Google India has recently created headlines by making a number of announcements to improve the overall Maps experience in India.
To know more, the company has mainly focused on improving the address search in the country by organizing the location-related information while making it more accessible and relevant. Again, the main problem that the company faces in India is the one with residential addresses, which do not follow a fixed format and might also vary from region to region.
This problem is not limited to the variation in the format as the sheer difference lies in the length of addresses which can also throw the system off. In addition to this, a majority of addresses are hard to locate, especially speaking of the ones living in remote locations.
To solve this issue of addresses, Google has also introduced a new ‘open sourced solution’ with the name of ‘Plus Codes’. As added by Google, ‘Plus Codes’ is a more consistent and simple addressing system that works not just across India, but works globally as well.
The Plus Codes system works by dividing the surface of the earth into small tiles or ‘tile areas’ which a unique code assigned to each tile. The Plus Code address states of a format with 6 characters followed by a local code. With this, anyone can generate, share or even search for any particular location using this format with the help of Google Maps. Also, this Plus Code format is an open source, thus making it much easier for any app that uses location data to make use of this more consistent addressing system.
Talking about more this system, it makes much easier for users now to assign an easy, identifiable location for any complicated address. Also, as per the Plus Codes websites, it would work as a street address for places that don’t have a street name. This, in turn, would make the location address more accurate and easier to decode, making the experience seamless. This would also help in the delivery services, emergency services or even government agencies keep track of location-based programs.
In addition, other benefits pointed out by Google state that ‘Plus Codes’ is minus any kind of licensing codes, that they would work regardless of whether a user is online or offline. Also, this system is again independent of borders and this ensures that it works in ‘disputed territories’, that they can be printed as a grid on paper and finally, this is not limited to the internet or digital devices.
Add missing address:
Google has also made the process of adding missing addresses much easier with the ‘Add an Address’ feature where users can contribute to improving the Maps experience. Also, for ensuring that the addresses are accurate and not duplicated, Google would also verify the added address and ensure that it ‘is searchable in due course’.
Smart Address Search:
In addition to adding missing addresses, Google is also rolling out ‘Smart Address Search’ commencing from today, where Google Maps would give the best estimate of the location of the address with the use of landmarks, businesses or any nearby locality that is added in the address. Smart Address Search would also make use of all the information in the address and then provide options that can help the user find their destination. Something similar to what users are accustomed to in the real world.
Voice Navigation in six more languages:
The most striking feature is definitely the support added by for Google for Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam so that the users speaking these might as well also use these for navigation. Here, Krish Vitaldevara, the Product Lead for Google Maps Next Billion Users also added that “India continues to inspire us, and pushes us to re-imagine what Maps can do for people. And we are just getting started as we continue to build features and expand our partnerships to make the Google Maps experience more comprehensive, accurate and reliable for our users”.