Mapping and navigation technology is improving at a relentless pace. Whilst it’s providing a clearer picture of the geography of entire nations, actually using these maps to find and share a location remains a challenge.

Geoportals are an integral part of any national, cadastral or commercial mapping agency’s service offering. They provide businesses and consumers with access to important data relating to the country’s geography. These datasets can range from information about land ownership, taxing of land parcels and defining borders to providing population statistics, changes in land use and integration of transport networks.

Whilst they offer a wealth of detail, geoportals tend to alienate all but the mapping expert. Compared to consumer-facing map sites, the user experience can be complicated and confusing. However, geoportals also offer a far richer range of content than the online maps we use daily, so it’s important to find a user-friendly way to access them. That’s where what3words comes in.

To help improve the way users search for and discover information held within these geoportals, what3words has partnered with a number of national mapping agencies across the globe. By integrating the system into their online mapping services, individuals and businesses can now discover and share precise locations with a simple 3 word address. Here are some of our top picks.

Making more sense of maps

Switzerland’s Federal Office for Topography (swisstopo)

3 word addresses are helping users discover and share precise locations – from the entrance of a specific building to a remote hiking trail or ski run.

French Institut Géographique National International (IGN)

Following a massive map update project, the Republic of Mali now has a 3 word address-enabled online map. It currently offers the fastest and most accurate way to specify a location in the country.

The Norwegian Mapping Authority, Kartverket

Residents and businesses can use the online map facility to identify the 3 word address of their home or premises. The service also ensures that all properties in the country are correctly registered.

Maanmittauslaitos (the National Land Survey)

Finland’s public mapping service has integrated Finnish 3 word addresses, helping to make its maps widely accessible to both experts and the general public.

Geo-System Poland

what3words supports this network of 1,700 Polish public sector and local government geoportals. They are all now enabled to offer 3 word address discovery, search and sharing capabilities.


In Suriname, what3words is helping residents and businesses define land ownership. 3 word addresses can be used to access spatial data, in place of the original and complex 10-digit system.

what3words and you

3 word addresses are helping to make our national maps easier to use and more accessible than ever before.