Google adds plus codes support for remote areas

The search giant said the capability will allow users to better locate addresses in remote areas in countries such as India.
Written by Jonathan Chadwick, Contributor
(Image: Google)

Google Maps has added support for plus codes, an open-source addressing system that generates simplified street addresses for people or places that don't have one.

The plus code system divides the geographical surface of the Earth into what Google calls "tiled areas" and gives each a unique code, comprised of six characters, a "+" symbol, and the name of the city, such as F26X+9F Gurugram.

Users can drop a pin anywhere on Maps and will be given the code. Each code can be shared and then searched by anyone with the desktop or mobile Maps by entering it in the search field.

The global capability offers an alternative to "long-winded" addresses and will allow users to better locate places in remote areas in countries such as India that don't have addresses at all, director of program management for Google Maps Suren Ruhela said in a blog post.

"In India, we know how challenging it can be to reach a given residential address. They are unique in format, and vary across regions, localities, and use cases," Ruhela said.

"While some addresses are well-defined by street names and house numbers that are easy to find ... the other reality is that millions of people and places in India are hard to locate -- especially those in remote areas."

Google also announced that it has introduced "add an address", which allows users to submit new or missing addresses on Maps, and "smart address search", which suggests search results based on approximate search terms such as landmarks or points of interest.

It has also brought voice navigation to six additional Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam.

Last year, the search giant announced it would be rolling out a new look for the driving, navigation, transit and explore views in Maps to display relevant information more prominently. It also added a search capability for Android that lets users ask or answer questions under local business listings, as well as street-level pollution data across parts of California after a two-year-long mapping exercise.

The search giant has also recently added updates to its Flights booking service that uses a machine learning algorithm to give passengers pre-flight information predictions.


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