While we take a bow 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.
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.
Google has developed “Plus Codes” which offer you a way to create your own virtual address that is shareable on 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.
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.
Who Can Use it?
On a personal level, these codes can be used greatly for individual use. Inviting friends, family and service providers to your home couldn’t get easier. While you are on vacation these codes can help you reach your destination thus saving time. You can also set up our own picnic spots and hangout places. Commercially, these codes can be used in:
- Government and Municipalities. Every government wants to provide the best facilities to its citizens. These codes can certainly assist in voter registration for people without street addresses, Official communications and social services.
- Emergency services. Help and aid can reach faster in a much more coordinated effort as communications and instructions related to a location of a calamity would be clearly specified.
- Humanitarian and disaster relief organizations. Medical assistance can reach to any part of the world beyond the urban boundaries.
- Transportation, logistics and utility providers. Any unknown street can be provided services with regards to delivery of goods, relocation and last mile delivery can get more efficient
- Small business. It would be hassle-free for customers to find the location of a particular store without looking for landmarks or asking for directions along the way.
- Financial institutions. “Know your customer” policy has received a helping hand by google plus codes.
Google Plus codes help last mile delivery keep up time
An independent study says, delivery companies spend around 30% of its total cost on fixing last-mile problems, uses a machine learning system, which identifies the different addresses and standardizes them in one format, leaving less room for error.
With Google Plus codes, efficiency can be brought with reduced costs and no room for error. This will lead to an increase in efficiency of delivery personnel by over and reduction in the time spent on locating the exact address thereby making last mile delivery easier and efficient.