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Geomnemonic Codes

Geomnemonic Codes

By Tojin T. Eapen


Open Geo-Mnemonic (OGEM) coding transforms geo-coordinates (i.e., latitude and longitude values) into memorable geocodes, which is helpful for locating places when addresses are unavailable imprecise, or challenging to use. OGEM coding converts latitude and longitude values into a pronounceable 12 or 16-character alphabetic code consisting of Consonant-Vowel (CV) pairs. One potential use of OGEM codes is helping customers find temporary or new business locations not indexed on map databases. For this purpose, OGEM codes serve as a search-simplification device for locational marketing. OGEM codes combine the advantage of associative geocodes such as Open Location Codes (OLC) and distributive geocodes such as what3words. OGEM codes also allow users to create vanity mnemonic codes where part of the code includes a reference to a prominent location or landmark.


In this paper, we describe Open Geo-Mnemonic (OGEM), a system to convert geographic coordinates of locations (i.e., latitude and longitude information) into mnemonic geocodes. To illustrate, the figure below shows locations of well-known landmarks represented as OGEM codes.

OGEM codes are particularly useful in situations where a user is required to memorize a location, but street addresses are unwieldy or unavailable. For example, consider a concession stand inside the Kansas City Zoo, located at coordinates latitude: 39.0062725, and longitude: -94.5279212. We can convert the above geo-coordinate to a single pronounceable OGEM code, !SEGO.RISU.BEGI which is easier to remember and communicate relative to the underlying geo-coordinates. The OGEM code consists of CV (Consonant-Vowel) pairs that make the code both easy to pronounce and remember. OGEM codes can be made even more memorable by replacing part of the code with a vanity mnemonic code, such as Kansas City !RISU.BEGI, Kansas City Zoo !BEGI, or KACIMOZO!BEGI, where part of the code is replaced by a more memorable representation of a well-known location or landmark. 

The use of OGEM codes can help simplify the memorize-search process that customers often engage in while trying to locate an address that shown on marketing communication. Thus, the concession stand could embed the OGEM code within marketing communication media to direct consumers to the location of their service. Some other potential applications where OGEM codes may prove useful in locational marketing include.

First, such codes be used to provide memorable geo-address for houses and establishments which do not have a street address. Such codes can be helpful to both consumers as well as delivery services accurately identify the locations. Second, Geo-mnemonic codes may be helpful for tourists who may find local addresses of establishments to be difficult to read or interpret. Third, Customers trying pinpoint smaller locations such as business services within larger venues such as stadiums, amusement parks, malls, and university campuses. Fourth, these codes can be used to advertise temporary services such as pop-up restaurants that may not have permanent addresses or may not be indexed quickly enough by map services. Fifth, OGEM codes can enable users to accurately communicate their current location in a convenient way. Sixth, Geo-mnemonic codes can help individuals communicate location information in situations such as natural disaster where access to mapping software may not be available. Seventh, such codes can be used to market important landmarks or locations such as world heritage sites. The use of OGEM codes can aid learners memorize locations of important landmarks. Finally, OGEM codes can be used in voice-based navigation systems as a replacement for addresses


OGEM converts geo-codes (i.e., latitudes and longitudes) into a single mnemonic code. This code is typically 12 characters long and is represented as three four-letters words consisting of Consonant-Vowel (CV) combinations. Most of the words generate this way are not meaningful in the English language, and thus the code is language (but not script) independent. The conversion of geo-coordinates to an OGEM code consists of the following three steps:
  • Normalization. Converting geo-coordinates to normalized codes
  • Mapping. Converting the numeric code to a CV Mnemonic a mapping table.
  • Adjustment. Combining the latitude and longitude codes to create a single code.
For example, consider the case of creating an OGEM code for the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The coordinates of this location are 38.624691, -90.184776. In the normalization, the latitude and longitude values are converted to 6-digit numeric codes LatN and LonN as calculated below:

LatN=  ((lat+90)×10^8)/180

LonN=  ((lon+180)×10^8)/360

For the Gateway arch, the latitude and longitude values converted to LatN = 71458161 and LonN = 24948673. In the mapping step, the normalized codes are converted into a pronounceable CV Mnemonic code. The 6-digit LatN and LonN numeric codes are converted to a 6-character CV Mnemonic code, using the balanced CV Mnemonic mapping (Table). This yields two 6-character alphabetic CVM codes that represent latitude and longitude values of a location. From the table, CVM(LatN) is SEMA VEQE RIBA and CVM(LonN) is GUYU WESO JOBA.  

