Kicked, converged, soccer. These three words helped save the life of a group of friends stuck in Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, UK. Another string of words: murky, founding, spoonfuls – saved a woman who broke her leg while bushwalking on Tasmania’s Flinders Island. These unique three-word combinations represent geographical locations created by the What3Words system. If you have not heard of What3Words, read on as we are about to explore how 3 words can save a life.
What is What3Words
The idea behind the What3Words is surprisingly simple. It uses a geocoding system to help pinpoint locations. But unlike a map, What3Words doesn’t use place names, streets, or roads. Instead, the app utilizes a very unique identification system. It breaks up locations in 3m by 3m (10ft x 10ft) squares and then identifies each of these squares with a string of 3 words. What3Words is an App available for both Android and Apple devices.
What3Words was built by a team of people, although the idea came about after one of the founders, Chris Sheldrick, experienced issues while working in the music industry. He often had problems navigating bands to backdoor entrances for equipment.
What Does What3Words Do?
Under the grid setup, the Earth comprises 57 trillion square blocks, and each block is given its own unique three-word identity. If you are lost, or you are involved in an accident, the What3Words app will provide you with a quick and easy way to give your location to emergency services. With What3Words, each block essentially has its own unique address, which goes for every location on Earth, including the sea.
What3Words brings the very real potential of providing accurate location data, reducing the telephone conversation to a minimum. Instead of going through a multitude of questions and responses in an attempt to convey the location, all the caller would need to confirm is their what3words location.
What’s more, the What3Words app can also be used offline, so you will not be relying on a Wi-Fi or phone signal to give your location to emergency services. You can also navigate to it using a compass mode.
How What3Words is Helping People
As we move toward a more autonomous future, it will become essential to accurately tell your car where to drive or where your drone delivery needs to go.
Everyone can use 3-word addresses to find, share, and describe places faster and more efficiently – from stopping fires to helping lost tourists, providing emergency support, and much more. There really is no shortage of ways the What3Words app can help people.
What3Words is setting a new standard for communicating locations between humans and machines. The imagination only limits the use of this technology, and What3Words is just getting started.