Source: Monmouthshire County Council, CC-BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia UK
, the chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation
that covers the United Kingdom, has announced
the creation of Monmouthpedia
, the first Wikipedia
project to encompass an entire town. The project's aim is to cover every notable location, artefact and point of interest in Monmouth, Wales with QRpedia
These QR codes, many of which are "printed on ceramic plaques that should last for decades", can be read by smartphones using a device's built-in camera and link directly to articles and videos on the free Wikipedia online encyclopaedia. According to Roger Bamkin, Director of Wikimedia UK, volunteers have already contributed approximately 500 new articles in more than 25 languages, including English, German, French and Welsh. For those visiting the town without mobile data on their devices, a free Wi-Fi network has been set up for anyone to use, the first of its kind in Wales.
Bamkin says that the idea started following a 2011 TEDx talk
presented by himself and Steve Virgin when an audience member by the name of John Cummings suggested that the chapter "do a whole town". Following backing from the UK chapter of Wikimedia, Cummings moved to his home town of Monmouth and gained support for the project from locals and the Monmouthshire County Council
. In addition to support from the local community, the project also has a number of partners including several schools and universities as well as 200 businesses.