December 1, 2015

Wikipedia’s Official Mobile Apps Say So Long to Google Maps

By Charles Cooper:

First it was Foursquare. And then Apple. Now, it’s Wikipedia’s turn to switch from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap.

Wikipedia’s decision, announced in a blog post, is likely to raise more questions about the company’s decision to charge so-called high-volume users of its Maps APIs, which formerly were free. In March, Google started charging between $4 to $10 per additional 1,000 loads to any site pulling over 25,000 daily loads.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: New Wikipedia app for iOS (and an update for our Android App) (via Wikimedia Blog)

Previous versions of our application used Google Maps for the nearby view. This has now been replaced with OpenStreetMap – an open and free source of Map Data that has been referred to as ‘Wikipedia for Maps.’ This closely aligns with our goal of making knowledge available in a free and open manner to everyone. This also means we no longer have to use proprietary Google APIs in our code, which helps it run on the millions of cheap Android handsets that are purely open source and do not have the proprietary Google applications.

OpenStreetMap is used in both iOS and Android, thanks to the amazing Leaflet.js library. We are currently using Mapquest’s map tiles for our application, but plan on switching to our own tile servers in the near future.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Craft Exceptional Digital Experiences for Your Users
Digital UX LJ and ER&L present an exceptional roster of library and user experience (UX) experts for our newest online course, Digital UX Workshop: Crafting Exceptional Digital Experiences for the User-Centered Library. During this 5-week online workshop, you will explore why UX matters, and how to sell user-centered design (UCD) to leadership within your organization. Whether you want to redesign your website, revamp your user interface, create a new discovery tool, implement e-resources, or develop a mobile app—you’ll have a tangible product by the end of the course.