In May last year, Wikipedia’s mobile website received a rather interesting new feature, as it started surfacing Wikipedia articles based on your location. As of today, this has been added to its native Android app too.
You’ll now see a new ‘Nearby’ feature in the main menu, which takes you to articles on the myriad of buildings, parks, museums and everything else that happens to have a Wikipedia entry in your vicinity.
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It’s a neat feature for sure, and could be used as a tour guide when you’re in a new area, as it typically brings up noteworthy places.
The enabling feature dates all the way back to January last year, when the Wikimedia Foundation announced a new GeoData extension for MediaWiki, which basically structures the storing of geo-coordinates for articles. This effectively means that location coordinates associated with articles can be stored separately in the database, making it easier to mine and map the information for various uses.
The refreshed Wikipedia app for Android is available now, though there’s no word yet on whether this will be landing in the recently relaunched version for iOS.
➤ Wikipedia [Android]