Author Topic: What3words app for your location  (Read 1112 times)

lostme1

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What3words app for your location
« on: 13:25:57, 15/08/19 »
Just seen this on the BBC web site https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49319760
Does anyone know anything about it, supposedly used by some emergency services.
 I have never heard of it. Given that a number of emergency services only understand post codes and not the OS grid references or latitude and longitude which many outdoor users have as a means of pinpointing their location, what hope is there for this.
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vghikers

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #1 on: 14:10:51, 15/08/19 »
I'm aware of it, it's an interesting idea. It's really just an easy to remember equivalent of latitude/longitude and less error prone when communicating. I don't know how much advantage it would be in practice, I've no experience in these things.

You need to know your location: I currently don't have any location-aware device so it wouldn't help me. If you do have such a device, you can (presumably) just read off your GPS coordinates or, in the case of e.g. MRT, let them be read remotely. There is an app to convert to 3-word format, I guess its success depends on wide acceptance.

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #2 on: 16:24:29, 15/08/19 »
It's useful and from a MR point of view, it's the difference in searching a huge forested area (like in that article) and having a precise location to go to is the difference between 40+ people spending 8 hours searching and 3 people getting there in 30 minutes and being able to render immediate care.  MR are able to find a precise location from your phone but only if you are actively co-operating to do so, cell phone triangulation doesn't give much of a precise area whatsoever, unfortunately, though it is better than nothing. 


Also, it's super quick.  Open app, press 'locate', press the phrase with your finger to copy it to the clipboard (or say to an emergency operator on the phone) then you can do what you want with it.  Takes about five seconds.  Because it's so quick, when you set camp for the evening you may want to send a text to someone to let them know where you are - and then they in turn are more likely to use that phrase on the website than a string of co-ordinates.   I think that accessibility/speed is the reason it is worth using.


Obviously it isn't going to be as useful for those of us who can read off grid references, lat/long and have people to communicate to who can understand those things - but as a more accessible tool for casual walkers as well as offers good reassurance if you're planning a more remote trip yet have the ability to send sms.


For those who use ViewRanger, you're able to use the BuddyBeacon feature which allows someone you trust (who you have given a username and password to) to track you whilst on a walk/away, but only when you have a cell data connection.   It isn't especially intuitive on their website either, so whilst you may have some joy with it once a person is used to the system - it puts a few extra steps into the chain - but takes such a minor amount of data/power I'd use the feature anyway just in case.

Mel

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #3 on: 17:33:51, 15/08/19 »
We use this (apparently) at work.  Something that was mentioned when the powers that be were selling us the idea was that you don't need to be able to understand English to use it.  The three words are just read out - no need to know what they mean or for them to be translated. 
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Sarah Pitht

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #4 on: 20:32:02, 15/08/19 »
We have it on our website - more useful than the postcode which takes people to the wrong location. It was quite good fun selecting which grid to use.


I have read that the what 3 words is useful for large places with several entrances eg public, trade etc etc.

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vizzavona

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #5 on: 07:13:34, 16/08/19 »
Just heard about this on here....is it from the same stable as the whats app messaging thing?
All that I have is the 'OS Locate' on my phone...not used it for real...only a try with the location sent to my home using the 'Share' feature.  100 kl. square two letters together with the six figure map reference numerals to give position...it was with reception on a Scottish hillside.   Not yet  tried in a thick forest plantation.

Sarah Pitht

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #6 on: 08:00:37, 16/08/19 »
Whatísapp is owned by Facebook - or so google tells me.
What3words is owned/set up and run from London.


Iím not sure about its Ďrescueí uses as I expect you need some form of 3G signal which canít be guaranteed. But as a way of pinpointing exact locations for those who donít use GR then itís accessible to most people.


Hereís a link [size=78%]https://what3words.com/about-us/[/size]
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taxino8

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #7 on: 12:53:21, 17/08/19 »
Some of the taxis around here are using it to find locations in rural areas where a postcode isnít good enough.

ninthace

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #8 on: 15:36:10, 17/08/19 »
Iím not sure about its Ďrescueí uses as I expect you need some form of 3G signal which canít be guaranteed. But as a way of pinpointing exact locations for those who donít use GR then itís accessible to most people.


Hereís a link [size=78%]https://what3words.com/about-us/[/size]


I just tried it and it works in aeroplane mode on my phone so it is independent of a phone signal.
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archaeoroutes

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #9 on: 21:48:35, 20/08/19 »
This again! It's been around years and failed. Now they've convinced some urban emergency services to push it for them in favour of superior and non-profit alternatives. Scottish Mountain Rescue's statement pretty much says it all: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2339541036083375&id=337733089597523
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Mel

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #10 on: 11:23:07, 21/08/19 »
This again! It's been around years and failed. Now they've convinced some urban emergency services to push it ..


And some rural ones too.  Our control room staff are poised, ready and waiting for their first caller to use this referencing system  ;D



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Guy

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #11 on: 11:43:29, 21/08/19 »
This again! It's been around years and failed. Now they've convinced some urban emergency services to push it for them in favour of superior and non-profit alternatives. Scottish Mountain Rescue's statement pretty much says it all: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2339541036083375&id=337733089597523


What are the superior alternatives (in particular for an urban/semi-urban environment) ?

vghikers

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #12 on: 12:01:29, 21/08/19 »
Here's an aspect of W3W I just discovered that puts the  scheme in a different light:-

Quote
Their algorithms and databases of addresses that are mapped to true gps coordinates are all proprietary, and they have specific terms and conditions to prevent people reverse engineering or even storing the database.

Not good - at all.

Another point worth mentioning is that there is absolutely no geographical relationship to be discerned between two points referenced by W3W. They might be metres apart or thousands of kilometres apart, you can't tell from the words.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #13 on: 13:54:33, 21/08/19 »
SORRY NO SIGNAL

ninthace

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Re: What3words app for your location
« Reply #14 on: 14:26:36, 21/08/19 »
SORRY NO SIGNAL
Is that your location?


I believe if the app is downloaded it does not need a signal to locate you - it uses an algorithm based on your gps position - you can check this by downloading the app and using it in aeroplane mode.  Of course you do need a signal to send a location however, but that is true of all such apps.
It a good system for giving a position; 3 words are easier to remember and pass than a grid reference of equivalent accuracy.


Edit:  Just tried in plane mode - works fine.
« Last Edit: 16:01:36, 21/08/19 by ninthace »
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