What3Words maps the world

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What3Words maps the world

Postby toucana on October 12th, 2019, 3:03 pm 

Image

What3Words divides the entire surface of the earth into a grid of 57 trillion 3m squares, each of which can be uniquely referenced by an arbitrary string of three words drawn from a dictionary of around 40,000 words.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49319760

What3Words has quickly become the go-to tool for emergency services who need to locate people lost in remote or inaccessible areas who phone them up and ask for help. They are asked to download the app and use it to find the three word index for their current GPS location.

The What3Words system has recently been adopted as the official location finding system of the Mongolian postal service because a significant portion of the population are transhumant nomads with no fixed address.

Users of the What3Words have noted with interest that the string
///fake.news.trump
corresponds to a real location, a 3m x 3m grid square in Zhe Jiang province in mainland China.
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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2019, 4:39 pm 

Fascinating! Also kind of freaky.
How is it superior to GPS locations?
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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby TheVat on October 12th, 2019, 5:50 pm 

Easier to remember, and read out over the phone, than long strings of numbers?
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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby toucana on October 12th, 2019, 6:12 pm 

It's basically a lot simpler and more human-friendly than trying to decipher and repeat 16 digit strings of Latitude and Longitude numbers over a phone to a 911 operator - especially if you are lying on a remote mountainside with a broken leg, or trapped inside a shipping container on an industrial estate with a limited supply of air.

"I sorry sir, but could you repeat that number once again - Did you actually mean 51.511854, -0.123342 ? Because the last numeric string you gave us puts you in Mombasa which is outside our service range.."

Here's a short video by CEO and founder Chris Sheldrick explaining why he created What3Words.

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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby Serpent on October 12th, 2019, 9:04 pm 

But your cellphone can be tracked even if you're unconscious. Else, you can just push "send" and the device will inform another device directly. You don't need to know, let alone recall or repeat any long string of numbers.
And if your cell-phone isn't working, you can't get, or give, this word location. If you have to run down the mountain to tell somebody the words, you can just as well tell them the landmarks you passed.
As for which gate of the arena to meet at - it won't kill us to exercise a few brain-cells once in a while - except, they'll go the right gate at the wrong time.
What did I miss?
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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby toucana on October 13th, 2019, 1:26 am 

Serpent » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:04 am wrote:But your cellphone can be tracked even if you're unconscious. Else, you can just push "send" and the device will inform another device directly. You don't need to know, let alone recall or repeat any long string of numbers.
And if your cell-phone isn't working, you can't get, or give, this word location. If you have to run down the mountain to tell somebody the words, you can just as well tell them the landmarks you passed.
As for which gate of the arena to meet at - it won't kill us to exercise a few brain-cells once in a while - except, they'll go the right gate at the wrong time.
What did I miss?

Tracked by who or what ? And just how long would it take to chase up and triangulate your GPS position from your cellphone reception tower pings ? That sort of procedure might work well within an episode of CSI Miami where you've got wholly imaginary software and hardware, and the scriptwriter on your side, but the reality is somewhat different.

I think the fact that emergency services in UK in particular have adopted What3Words as a tool of first resort tells it own story.
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Re: What3Words maps the world

Postby Serpent on October 13th, 2019, 1:50 am 

toucana » October 13th, 2019, 12:26 am wrote:I think the fact that emergency services in UK in particular have adopted What3Words as a tool of first resort tells it own story.

It doesn't, actually, but I accept my darkness.
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