Searching address on Google Maps gets easier with 'Plus Codes' in India

14 March, 2018, 01:27 | Author: Sammy Rose
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India has over 300 million smartphone users, we are sending probes to the Moon and Mars, and our economy is only behind U.S. and China in terms of scale. And, with Plus Codes in Google Maps, users will now be able to share addresses with people that aren't listed properly, or, haven't been listed at all. Google says that it has seen great interest in voice navigation in Hindi, often used by Ola and Uber drivers in India, after that feature was added in Google Maps. The tech giant introduced "Plus Codes" which is an open sourced solution representing a simple and consistent addressing system and works not only in India but globally. Essentially, they are digital alternatives to the addresses we have physically. If a user is unaware of the exact address and Maps does not understand the address precisely but he or she knows about the nearby landmarks or locality, "Smart Address Search" would use all the pieces of the information provided in the address and user could best identify the area. The main problem that the company faces in India is with residential addresses, which do not follow a fixed format and may vary from region to region. "We are deeply committed to helping find solutions to these challenges", Ruhela added. It also unveiled "Plus Codes" - a system based on dividing the geographical surface of the earth into tiny "tiled areas", attributing a unique code to each of them. This code essentially consists a 6-character + city format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone through Google Maps app. Creating a "Plus Code" of a place is simple and since its an open source solution, third-party apps or developers could also use it to pinpoint the areas that they want to reach. Smart Address Search helps doing exactly that. "Plus Codes" depends on the concept that each place can be divided into grids. We are pretty sure users will come with different use cases once they start using Plus Codes more.

Each Plus Code is ten characters, with the first four characters are the area code, describing a region of roughly 100 x 100 kilometers. If the location is within or near a town, the area code isn't needed. Places are changing rapidly with constructions and flyovers, the landmark you once used to explain your address can disappear overnight.

For those needing more precision, an additional, optional character can be used to improve accuracy to roughly 3 x 3 meters - above the size of a small vehicle, points Google.

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Alternatively, you can also enter the Plus Codes in the search bar and the location will be shown in the Google Search results. The company has made new features additions to Google Maps that it claims will make finding addresses easier.

"Kathmandu, Nepal, has a population of around 1 million people, but most roads have no names and houses have no street numbers". For any given location, the Plus Code can be around 10 digits long at most, with a "+" sign before the last two digits of the code.

Having said that, apart from introducing Plus Codes on Google Maps in India, Google has also introduced 'Add an Address' feature that lets users add missing addresses to the Maps.


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