Table: Balanced CV Mnemonic Mapping Scheme


00 BA

01 BE

02 BI

03 BO

04 BU

05 CA

06 CE

07 CI

08 CO

09 CU

10 DA

11 DE

12 DI

13 DO

14 DU

15 FA

16 FE

17 FI

18 FO

19 FU

20 GA

21 GE

22 GI

23 GO

24 GU

25 HA

26 HE

27 HI

28 HO

29 HU

30 JA

31 JE

32 JI

33 JO

34 JU

35 KA

36 KE

37 KI

38 KO

39 KU

40 LA

41 LE

42 LI

43 LO

44 LU

45 MA

46 ME

47 MI

48 MO

49 MU

50 NA

51 NE

52 NI

53 NO

54 NU

55 PA

56 PE

57 PI

58 PO

59 PU

60 QA

61 QE

62 QI

63 QO

64 QU

65 RA

66 RE

67 RI

68 RO

69 RU

70 SA

71 SE

72 SI

73 SO

74 SU

75 TA

76 TE

77 TI

78 TO

79 TU

80 VA

81 VE

82 VI

83 VO

84 VU

85 WA

86 WE

87 WI

88 WO

89 WU

90 YA

91 YE

92 YI

93 YO

94 YU

95 ZA

96 ZE

97 ZI

98 ZO

99 ZU

Finally, in the adjustment step the OGEM code is generated by combining CVM(LatN) and CVM(LonN) codes into a single 16-character CVM code, !SEGU.MAYU.VEWE.QESO. The first 4-character part of the OGEM code is generated by using the first two characters of CVM(LatN) and CVM(LonN). The next four characters of the OGEM code is obtained using the next two characters of CVM(LatN) and CVM(LonN). The length of the code depends on the application. For most purposes, the 12 characters OGEM code will suffice such as !SEGU.MAYU.VEWE. Each OGEM code may be considered both a point location as well as an anchor point for an area. For example, SEGU.QOKA anchors the area defined by vertices SEGU.QOKA.BABA, BAZU, ZUBA, ZUZU. The area is calculated based on the coordinates shown in the table below.






38.934, -92.30436


38.95182, -92.34


38.95182, -92.30436

The left and rights edges (BABA -> ZUBA and ZUZU -> BAZU) is 1.23 miles. The top and bottom edge is (ZUBA -> ZUZU and BABA -> BAZU) is around 1.92 miles. The diagonal distance (BABA -> ZUZU) is 2.276704 miles. The area bounded by the above vertices is around 2.36 square miles (1511 acres). 12-character codes can be used to locate business establishments and homes and 16-character codes can be used to identify smaller sites such as stadium seating or the location of individuals on a street.


The use of such codes can also make locational information in marketing communication to be memorable. For example, since all OGEM codes beginning with SEGU.MAYU lie within St. Louis, it may be memorable if these characters were replaced by a code that can cue the location. For example, if all the codes in St. Louis began with the code SALOMO (St. Louis, MO), then users would only have to remember the rest of the code if trying to remember the rest of the code in identifying a place located in the city. Such a code is referred to as a vanity mnemonic. A disadvantage of the vanity mnemonic is that it requires a lookup table to match the vanity part of the code to an OGEM code or the underlying coordinates. The vanity mnemonic code can be additionally specified to refer to sub-divisions, precincts or even major landmarks in a city. Businesses can then use the vanity mnemonic to make their locational OGEM code more memorable. For example, consider the area in the vicinity of the Gateway Arch. Now a vanity mnemonic is created for the location, where the first 8 characters are replaced with a vanity mnemonic code such as SALOMOGA (from SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI, GATEWAY). Business or restaurants close to this landmark can use this vanity mnemonic as a replacement for the original code. For example, a restaurant located close to the St. Louis Gateway arch might provide their OGEM Address as SALOGAMO!POSA instead of SEGU.MAYU.VEWE. Universities or business corporations may use vanity mnemonic to help users locate specific places within a large campus. We use the exclamation mark to signify the end of the vanity mnemonic and the beginning of the GPS Mnemonic. Different vanity mnemonics may be provided for the same location. 

