what3words launches in Welsh
What is what3words?
what3words is an easy way to identify precise locations. Every 3m square has been given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, the public car park at the National Trust Powys Castle and Garden can be found at ///amgen.fflwcs.darluniodd. Anyone can find, share and navigate to what3words addresses using the online map or what3words app for iOS and Android. The app is free to download and works offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas with an unreliable data connection.
The system is available in over 40 languages, with Cymraeg being the latest addition.
What is the problem with addresses?
It’s difficult to describe precise locations in places with no addresses, like the Pembrokeshire coastline and the valleys and mountains of Snowdonia National Park. Even in built-up areas, addresses often lack accuracy: postcodes cover a number of properties, street names are duplicated.
what3words will make it easier for locals and tourists to meet up for activities off the beaten track, find businesses and tell emergency services exactly where they are in emergencies.
How was the Welsh map developed?
what3words enlisted the support of 45 Welsh language consultants, as well as the Welsh Language Digital Media Specialist at the Welsh Government and the Language Technologies Unit at Bangor University.
Jamie Brown, Head of Language Development & Localisation at what3words, said: “We hugely enjoyed working on Welsh – one of the oldest languages still spoken in Europe, but for which modernisation has been a key part of survival. Our large team of native speakers come from a community that’s passionate about the language, its rich and varied vocabulary, and its use in technology. They showed us how to pronounce ‘ŵ’ (our first language including this letter) and ‘ll’, why we shouldn’t use mutated words, and explained the concept of our new favourite word ‘hiraeth’. Distinctively melodic, yet concise and practical, Welsh lends itself perfectly to what3words.”
Can I give Welsh emergency services a what3words address when I need help?
Every police, ambulance and fire and rescue service in Wales has adopted what3words and can request and accept callers’ what3words locations to speed up emergency response. For example, two walkers who had become lost in the Brecon Beacons gave the what3words address for their location using the what3words app and were rescued by the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team.
what3words is useful in non-emergency situations too: Neath Port Talbot Council is one of the first local authorities in the UK to use the technology to help residents accurately report the location of incidents such as fly-tipping, potholes and fallen trees.