Wikipedia entries for GPS

Today I saw this: Geocoordinates from Wikipedia for Google Earth. It has coordinates for Google Earth for 52 175 English Wikipedia entries. So when you tarvel around in Google Earth, you get lots of clickable entries from Wikipedia. Very useful!

Which reminded me of something I thought about this summer while driving around Norway with my family. Our TomTom ONE told us exactly where to go at all times, with great precision. My partner is an excellent map reader, but with the GPS onboard she could enjoy the scenery and the summer.

Every time we approached a turn, the GPS told us which way to go.

Now, what if it could tell us about the places we approched? What if it worked like this: For every geographical place in Wikipedia, there was a condensed text-version, that took – let’s say 30 seconds to read. When you’re planning a route, your GPS searches Wikipedia for entries that are along the route, and downloads these condensed versions to the unit. Either if connected to a computer before going, or via a mobile phone when driving. A text-to-speech unit in the GPS unit then reads up these texts, like if a guide was sitting there next to you. Or, if bandwidth weren’t an issue, Wikipedia hosts 30-second mp3s with this information.

Would this be possible? Of course. Maybe not today, or next month. But as GPS-units get better processors and if Wikipedia adds the right tags, it would be very easy to do.