World's first Wikipedia town covered in QR codes

The internet continues to escape from its virtual confines. Clothing hangers hook into Facebook. Twitter comes printed on toilet paper. And, now, Wikipedia has its own town.

Scan this QR code and you'll discover that Shire Hall was used as a location for the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special.
(Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Monmouthshire County Council)

Monmouth, in South Wales, has a population of less than 9000, but plenty of tourists come to see the local castle and walk its historic streets. Those tourists will be able to plug into Wikipedia articles about the town through special QR code plaques, placed in strategic locations.

The project is turning Monmouth into Monmouthpedia. So far, the joint effort between Wikimedia UK and the Monmouthshire County Council includes 712 articles, in 25 different languages, with more than a thousand new photos. There are even 53 new articles in the Esperanto language.

Monmouthpedia's goal was to have 1000 QR code plaques spread throughout the town by 19 May, but the town is still working to reach that goal. A visitor can just scan the code to get a quick link to the information online. Part of the project involves installing free town-wide Wi-Fi, to make the articles even more accessible.

Many of the plaques link to history articles, delving into subjects like the River Wye and Shire Hall, a building dating from 1724. There are also plans to connect to subjects that aren't specific to Monmouth, like flora and fauna. It may not be long before every dog and cat in town is sporting QR code collars, linking to Wikipedia species articles.

Monmouthpedia is the modern answer to those stuffy brass plaques that declare that, "on this spot, in 1711, something historical happened."

You don't even have to be there to enjoy the fruits of all this Wiki labour. Thanks to the Monmouth project, I now know that three Chartists were hanged, drawn and quartered in the town, in 1840.

I, also, just learned that Captain Walker of the HMS Monmouth told his crew to wash "the stain off your characters in the blood of your foes". Thank you, Monmouthpedia, for making history come alive, one QR code at a time.

Via CBS News, CNET



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BrianB4 posted a comment   
United Kingdom

In fact Esperanto is the 27th most used language by Wikipedia. Google translate have also recently added Esperanto as an available language choice.

Esperanto is a living language - see http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

Their online course http://www.lernu.net has 125 000 hits per day and Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per month. That can't be bad :)




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