The use of vanity mnemonics would require a standardized repository or database that would be public. A partial mnemonic code is advantageous optimum between a full geo-coordinate based OGEM code and a full vanity mnemonic code. This way, we avoid having to generate personalized codes for each location, while at the same time allowing the recall of the first part of the code for important locations and landmarks. To reduce the length of the OGEM code, as well as make it more memorable, we can create offset codes based on any given anchor location.  These offset codes can also be used to create a vanity mnemonic. Location close to the anchor locations can be represented as an offset from the anchor location’s geo-coordinates. Offset codes are useful to maximize or optimize the use of a vanity mnemonic, compared to simply replacing a part of the code with a vanity mnemonic. 

Vanity mnemonic of important locations can be created in an automated manner using a by using the name of the location and the country. For example, we might use the first two consonants and vowels (CV) of the city name, the first consonant and vowel (CV) of the country name, and first CV of the sub-division or precinct name to construct an 8-character OGEM code. Depending on the size and significance of the city or the area, the mnemonic code can be made shorter or longer. Take the case of the city of Tokyo. The geo-coordinates of Tokyo Tower (35.658581, 139.745438) is represented by the OGEM code !RUWO.VEWE.BOVE. For example, TOKO might be the vanity mnemonic replacement for all codes that begin with RUWO and TOKOJAPA or TOJACITI can be used for all codes that begin with RUWO.VEWE. Thus different mnemonic codes for the Tokyo Tower would include TOKO!VEWE.BOVE, TOKOJAPA!BOVE and TOJACITI!BOVE. People trying to find the location of businesses close to the tower need only remember the last four codes. Another example might be a dense location like Time Square. Here a 16-character code may prove useful. However, given the importance of the location, we can replace the first 8-characters by a 4-character representation such as TIME. 


Marketers have employed mnemonics to improve the memorability of marketing-relevant information (Johnson et al. 2021; Saber et al. 2008; Malhotra 1991). The location (i.e., place) of a product or service is recognized as a key component of marketing-mix (Kotler 2002). As part of consuming a product/service users are often required to remember information that helps them search for or retrieve the geo-location where a service is offered or a product is sold. In some cases, the location itself is the offering, such as nature reserve or a heritage site. In other contexts, the product or service is provided in-situ, such as a sporting venue, and requires the customer to visit the locale. If the customer is unfamiliar with the location, then the customer engages in a search process to find the location. The location could also be dynamic, such as the location of a food-truck or a travelling show. 

A similar need is encountered by a service provider, who is often required to locate the exact location of the user. This is problematic in situations where (1) the address of the user is not well defined or is ambiguous (2) the location of the user keeps on changing. In many situations, the user might be located within a larger address. Consider the task of finding a customer inside a fair or a stadium. In other cases, the location might be much smaller than the address, such as finding a rider for a ride-share service. Secondly, the location of the user might keep changing. For example, consider providing a service for a customer or the road, a mail forwarding service. 

To purchase a product or avail of a service, a customer often is required to visit a location that is previously unknown to them. This requires the customers to search for information. Often searching for the location is in-convenient for the customer. As part of the search process, the customer requires to recall some set of information that can be used to uniquely identify the place of interest. For example, searching for locations require the customer to remember certain information such as name, location or the URL for the webpage. For example, if the customer is aware of the unique name of a store and the approximate location, the use of service such as tools such as GPS and map-services such as Google Maps and Bing maps the task of finding the location easy. The more prominent the location, or unique the name, the easier it is for the user to locate the place precisely. In many situations, where a name for the location does not exist, the consumer has to rely on the existence of easy to access address that can be converted into locational information such as GPS coordinates in maps. However, addresses often require the presence of named roads/streets. In locations where the roads are not named (or are not captured in the map database), identifying the precise location becomes challenging. Moreover, in locations such as theme-parks, zoos, natural reserves, users don’t have access to addresses that can be used to pin-point their location. For example, consider the problem of two individuals in a theme-park trying to communicate their location precisely to each other or trying to find. 

