MapCode is not an easy short address

In response to the optimistic and exciting article “Mapcode is a simple and short address,” I would like to criticize this system so as not to once again ignite ignorant minds with global ideas a la “time zone cancellation”. So, what was unsaid and what is “wrong” in this “idyll of addresses”:

  1. First and foremost, this system is not “short” in its full understanding: you may not get addresses like “AB.CD” purely by virtue of the MapCode coding principle. Here, for example, is a certain point in the Arctic: “ZQDZY.98D3” is not so brief, is it? Reason: short addresses are only obtained if your region is listed in MapCode. Actually, this is why it turns out to be short, because at first a known region is indicated, and then a point (with small coordinates-offsets) inside this region. “No region - no short address.”
  2. The second important point: the system is built on predefined regions, introduced (hardcoded) inside the calculation program. This means that the system becomes clumsy-static, requiring updates across the entire fleet of devices with MapCode. Moreover, we immediately get to the limitations of embedded devices (where is the bill for kilobytes).
  3. Even worse: for accurate coordinates, the system clearly requires an indication of the country that in our age of globalization it’s not so “unimportant” - you simply can’t put a “bare” code into an email. Again the inconvenience.
  4. After a cursory study of the source (and this is 2.5 thousand lines of any utilitarianism only in a sy-file!), I would like to take it as in a well-known joke - “rewrite everything”. Well, the “simple and convenient system” should not be such a mess of heterogeneous coding algorithms (THREE of them), regions, and encodings!
  5. And by the way about encodings ... When I read that the letters “O” and “I” were thrown out of the address code (so as not to be confused with the numbers 0 and 1), I even somehow respect the authors - to throw off such a huge problem when reading the code! But when in speck, it was a question of confusing the Russian letter "H" with the English "H", the face was darkened by the facespalm. Well, well done Archimedes, flashed intelligence! How did we use an email without you for 20 years ?? But this increases the complexity of coding, while still ... the problem remains! How do you explain to a blonde with a business card that all letters can be read as you like? People are used to English letters! Yes, and it’s stupid to somehow invent a “global address system”, but using national alphabets - what is the global character of Chinese numbers in Kukuevo then? Again "abstractions flow."
  6. Finally, there is a fundamental disagreement: the system is built to reduce human addresses, but a person just cannot read it (without the help of a computer)! Well, if you have a computer, then the codes are not really needed. In fact, 100% benefit from MapCode is achieved only in such an ideal case: both interacting parties are in the same country, in a densely populated city (that is, “short addresses” work and you do not need a country code), they call you from landline to mobile (t ie sending SMS is excluded), 4 digits dictate to you and you enter them into GPS (i.e. there is no internet, no email, google maps no, populated by robots), and that one finds the address you need. Don't you think that this all sounds like retrograde and some very narrow use case? So it seems to me in the age of Google maps (without which I can’t go to any address) it seems foolish to invent a “sometimes round” (ie sometimes short) wheel, which is useful in a miserable percentage of cases. Yes, and do not forget: passers-by will also not be asked “how to get to B5.Z16?” - It’s better to have a long “address” “there is such a blue house and a passage into the yard” than codes.

And then, as the comments correctly pointed out : why torment one place when there is a normal, accurate, truly global Geo URI standard ? Yes, the numbers are more authentic, but these are numbers - they are easier to dictate than an email , there is less confusion with “O” or “0”, and they can be entered faster than the alphabet. That’s what they would have thought with their brains to get rid of the point - it would be absolutely perfect! (for systems without FPU).

To summarize, “conceptually” the system is interesting, but it can be applied exactly as it is encoded: in a narrow region at the regional / state level.

Now an idea has popped up in my head: maybe it’s stupid to use recursion? “Let the Earth be a square.” We break the square, say, into a 6x6 matrix, number the cells with the alphabet [A-Z0-9]. And then, each cell is the same square that we divide by a matrix, etc. We get a recursive descent to any level of accuracy, moreover, using one “number” and is applicable for any point on the planet. The “kitchen” complexity of the algorithm is lines 30. Without additional tables and pluses / minuses / points. If you want to minimize it, enter a small table of the main regions that will definitely not undergo changes (the continent or part of it). And then - pure mathematics.

For example, in the United States from North Dakota to Houston - approximately 2,200 km. For the 8 described iterations (i.e., 8 letters), you can converge to a square of 1.3x1.3 m - this roughly corresponds to the accuracy of GPS + WAAS. Such a system will not need to be updated or applied to some kind of super-accurate material calculations. At the same time, instead of meaningless postal codes, one could write this international code + it is also in QRCode - postmen will cry out with emotion!

Oh, to live!

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