Addresses? Nah, This Mapping Startup Uses 3-Word Phrases

You would think that with all the Google Street View vehicles roaming the globe and the billions being poured into mapping for autonomous cars, navigating to an unknown destination would be easy by now. But try typing a long address into a car’s navigation system when you’re in a hurry or even into a smartphone nav app and see how frustrating finding where you want to go can be. That’s why the concept behind the British mapping-tech start-up what3words is as simple as it is brilliant.

By dividing the globe into a grid of 57 trillion 3-meter squares and geo-tagging each one with three words, any spot on Earth (including in bodies of water) can be easily located. So instead of locating PCMag’s headquarters by typing in 28 East 28th Street, New York, New York, you can simply type (or eventually even say) “fancy goad drove” using the what3words app. Alternatively, “puppy spare buyers” and “down dozed handy” will get you close to the front door, although my favorite is “drive colleague digit,” which places you in the building lobby.

What3words is working with Daimler, which invested in the start-up and integrated its technology in the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class. What3words also partnered with fellow Brits Land Rover to enable the automaker’s ARDHI off-roading app to plot precise routes across Middle Eastern and North African deserts and allow the sending of digital “flares” in the case of an emergency.

Addresses? Nah, This Mapping Startup Uses 3-Word Phrases

And while what3words is great for getting you to an appointment or finding the closest coffee shop, the company is also using the technology to assist victims and emergency responders during natural disasters and humanitarian crisis. It can be used, for example, to pinpoint damaged buildings, flooded areas, and downed power lines and supply photos and reports.

In a more proactive move, Land Rover recently leveraged what3words and its technology to improve emergency medical response on the remote Scottish island of Mull as part of the British brand’s larger humanitarian effort to celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Mapping Mull

To map Mull, Land Rover dispatched a team of drivers from its Experience off-road program and a fleet of its vehicle to the island. Along with a group of volunteers, the Land Rover contingent delivered what3words address plaques to 2,000 locations on the island, with most placed in isolated areas where there are no formal street names, much less addresses. The project was commissioned after the island’s doctor, Brian Prendergast, requested that every home and business be provided a precise address to facilitate finding locations on Mull in case of medical emergencies and also to improve everyday health care.

According to Prendergast, without local knowledge, members of his medical team can have difficulty finding patients just for house calls.

Addresses? Nah, This Mapping Startup Uses 3-Word Phrases

“Using three-word addresses will vastly improve the ability of doctors and nurses, particularly those new to the island, to locate and assist remote-living patients” Dr. Prendergast said in a statement. “We believe it will not only help us deliver a better routine health care service but will save vital minutes in emergency call-outs that could literally save a life.” Jaguar Land Rover’s Responsible Business Director Chris Thorp added that the Mull project is just one of 40 social impact projects JLR is launching that could benefit from what3Word’s technology. “It’s the ideal way to launch our global humanitarian partnership with what3words, which has the potential to transform isolated communities around the world by making them more accessible.”

And if what3words can help a doctor find a location on remote Mull during a medical emergency or an off-roader trek through the Sahara in Mali, chances are it will more easily allow you to find the nearest Starbucks the next time you need an emergency infusion of caffeine.

You may also like...

       
Apps & Games Clothing Electronics & Photo Large Appliances
Baby Womens Apparel Garden Lighting
Beauty Mens Apparel Outdoors Luggage
Books Girls Apparel Health & Personal Care Pet Supplies
Car Boys Apparel Home Shoes & Bags
Motorbike Computers & Accessories Kitchen Equipment Sports & Outdoors
Fashion DIY & Tools Jewellery Toys & Games