Every capable person has been working relentlessly to help victims of Kerala floods, one of the worst natural calamities in India. Google has jumped onboard to do its bit and has announced that those who are stranded or stuck in a place because of the floods can generate as well as share their Plus Codes without the need for an internet connection so that the rescue teams can locate and reach them. Given the situation, it is obvious that a large chunk of people are not able to access the internet, but Google’s solution will let the stranded people share the code even without the internet, via call or SMS.
With authorities and family members looking to locate affected people, the Plus Code sharing can be a boon to rescue workers. “The victims can use their Android smartphones or tablets to generate the Plus Codes of their exact location, which can pinpoint their whereabouts and make it easier for rescue workers to reach them. Moreover, users can generate plus codes even when they are offline, and share these over a voice call or an SMS,” Google said in a press note.
Plus Codes is a simple addressing system that works across India. Using Plus codes, one can easily search, discover and share an address. Users can search using Plus Codes in Maps on mobile or desktop, and directly in Google Search as well. This system is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny ‘tiled areas’, attributing a unique code to each of them. This code simply comprises a ‘6-character & City’ format that can be generated, shared and searched by anyone.
For Plus codes to work, users just need to have Google Maps in their phones. Open the Google Maps app and then zoom in to your location to the maximum. Touch and hold a place to drop a pin on the map. At the bottom, the app will show an address or a plus code. Now, tap the section to find the details of the location and copy the plus code. You can paste the code into the SMS app and share it with the rescue temas, friends or families. You can also share the code by calling.
According to The Economic Times, about 370 people have been reported dead in rain-related incidents in Kerala since monsoon arrived in late May. More than 200 of those have been killed in the past week. Here is how you can do your part in helping the stranded and affected people of Kerala. To know more about the Plus Code, you can read a detailed report here.