In April, Google Maps released Plus Codes — or Open Location Codes (OLC) — to identify hard-to-find locations across the globe.
Starting today, Plus Codes can now be searched both on Google Maps and Google so that users can find places that are difficult to locate due to poor data accuracy or coverage or places that do not have a specific street address.
These codes become extremely helpful in places with high population density but poor data accuracy or coverage, or those that lack a specific addressing system altogether. Kathmandu, Nepal, has a population of around one million people, but most roads have no names, and houses have no street numbers. Being able to precisely navigate without local knowledge is difficult. Plus codes will now let you easily specify your destination.
To find a Plus Code, visit http://plus.codes and share your location. The site automatically pinpoints where your are and provides a code similar to the following 7MV7P8R9+W2 code for Kathmandu (the abbreviated P8R9+W2 code will show if you’re already in Kathmandu):
If you search for the same 7MV7P8R9+W2 Plus Code on Google, the first result is a map of Kathmandu with a marker on the specific location:
Google points out that Plus Codes are beneficial for a number of reasons, from finding friends at the beach to providing crisis response organizations with more accurate location data.