QRPedia - simple but effective
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Saturday, 01 October 2011

It may be taking time for QR codes to become mainstream but an initiative that uses them to access Wikipedia should expedite the process.

The QRPedia.org project was launched in April 2011 but a posting introducing it on the Wikimedia blog at the end of September brings it to a much wider audience.

The idea is a simple one - embed a link to an entry on Wikipedia into a QR code and let smartphone scan the code and read the Wikipedia entry on their handheld screens, in their own language. The QRPedia website makes it even simpler - just copy and paste a url and print out the resulting QR code.

 

qrpedia

 

QRPedia was the brainchild of Roger Bamkin, chair of Wikimedia UK, and Terence Eden, a mobile web consultant and was developed at the Derby Museum and Gallery in England where printed QR codes were placed besides any exhibit for which there was releavant information in Wikipedia.

The advantage of being able to provide information in a visitor's native language is obvious for museums, art galleries and other tourist attractions. The idea of combining freely available QR code reader apps with Wikipedia's store of provide high quality, multi-lingual information on almost any topic is an obvious one. But then the simple ideas are often the best. 

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