New digital map of Christchurch hotspots

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 05:00 02/12/2013

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A new digital map of Christchurch bars, restaurants and shops is being launched today.

The smartphone map ''shows people where they are [using GPS] and they can see what’s around them and then see stories about the people behind the places,'' said Andrew Wright, founder of Discover Christchurch.

The map is not an app. Rather, it is downloaded through ''quick response'' (QR) codes found in retail businesses and through a secret activity that will be a combination of exploration and discovery, Wright said.

About 50 businesses, most in hospitality, are listed on the new map.

Wright hopes to add more over summer.

The 21-year-old University of Christchurch commerce student was moved to create the map and associated website after his central city job was displaced to Woolston by the February 2011 earthquake.

''I felt detached from the city ... I didn’t know what was happening. I saw this as a way to find out and I thought if I wanted to know, other people would want to know.''

He discovered the people and stories behind reborn businesses fascinating and has written short biographies of some of the ''persistent people'' who have managed to reopen.

Today, Wright also launches the second version of his Discover Passport, which enables ''exploration of Christchurch’s most exciting activities, eateries, bars and restaurants'' as well as providing discount coupons.

Costing $9.99, the passport offers things like a free coffee with breakfast or 10 per cent off the bill.

Wright said the technology could be deployed in Wellington, Auckland and beyond.

He chose QR codes because an app was beyond his means. QR codes are high-tech bar codes. When Wright’s QR code is photographed with a smartphone, the map downloads.

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- The Press

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