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.