Plus Codes: Google Maps makes it easier to find, share addresses in India | HT Tech

Plus Codes: Google Maps makes it easier to find, share addresses in India

Here’s how you can get started with Google Maps’ Plus Codes.

| Updated on: Mar 13 2018, 17:50 IST
Here’s how to use Plus codes on Google Maps
Here’s how to use Plus codes on Google Maps (REUTERS)

Google on Tuesday announced launching 'Plus Codes' in India with an objective to make it easier for users to find and share addresses. Available via Google search and Google Maps, Plus Codes is based on an open source solution that assigns unique codes to different locations.

To start using a Plus code, users need to simply enter the code with the city name into Search field on Google or Google Maps. The service is available for both mobile and desktop platforms. Google's Plus Code features a "6 character + City" format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone.

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"The open source nature of the system means that applications that use location services can easily incorporate it on their platforms for free," Google said in a release.

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"Plus codes can be used for a wide variety of reasons, including communicating the venue of a temporary event, guiding emergency services to afflicted locations, providing an identifiable location of complicated addresses."

How to find Plus codes for your address

Plus codes are available for everyone, including individuals and businesses. Even developers can use the codes to incorporate in their applications.

To find a Plus code for an address, open the Google Maps application on your desktop or mobile phone, enter the address on Maps and then touch and hold a place to drop the pin on Google Maps or you can just hit the info button, if it's a popular location. At the bottom, you will notice an address or a plus code. Tap this section where you will get all the details of the location and copy the plus code.

You can simply Google the copied Plus code or paste it on Google Maps to find direction to that address.

Note that you cannot manually create the Plus code but what you can do is save your address on Google Maps which will automatically generate the unique code for you.

Where to find Plus Codes for your address.
Where to find Plus Codes for your address. (HT Photo)
image caption
Where to find Plus Codes for your address. (HT Photo)

Not really foolproof

The problem with Google's new Plus code service is that some addresses in a locality may share the same codes. So, this might create confusion for some. For instance, the codes could cause confusion if you're booking a cab at your address which shares the same codes with nearby houses in your area.

New features for India

Google has introduced a new feature called "Add an Address" which allows users to contribute to Maps experience.

"Similar to adding businesses, users can submit new or missing addresses through this feature, and Google will make sure the address is searchable in due course after verification. 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. Google is now making it simpler to search for addresses in India, with Smart Address Search. This is an innovative approach to providing the best estimate of the location of an address: when people aren't aware of an exact address, they just don't give up but try to refer other information such as a nearby landmark, business or a locality to get closer to the final destination."

"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."

Google also announced that its voice navigation service on Google Maps will be available in six new Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.

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First Published Date: 13 Mar, 13:25 IST