Building a Map

While reading Buddhist text there often certain places that are referenced all the time. Since the places referenced to generally take place in a relatively small area, the map would only have to be large enough to contain places that are mentioned.

Two suggestions for a map feature, the first being the most simple. Making a single map that has all the locations mentioned in the texts. Really straight forward nothing to fancy. Second, suggestion would be a single map that will interact with a text. So a place is mentioned within the text, one would hover over on or click on the location name in the text, a map would manifest within the same location with the location highlighted on the map.

This feature would add more context and knowledge to the reader. As more text are read, not only would the reader become more familiar with the names of locations, but also where they are relative to each other making them more familiar with the region.

I wouldn’t say this feature is of a highest priority, but if the right person came along it would be a brilliant feature. Implementing the second suggested feature would be unlike anything I have ever come across in digital rendering in Buddhist text. Truly a gem of care that could be added to the Dhamma.


It’s a sneaky little feature and I’d forgotten how it worked until I found an old bookmark…

If you do a search for a city in the search box. ie Vesali and see what comes up

Here’s the full map too


Holy smokes, this is an amazing! Thank you so much for this, it is very useful. I will certainly be using this from now on.

After I have used this nifty map for awhile, I’ll come back with a practical way of how to integrate a map feature into the SuttaCentral translations.

Once again thank you this is truly awesome.


We’d be very interested in that, some way to highlight the map more would be terrific. Incidentally, we’d also like to move away from Google maps to an open-source alternative.




Well, maybe, I haven’t looked at it. The main open source alternative is Open Street Map:

So it’s really a matter of seeing what kind of API they have and how it could be integrated with our app.


That’s great. I was keeping my Gmail just to be able to create my own maps with Goolge Maps, I was not aware of OSM. I’ll be able to delete my Google account now. Sweet.


Totally off topic, but what are you using instead of gmail?

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I use Protonmail, they have a free plan but I use the Plus plan with their VPN also (paid with bitcoins :wink: ). It was created by a group of scientists from CERN.

Here is a TED talk about them: “Andy Yen: Think your email’s private? Think again” The talk is quite old (2015) but it’s a good introduction.


Alright so this map feature, should be built in with the pronunciation feature. I am working out how perhaps it would look like. I will present a detailed layout and basic workable way to do this. It will follow some of the layout features of There are issues with that version, but it is what I will base the layout around. The Open Source Maps will most certainly be utilized for map creation.

I would like to say that my code skill is almost non-existent. Yet I do feel I know enough in describing a feature and how it would function in a very practical manner. Also without it being a burden to the true task of translation.

I am tied up until Friday evening with class work. After this I will work on a full presentation showing the feature with photos, functions, and method of structuring the data.

Updates before the presentation will be posted here.

Hopefully I can wrap it up by Sunday. I will post the presentation in a “New Topic” within Meta.


Sorry if I have missed it, but is there are GitHub ticket for this?

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I don’t really know where it fits in, and just now I’m not going to look up all the bits and bobs, but just to quickly note:

All the Google map data was imported into a uMap (underpinned by OSM) with PTS suttas references linked to the relevant suttas. The map is available here.

Of course, with the launch of “Next” (and the legacy-fying of the old site) all the links are now broken (although easily fixed with regex), but all the jsons are there.


I remember vaguely that the problem with uMap was that we cannot easily import it into the relevant sections of the site so we are using an old-fashioned google-map iframe for that.
But I just noticed that umap also has an iframe option so I don’t know.

And not all links are broken: only the vinaya ones that mention pi-tv-… etc and not pli-tv- …


In all honesty, I can’t remember a great deal from that endeavour at all. I was mostly just trying to point to the detail that the info was there (I think - but may well be wrong - that the .kml export that Google Maps gives didn’t make good friends with the other platform without some attention) and could be exported for whatever new endeavour, if it is relevant.

Oh, neat! I have to confess, I didn’t check, but just assumed. I guess there’s a redirect?


Yes, but come to think of it, I had changed the redirect to pi-files too … Can you make it a ticket for me and put that in IN PROGRESS:
Check redirect links from old vinaya links.


I made a test on
I tried zooming into one place and using the iframe provided. But it does not look that good: I think it cannot do a zoom or something into one particular spot? Maybe something you want to check out.



Yes, as I recall, the general feeling was that the platform was just too clunky and not up to a good enough standard to use (more here). I might have hoped that the development might have been carried forward a bit by now, but I guess not.

I guess I’ve seen worse things, but that’s not exactly the sound of a ringing endorsement.

I think the zoom detail can be easily addressed within the map’s settings (likewise with the info panel on the right). You can already do a zoom via the +/- in the top left (to memory I turned off scroll zoom because I got irritated accidentally zooming out when I wanted to scroll to the bottom or top of an info window).

That won’t work because you want to have a different zoom level for towns and for regions. Also the place it shows the map should be based on longitude/latitude so that has to be in the link too. When I look at the coding for the link, all that info is not there. See for instance the difference:

<iframe width="100%" height="300px" frameBorder="0" src=""></iframe>

and Google:

<iframe src=',81.757507'></iframe>

Maybe there is a way to add those details. I notice the scaleControl/zoomControl property as well as the miniMap property, but we would have to find out.

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Right. Neat. I think I misunderstood your original point. :smile:

Well, anyway, I suppose it will all go one way or another.

Sorry… I’m more of a butcher than a hacker… it couldn’t possibly be so straightforward as grabbing the location info from the main map URL?

eg. for Sāvatthī

Which I might then become:

<iframe width="100%" height="300px" frameBorder="0" src=""></iframe><p><a href="">See full screen</a></p>


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