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Myanmar coordinates on Wikidata by Lockal & Widar

In a recent blog post I showed the amazing apparent effect that Wikimania’s location had on the coordinate location data in Mexico on Wikidata. A comment on the post by Finn Årup Nielsen pointed out a massive increase in data in the Myanmar (Burma). I had previously spotted this increase but chosen not to mention it in the post. But now after a quick look at some items and edit histories I have found who we have to thank!

The increase in geo coordinate information around the region can clearly be seen in the image above. As with the Mexico comparison this shows the difference between June and October 2015.

Finding the source of the new data

So I knew that the new data was focused around Q836 (Myanmar) but starting from that item wasn’t really going to help. So instead I zoomed in on a regular map and found a small subdivision of Myanmar called Q7961116 (Wakema). Unfortunately the history of this item showed its coordinate was added prior to the dates of the image above.

I decided to look at what linked to the item, and found that there used to be another item about the same place which now remains as a redirect Q13076630. This item was created by Sk!dbot but did not have any coordinate information before being merged, so still no luck for me.

Bots generally create items in bulk meaning it was highly likely the new items either side of Q13076630 would also be about the same topic. Loading Q13076629 (the previous item) revealed that it was also in Myanmar. Looking at the history of this item then revealed that coordinate information was added by Lockal using Widar!

Estimating how much was added

So with a few quick DB queries we can find out how many claims were created for items stating that they were in Myanmar as well as roughly how many coordinates were added:

SELECT count(*) AS count
FROM revision
WHERE rev_user = 53290
  AND rev_timestamp > 2015062401201
  AND rev_comment LIKE "%wbcreateclaim-create%"
  AND rev_comment LIKE "%Q836%"
SELECT count(*) AS count
FROM revision
WHERE rev_user = 53290
  AND rev_timestamp > 2015062401201
  AND rev_comment LIKE "%wbcreateclaim-create%"
  AND rev_comment LIKE "%P625%"

Roughly 16,000 new country statements and 19,000 new coordinates. All imported from Burmese Wikipedia.

Many thanks Lockal!


  1. Lockal S

    This is great and makes me believe that Wikidata is the only decent centralized source of geodata for Myanmar. Any global map you can think about (Google Maps, Bing Maps, Geonames, OSM) are too sparse, but adding a KML overlay ( to existing map or using tools like “Wikidata items within range” ( gives much better results immediately.

  2. nemobis

    16k is not much! Nice that it takes comparatively little to make a difference.

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