Google Maps has launched a new feature that generates a unique six-digit code based on your location. When you live in an area where you can’t confirm that you’re using a traditional street address, someone else can find your location with this six-digit code. This new feature, called Plus Code, can only be seen by clicking on the blue dot icon representing your current location in the Maps app.
Plus Code is designed for countries and regions that lack street names and addresses that are difficult to identify, and Google says it can cause problems when emergency services try to respond to emergencies, which can also affect everyday needs such as postal couriers. According to the company, more than 2 billion people worldwide do not have an address, or have an address that is not easy to find.
Plus Code has actually been trials on Google Maps for some time, but previously wanted to access the feature by placing a red pushpin on the address. Tapping the pushpin displays the Plus Code for that address, as well as the latitude and longitude and street addresses, if any.
Plus Code is usually composed of a series of numbers and separated by a plus sign. For example, “HR8P-84 London” refers to Hampstead Heath, north London. If there are no towns nearby, you can use a four-digit area code instead of the town name, plus an extra character to further narrow the location.
Enter a code in the search box in Google Maps to turn it into a location. According to the Plus Codes website, it works offline, and the technology is open source technology licensed under Apache 2.0, which means other developers can add the technology to their applications.