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> I suspect that a huge percentage of the map URLs that people pass around are on street grids.

Then you probably live in the US. Most of the world is not so neatly gridded as the US.

URLs should first and foremost point to the resource (in this case a maps page) that you expect them to. This URL scheme cannot guarantee that, so it's a bad idea. It could work if you include a post code, but a post code is only marginally less ugly than a lat/long pair.

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