Any new technology can seem confusing at first, but this is actually a very simple and free one that will improve your life. Click here for an introduction

The three most important things to know:

  1. You can think of ‘mapcodes’ like nicknames for addresses: short codes that can be generated for any place on earth, and are just as accurate as GPS coordinates in everyday use.
  2. Mapcodes are open source, which means they can be integrated into other systems!
  3. Although there are some other systems that do similar things, mapcodes have several unique advantages (e.g. shorter codes which are not dependent on specific spoken languages).

What are mapcodes?

Mapcodes have a fascinating history dating back to 2001, and you can read more about them at Mapcodes’ own website over here. For a deeper dive, read the official Mapcode System reference document.

Why use mapcodes?

Normal physical addresses are terrible because:

  • They’re hard to communicate by telephone or even write down accurately.
  • They’re generally useless outside of urban areas with clear street numbering (i.e. most of the world).
  • They’re hard to fit onto conventional advertising (e.g. business cards, billboards e-mail signatures and press adverts).
  • Even when you get people to the general area, it’s difficult to identify details like the exact entrance or parking lot to use.

Mapcodes solve all of the above problems, for free.

What about other commercial address encoding systems?

The Mapcode system was donated to the public domain in 2008, and that makes it more impartial and transparent than third-party services with commercial interests and/or subscription fees. The Mapcode libraries (that perform the conversion of co-ordinates into Mapcodes and back) are available for download in full and can be integrated offline into any mapping solution. This makes the system future-proof: you never have to worry about the Mapcode Foundation closing down and your entire addressing system not working anymore.

Why haven’t I heard about mapcodes before?

WHY Mapcodes aren’t more in use is one of those frustrating mysteries … as this site proves, the technology works and can be integrated into any system or process that uses a location.

Something on the website is broken/doesn’t work!

This website is heavily reliant on Javascript, so if your computer’s security settings block Javascript altogether then nothing will work. If you run into problems, please click on “Contact” to report the error.

How do I implement this in my own business/application?

Mapcodes have a very informative Developers section on their website, with details on their REST API, source code and all documentation. This website’s goal is to encourage business owners and developers to integrate mapcodes across websites and local addressing systems.