|Coast Survey is testing QR codes on POD |
nautical charts. For instance, the QR code
on chart 11416 would lead to important
information on your smartphone.
NOAA's Print-on-Demand paper charts may provide a unique service in the coming months. Don't worry, you will still get all the accurate and precise chart information you rely on - but you may also get a little more real-time interactivity. Coast Survey is evaluating whether to add quick response codes to POD nautical charts, so boaters can use their smartphones to get real-time information.
Quick response codes (QR codes) are 2-dimensional bar codes, like the image on the left. When you scan a QR code with an iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled smartphone, you can link to digital content on the Internet. (You may need to download a free QR code reader application to your smartphone first).
The nautical chart QR codes that we are testing would bring the smartphone user to a site that provides information specific to the location depicted on the chart. For instance, if you used the code on Chart 11416 Tampa Bay, you would get a link to the tides, air/water temperature, barometric pressure, wind, and other information specific to Tampa Bay. This webpage ( http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/qr/QR-Experiment.html ) gives you some QR codes that you can try out. (If you prefer, you can go directly to a sample interactive page ( http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/qr/QR_11416m.php ) for Chart 11416.)
What do you think? Will mariners - especially recreational boaters who do not have an electronic charting system or a computer on board - find QR codes useful? Coast Survey wants your opinion. Particularly, we are assessing:
- Usability of the mobile interface, particularly at sea
- The mix of information that should be provided
- Benefits to mariners of the information
- Utility of the icons on the chart at the information stations
- Appropriate improvements
- Mobile connectivity in recreational boating areas
- The costs to build and maintain a mobile information service
- Whether NOAA should offer this as a service
You can contribute your comments on the evaluation topics listed above. Send an email to QRcodeCharts@noaa.gov or leave a voicemail at 888-990-6622.
We are evaluating the QR codes as a free service that would be added to NOAA's Print-on-Demand charts, available commercially from http://www.oceangrafix.com and http://www.geospatial.com .
January 10, 2013
|QR code for this article.|