Google made some new announcements regarding the Google Maps by making searching for Indian addresses on Google Maps simpler and announced Plus Codes. Google also announced Voice Navigation support in six additional Indian languages.
Google has introduced Plus Codes in Google Maps. This is an open sourced solution. Plus Code represents a simple and consistent addressing system that works globally. It is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny tiles and attributing a unique code to each of them. A Plus Code has 6 characters+ City format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone. It is open source, which means that the Plus Codes can be implemented in any apps using location services. To use a Plus Code, users need to simply enter it into the Search field on Google or Google Maps, mobile or desktop, which will instantly show a location. Plus Codes can be used for a wide variety of reasons including communicating the venue of a temporary event, guiding emergency services to afflicted locations, and providing an identifiable location for complicated addresses. Google has added more information about Plus Codes here.
In another step aimed at facilitating accurate and easy searching on Maps, Google is now introducing Add an Address option, a feature that enables users to contribute to the Maps experience from the Google Maps app. Just like adding businesses, users can submit new or missing addresses through this feature, and Google will make sure the address is searchable after verification. Moreover, users will also get Local Guides points for each valid submission.
Google also introduced Smart Address Search which is an innovative approach to providing the best estimate of the location of an address on the basis of nearby businesses, buildings or landmarks and using the Smart Address Search, if Google Maps doesn’t understand the address precisely, it will try to use all the pieces of information in the address and provide options of landmarks and points of interest.
Commenting on these new features and announcements by Google, Suren Ruhela, Director, Google Maps Next Billion Users, said: “At Google Maps, our objective has always been about organizing all location-related information, and making it more accessible and relevant for Indian users. Address search is critical for delivering on this mission”. He also added, “In India, we know how challenging it can be to reach a given residential address. They are unique in format, and vary across regions, localities, and use cases. While some addresses are well-defined by street names and house numbers that are easy to find, others can be long-winded and hard to locate. The other reality is that millions of people and places in India are hard to locate — especially those in remote areas. We are deeply committed to helping find solutions to these challenges.” While Krish Vitaldevara, Product Lead, Google Maps Next Billion Users, said, “India continues to inspire us, and pushes us to reimagine 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”.
Google has also rolled out support for six additional Indian languages for voice-guided navigation – Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. The first Indian language to be supported by Google Maps was Hindi, which was done three years ago.