Govt plans digital mapping of citizens' addresses: report

The government is planning to digitally map residential and professional addresses of citizens by assigning a six-character alphanumeric code to a physical location.

The idea is to provide e-locations (like Google Maps) for the addresses with possibilities to provide links to other info, such as property title and ownership, property tax records, information on utilities like electricity, water and gas.

The Department of Posts, which is under the ministry of communications, is working on a pilot project that will accord a six-character alphanumeric digital address for every property for three postal pin code locations.

DoP has been permitted to undertake pilot project in two postal pin codes locations in Delhi and one in Noida. Depending on the outcome a roadmap would be drawn for national expansion of the scheme, according to a report in The Times of India.

eLoc (or e-location) shortens an address into a six-character combination of alphabets and numbers, which can provide all directions to the person's address.

The eLoc can be shared through visiting cards or online or by any other means, so that a person looking for another person needs only to enter the eLoc in the MapmyIndia portal (or app) to reach the person concerned.

MapmyIndia portal (or app) will instantly offer turn-by-turn directions right up to a person's address.

The digital identity will be an e-enabled address that can be used parallelly with the existing postal address.

"The results of the proof of concept may be utilised by the department towards developing a digital address format that would suit the purpose for a national-level project rollout," says a letter signed by additional director-general (mail operations) Abhishek Kumar Singh and sent to MapmyIndia on 27 September.

The report, which quoted MapmyIndia MD Rakesh Verma, said the e-linkage would make it easier to identify complex addresses while providing an opportunity to link them to other amenities and services.

"eLoc will help travellers and commuters search, share and navigate to a destination's exact doorstep far more easily and quickly. It will also reduce time, money, fuel wastage and expenses for businesses in the e-commerce, transportation, logistics and field operations domains," ToI quoted Verma as saying.

Pilot project to evaluate digital addresses' effectiveness: DoP

Currently, a large number of addresses in the country are difficult to comprehend when read digitally. "For example, an address such as 147, Pocket XX, 2A, Janakpuri can be easily identified online by a digital address such as 8GDTYX. This can be further linked with other associated amenities such as property tax and ownership details, civic amenities etc," an official of the company said.

"The sole ownership of the data/reports or any other documents generated/created in any electronic or physical form, during the course of the proof of concept, shall remain with the department," the approval letter for the pilot study says.

The postal department would assist in the exercise through sharing of data on beat maps, verification of the information related to mapping of physical address with the digital addresses and facilitating interactions with their ground staff.

MapmyIndia, which partners Isro and its national satellite imagery service 'Bhuvan' for effective digital mapping, claims to have an exhaustive digital address database that includes over 20 million eLocs of individuals, businesses and government set-ups.