Galveston Street Signs Go High-Tech

Visitors to Galveston Island has new signs. On the lower right corner of this sign shows the QR code. Anyone with a smartphone can scan the code and find information about attractions on the island. [Galveston Park Board of Trustees]
Visitors to Galveston Island will notice new interactive signs in tourist areas. The signs have maps and directions — but also have electronic codes you can scan with a smartphone to find out more about the island.

The signs look kind of like a mall directory map, except they're designed for more than just the "you are here" marker and a list of shops.

The $140,000 project is a tourism outreach of the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Spokesperson Leah Cast says each sign has a QR code. Anyone with a smartphone can scan the code and find information about attractions on the island.

"We're just here to promote the island in its entirety. And what we had found is that there's a lot of daytrippers and folks who come to the beach and don't realize everything that Galveston has to offer. They don't realize that we have a historic downtown, historical entertainment district, or that we have attractions and dolphin tours in Pier 21 or that there's Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn on the West End."

Cast says they're hoping to spread more of the beach tourism to other parts of the island.

The QR codes tap into your phone's GPS to tell you what's nearby.

The first signs were placed at Galveston's Cruise Terminal back in December. Now you'll also see them on the Strand, along the seawall and in the historic district.

"Already we have heard from our downtown partners that they're seeing increased traffic to their shops, restaurants, boutiques." 

If you don't have a smartphone, or if your kid dropped it in the surf, the signs also have good old fashioned maps and street directions.

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...