Båtwiki:About Båtwiki

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Welcome to Båtwiki. Unfortunately you probably won't have much fun here unless you have some knowledge of Norwegian - though some of the geographical information (Points Of Interest - POI) may be of usage for tourists arriving to Norway by boat, and we're also trying to maintain English translations of all kind of boating terms.


[rediger] Scope

The primary purpose of Båtwiki is to provide Norwegian boaters travelling in Norway with practical boating information, in Norwegian. This scope is rather narrow, simply because we wanted to have realistic ambitions for the project. The scope may eventually be expanded (i.e. English translations, international port descriptions, information about Swedish and Danish harbours, etc) if someone is willing to commit themselves on doing the work. (Actually, I found out some time after establishing this project that there already existed a Swedish site baatwiki.se - though it was several years old, had only some 3-4 articles, and the domain seems to have expired by now).

There is basically two different categories of practical information; at one hand there is explainations, guides and howtos - at the other hand there is a POI-database. A Point-of-Interest may be:

  • almost anywhere where it's possible to arrive by boat; i.e. a guest harbour, a quai, a good anchorage, a marina, etc
  • any place of general interesst nearby a place where it's possible to arrive by boat, i.e. grocery shop, museum, etc
  • any place of special interesst for boaters even if it's far from the sea, i.e. boat equipment shop, boat museum, etc

There exist various forums, among the Norwegian forums particularly baatplassen.no is very popular. It's easy to ask questions there, but searching through old postings and finding the nuggets of useful information in dozens of very long discussion threads is no easy task. Many of the forums even contains sections where people can describe POIs, but it's nearly impossible to navigate through the information there. There also exists many online guides where it's possible to search for POIs, but there are no free (free as in "use as you wish"), good community-driven sites. If anyone knows how to export GPX from SMW, please give a hint :-)

[rediger] Dictionary functionality

For translating an English boating expression into Norwegian, you may try visiting the dictionary. It's also possible to browse the dictionary by category - if you understand the Norwegian categorizations. For translating a Norwegian expression into English, use the search box at the top right and if you're lucky you'll find an article with a translation box. Feel free to make English search interfaces, i.e. an English-Norwegian dictionary or a Norwegian-English dictionary.

[rediger] Map functionality

As far as I know, there doesn't exist any real ways of interactive map navigation in SMW; the best one can do is to browse a map with search results or with a predefined set of data. Too much data into the same map, and some clients may get problems, due to resource constraints (i.e. local memory, CPU or bandwidth). Currently there are three interfaces for accessing the map. All three interfaces are slightly experimental and not as good as we'd like them to be. Suggestions and feedback is most welcome.

  • The map search feature works like this: choose the service, center point of the map (by coordinates or by minimap search) and radius and then everything found will be displayed on the map.
  • Browsing by categories; some of the categories may have map associated with them, i.e. Category:Gjestehavn (guest harbor) and Category:Uthavn (nature harbour)
  • Browsing by choosing a region on the map. This is an attempt on creating a very simple way to zoom into the map. Category:Norge,_regiondelt.

The map itself has two alternative sources, OSM and the state provided maps - topographical and sea maps. Unfortunately the latter is still not free, i.e. there is a limit for how many tiles each user can download by day.

There exists a project OpenSeaMap, as of 2013-04 it was considered that it wasn't practically possible to integrate it with Båtwiki. Perhaps the reason was a slow backend server; given more time and resources we could mirror the dataset and generate the map tiles locally. That's possibly a future project.

[rediger] Financing and licensing

This is a 100% volunteer project, and everything is licensed with CC-BY-SA 4.0. User:tobixen provides domain registration fees, the SSL certificate price and quite much of the content and editorial work as well as system administration work. His employer, Redpill-Linpro provides bandwidth and hosting. This site will hopefully forever remain free and without commercials. It's also on the todo-list to provide database dumps minus the users table, to make it possible for independent persons to do disaster recovery.

[rediger] Technical information

The original vision of User:tobixen was just a plain, ordinary wiki with non-geographical information and how-to guides. Geographical information about guest harbours and such was not at all considered, both because he considered Mediawiki to be the wrong tool for a POI-database and because there already exists several guides out there. Mediawiki was set up at the top of Scientific Linux 6 (RHEL clone), nginx and postgres. The bleeding-edge version of mediawiki was checked out from git.

Other people came in and wanted a POI-database as well, notably User:eiaro. He also helped to set up and organize smw:Semantic MediaWiki and maps. SMW has been utilized to organize data about guest harbours and other POIs as well as company information and translations of boating expressions. It was a rough process to get everything to work properly though, Postgres had to be replaced with Mysql, we replaced nginx with apache and Scientific Linux with Ubuntu as well. We also had to downgrade everything to 1.20, and still had some compatibility issues between various extensions.

We're still missing good mobile interface, GPX export of the POI-database and it would be very nice to be able to search and load POIs directly from some map application (i.e. OpenCPN. It's also potentially an idea to set up some kind of marketplace functionality using SMW.

We also have a Disaster recovery plan, but we're so far totally lacking automatic monitoring.

[rediger] See also

Norwegian description: Om Båtwiki

[rediger] Contact


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