Good to hear about privacy being maintained. Are there efforts to move to
OSM eventually?


On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 6:18 PM, Joshua Minor <> wrote:

> Hello,
> My name is Josh Minor, and I am the Product Manager for the Wikipedia iOS
> app. I wanted to speak to a couple specific issues and misunderstandings
> raised by this email thread.
> First, please take a look at
> which
> provides some background on this decision. Jonatan linked to it, and it
> covers several of the concerns raised on the thread and gives our
> reasoning. I'd also suggest subscribing to this ticket:
> which Jonatan filed, and where
> you can track efforts and issues with replacement maps.
> A few clarifying points:
> 1. The Places tab[1], and its use of Apple’s maps tiles, is not part of the
> articles or article display, it is a navigational aid to help you find
> articles. This doesn’t mean it’s exempt from considerations raised here,
> but just want to clarify that this is not about editor created maps in
> projects, but rather an app-specific discovery mechanism.
> 2. The feature doesn’t violate our privacy policy[2] and was reviewed by
> Wikimedia Foundation's Legal department before entering beta. The App’s
> access to the users’ geolocation to recommend nearby articles, with the
> users’ explicit consent, is already part of both apps. The new feature
> merely adds a different way to visually view nearby articles - the user
> must, as before, still provide explicit consent for the App to access their
> geolocation. Users can always turn on or off the provision of their
> geolocation via their iPhone location settings.
> The feature also makes requests to Apple’s map tile servers for display on
> the App. These tiles may or may not be near the actual location of the
> user. It doesn’t involve sending Apple the articles you read or anything
> about your Wikipedia usage. Apple has public statements and documentation
> to explain[3] how their maps service preserves privacy by using a
> randomized and frequently changing device ID to request the maps, by not
> tracking users over time, and by not  building map usage profiles of users.
> Overall, Apple’s data collection practices are governed by their privacy
> policy [4], which  users must agree to order to use their iPhones.
> We plan to further expand the explanation in the FAQ/privacy section of the
> page
> in
> the next day or so.
> 3. As stated by others on this thread, the issue at hand is the feasibility
> and usability of a libre maps tile server, and impacts on users and how it
> reflects (or doesn’t) the values of Wikimedians. The rest of the work on
> this feature (such as the time spent on search, visually clustering items
> on the map, a list view of nearby landmarks, and the Wikipedia article
> pins) will be applicable, independent of the map provider. In fact, I’d
> estimate the engineer doing the work spent more time on hacking to try to
> make a combination of MapBox and Wikimedia tiles work, than he did/will on
> integrating/removing Apple maps.
> 4. This feature was announced on the Wikimedia Blog[5], described in an
> initial page[6], all work was documented and tracked on
> Phabricator (including an initial tech investigation, the request to remove
> Apple Maps during development, and the overall feature[7]) and then the
> decision to push into beta with Apple Maps further documented on
> In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the feedback and the
> opportunity to engage in a civil discussion about these important issues.
> Again, if you are interested in the next steps, I’d invite you to subscribe
> and comment on the phab ticket
> or
> the page.
> [1] Design specification:
> [2]
> Maps_service#Privacy
> [3],
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
> [7]
> [8]
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James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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