Why what3words is the best location app you're not using

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/20/why-what3words-is-the-best-location-app-youre-not-using.html





What3Words has been aggressive over copyright in the past, and has resisted public scrutiny of its methodology. This is not an open standard. Novel idea, there’s a need for something like this.


If a delivery service can’t find you, because they won’t check the address on say, a map (yes, Fedex driver, I am looking at you), why do you think they will look you up on what3words?


Two W3W puff pieces in a single morning? What’s up BB?

Useful app, I grant you.


Ya, what??

"I think I'm gonna start sending work group emails paraphrasing what my boss said <3 hours prior. ...just to see how it goes."
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Location based on proprietary data might not be such a good idea. You either need a proprietary app or access to a website to use it.

(Search for " Why What3Words is not suitable for safety critical applications" for more info.)

I suspect pareidolia is why many people find attractive about it.

There are “Pluscodes” (Google promotes this) which serves a similar purpose but isn’t proprietary and uses a simple algorithm to generate them.

There are two forms of Pluscodes. One is short and also requires a nearby city. The other is longer and is complete to a very small region. (Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get the long form.)


No mention of how the multiple rescue f-ups that have been caused by w3w Phone app mountain mix-up sparks warning from rescuers - The Keswick Reminder

and why it’s generally not suitable for safety critical applications?


Proprietary and litigious. Pass

And even the Reboings won’t onebox now? Shame! :wink:


And don’t worry - you are in good company. Every time BB runs a W3W article (but TWO within three hours of each other? Both saying it should be used more? It’s enough to make you wonder if the same W3W press release prompted both articles.) one or more BBers will pop up to continue making the excellent point that a proprietary mapping system is probably not the best idea in the world.


Maybe it needs to go on the list?

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