WikiRoads Help

WikiRoads is a simple GIS (Geographical Information System) accessed via the World-Wide Web.


The information in the system is organized into streets, each of which has a series of entries down each side of it. You normally view whole streets as web pages, but can also zoom in on individual entries as separate web pages.

Getting more detail

To get more detail on a whole street, select the [detail] link from the menu at the bottom of the page. (If the page is already showing full detail, this link will be replaced by [no detail]).

To zoom in on an individual entry, select the [zoom] link on that entry. (This is not present if the street is already being shown with detail on.) Pages showing zoomed single entries add a link to the menu at tbe bottom of the page for going back to the whole street; this marked with the name of the street.

Output styles

Although it can produce text-only output, for browsers such as www (the line-mode browser) and lynx, the streetplans system normally produces HTML laid out using tables. By default, the tables have text entries with borders round them, but you can also turn on (using the menu at the bottom of each page) [graphics], which are predefined graphics for different kinds of entries, and [pictures], which are individual pictures given as URLs in the database. (If either of these modes is selected, its menu entry changes to [no graphics] or [no pictures] as appropriate.)


The search facility is not yet written.


You can modify the database from any forms-capable browser. Changes are stored in a file of new edits, and merged with the main data files at intervals by the streetmaster.

To start editing, either select [edit links] from the menu at the bottom of the page, which will add to each entry a link you can select to edit that entry, or select [edit boxes], which will produce an edit form for each entry on the page (this is rather bulky... better use the other!)

Some individual entries have [edit] links on them; in particular, the dummieswith which new streets are populated have this link, to encourage users to fill them in with whatever is really there on the ground.

For further information, see the authoring documentation.

Excluding unvetted data

By default, unvetted data (that is, data that has been entered by users and not yet checked and merged by the streetmaster) is merged as each streetplan page is produced. You can turn this on and off using the [omit unvetted changes] and [include unvetted changes] menu entries, one of which will appear at the bottom of each page.

Linking streetplan pages to and from your own web pages.

If you have a page relevant to a particular entry, you can include a reference to it using the edit mode.

To link to a streetplan page, you can browse to the right point and copy the URL displayed by your browser; if you want to construct the URLs yourself, see Getplan argument documentation

Experimental material

We're now beginning to produce VRML (3-d versions of the pages) but this is very experimental and liable to be shaky or broken at any particular time, until further notice.

Future plans

We hope to do some more output formats, including data formats for other systems (such as MUD) to use; the most important thing yet to go in is probably the search system.

Before long, there should be cell background gifs according to entry types, so that junctions will all be drawn properly (with traffic lights, etc) and roads will have white and yellow lines as appropriate.

The system for selecting graphics for entries will soon take month, hour and day of week into account, so trees can lose their leaves in winter, houses have lights come on in the evening, and so on.

Last modified: Fri Jan 10 16:51:08 1997 Logo