Google Maps users on Android will soon be able to share their location data much more easily.
In a blog post, Google explained that this will be made possible through an expansion to its ‘Plus Codes’ digital address system that launched in 2015.
In Google Maps, users will soon be able to tap the blue that represents their current location to retrieve their Plus Code. Alternatively, tapping and holding another location on the map will drop a pin on your highlighted location that will display its Plus Code.
These codes come in a simple alphanumeric form which can be combined with a locality (such as FWM8+V9, Ibadan, Nigeria) and will be searchable on both Google Maps and Google Search. Further, Plus Codes will be free to use and are open source, so anyone will be able to use the technology in their own apps.
According to Google, more than two billion people on Earth (roughly 25 percent of the global population) either don’t have an address or have one that is difficult to locate. Therefore, the Plus Codes system has been updated to make it easier for people to find one another, especially in emergencies, says Google.
Google says this new Plus Code functionality will appear in the Google Maps Android app “over the coming weeks.” There’s no word yet on whether it will come to the iOS version of the app.