IOTA-Area-Codes (IACs)

This article is a translation of the German IOTA Beginner’s Guide by Schmucklos.


The IOTA protocol is very flexible and can be used in different ways. Two different types of transactions are possible, the value transaction using the IOTA token and the message (zero value, only data / information). The IOTA protocol can be easily extended by creating a second layer on top of the base protocol. Both IOTA Streams and Flash Channels are perfect examples of such solutions.

The IF in person of Lewis Freiberg (Director of Ecosystem) proposes another 2nd layer solution. IOTA Area Codes (IACs) allow building IOTA based applications with geographic reference. IOTA transactions could be tagged and / or retrieved based on geographic features.

What are IOTA area codes (IACs)?

IACs are short, tryte-coded location codes that can be used to tag and retrieve IOTA transactions related to specific locations.

IACs are typically 10 trytes long and represent an area of 13.5 m x 13.5 m, with an additional location (11 trytes) a grid of 2.8m x 3.5m can be represented. IACs are a direct copy of the Open Location Codes, also called Plus Codes, proposed by Google Zurich in 2014. There are some minor modifications to make them compatible with the coding of IOTA.

When publishing information on IOTA, there is currently no way to easily identify transactions that refer to a geographic area. To find transactions that relate to a geographic area, you must register your transactions with a centralized service, such as a data marketplace that collects, stores, and shares location data with consumers.

IACs allow someone to find a transaction that relates to a small area but the true value of this system comes from the ability to query large areas for related transactions.

IACs are currently intended to be a catalyst for the community. The standard, in its current format, is useful but could be much better. We encourage you to stop by Github and create some pull requests to improve the code or suggest examples.

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Last Updated on 16. February 2021