QRpedia – Bringing Cemetaries To Life!

How I wish this announcement came in time for Hallowe’en!

The latest institution to benefit from QRpedia is Washington D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery.

Here’s the coverage from a local news channel.

The cemetary is 205 years old and is now the world’s largest outdoor encyclopedia of American history.

You can see photos of some of the codes over on Wikimedia Commons, including J Edgar Hoover, John Philip Sousa and many other distinguished “residents”.

QR CC J Edgar HooverQR CC Clyde TolsonQR CC Chief TazaMatlovich QRc CC

Massive thanks to Peter Ekman for all his hard work and to the staff of the Congressional Cemetary for agreeing to take part in this project.

QRpedia – We Made The Shortlist for Most Innovative Mobile Company!

We’re incredibly excited to announce that QRpedia has made the shortlist for the Smart UK Project!

qrpedia shortlist

We are searching for the UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Companies. Our aim is to celebrate UK innovation and showcase the best examples of UK mobile innovation.

We’ll be presenting at the competition oin January – if we make the final six, we’ll be off to Mobile World Congress.

Look out world! Here comes QRpedia!

Occupy QR Codes

I was tweeted an interesting link the other day – We Don’t Make Demands. They have a set of posters for the “Occupy Movement” which incorporate QRpedia codes.

These posters were designed by participants at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. They are in the public domain. You are welcome to print them out and post them in your own location.

Occupy QR Poster
See all the posters.

I love this use of QRpedia – but I have two minor suggestions.
QR codes work best with some whitespace around them, so:

  1. Move the QR code away from the margin – so it won’t get covered by tape etc.
  2. The call to action – “Learn More At Wikipedia” – should be slightly further away from the main body of the code.

Other than that – very impressive.


I took a walk through the OccupyLSX encampment at St Pauls. I have to say, the QR codes on display weren’t as impressive as the above posters.

More Resources

There are a range of Occupy QR codes out there. Some work really well, some don’t. Take a look at:
Occupy Syracuse QR.
Occupy Austin QR.
Occupy Las Vegas QR.
Occupy Davis QR.
And finally, Occupy Legoland.

QRpedia – Custom URLs

This blog post is designed to foster a technical and logistical discussion. In much the same way as the earlier QRpedia language discussion did.

One of the most requested features in QRpedia is to have custom URLs.

For example, the British Museum may want a URL of “bm.qrwp.org”. This has two main advantages.

  1. Better analytics. Although the British Museum is the only place likely to have the Rosetta Stone, many museums will have exhibits about “Ancient Egypt” or “Gold”. By differentiating museums, their statistics are easier to view.
  2. Branding opportunities. A user will know that they’ve scanned a code belong to a specific museum.

From a technical perspective, this is fairly easy to implement. Assuming that a museum is only generating codes in one language, we simply map $museum.qrwp to $language.qrwp – and record in the logging database as per usual.

However, there are a number of challenges around the naming of museums which means considerable thought is needed before we implement this.


QR codes work best when the URL inside them is as short as possible.

This means, we don’t want a URL like “BritishMuseum.qrwp.org” or even “PrestongrangeIndustrialHeritageMuseum.qrwp.org”.

So, we need to choose suitable abbreviations.

Language Clashes

We could create a custom URL for the British Museum of “bm”. However, that’s also the same language code as the Bambara language.

There are several Language Codes in use – covering two and three letter combinations. There are currently 282 different language versions of Wikipedia.

Those mostly use two or three letters to distinguish between languages – but there are the occasional surprise like “bat-smg

Abbreviation Clashes

Suppose that the British Museum wanted a custom URL of “brit.qrwp.org” – that may clash with the (fictitious) Brazilian Institute for Technology.

We Need…

We need to meet these aims for custom URLs:

  1. Short
  2. Unique
  3. Recognisable
  4. Fairly distributed

How on Earth do we do that?

On your marks… Get set… Discuss!

QRpedia in Russia

The “Wiki Loves Monuments” project in Russia has been featured on Russian TV. Check out the QRpedia codes!

Russian QRpedia TV

You can see all the articles (and their QRpedia codes) – there is also a list of articles which need translating.

QRpedia’s Name

There is some confusion about QRpedia’s name.

@ please answer me, QRpedia = QR + wikipedia or QR + encyclopedia? I need it as a prooflink for [[ru:QRpedia]].

The answer is very simple. The “pedia” isn’t from “Encyclopedia”. It isn’t from “Wikipedia”. It’s an acronym.

  • P – Potentially
  • E – Every
  • D – Device
  • I  - Interlanguage
  • A – Access

The “QR”, of course, standing for “Quick Response”.

I hope that clears up the matter ;-)