UPPER DELAWARE REGION — They appear everywhere these days, those small squares of black and white patterns that are portals to information troves of varying types. Called Quick Response (QR) codes, the squares are two-dimensional matrix barcodes encoded with data and designed to enable mobile device users to obtain easy access to additional information linked to the code.
QR codes have more applications than many of us realize. By scanning the QR code on the cover of a publication called the “Spring River Chronicle,” readers can listen to the print newspaper. With fewer people finding time to read these days, a newspaper that reads to its readers could prove popular.
In this region, the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB) has generated a QR code for use in its print-based advertisements to provide information about New York State Route 97.
The UDSB traverses the western borders of Orange, Sullivan and Delaware counties along a 70-mile stretch of the Delaware River. Primarily an information shortcut, the QR code is available to any byway community or business that would like to raise awareness about the state-designated scenic highway corridor.
Accessing QR codes requires a mobile phone equipped with a camera. Users must download a reader application that scans the QR code image to retrieve the information. Once scanned, a mobile landing page is displayed. The page created for the UDSB by Dorene Warner, creative director of W Design of Barryville, NY, is formatted to accommodate a variety of layouts for different devices.
The UDSB landing page currently provides basic information about the byway. For now, it serves primarily to point users to the main website, which breaks the byway into five sections ranging from Port Jervis to Hancock, and provides information on historic sites, museums, businesses, dining and lodging options and more.
Continuing in its efforts to embrace modern communications technology, the non-profit UDSB, Inc. has applied to the FY 2012 Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program for a grant to pursue an electronic marketing campaign that would include the development of a fully comprehensive mobile application.
The expanded application would upgrade the current content and database to offer a website, which would also enable locating regional assets and businesses on Google maps, thereby providing access to such information while traveling and allowing users to easily find a wide range of offerings along the UDSB.
Laurie Ramie, acting executive director of the Upper Delaware Council, also noted that the grant project would enhance the social and economic vitality of the Upper Delaware River Valley, a key goal of the 1986 River Management Plan.
To request use of the UDSB QR code or free copies of the 20-page travelogue brochure, “Meet Us on the Byway,” call Laurie Ramie at 845/252-3022, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit www.upperdela  warescenicbyway.org.