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  • Marie


I have absolutely no recollection at all about when and how I discovered the Wat3words app and when I downloaded it to give it a try, but I think they were still on testing mode. A few years (?) after I see that the app and the website have been revamped and look awesome.

To summarize in a few words, the What3words app will translate an address/a physical location as geographical coordinates into 3 words that will create a new unique address. In the below picture for instance, Metalli-Bahnhof Zug has been transformed into taking.harvest.overnight.

To proceed, the team "divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3 word address". This pretty much increases precision for when an address is for example not available.

I know many will already wonder why such an app would be a) useful and b) relevant to this page.

Well, the achieved level of precision is extremely critical for instance for safety operations, irrespective of where they are in the world. Consider and visualize it: 3m x 3m might represent the surface of, let's say, your bathroom, meaning that if you know the 3 words associated to where you stand, emergency response services will be able to find the exact spot where you are.

This is relevant for instance in large-scale areas or events, if you want to be 200% of a delivery recipient, or, and this is the point that makes the most sense to me, if there is no address at all. A postal system, with a proper mapping of streets and houses (including names and numbers), is often regarded as a sign of urban development and stability, so obviously a large share of the populated area on the globe does not have such an address to be located. The use of such a system has been even more relevant in case of humanitarian emergencies and catastrophies where infrastructures have been destroyed, for example after earthquakes or landslides in remote areas. Hopefully the app is also useful outside of tragic events, it has been supported by mobility, delivery, banking, hospitality and other leisure industries in the world.

Click here to explore the map and identify the 3 words corresponding to your home. Note that you can pick one of the 13 languages on the top-right menu, which are all covered by the system.

What3words website:

App available App Store (and I guess its equivalents on other systems)

Pic/ What3words logo

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