Diginomica | Technology for social good – what3words and international relief efforts

Chris Sheldrick, founder and chief executive of what3words, used to organise live music events, but became increasingly frustrated when both bands and equipment failed to turn up due to poor address information.

Providing them with GPS coordinates proved little better as people rarely remember long strings of digits and have a tendency to write them down incorrectly. But on speaking to a mathematician friend, Sheldrick realised that words might be a better bet – if a list of 40,000 words was used three times in different combinations, there were enough options to divide the entire world into trillions of squares.

what3words charges a software licence to commercial customers, which include postal services in the Ivory Coast, Mongolia and Tonga, if they embed its code into their own applications. But in the case of charities and humanitarian organisations, payment is either scaled or does not apply. For instance, if only the app is used, no fee is charged, but should they wish to embed code, doing so will cost no more than a “few hundred dollars”.

Read the full article

what3words powers

Find out how to use what3words in your business:

By asking us to get in touch you are agreeing to receive communications from us as described in our privacy policy