12/12/2016

We know more about our world than ever before. Improvements in satellite imagery, mapping technology and real-time navigation services now offer an unprecedented view of our planet.

So why is it still so difficult to get around? For example, how many of these scenarios have you found yourself having to deal with?

  • Planning to meet in a park or market and having to search around for each other.
  • Trying to locate a specific attraction or point of interest on holiday or in an unfamiliar place.
  • Waiting at the roadside for the taxi driver you called ages ago to finally locate you.
  • Using a vehicle satnav to direct you but still having trouble finding your exact destination.
  • Searching for an entrance door when the postcode has only directed you to the building.
  • Forgetting where you parked your car in a car park or pitched your tent at a festival.

The list goes on. But they all relate to the same thing. Despite all the tools and services at our disposal, we still struggle to define a precise location.

City addresses can be inaccurate. Street names become repetitive. Rural locations are unreliable. And in many countries, addressing simply doesn’t exist. Fortunately, a universal way to address the world is providing the solution.

3 words from A to B

what3words is a global addressing system. It has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique and precise 3 word address.

3 word addresses are more accurate and reliable than postal addressing. They’re easier to remember and share than GPS coordinates. They provide an incredibly simple way to talk about location. And they guarantee that you’ll always know where “there” is.

Navigating the city

Smartphone apps such as TripGo and Navmii have changed the way we navigate our cities. Features include turn-by-turn directions, journeys planned using public and private transport, and access to detailed street level maps.

By integrating what3words into these apps, people can travel smarter. Using 3 word addresses to navigate from one location to another is far more accurate than any other method, helping to reduce travel times and improve efficiency.

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Better still, what3words can be changed to the preferred language of the user and the service works entirely offline. As such, those travelling in unfamiliar or foreign cities are no longer hindered by language barriers or roaming data charges.

3 words behind the wheel

As the world continues to embrace smart mobility and autonomous vehicles, the importance of accurate destination data becomes even more significant for navigation. With the ability to specify a unique 3m x 3m square, what3words can provide that level of precision.

Imagine stepping into the car and telling your navigation system the 3 word address of your destination. Not just the building address or the shopping centre name but a specific entrance point for that building or the location of the car park access gate. what3words provides this level of precision, and improvements in voice recognition mean journeys can be accurately planned with just 3 spoken words.

Taxi trips around the city are also already benefiting from what3words. Customers can now specify a pick up location with a 3 word address, ensuring drivers can find them quickly. Drop offs can be just as accurate – whether to the front door of their house, a restaurant entrance or an undefined city location that a postal coding system could never find.

Exploring the Great Beyond

Whilst it might seem that the whole world has been explored, there is still plenty to discover. And for those who take the road less travelled, what3words can be their guide.

The further you venture from civilization the less reliable addressing becomes. Even a trip beyond the city limits can become a challenge when navigation relies on building addresses and a phone signal.

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Campsites or country parks depend on road signs to stop customers driving past the turning. A map search will drop a pin in the middle of a building, when what you’re actually looking for is the entrance door. These are just a few examples where current addressing systems fail to deliver. And where a 3 word address provides the smarter solution.

As exploration enters uncharted territory, navigation tools and services become critical. In the middle of nowhere, postal addressing becomes obsolete. Even descriptive directions are unreliable when there are no landmarks with which to navigate.

Here too, what3words provides the answer. In a featureless landscape, a 3 word address can still be accurately identified. And when the 3m x 3m square it points to contains a camp, hot food and clean water, the value of its precision and reliability becomes patently clear.

what3words can transform navigation as we know it. For users, ambiguous search terms or unreliable postal addresses are no longer an issue. Instead, precise location becomes commonplace. Navigating to anywhere in the world becomes no more complex than a familiar journey to work. And finding your way is as easy as speaking 3 words.