The location of the Victoria News reporter’s desk is vocals.observe.shams according to the What3Words mapping system. (map.what3words.com)

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

A global address system created by a tech startup in the UK is gaining traction in its bid to make navigation faster, easier, and more precise – all by using combinations of three random words.

Looking for the B.C. Legislature?

It’s at options.noting.duration.

Where is the reporter’s desk from which this story was written?

Humorously, at vocals.observe.shams.

Are you a UVic student looking to get back to campus?

Head to blossom.pens.smarter.

What3Words has mapped the world into 57 trillion 3 metre squares, each identified with a unique three word combination.

The brilliance of the system is that it can provide a precise location for places that have no address. In fact, that is the reason it was created. From pinpointing an exact spot in the labyrinth of a slum for providing medical aid, to finding a friend at a music festival, the success of the mapping system is evident in the major backing and accolades that it has received since its inception in 2013.

Using combinations of three words makes it easier to remember and relay than GPS points. The service works offline with no need for a data connection, and has been replicated in many different languages.

While it seems like a slick solution to a great need, some mappers are raising alarms over the fact that it is a proprietary, closed system with the company keen to protect their intellectual property. The system is being marketed to governments, disaster and aid agencies, among others, which raises questions about how much control private companies should have over public infrastructure.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

mapping

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Rumours of Air Canada backing off Oct. 1 flight resumption unfounded

The airline and airport are preparing for return of scheduled traffic

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

Minor parties scramble to get candidates nominated for Stikine

Taylor wants to be Christian Heritage Party candidate, Repen makes bid to represent Rural BC Party

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read