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Wikipedia mobilizes British town with QR codes

Wikipedia is using QR codes to help develop user-generated content about real-world places, creating a mobile travel guide of sorts. 

The organization has picked Monmouth, Britain, as its first project using QR codes to cover the whole town so locals can create articles about interesting and notable places, people, artifacts, flora and other attractions. The news comes as marketers continue to find new and interesting ways to use 2D bar codes as a way to connect real world places and things with digital content via smartphones.

The Wikipedia project, which has been labeled Monmouthpedia, uses QRpedia codes.

Smartphone owners can scan the codes to automatically view a Wikipedia article in their language of choice.

QRpedia was unveiled in April 2011 and the codes are currently in use a variety of institutions including museums in Britain, the United States and Spain.

Providing context
The Monmouthpedia project will mobilize local signs to provide more information to those interested in learning more. Wikipedia is hoping to encourage locals to suggest and write articles about, take and download photos as well as recommend reference materials.

The QR codes will appear on plaques around town, including large ceramic or metal plaques for places exposed to the elements and on smaller biodegradable plaques for labeling objects not specific to Monmouth, such as flora and fauna. The QR codes will also appear on stickers inside buildings and on informational posters and leaflets.

The goal is to provide context for many local attractions and offer up tourist information in as many languages as possible.

Articles will have geotags to allow a virtual tour of the town using the Wikipedia layer on Google Streetview, Google Maps and will be available in augmented reality software including Layar.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York