Village of Vernon Hills - QR Codesby: William Rockwell, GIS Coordinator
QR Project – Brief Introduction Due to the large number of tournaments and sporting events, the Village was getting many public inquiries about how to get to the VHAC (Vernon Hills Athletic Complex). The VHAC did not have an “official” address, and it was not found in Google/Yahoo/MapQuest searches. Research began on how to add “places” to Google Maps. Business owners can “claim” their business on Google, and after a verification process allows the owner to publish authoritative content on various business information. (store hours, location, menus/inventory, pictures, video, etc) All that is needed is a Google account (not necessarily a Gmail account)
How to claim a Google Place Chances are, a Google place page already exists for your business, government, etc Village of Vernon Hills is “claimed” or owner verified Bobo’s is not owner verified Google will robo-call you, giving a PIN number that will unlock your “place” WARNING, the robo-call will occur within seconds after completing the application. The robo-call will not identify itself, so be ready! Or if there is no phone number, (like at the VHAC), Google will send you a postcard with a PIN Called the Post Office to reroute mail
So you have a Google place, now what? Every Google place has a unique URL. For example the Village Hall is: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?&cid=12165449247396941582 This URL can be shared as a QR code. QR Codes can be created from: URL address Contact information Apps Phone numbers Text XY (Geolocation) Calendar events QR codes are a great way to share lots of information, in a small space, across any platform. (Android, Windows, Apple, Blackberry)
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers, telephone cameras, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.
Developing QR Products There are many ways to create QR codes. http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ QR Droid (mobile app for Android) They’re free Note: the length of the URL increases the QR complexity, keep URLs as short as possible. Use URL shorteners like: https://bitly.com/ http://goo.gl/ These free services shorten URLs so the resulting QR will be more readable
Why use QRs and Google Place Pages? Google place pages change dynamically from mobile to desktop devices, and displays on any device well (tablet, phone, laptop) Google place pages currently has better business information, ratings, and verification system (vs Bing Maps) QR creation and scanning technology is open source and free A QR, once scanned, can immediately be shared via email or text message Growing “smart” market (500,000 Android devices activated daily)