Sydney: A small Welsh town where King Henry V was born is set to make history by becoming the world’s first “Wikipedia town.”
Visitors from Saturday will be able to use smartphones to scan barcodes at points of interest in Monmouth in Wales’ southeast, instantly bringing up a Wikipedia page about the landmark on their phones, in whatever language they are set to, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Wikimedia UK —which works to support, develop and promote Wikimedia Foundation projects such as Wikipedia — says hundreds of articles about the life and history of the town will be available online in more than 26 languages, from Hindi to Hungarian.
Around 1000 different bar codes plaques and stickers now decorate its schools, museums, historical sites and even pubs.
The project — dubbed “Monmouthpedia” — has been in the works for six months, helped along by the local council’s installation of town-wide free Wi-Fi.
Local residents and businesses have created and edited articles about Monmouth that are linked to the barcodes, while other volunteers have been translating them.
Czech speakers can now learn about Monmouth Castle in their native tongue, while Fijian Hindi speakers can check out articles on the Monmouth Cricket Club, Methodist Church of local Kings Head Hotel. Scholars of lesser-known languages such as Esperanto or Latin also have their pick of Monmouth-related articles.
Stevie Benton, Wikimedia UK’s communications organiser, said that more than 450 new articles about Monmouth have been added to Wikipedia and nearly 150 existing articles have been improved in the past six months.
He said Monmouth was chosen for its rich cultural history — in addition to Henry V, the town also boasts a 13th-century bridge, the only remaining one of its kind in Britain.