Bringing Wikipedia closer to animal lovers
A QRpedia plaque in Skopje Zoo, showing info on a Hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas).
This month Shared Knowledge completed its Skopje Zoo Project (Macedonian: ВикиПроект „Зоо Скопје“) aiming to place QRpedia and other QR-code plaques about the animals in Skopje Zoo, through which visitors will be able to access the Wikipedia articles of each animal in various languages. A total of 85 different plaques were made and mounted, covering all the species at the zoo. Many articles were written and improved on the Macedonian Wikipedia, and now the codes refer to comprehensive well-written articles, giving a wealth of information about the zoo's residents.
It was decided that the plaques and the codes themselves should be in three language versions: Macedonian, Albanian and general QRpedia (marked with "Your language" below the code). Macedonian and Albanian are both official languages of the City of Skopje, but they need separate codes, since a large proportion of the Macedonian and Albanian population use an English interface on their phones, meaning that codes will not be shown in native languages if only QRpedia is used.
Subsequently, the project saw a spin-off activity consultations and negotiations with the academic authorities at the South-East European University of Tetovo, in order to organise the creation of Albanian-language articles as sq.wiki has very few articles about the animals as yet. This will be included in students' coursework: articles will be reviewed and marks will be given by their professor as part of it. This is to begin this autumn, with the start of the new term.
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