You Have A New Address

It is shorter than your phone number.

[This article is written by my father Jugal Gupta. I thought his creation will be very relevant to Medium’s audience.]

My home address has many lines, not uncommon for addresses in India.

My home is on one of Pune city’s main roads, and yet every time I call for a taxi, or order a pizza, or have a friend visit me, I spend considerable time explaining my address, and directing the person to ensure they reach my home. Often I have to stand in front of my gate to ensure they do not overshoot, and lose track of the key landmark.

My office address although more prominent, is also more complicated, since it is on a one way road — if visitors overshoot the location, they have to take a long detour to get back on track.

When I have to catch an early morning flight, and I’m invariably late, my wife is forced to wake up early, and be on the phone to direct the taxi driver. Apparently, this is not unique to me. Friends and family across different cities in India, reported that they too have marathon conversations with impatient taxi drivers and delivery boys, personally explaining how to reach their homes.

Last year, when I visited Shenzhen to meet some suppliers in China, the situation got more interesting. I was forced to carry two sets of addresses — one written in English for myself, and one written in Chinese for the taxi drivers. And while in the taxi, I was never sure if I am being driven to the right place, and by the shortest route.

I don’t need to go to China to experience this issue; it infects all addresses that rely on local words. The story is same when I drive to any address in rural India, or even in Southern India (where I don’t know the local language).

Besides, how do you speak out the location in an area where there are no streets or landmarks? Once while trekking with a small group on a hilly terrain of Western India, I was left behind and lost the way. Though I could intermittently speak to the group leader on the phone, it took me two hours to find the group.

That was my inspiration for creating YHANA.

I created a simple method for representing every location within a city with a 6-digit code, such as A23-C85. Now I can talk and share addresses without words, and without the need for city-specific know-how or landmarks. Amazon would now have to ask customers to just enter a code and their city, rather than fill out this entire page!

Takes a while to enter your address on Amazon India. Btw, the non-English speaking delivery boy may still call you and make you direct him!

This method is built into my Android app that solves all of the problems mentioned above. The app is called YHANA — You Have a new Address.

Now when ordering a pizza, or when inviting a friend to your home, you do not have to give a detailed address, or spell out complicated local words. Simply give your Yhana code, and they will know exactly where your house is located on Google maps, and how to drive to it. (For the unconvinced, let me just say that Kadusonnappanahalli and Kaggadasapura , are some of the area names in hi-tech Bangalore.)

The app uses Google Maps, and makes them more usable with Yhana codes.

Yhana allows you to save locations you use often, and share/receive locations over SMS.

Some of the basic features include,

— Shows the Yhana code of any location you touch on the map, and the driving directions to it.

— SMS your Yhana code to anyone in your contact book. The receiver will automatically see your location on his map, and can share his location (code) with you.

— Send emergency message, and your current location to group of people pre-configured in your profile.

Countries such as India, which have local languages and poor infrastructure, have no reason to be handicapped by these older nomenclatures and lengthy addresses, that no one has the patience to spell out over the phone, or write out on a website form.

With the Yhana app, the world is both tourist friendly, and e-commerce friendly!

Download Yhana on your Android phone and find out your new address. Yhana is FREE to download.

I welcome suggestions to make Yhana more useful. Write to me at jugalkgupta at gmail dot com.

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