What is ‘What 3 Words’?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age we have such technology as ‘What 3 Words’, a brand-spanking new way to talk about location. ‘What 3 Words’ has divided the entire globe in 3m squares, and each 3m square has a unique 3-word address that is as accurate as a GPS coordinate.

Find your location

For example the entrance to London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is PALACE.SPARKS.TESTER.  Sound slightly crazy? Maybe, but imagine being able to pinpoint the exact location of your friend’s tent at a festival among thousands of others, with just three simple words. It could be the difference between life or death when you are in need of emergency services and are inconveniently half way up Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons.

It all began when Chris Sheldrick struggled to find different events whilst working in the music industry. He tried using GPS coordinates but typing 16 numbers in a message or passing details over the phone were easily miss-translated. After chatting to his mathematician friend Mohan, Jack who has a background in translation, the concept of ‘What 3 Words’ was born.

Save your favourite locations!

‘What 3 Words’ was a great way for me to see where my son and I were when we trekked through the Malaysian Jungle. I could never have explained to an emergency operator where we were when every tree and shrub looked the same. Equally it was extremely useful to locate my friend at London Heathrow, one of the world’s largest international airport.

On the app you can save your favourite spots, know that it’s always accurate and it comes in more than 35 different languages making it hugely accessible around the world. The recipient of your ‘3 words’ doesn’t even need to have the app themselves. The ‘3 words’ can be converted on a computer, tablet or smartphone and corresponds with grid coordinates so they can still locate you.

Working for the Ambulance Service myself I urge people to download the FREE app and give it a go. Whether you decide to use it often or just have a play and know what to do in an emergency, it could make a huge difference in your life. We are starting to see more and more people using it when they call 999 and I can see it becoming an integral part of our lives. I have no doubt that over the next few years it’ll be the number 1 location service.

17 thoughts on “What is ‘What 3 Words’?

  1. Laura Schwormstedt says:

    I saw an advert about this ages ago and thought it was a really good idea but I forgot what it was called so found this really good reading – great for when your hiking or somewhere more isolated and need to be found

    Laura x


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