Technology

Your address is now just a short code

Rohan Verma

Rohan Verma  

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MapmyIndia devises a Digital Address System that replaces the postal address with a unique, verified, six-character alphanumeric code

Locating an address is no easy task. They are complex combinations of names of roads, streets, crosses, mains, lanes and bylanes; and there is no guarantee that 314 follows 313, when it comes to house numbers. Names could be differently spelt, or worse, misspelt.

MapmyIndia, a 25-year-old leader in digital maps, has a way out. It has devised a Digital Address System, called eLoc, which replaces the present multi-line postal address with a unique six-character alphanumeric code: like 1D3283.

Even a building inside a campus or a flat in an apartment complex can have a unique eLoc. You can find them by going to http://www.mapmyindia.com/eloc/#check. As many as over 2 crore addresses across more than 7,000 urban towns and six lakh villages in rural India now have these short digital addresses.

“It is a culmination of over 20 years of effort by 750 professional survey and mapping experts and an investment of around ₹200 crore,” says Rohan Verma, Executive Director and CTO, MapmyIndia. “We have walked and driven millions of kilometres, using the latest technology and gadgets to capture hundreds of data points about crores of places. It’s an ongoing process. We put out updates to the maps every quarter, and we have been doing so for nearly a decade.”

Verified address

The eLoc is generated algorithmically. “One for each address has been assigned after we professionally surveyed and mapped these addresses some time during the past 20 years. We released the eLoc for use by everyone a few weeks ago,” says Verma.

New locations or addresses can be added, or existing ones can be edited, if the addresses have changed. Users can also report issues about a place. The inputs from users made at https://maps.mapmyindia.com are validated by the experts and incorporated in the map during the quarterly update.

No two places have the same eLoc. Since even individual flats in an apartment complex have an eLoc, people will be able to navigate right up to the doorstep.

eLoc can also have information such as reviews and photos, says Verma.

“The advantages of eLoc are many,” says Verma. “There is no confusion about the address, so ambulances and fire services can reach the spot of medical emergencies much faster, saving lives. Since each property has a unique, verified eLoc, it is easier for civic agencies to keep a tab on the payment of electricity bills, water bills, property tax etc. Navigation becomes easier for e-commerce, logistics and transportation companies. They can save fuel and time.”

Making it the norm

MapmyIndia is working with many government departments, private enterprises and app developers to adopt the digital address. .

Verma is bullish about the prospects of eLoc taking off. “We are speaking to all our customers about adopting eLoc in a public manner in the address-input fields in their apps and business IT systems, just like how Aadhaar or UPI or payment wallets or credit cards are accepted in personal/payment input fields in KYC forms, checkout carts etc,” he says.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 4:18:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/mapmyindia-is-trying-to-change-your-address-into-a-sixdigit-code/article17456771.ece

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