Scan and Learn: QR Codes in the Florida Botanical Gardens

Theresa Badurek

Abstract


The objective of this project was to create a system that uses Quick Response (QR) codes to increase knowledge gain by visitors to the Florida Botanical Gardens. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that may contain virtually any kind of data, including links to websites, text, videos, etc. These QR codes were placed on existing botanical signs in the Gardens. The QR codes can be scanned by visitors’ mobile devices, which link them to an online resource for further information, such as a University of Florida publication or website. First, a suitable QR code generator was chosen. The chosen generator is free and creates traceable codes that record which codes are being scanned and how often. Next, a team of Master Gardener volunteers created a database of existing signs and coordinating documents and websites. Finally, the team worked together to create the QR codes, which were then printed on heavy-duty, waterproof, UV-resistant, adhesive paper for installation on signs. The results include a database of botanical signs in the Florida Botanical Gardens and QR codes for those that link to University of Florida publications. These codes were installed in the spring of 2012 and have been scanned over 1300 times. We have concluded that QR codes are very flexible, easy to create, simple to track, and therefore could be applied to any demonstration landscape to educate visitors.


Keywords


Quick Response codes, botanical gardens, consumer education, database organization

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283