In other situations, often customers are presented information in a way that effective search becomes inconvenient. For example, the customer may only be exposed to the stimuli for a brief period of time, and would find it challenging to search for the location. In the above cases, consumer benefit if the required location is communicated in a manner that is easy to (1) access (2) memorizes and (3) transmit. Access can include the ability to read the information or obtain it electronically. Transmitting the code can include speaking the location, or typing the location. Memorization can include holding the code for a brief period of time as well as longer-term storage. 

Here are some contexts, where addresses may not be helpful in searching for locations or could lead to errors: (1) No addresses, (2) Roads and Streets not named, (3) Large Venues, e.g., Stadiums, Malls, Airports, (4) Events, Trade-Fairs, Theme Parks, (5) Zoos, Gardens, Nature Reserves, (6) Temporary Events – Concerts, Meetings, Rallies, Pop-up Restaurants, (7) Services on the move – Food Trucks, Travelling Circuses, (8) Events that are held in different locations: sporting events, (9) Airports, Malls, (10) Similar addresses for multiple locations, (11) Addresses in a language or script unknown to the customer.

Application 1: Imprecise Addresses and Local Navigation

Even if the street address of a location is immediately accessible for a customer, a OGEM codes would be helpful in certain situations. Here are some reasons using such a geocode is helpful over street addresses in such situations: (1) disambiguating searches for multiple businesses with the same name (2) disambiguating franchisee businesses that operate under similar name (3) identifying businesses names whose addresses are complex and difficult to input (4) identifying locations embedded within a larger location where the address is available only for the larger location (5) identifying locations short-term event such as a public rally (6) the customer has to park or enter at one location but the business service is offered at another location.

Moreover, in many cases the search process where the user tries to identify the location using non-address information may be slow or imperfect. For example, if the business name is difficult to spell or type. Similarly, performing search may be inconvenient if the address is long and contains numeric information (e.g., if the user has to speak the address in navigation systems).  The use of OGEM codes allows us to replace all forms of locational information with a single pronounceable code that is more memorable than comparable geocoding systems. Thus, the use of OGEM code not just simplifies the two-step process into a single step, but also resolves common challenges associated with the two-level search that customers engage in when trying to locate a business service. Thus, OGEM codes can be termed as a search-simplification tool for locational marketing.

There are certain limitations to conveying accurate locational information when a similar brand or name is used across multiple locations. For examples, when viewing an ad for a chain-restaurant restaurant, providing precise information about locations can be challenging, since the restaurant closest to the viewer may be unknown. Moreover, for the customer, searching for a specific outlet of a chain restaurants with multiple outlets in a city, would require users to remember the address as well as the name of the chain, since searching for simply the brand name might throw up multiple location. This is particularly problematic if a user is searching for a restaurant in a different location or not close to the place where they are currently located, since the customer’s current location is often used to disambiguate searches. Customers may also be interested in quickly identify the location of places, sites or services that they view on videos or photographs, where the address may be easy to represent. In such situations, it would be helpful to have a simple and convenient way of transmitting geo-locations using a single code. OGEM codes are particularly useful in communicating location of events or places or businesses that are temporary in nature. For example, the location of a public rally, a popup restaurant or a food truck could be represented using a code on social media, where addresses may be in accurate or unavailable. Location of individuals for delivery services. This may be particularly useful for users that find navigation software interfaces challenging to use. 

Application 2: Transient Exposure to Marketing Information

In certain situations, the location information is only displayed for a brief period of time, and the customer does not have sufficient time to access information required to conduct a search. For example, consider an online ad or a billboard marketing a locational-offering, or an advertising chyron on a TV ad. In locational-marketing situations like this, the customer is exposed to the communication element only for a brief period of time, and identifying sufficient information to conduct a search may not be available. In such cases, where the customer is exposed to the marketing stimuli only briefly, they benefit from being able to encode the locational information in a memorable manner, such that they can then search for information. 

