I am reporting live from Greece.
This week I’m travelling around the Greek islands. Travelling is an amazing way to discover how little we know! I have learnt so much through my travels: cultures, languages, new recipes, traditions, laws, climate, ways of living, and most importantly: new technology. In fact this has been such an amazing week so far that I had the epiphany to start reviewing unique and brilliant technical applications that different people develop in different parts of the world that help them overcome adversities and challenges that are unique to a demography. I’m commencing the #globaltechreview series with What3Words from London, UK.
What3Words is a system of allocating addresses to every possible location on this planet. Now this may not seem like a very unique application of the mapping tech. However, this system brings to light the fact that the current/existing addressing system we have in place is faulty and incomplete at best. Not every corner in the world, not every square inch and not every individual’s dwelling has been documented, pin-coded and accounted for. There are major failings and gaps when it comes to geographic and location data in developed countries; not to mention the life-threatening challenge this poses in developing countries. What3Words answers this problem by allocating (yes you guessed it!) three unique word combinations to an area as small as 3×3 square metre, ANYWHERE on earth!
How does it work? What3Words has categorized the entire planet into a 3×3 metre global grid. There are 57 trillion 3×3 metre square grids on earth and each of these squares has been ALREADY pre-allocated a unique 3-word address. The geocorder used by What3Words turns geographic coordinates into 3-word addresses and vice versa, which makes it really smooth and efficient for easy location communication. The app requires very little space and can be easily installed on smartphones. What3Words is basically a plug-in tool for businesses and individuals alike and is compatible with Google Maps, Bing maps or popular regional map applications. It has several amazing features: notable among which are an extensive library of words, built-in error detection, default conversion to latitude-longitude system which makes it human friendly, available in 9 languages and more in future and works offline. YAAY! You can read in depth about their features here.
What3Words is a far more accurate system of mapping and locating than a set of coordinates. There can be so many applications of such an efficient mapping system. First, and I have to say this first to calm down my inner nerd: the data made available by this application! Imagine every inch of your planet mapped and recorded and available for referencing! Second: slums, street dwellings and temporary housing will be accounted for and census in every nation will be perfect (well almost). This sort of mapping will eventually lead to every individual being documented and issued an authorized identity. Third, businesses and economies will move at a much faster pace because What3words inadvertently provides connectivity and recognition to the remotest of places!
On a mundane scale, imagine deliveries and taxis reaching you on time WITHOUT several hundred phone calls to verify your location. My friends in India, I can hear you sigh! And speaking of India, where you have 11 Mahatma Gandhi roads in one city itself, this technology is a time saver and a life saver! In the words of the founders themselves:”Better addressing improves customer experience, delivers business efficiencies, drives growth and helps the social & economic development of countries”.
I could go on and on singing about What3Words! A technology that aims to connect and communicate has immense potential and a very bright future. But what I love most about What3Words, as a media geek, is its ability to, literally, put everyone on the map! That’s all for this month’s #globaltechreview. Here’s a fun thing for you to try! Today I was at strums.excelled.minds and tomorrow I’m going to flexes.uniformed.connects Go to https://map.what3words.com/ and discover where my travels are taking me!