The location of the Victoria News reporter’s desk is vocals.observe.shams according to the What3Words mapping system. (map.what3words.com)

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

A global address system created by a tech startup in the UK is gaining traction in its bid to make navigation faster, easier, and more precise – all by using combinations of three random words.

Looking for the B.C. Legislature?

It’s at options.noting.duration.

Where is the reporter’s desk from which this story was written?

Humorously, at vocals.observe.shams.

Are you a UVic student looking to get back to campus?

Head to blossom.pens.smarter.

What3Words has mapped the world into 57 trillion 3 metre squares, each identified with a unique three word combination.

The brilliance of the system is that it can provide a precise location for places that have no address. In fact, that is the reason it was created. From pinpointing an exact spot in the labyrinth of a slum for providing medical aid, to finding a friend at a music festival, the success of the mapping system is evident in the major backing and accolades that it has received since its inception in 2013.

Using combinations of three words makes it easier to remember and relay than GPS points. The service works offline with no need for a data connection, and has been replicated in many different languages.

While it seems like a slick solution to a great need, some mappers are raising alarms over the fact that it is a proprietary, closed system with the company keen to protect their intellectual property. The system is being marketed to governments, disaster and aid agencies, among others, which raises questions about how much control private companies should have over public infrastructure.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Grand Forks woman lays wreath at grave of local soldier buried in England

Cpl. Alfred Gyde Heaven lied about his age to enlist in the Canadian army in 1916

Grand Forks fire chief on paid leave amid bullying, harassment allegations

Fire Chief Dale Heriot on leave until investigations concluded

The quirks and perks of living in England

From Grand Forks to Great Britain: Kalyeena Makortoff on becoming a U.K. permanent resident.

One year later, I know we’ll be okay

‘Collectively, we can’t afford to be complacent, nor can we afford for our leaders to be.’

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read