Most people are poorly versed in latitude and longitude and have no skills with maps or special navigation equipment. In addition, every now and then we find ourselves in places without an address or landmarks - for example, in the middle of an intercity highway or on a mountainside. To help find people in such a situation, a unique orientation system “What3words” was developed.
The authors of the idea are British musician Chris Sheldrick and mathematician Mohan Ganisalingam. They took as a basis an English dictionary of 171 thousand words and crossed out all unnecessary and ambiguous. It turned out 40, 000 words, of which 64 trillion unique combinations of 3 words each can be added. If we divide the Earth's surface into virtual squares of 3 by 3 meters, then we get 57 trillion squares. That is, the stock of the chosen words will be enough in abundance to accurately describe all places on the planet, including locations located in the oceans, among the deserts or in the endless tundra.
And the new system has already passed the battle test. A group of amateur tourists got lost in the Hamsterl forest in England, but managed to get through to the police. Since the connection was good, they were advised to download and run the What3words app, which indicated that they were in the "///Kicked.Converged.Soccer" sector. The rescue team went straight to the group at these coordinates. In 2017, with the help of What3words, the Mexican authorities successfully searched for people after the earthquake, and in Durban, South Africa, they installed 11, 000 coordinate signs throughout the city to help women in childbirth accurately tell their position to medical services.
What3words navigation system is compatible with GPS and Google maps, but it is much more convenient in its pure form. For example, you can use it to find a missing child in a supermarket: for other geolocation systems, a building is a single object, and What3words can divide it into hundreds of small sectors. The system makes it easy to find your way in a crowd, in an unknown city, in any area. And it is also a godsend for transport companies, whose drones can deliver parcels not just to the house, but to the rear entrance or directly to the area fenced in, in the specified sector.