Open Data of the Day: New York City Will Have QR Codes Everywhere

Every business with a city permit will soon be required to display a QR code linking to the municipal database.

Image
James Cridland/Flickr

Last year, New York became the first U.S. city to mandate QR codes on all permits from the Department of Buildings. For smartphone users, every construction site now carries a portal to city data.

Yesterday, the City Council voted unanimously to require QR (Quick Response) codes on all businesses that carry city permits. Restaurants, bars, and even daycare centers will soon have bar codes inviting users to check out the city's relevant information. The law is designed to work in tandem with a law that requires city agencies to have all public data online by 2016. If the health inspection letters restaurants are required to display don't give you enough details, you'll soon be able to find all you need with a quick phone scan.

Or will you? The Daily News is complaining that the QR codes, at least for restaurants, will not be easily accessible -- the city doesn't want to print them on the same paper as the letter grades, which would entail printing each grade individually. So their placement will, for now, be at the discretion of the establishment.

Top image: Flickr user James Cridland.

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.