The city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, has found a great way to provide tourists with relevant information on local sites, through the use of QR codes.
The bar codes are starting to be embedded directly in the sidewalk, Digital Journal tells us. Visitors only have to snap a shot of the code, and it will provide them with info on local attractions, beaches, surf sites etc.
The first one popped up in the Arpoador area, located on a peninsula neighboring the popular Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.
They have been integrated to fit in with local architecture, and built out of mosaic tiles. The black and white tiles fit the decorum perfectly.
Tourists need to download an app to decode the messages sent out via the QR signs. Once a photo of the code is taken, the application directs them to a local tourist website, which provides information in three languages.
For now, said data is relayed in Portuguese, for locals, and Spanish and English. A map is also available online.
One Arpoador site indicated online is “Praia do Diabo,” a popular surf spot. It is known for its large waves that make it the ideal surfers' destination. The name Arpoador translates into "harpoon thrower," as the location was used to catch whales by launching harpoons directly from the shore.
Rio de Janeiro registers around 2 million tourists annually, and the city hopes to install another 30 bar codes in an effort to support the tourism industry.
The QR codes were first installed directly in sidewalks in Portugal, and the people of Rio agree that it is a good idea. They are often asked for directions by wandering tourists, and all point to the online map as being a useful resource for those traveling from outside the city.