Is this genius…or just plain daft?


what3words

I really can’t decide.  I tried to explain what3words.com to Mrs W and my brother recently and was roundly mocked, and –  seeing as there was no web-enabled device handy to show them exactly what I meant – they continued to mock until I dissolved in my own pool of shameful tears.

Here’s the idea. Every 3m square on the surface of the earth is assigned three random words.

That’s it.  Those three words are then that square’s address.  My house, for example, is arrive.vines.celery.  (Well, not exactly, because you don’t need to know where I live, but you get the idea.)

OK, so 10, Downing Street is slurs.this.shark. which is sort of funny, in a way.

No. 8 Downing Street is bind.varieties.rider. Buckingham Palace is future.human.foster and the White House is sulk.held.raves (although presumably, being so large, these properties will have multiple three-word designations).

Weird, eh?  And, in these cases, pretty pointless because they already have addresses.

But what about the middle of a jungle somewhere?  Or the ocean?  Each square there has a three-word address too.  And this was where the mockery started, because why do these places need addresses?  And won’t standard mapping coodinates do the same job?

Well, I suppose they might.  But the guys at what3words.com who are behind it all do a far better job than I can of saying why it’s such a cool idea, and it goes way beyond words being more fun than a string of digits .  Check it out.  And please don’t mock.

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