Google wants to help users in India get around – no mean feat given the country's often byzantine address system.
The Alphabet Inc-owned search giant unveiled an open-source project that aims to make sense of the chaos of India's hyper-growth cities: a shifting warren of the hidden alleys, ever-changing landmarks and missing street signs. Called Plus Codes, it's a location-based digital tagging system that divides the landscape into tiles and assigns a unique code to each, making navigation easier.
Google is tackling the project as part of its own search for the next billion users. Non-standard addresses now increase the costs of running all types of commerce from ride-hailing to online retailing and food delivery. While touting its benefits in India, the system will be rolled out globally.
Plus Codes – in a '6-character + city' format – can be generated and shared by anyone on Google Maps, while apps that use location on their own platforms. And a user can enter the Plus. Google Maps is also the introduction of Hindi three years ago.
“In India, we know how challenging it can be to reach a given residential address,” said Suren Ruhela, director of Google Maps Next Billion Users. “The other reality is that there are millions of people and places in India.” – Bloomberg