Last week on 9/23, there were major disruptions to the Places listings in Google Maps with numerous reports of listings not showing, showing the wrong Place, duplicate listings and the QR codes not working. One theory posited on the disruption was that Google was moving Maps to new servers. At the time, Google noted the problems and stated that they had been fixed. Many of the issues did disappear but it appears that there are still problems with the QR Codes not working and returning 404 Errors.
Here is my QR Code from my Dashboard. When scanned it currently directs a user to a 404 Error.
It is an interesting coincindence that in the Online Media Daily today, they are reporting out a 700% increase in Barcode scanning this year noting that “there were more barcode scans performed in a single month starting in July than in all of 2009”. The article went on to note that linking to a web site was by far the most common type of action used by a 2D (ie QR type) code with 85% of them going to a URL . From the report:
Looking at user demographics, the study found that half of barcode users are ages 35 to 45 and skew male, reflecting the smartphone and early-adopter populations. Android was easily the most popular smartphone platform among barcode users, with 45% owning devices powered by Google mobile operating system. Second was BlackBerry (27%), followed by the iPhone (15%), Symbian (9%), Java (3%) and Windows Mobile (1%).
The reason for the Android skew is that the app is a default app on that platform.
Update: Barry Hunter helped me parse the bad URL:
and determine that the problem lies in that fact that this location is not functioning: http://maps.google.com/m/place
If you redo the URL with the /m/ removed, it will work:
It is not clear why Google’s /m/ which is their mobile page is not working and/or why it it is not being redirected.Google Places QR Codes Missing in Action by Mike Blumenthal