The world's first Wikipedia town, Monmouthpedia, will soon develop as the local council enters into a trademark agreement with San Francisco's Wikimedia Foundation.
The agreement provides Monmouthshire County Council with a restricted right of access to the Wikipedia brand and logo for use in conjunction with the Monmouthpedia project.
The council has also proposed to increase the scale of the project to develop a county-wide initiative called 'Monmouthpediashire'.
Kellie Beirne, Chief Officer for Regeneration and Culture at Monmouthshire Council, explained at a council cabinet meeting today (18th July 2012):
“The successes of Momnouthpedia are just beginning, we've already seen locals, tourists and Wikipedians across the world working together and sharing their skills. It's a bit of a mouthful but Monmouthpediashire will see the project spread to our other towns.
“The beauty of the project is that while we've provided a small amount of financial resource (along with our partners Wikimedia) to fund the role of a resident Wikipedian and specialist advisory support – the real resource has come from community members, groups, local businesses and the support of the global Wikipedia community.
“It is an example of working smarter and drawing on all those untapped resources and social capital that exists within our in communities to create public value. We plan to make that value reach the whole of the county"
Monmouthpedia has also sparked a Wi-Fi project which will cover the whole of the Monmouth town centre area and provide free connectivity to residents and visitors to access Monmouthpedia QRpedia codes and websites that help connect Monmouth with the world.
The council has committed £40,000 to consolidate development of the Monmouthpedia project into a county-wide project. This will see the six-month appointment of a resident Wikipedian to develop and co-ordinate the project and a small number of advisors to facilitate specific aspects of the project.
Monmouthpedia was conceived by John Cummings, a resident of Monmouth, and Wikimedia UK. John was appointed as a temporary Wikipedian in residence by Monmouthshire County Council and Wikimedia to progress the pilot project quickly in order to secure Monmouth as the world’s leading town for the concept. Wikipedia had developed the application of QRpedia codes, linking mobile phone user language to Wikipedia articles written in the user’s language. This technology had been successfully used in a museum environment and the pilot project addressed the practical application to the town of Monmouth. The trademark agreement with the Wikimedia Foundation, San Francisco, and Monmouthshire County Council creates the first Wikipedia town in the world.