What do you do when you find yourself in an unknown and unmarked place? How do you call for help or have someone pick you up? Google wants to answer these questions with Plus codes in its Maps app. But what is it and how to use it?
Often, we are in a place where there is no street name, no landmark, or anything else. Imagine what happens when you are on a trail, hiking or biking, or elsewhere in the arms of Mother Nature. We’ve all been there. We all need help with certain information and this is where the new Google Maps Plus codes come to our rescue.
What are the Plus codes
A Plus code is used as a personal street address for where you stand or sit with your phone. Each location or point has a more unique code. It is a series of alphanumeric digits with the sign “+” and the code of your exact location, followed by the name of the city. Check the screenshot below.
No matter where I click in New Jersey, the first two alphabets stay the same. So, I guess Google follows a logic like country, city and region, followed by the more two-digit code.
Each positive code is unique, associated with a unique location or point on Earth. How cool is that?
How Plus Codes Work
Most people use Google Maps and will end up using Plus codes anyway. For this article, I use Android. Open Google Maps, no separate application is required and activate your GPS.
Now tap on the blue dot that marks your current location and you will notice a blue menu with a few options. You should see your city name and more code for your location.
When you tap the Choose location option at the top of the screen, you will see a set of red dots on the map. Each point represents a known location near you with their corresponding names at the bottom of the screen in maps. It could be a restaurant, an ATM, a restaurant, or whatever. Something that will help the other party find you.
A physical landmark that is much more useful in finding someone while driving. Press the red dot to find out more about the place, such as its name, working hours, etc., then its Plus code. You can now share this Plus code to help others locate you or find that particular place near you.
So you can share your exact location or a nearby location, depending on your circumstances.
Note that one of the options is Save your parking. Pretty practical, huh? I know people who used a dedicated app for this. Not anymore. The parking feature also includes the ability to take notes, set the reminder time and add photos. It will be more useful for people who have trouble remembering things or who have a bad memory.
Choose a location and the View Nearby Places options bring up the same menu for me. Thumbtack? The service is still new, so it could be.
Sharing your location is interesting. It displays a menu where you can see the location of your phone, the battery details and the profile picture. You know, then others know they have to hurry up because your phone is about to die and you don’t have a power bank.
A list of your recently used apps and contacts that appear is self-explanatory. And then there is this option to set the time. You share your location in real time, and this timer decides for a long time that you continue to do so. Imagine being kidnapped and activating real-time location using more codes. Bad example. Imagine that you are cycling or hiking and want someone to know that you are OK and that you are heading in the right direction.
The Plus code can also be useful for those who live in unnumbered houses. According to Google, more than 2 billion people worldwide do not have a correct address. Imagine how difficult it can be for them to sign up for basic services, banking or just calling emergency services. In addition, codes could solve this problem to some extent.
Characteristics of the Plus codes
Like most Google apps and services, Plus codes are
free to use. The good thing is that it works offline, so you don’t need
an active Internet connection.
Remember how we discussed codes are similar or start in a similar way when
two points are close to each other? It can tell if the person is
nearby, without even having to open the app.
You do not have a smartphone or wish to use the Plus codes offline for your
shop or something? Google has made it non-exclusive, you can pin it on a
graph paper. It was thought out. Google notes that because Plus Code
do not use country codes, they work in territories
places that have not yet been mapped. Unmapped locations are where
the codes will be the most useful, in my opinion. For everything else, we have
names and street marks and sometimes memory.
Plus codes work in Google Maps, but they also work in Google Search.
This makes it incredibly easy to use and find someone quickly. The research
the result link will take you to the Maps app in no time.
Map My World
Google Maps continues to improve, often adding useful new features. Plus codes are the latest from Google
efforts to make traveling and traveling easy, fun and effortless. Yes
that was not enough, Google went ahead and made it open-source so that
developers could take advantage of it. There is a reason why Google Maps is so
liked and used.
Check out the following link for a huge list of the best Google Maps tips and tricks you can use to improve your commuting and travel needs.
Last updated on June 15, 2020
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