Terra Incognita visualises how Wikipedia has evolved over the last decade, mapping the geographic articles for over 50 languages. The maps highlight cultural biases, unexpected areas of focus, the overlaps between languages, and regions that are unique to a language.
There are two versions of the project, one based on Google Maps that is better for browsing Wikipedia articles at the level of countries and regions, the other based on Kartograph that shows how the articles are structured using a variety of world map projections.
Before starting the application be aware that the larger Wikipedia languages are over 10MB to download, and the maps will perform better for selections of no more than 300 thousand articles. The application is designed for desktop, and will work with IE9 or above, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. For detailed instructions see the info within the application.
One aspect of Wikipedia the visualisation explores is how the various language editions have spread over the globe at different times, looking specifically at the record of newly created articles.
The best way to see this is to choose one particular country or continent, and up to eight languages of interest.
Select the Language option fro the Map dropdown and use the timeline to run through the cumulative coverage as waves of new articles are laid down. Alternatively use a fixed time window to reveal how topographic features emerge at certain times.
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