Many people “drop a pin” when they want to send their location to someone else, but what if you don’t have a good connection or need to speak where you are? Now, an app called what3words can help.
It’s a free app that lets you pinpoint your location using a combination of three unique words.
“We’ve divided the world up into 57 trillion 10 foot by 10-foot squares and then we’ve allocated each one of those squares a unique 3 word identifier,” said Giles Rhys Jones, Chief Marketing Officer for what3words.
Because the system is so precise, instead of a broad street address, you could direct someone to the exact entrance to a large building, or the precise place you’re tailgating in a giant stadium parking lot.
“At 40 thousand words in English, 40 thousand times 40 thousand times 40 thousand gives you 64 trillion and that gives you enough to give every 10 by 10-foot square in the world a unique 3-word identifier,” said Rhys Jones.
Importantly, what3words’ iOS and Android apps work offline, without a cellular connection.
Voice navigation systems, delivery companies and even emergency services are starting to incorporate what3words.
“Being able to get the location quickly is precious because time is everything, especially with medical emergencies,” said Chief Tim Wuerfel of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The LAFD is partnering with what3words to help locate everything from emerging fires to lost hikers faster and with more precision. They’ve integrated the what3words location system directly into their 911 call centers.
“This app has reduced our response time significantly,” explained Wuerfel.
It’s an easier way to speak your location, especially as voice assistants continue to rise in popularity.
“You can use this in incredibly remote parts of the world and it will still work,” concluded Rhys Jones.
You might not be able to verbalize your GPS coordinates but saying three simple words is easy.
Keep in mind, if you send someone a link to your three words using the what3words app, they don’t even need the app installed to navigate right to you. The web link works with popular mapping apps to convert the three words into GPS coordinates they understand.
Bottom Line: It’s probably a good idea to download the what3words app now to have it on your phone in case you ever need to share your precise location with friends and family or in an emergency.