Next, consider the problem where it is necessary to identify the location to access the offering, but the street address is not immediately accessible – that is, it has been searched for. For example, a consumer may be exposed marketing communication for a brief period of time, which is insufficient for the user to memorize the exact location.  It is common that the user is often unaware of the exact address, but is aware of some information that can be used to search for the remaining information using a software service. The most common way is to remember a part of the information (such as name of the restaurant), and then search for the location on a tool such as Bing Maps. In such cases, the following steps are involved: (1) memorizing the relevant search information and (2) performing search. The task of memorizing search information itself may be challenging. This can be due to several reasons. The exposure to the marketing stimuli may be brief. The name of the business itself may memorable or distinctive enough to be used to identify the location. For example, remembering the name may be challenging if it is complicated or in a language unknown to the user. In other cases, such as when an event is being marketed, there may not be an easily searchable name or might use a generic name, such when a consumer is trying to find the location of an event being organized in a public location.  

Application 3: Customers on the Road and Voice-based Navigation

To understand the value of OGEM codes, consider a customer traveling on a highway. The customer is hungry and notices several billboards of restaurant and would like to stop for lunch at one of the advertised businesses. Several of billboard ad contains information about the location of the restaurant relative to the road (“turn right”) or the address of the business. To find the exact location, the customer has to engage in a two-step, memorize-search process. In the first step, the user has to memorize certain information about the restaurant that is disambiguating. This can include the name of the restaurant and the approximate location. 
The user has to typically complete this process while driving itself, often at high speed. The customer typically has little time to complete this step. Next, once the customer has memorized the relevant information, the customer has to search for the information on a map service. This step can prove to be an onerous, time-consuming and sometimes risky task for the customers. Customers driving at high speeds are often unable to complete this two-step processes in a safe and convenient manner.  In such situations, it would be helpful, if the memorize-step process could be simplified. One approach that we propose involves providing short memorable code that customers can use to pinpoint the location by speaking, spelling out or typing the code. This code, the OGEM code simplifies the memorize-step process and can help customers identify specific locations quickly, safely and accurately. OGEM codes are helpful broadly in different situations where the memorize-search process is applicable, and is inconvenient to customers. OGEM codes are much easier to memorize compared to addresses or geo-coordinates. Additionally, OGEM codes can make the process of search simpler compared to searching for a location using the service name and/or address. The user often is required remember only the last 4 characters, since the rest of the code can be easily retrieved using the users present location. For example, the driver might be currently located at SIDU.QOLU.MOSE and the store is at  SIDU.QOLU.LEYA. Thus, only the last 4 characters “LEYA” has to be memorized. In fact, the billboard might only advertise the last four code . The ad would simply state ‘To visit us take “LEYA” from the billboard location or take “LEYA” from Gateway Arch ST. Louis.’ 

Application 4: Tourists and Landmarks

Addresses can also be complex for users who do not use the language in which addresses are encoded. Tourists would find it challenging to enter address if the addresses are only available in a language that they are unable to speak. This can happen either because the words themselves would be difficult to pronounce or search for or because the address is only available in a native language.  Moreover, addresses in certain parts of the world may be undefined. This can lead to users losing their way or not being able to access services.

Application 5: Temporary Establishments and Businesses on the Move

In certain situations, addresses may not be available. This may be because the event can keep moving from one location to another. Examples include remembering the location of a conference, location of a concert that is visiting several cities in a country. In some situations, addresses are limited in value since the address defines a very large area. For examples finding the location of an attraction in a theme park, on campus, or a trade fair. In such situations, there will be a single address, usually at the entry point or parking space, but the actual location of a service or the location of a customer. Similarly, it would be difficult for a delivery service to locate a customer in such location particularly if the customer is on the move.


