Have you ever bought anything from any shop or Mall? Obviously YES! I am pretty sure that you have bought many household items and grocery from consumer shops and malls and you also know that there are few black and white lines given in the backside of every product and that combination of black & white lines are called BARCODE.
What is Barcode?
If you don’t know then let me tell you that “A barcode is an optical, machine-readable, representation of data of a particular product. Barcode is a combination of black and white strips/lines which indicates product’s information like Manufacturer and country.
There are basically 2 types of Barcode:
- Linear Barcode
- Metrix (2D) Barcode
Linear Barcode is also called as a one-dimensional barcode which is made up of lines and spaces of various widths and it will this combination of lines will create some pattern and these Barcodes are the most widely used Barcode system.
Metrix (2D) Barcode
Metrix is Two Dimensional Barcode, it means it contains a two-dimensional way to represent information. The main advantage of Metrix barcode is it can represent more data per unit area compared to Linear Barcode.
How to Read Barcode?
Generally, most of the Barcode has 12 digits.
The first 6 -10 digits of a 12-digit barcode identify the company that manufactures or sells the product. (These codes are assign by a non-profit organization called GS1)
The remaining digits, except for the very last one, are invented by that company to describe each of its products.
Here is a list of GS1 Country code.
|000–019||UPC-A compatible – United States and Canada|
|020–029||UPC-A compatible – Used to issue restricted circulation numbers within a geographic region|
|030–039||UPC-A compatible – United States drugs (see United States National Drug Code)|
|040–049||UPC-A compatible – Used to issue restricted circulation numbers within a geographic region|
|050–059||UPC-A compatible – GS1 US reserved for future use|
|060–099||UPC-A compatible – United States and Canada|
|200–299||Used to issue GS1 restricted circulation number within a geographic region|
|300–379||France and Monaco|
|387||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|400–440||Germany (440 code inherited from old East Germany on reunification, 1990)|
|450–459||Japan (new Japanese Article Number range)|
|460–469||Russia (barcodes inherited from the Soviet Union)|
|471||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|490–499||Japan (original Japanese Article Number range)|
|540–549||Belgium and Luxembourg|
|570–579||Denmark , Faroe Islands and Greenland|
|629||United Arab Emirates|
|690–699||People’s Republic of China|
|730–739||Sweden : EAN/GS1 Sweden|
|760–769||Switzerland and Liechtenstein|
|800–839||Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City|
|840–849||Spain and Andorra|
|893||Vietnam (previously used by North Vietnam and South Vietnam before 1975)|
|950||GS1 Global Office: Special applications|
|951||Used to issue General Manager Numbers for the EPC General Identifier (GID) scheme as defined by the EPC Tag Data Standard|
|960–961||GS1 UK Office: GTIN-8 allocations|
|962–969||GS1 Global Office: GTIN-8 allocations|
|977||Serial publications (ISSN)|
|978–979||“Bookland” (ISBN) – 979-0 used for sheet music (ISMN-13, replaces deprecated ISMN M- numbers)|
|981–984||GS1 coupon identification for common currency areas|
|990–999||GS1 coupon identification|
How to read Barcodes?
The mapping between messages and barcodes is called a symbology. The specification of a symbology includes the encoding of the single digits or characters of the message, as well as the start and stop characters into bars and space.
A checksum is a computed value from a block of data and which – in the case of barcodes is stored along with the data in order to detect corruption of the data. Checksums are required elements of barcodes such as Code 128 or UPC.
Now take an example of above barcode sticker where all the line’s specification have given. Let’s understand how to read and decode it.
- First of all add the digits (up to but not including the check digit) in the odd-numbered positions (first, third, fifth, etc.) together (0+2+0+0+2+0=4) and multiply by three (4 x 3 = 12)
- Now Add the digits (up to but not including the check digit) in the even-numbered positions (second, fourth, sixth, etc.) (1+0+0+0+3=4)
- Next step is to Add the two results together to find the sum. (12 + 4 = 16)
- The check digit will be the smallest number required to round the sum to the nearest multiple of 10. (16 rounds up to 20; 20 – 16 = 4 = the check digit)
This is how you can do a checksum and read the barcode. This may be complicated for you but this is the only way to interpret the codes and lines given in barcode. Your questions are welcome in the comment section.