World's first "Wikipedia Town" debuts in Wales
Posted on Friday 18 May 2012
in Adventure, Scenic Beauty
Most Indian travellers know that technology is changing the way many tourists experience their trips. While some locales are sticking to their roots and resisting these advancements, others are embracing the revolution and encourage guests to utilise their smartphones, tablets and more to immerse themselves into local culture.
For instance, a small town in Wales has decided to be the first place in the world to have QR codes, like barcodes, displayed linking to Wikipedia articles. Monmouth, which was established in 1067 and is the birthplace of King Henry V, will now have small plaques on many of its historical buildings and landmarks. Travellers can scan the QR codes on these signs with their mobile devices and be instantly linked to Wikipedia articles on the history and facts behind each attraction.
Visitors to Monmouth will find the ceramic blue plaques near rivers, on shops or at the entrance of museums. Additionally, if travellers are using phones from their home country, articles will pop up in their native language.
Director of Wikipedia U.K. Roger Bamkin said he is excited about the project and thinksthis idea could pave the way for a new era in travel. He also said that since Wikipedia is a collaborate effort, many volunteer writers helped create additional stories specifically about the town. Roughly 450 new "wiki" articles were written for the project, and the previously existing 150 were improved over the last year.
"We've got a guy in Hungary who wrote six articles in Hungarian and a girl in Russia who wrote 30 or 40 articles in Russian," said Bamkin. "We also had a guy in France who wrote several articles in Latin, and most of the Hindi articles were written in America."
Other cities may be on board soon if this new "Wikipedia Town" idea takes off in Monmouth. Locations like New York City and Mexico City may be the next places tourists could spot these small blue signs.
Indian travellers who tend to bring their devices along with them on trips can look into destinations that offer special programs for those with internet access on the road. Many major museums, historical landmarks and attractions are incorporating the idea of adding QR codes to points of interest so guests can instantly find out more information. This could change the way people travel and enrich the experiences many have while on their holidays abroad.
Print this article »