By Andy Sambidge
TAGpedia aims to increase the amount of Arabic content on the worldwide web
TAGpedia, an online encyclopaedia conceived with the aim of increasing the amount of Arabic content on the web, is scheduled to launch in December with about 500,000 articles, it was announced on Saturday.
The Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organisation (TAG-Org), which is producing the encyclopaedia, said it has already compiled 400,000 items from across the Arab world on a variety of sciences and other topics.
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, TAG-Org chairman and CEO, said: "The target is to have the largest databank of Arab content ever."
Currently, only two percent of all web content is in Arabic, although Arabic speakers account for five percent of global internet users, according to Google.
In the Middle East, there are an estimated 78.62 million internet users, a number that grew by 2,293 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to internetworldstats.com.
About 65 percent of Arabs using the internet surf the web in Arabic and look for Arabic content.
The encyclopaedia will be similar in format to Wikipedia, although users will not be able to edit it, and will feature content about Arabic and Islamic culture in addition to science, according to TAG-Org.
The organisation said it is currently working on reviewing the content already collected and gathering more content for the encyclopaedia before it launches later this year.