In this section, we review different geocoding schemes. There are at least two possible advantages of such encodings: (1) only a single code is required to identify a location, (2) the code is more convenient than the underlying geo-coordinates. The first advantage of such geocodes is that only one code is required to encode locational information about a place. In situations, where it required to convey locations in a parsimonious, geo-coordinates can be transformed into a single geocode. The second potential benefit is that geocode may be more usable or convenient for a user. Geo-coding also helps locations to be referenced in a database/table using a single unique value. Geo-codes can also be designed that it is progressively informative. For example, the first ‘n’ digits may help identify the country, and the next ‘n’ may help identify the town, and the next ‘n’ may help identify the street.
Our goal is to examine extant geocoding scheme and consider its benefits and limitations in the context of location marketing. Examples of such geocoding system include Open Location Code (OLC) proposed by Google , C-squares, Geohash, Geonames, GeoKey , GEOREF, Ghana Post GPS, Maidenhead Locator System, Makaney Code (2011), MapCode (2008), Military Grid Reference System (MGRS), Natural Area Code, QRA Locator, QA Locate , QA Geohash phrase, Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system, what3words. Other approaches include Placekey ( and CitoCode. CitoCode is a personalizable code.

In the table below, we compare different geocodes for two nearby locations in St. Louis Missouri, the Gateway Arch and the Busch Stadium, the home stadium of the St. Louis Cardinals.  The goal of providing these two close locations is that it allows us to compare difference in codes for places that are close to each other. For example, compare the OLC codes of the two locations, we see that the codes differ in the last 3-characters (8+V3 and 4+2W), however it is not clear how this difference can be understood in terms of relative locations of the two places. In the case of the Geohash, we observe that the 12-digit codes differ by 7 characters. In the case of OGEM codes, we see that the characters differ in the last 4-characters (VEWE v. RUQU). This difference can be interpreted intuitively, given that the first consonant refers to latitude, and the second encodes longitude. Thus, it is clear the Gateway Arch is located to the North-East relative to the Busch Stadium. At the other end, we observe that the what3words codes are very different from each other (tunnel.termd.hurray and Thus, it is impossible to judge closeness of locations based on the code alone.


The Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Lat, Long

38.624691, -90.184776

38.622536, -90.192711

































Vanity OGEM 1



Vanity OGEM 2

<St. Louis Missouri> !VEWE

<St. Louis Missouri> !RUQU

OGEM Codes compared to other Geocoding Systems

Geocodes are helpful in marketing simplify geographical coordinates and make them memorable. Thus, we can consider two essential features of a good geocode for marketing communication: (1) it is memorable, (2) it is effectively converted into the underlying geo-coordinates. However, these two goals are not always compatible. There is need for a common location standard that is scalable, and existing techniques have pros and cons.  There are several limitations of the above common geocodes that limits its use in marketing application. Some of these limitations are highlighted below. Not all codes possess these limitations. 

  1. The geocodes are not memorable and are difficult to retain in memory even for short periods of time. In particular, codes that have a mix of alpha-numeric or symbols are most difficult to remember. For a user to access or transmit these codes, the user will need multiple exposure to the code information. 
  2. Most current geocodes are difficult to pronounce. Some codes such as OLC avoid the use of vowels, and are thereby difficult to pronounce.
  3. Lack of flexibility for customization. Often, a code may be required to be simplified, such that user is only required to remember the part of the code. For example, the OLC code allows users to simplify the code by simply adding the location of the city. This means, that individuals within the city would only require to remember the shorter code. For some of the codes, local reference offsets (such as campus locations) are not possible. For example, a code may be potentially simplified by using a reference location
  4. Some of these codes may not have equivalent representations in other languages. For example, individuals who are not able to read the script may find it difficult to use the code. 

We compare to two types of geocodes – associative and distributive. Associative codes have a well-defined functional relationship such as geohash and OLC. For example, the lat/long coordinates of the Gateway arch is 38.624691, -90.18477587. This set of coordinates can be represented by the geohash 9yzgez3mnkm0. The length of the geohash code also reflects the precision of the code. From the table, we observe that the 8-character Geohash can encode the equivalent information of a 12-character OGEM code.  This geohash is convenient because a point or area can be effectively represented by a single code. However, a drawback of the geo-hash is that it not memorable or pronounceable. Thus, users are required to store this information or write it down. Transferring information or communicating information through speech is challenging. If the above code was shown on a billboard or on an ad, then users would struggle to accurately copy the information. 

