require a lot of knowledge, but you need to know what to remove.
  • Scroll to a scale that you want, and start making screenshots with some overlap on each other, then paste these into Inkscape lining them up properly as you go. This will create some error margin, but if you take your time, it'll be acceptable for a static map.
    Sidenote, there may be free-to-use source material available that's easier to work with than OSM screenshots. The Netherlands, for example, has OpenTopo. Also, tools exist for automatic stitching, Photoshop is one of them. I don't like working with Adobe programs though, so I avoid it myself.
  • Once the map is done, lock it in your layers menu so you can't accidentally move things about, and start adding the other layers. They should, from top to bottom, be something along the lines of: Frame (Map edges and elements such as the title and scale bar), Annotation (labels and markers), Infrastructure (rail, then highway and national routes), Water (seas, rivers, streams and lakes), Borders (optionally sublayers for the lines and fill, but you can combine both into one shape. Whatever works best for you), after that the previously mentioned map layer, and at the very bottom a background layer with a solid colour for "Other regions" or open water, whichever one is more numerous.
  • From there, you can add things in whatever order you want. Pretty much everything is done with the Bézier tool. I personally do waterways before borders, as borders can be defined by waterways, and I don't like having the borders overlap with waterways.
    Also a sidenote, I colour water a bit different from the templates. Open water becomes  #abd4e0  for me. It looks more vibrant and attractive. I can't reliably apply the pattern in the templates myself, and besides, that pattern makes things like ferry routes difficult to make out.
If you want to have some reference maps from me, I consider my maps for Sydfynske Øhav and Luxembourg to be my best. For static layers on dynamic maps, I will be making a proper manual someday once I've figured it out myself. I'm working on expanding Rotterdam to have districts, so I am working on a map for it in that context. As another note, I am also working on making a better palette for region colours, since, well, {{StdColor}} isn't close to perfect, and being colourblind myself, there's three colours in there that I avoid at all cost. All that considered, perhaps a discussion on the future of maps is in place. Going all-in on dynamic would make switching palettes a lot easier, and would uncomplicate the entire mapmaking process a tonne.
Also, a final thought, when updating/rewriting the manuals, would it perhaps be easier to link to YouTube for Inkscape tutorials? I guess it depends a lot on the person, but I hardly have patience to sit down and read the Inkscape written manual, and seeing someone do something similar before your own eyes makes the process easier to replicate. That's all personal experience though. I'm not even sure the spam filter will accept YouTube links to be made in the first place...
-- Wauteurz (talk) 22:12, 31 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would it be OK to link to YouTube, considering what's stated in what not to link to? Avoid linking to secondary sources. For example, avoid links to: Personal image galleries and photo/video sharing websites (Flickr, Webshots, YouTube, etc). We'd have to agree on an exception or change the guidelines (which are also under discussion in relation to London on foot‎‎). Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:53, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. Does that policy apply outside the main/article namespace? Nelson Ricardo 2500 (talk) 01:49, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you mean on talk pages? No, it doesn't apply to talk pages. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:54, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, anywhere outside travel pages (aka mainspace). So does it apply to pages in the Wikivoyage space? (eg WV:$). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:41, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
External links doesn't give that exception, right? If you'd like to propose that, please start a thread at Wikivoyage talk:External links. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:18, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not worth generalizing everything on YouTube into the trash, because specifically for Inkscape tutorials, there are ones out there that are considerably more useful and more accessible than Inkscape's own manual. Logos By Nick comes to mind. Nevertheless, YouTube is globally blacklisted, and whitelisting it here likely causes more damage than needed, as I don't think a specific namespace can get an exception. I don't see a need for discussion as many of the tutorials I would want to link are also available through these creators' own websites, which can be linked instead. External links does not seem to cover Wikivoyage namespace, so it seems that we're fine on that front, but correct me if I am wrong.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 11:29, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wauteurz: Thanks for the very detailed explanation. I’m inferring that you trace the OSM map rather than import its data? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 10:23, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SelfieCity: Correct. My method more or less fits in under "2. Maps drawn by hand" in the manual. 1 isn't supported by OSM any more while 3 and 4 require the creator to review the map on what to include (not every road is necessary). I personally find it better practise to rely more on myself in that case and to just draw the entire thing from scratch. It perhaps makes the process somewhat longer, but I don't mind that much.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 11:08, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Google isn't blacklisted on this site; it's just not supposed to be linked in articles. Therefore, this proposed exception is worth a discussion. The object of a discussion isn't to hinder but to make sure decisions are made collectively. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:47, 1 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wauteurz, thanks for the information. I might have some time to work on this during the Labor Day weekend. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:25, 4 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"neighbourhood maps"[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I've always wondered on how these should be formatted. They're not usually standard in district articles (and in fact, the only one I could find was Sydney/City East), but I did a small experiment today with Canberra/Civic with the use of a "neighbourhood map" (or whatever they're called). It did leave me with three questions though, merely because we don't have other examples of such maps and I'd like some answers before I implement more of these maps.

