Digital Archiving Resources

QR Codes for the Dead: Graveyards are becoming smart spaces, but will today's technology last forever?

Title

QR Codes for the Dead: Graveyards are becoming smart spaces, but will today's technology last forever?

Subject

Archive

Description

Since 2010, the application of QR Codes has sprung their popularity in various industries, allowing companies to bring customers directly to their site via scanning a code with their smartphones.
QR Codes have become part of digital culture, therefore are applied in unlikely areas such as everyday objects rather than their intended use of advertisement. So the application of QR Codes on headstones begins the question of what is pertinent for these codes to demonstrate.
With the growth of QR Code use, applying them to headstones has expanded through individuals wanting to create an interactive memorial for their loved ones while also pertaining to more information than what is available on a typical headstone. In this way, anyone can scan the code with their smartphone and learn about the person in question.
However, the use of QR Codes in cemeteries is not so far fetched in terms of recording and organizing the deceased. The initial use of Geographic Information System was to digitize archaeological and historical data, including cemeteries, providing analysis of plots both ancient and contemporary, and genealogical information. QR Codes add to GIS in terms of detailed and specific information, mapping plots and their geographical location, and an increase in sharing information.
The controversy with applying QR Codes to the headstones of the deceased falls to the commodity aspect that QR Codes promote. While they promote sharing information, their connection to commercial use still taints the purpose of these codes.

Creator

Kneese, Tamara

Publisher

The Atlantic

Date

2014 May 21

Contributor

Waddington, Calyn

Type

Journal Article

Bibliographic Citation

Kneese, Tamara. "QR Codes for the Dead." The Atlantic, 2016, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/qr-codes-for-the-dead/370901/.

Files

lead_large.jpg

Citation

Kneese, Tamara, “QR Codes for the Dead: Graveyards are becoming smart spaces, but will today's technology last forever?,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed November 18, 2017, http://dar.cah.ucf.edu/items/show/302.