Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 14:07 UK

Barcode plan to boost city tours

Charkes Rennie Mackintosh, Alexander "Greek" Thomson and the barcodes
The barcodes tours cover architecture by Rennie Mackintosh and "Greek" Thomson

Barcodes are being used to give mobile phone users access to architectural tours of Glasgow.

The barcodes store information in black and white dots which allow phones to download a choice of three tours in portable document format (PDF).

The tours have been created by the Mackintosh Heritage Group.

They give a guide to the city's rich architectural heritage, including the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander "Greek" Thomson.

The "barcode tours", thought to be the first of their kind in the UK, will be available from the weekend.

By delivering these tours directly into people's hands we can help them discover the legacy of Mackintosh and other great Glasgow architects
Stuart Robertson
Mackintosh Heritage Group

The tours are accessed by using a barcode through the camera on a mobile phone.

Users point at the image with software on their phone. This decodes the pattern and automatically downloads their choice of tour as a PDF.

Each of the three tours, created with the help of writer and architectural historian Gavin Stamp, takes about 90 minutes.

The Glasgow Style and Modernity Tour starts in the city centre looking at the buildings created by Mackintosh and his contemporaries around 1900.

The West End Tour looks at the residential suburbs which emerged to the west of the city centre as it expanded during the prosperous Victorian period.

The Second City Tour examines some of the city centre's best examples of Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture.

Stuart Robertson, chair of the Mackintosh Heritage Group, said: "People are often unaware of the history and artistry that surrounds them.

"By delivering these tours directly into people's hands we can help them discover the legacy of Mackintosh and other great Glasgow architects."



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