[JT] Jochen Topf's Blog
Wed 2012-12-19 16:09

Status of the Multilingual Maps Project

It is high time I’ll write something about the status of the Wikipedia Multilingual Maps project I have been working on for many months now.

On November, 30 2012 I announced a demo of the multilingual map at mlm.jochentopf.com (Update: Not available any more). This demo allows the user to choose the language or languages they want to see the map labels in. More then 500 people looked at the map in the first 24 hours and I got a lot of very positive feedback. Based on this feedback I improved the demo a bit, for instance allowing several labels at once.

As planned all of this is implemented based on the Mapquest Render Stack. Unfortunately my changes are not merged into the upstream tree yet, but you can get everything in my fork of the software. For the demo/test this software is running on a virtual machine on bessel.openstreetmap.de, the tile server used for the German OSM map. Eventually the software should run on a Wikipedia server and the multilingual maps should be available for everybodies use. There are currently some issues to be resolved inside Wikipedia to get those servers.

The Wikipedia project itself is finished now, all its goals were implemented. I have written up a final report that describes the work we did in more detail. But of course that doesn’t mean that everything is done. There is always more to work on.

I am currently working on some changes to the Mapnik renderer that would allow flexible data transformation plugins to be added. These plugins can (among many other things) be used to do transliteration on-the-fly. My tests with that show promise and I hope to roll out transliteration to the demo server soon.

I am also working on on the demo/test-server, doing changes here or there, whats mainly missing is expiry of tiles, but that should stabilize pretty soon and then we are planning to open it up to a beta-test where others can use those tiles, too.

Tags: multilingual maps · openstreetmap · rendering · wikipedia