Written byShiladitya Ray ·
Now, even when offline, users in Kerala can use their Android smartphones or tablets to generate and share a "plus code" of their exact location via voice calls or SMS.
A plus code is essentially like a street address for people or places that don't have one.
Plus codes, representing a unique geographical location, consist of a combination of area codes and local codes to give unrecognized places, an address.
These codes can be generated by anyone from within the app and then shared across platforms - social media, messages, mail etc.
Once a plus code has been generated and shared, tracking becomes significantly simple.
Rescue workers or friends and family of those stranded can just enter the plus code in the search option on Google Maps to find the exact location of a stranded person.
With thousands perched on trees and stranded on rooftops, the feature could be a boon for rescue workers.
Google's offline location sharing feature comes at the nick of time, with floods in Kerala having knocked out half of the state's electricity supply.
While 7,000 people have been rescued so far, reportedly, over 6,000 people are still waiting to be rescued.
Currently, dozens of teams from the Army, the Engineering Task Force, the Navy, and the Coast Guard are deployed for rescue operations.
Earlier this month, Twitter also announced the data-friendly "Twitter Lite" that uses very limited data, and can be used in flood situations when communication services are limited and internet connectivity is poor.
Users can use hashtags like #KeralaFloods or #KeralaFloods2018 to find information on rescue operations, relief centres, etc.
Users can also easily connect with government agencies, relief organizations, media, etc.
Meanwhile, Facebook is also actively updating information about the flood situation on its Crisis Response Page.
Last week, after torrential rains battered Kerala causing landslides and floods, Facebook activated the "Safety Check" tool on its platform so that users could indicate whether they were safe or not.
Here, by marking oneself "Safe", users can inform friends and family of their safety.
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