Quick Response (QR) codes provide smartphone users who have downloaded a free application with immediate access to data by scanning the displayed code with their device. Similar to how a barcode provides information through a scanner, scanning the QR code of any construction permit willallow the user to learn details about the ongoing project including the approved scope of work, identities of the property owner and job applicant, other approved projects associated with the permit, the complaints and violations related to the location and user will have the ability to click a link that will initiate a phone call to 311 to make a complaint. The New York City Department of Buildings announced that QR codes will be placed on all permits it issues. New York is the first major city in the nation to use QR codes on permits. All permits are expected to have QR codes by roughly 2013. By scanning the QR code on these documents, New Yorkers will learn more information about who is performing the constructionwork, including the addresses and telephone numbers of property owners and job applicants, which is typically a licensed architect or engineer or general contractor on the project. After scanning a QR code on a Department of Buildings permit, users will be brought to mobile version of the Departments Buildings Information System, which provides permit and violation history for every building in the City. Users will be taken directly to the full project information screen for the individual project they want to review. Smartphone users can download a free QR reader by going to the app store on their device and searching for QR a variety of free applications are available. QR codes also will appear on after-hours variances and Place of Assembly certificates of operation. In 2010, the Department of Buildings issued more than 179,000 construction permits and 33,000 after-hours variances, which display basic information about projects and are required to be posted at job sites during construction operations. The Department issues permits for work involving boilers, concrete, demolition, cranes, electrical, excavations, general construction, plumbing, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds. Last year, 4,520 Place of Assembly certificates of operation were issued and/or renewed, and these documents provide basic details about how a particular space can be used. The City currently uses QR codes on Department of Sanitation vehicles, which takes users to a Public Service Announcement video on recycling and on the Staten Island Ferry, which takes users to a 26 minute video roughly the length of the ferry ride on interesting attractions and activities in New York City.
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