QR Codes Placed Building Projects and Other Sites to Keep Citizens Informed

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New York City construction sites are being updated with QR codes so citizens can keep tabs on projects around their area. Simply scan the reader over the black and white box on a project, and you’ll be able to find out the status of the building’s construction, how much they’re allowed to build, who owns the property and their approved associated projects. It will also show you if there have been any complaints against the project and will offer a direct link to 311 – NYC’s citywide complaint line – if you’d like to file a grievance. The QR codes are expected to be up on 975,000 projects by 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This is one area that New York isn’t the trendsetter in. Catawba County in North Carolina started using the technology on their construction projects in January 2011 so contractors and workers could see information on the projects. Even before that in 2009, Manor, Tex. put up the codes so visitors could learn more information about historic sites and find the official webpages.

Internationally, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched a QR informational program in 2006 to help share information about landmarks, zoos and other things of interest, including – wait for it – plants. Yes, they embedded some QR codes in the shrubbery so you could read about the greenery around  you. Their transit system also adopted QR codes so passengers could see transit schedules, how far the next bus was or upcoming delays.

For some good QR readers, check these:

- Kawya reads QR Code and Data Matrix and works with most phones (and they plan to release a version where you don’t need a camera phone)

- BeeTag can read BeeTagg Code, QR Code and Data Matrix and works with almost all devices and is easily customizable

- NeoReader scans QR Code, as well as Data Matrix, and Aztec bar codes and has an Android version. You just put the QR code in your viewfinder. No need to press a button

- If you’re willing to pay, QuickMark will store your scanned data and lets you create your own QR codes to share with other phones

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