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Google Maps introduces Plus codes in India, adds Voice Navigation support in 6 more Indian languages

We are all too familiar with the hassles of scouting for an address, especially so on chaotic Indian streets. Given their unique format which varies across regions, localities, and use cases, the reality remains that millions of people and places in India are hard to locate (more so in remote areas). To tackle this challenge Google has come up with an open sourced solution- Plus Codes, a system is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny ‘tiled areas’, attributing a unique code to each of them.

The code comprises a ‘6-character + City’ format that can be generated shared and searched by anyone with Google Maps on a smartphone or PC, it can also be searched on Google for displaying a location instantly. These Plus codes can come in handy for a wide variety of reasons for instance- while communicating the venue of a temporary event, guiding emergency services to afflicted locations, or providing an identifiable location for complicated addresses.

In an another step aimed at facilitating accurate and easy searching on Maps, Google has introduced an ‘Add an Address’ feature. This feature enables users to contribute an address to the apps’ database (similar to how one adds a business address). They will also be able to submit new or missing home addresses which will be added to Maps after verification. Once approved, the uploader would get 15 points through Google's MapMaker initiative that helps encourage user contributions. To use this option, Go into the Google Maps app > [search for a location (say, Karol Bagh)] > Add a Missing Place > House or Apartment. The app will then switch to satellite view in order for the user to accurately select the location they wish to add.

To further make things easier, the tech giant has also embedded the option of Smart Address Search. The innovative approach provides the best estimate of the location of an address, when people aren’t aware of an exact address. It suggests an approximation of the location by trying to use all the pieces of information in the address providing options of landmarks and points of interest that the user can best identify with. ​

Google has also brought in Voice navigation support in six additional Indian languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam for GoogleMaps. The service is already supported with the language Hindi, introduced three years ago.

Source: GoogleBlog | PlusCodes

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