Open Location Codes (OLC) bear a well-defined functional relationship with GPS coordinates. An advantage of using OLC is that places close to each other will have similar codes. The codes are expressed in base 20 and hence compresses the length of the code compared to the original code. Similar to the OGEM code OLC codes represent offsets from the South Pole (-90o) and the antemeridian (-180o). However, there are certain limitations in the context of marketing where the use of OLC codes may not be effective. Firstly, the codes do not contain vowels and are not pronounceable. The codes contain a mix of number and certain character. Thus, these codes are not memorable and would have be recorded or stored in some media. A second disadvantage is that it does not allow personalization of codes, and creation of vanity codes, since several characters are not valid OLC codes. Methods such as what3words improve on some of the limitations of OLC, however, such codes do not maintain some of the advantages of OLC.

Next, we look at distributive codes. These codes are essentially distributed mappings from memorable codes to an underlying geo-coordinate. Take the case of whatwords (Farish 2019; Jones 2015; Jiang and Stefanakis 2018) which uses three different words to specify a location. However, a significant drawback is that very similar codes can have very different locations, and places very close to each other can have very different codes. For example, take the case of the what3words representation for the Gateway Arch. The code is ‘tunnel.terms.hurray’. The Busch stadium located nearby has a code ‘’. Even though the locations are close to each other, the codes are very dissimilar. Thus, information of nearby places is not helpful in cueing the actual location. For example, locations in the close vicinity of the gateway arch have the following codes: old.lush.voted,, rinse.flat.icons, sober.memo.urgent, tunnel.terms.hurray, solar.adults.needed.


Near Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri


Near Kodiak Station, Alaska


Near Westwood, Massachusetts


Near Hopkinton, Massachusetts


Near Kenton, Oregon


Near White River, South Dakota


Near Aldridge, Walsall, UK

Busch Stadium


Basilica of St. Louis

This is both helpful, if near places have to be sufficiently distinguished. Another challenge is that such codes are no scalable. If larger or smaller regions have to be identified or located, it becomes difficult. Since the areas defined for each set of three words are the same, it is not possible to refer to a much smaller or larger place accurately. Similarly, there is likely to be confusion since places that border two locations can be referred to by different code. 
These codes are not helpful for intuitive navigation since they do not bear direct relationship to cardinal direction and under-lying geo-coordinates. Given a location, a user might find it difficult to navigate to a different location, without the use of an accessory device. This limitation can impede the use of codes in a broad range of contexts (e.g., emergency, absence of internet), where accessory devices and tools may not be available.

As we can see, while mnemonic geocodes such as what3words (and geo-phrases) have mnemonic characteristics, they are limited by an arbitrary association with underlying coordinates. OGEM codes on the other hand has mnemonic characteristics, as well as possess a functional relationship with the underlying location coordinates. A functional relationship with underlying coordinates has several advantages: (1) it can reduce confusion which would result if nearby places have very different codes, (2) it can eliminate the need for a lookup table, (3) it can allow offset or vanity mnemonic codes, where a coordinate is used as a reference to simplify the rest of the code (4) it allows for further granularity (5) simple conversion to other geocoding schemes.

This is both helpful, if near places have to be sufficiently distinguished. Another challenge is that such codes are no scalable. If larger or smaller regions have to be identified or located, it becomes difficult. Since the areas defined for each set of three words are the same, it is not possible to refer to a much smaller or larger place accurately. Similarly, there is likely to be confusion since places that border two locations can be referred to by different code. 

These codes are not helpful for intuitive navigation since they do not bear direct relationship to cardinal direction and under-lying geo-coordinates. Given a location, a user might find it difficult to navigate to a different location, without the use of an accessory device. This limitation can impede the use of codes in a broad range of contexts (e.g., emergency, absence of internet), where accessory devices and tools may not be available.

