Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Just Three Little Words

I have just been reading about what3words, an innovative way to transmit a precise position without having to resort to GPS position or address.   The problem with coordinates, be they grid or geographical, is that as soon as you involve a human there is always a risk that those pesky numbers get transposed.  And postal addresses are fine if you live in an urban area, but if you are trying to direct someone to a particular field of your farmland how do you do that?

What 3 words is a concept that uses a combination of 3 words to pin point you anywhere in the world to within a 3 metre grid square.  So rather than say 51°30′12″N 0°07′11″W (ok, I know, less granuality then a 3x3m square) one can type youth.names.zones (dots are not needed) into their search page and ta dah, you are at the London Eye.

Now I like this.  I like the simplicity of it.  So where would I currently like to be - according.gloom.broads?  Although there is no particular sanity check over the words, the creators have ensured that similar names are nowhere near each other spatially.  So if you mistype a word you end up in such the wrong place that you know you've gone wrong.  Indeed, if you put in according.gloom.broad you end up on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.  Not where I intended.

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