The small town of Monmouth in southeast Wales has embraced modern technology to claim an audacious first in world tourism, by becoming a ‘Wiki-Town.’
The Daily Mail has reported that from tomorrow, visitors to the historic birthplace of King Henry V will be able to use their mobile phones to scan barcodes at points of interest and instantly access Wikipedia pages that give full details of the landmark that they are looking at. The information will be selected from hundreds of available pages on Wikipedia that detail Monmouth’s culture and history, and foreign visitors will be able to access the information in more than 26 languages.
Monmouth has worked hard to make the project a success by installing in the region of 1,000 barcode plaques and stickers on the town’s schools museums, historical sites and pubs, while local businesses have displayed barcodes that give access to information on their own history.
It has taken Wikimedia UK six months to develop the project, which was only made possible by the local council installing free wi-fi across the town. To make the available information as complete and accurate as possible, 450 new Monmouth based articles have been added to Wikipedia, and 150 existing articles checked and improved.
Roger Bamkin, a director of Wikimedia UK, told the Daily Mail, ‘We’re delighted that Monmouth is becoming the world’s first Wikipedia town. Both the quality and quantity of the new Monmouth Wikipedia content is outstanding, reflecting the rich cultural, historical and natural heritage of the town.’
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikepedia, said that he was looking forward to other towns following suit.