Publicerat 3 april, 2013
Smartphones as Umeå encyclopedia
A multi-language portal to Wikipedia through smartphones – that is the purpose of the UmepediA-project now receiving support from Umeå2014 and a Cultural Boost of SEK 20 014. Through QR-codes at specific cultural locations in Umeå, information is more accessible to the town’s visitors.
The goal of UmepediA is to increase the possibilities for visitors to learn about different objects and places in Umeå. This is done through several multi-language articles on Wikipedia, covering 100 objects of cultural importance in Umeå. The articles can be reached by scanning a QR code next to the physical object with your smartphone.
“By making Umeå-related articles on Wikipedia available in more languages, international visitors can more easily understand and appreciate the culture and history of Umeå,” says Jan Ainali, chief of operations at Wikimedia Sweden, the organisation that has initiated the project.
Wikimedia Sweden is a non-profit organisation based in Stockholm and a support organisation to Wikimpedia. Being the sixth largest website in the world, Wikipedia really can help put Umeå on the digital map. Wikipedia Sweden also has hopes that future Capitals of Culture will want to participate in similar collaborations.
The project targets people of all ages, both local and tourists. Visually impaired people are also able to take part if the information through text-to-audio tools already available for smartphones.
The project encourages collaboration as the citizens of Umeå as well as the Sámi people can contribute to the content.
“Our thesis is that by shortening the road between culture and man, it will motivate the will to get involved,” says John Andersson, project leader at Wikimedia Sweden and the one who initiated the project.
The project receives SEK 20 014 in funding for extending their cooperation with more partners in Umeå. After that, the main project UmepediA will be initiated during the second half of 2013, involving volunteers to expand the content and selection of languages.