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Plus codes are one of the most undiscovered features in Google Maps.
You might not need them when you’re in a well-planned urban area, but they can prove helpful when navigating the world in areas where there are no addresses to lead the way.
But what exactly is a Plus code? And how can you use them in your travels? Let’s take a look.
How to Use Plus Codes on Google Maps
Plus codes work like street addresses. But, instead of street names and ZIP codes, the address is represented by a string of numbers and characters. You can find the Plus code of any location and then use it to find or share a place on Google Maps.
According to Google, a Plus code includes:
- 6 or 7 letters and numbers
- A town or city
It looks like this:
X4HM+3C, Cairo, Egypt
In some case, you may see just a longer alpha-numeric code without the city and the country. Here, an area code is added to the alpha-numeric string. Again, Plus codes may not be available for some countries at all.
In Google Maps, Plus codes are available for both Android and iOS. With a couple of taps, you can find the plus code for a place or find a place by searching with a plus code.
On your Android, iPhone or iPad, open the Google Maps app:
- Touch and hold a place to drop a pin on Google Maps.
- At the bottom, tap the address or description.
- Scroll down to find the plus code, such as 6235VCH3V+TG
To find a place using a Plus code, just copy-paste or type the code in the Google Maps search bar. Google explains in detail how it works.
The World Bank says that half of the world lives on unnamed streets. Plus codes give anyone in the world an address they can share, for free. Thanks to a team of Google engineers, Plus codes are Open Sourced. Anyone can use them to make maps and navigation better.