  1. Which section should a map like this go in? For Canberra/Civic, I chose "districts", but Sydney/City East has it in an "Orientation" section in Understand
  2. Do the duplicate maps pose an issue?
  3. Do these maps help? I guess it helps to sort of know which neighbourhoods are in a certain district, but then you don't need to know, and it might appear too encyclopedic.

--SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 08:23, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't have any advice for you or answers to your questions, but I like what you've done. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:26, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Image policy#Minimal use of images and WV:Map: do we really need to display multiple dynamic maps in one article? It seems redundant and tiresome to me. Ibaman (talk) 17:30, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can't we integrate the neighbourhoods into the normal map. Probably opacity should be tweaked for them not to dominate. –LPfi (talk) 18:02, 13 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@LPfi: Special:PermaLink/4467260 is what it would look like if we merged the maps together. As someone with visual impairments, I find the second map (the one with listings) hard to read with all the colours as all the listings look cluttered, making it hard to identify where the POI is located. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:18, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I lessened the opacity of the districts. Is this this still hard to read? It could still be lessened a tad if needed. –LPfi (talk) 07:56, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My eyes still prefer the map without the mapmasks, and I think the older map is easier to read for people with visual impairments. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 08:11, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. I undid the edit. I hope you noticed that I linked the previous version (oops), now fixed. –LPfi (talk) 09:10, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think that the neighborhood map needs to be dynamic, but since dynamic is what we've got/until someone wants to make a static map, I've no objection to it being a dynamic map. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:28, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I might be in the minority, but I actually think a dynamic map is better for all region articles, and not just bottom level region articles, and it brings me to the question; are there any users here who can make a static map? I've tried to make several static maps before, but unfortunately Wikivoyage:How to draw static maps is either unclear or out-of-date, and the only successful one that I've managed to draw was File:Mungo NP static map.svg, and that also looks terrible. Anecdotally speaking, the only time where I've found a static map way more helpful was when I was in Yosemite National Park earlier this year (and T-mobile was not that great in the Sierra Nevada, but I didn't really need the map since it was a second visit to Yosemite). They're often difficult and time consuming to make, and they become hard to modify when change is required. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 07:44, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sure they have all of those downsides, but I understand that dynamic maps don't print properly, which is also a problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:11, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I can make static maps, although I do not have much experience with this particular kind of map. I've never done it for WV, because it's a lot of work if you want to do it right. I don't really think it's worth the effort: 1) I'd never use a WV map (static nor dynamic) for actual navigation. That's what navigation apps (preferably with offline options) and proper paper maps are for. 2) I've been meaning to update the static map in North Rhine-Westphalia for years now. But it's a raster graphics file, so in order to make clean changes, I'd basically have to re-create the whole map (Wikivoyage:How to draw static maps has some really bad advice in that regard). Even if it was SVG, I'd probably rather make a new one, because there's only so much you can do in a graphics program compared to something like Qqis. 3) The styles for static city/district and especially country/region maps look like it's still 2007. El Grafo (talk) 15:40, 16 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ibaman: I made a static map but it's togglable. Does it still look a bit redundant? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 06:25, 27 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How does the layers= parameter work?[edit]

There are some pages like Teide National Park where it would make a lot of sense to show the relief map by default. The documentation of Template:Mapframe has no information on the layers parameter other than "see Wikivoyage:How to use dynamic maps#Mapframe". But the page does not actually include any information on that. Does the parameter work at all? El Grafo (talk) 11:25, 10 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think it does any more. I think it was disabled to address possible privacy concerns about showing the Mapnik layer by default. See earlier discussions. AlasdairW (talk) 05:41, 11 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]