By Stellamaris Ashinze
Lagos – Google on Friday, announced a new addition in Google Maps ‘Plus Codes’ to help locate difficult or no fixed address.
Mr Kola-Ogunlade, Communication Officer, Google, West Africa, said in a statement that the Plus Codes helps to locate people without a fixed address or difficult locations in rural areas to be located in emergency
Kola-Ogunlade said while most people take having a fixed, physical address for granted, 2 billion people across the globe either do not have an address, or have an address that was hard to locate.
He said that this made it difficult for people to find them, particularly in an emergency.
According to him, this is the reason Google has developed Plus Codes, and is rolling them out for Google Maps on Android.
‘’Plus Codes can be especially helpful for people and organisations in emergency and crisis response scenarios.
‘’If you have ever been in an emergency, you know that being able to share your location for help to easily find you is critical.
‘’Yet,in many places in the world, organisations struggle with this challenge on a daily basis.
‘’Digital addressing through Plus Codes means that everywhere now has an easily identifiable location, saving time and getting resources there when it really matters,’’ he said.
Açcording to him, not having an address should no longer be a barrier to easily sharing location with service providers from online retailers to emergency services.
He said that the Plus Codes would guide people to one when you most need them.
Kola-Ogunlade said Plus Codes were simple, easy to use digital addresses derived from latitude and longitude coordinates.
He said it could be used to uniquely identify any location, from a rural home in a remote area, to a hidden shop on a nameless street.
“ To share location, simply tap the blue dot in Google Maps that represents your location, and get a Plus Code, which could be shared the same way a phone number is shared,” the Communication Officer said.
He said a Plus Code was a simple alphanumeric code which can be combined with a locality, and looked like a regular address, but with a short code where a street name or number would be.
”Beyond using the blue dot, one could also find the Plus Code for a location.
He said that Plus Codes were searchable on Google Maps and even Google Search, meaning everywhere on the planet can now be uniquely identified.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the digital addresses were free to use, available offline, and could be printed on paper, posters and signs.
The technology to generate Plus Codes is also an open source, which means anyone can see how it works and develop their own applications for any use case.