Google Maps wants to simplify Indian address with open-source Plus Codes

James Marshall
March 13, 2018

The code comprises of a "six-character + city" format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone. However, there are times when a certain address just doesn't show up on Google Maps for myriad reasons. Google on Tuesday launched "Plus Codes", an open source solution that assigns unique codes to different locations.

Well, I don't know about other features, but I'm looking forward to using the Plus Codes in Google Maps and I hope third-party apps like Ola incorporate this feature soon as it will make it easier for me to navigate the driver to pick-up location in one go.

To find an address using a Plus Code, all you have to do is enter that Plus Code into the Search Bar of Google or Google Maps (either desktop or mobile), and you will instantly see the location. It specifically excels in areas not serviced by conventional identifiers, with a variety of other possible uses.The postal system of Cape Verde in Africa already supports plus codes for delivering mail.

At the event, Suren Ruhela, Director of Google Maps Next Billion Users, shared that India offers a unique challenge in navigation since addresses are unique in format, and vary across regions, localities, and use cases. Applications like Uber that source their locations from Google Maps will be highly benefitted. At the bottom, you will notice an address or a plus code. Places that are close together share similar plus codes, while the system is identificable by the "+" symbol in every address.

To facilitate accurate and easy searching on Maps, Google has introduced new "Add an Address", which enables users to contribute to Maps.

Where to find Plus Codes for your address. Google says it will encourage users to share only the address, and not their personal information like name, mobile number, etc when adding an address. So, this might create confusion for some.

While Plus codes feature has been rolled for Android, iOS will get the feature later.

Google is also highlighting a new feature called Add an Address to encourage users to pinpoint their home or business address on Maps.

Google is also adding a new smart address search feature to Maps in India. Moreover, users will also get Local Guides points for each valid submission,"said Google in the release".

"Understanding addresses, especially in the Indian context (being so unique and varied, ) has always been a relentless pursuit for Google".

"Smart Address Search helps doing exactly that: if Google Maps doesn't understand the address precisely, it will try to use all the pieces of information in the address and provide options of landmarks and points of interest that the user can best identify with - exactly like a person would have".

After ushering in Hindi language support three years ago, Google Maps has now added support for six additional Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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