Google Maps now allows all users with Android smartphones to obtain their own “digital address” using the Plus Code format, six-digit codes that allow you to uniquely identify a place on Earth.
The user can obtain their Plus Code simply by pressing on the blue dot that represents their position, and then sharing it with others by simply copying it to the clipboard and pasting it – for example on WhatsApp or, why not, in the shipping notes being completed online order.
To explain it in very simple words: most houses and buildings have their own “classic” postal address, with street, postcode and house number.
But there are places where this type of address does not exist: for us, it is easy to think of extremely rare cases, for example, a mountain hut, or centuries-old streets in the historic centre of some medieval village, but there are entire areas in the world that have no street names and house numbers.
It is even estimated that one in four people in the world is in this situation.
In this case, the alternative is the coordinates of latitude and longitude, which, however, are strings of rather long and difficult to remember numbers. The Plus Codes are basically a “compression and simplification” (at the mnemonic level, at least) of those codes. Google introduced the Plus Code as a concept as early as 2015, and towards 2016 they began to make their way on Maps. Through a server-side activation, they are now (or rather, will be available within the next few weeks) for all users of Maps on Android (for what it’s worth, we’ve already received it).
Google notes that Plus Codes can be particularly useful in crisis and emergency situations. Instead of describing a position to a rescuer, it is enough to communicate the six letters of the Plus Code and be sure that this is enough to be identified (within a few meters, if nothing else).