QR codes promote Alappuzha directing users to articles in the Malayalam Wikipedia
Creation of QR codes for tourist purposes gains popularity around the world. Many cities adopt successful experience of large world capitals on the use of modern mobile technologies for drawing attention and interest of tourists, improvement of city image in the eyes of travelers from different corners of the world and consequently the increase of income. So, images of a QR code help modern people getting more information in a simple and convenient way.
Recently the activists of the project ‘Wikisangamotsavam’, volunteers who get together annually to create materials for Wikipedia, a free universal internet encyclopedia, in Malayalam language, have decided to create an attractive tourist image of the city Alappuzha. It is the capital of the Indian Kerala state, where the better part of population, which is about 35 million of people, speaks Malayalam, a unique Dravidian language, which is one of 23 scheduled languages of India.
Volunteers cooperating with Wikipedia have organized a project, which was called ‘Alappuzhapedia’. This project implies the use of QR technologies for quick access to the most popular international encyclopedia.
Activists of the Malayalam Wikipedia this year have totaled all the pluses of the 11 year work and have counted that they have already created 34 thousands of articles and now in cooperation with the State Department of Tourism they plan to provide free access to authentic materials on historical and cultural heritage by means of QR codes.
Tourists, who travel much around the world, have already, for certain, met small square symbols, which recently have started to appear in the largest museums of the world, on listed buildings and monuments. A table with a QR code helps to get access to the interesting, cognitive information on tourist objects in different languages. Thus, a traveler can learn independently much new on the historical objects and sights of his interest without need to search for a guide and an interpreter. All that the tourist needs to do is to download a mobile application-scanner to his smartphone and having initiated it, direct a camera of his mobile device to the QR code. Then a user can read or listen to the information on sights directly on his smartphone and if it is necessary to save the important data.
Inhabitants of Alappuzha and travelers, who have come there for the first time, soon will be able to scan the tables with a QR code at 150 local objects. Each QR code will contain the link to the appropriate article in the Malayalam Wikipedia. Having scanned some of the two dimensional barcodes, users of smartphones will be able to get access to the voice virtual excursion tours and this will help tourists to understand better the specifics of being in one or another place.
The meeting of volunteers and activists taking part in creation of authentic internet articles for the free internet encyclopedia Wikipedia has showed the general ambition to make the project ‘Alappuzhapedia’ interesting and cognitive. The first QR code within this event has already appeared at the lighthouse of Alappuzha city, which is one of the oldest on the south-west coast of the country. Now visitors of this interesting historical object can independently read an article about it in their native language in Wikipedia on the display of the smartphone.
Organizers of the project ‘Alappuzhapedia’ have declared that articles for Wikipedia in Malayalam language are written by volunteers, among which there are students of the highest educational institutions who study some certain historical facts, national folklore, arts and craft and then offer their authentic scientific works as articles for the Malayalam Wikipedia.
As a result, soon tourists coming to Alappuzha, scanning QR codes on numerous sights and tourist objects, will be able to get interesting and cognitive information by means of their mobile device that, undoubtedly, will interest and please them.