If you have never come across What3Words.com then you are in for a treat. The platform is free to use in its basic form and can be a life-saver, literally. Emergency Services are beginning to use it.
What3words automatically assigns a three-word address to any 3m x 3m square, on a grid of 57 trillion squares across the globe. Read this Wired Magazine article which can tell you more about the background.
What this means is that you can quickly generate a memorable geo-location accurate enough for most purposes. Try doing the same with Latitude and Longitude and you will quickly appreciate the advantage. A typical geo-location using the system looks like this – https://w3w.co/most.native.shuts. All you need to remember is the three words at the end which most people can do.
What3Words Use Cases
The use cases are endless and you can use your imagination or do some research online for ideas. One of my specialities is helping local businesses with their online Visibility and Credibility. This usually involves sorting out their listings on Google Maps, Bing Places and Apple Maps amongst others.
It is amazing how many businesses show the wrong location on these platforms. But is perhaps not surprising because they are not that easy to set up, at least compared with What3Words. So local businesses wishing to make it easier for their customers and prospects to find them should consider using What3Words. They should place the link on their website, social media accounts, email signature and brochures.
Most online directories like Google My Business (i.e. Google Maps) use the Postcode in an address for setting the location and then invite the user to “move the pin”. This can be a very complex procedure and it is not surprising that many businesses do not show their correct location.
Some business directories are now beginning to use What3Words by providing a field for businesses to populate with their 3-word address. Businesses will find this process much easier than “moving a pin”.
How to generate a What3Words link
To generate the link you simply download the App to your phone or tablet and navigate to the nearest square. Alternatively, you can load their website to use on your desktop or laptop computer. People clicking on the link will be taken to the website (or App if they have it). From there they can get directions from other systems such as Google Maps.
This is so much more accurate than a Postcode which is what most SatNav systems rely on. In fact, many car manufacturers are building in voice-controlled SatNav which recognise What3Words addresses. If you wish to be more accurate you can use Lat/Long which looks like this – 51.564726, -0.133335. But try remembering that or entering it into your device. The Emergency Services may never get there on time!