Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
You may remember Monmouthpedia, Wikipedia’s first town-specific venture which sought local people to contribute articles, photos and relevant content relating to life in Monmouth, a town in southeast Wales.
Just to recap, users will be able to scan barcodes at key points of interest in the town and receive information about the landmark directly on their mobile. It uses the QRpedia concept, an initiative we reported on last year, which emerged from a partnership between the Derby Museum and Gallery in England, and local Wikimedia contributors. The idea is that an exhibit has a QR code placed next to it, and users simply scan the code and they are taken to the relevant Wikipedia page in their language.
Now, it seems the idea is spreading, and Gibraltar wants in on the act too.
GibraltarpediA is aiming big, and it claims to be the first Wikipedia project to not only “embrace a whole city”, but it also aspires to bridge two continents.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, located at the southern end of Spain and only a short distance across the Mediterranean from Africa. While you may not think of it as a ‘city’ per se, the capital of the territory is also known as Gibraltar, and thus stakes its claim as the first Wikipedia city.
Here’s the project’s goals:
“The project aims to cover every single notable place, person, artefact, plant, animal and other things in Gibraltar in as many languages as possible. This is a large wiki-project; it’s at least three times bigger than MonmouthpediA. The area of interest includes the Strait of Gibraltar, the south coast of Spain and the North coast of Morocco. (Borders “to be decided”).”
The project is being led by Tyson Lee Holmes, a local who happened to read about Monmouthpedia before contacting the Minister for Tourism in Gibraltar, Neil Costa, to seek permission.
Supported by a large band of local Wikipedian volunteers, the project was given the go-ahead and some work has already started, with Tyson creating articles, with interest from volunteer editors.
“As the GibraltarpediA project evolves, QRpedia codes for each new Gibraltar Wikipedia page will be created,” says Roger Bamkin, who co-created QRpedia and Monmouthpedia. “The botanic gardens, the nature reserve, all the notable historical monuments across this culturally rich territory, will have specially designed plaques that link to Wikipedia. Anyone with a smartphone scanning the QR code on these signs will see Wikipedia pages about these cultural treasures, in their own language if available, sent directly to their phone.”
First Wales, and now Gibraltar. It seems like it may only be a matter of time before every town and city will be kitted out with QR codes.
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