matt grant

you are here

As a system’s usage expands, the level of complexity tends to increase.

This is particularly true of indexing systems.

Take addresses.

If you’re a small village with relatively few houses and very little else around you, you need to specify far less detail than if you’re one of a hundred apartments on a crowded street in the middle of city. Otherwise it becomes impossible to accurate differentiate between locations.

There are a number of ways of doing this. Cartesian grid references. Great for wild areas with few distinguishing landmarks. Not so good at determining which floor your flat is on. Postal addresses. Excellent when it comes to finding a house. Terrible for finding treasure.

What about plus codes? A plus code is a 10 (or 11, depending on how precise you want your location to be) digit alphanumerical string that uniquely identifies down to a 3x3m square. Every 3x3 square has one. Even if it’s empty.

So when you’re looking for a place with no name, now you have somewhere to aim for.