As we can see, while mnemonic geocodes such as what3words (and geo-phrases) have mnemonic characteristics, they are limited by an arbitrary association with underlying coordinates. OGEM codes on the other hand has mnemonic characteristics, as well as possess a functional relationship with the underlying location coordinates. A functional relationship with underlying coordinates has several advantages: (1) it can reduce confusion which would result if nearby places have very different codes, (2) it can eliminate the need for a lookup table, (3) it can allow offset or vanity mnemonic codes, where a coordinate is used as a reference to simplify the rest of the code (4) it allows for further granularity (5) simple conversion to other geocoding schemes.


Different mapping schemes can be used to generate OGEM codes for users who use languages that do not use a Latin-derived alphabet. In certain cases, this is fairly straightforward, such as in Devanagri script which as a script by several South Asian languages include Hindi, Marathi, and Nepali (Table). However, one limitation is that these mapping schemes to preserve similarity to the Latin script mapping scheme will lose the ordering that is inherent such as in the English alphabet. Thus, certain applications such as using OGEM codes for intuitive navigation become more challenging. The flexibility of displaying OGEM codes in different scripts also allow it to be used as addresses in countries where languages that use non-Latin alphabets is the lingua franca.

00 बा

01 बी

02 बै

03 बो

04 बु

05 सा

06 सी

07 सै

08 सो

09 सु

10 दा

11 दी

12 दै

13 दो

14 दु

15 फा

16 फी

17 फै

18 फो

19 फु

20 गा

21 गी

22 गै

23 गो

24 गु

25 हा

26 ही

27 है

28 हो

29 हु

30 जा

31 जी

32 जै

33 जो

34 जु

35 का

36 की

37 कै

38 को

39 कु

40 ला

41 ली

42 लै

43 लो

44 लु

45 मा

46 मी

47 मै

48 मो

49 मु

50 ना

51 नी

52 नै

53 नो

54 नु

55 पा

56 पी

57 पै

58 पो

59 पु

60 चा

61 ची

62 चै

63 चो

64 चु

65 रा

66 री

67 रै

68 रो

69 रु

70 शा

71 शी

72 शै

73 शो

74 शु

75 ता

76 ती

77 तै

78 तो

79 तु

80 भा

81 भी

82 भै

83 भो

84 भु

85 वा

86 वी

87 वै

88 वो

89 वु

90 या

91 यी

92 यै

93 यो

94 यु

95 ठा

96 ठी

97 ठै

98 ठो

99 ठु

One advantage of OGEM codes compared to other geocoding systems is that these codes are generally pronounceable. For example the location code TEPU.MANA.RALA is pronounceable code that can be used to point to the underlying location. However, for certain CV combinations, the sounds are not disambiguated. For example, CALE when pronounced could be mistaken for SALE or KALE. This would require an additional disambiguation step, such as a device showing the different codes that may have been pronounced, and the user having to select the intended code. To resolve the potential confusion around sounds of letters such as C, S, Z, K, Q, W and V, we can introduce a secondary pronounceable mapping to introduce disambiguated sounds using consonant digraphs for four of the consonants - CH, SH, VL instead of C, S and V and using QU instead of Q. For example, the location code CASA.QAKE.VAWA could be replaced with the code CHASHA.QUAKE.VLAWA which has a unique pronunciation. 


The goal of this paper is to introduce Open Geo-Mnemonic (OGEM) Codes and examine its applications in locational marketing. There are several geocoding schemes that convert latitude longitude values to geocodes. One example is the geohash. Another example of geo-mnemonic code is Google Maps’s plus code or the Open Location Codes. However, such codes are too complex to be used in marketing communication since it would be difficult to be remembered by users who are exposed to marketing stimuli. Open Geo-Mnemonic Codes (OGEM) codes can be used to provide mnemonic representations of locations by converting geo-coordinates (latitude and longitude values) to a memorable alphabetic code using the CV Mapping method. Thus, OGEM provides a way of representing geographical coordinates in a memorable manner which can be used in marketing communications. Future applications include the use of OGEM codes in mapping geo-spatial objects to enable quick identification for travelers or during emergency situations. OGEM codes can also help consumers who suffer from memory-related deficiencies such as older users and individuals with Alzheimers. Other forms of representing OGEM codes such as using images of people (such as celebrities) to represent 4 digit codes, musical notes, sounds, animals, plants or association of 4-digit codes with dictionary words can be explored.

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