Ripples on the web: Spreading lake information via Wikipedia


People increasingly use the internet to learn about specific natural areas, including lakes, whether it is for an upcoming vacation, fishing trip, classroom activity, or research. However, basic information about these areas is often only available to nonprofessional scientists via scattered stateā€based web portals. Although these web portals are immensely valuable, inconsistencies among agencies and lack of search engine optimization means that lake information can be difficult to discover. For example, the searchable databases made available by the Wisconsinand MinnesotaDepartments of Natural Resources contain a wealth of information and are easy to find via a search engine query, but similar information for other areas is inconsistent at best. In this article, we argue that Wikipedia is an ideal venue for centralizing and improving the availability of facts about lakes. We give a brief overview of lake information on Wikipedia, how to contribute to it, and our vision for the broader dissemination of lake information.x

Jemma Stachelek
Dustin Kincaid
Arial Shogren
Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin