In 2014, Google launched the “Open Location Code” project as an alternative to street addresses that’s “easier to use than latitude and longitude.” Google Maps is now introducing a faster way to access and share “Plus Codes” on Android.

Plus Codes are based on latitude and longitude, but use a 10 or 11 alphanumeric sequence. The name is derived from the ‘plus’ sign before the last two letters/digits. For the most part, you’ll just see Plus Codes with the last 6 or 7 characters combined with a locality identifier (city, state or city, country). Examples include:

  • Googleplex: CWC8+Q9 Mountain View, California
  • Hollywood Sign: 4MMH+J9 Los Angeles, California
  • Central Park: Q2MM+4V New York

You can now access the Plus Code for your current location by tapping the blue dot that represents where you are. This opens the blue screen where you’ve always been able to see nearby places, share your location, and save your parking.

The Plus Code is now listed above those three shortcuts and tapping copies to your clipboard. In the past, getting the code required opening a location’s listing — by dropping a pin — and then scrolling through other place details.

When sharing Plus Codes, others are able to enter it into Search or Maps and get directions. The technology behind this system is open-sourced, with Google touting how there are no licensing fees. This effort is meant to provide an “address for everyone” as more than 2 billion people around the globe “don’t have an address or have an address that isn’t easy to locate.”

Digital locations through Plus Codes means that everywhere now has an easily identifiable location, saving time, and getting resources there when it really matters. Not having an address should no longer be a barrier to easily sharing your location with service providers, guiding them to you when you most need them.

This quick Google Maps access to Plus Codes is rolling out now on Android.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: