[HOT] How to locate places without addresses? Open location code

Krishma Nayee krishma at what3words.com
Sun May 3 10:04:02 UTC 2015

Hi Tomaso,

Yes that is true, there is no ‘indexing’ between neighbouring squares. The algorithm converts coordinates into the 3 word address which are unique but fixed.

Yes locating a tent would return several addresses, but it is just like collecting a set of coordinates for each tent. The benefit being that you can now communicate that location in a human friendly and rapid way. You can collect the 3 word location for the front of the tent or the centroid (if the coordinates have already been collected  you can use the batch conversion tool - http://developer.what3words.com/batch-conversion-tool/).

Human beings make errors. The system is optimized to recognise and autocorrect both sharer and receiver mistakes. The what3words autocorrect system picks up errors in spelling, typing, speaking, and mishearing 3 word locations.

The system has shuffled all of similar sounding 3 word locations as far away from each other as possible, so it can use your location to intelligently guess where you meant. A lot of the time when the similar sounding addresses are near enough to each other it can be very confusing and often results in huge delays whilst the user works out what has gone wrong and what the right address actually is. 


> From: Tomaso Bertoli <tomaso.bertoli at gmail.com>
> Date: 3 May 2015 10:44:51 CEST
> To: Mark Iliffe <mark at markiliffe.co.uk>
> Cc: hot <hot at openstreetmap.org>, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [HOT] How to locate places without addresses? Open location code
> Hello Mark
> I looked at what3words
> The idea is quite good but I'm not sure why there appears to be no "indexing" two cells addresses three meters apart differ in all the three words and the addressing is way too sensible ... locating a tent would return serveral addresses 
> It would be easier if the three words in the sequence would provide increasing detail in the geographic location
> So the addresses of the tent would differ only in the last word of the sequence 
> Is the something I misunderstood or neglected in the what3words concept?
> Tomaso
> Il 03/Mag/2015 00:14, "Mark Iliffe" <mark at markiliffe.co.uk> ha scritto:
> Hi John, All,
> what3words is free at point of use and is human readable - the word component also is quite good at error checking. 
> Postcodes and generic codes work if the people you want to use them have a cognition of addressing systems like postcodes or mailstops. My experience in rural Tanzania is that they don't have that experience. We've been integrating what3words so people will be able phone or text location. ID numbers on water points just washed away/eroded. what3words works even under partial degradation, then it can be error corrected unlike a postcode where every digit is relevant. 
> Best,
> Mark
> Sent from my iPhone
> On 2 May 2015, at 23:52, john whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> what3words is nice but is commercial.  I was hoping for some sort of open data prem code postcode idea.  UK prem code is the house number so a prem code followed by the postcode is a unique address.  Example 10pr82az is 10 weld road southport pr8 2az.
>> Cheerio John
>> On 2 May 2015 at 17:42, Mark Iliffe <mark at markiliffe.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi Claire,
>> Have you had a look at "what3words": http://what3words.com? It's three words and is multi lingual, quite a lot more usable than genetic codes.
>> In Tanzania my team and I have been looking at using them (through pilots) for locating/identifying water points and will scale them across a few regions over the next year.
>> Happy to chat more if you would like.
>> Best,
>> Mark
>> On 2 May 2015, at 21:45, Claire Halleux <claire.halleux at hotosm.org> wrote:
>>> Ever heard of this?
>>> A G*solution for locating places accurately where addresses are not obvious:
>>> http://google-opensource.blogspot.be/2015/04/open-location-code-addresses-for.html
>>> Still, it doesn't seem to me more intuitive than coordinate systems.
>>> Ex: I am currently in 87C4VXW3+HG8.
>>> There are ways to shorten it, but I doubt that those would be applicable in places that would actually need this kind of tool.
>>> However, would you have any experience on this or other ways to share regarding using non standard geographic coordinates system for locating places?
>>> Claire
>>> Claire Halleux
>>> +243 99 256 9980 (Kinshasa, DRC)
>>> Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
>>> http://www.hotosm.org/
>>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/2014_DRC_Ebola_Response
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> HOT mailing list
>>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
Krishma Nayee
mob  +447817783115
w3w index.home.raft
Skype: krishmanayee

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