I’m (hopefully) going travelling soon, and I’d like to have ready access to Wikipedia so I can investigate more information about various things, and generally keep up with what I should know while I’m visiting places. So I’ve spent some time trying to figure out how to get data plans for my phone.
This morning I had an epiphany, why not download the Internet before I left? My Nokia e66 can take a MicroSD Card (according to Nokia it only supports up to 8GB cards, although I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t support a 16GB card.)
There are several articles on how to build an offline wikipedia. I like the idea of having the compressed entire English text-only version of Wikipedia (~4.5GB). Maybe using the compressed Open Street Maps data (~5.2GB) to provide some geo-location while offline. And for good measure maybe compressed FreeBase dump (~1.2GB) to provide more links between articles, and provide information on regions (Wikipedia tends to provide a single point representing a region, not useful.)
Hopefully with a bit of hacking, I can end up with something like Mobilizy’s Wikitude, using the GPS for location, and accelerometers to figure out direction and rotation in 3D space (Android has an electric compass which makes this a bit easier for them), using freebase + Wikipedia to annotate the current scene.
What would be really cool would be to have a HUD that overlayed wikipedia articles over your current vision from your phone. Although I suspect no matter what you do, you’ll end up looking like a tool.
It’s scary that the sum of human knowledge (Wikipedia + Open Street Maps + FreeBase) fits in ~11GB (ignoring indexes and the like), and that I can fairly easily fit this onto my cellphone, with heaps of room to spare!