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QR Codes and Genealogy – Part 2 QR Code

In Part 1 of this series on QR codes, we discussed how they work, some of their current uses and why QR codes are likely to become popular starting in 2010.  Here are some further uses for QR codes in the field of genealogy as well as ways in which you can create QR codes for your own use.

Genealogy Uses for QR Codes

When I first encountered QR codes, a myriad of uses for genealogy and family history appeared obvious to me, including:

  • Historic Sites – when walking around a historic site such as Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, New York where my 9th great-grandfather lived, QR codes could be placed on current historic markers.  With your mobile phone, you could scan the image and get more information on the specific building or location.  Better yet, you could hear an audio narration (similar to those tours conducted at art museums) about the item of historic interest.
  • Tombstones – a QR code tag affixed to a tombstone or planted discreetly in the ground next to it would allow family members as well as researchers to get more information about the deceased.  There is only so much room on a grave marker and scanning the QR code would allow you to understand how the deceased lived their life.
  • Records – wouldn’t it be great if you walked into a repository such as a county clerk’s office, scanned a QR code for a book of deeds and perhaps got the following: a source citation for the records formatted using Evidence Explained standards? Or perhaps a link to an online version of the data?
  • Libraries – while perusing the stacks, you might scan a QR code and find that a book is available for download in e-book format.  Or you could see what books in a certain section are checked out and when they are expected to return.  Or you can even find “read alikes” – similar material to the book you’ve already located.
  • Conferences – scan a genealogy conference attendee’s badge and learn the surnames they are researching; professional genealogists could advertise their areas of expertise on a QR code sort of like a business card or an advertisement; or even let attendees speed through registration at an event!

What other uses can you think of? Leave your ideas in the Comments section of this post.

Create Your Own QR Code

Here are some resources for creating your own QR codes:

  • globokode – generates various types of QR codes on one PDF
  • kaywa qr code generator – standard QR code generator and link to QR code reader
  • TEC-IT – QR code business cards

Photo: this is an actual QR Code for the URL of GeneaBloggers.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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