Why a QR code on a map?
A QR code allows a smartphone user to get access to online information easily. For example the QR code could take them directly to the club or state website page for information for newcomers. Or maybe next events. On trail maps it can show on a Google map the location of the main entry point. Gen Y and Z prefer to use smartphones and tablets to access the web and QR codes facilitate that.
Some useful links for QR code information
- Read varied uses of QR codes.
- 40 unusual QR codes.
- And here we have QR code as an art form from an Australian artist.
- What size should a printed QR code be?
- QR code trade-offs – selecting content vs error correction.
Generate a QR code in OCAD format
Mark Roberts provides a program to create an OCAD file of a QR code. This is for OCAD v9 and will work for later versions. OCAD 11 and later users might simply use the first stage of Mark’s process and place the resultant PNG file in the Layout Layer. But if the logo associated with the QR code is in OCAD format, it probably makes sense to place the OCAD QR code next to it to ensure they stay together.
Mark made this specifically to create OCD files of QR codes for Google Maps locations generated by www.qrstuff.com. However it can also be used to generate a QR code for a club website.
- Install the QR4OCAD app from www.organisedgrime.com.au/QR4OCAD/publish.
- Instal prerequisite Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 (x86 and x64) if necessary.
- Download this template file and place it in your downloads folder www.organisedgrime.com.au/QR4OCAD/QRCodeTemplate.ocd
Generate a QR code
- Go to www.qrstuff.com
- Select URL or Google Maps Location
- Choose a location if relevant
- Click download
- The image will be placed in your downloads folder.
- Now run QR4OCAD and click Get Latest from Downloads Folder
Tips for a usable OCAD QR code
- If embedding a URL always use QRstuff’s URL shortener option as in image below (click for a larger image).
- If embedding an address or any other text, ensure the result is a Version 2 QR code (25 rows or modules).
- If embedding a number such as telephone, add text else you will almost certainly get a Version 1 QR code.
As at 13 Sep 2013, QR4OCAD generates a correct OCAD QR code file only for Version 2 QR codes. (Mark might add other versions if there is demand).
How do you know if you have a correct OCAD QR code? Visually compare the generated OCAD QR code with the original PNG. If they look different then the OCAD QR code is incomplete and will not work. If you have OCAD 11 or later then you could instead use the QRstuff PNG raster image in the Layout Layer. However, to minimise read errors for users (see QR code trade-offs above), you would be better to read on.
A Version 2 QR code contains characters in the range 20 to 47. A QRstuff quick test with Data Type of Website URL selected showed that at just 33 characters, QRstuff generates a Version 3 QR code. On the other hand QRstuff seems to always generate a Version 2 QR code if the text is very short. Thus always use their URL shortener. A bonus is that it will provide better read error correction.
For other data types, my suggestion is that as you enter the data, watch the QR Code Preview at upper right of the QRstuff screen. The module data arrangement naturally changes as you enter data. Initially the display is Version 1 (21 modules) and at some point you will see the module density change which means it is now Version 2 (25 modules). If it changes again to 29 modules (Version 3) then you need to shorten your data.