smart65

what3words: a fresh new way to use gps

8 posts in this topic

The what3words app. can supply an unique address in the form of three words, for every 3x3 metre location on the surface of the planet. It's already being used to provide third world countries that never had a proper postal system, with a simple and effective addressing system. It is based upon the existing Global Positioning System. A link to a brochure which explains what3words in detail, follows:

https://www.slideshare.net/WHAT3WORDS/what3words-brochure-english 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a Link to a video where one of the originators of the idea explains in person what the what3words application is about. Further information, including a number of videos describing practical applications of the concept that are already in use, is available in the attached pdf (I couldn't get the first one to work, but the others seem to be o/k). 

WebPage.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

This link can provide a three word address for anywhere in the world. Enter a general location (e.g. a city), GPS coordinates or an exact street address, and the map will change accordingly. The map location of the what3words address displayed at the bottom of the map is indicated by the red "pin". Move the map using the cursor with left button depressed, to change location as desired. The display at the bottom changes continually to match the pin's current location. The map's start location happens to be in Toronto Ontario, at the what3words address "embedded.fizzled.trial", as spelled out in the URL. It appears the the what3words app. defaulted the address because I am located in the Greater Toronto Area (aka GTA).

 

I find it fascinating that they have accomplished this task. A starting list of words was edited down to about 38500. That number cubed, yielded over 57 trillion available combinations, enough to address the entire surface of the planet.

Edited by smart65
added content; changed format

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The effect of this technology is minimal where advanced postal services exist, but there are a couple of advantages that I can think of. Such as being able to accurately describe your location if one is lost in the boondocks. Also, rural addressing, a common problem, would be enhanced by adoption of the what3words approach. I've copied text from pages 8 & 10 of of the brochure referenced in post #1. It explains how a whole lot of people in less developed areas of the world can benefit by adoption of this technology.
 

Quote

 

Humanitarian Aid

Location management is key to the delivery of effective humanitarian or development services. Knowledge about the precise location of facilities, hazards, resources and boundaries is essential to the delivery of life sustaining support systems for humanitarian field operations, especially in environments that are challenging and unaddressed. Alphanumeric codes are complex and varied, and there is limited alignment in operational use between countries, companies or agencies. This means that data collection, the communication of that data and general on-the-ground response all suffer. The use of 3 word addresses makes things far simpler for everyone.

Navigation

People often want to navigate to somewhere that doesn’t have an address (a point in a large national park or a spot on a long uninhabited road), or that has a house name but not a house number. To compound this, street addresses are often geocoded inaccurately. Sat navs struggle with ambiguity when people enter a search query that has multiple results. For example, there are 8 “Lonsdale Roads” in London, one of the best addressed cities in the world. what3words can solve these problems as it is precise, unambiguous, and independent of street addressing. If people want to navigate to a house with a name but no number, it will still have 3 words. Similarly, even individual points in parks or fields will each have 3 word addresses and can be navigated to with ease.

Delivery

Delivery companies want to minimise delays and optimise routes We make it practical to deliver to businesses and people without addresses, and in areas of poor addressing we increase efficiency. Even in countries with great addressing, deliveries fail, over 6M deliveries a year in the UK have address issues*. Poor addressing contributes to the last mile problem that accounts for up to 28% of the total cost to move goods. We can help in the last mile by specifying a precise & fixed location for the whole supply chain to work to. With what3words, you also don’t have to rely on drivers with local knowledge to make deliveries, so rostering and managing demand is a lot easier. “THE ‘LAST MILE’ IS OFTEN THE LEAST EFFICIENT LINK IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN, COMPRISING UP TO 28% OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE DELIVERY.” The Geography of Transport Systems, 2009 what3words being used to deliver packages Rocinha favela, Brazil.

Where exactly shall we meet?

Originally from the music industry the CEO, Chris Sheldrick, spent 10 years organising live music events around the world and constantly faced huge logistical frustrations that came with poor addressing. Seeking a solution, he talked to a math academic friend about a more usable and less error prone version of the lat,long coordinates that the company had resorted to using. The friend immediately said he could solve the problem with words and wrote an early version of the algorithm on the back on an envelope. The company was founded by the pair plus two friends in London in March 2013. what3words released their own app & site in July 2013 and since then technical developments have followed rapidly. The online API was released in November 2013 and the offline SDK in October 2014. In February 2015 Autocorrect (error detection) and Compass (offline navigation) functionality was added. Now 8 people, the company has received $3M of angel funding over the past 18 months. BEHIND THE IDEA “FOUR BILLION PEOPLE ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE RULE OF LAW, AS THE LACK OF A LEGAL IDENTITY OFTEN PREVENTS THEM FROM ENJOYING THEIR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS. SETTING UP AN ADDRESSING SYSTEM IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS TACKLING THAT ISSUE.” Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, United Nations.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 It seems to me that this system might have the same effect in the third world as the adoption of cell-phones had, where the infrastructure required for landlines was never fully implemented because the cell-phone technology had leap-frogged ahead. Similarly, sophisticated postal systems may not be necessary in many counties if what3words technology is generally adopted. The application is like a high-level language used to access relatively complicated addressing techniques, which still support the whole GPS addressing concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm at work at gracefully.obsessive.negotiations bahahah. But I'm only a few streets away from circumstance.misfortune.tinfoil :lol: 

 

I feel like these could be great prompts for short stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More