An explanation of what3words

You are probably looking at this blog post title and wondering what it is actually on about – stick with it – all will become clear!

What is it?

What3words is a new app or system for locations. The interface divides the whole globe into 3m squares. Then individual squares are drawn up within that 3m range and each is given a random 3 letter word which is specific for that location only – a bit like our (not so random?) 3-word post title.

What is the purpose?

Some believe that it is the future of addresses and location identification. It has proved very useful and in some instances life saving. There have been cases where someone has been lost in a forest (a completely vast area,) yet this programme has been able to provide pin-point accuracy and have them found.

Experts for this new system argue that as what3words narrows the local area down into an even more refined place, that benefits for some of the following reasons:

* It is three words in any language – users don’t need to be familiar with how addresses operate in different countries or the language of that country.

* Hard to pronounce or follow place names are removed from consideration.

* Using just 3 words makes it incredibly simple to follow and understand.

For a bit of fun, here are a few famous places with their what3words code:

* Buckingham Palace – Fence.Gross.Bats.

* Big Ben – Clear.Wider.Both

* 10 Downing Street – Slurs.This.Shark.

?Could you imagine telling someone to meet you outside the entrance of fence.gross.bats?

Why does it matter to the courier industry?

You are probably wondering why all this matters to us as same day couriers and delivery service operators. A recent study looked at what3words in use of delivery situations. The study found that there was an increase of around 15% in accuracy and efficiency when using this method to find locations and make deliveries compared to normal. A large part of this was down to crystal clear accuracy of parking spaces associated with delivery addresses or venues – saving time for the driver. The report also cited time saved when customers decided to have their parcels delivered to an alternative venue because the couriers could locate them quicker by using this system. The benefits are concluded to be high for inexperienced and younger delivery drivers or those who are working in unfamiliar areas.

Worried and can’t get your head around it?

Don’t worry, we’ll still be using the good old ‘123 Street Name, Town, Postcode’ system, but as technology and methods evolve, it does give you some kind of indication of what the direction of the future may look like.

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