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Monmouth Becomes First Wikipedia Town

Monmouth in South Wales has become the first Wikipedia Town, with a "Monmouthpedia" which details all aspects of life in the town as well as QR codes being situated throughout the place, bringing the project into the real world.

According to a Wikimedia blog post, the idea originated when a Wikipedia editor suggested that the UK Chapter used QR codes to "do a whole town". The Chapter then backed the editor, John Cummings, and his idea which was to be implemented in his home town, Monmouth.

It took some six months to organise the project, and the preparation included the deployment of a free wi-fi network with total coverage of the town. QR codes have also been placed, for example on a plaque on the Shire Hall, which can be scanned via a smartphone, linking directly to the relevant Wikipedia article in a visitor's own language.

In total, there are over a thousand QR codes dotted about Monmouth on every school, important or historical building, and hundreds of shops.

The Wikipedia community has been encouraged to contribute articles to Monmouthpedia, and thus far, almost 500 new articles have been pushed live, in over 25 languages, along with some videos, too.

Roger Bamkin, Director of Wikimedia UK, wrote: "Lest you think this is a passing interest, the town of Monmouth is in it for the long haul. Many of the QRpedia codes are printed on ceramic plaques that should last for decades. The information in articles is backed by the Wikipedia community and will be continually improved and expanded."

"Physical guides and maps will become outdated, but the Wikipedia articles will always be able to be updated. This potential for on-site access to up-to-date information in any language is what makes the Monmouthpedia model so exciting."

Source: Wikimedia Blog