GIS and Wikipedia

Seems like our buddy GISDirtbag has decided that he’s had it with SlashGeo and wants it removed from PlanetGS. I removed SlashGeo many months ago due to some users complaining that it isn’t a blog. In the end I added it back in mostly due to the promise that they would have more original content. Whether that is the case or not, I’m not getting involved with policing PlanetGS. If the is a blog that goes off topic or ceases regular publication I’ll remove it, but as long as posts are geospatially related I’m not going to remove anyone. Defining what is a blog is hard enough so I’m going to err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion.

OK, now that is settled I can rant about Wikipedia. I’m not shocked to see that ssomeone would add their own site to an alleged encyclopedia article since Wikipedia is all about self promotion and not about accuracy. I could go on and on with examples as to why Wikipedia is worthless, but I’m sure you’ve all heard the arguments before. Frankly any encyclopedia that allows people to advertise on an article webpage isn’t reliable at all, especially when those adding the links are personally involved.

The GIS Wikipedia article is such a mess I wouldn’t direct anyone there in the first place even if I trusted the sources. A couple years back I tried to correct an article about a topic I am very familiar with and had to battle some loser who had way too much time on their hands over the content. Wikipedia is a place where the most persistent people with the most time to waste control what is said. I’ve washed my hands of Wikipedia and everyone else should too. Take the List of GIS software page. Look at the descriptions of the software, they read like ads for their respective programs, but there are some much worse than others. Take a look at KMLer indented under ESRI as if it is associated with them. Heck click on the link and you get an ad for KMLer right inside Wikipedia. What a freaking joke of an encyclopedia that has ads. I guess users are supposed to alert the powers that be at Wikipedia, but why should we help them if they can’t stop people from staking out claims to articles that they aren’t authorities on, let along people spaming their websites and software themselves in alleged articles.

Side note, KMLer is the king of spammers. When I posted an article on Arc2Earth, a whole bunch of comments showed up claiming that Arc2Earth was a waste of money and KMLer could do more and was free. I spend the better part of a week battling those KMLer folks trying to keep their comments off the site.

Anyway, I honestly don’t care if anyone fixes the GIS articles on Wikipedia as they are of no value anyway. is more trustworthy than Wikipedia and that is saying something. And spamming Wikipedia with links to your own website or product is slimy to be the least. Either your product/website is strong enough to stand on its own and will get added into Wikipedia on its own merit, or you need to work harder at making your product/website better.

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