Monday, 10 October 2016

QR Codes and how you can use them for Genealogy

I downloaded a QR code reader app on my mobile phone. Mostly because I was curious what the code meant. A QR code is the little square code you may see on some items. It is used to hold more information about that product.

For those of you who don't know about QR codes....
Here is the QR code on my box of Crunchmaster crackers.  Scan the QR code for additional recipes and serving sugestions.

I opened the QR code reader on my phone and held it over the box. There is a square guide in the scanner you are supposed to hold over the QR code, but putting it any where near the code activated the scan...

You can see in the 3rd photo it gives you a URL to click on.  I clicked OK and this is the result...

It took me to the company web page where I can get recipes, find a store near me that sells the product, and download a coupon for $1 off my next purchase.

Then I saw that you can create QR codes for free online.
Ah ha!
That got me thinking of some interesting ways to use this technology! Here are some of my ideas, but I'm sure you can think of more.

I am using The QR Code Generator on my computer. There are many free ones, you can do a search and try them out. You can type text or if you have a web page you can point to the URL.  I also tried the code generator at VisuaLead. You can put your code on an image, and you get 3 free ones that you can save and download.

Kids love using technology and I made this QR to put on a card to my grandson. I created it using VisuaLead with a photo of my grandfather... (since it is free, when it opens there is a short ad that disappears for about 3 seconds)

Use your phone QR code reader app on the above code on your pc or laptop - just point it at your screen. You should get text to my grandson Maksim, telling him which of his ancestors he is most like. If you don't have the QR reader you can read it here.

If you make your own Christmas cards, you can add a QR code on the inside that holds your yearly newsletter, either as text or a web page URL. Way to save on paper!!!

When my mother died last spring I saw that at the funeral home you could order memorial cards.  You can make your own modern version of the memorial card with card stock, a photo, and generate a QR code telling about the deceased persons life. Here I took the old memorial card for Pierre Maximilien Guimond and added a QR code.


The more text you have the more small dots in the code. You should be able to read the QR code in center, on the card may be too small here. If you don't have a QR reader the text is here.

Most of you may have seen the Ancestor Cards you can make and use to play games. Kids will be glad to play when they can use a mobile device to get the information from a QR code. The ancestor cards can have a photo of the ancestor and minimal information, the rest being in the code.

You can put QR codes on business or calling cards. When we travelled with the boat or the RV we had personal cards with a photo of the boat or RV and our name and email address to give to people we met on our travels.  Recently Lorine McGinnis Shulze wrote one of her articles on Legacy News suggesting to make a calling card to hand out at genealogy conferences. It would be fun to add a QR code. This one points to the URL of my blog.

You can even put the code on a t-shirt (or practically any item) to announce the upcoming birth of a baby!

What innovative ways of using QR codes for Genealogy can you come up with?

Relevant Links

The QR Code Generator

VisuaLead - Visual QR Code Generator

Letter to Maksim

Memorial Card text

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