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Submissions/Visual Version of Wikipedia for Low Cost Electronic Devices

From Wikimania 2012 • Washington, D.C., USA

This is a rejected submission for Wikimania 2012.

Submission no.


Title of the submission
Visual Version of Wikipedia for Low Cost Electronic Devices
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
Avishek Basu Mallick
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog

As children, we were always attracted more to the image of an apple than the word "apple" in our textbooks. Yes, it is true: a picture speaks a thousand words.

It is this philosophy I had in my mind when me and my team (my friend Anuj Kalbalia and Nagarajan Sir who works in the Indian Administrative Services) decided to the work on the development of a visual version of Wikipedia. There is a site which exists on this concept - Qwiki.com - but it is manually curated and hence has a limited repository of data. What we plan is to mine the data directly from Wikipedia itself and incorporate it in a partial text and partial image format.

The idea came to us when we were working on a project for QuizWorks to develop an Android application which could mine data from Wikipedia and convert it to the question format. When this application became a success among the young school and college going students, we realized the potential of our idea.

In a country like India, the spread of education in the hinterland regions is minimal and often close to nil. It is these regions we plan to target using the low cost Akash tablets developed as a Government of India initiative. These tablets are the cheapest in the world and with a GPRS or Wi-Fi connection, our version of Wikipedia can be easily accessed on the same. For regions with low or no Internet connectivity, we plan to develop an offline version of the visual Wikipedia which can be downloaded in segments (e.g. A-B, C-D, X-Z,etc.) and bundled as a package with the device itself.

We believe that this model can definitely solve the problem of inequality in terms of primary education in India and once we are ready with the final product, we plan to tie up with an organization like Teach For India to help us achieve our objectives. We feel that this is not an India-centric model; this would work in any region of the world where creating an infrastructure for brick-and-mortar / pen-and-paper education is not feasible or sustainable.

Wikis and the Public Sector
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I would definitely attend Wikimania if I get the scholarship as I'm still a student and cannot fund the expenses alone on my own.
Slides or further information
I want to make a presentation at Wikimania 2012 because I know I will find a lot of similar minded individuals who would back my idea and urge me to go ahead with it. I do not want this to be a mere technological invention; I, along with my team, want this to be an instrument of change which could revolutionize the way we look at primary education in the developing countries of the world.
Special request as to time of presentations

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