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"What3words"- novel geographic website

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This is new and interesting (and, no, I'm not trying to spam; I have no financial interest in the topic).

 

The website allocates a unique three-word combination to every bit of the Earth's surface, rather than- as usual- each location having to be pinpointed by Grid Reference etc.

 

One can also buy a unique identifier, just like a personalised vehicle numberplate.

 

Try it and see! http://what3words.com/

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But er... why?

1. It's new.

2. Its novelty value.

3. It's probably an easier and more memorable way to pinpoint anywhere at all.

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There's already a good way of pinpointing a particular location: it's called a place name. And if it doesn't have one there's a thing called a map reference. The words assigned to a place are completely random so how on earth would you remember where earwig fluffy chlorine referred to?

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There's already a good way of pinpointing a particular location: it's called a place name. And if it doesn't have one there's a thing called a map reference. The words assigned to a place are completely random so how on earth would you remember where earwig fluffy chlorine referred to?

As you say, not everywhere has a place name; and map references are often unpinpointable (or insufficiently precise).

I guess that the idea is not to remember where earwig fluffy chlorine referred to but, rather, to create an easy-to-remember phrase that will pinpoint a location via any computer in the world with access to that website.

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On 08/10/2013 at 22:03, metalman said:

But er... why?

It has already apparently potentially saved lives. The emergency services can pinpoint an exact location, rather than just knowing 'in a wood somewhere'...

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It's not a replacement for maps - it's a global 1m resolution addressing service. It's not even analogous, let alone comparable.

Stumped at how many people fail to understand this.

Travel guides and the emergency services are all over it.

Delivery services will be next - not for the street address but for the precise location of the letterbox.

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3 minutes ago, Phanerothyme said:

It's not a replacement for maps - it's a global 1m resolution addressing service. It's not even analogous, let alone comparable.

Stumped at how many people fail to understand this.

Travel guides and the emergency services are all over it.

Delivery services will be next - not for the street address but for the precise location of the letterbox.

Don't letterboxes tend to be in doors of the street address in the UK?

 

I know mine here in France is at the top of the drive but presumably the delivery company would need the sat nav co-ordinates anyway to plot a route to it. 

 

Local posties can manage without quite easily - and have had no probs with house deliveries from Amazon, Ikea etc - the drivers appear eminently capable of reading road signs etc.

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8 hours ago, Longcol said:

I used to have a couple of gadgets called a "compass" and a "map" which would have saved me getting lost in the circumstances described.

Did you read the article? 

 

If you did, you'll know it has nothing to do with preventing people getting lost. It is about finding people who are lost to within 1m2 of accuracy. A compass and a map would be irrelevant. 

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Interesting.

 

For some reason, an element of this reminds me of the "million dollar pixel" website a few years ago. Anyhow...

 

Wondering if it would have been better for the emergency services (world wide) to collaborate and create their own system like this? Not sure how I feel with this being a for-profit thing.

 

Will they make the algorithm and word-list for converting gps location to 3 words, public?

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