Search engine giant, Google recently launched plus codes– a numerical feature that is designed to locate specific areas that do not have defied address- on its Maps
Using Google Maps sometimes comes with challenges, especially when you are having difficulty locating a specific address that is not properly defined. And in an attempt to profer a solution to these common challenges, the search giant is rolling out a numerical feature, namely Plus Codes.
According to a reliable source, these digital addresses are generated through a mathematical algorithm that automatically combines latitude and longitude coordinates of the particular location. The code is usually combined of six alphabets and numbers (alphanumeric), and it comes in two formats- Global code and Local codes, although Global codes consist of four additional alphanumerics in its own case due to the inclusion of a 4-digit area code.
The code, however, functions better with location sharing as the searcher would have to specifically request for the code from other users located in such areas that are not well-defined on the maps. This largely means that when a user drops a pin on Google Maps; it will generate a string of numbers like 6.527196,3.186750*, which double as the plus code of that location. The code, although, representing geolocation number can look like what’s in the image above- H9R5+6C*.
As seen in the above image, in order to get the plus code, the user will have to tap on the blue locator dot (which indicates user’s current location), long-hold until it brings the option for plus code, after which it can be copied and sent to whoever is in need. In the meantime, only selected Android devices can access the new feature ahead of its full availability in the coming weeks.
Potentials of the Plus Codes
While the new feature can be randomly used by anyone, delivery companies, ride-hailing companies among others are going to find it very useful as it will save the stress and hurdle in locating a destination or pick-up point as the case may be.
Although this could conveniently pivot the normal way of locating addresses on Google Maps, there remains the question of how much of adoption it has gotten and will be getting moving forward. We can only but wait for the coming weeks when the feature will be fully rolled out across Nigeria to see the reaction of the people. In my own opinion, this is a better alternative to the existing search module.