Guide to the World in Pictures with QR Codes

If you have traveled to a foreign country then the chances are that you have at least one of of the 200+ Rough Guides on your bookshelf. Now they have published a collection of photographs from their picture library called Earthbound: a Rough Guide to the World in Pictures. Each of the images is accompanied by a QR Code and each code resolves to the image’s location on Google Maps.

It is a fine book, with some stunning photographs and Rough Guides are to be congratulated on making use of two dimensional barcodes in this way but I can’t help feeling they may have missed a trick.

The QR Codes are encoded as unique TinyURLs that redirect to the appropriate Google Maps URL. If there had been an intermediary step, for example TinyURL to (say) …002, 003 etc., then a redirect to Google Maps, Rough Guides (using the Google Analytics already on their website) would have been able to gather excellent statistical data on relative frequency of use.

Admittedly each TinyURL has its own statistics page, with a unique ID and code (which you have to remember at the time you make the URL). However visiting 250+ individual pages to gather the statistics does not seem like a good idea!

Front cover of the book Earthbound: a Rough Guide to the World in PicturesKioscos Puerto Rico

The QR Code in the picture above of a Kioscos in Puerto Rico leads to its location on a Google map.

Google map showing the location of the Kioscos in the picture

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