|Go ahead and point your QR reader|
at this QR code and you will see one of the stations,
The Jose de Jesus Vallejo Adobe,
on the California Nursery Historic Park tour.
I go to lots of parks. I love parks.
I also love computers and the internet and smart phones.
When they all combine, I am super happy.
More and more often, I am seeing QR codes and other technology in the parks. Here are some of my favorites uses of technology in our parks and beyond.
- The Oakland Museum of California had a fantastic exhibit 2013-2014 called Above and Below the Bay. The exhibit provided two ways to take the exhibit outside of the museum. From the exhibit page, click on the tab "Geolocated Guide to the Bay" to find how to use two mobile phone platforms, Findery and Field Trip, to explore the Bay Area.
- The Chicago Botanic Garden's new app!
- My own google map of the California Nursery is obviously one of my favorites. I have located many of the trees on the property and included history, places to eat in town, earthquake faults, neat stuff like that. Go directly to the map.
- The Boy Scouts have an interactive map of the California Nursery Historical Park. Very nice even though outdated.
- There are now QR codes on all of the signs for the California Nursery Historic Park Walking Tour. Did you point your QR reader at the QR code above? If you did, you have seen one of the walking tour stations. Not familiar with QR codes? Skip to the bottom. (Update 2016: labels need to be UV and water resistant, because they haven't lasted).
- Botanical Buzz from www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/podcasts.
- The World Park in Central Park, New York City. I haven't seen this in person, but I like that it has games and pictures and stuff for kids/adults. New York City has other mobile apps to help visitors.
- Some French cows were painted with QR codes. If you stop at 1:02 in the video you can point your smartphone at a QR code on one of the cows. It brings up a game.
- This Pinterest board has collected many good websites about gardens.
- The H. L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, NC has many signs with QR codes. My favorite is the Frogs and Toads sound guide at the frog pond. If you click on the photo here (and if the picture is big enough on your screen), you can scan the QR codes. My Qrafter could read the QR code even when it is fairly small, but I will enlarge the bullfrog code at the end of this post. It's as if you were there listening to the bullfrogs and the upland chorus frog and all their buddies. It may freak out your cat.
Some tips on using QR codes and QR code readers:
- There are many free QR code reader apps for smartphones. I am currently using Qrafter. The free apps tend to have ads, but Qrafter's ads are not too intrusive.
- Here's how Qrafter works. You "Scan with Camera" and point phone at the QR code. The phone makes a bleep and then you get some options. Choose "Go to URL".
- Not even sure what a QR code is?
- What about the danger of downloading a virus?
- And as promised, here is a larger snapshot of the bullfrog signage. If this isn't big enough, then you can click on the image and it will be shown full size.