Geohashing is a geocoding method used to encode geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into a short string of digits and letters delineating an area on a map, which is called a cell, with varying resolutions. The more are the characters present in a string, the more precise is the location. The main idea that geohashing follows is that it divides the earth into a grid made up of graticules which are one degree wide in latitude and longitude. Inside these graticules, a random location is set and geohashers have the opportunity to go at the chosen location. Geohashes use base-32 alphabet encoding (characters can be 0 to 9 and A to Z).

Geohashing was originally developed as a URL shortening service, but it is now commonly used for spatial indexing, location searching, mashups and creating unique place identifiers. A geohash is shorter than a regular address, or latitude and longitude coordinates, and therefore, easier to share, remember and store. Geohashes are gaining immense popularity and are being used in the following domains-

  • Social Networking – Used by dating apps to find matches within a particular cell, and to create chat apps.
  • Proximity Searches – Find nearby locations, and identify places of interest, restaurants, shops and accommodation establishments in an area.
  • Digital Travels – Geohashers go on global expeditions to meet people and explore new places. The twist: the destination is a computer-generated geohash and participants in this turnkey travel experience have to write up and post their story on the internet.
  • Custom Interactive Apps – Geohashing can be used to create realtime, interactive apps.

At TSI, we help you incorporate the technology of geohashing in your systems, as required.

Related articles