Wikipedia and Panoramio on Google Maps

Add wikipedia and Panoramio data to Google Map API with GLayerOne of the great features of Google Maps API, is the possibility to easily display Point Of Interest (POI’s) on top of the maps.

Included in Google Map API V2 is the GLayer function that makes it very easy to display data from Wikipedia and Panoramio as layers on your Google Map API based maps.

In this post we’ll create a script that uses the GLayer functionality to display POI’s on your map.

GLayer functionality

Google Map API has just been launched in V3, so why is this post based on a solution  on Google Map API V2?.

The V3 of Google Map API was launched May 19th 2010, however there is still a lot of functionality from the V2 version that hasn’t been included in the V3 version, including GLayer, so we’ll base this post on the V2 API, since the V3 API doesn’t seem to be fully developed yet (but it does look promising)

With the GLayer functionality you can add some POI themes, that is stored and maintained by Google. Since maintaining POI data can be quite some work, this is a great service.

Currently the GLayer supports POI data from sources like Wikipedia and Panoramio.  You can see the full list of data sources and supported languages in the table below:

IDHLDesription webcams
com.panoramio.allAll photos from
org.wikipedia.ararGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Arabic)
org.wikipedia.bgbgGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Bulgarian)
org.wikipedia.cacaGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Catalan)
org.wikipedia.cscsGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Czech)
org.wikipedia.dadaGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Danish)
org.wikipedia.dedeGeotagged Wikipedia articles (German)
org.wikipedia.elelGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Greek)
org.wikipedia.enenGeotagged Wikipedia articles (English)
org.wikipedia.esesGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Spanish)
org.wikipedia.eueuGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Basque)
org.wikipedia.fifiGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Finnish)
org.wikipedia.frfrGeotagged Wikipedia articles (French)
org.wikipedia.glglGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Galician)
org.wikipedia.heheGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Hebrew)
org.wikipedia.hrhrGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Croatian)
org.wikipedia.huhuGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Hungarian)
org.wikipedia.ididGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Indonesian)
org.wikipedia.ititGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Italian)
org.wikipedia.jajaGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Japanese)
org.wikipedia.ltltGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Lithuanian)
org.wikipedia.lvlvGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Latvian)
org.wikipedia.nlnlGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Dutch)
org.wikipedia.nnnnGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Norwegian/Nynorsk)
org.wikipedia.nonoGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Norwegian/Bokmal)
org.wikipedia.plplGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Polish)
org.wikipedia.ptptGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Portuguese)
org.wikipedia.ruruGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Russian)
org.wikipedia.skskGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Slovak)
org.wikipedia.slslGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Slovenian)
org.wikipedia.svsvGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Swedish)
org.wikipedia.ththGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Thai)
org.wikipedia.trtrGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Turkish)
org.wikipedia.ukukGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Ukrainian)
org.wikipedia.viviGeotagged Wikipedia articles (Vietnamese)

See more about GLayer here.

Display Wikipedia and Panoramio on your map

To display Wikipedia and Panoramio data as layers on the map, I have modified a script from

The final script displays data from Panoramio, Wikipedia (english) and Public webcams.

With 3 POI’s, a map can be very busy to look at –  therefore  this scrips has a POI control, labeled “More”, where the user can easily switch the layers on/off as he or she likes.

Using GLayer to display Wikipedia and Panoramio data with Google Map API

See example and source code here.

Just click the “More” button in the example to play around with the different layers.


As you see from the source code it’s pretty easy to get up-and-running, displaying POI’s on Google Map API V2.

I really hope the GLayer functionality will soon be included in V3 of the API since this is a very useful feature.

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About the author
Jørgen Nicolaisen has been passionately interested in everything online since 1995. His experience is based on working with small hobby projects as well as high volume websites. Jørgen is currently focused on the PHP based programming framework - Codeigniter, and WordPress naturally

3 Replies to Wikipedia and Panoramio on Google Maps

  1. nice post. thanks.

  2. Andrew Lau says:

    Is there a way to setup similar layers of our own in Google Maps like what Panoramio has done (i.e. addresses and maps in our website transferred to Google Maps for other users to make use of). Good article btw, e-mail me if that is possible. :-)

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