In the developed world we sometimes forget it, but the large majority of the people in the world do not have (enough) internet real-time access to search for information. At the same time this information could have changed or sometimes even saved their lives. Offline information access is therefore a solution that is still very relevant.
Wikipedia remains a great, immensely beneficial resource but some work needs to be done to have this information available without internet access. Students and teachers in developing nations (check the Afripedia project to know what I mean) can benefit greatly from this information.
In the interesting blog post How to use the open source XOWA interface for Wikipedia, Marco Fioretti explains one way to create Wikipedia offline with the Open Source tool XOWA. But other tools are available, like Kiwix, WikiTaxi and Okawix. They also do the trick and create offline information resources from Wikipedia.
Offline content is still important for schools and other organisations in the developing world that have no internet access. Unfortunately, these are still many organisations. Creating offline Wikipedia (and other mediawiki’s) is a great way to bridge information gap until the whole world has access to fast internet.
PS: Some examples of offline Wikipedia projects described in the blogpost of Matt Berg: http://www.buildafrica.org/posts/offline-wikipedias/ (thanks to Bill Zimmerman)
Chris Wilson said:
You might find this review relevant, even though it’s a bit old: