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Launching Address Descriptors to make it easier to find addresses using landmarks in Indian cities


Google Maps Platform has enabled a growing number of businesses in India to build informative and engaging geospatial experiences. At the recent I/O Connect in Bengaluru, Google announced Address Descriptors, available in 25 Indian metro areas. With Address Descriptors, you can make it easier for your users to find an address by sharing the most relevant landmarks and area names relative to a geocoded point.


Addresses in many regions, including India, have a unique format. The complexities of an address–with various components like house number, area name, road name and landmark–make it harder to explain and locate. People in India are used to communicating their addresses relative to a landmark or an area name. For example, telling a food delivery driver that their apartment building is behind the local post office or calling their ride-share driver to say they’re waiting opposite a specific college is a common way of communicating addresses.


Through Google Maps Platform’s conversations with developers in India, they’ve learned that they often try to mirror this way of communicating addresses by building a landmark field into the address form. Address Descriptors shows the most relevant landmarks and area names relative to an address. This experimental feature will help communicate addresses through Reverse Geocoding API at no additional cost. It uses a combination of machine learning signals on proximity, prominence, and visibility–all informed by in-depth on the ground research–to identify and rank the most relevant landmarks and area names relative to an address.


Landmarks and areas add context when sharing location in a chat


Developers in India have asked for landmark-aware capabilities, and Address Descriptors is the first feature designed for our developers building geospatial experiences for Indian cities. Using the feature, developers can build an address form that includes a pre-selected landmark and area. They also have the option to replace the suggested landmark with another from a stack-ranked list of the five most relevant landmarks.


Delivery address input includes a pre-selected landmark & area


With Address Descriptors, developers can save time, reduce errors and deliver a more intuitive customer experience. Imagine not having to call your food delivery driver to share a landmark near your apartment because they now have in-app access to the most relevant landmarks and/or area names near the drop-off point.


Landmarks and areas add context when sharing location in a chat


Address Descriptors is currently in the experimental stage, which means Google Maps Platform is actively looking for feedback. If you have feedback, you can share it with them via email. If the feature is not available in your region, and you think it would be helpful, please let them know.


Just last week Google Maps Platform made it more intuitive for developers in India to get started with Google Maps Platform capabilities like Address Descriptors. You’ll now get more context on payment mechanisms, an improved billing experience, and more guidance throughout the process. Starting later this month, a special promotion will be available to eligible new developers in India. To learn more, get in touch with us today.



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