Cyclopedia ($2 App store) is a new iPhone application that allows to to view geo-tagged Wikipedia articles in a augmented reality browser.  The browser uses the iPhone’s camera to create a backdrop while the Wikipedia articles are displayed around the backdrop of the view.  

Check the video for more.

From the developer:

Cyclopedia uses the iPhone camera, compass and GPS together to created an augmented reality of the world by overlaying Wikipedia information over the viewfinder. By moving the iPhone around you will see articles pop up according to the direction you are pointing, You can then click on the title to get a quick overview article and, if you want to know more , you can then dive deeper into the full article.

You can also display the entries on a regular top-down map and search the whole of wikipedia for anything you want.

When the app first launches it searches for all the articles that are within 30 miles of your current position. It then filters them according to two distance radii you set within the app . Though the default is fine. You can set a near and a far distance to really pinpoint the information you want to see. If you’re in St Mark’s Square in Venice you might set the radius to be close so only the things you can see are shown, but if you’re sitting at the top of the London Eye you might want to set it to give you everything within 1 and 2 miles of you.

To really fine-tune your search, you can also drag the sliders at the top of the screen to set the field of view that they app uses to display the information.

There are currently 65,000 entries in Wikipedia that have geotagged information included in them and all of these are available to you through the system. If you find a location that you don’t feel is included. Go and add the gps data directly into Wikipedia yourself and it will eventually pop up in the app. That’s the beauty of Wikipedia. 

About the Author