Saturday, May 16, 2009

QR Codes used in Libraries

The University of Bath have a very active 2D barcode programme.

One use is embedding a QR Code into the Library information system where the QR code containing the books information (Title, Author, Location) is generated and presented to the searcher.

The benefit to me is the quick retrieval directly onto my handset, no more bits of paper (there is never a pen nearby anyway) the information is in my hand and with me as I start my search through the library.

Take this idea to another level....

More and more handsets also have GPS on them. One of the useful data sets to encode in 2D barcode is geocode information. Typically this is longitude and latitude. If you were to make this a triplet and include altitiude you have some very powerful tools at hand.

Map the book shelf location as a triplet:
  • How far left or right
  • How far ahead or behind
  • How far above or below
is the book's location from where I currently am. The shelf location can be inserted automatically as a waypoint and then I simply follow the directions that my phone gives me. Gets me to the right shelf stack more easily than trying to interpret one of the those maps like you get in Wellington Central Library and much easier than what is currently offered in the Rankine-Brown Library at Vic Uni.

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