Ex­pand­ing Hori­zons

Business Traveler (USA) - - TECHNOLOGY OF THINGS -

Al­ready avail­able in ten lan­guages, with more on the way, What3Words has so far part­nered with more than 50 or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the UN and Hg2 travel guides, to rad­i­cally trans­form and sim­plify ev­ery­thing from e-com­merce and aid de­liv­er­ies to he­li­copter land­ing points.

Rhys Jones says:“In Brazil­ian fave­las, mil­lions of peo­ple are putting stick­ers on their houses with their three-word ad­dress so Carteiro Amigo can de­liver post, and in Tan­za­nia we are be­ing used by the Red Cross to flag up water points con­tam­i­nated by cholera.”He adds:“Our in­ten­tion is to be a glob­ally rec­og­nized way to talk about lo­ca­tion: word.word.word.”

World travel or­ga­ni­za­tions that have so far em­ployed the revo­lu­tion­ary What3Words geo-ad­dress app in­clude the In­de­pen­dent Map Com­pany (IDMC), which is a plat­form for un­known or hid­den shops, bars and res­tau­rants (visit sup­porter. spare.hood for Pro­hi­bi­tion-era cock­tails in Liver­pool), and tran­sit app Tripgo, which pro­vides step-by-step rout­ings to pin­drop lo­ca­tions for cy­clists, pedes­tri­ans and peo­ple us­ing public trans­port.

An­other geo-lo­ca­tion tool is driv­ing nav­i­ga­tion app Navmii. Used by more than 24 mil­lion peo­ple, its maps for 190 coun­tries can be used off­line and are be­ing built into in-car sys­tems. Gro­cery de­liv­er­ies from Ocado are also pow­ered by Navmii.

“We don’t have the re­sources of Google, of be­ing able to hire ve­hi­cles with cam­eras on the roofs,”ex­plains Zoe Lay­cock, Navmii’s chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer. “We wanted to build map­ping and lo­cal in­for­ma­tion through crowd­sourc­ing. GPS ‘trace data’[show­ing routes that have been driven] is one of the ways we do this, but we also en­cour­age peo­ple to get in­volved through the Open Street Map ini­tia­tive [openstreetmap.org] – Lon­don is a good ex­am­ple of a place where maps are very ac­cu­rate but in terms of traf­fic man­age­ment, speed lim­its and one-way sys­tems, that can change, and we need users to re­port these things in real time.”

Navmii is also work­ing on“last mile” nav­i­ga­tion, Lay­cock says.“What you can’t do yet is pin­point a mul­ti­story car park that has spa­ces avail­able. Over the com­ing months we will be work­ing di­rectly with NCP, for ex­am­ple, to pro­vide that data so you know how many spa­ces there are free on each floor.”Soon you won’t have any ex­cuse for be­ing late for a meet­ing be­cause you couldn’t find park­ing.

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