CLOSE AT HAND
"...what I like about Semapedia (the "sema" is from the Greek for "sign," and the "pedia" is from encyclopedia, via Wikipedia) is that it isn't about advertising, or selling or buying stuff; it's about bringing knowledge to the place you're at. It's something any of us can contribute to and use. And, unlike its commercial brethren, it's an open standard, meaning anyone can peer inside it and use it. It's also pretty simple.
It works like this. Say you want to spread the word about a neighborhood landmark: You find the appropriate page on Wikipedia, copy the Web address, the line beginning "http:" at the top of the browser, into the special box on the Semapedia site (www.semapedia.org). That will convert the link into a QR bar code and then into a document, split into eight identical miniposters containing the bar code and a message for people who see them, explaining what they are. Print out the document and you're ready to go.
To read one of these bar codes you need to have a camera phone and the right software. Semapedia offers links to the software for your model of handset; you may already find the software installed on your phone. Launch the software, and point your camera at the bar code. The software will take a moment or two to focus on the code and read it, but should soon throw up the message in the code -- in Semapedia's case, a link to a Wikipedia page containing the information about the place you're standing on/in/under/beside."
Cool, huh? You'd think something like this would come at us as a commercial service. But this could be something that could catch fire as a public service, as Wikipedia or Craig's list did.
It aspires to do something long imagined as a possibility for the internet. As the article aptly puts it,
"It's one small step toward what people are calling an Internet of Things. Or, as Mr. Rondeau puts it, it's "kind of like turning the world into a clickable Web page."
It would definitely start to get us towards Web 2.5. Rest yet to come.