Sharing your location, finding places, what3words

This looks like a good way to find people or places, or share your location, such as meeting friends, for emergency services, or on the trail.
You can speak or text your what3words location.

Here’s the location for The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, along with the app’s text explanation:


Here is a precise what3words address, made of 3 random words. Every 10ft square in the world has its own unique what3words address.


Unfortunately their Watch App supports way less languages than their iPhone App (has been like this for a long time) and English is not my native language.

(It would be useful for me when riding my MTB; I leave my iPhone at home, but do use a cellular Apple Watch)

Yes, what3words is a great system, however there where some complains, that they had similar sounding addresses nearby, that could lead to misunderstandings.

There is an other system called Mapcode, that is very similar, but it seems without the above described problems.

I find three words much less ambiguous than mapcodes’ codes. Having communicated quite a few part numbers and codes over the phone in the past, letters and numbers are very ambiguous.

The High Museum mapcode:


3 B C E P T V Z
6 X
Y I 5 9

Of course you could use the NATO Phonetic Radio Alphabet to help with the letter ambiguity:

juliet three dot six yankee


diagram orange howler

seems a lot easier to me.

I think we can agree, either system is easier for humans than latitude and longitude.

None of those systems are perfect!
But you will end up with lesser problems, by using a code out of numbers and letters, instead of words who could depend on the dialect of the one who is saying them, or the one who is listening to them.
I am using the system of numbers and letters since a couple of decades now with thousands of other Airline Pilots and ATC-Controller around the world, and it helps to prevent misunderstandings in all parts of the world very well!

My old iPhone does not get precise enough GPS coordinates for what3words to work; instead of the claimed three metre square my 5S can be ±100m from my true location.

However, this passed week I reported a fallen tree on a public right of way. The land it is on could be own by any one of the local council, district council, county council or Transport for London! The local council sent someout to check and helpfully gave the tree’s location using what3words which eventually after some turf-war between the local and district councils revealed that the owner was TfL and the county council are responsib;e for the clean up.

For UKers one of the creators of what3words is also a question setter on BBC 2’s Only Connect mind-bending quiz.


I use it fairly regularly in my professional capacity, as I end up doing a lot of work with the local fire service and they have this on their control system for call outs. Makes getting to the correct building significantly easier.

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I’ve found what3words fantastic for connecting with my wife/kids at large/crowded venues such as sports tournaments, parades, etc. where a single address just doesn’t cut it.

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