Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex unveils Quick Response Codes Tour

Mossel Bay Tourism launched its first QR codes tour on International Museums Day (18 May).

The project included creating pages on www.visitmosselbay.co.za for significant sites and exhibits at the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, and installing QR codes at fifteen locations in the Complex so that visitors to the museum can instantly and easily access information about them.

QR (quick response) codes are three dimensional bar codes that can be read by all smart phones on which special QR code reader apps have been installed.

The Dias Museum project includes codes at the entrance to the complex, at the Post Office Tree, the caravel in the Maritime Museum, atDias’ Spring, at the Malay Graves, etc.

Speaking at the launch, which was attended by officials of the Museum – with children from Park Primary as their special guests – Mossel Bay Tourism vice-chairperson, Ray Murray, said, “The future is with us; it is in the new technology, and if you don’t embrace it you will be left behind.”

Making information available to all: the Dias Museum’s Braille Trail signage, with the new QR Code that explains the trail, and the vegetation of the area, to smart phone and internet users.

He said that, as leaders of the future in South Africa, ‘It’s so crucially important for children to get involved in the technology of museums.

“Museums are about looking at where we have come from, where our birthright is, and how we can take this wonderful country into the future.”

From an economic point of view, said Mr. Murray, the QR Codes Tour is significant because it places Mossel Bay in the forefront of tourism by offering a new an exciting way of delivering information.

“Hopefully people from all over the country if not the world, will come to Mossel Bay and to the Museum to embrace this new technology,” he said.

Mbulelo Mrubata, manager of the Dias Museum Complex, thanked Mossel Bay Tourism for sponsoring the project.

“As far as we know, this is the first time anyone has used QR codes in this way in any museum in Africa – and it’s almost certainly the first ever QR Codes tour of a museum in South Africa.

“It’s also very appropriate that we’re launching such a high tech product today – because the them of this International Museum Day is ‘Museums in a Changing World. New challenges, New inspirations’,” he said.

Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said that she hoped that QR codes will eventually provide residents an visitors with deep levels of information about the natural environment and many of the town’s historic buildings.

“It’s important to remember that the information behind the codes exists on the web, so you don’t have to be physically in Mossel Bay to read it or watch the videos – anyone with access to the net anywhere in the world can now read the fascinating stories coming out our history and the environment,” she said.

During the opening ceremony, Dias Museum management committee chairperson, Harold Muller, made special mention of Museum staff members who have recently received long service awards for their work in Government.

AT THE LECTERN: Dias Museum management committee chairperson Harold Muller; Anita Marx (with 40 years government service) started at Library Services on 4 January 1971, and joined the Dias Museum on 1 November 1989. She now works as a Control Auxiliary Services Officer

Erna Marx started at the Dias Museum on 2 January 1990, and is now a Principal Auxiliary Services Officer.

Amanda Human joined the Museum on 26 January 1988 as a Nature Scientist; Elize Levendal started on 11 January 1988 as a cleaner; Ria Kannemeyer started on 21 January 1988 as a cleaner; and Tracey MacDonald, who started working for Government at the Department of Trade and Industry on 21 May 1991, transferred to the Museum on 1 May 1998, and is now a Principal Auxiliary Services Officer.

For an introduction to the Dias Museum QR Codes Tour, and a slide presentation on the QR Codes at the Museum, go to http://www.visitmosselbay.co.za/museums-and-culture/qr-codes

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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