Although QR codes have been used for a few years in other countries, in the U.S. we're still learning how to put them to work for us. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking them to the streets and buildings of his city. Soon, QR codes will be on all Department of Buildings permits.

New Yorkers expect to be able to gather information instantly, and the use of QR codes will allow them to get all information about construction work while standing on the sidewalk,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The QR codes will provide more efficient access to government data, help the public know what’s being built in their neighborhoods, and it will allow people to make more informed decisions about things from renting an apartment to making a complaint. This is another example of how we are using the latest advances in technology to increase accountability and provide more information to the public.

After scanning the codes Mayor Bloomberg is putting in place, New Yorkers will have access to the building permit history of whomever is attached to the permit. Pretty cool to see such a use case for QR codes being put to work. [Mike Bloomberg]


Reader comments

NYC to put QR codes on building permits


Wow...way to go NY...use a technology that a majority of people don't know about to spread important information. Politics, I swear...

It just seems really "out there". Maybe New Yorkers are different, but when I drive or walk-by a building under construction it never crosses my mind to check the building permit :P

Maybe it never crosses your mind, but this is convenient for people who may need to check building permits. Just because it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it's useless.

Here in Lake County IL our forest preserve district is putting qr codes at all trailheads. Scan the code with your phone and it gives you a map of that specific trail. I think it's a pretty cool idea, one that I'm sure I will use this spring/summer.

Check out to make your own QR codes on Android and post them to G+, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Would love to hear some feedback on our new app, too. Thanks!