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What3words: Pinpoint any spot on Earth with a three word code

A new mapping site is aiming to replace postcodes, addresses and complicated directions with something far more simple: words. It is more accurate and more memorable.

Just three words, in fact.

The London based start up founded in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen and Michael Dent, has divided Earth into 57 trillion squares, each of them three square metres large. Every individual square has been assigned a unique three word code. With a simple, map based search, you can pinpoint any location and find its code in a matter of seconds. It sure beats writing down a full address.

For instance, say you were meeting friends at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. Traditionally, you would tell people the address: 455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000. A what3words search would yield a simple result: input.fines.bonus. It’s much easier to remember.

“With GPS and smartphones, we have at our fingertips the ability to pinpoint precise locations,” said what3words CEO Chris Sheldrick.

“However, until what3words we haven’t had a simple, memorable universal system to easily describe locations with any degree of precision.”

The system is certainly more precise than conventional mapping. The three word codes apply to spaces just three square metres large, allowing you to direct people to something as specific as a particular tent in your campsite.

Some more examples:

The Eiffel Tower: ship.vocal.launched

The White House: engine.doors.cubs

A mailbox in Los Angeles: jump.union.blade

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