What is Google Plus Codes and how does it work

While we pay homage to Google for bringing us the greatest search engine ever made and for developing Android OS into what it is today, the company has done so much more. From powering businesses in developing nations to helping space agencies like NASA with their AI technology, the Mountain View company is the epitome of human development.

One such major victory has been in the world of navigation technology, thanks to the creation of Google Maps. While Google Maps in itself has been a disruptor in thousands of industries, Google Plus Codes is going to be the next great thing that changes how people navigate in the developing world.

What are Google Plus Codes?

According to an estimate by the World Bank, around half of the world population lives on unnamed or unmarked streets and houses, most of which is from the developing and underdeveloped countries. The absence of a notable address keeps these individuals, businesses, and organizations literally off the map.

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This is why Google has developed Plus Codes which offer you a way to create your own virtual address that is sharable across the Google Maps platform. Being open-sourced software, other developers can make use of Google Plus Codes for connecting locations to government services, transportation, logistics and so much more.


Related: How to use Google Lens


How does Google Plus Codes work?

Unlike the traditional street address and house name that is government dependent, Google Plus Codes make use of latitude and longitude grids to physically map your current location and break them up using a simple code system. For any given location, the Plus Code can be around 10 digits long at most, with a “+” sign before the last two digits of the code.

The first four characters of the code are region-based (100 x 100 kilometers of the area), the last six characters describe the local code (the local area of around 14 x 14 meters). For further accuracy, the code can be broken down, even more, to locate an area as small as 3 x 3 meters, so you can make sure to be always found on the map.

How to use Google Plus Codes

The Plus Codes feature is already a part of the Google Maps, so you can begin using it to share addresses for even unmarked locations right away.

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  • Open the Google Maps app and head over to a location on the map that you want to use with Google Plus Codes.
  • Tap on the location and scroll down on the info page to find the Google Plus Codes icon.
  • Here you will be able to see the converted Google Plus Code, so simply tap on it to copy it to the clipboard.

Now that you have the Google Plus Code of the location, you can share it with anybody directly. They can simply look up the code in Google Maps or even the Google search to find the exact address of the unmarked location.

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Sharing a love-hate relationship with Biotechnology in college, Husain moved on to his true calling of being a tech geek through and through. While briefly being persuaded by the iPhone, he made it back to the Android camp with the OnePlus One and has been a loyal comrade since.

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