"Using plus codes to locate friends at the beach is one example, but these codes become extremely helpful in places with high population density but poor data accuracy or coverage, or those that lack a specific addressing system altogether", writes Rasto Sramek, Software Engineer, Google Maps.
This system works by dividing the geographical surface of Earth into tiny tiled areas that each have a unique code - called Plus Code.
Google on Tuesday announced several new features for the Maps in India, including the Plus Codes feature that will allow users to share and search for addresses that do not have a formal name. In order to use Plus Codes, you could easily enter your location into the Search box of Google Maps on both the Desktop and the Mobile applications which will return your location. Prior to this the Google Maps allowed users to share locations by transmitting the Global Positioning System coordinates.
Moreover, users will also get Local Guides points for each valid submission.
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Google says Plus codes are supposed to simplify address search in India where often the address system is more complicated and longer than say countries in the West. When Maps can't pinpoint the exact location a commuter is looking up, it will reference other information such as a nearby landmark, business, or a locality to get closer to the final destination. "Millions of people and places in India are hard to locate - especially those in remote areas".
The company is aiming to improve the address search in the country by organising the location-related information while making it more accessible and relevant. Using maps in such a location is nigh impossible, given the lack of identifiers. Some addresses are well defined by street names and house numbers are easy to find, others can be long-winded and hard to locate.
Google Maps now also has voice navigation in six Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telegu, Tamil and Malayalam. "We are deeply committed to helping find solutions to these challenges".
Suren noted that since the time Google India launched Navigation in Hindi three years ago, they have consistently received requests to be able to change the voice-guided navigation from English to a local language.
"It doesn't stop there - India continues to inspire us and pushes us to reimagine what Maps can do for people. And we are just getting started as we continue to build features and expand our partnerships to make the Google Maps experience more comprehensive, accurate, and reliable for our users", said product lead, Google Maps Next Billion Users, Krish Vitaldevara.