Cartonama Conference

Making the most of geospatial data, community mapping, and location-based services.



Geohash System and "Nearby" searches

Submitted Aug 31, 2012

An introduction to Geohash system of spatial data structure, few applications of it like Also, to get understanding on geohash system can improve your applications “nearby” searches.


Geohash is a lat/long geocode system which divides space into
buckets of grid shape. The system offers arbitrary precision and gradual removal of characters loses precision. As a result, the methodology has “nearby” places have similar prefixes.

The method was majorly developed to easily denote a unique location in emails, forums etc using a short link which is exposed as a webservice in

In the talk, I plan to briefly touch upon basics of Geohash system, how it works and some popular opensource libraries which expose the service. The performance benefits of doing operations with geohash system in comparison to conventional lat/long system will also be covered. I will also explain how we make use of geohash system in implementing nearby searches in our products @Ideophone, alongwith a small demo of an application developed internally.


Basic understanding of geographic coordinate system

Speaker bio

Co-Founder and Hacker @Ideophone. Loves to come up with interesting hacks and build scalable web-applications. At Ideophone, we develop mobile apps for Travelers. Our current set of apps have over a lakh users and are gaining good traction.


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