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Headed to White Rock Lake? Check out the new mapping system that uses QR codes

A 911 sign at White Rock Lake.
Maria Hasbany
City of Dallas Park & Recreation
Visitors to White Rock Lake can scan one of the QR codes located throughout the park with a smartphone camera to access a map of the trails, bathrooms, water fountains and other sites.

The Dallas Parks and Recreation department is launching a new pilot program to help visitors find their way around the trails that surround White Rock Lake.

The new "Find Yourself at White Rock Lake" program uses a series of QR codes along the trails to help identify landmarks along the way and pinpoint where visitors are on the trail.

Maria Hasbany, the Park Board representative for District 9 which includes White Rock Lake Park, helped come up with the idea.

“A lot of times I went out there and didn't know what things were,” she said. “Then I had friends tell me funny stories about going out there and not knowing how far it was around the lake, and they just start walking and then end up with no water, not knowing where they were, not knowing how to get back to their car.”

That confusion, and the growing popularity of QR codes during the pandemic, inspired the idea to add geolocator codes to existing 911 signs throughout the park.

Scanning one of the QR codes with a smartphone camera gives folks access to a map of the trails, bathrooms, water fountains and more.

The program is still in its early stages, so it’s not perfect yet, but Hasbany said it’s a good start.

“I'm sure there'll be some improvements that'll come as we go along,” she said. “But we're kind of hoping that this will be a nice little pilot program to see how people like using it, and if it's something that people really engage with and enjoy, I'm hoping it would be something we could roll out system-wide."

That would mean a similar QR mapping system for all the biking and walking trails in Dallas.

Hasbany said so far, feedback about the mapping system has been positive.

“So far so good,” she said. “I think as people become more familiar with it, it'll get used more often.”

Hasbany says she is also working on getting a URL version of the mapping system created, so people can look at the map on any computer and make plans before leaving home.

Got a tip? Email Rebekah Morr at You can follow her on Twitter @bekah_morr.

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Rebekah Morr is KERA's All Things Considered newscaster and producer. She came to KERA from NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a news assistant at Weekend All Things Considered.