How to embed Google Maps directions in a 2D barcode

by Jon Thompson on August 20, 2008

First, you’ll need an iPhone and access to a computer.

Next, download a reliable 2D barcode reader from the App store.  I have been using the NeoReader and it seems to work well.

Select your route in Google Maps.  I have chosen a route between Marin Coffee Roasters (great coffee) and The Crucible (great welding classes).

Select the ‘Link’ option in the upper right corner of your Google Map and copy the link to your clipboard.

Open the Kaywa QR-Code Generator (my new favorite) and select the URL option.  Paste the Link you obtained from Google Maps into the URL box and select ‘Generate’.

You will now see a large QR Code which contains your Google Map route.  (I recommend using the large size if you are trying to take a picture of the image on your computer screen.)

Take a photo of the QR Code with the NeoReader on your iPhone.  The NeoReader will ask you if you want to use the photo, select ‘Use Photo’ the select ‘Continue’.  Your iPhone will first open Safari but once it recognizes that the QR Code content is a Google Map Link it should automatically open the Google Map App and plot the same course.  Here is my route on my iPhone’s Google Map App which you can compare against the mapped route above:

While this may not prove incredibly useful for the humanitarian community it does show that with a few simple tools useful data can be easily embeded into a small image in a matter of minutes by even the most inexperienced user.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike August 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Great , thank you for the info.

TheBarcodeGuy August 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm

This is a real-world example of how to use barcode technology and a barcode font (in this case the QCode) to make a mundane and time-consuming task easy to do.

We have experience in barcode fonts. If I can be of assistance, just email me.

5050box January 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

I know it is an old post but you still might find this interesting. There is a much easier way to do this with Firefox. Just install the plugin “Mobile Barcoder”. Works like a charm and hope it helps!

BTW: Great blog! 😉

Revvin January 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Also try for a easy way to send Google maps to any phone with a QR reader.

sam September 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

i realize this is old, but thanks for the info! this is incredibly helpful. also, welding and coffee is an excellent combination.

hey barcodeguy – i’m working on a project using either qr or datamatrix barcodes, and i’d love to ask someone who knows a few questions about encoding locations and maps, etc. if you’re still checking this, and wouldn’t mind, please send me an email! (

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