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Jun 11, 2009

Images and Video to Wikipedia

Wikipedia is great when you're looking for specific information on a topic--but what if you're not just curious what Wikipedia thinks; you also want to know what the rest of the Web is saying about your research topic? Perhaps you're researching Mozart's greatest symphonies, but you'd really like a few more photos of what Mozart may have looked like, and you're curious where you can go to hear some samples of those symphonies.

Enter Navify, a Web app built on top of Wikipedia that allows you to see the Wikipedia article in its entirety, but also see related content from sites like YouTube and Flickr. The service gives you a portal to Wikipedia where you can read articles and entries and even update and edit them, but also provides a wealth of additional information and media from other sources around the Web.

Navify reminds me a lot of VisualWikipedia, another service that adds a little spice to Wikipedia entries by incorporating information from other related entries, YouTube videos, and links to play embedded media. Navify does this and then some, including video from YouTube and images from Flickr on separate tabs you can browse them easily. Additionally, the service features related Wikipedia articles in a box just to the right of the main article, so you can easily browse similar topics.

In addition to the images and video, Navify allows you to share articles that have been passed through Navify via Facebook or Twitter. If you found some particularly interesting videos thanks to Navify, you can post the article to Facebook so your other friends can check out the videos themselves. The developers are working on an embedded music player, so any links to MP3s or other music files can be played directly in your Web browser by clicking on them.

Additionally, Navify allows you to comment on Wikipedia articles using Facebook Connect or Disqus. This way you're not limited to arguments going on in Wikipedia talk pages, you can see people debating the content or related content of an article right from the comments section. The comments even have an RSS feed so you can stay on top of the debate.

You don't have to have a Navify account to use the service, but if you do, you can edit articles, suggest or add related video and images, and interact with other members in the Navify forums. The service doesn't add or remove anything from the Wikipedia article; it just passes it through and adds additional content from around the Web, which may be perfect if you're studying a topic and would like to learn more but don't feel like leaving the article.

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