View Full Version : what3words

06-27-2016, 15:20
We hikers like going places that don't have addresses.

One of the "other trails" I deal with has parking locations that don't have assigned addresses, sometimes off of game land roads that don't have assigned names - and when the road names are assigned by the local government, the Google Maps folks don't seem to pick up on them (must be low priority area).

I recently heard of http://what3words.com/ as a way of substituting words for coordinates that are easy to mess up for many folks. Apparently this has been officially adopted for locating yurts in Mongolia.

Translating the three.word.string at least for the moment seems to require live connectivity. So it may be a better way for now to communicate trailhead addresses rather than, say, shelter sites and water sources.

Any thoughts about this new concept?

06-27-2016, 17:26

06-27-2016, 17:28
There's an iPhone app for it as well...just query "what3words". Looking forward to testing this out. Thanks for sharing.

06-27-2016, 18:11
Fascinating idea and fine execution! I'm having fun playing with it with my son-in-law.
Will I ever use it? Hhmmh

Bruce Traillium

03-28-2022, 16:05
"What3words" seems to be an excellent app (I just discovered the app in 2022). I am stuck in the midwest and not able to test the results without cell service.
Their website states: "Without phone signal, the app functions the same as when you have no data connection: you can view the location of any what3words address you enter. You can also navigate to it using compass mode.To share a what3words address over the phone or in a text message you need phone signal. To load maps, or share in other apps or social media, you need a data connection."
If anyone out there on trail would give the app (what3words.com) a try while out of cell service we could all know if this would work for locating campsites, water sources, tricky trail turns, etc....

03-28-2022, 16:56
Wow. Just when I think I'm getting a grasp on this week's technology....

I don't get it.

03-28-2022, 17:06
Wow. Just when I think I'm getting a grasp on this week's technology....

I don't get it.
My Orienteering club started talking about using this. More than once we've had to go searching for people. With the App, we could simply tell people ahead of time what the "What Three Words" are for the grid point of Registration or the finish. We even considered printing it on the map, by the legend. Once someone is totally messed up, they could use the app to see where they are and where they are relative to the "What Three Words" to bring them back to camp. It would be a lot of "IF's"!! If they can use the app, if they can correlate that to the extremely detailed Orienteering map they already hold...the one where they have "Lost map contact" and perhaps even gone off the map (hey, it happens, I've been orienteering over 15 years and managed to go "Off the map" recently).
I've not messed with it for a bit to remember how to use it.

04-11-2022, 08:33
I've been playing around with what3words the last couple of weeks, sincerely trying to find some use for it that is better than other methods I currently employ for navigating and/or defining locations, and relaying location information to others.

So far, I just ain't feelin' the luv for it. At this point I can enter 42.2482, -74.0710 (or N42.2482, W74.0710) that will yield the same location with just about any app, vs pulps.today.equine which exclusive to what3 words and is just as, if not more, prone to transcription/communication errors. I've found the DD.dddd format to be the least error prone for my purposes. (Some people — and apps — carry that out to 5 places right of the decimal point, i.e. DD.ddddd, but I've found that to be totally unnecessary.)

I use the DD.dddd format for providing locations for use in Waze or Google maps to find trailheads, etc. When on trail I like USNG or UTM because when using a map with kilometer grids it is so easy to glance at the map and tell from looking at either an Easting (if traveling E-W) or a Northing (if traveling N-S) how far it is to a chosen point... no need for a phone app if you have a GPS watch or other unit.

04-11-2022, 20:56
Just what we need, a cypher for locations… :rolleyes:
I have zero love for this idea.

04-12-2022, 06:35
Just what we need, a cypher for locations… :rolleyes:
I have zero love for this idea.

I guess this is why this thread has reached only 10 posts after almost 6 years! :o