Mapping the world, three words at a time

For places lacking an “address,” three-word names offer a more usable alternative to long strings of latitute and longitude digits.  In case you were wondering, there is no place associated with ant.spider.bee. You can reach us at sporting.hills.warbler;; or nitrate.tigers.diplomat.

David Post reports on the London-based startup what3words:

There are a couple of interesting things about this scheme. First of all, the entire “dictionary” — the complete matrix of locational information tying three-word phrases to places on a map — takes up between five and 10 mB; that means that the whole thing can easily fit on a smartphone. And the developers have created versions of the matrix in nine different languages, so that, e.g., the 3×3 square identified as is the same square at the one named arrotos.impondo.fecho in the Portuguese version, schreien.laute.hassen in German, etc., allowing people to use whichever of the languages they’re most comfortable with.

Source: David Post, “Mapping the world, three words at a time,” The Washington Post 12 January 2016.


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