What 3 Words locations instead of lat/lon numbers

FYI: What3Words.com is a quick, word-based location id that is being used by rescue, secret, and emergency services to easily describe exact geographical locations.
Somebody with a lot of time on their hands has gridded the surface of the earth into 3-meter squares, and assigned a unique combination of (english, for us) words to each square. Then they made a website, What3Words.com, and an app for your phone. The apps use the phone’s built-in GPS to translate obscure minutes & seconds into three simple english words.

For example, the 10’ x 10’ square that contains my boat’s cockpit when in her slip is named ///moguls.credibility.showbiz. We could meet there for cocktails, unless I’ve moved to the bow, which is within ///spellings.geology.tariff, or the stern, at ///donkey.things.defining. The ice won’t melt while you look around trying to find a pencil to write down 2817.591’N 08041.782’W (degrees,minutes), or is it 2817’34.54"N 08041’51.541"W (degrees,minutes,seconds); or, wait, was that 28.2932N 080.6964W (degrees)??? Too late, the ice melted, and we finished the rum.

What3Words drastically humanizes and simplifies sharing your position with others who are in the know. So far, that includes the US Foreign Service, the Secret Service, and an increasing number of emergency hotlines.

My point is that navigation programs could benefit by incorporating this capability into the program. The what3words developers could provide a simple table to translate 3word locations into lat/lon.

check it out.


we are familiar with what3words, and it is an interesting invention. It is often (usually) the case that more precision is needed for marine navigation, but I can see some usefulness for a less precise method of getting to a more general area. I don’t know when/if we’ll have the time to add this to our software, or if we even can without an agreement, but it is something we’re aware of, so who knows what the future may hold. We appreciate you letting us know about this, even if we were already aware of it, since we might not have been. :slight_smile: