Publicerat 17 mars, 2014

First Nordic Wikipedia City

On 21-22 March and 3-4 April, the first so called edit-a-thons under the Umepedia project will be held by Wikimedia Sverige, the National Heritage Board and Umeå University. The goal is to enhance Umeå-related articles on Wikipedia in as many languages as possible.

During the Capital of Culture year, Umeå will become the first Wikipedia City in the Nordic countries, called Umepedia. Several signs will be posted throughout the city, holding so called QR-codes that will lead the visitor to an article on Wikipedia. However, the QR codes on the signs are special. Through a clever function called QRpedia visitors are automatically directed to the Wikipedia article in the preferred language (based on the language settings of the phone).

“As almost everyone has their own cell phone nowadays, we hope that lots of visitors to Umeå will benefit from the signs. Above all, we think it will be a great thing to offer tourists and visitors an easy way to access the culture of Umeå, in their own language. This will also be a resource to people with various disabilities or limited reading skills whom can take advantage of this since phones can read the texts out aloud automatically. We collaborate with local organizations and stakeholders to be able to put up as many signs as possible,” says John Andersson, project manager for Umepedia.

In the linked articles there is room for a lot more text than what usually fits on a small sign, as well as the possibility to offer things like videos, audio recordings and aerial photos.  And by making material available from Europeana and the National Heritage Board the articles will also be enhanced with lots of historically important photos.

Through a close collaboration between several organizations, coordinated by Wikimedia Sverige, several events will be held in Umeå and on other locations. The events, called edit-a-thons, are meant to inform the public on how they can contribute to Wikipedia and how they can help enhance the Umeå-related articles.

Wikipedia is available in 287 different languages and has over 500 000 000 monthly visits. The project wants to translate articles about Umeå into as many languages as possible, but the main focus is to provide really good material in Swedish and English.

“We have chosen to actively participate in this project as this is a good way to provide knowledge about Umeå and also enhance Umeå’s presence on the digital map. But as there is so much left to do, we really hope lots of interested people will turn up during these edit-a-thons,” says Michael Nordvall at Umeå University.

The first edit-a-thon is held at Umeå University, samhällsvetarhuset, S311 Thursday March 20 starting 17.00 and ending 21.00. There is also an edit-a-thon on Friday March 21, 10.00 to 16.00.

Photo: Arild Vågen, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0

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