QR code image file metadata

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webfork
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QR code image file metadata

#1 Post by webfork » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:04 am

I'm not sure if this is a real issue, but I was curious if there was a way to get an image file with a QR code to also contain it's info in metadata? So for example if you're sending someone a QR image, they don't need a decoder.

Right now the steps for this are:
  1. Download the necessary program (I'd probably use ShareX)
  2. Opening and decode the image file in a QR decoder
Is there some way to view the image metadata and just see the info it was trying to put across? Certainly you could open an image editor with a metadata tool, paste in the necessary text (as below with FastStone Viewer and their JPEG comment view).

Image

Maybe there's a simpler way?

Specular
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Re: QR code image file metadata

#2 Post by Specular » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:35 pm

Just on the point of sending a QR code to someone who doesn't have a decoder, wouldn't it be just as easy to send them the raw link/info?

Would be curious to hear your thoughts, as I'm trying to think of a scenario where a QR code could be send via a file that wouldn't have the possibility of sending the info instead (contrasted to say printed QR codes where it's only available visually).

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#3 Post by Midas » Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:32 am

Without getting into a debate about the best ways to get information across, I think embedding the metadata in image files, namely QR codes, is a no-brainer requisite. Why should the convenience of metadata be the exclusive of big players like Google?

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#4 Post by Specular » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:01 am

Looked at PNG and it too supports a Comment field as metadata. So if you wanted to automate this you'd first have to find some command line QR code decoder, then a command line tool that could write JPEG/PNG metadata and feed the output of one into the other, as a batch script for example. You could set it up as a context menu command that way.
Midas wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:32 am
Why should the convenience of metadata be the exclusive of big players like Google?
You mean with QR codes? Could you elaborate?

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#5 Post by Midas » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:16 am

Simple, really: especially with graphic formats, metadata always seems to come by like an afterthought and is generalized only after said big players start making heavy use of it for their own data grabbing purposes -- another example is photographic hardware makers.

In my naivety, I'd expect a graphic downloaded from some site to always have embedded its creation date and source URL as a minimum but that is seldom the case (QRs are no different).

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#6 Post by Specular » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:23 am

Midas wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:16 am
Simple, really: especially with graphic formats, metadata always seems to come by like an afterthought and is generalized only after said big players start making heavy use of it for their own data grabbing purposes -- another example is photographic hardware makers.

In my naivety, I'd expect a graphic downloaded from some site to always have embedded its creation date and source URL as a minimum but that is seldom the case (QRs are no different).
Internet Explorer for Mac OS 9 would add the source URL to the downloaded image metadata. Was the only browser that did to my knowledge, as I tried to find that functionality again after I moved on from that OS. Was quite useful at the time, back when the image was more likely to be from a readable/useful URL. These days having for example a gnarly CDN URL which doesn't even share the same domain as the main site is certainly less useful.

Still not sure I'm clear the point about Google/big players with regard to metadata though, but touching on the point of image hosting: often 'extraneous' metadata is removed for filesize, privacy (eg: stripping GPS coordinate data), consistency (eg: stripping color profiles, gamma data, which can produce different looking images for different users depending on their display/browser/device), an uploader's own reasons, and perhaps just as the backend software might by default be setup to not preserve metadata.

I think due to the vast re-sharing occurring on the internet frequently the version of the image one will find mightn't even the be original, but even so images are regularly hosted on platforms that will modify the image in various ways such as stripping metadata for the previously mentioned reasons so it becomes difficult for metadata to survive unfortunately.

Because of all this I like to add certain information to the filenames of images I save, such as the 'proper' source of an image for later reference (eg: if the image is embedded originally on an artist's domain but the image itself is hosted on some separate domain I use the former), the author, the date (either from a blog entry timestamp, or similar), and keywords/descriptions that help me find it later with Everything. Works well and I find it's the most straightforward way of dealing with the state of things.

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#7 Post by webfork » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:25 pm

Wow, lots of great comments on what I thought was sort of a shrug-worthy question. Thanks everyone...

----
Specular wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:35 pm
Just on the point of sending a QR code to someone who doesn't have a decoder, wouldn't it be just as easy to send them the raw link/info?
Certainly.

Specular wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:35 pm
I'm trying to think of a scenario where a QR code could be send via a file that wouldn't have the possibility of sending the info instead (contrasted to say printed QR codes where it's only available visually).
It's not that you *couldn't* send both, it's just that it would be so easy to send both in one file.

Midas wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:32 am
... embedding the metadata in image files, namely QR codes, is a no-brainer requisite
Cool, thanks

Midas wrote:I'd expect a graphic downloaded from some site to always have embedded its creation date and source URL as a minimum but that is seldom the case
I'd never thought of that before now but that would have been hugely useful on many occasions.

Specular wrote:... you'd first have to find some command line QR code decoder, then a command line tool that could write JPEG/PNG metadata and feed the output of one into the other, as a batch script for example.
Great idea. It's a safe bet ImageMagick could do some or all of this.

Specular wrote:often 'extraneous' metadata is removed for filesize, privacy
Agreed. Almost every other time I've done absolutely anything with image metadata on this site, it was in an effort to destroy it for size/privacy reasons.

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Re: QR code image file metadata

#8 Post by Midas » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:18 am

Personally, I usually strip metadata before posting images online, mostly for privacy reasons. But that doesn't mean I don't care or tend to the metadata of the files I keep.

As for generalized metadata use, just look at the tally and scope of user oriented metadata editors. Other technical hurdles could easily be overcome with a modicum of insight.

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