[OSM-talk] What3words

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Jul 13 12:08:10 UTC 2016


On 07/13/2016 12:37 PM, Colin Smale wrote:
> On 2016-07-13 12:24, Dave F wrote:
>> On 13/07/2016 11:10, Frederik Ramm wrote:
>>>   W3W is a coordinate system...
>> I fail to see how it can even be described as that as there is no
>> coordination. The address of one block has no relation to adjacent ones.
> Agreed - it's not a coordinate system, it's an addressing system, i.e. a
> way of encapsulating a location in a convenient manifestation.

I think we might not be understanding each other. Dave says "coordinates
need coordination" which makes you conclude "see, if it's not a
coordinate system it must be an addressing system". I agree with neither.

Really, please don't buy the w3w propaganda in this respect. An
addressing system usually is hierarchical - country, then perhaps a
state or district or postcode, the a city, then perhaps a neighbourhood,
a street, a number, and perhaps an apartment or level number. There are
differences but you can usually tell from addresses where they are,
approximately, and if you can't pinpoint it right away you can follow
the hierarchy (go to the town then ask for the street etc.). You can
tell if two addresses are near each other. There may be brokers that
tell you where on earth an address is (geocoding systems) but they are
not a mandatory part of resolving the address.

There are so many things that humans associate with an address, and w3w
tries to piggyback on that by calling their coordinate system (or, if
you want, their map projection) an addressing system, but it's not, or
at least not more than the "addressing system" of lat/lon/ele is.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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