Skip navigation

Tag Archives: physical computing

It is with a great deal of excitement that I offer at the bottom of this entry a database of 2D barcodes that describe all 60 Brooklyn Public Library locations and services.

A 2D barcode is an image that corresponds to a web address (the http://www.website.com is actually coded in the barcode image). Since each of the Brooklyn Public Library branches has a unique web address, I was able to use kaywa.com to generate barcodes for each of the branches web spaces.

How do you read this crazy looking barcode? With your cellphone of course. Many Nokia phones as well as the iPhone offer 2D barcode decoders. If your phone has a camera and is web-enabled you can probably do this, so don’t be intimidated. It is as easy as taking a picture! The decoder uses your phone’s camera to translate a picture of the barcode into the coded web address and then links you to that page on your mobile web browser.

I got interested in this idea after hearing that this technology is fully blown up in Japan and that CitySearch San Francisco has been using 2Dbarcodes to identify restaurants. Why not create stickers for library branches? Why not add these images to our print flyers, thus enriching an old-fashioned paper format with readily accessible web information?  Update: check out this online zine promoting 2D barcode projects and all of the exciting possibilities.

Below you will find 4 different links for each of our Brooklyn Public Library buildings. I’ve presented the barcodes in 2 different formats, datamatrix and QR. The first two links are PNG image files that can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Word docs, Photoshop, or Illustrator. Just copy and paste the barcode and you add a web page and all that interactivity to your flyer! The second two links are to PDF files of label templates. Each sheet has 6 stickers, and can be printed on Avery matte white labels size 8254, available from Staples here. Stick information about your local library anywhere! In addition I’ve added a link to PDF files of “ex libris” bookplate stickers that offer a barcode image linking you to the Brooklyn Public Library homepage. That should keep you busy and make your books look cool.

In the future, with the success of the OpenLibrary project’s goal to give every book its own web page, 2D barcodes could prove useful in offering online information about any given book. The possibilities are endless. This, my friends, is our first easily accessible, consumer-driven attempt at linking the physical world to the digital world. Well, actually that’s debatable, but I’m pretty damn psyched about this particular step. PLEASE people, USE the barcodes I’ve generated and made easy for you to distribute and stick anywhere and everywhere appropriate for the dispersal of the encoded information. You can always generate your own stickers for any site at blank.com, but I’ve made it particularly easy for you to spread hype about your local library. You’ll note that these stickers still promote the library without a fancypants barcode reader: they still say the name of your local branch on them. Promote your library yourself! Go to town with it!

Download bookplates here.

Please report any errors you may find in the database below.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arlington

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Bay Ridge

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Bedford

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Borough Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Brighton Beach

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Brooklyn Heights

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Brower Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Brownsville

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Bushwick

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Business Library

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Canarsie

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Carroll Gardens

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Central Library

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Clarendon

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Clinton Hill

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Coney Island

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Cortelyou image

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Crown Heights

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Cypress Hills

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Dekalb

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Dyker

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

East Flatbush

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Eastern Parkway

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Flatbush

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Flatlands

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Fort Hamilton

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Gerritsen Beach

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Gravesend

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Greenpoint

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Highlawn

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Homecrest

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Jamaica Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Kensington

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Kings Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Kings Highway

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Leonard

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Macon

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Mapleton

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Marcy

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

McKinley Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Midwood

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Mill Basin

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

New Lots

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

New Utrecht

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Pacific

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Paerdegat

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Park Slope

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Red Hook

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Rugby

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Ryder

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Saratoga

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Sheepshead Bay

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Spring Creek

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Stone Avenue

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Sunset Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Ulmer Park

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Walt Whitman

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Washington Irving

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Williamsburgh

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

Windsor Terrace

image for flyer (DM) image for flyer (QR) 6 stickers (DM) 6 stickers (QR)

—————————————————————————————

So. You are walking down the street on hot summer afternoon in Brooklyn, when you see a fire hydrant gushing water with a gang of happy kids playing in it. “Good times,” you reflect nostalgically as you dodge the spray and keep strolling down the block. You remember what it was like being a kid yourself doing the same thing in the dead of summer. Your mind wanders and you start to think about fire hydrants themselves and their history and the laws strictly prohibiting people from wastefully opening them up like that. When you round the next corner you see another hydrant, and this one hasn’t been opened for recreational purposes. On the side of it you are pleased to find a small sticker placed there by another citizen, because that sticker will enable you to access more information about fire hydrants, their history, and the laws about opening them up for play. You snap a picture of that sticker with your phone and it immediately links you to the appropriate Wikipedia article “fire hydrant”, while the GPS determines your location and the appropriate location based information to push to you.

OK, the fire hydrant is a slight bizarre example, a bit of a stretch, but its been hotter than hell in NYC lately and this story illustrates what Semapedia.org does.

Visit the site, it’s a really cool idea- filling out a form on their website will create 2D barcodes for you that correspond to any Wikipedia article. It gives you a pdf of that barcode and then you can print stickers that you attach to a real world artifact “once you have permission”. Part two of the venture is installing a 2D barcode reader on your phone, which taps into the camera function (some phones come with them already installed, others you’ll have to sort out on your own). Then snap a picture of any 2D barcode and it will take you to the appropriate URL. Here’s a link to a project at Columbia where someone built a 2D barcode reader for the iPhone that can recognize URLs embedded in QR codes. Unfortunately, because Apple is all about driving you to their not so mom-and-pop App Store for everything, with the 2.0 upgrade I haven’t figured out how to install a 2D barcode reader on my phone. If any readers can help, please email me.

But wait, is hyperlinking the world’s objects an appropriate end game? I don’t think so. I went to a publisher’s showcase at New York Public Library this afternoon and decided to walk all the way back home to Greenpoint, Brooklyn from 42nd st. The urban hike is a beautiful thing, don’t knock it- even if some fools try to turn it into a networking experience. Along my way I was snapping pics on my phone and sending them to FaceBook mobile, documenting my path and my thoughts as I passed through the city. I love the graffiti aspect of the Semapedia project: literally “tagging” things with information. But what if you customized your own version of this technology and made the barcodes you place on objects link not to Wikipedia but to your own site. You could “virtually” slander or promote a physical target via one tiny barcode. You could create your own narrative of your urban hike, based on fleeting memories, random nostalgic associations, déjà vu, ANYTHING. While I appreciate the “information commons” aspect of Semapedia, the first thing I think of is customizing and personalizing the thing and making Sema-Nate-O-Pedia so that I can create my own narratives of the city and my daily journeys through it. I’d put those damn stickers everywhere! I’ll add that I think this is part of what the artists are experimenting with in the Marfa webring project proposed on Rhizome, but I’d love to see that taken to the next level and made individual rather than awkwardly pseudo-municipal.

Bottom line: I’m less interested in a physical-computing encyclopedia of the world’s objects than I am in a physical-computing encyclopedia of the world’s object versus me. That’s not vanity, that’s just the way individuals interact with the world, as individuals. The collectives will form by themselves later.

Update: looks like this is easy enough to do with this QR code generator!  Awesome!  Now i just need a reader for the iphone…

Update again:  I got a datamatrix decoder to work on my iphone!  awesome! 

This is utter genius.  Thanks to my pal Jess over at bananasarebeautiful for pointing me to it.

This just in: HOLY CRAP.  Its not a joke.