WikiGIS is a map-based platform that allows participants to contribute local knowledge. It is similar to traditioanal Wiki page, where everyone can contribute in shaping the description of a certain location, adding text and media.  In addition to this function of traditional Wiki, WikiGIS provides a map-based tool that allows participants to view/input/edit geometric and descriptive components (points, polylines, polygons, and comments). Various descriptions of the location will finally form a concensus, which makes this method a converging method. Every edit in the content is recorded and can be traced. By tracking these changes, users can see the not only the geographical changs of the area but also the changes of people’s description/perception of it.

Basic Information on the Method
Mode of communication
Group size
31 and more
Geographical scale
Public space, Neighbourhood, City, Region
Skills required
Average, Advanced
Resources needed
Low, Medium
Level of Involvement
Level of involvement
Inform, Consult
Type of knowledge enabled
Divergence (Broad public), Convergence (Broad public), Divergence (Small groups)
Additional Criteria
Planning phase
Initiatiion, Evaluation & Research, Maintenance
Methodological approach
Diagnostic, Expressive, Organisational

How to use the method

Build up a Wiki page

Select a platform that provide wiki page service and build a wiki page for the target area. A “background map” should be embedded into the page for users to mark spatial information on it. This “background map” is usually provided by APIs (Application Programming Interface) such as OpenStreetMap, Google map, etc.

Page promotion

After the establishment of the wiki page, the page should be advertised to target users encouraging them to contribute to it.

Data record and storage

Edits and changes of content can show how the area changes geographically, and show the process of people forming a convergent opinion of the area. This traceability of information is one of the most significant value of this method, therefore it is very important to record and store the data generated on the page.


What are the outcomes

  • Cultural-social information of the area.
  • Local knowledge concerning certain topics.
  • Better understanding of local area.

Skills required

Skills: average, advance

  • Skills to contribute local knowledge

Resources needed

Resources: low, medium

  • Resources to establish and maintain the wiki page
  • Resources to store the data

Strengths and weaknesses

  • Collect local information on both spatial and temporal dimension
  • Changes of spatial-temporal geographic information are traceable
  • One-way information flow
  • Limited information providers may lead to information bias

Use cases


Rajupusuwiki is a freely editable database of cultural and natural sites in Rantasalmi, Juva, Joroinen and Sulkava municipalities in Finland. During the project, several learning projects have been implemented in Sulkava and Rantasalmi, where location information has been produced for the wiki by students.

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