Southampton Open Data Blog

Guest Posts

Guest Post: QR Codes in Bus Stops

August 10, 2011
by Christopher Gutteridge

This is a guest post from Nick Gammer, a University of Southampton MSc student.

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Just a quick note about a project I’m undertaking involving Southampton University’s Open Data Service. As the dissertation of my MSc in Transport Planning and Engineering and with the kind help of First Group and support of Southampton City Council I’ve placed QR code posters in over 40 bus stops around Southampton. These can be scanned using a smartphone which links to the next arrival times of all buses servicing the relevant stop, usually in real time as the majority of services now have GPS based AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location).

This information initially comes from ROMANSE, Southampton’s traffic control centre. However this is not mobile friendly and does not perform well on a smartphone. Southampton University’s open Data Service already skims this data, adding a map of the stop location, which is what the QR code links to. Without this service the project would be substantially devalued.

The project has been running for two weeks now with initially encouraging results; between 10 and 30 QR codes are scanned and link to this data daily. There is also a survey underway assessing users views of the service (amongst other things). I’ll put a quick note on the conclusion of the project at a later data.