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New meta solution: Develop a reusable, open source, QR code based geopositioning toolkit for smart city POCs


I’ve e-mailed the following to Yunus Mayat (Bradford Council) after a discussion that emerged at the GeoNetBake working group last week.

Might be interesting for @Boris @claus @HD_Hamburg @nicole.schubbe @turegjorup @klantto @sydsimpson and others.

Cc @Jefwillems @HansF @Justine @JoranVD

Dear Yunus

After our interesting discussion at the Aarhus partner meeting last week during & after the working groups, I take the liberty of following up by e-mail.

As I explained, Ghent is interested in exploring if we could join forces and set up, within the SCORE project, the development of a reusable , open source, QR code based, “low tech” geolocating object toolkit as a solution that enables smart cities to quickly set up IOT proof of concepts for a broad spectrum of use cases/challenges that are about:

  • Movable/moving objects owned by city (or partners, or subcontractors), or fixed street furniture, … basically every useful item you find in a city that can be stickered with a QR code
  • Actions/workflows/contact persons etc. linked to the object (eg. reporting actions by citizens, internal workflows eg. placing the item on public domain)
  • Need to collect geolocation information on those objects (be it with limited accuracy +/- 5-10m, because of smartphone device geopositioning limits)

Building the toolkit in a generic (and well documented) way from the start, adding tests (case by case) done by Ghent, Bradford, etc. as examples & inspiration for other cities, we think virtually any city could benefit from such a reusable toolkit. The project potentially align very well with the vision and scope of SCORE.

Some initial ideas, quick wins and advantages of the concept would be:

  • ‘Circumvent’ the need/threshold to develop full native apps. Where traditionally, QR codes are scanned within a static, in app workflow, in this concept we could try to fall back to a default QR reader, linking through the QR code to a simple web page, with just a couple of customizable buttons as very easy to use web page content.
  • Such buttons could be customized codeless in a generic management interface, based on the type of object and the desired object related actions/workflows. Triggers and notification could be applied and configured (also codeless).
  • Especially applicable for use cases where cities hesitate to invest immediately in location revealing sensors. A proof of concept based on the “low tech” that is QR codes might demonstrate the ROI, visualize the benefits, and convince decision makers to invest in actual sensors as next step in scaling the solution idea.
  • Possibly link a QR code to a Linked Open Data URI. Using standardized schemas we might be able to make city objects not only interpretable by humans but also add link them to the web of things that are becoming interpretable by machines. This would lead to cost-efficiently build a preliminary Internet of (City) Things, each thing marked and identified with a QR sticker.
  • For aggregating and visualizing the location information, the IOT Registry in SCORE could be reused as a building block.

We believe in this idea being applied specifically for use cases where a city department wants to test the potential of a particular idea, getting involved in some quick & dirty field testing (which would take only a couple of days), before deciding to initiate a full blown project where IOT location sensors, application development, business analysis, user testing, etc. are involved.

Looking forward to your reaction.

Please don’t hesitate to include in this e-mail discussion whoever in Bradford Council you think would be interested in joining this initiative.


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: About the Reusable QR code category