Unique Mapcodes are a free, easy-to-communicate way of pinpointing a location.

Photo Credit: Mapcodes

Photo Credit: Mapcodes

People can now pinpoint any location on a map with a unique code, thanks to a new development by the founders of TomTom, Pieter Geenlen and Harold Goddijn. Mapcodes were designed with four to seven characters in order to make them easy to remember and to share, all for free. 

Zip codes need databases, which need to be maintained, which in turn costs money. Mapcodes, on the other hand, use free software to place the latitude and longitude of a location. The company says their system is especially useful for countries without universal postal systems.

“The idea of Mapcode came about when we saw that millions of locations around the world do not have a recognizable address and were hard to find,” said Pieter Geelen, co-founder of Mapcode. “Introducing a Mapcode system means everyone is empowered with the ability to identify any location on earth, regardless of the country or its infrastructure.”

For other countries, Mapcodes could be used to help delivery companies completely bypass the existing postal system.

The technology has been donated to The Mapcode Foundation, which is making the technology available, for free, to everyone.

“Mapcodes is an important development in creating a new global standard that makes it easy for anyone to pinpoint any location,” said Harold Goddijn, the CEO of TomTom. "The technology will be supported by TomTom, and we hope to see other organizations adopting it in the near future."