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A user uses their mobile device to scan a QRpedia QR code. The device decodes the QR code into a web address. The address has the domain name "qrwp.org". The last part of the web address is the title of a Wikipedia article.
The QRpedia server then uses Wikipedia's API to find out if there is a version of the specified Wikipedia article in the language used by the device. If there is, it sends back the article in a mobile-friendly format. If there is no translation of the requested article, then the QRpedia server offers a choice of the available languages. It also offers a Google translation.
QRpedia was invented by Roger Bamkin, then chairman of Wikimedia UK, and Terence Eden. who is a mobile web consultant. It was unveiled on 9 April 2011 It was unveiled at Derby Museum's Backstage Pass event. The event was part of the GLAM/Derby collaboration between Derby Museum and Art Gallery and Wikipedia. During the collaboration, over 500 Wikipedia articles were also created. The articles were in several languages. The project's name is a made-up word, using the initials "QR" from "QR (Quick Response) code" and "pedia" from "Wikipedia".
QRpedia is used at:
- The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Derby Museum and Art Gallery
- Fundació Joan Miró, including a travelling exhibit shown at The Tate
- The National Archives, United Kingdom 
- The National Museum of Computing (UK)
- Sofia Zoo, Bulgaria
- The Welsh town of Monmouth, as part of Wikipedia's MonmouthpediA project.
- The New Art Gallery Walsall
- Eden, Terence (2011-04-03). "Introducing QRpedia". http://shkspr.mobi/blog/index.php/2011/04/introducing-qrpedia/. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Anon (2011-08-19). "The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Creates New Learning Opportunities through Wikipedian-in-Residence". The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. http://www.childrensmuseum.org/Childrens-Museum-Indianapolis-Creates-New-Learning-Opportunities-through-Wikipedian-in-Residence. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Byrd Phillips, Lori (2011-06-15). "Going Multilingual with QRpedia". Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts. http://midea.nmc.org/2011/06/qrpedia/. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "QRpedia Statistics (example)". http://qrwp.org/stats.php?path=QRpedia. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "Board". Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia UK. http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Anon (2011-05-21). "Quiet Realities". Imperica. http://www.imperica.com/features/quiet-realities. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Various. "Derby Backstage Pass". Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia UK. http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Derby_Backstage_Pass. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "qrwp - QR Redirection to Wikipedia". Google Project Hosting. http://code.google.com/p/qrwp/. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Byrd Phillips, Lori (2011-07-29). "QR codes + Wikipedia = QRpedia". The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. http://blog.childrensmuseum.org/blog/wikipedian-in-residence/qr-codes-wikipedia-qrpedia. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- Hinojo, Alex (2011-05-11). "QRpedia Codes at Fundació Joan Miró". The GLAM-Wiki Experience. http://theglamwikiexperience.blogspot.com/2011/05/qrpedia-codes-at-fundacio-joan-miro.html. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "New collaboration between Wikimedia UK and The National Archives". The National Archives (United Kingdom). 2011-09-15. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/620.htm. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- Eden, Terence (2011-09-18). "National Archives and QRpedia". http://shkspr.mobi/blog/index.php/2011/09/national-archives-and-qrpedia/. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Become an instant expert with a little help from your mobile". Smart UK Project. 2012-02-02. http://www.smartukproject.co.uk/archives/1750. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Monmouth to be Wales' first WiFi town". Monmouth Today. 2012-02-29. http://www.monmouth-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=7508&headline=Monmouth%20to%20be%20Wales'%20first%20WiFi%20town. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "We Don't Make Demands: Posters". 2011-12-02. http://wedontmakedemands.org/posters.php. Retrieved 2 December 2011.