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How To Use Map Plus Codes Drive Traffic To Alternate Locations – like side-streets and adjacent lots

Updated: Jun 14

With so many businesses serving their patrons from curbside, parking lot, and back door deliveries to open fields and parking lots – businesses have had to find creative ways to conduct business.

The 5-blue dot logo for Google Maps Plus Codes

This author has personally experienced these, and with them, the failures and successes of each.


Success leaves me with a sense of pride for the business owner (and sometimes a car full of the scent of spicy pad thai), but failure is frustrating as it’s mostly unavoidable – at lease from my experience. The most common of these failures is in navigation. Be it missing or fallen directions to pick-up notes printed on a 8″x12″ paper taped to a door (to be read from curbside) – driving traffic to somewhere other than a businesses front door seems to be a challenge.


Simply by using Map Plus Codes (MPC), however, could have prevented most of these direction errors.


MPCs allow a business to maintain their regular map address, while simultaneously use a separate map link for a non-address or alternate-address location for directing traffic for things like a back-door, side-street, or adjacent lot as a customer pick-up location. Or any of the examples below…

  • Adjacent lot pick-up locations

  • Auto race park check-in & first-aid stations (like Lime Rock)

  • COVID-19 testing entrance

  • Emergency stations & shelter check-ins

  • Drive-up food pantry entrances

  • Farmer & food market booths

  • Food trucks & vending carts

  • Group meeting location

  • Information booths (like at parks)

  • Mobile blood-donation stops

  • Parking lot dining or pick-up locations

  • Showers at an outdoor concert (just sayin’)

  • Side-street pickup locations

  • Temporary municipal or emergency outposts, structures, or buildings

  • Tour operator ticket booths

  • Trade show booths

  • VIP & special needs entrances

  • Water dock-side businesses like SailTime

Creating these Map Plus Codes (MPC) is super easy using Google Maps in just a few steps. I’ve outlined three-scenarios which should cover most needs.


Scenario 1 – when you are physically at the location (mobile) – useful for when you arrive at a destination and need to generate a map code

  1. Open Google Maps and make certain your location settings are ON

  2. Press and hold your finger on the area of the map you will be until a map pin appears

  3. Click on the address or where it says, “Dropped Pin” and scroll to the bottom of the page where you see the five blue dots, like this ⇒

  4. The first string of numbers and letters is the code!


Scenario 2 – to pre-generate an MPC from a (mobile) map view – use this format to generate a map code in advance of arriving at the location

  1. Open Google Maps and make certain your location settings are ON

  2. Search for the location near your interest

  3. Press and hold your finger on the area of the map you will be until a map pin appears

  4. Click on the address or where it says, “Dropped Pin” and scroll to the bottom of the page where you see the five blue dots.

  5. Same as above – the first string of numbers and letters is the code

Illustrated 3-step directions for crating map plus codes on a personal computer
Scenario 3 - directions

Scenario 3 – if using a PC (see illustration below)

  1. Like scenario two, but click and hold your cursor on the map until a pin appears

  2. Click on the latitude/longitude coordinates in the address bar that opens open at the bottom of the page

  3. Your MPC appears in the left within the information bar next to

Whichever situation best fits your needs, just use these as you would a regular address in text (e.g., RMP4+CQ) or as a clickable link – the latter requiring no instruction, simply clicking on it will open the default map for your customer.