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MaxiCode example. This encodes the string "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia"

MaxiCode is a public domain, machine readable symbol system originally created and used by United Parcel Service. Suitable for tracking and managing the shipment of packages, it resembles a barcode, but uses dots arranged in a hexagonal grid instead of bars. MaxiCode has been standardised under ISO/IEC 16023[1].

A MaxiCode symbol (internally called "Bird's Eye", "Target" or "ups code") appears as a 1 inch square, with a bullseye in the middle, surrounded by a pattern of hexagonal dots. It can store about 93 characters of information, and up to 8 MaxiCode symbols can be chained together to convey more data. The centered symmetrical bullseye is useful in automatic symbol location regardless of orientation, and it allows MaxiCode symbols to be scanned even on a package traveling rapidly.

MaxiCode symbology was released by UPS in 1992.


[edit] Required fields

All MaxiCode symbols include a Structured Carrier Message containing key information about a package. This information is protected with a strong Reed-Solomon error correction code, allowing it to be read even if a portion of the symbol is damaged. These fields include:

  1. A national postal code. MaxiCode supports both numeric postal codes (e.g. a ZIP Code), and alphanumeric postal codes.
  2. A 3-digit country code encoded per ISO 3166
  3. A 3-digit class of service code assigned by the carrier
  4. A 20-character tracking number
  5. A 2-4 character code indicating the originating carrier

[edit] Optional information

Additional information can be encoded in a MaxiCode symbol, but it may require reduced error correction protection:

  • Purchase order number
  • Customer reference
  • Invoice number

[edit] Modes

  • Mode 0 - Obsolete. (Older printers will produce Mode 0 if the firmware is outdated. Mode 0 MaxiCodes can be visually determined by examining the two horizontal hexagons in the upper right-hand corner. They will be white if the Mode is 0. For all other modes, they are black.)
  • Mode 2 - Used for Numeric postal codes. (Primary use is US domestic destinations.)
  • Mode 3 - Used for Alphanumeric postal codes. (Primary use is Int'l destinations.)
  • Mode 4 - Standard Error Correction.
  • Mode 5 - Enhanced Error Correction.
  • Mode 6 - Used for programming hardware devices.

UPS labels use Mode 2 or Mode 3 MaxiCodes.

[edit] Software information

MaxiCode capable software includes (but is not limited to) the following:

Windows based applications: Loftware,Inc. LLM 32 - (Capable of producing compressed MaxiCode.), BarTender - Seagull Scientific [1], VersaStyle - Bell-Mark

AS/400 applications: CYBRA's MarkMagic Software [2], NeoMedia [3], Quadrant Software [4], and T.L. Ashford [5],

Printer languages: Zebra - ZPLII Example code: ^XA^FO100,100^BD^FH^FD001840600612301[)>_1E01_1D961Z00009861_1DUPSN_1D62X732_1D125_1D7654321_1D1/1_1D30_1DY_1D123 MAIN ST_1DCHICAGO_1DIL_1E_04^FS^XZ

Bell-Mark - BMPL Example code: (SOH)AM[1]6280;10829;0;51;0;0;1;1;4;0(ETB) (SOH)BM[1]BELL-MARK EASYPRINT(ETB)

[edit] References

  1. ^ ISO/IEC 16023:2000

[edit] External links

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