Sharing your physical location should be easy, right? But that doesn’t work out when your home doesn’t have a clearly defined address like it’s the case in many Asian countries. Google proposed using short ‘Plus Codes’ to tackle this unaddressed problem about five years back, but the feature didn’t really take off as it all felt a bit cumbersome. To fix that, Google Maps is bringing an easier way to share your current location as a Plus Code and without having to rely on your traditional mailing address.
Inside the Google Maps app on your Android phone, your current location is marked with a blue dot. Tapping it shows you a bunch of options to see nearby places or mark your parking location. Among those options, you’ll find your Plus Code in the header region, which you can tap to copy. Now, you can text this alphanumeric code to direct people to your location for, say, grocery delivery. This feature in Maps has already been live for many of us on Android, so it might not be news to you.
Since Plus Codes are easily searchable both on the ubiquitous Google Search and Maps, most new users won’t need to go through a steep learning curve to get started. Besides those without a proper address, these codes would also come handy when you’re in an unfamiliar or remote area, or when you must quickly send your location in case of an emergency.
As for their structure, Google’s version of digital addresses includes a six or seven-character alphanumeric string followed by the area or city’s name. They basically mask the complex longitude and latitude-based satellite locations, which many of us cannot decipher, with a simpler, easy to parse shortcode. It’s rather surprising that the adoption of such a nifty, not to forget open source, location tagging tool didn’t quite pick up during all these years.