How Google Maps Helps the Navajo Nation Get Addresses for Streets Without Names

Google Maps isn’t only the number one navigation app worldwide, but also the solution that some turn to in order to improve the way they obtain access to emergency health services or even mail delivery.
Generating a plus code in Google Maps is a matter of seconds 1 photo
The plus codes that come bundled with Google Maps allow for pretty much anyone to get an address, even on a street without a name. And the Navajo Nation is living proof of how smoothly everything is working with these plus codes.

The Mountain View-based search giant has recently published a video to show how the implementation of plus codes helped the American Indian territory get an address that would provide its over 173,000 members of the community (according to 2010 data) with access to emergency health services and mail delivery.

And it’s all thanks to a very simple approach that’s available to anyone using Google Maps.

Plus Codes are like street addresses for people or places that don’t have one. Instead of addresses with street names and numbers, Plus Codes are based on latitude and longitude, and displayed as numbers and letters. With a Plus Code, people can receive deliveries, access emergency and social services, or just help other people find them,” Google explains.

The plus codes that are bundled with Google Maps are based on an open-source implementation, so they are completely free to use for pretty much anyone. They don’t require an Internet connection, so they can also be used offline, and are based on a set of 20 alphanumeric characters.

In other words, they don’t use a specific language and only use easy to read characters, without any vowels and case-sensitive items. So at the end of the day, using plus codes is something easy as pie but incredibly useful at the same time, and you should click the play button in the video below to see how they completely changed the life of the Navajo Nation.


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