QR Codes Turn A City Into A Library and Gravestones Into Memorials

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blogpost about QR codes (Quick Response), here. They are those funny little coded squares that you see everywhere you go these days. Once you scan a QR code with the appropriate app, they take you someplace… to a website, a video, an advertisement, or maybe a sweepstakes entry.

But a town in Austria has taken these codes to a whole new level.

Apparently, this town, Klagenfurt, doesn’t have a library. So for the “Festival of German Language Literature” they have turned to QR codes to turn the entire town into a library.

They have placed about 70 QR codes all around the city, and these are linked to books, mostly through Project Gutenberg. You scan the code and it takes you right to a website to download the book.

In a bit of extra fun, they have put the QR codes in relevant spots to link the plot of the book to a location or a landmark. A crime story near the police station. A spiritual story near a church. I’m guessing the organizers had a great time mapping out the spots.

And they’re not done. My understanding is that they are going to be adding other media to the experience….. music, artwork and more.

Sounds like a great project with awesome possibilities.

photo credit: treehouse1977 via photo pin cc

..and then there are the gravestones…..

In a cemetery, a person’s life is represented only by a dash. The ” – ” between the birth date and the death date.

But imagine, instead of the dash….. a QR code. Scanning this code would link you to an online memorial or (gasp) Facebook page of the deceased.

Hmmm. Something to think about. Actually, I’ll bet this catches on…..

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5 thoughts on “QR Codes Turn A City Into A Library and Gravestones Into Memorials

  1. This would be like going on a scavenger hunt with your phone. I actually like your idea about QR gravestones. It would be cool to find out more information about the deceased when visiting old graveyards or new ones. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • I thought “scavenger hunt” as well! As for the gravestones, it is already being done all over the country. A quick google search finds companies offering this service in Seattle, Indiana and other places. Yes, I think it will catch on. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  2. Daniela says:

    This post really moved something in me. Having QR code linking you to a crime thriller near the police station is I thought fantastic idea! Music and art QR’s, sounds like fun too. Then I read about gravestones … and it is already happening apparently. I am not sure about that. If an online memorial will be organized/displayed in the way deceased person wanted it, then I guess will be simply matter of having an electronic record instead of a record or a message engraved in the actual stone. However, if such on line memorial will serve as a portal to free flow of information about deceased, I would not like it. Besides there is something dignified about gravestones … they are final. I am reluctant to visualise a grave yard with whole lots of people going around holding beeping phones to scan codes!

    • I agree, Daniela, this all moved me, too, which is why I chose to share it on a blog post. The QR’s in the town is simply grand. Love that idea. As for the gravestones, I’m liking the idea. My other huge passion (besides these gadgets) is genealogy/history. I have spent countless hours in old cemeteries (I love them). As I gaze at an old stone, I frequently wonder about the story of the person who is memorialized there. What did they do? What was their life like? Who were they? I guess people in the future won’t have to wonder.

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