Glasgow Tours Go Mobile with QR Codes

Mackintosh QR codes 3GVision, which makes the i-nigma mobile barcode reader, has revealed that, from this weekend, visitors to Glasgow will be able to take part in a trial using two-dimensional barcodes to download architectural tours of Glasgow direct to mobile phones. It is thought to be the first time the technology has been used in this way to deliver a tour in the UK.

Three tours have been created by the Mackintosh Heritage Group to help visitors discover some of the great architectural works of Glasgow, including those by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander Greek Thomson.

The tours are accessed by using a QR (Quick Response) Code reader on their phone. Users scan the image with their barcode reader, which decodes the pattern and automatically downloads their choice of tour as a PDF.
The three tours have been created with the assistance of writer and architectural historian Gavin Stamp. Each tour takes around one and half hours. The Glasgow Style and Modernity Tour starts in the city centre looking at the buildings created by Mackintosh and his contemporaries around 1900. The West End Tour looks at the residential suburbs which emerged to the west of the city centre as it expanded during the prosperous Victorian period. The Second City Tour examines some of the city centres best examples of Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture.

Within the next few days, the codes will be distributed on cards to visitors to the Mackintosh attractions in Glasgow and other key spots for tourists. The cards contain a QR Code image alongside easy instructions on how to get hold of the required software for their phone while on the move.

The group is also working on promoting the codes on posters and stickers inside the venues. The Mackintosh Heritage Group website has printable versions of the tours if visitors dont have a compatible phone.

“People are often unaware of the history and artistry that surrounds them, says Stuart Robertson, Chair of the Mackintosh Heritage Group. “By delivering these tours directly into peoples hands, we can help them discover the legacy of Mackintosh and other great Glasgow architects.”