Mass uploading of map data to Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Sverige

For the 2020 edition of Wiki Loves Earth in Sweden, Wikimedia Sverige carried out mass uploads and updates of all Swedish natural monuments, natural reserves, national parks and biosphere reserves from the open data of the Environmental Protection Agency of Sweden to Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.

Map data is a relatively unused namespace on Wikimedia Commons, and equally an unused statement on Wikidata. Our robot uploaded 6,544 new pieces of map data describing the extension of large parts of Sweden’s protected nature: national parks, biosphere reserves, natural reserves and natural monuments. This amounts to more than half of the 12,265 pieces of map data that now exist on Wikimedia Commons. That should make it the largest mass upload ever of this data type.

One immediate effect of this mass upload is that the extension of the protected nature is depicted in the fact boxes on Wikipedia, as shown on the map. 

There are many potential benefits and uses of map data on Wikimedia Commons. Our hope is that they will be of use for many participants in Wiki Loves Earth, by making it easier for them to see the extension of natural habitats and exact positions of for example trees that together constitute a natural monument.

One could imagine a future where it’s possible to combine map data in Wikimedia Commons with geographic queries on Wikidata to, for instance, search for objects in Wikidata that are matching some statement and has a coordinate that intersects the geometry of a national park.

Other than the map data, we also uploaded lots of new and updated information in Wikidata from the environmental protection agency. About 20,000 statements were changed or added to Wikidata. Land areas, water areas, forest areas, coordinates to center points, IUCN categories, inception dates, etc.

Wikimedia Sverige developed a small map service to make it easy to quickly find areas to take photos of during Wiki Loves Earth 2020. This map retrieves all its data from Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, which, in other words, makes it a small example of what the information uploaded could be used for.