Friday, May 02, 2008

Google Chart API now generates QR Codes.

Simply choose the size in pixels of your barcode and the url you wish to encode. Inserting these in the required url format gives:

Which when you paste it into your browser address bar produces this:

It's been out for a few weeks now, only I wish it was configured to encode more than just url’s - I kept waiting for them to provide documentation or extend the capability.

Until then it’s really just a neat trick.

I keep wondering what google is really up when it comes to qr codes? If they wanted to make this happen they could roll out really effective tools with less than a few hundred developer hours (so in other words less than a weeks time for a small google team).

…..what are you really delaying for google?



  1. It seems that Google is waiting for a social tipping point in the States for QR. Google will roll out their campaign in select cities soon to begin to build interest. I saw a QR Code demonstration last week in Los Angeles and was blown away. There is a firm here (Warbasse Design) that is already creating and rolling out working QR Code campaigns. I even saw one of their QR Codes yesterday at a movie theater in Venice which allows you to view a movie trailer on your phone. Pretty cool stuff.

  2. I guess my point that I was making is google 'could' tip qr codes into common usage in the USA fairly simply.

    I've already had several arms length discussions with people in various parts of google about how this could/should be implemented - the need for for tools discussion was made about 3 months before the charts API was released....was it an knows, dialog with them has never been 2 way.

    I think that they are stalling for Android and they dont want to 'tip the balance' before handsets are deployed.

    Personally I think thats sucky (what happened to do no evil?) but also wrong in that even if they started now widespread usage will take a while.

    I've put together several rollout strategy documents on how to make QR code usage more widely deployed in the USA and what is required for it's adoption.....will they bite - like I said who knows.

    Frankly I think they have some bigger long term strategy in mind....well I hope they do.

  3. Hey thanks for the mention Dean.

    This service encodes any text you like, not just URLs. The documentation that will be posted about it doesn't really get into what to encode -- but that is a hugely important point that people understand what can go in it, and how to do that, and that readers can understand it.

    I'm writing up something separately on this point for our Print Ads site, but it is worth mentioning some things you can encode in a QR Code (using this service):

    E-mail address:


    Geo location:


    Contact info (MECARD format):


    Phone number:


    The encoding server was written about 18 months ago in Tokyo if you can believe it, and just took this long to find its way to the light of day via this API.

    I don't think the strategy or timeline has any secret motives or hidden twists or stalls. It's exactly what it looks like. If we're slow we're just slow.

    As the idea has finally gained traction in the second half of last year, you're seeing applications pop up faster and faster like in Print Ads, Chart server, the reader -- a few more are in the pipe.

    There's no point in "waiting on Android." After all, we're not selling readers, we're giving them away. We make money when these add value to advertisers and they advertise more. And you already see Print Ads offering this, and you see us making a reader for every (decent) phone we can find. Seems nobody has noticed we're about to dump out an iPhone reader too... so no I don't think anyone is waiting on anything.

  4. plz someone get me how can read qr code from a webpage without using any app