Google Maps’ new update lets users easily share their location using Plus codes. The company has currently made the feature available only for the Android app via the latest update.
Google launched the Plus code feature in August 2015 and introduced it in India in March 2018. A Plus Code is a simple alphanumeric code which can be combined with a locality (for example, FWM8+V9, Ibadan, Nigeria). They look like a regular address, but with a short code where a street name or number would be.
Plus code on Google Maps is a six-digit code that users can generate when they want to share their location with someone. Simply tap the blue dot (the tiny circle that represents your location in the app) to get a Plus Code for your current location that can be shared with others as easily as giving them a phone number. The blue circle will also show you other options like nearby places, share your location, and save your parking.
Plus Codes can be especially helpful for people and organisations in emergency and crisis response scenarios. These Plus codes can be used to uniquely identify any location, from a rural home to a small shop stall on a nameless street. They are searchable on Google Maps and even Google Search, meaning everywhere on the planet can now be uniquely identified.
Google has also made Plus codes open source and free to use, meaning anyone can see how the technology works and develop their own applications for any use case.
“Digital locations through Plus Codes means that everywhere now has an easily identifiable location, saving time and getting resources there when it really matters. Not having an address should no longer be a barrier to easily sharing your location with service providers, guiding them to you when you most need them,” Google said in its blog post.
The feature has been rolled out to Android users and should be available in the coming weeks. It is unknown if and when Google will make Plus codes available on Google Maps for iOS.
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