Am cross posting

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Thanks to Chris Keating of the UK Chapter for sharing this:
You’ve probably heard the saying, “In theory, Wikipedia shouldn’t work, but
in practice it does.” Three of the things that contribute to make Wikipedia
work are topic-specific WikiProjects (“let’s write about a town), Wikimedia
chapters (“let’s organize throughout the United Kingdom”), and unique ideas
(“let’s use QR codes to share content”). This week these three things
successfully came together to create Monmouthpedia, “The World’s First
Wikipedia Town” in Monmouth, Wales.

The idea for Monmouthpedia began at a TEDx talk in Bristol when John
Cummings, an occasional Wikipedia editor, suggested from the audience that
the UK Chapter use QR codes to “do a whole town.” That challenge was handed
to Cummings when the Wikimedia UK chapter backed the idea. He then moved to
his home town of Monmouth where he assembled an ad hoc group of supporters
who wanted to participate, including the local County Council.

The project has taken six months of preparation, including a commitment by
the town to install a free, town-wide wi-fi network (the first of its kind
in Wales). On 19 May the entire town will be bedecked with banners
declaring Monmouth as the first Wikipedia Town in the world.

The Monmouthpedia project uses QRpedia to allow visitors to scan QR codes
that link directly to the Wikipedia article in their own language. Because
of Monmouth’s efforts to provide free wi-fi and implement QRpedia, the town
is likely the only place where a visitor can tour in Hungarian, Hindi,
Indonesian, Welsh, or numerous other Wikipedia languages using QR codes.

Much of the success of Monmouthpedia comes from its ability to capture the
imagination of the Wikipedia community, which has embraced the town
virtually. Wikipedia volunteers have contributed nearly 500 new articles in
over 25 languages, as well as videos on topics such as the historic
Chartists movement.

The project also has a long list of partners, including 200 businesses,
several universities and nearly every school and community group in the
area. Wikipedia has partnered with museums and other institutions before,
as in Derby, but in Monmouth you will see over 1,000 QR codes on every
school, every important building, and hundreds of shops. The County Council
itself has a QRpedia code in its reception that takes you to their
Wikipedia article.

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.

How long can Wikipedia defy the theory and continue to deliver free
information to the planet in over 280 languages? We think the Monmouthpedia
story provides a very optimistic outlook. If you want to find out more,
visit the Monmouthpedia website and take a look at the associated articles
on Wikipedia.

Post written by Roger Bamkin, Director of Wikimedia UK (Victuallers )

*Can this be done in Nairobi? At least for the monuments*

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