[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

willi uebelherr willi.uebelherr at gmail.com
Thu May 14 21:47:00 UTC 2015

Dear Friedrich,

yes, the idea is good and we need the free algorithm for that. 
Therefore, we have to make some inside looks. I am very interested for 
that and for this cooperation.

For me, i am working for the real interNet, the interconnection of local 
networks. It is based on local autonomous networks with the connection 
to neighbor local network. The result is a meshnet on all continents.

The global part of the IP address is derived from the geographical 
position from the local network. And this have always his singularity. 
For that, we can use the WC84 (world coordinate system 1984) or any 
other coordinate system like this.

With this method of creating IP addresses we don't need any "Internet 
Governance" and all this stupid organisations like IANA, ICANN, ISOC or 
IGF. Also not any NIC organisation. The people can organize it all self.

I have included some persons with english (not member on this list):
Quiliro Ordonez Baca, Software Libre y FSFLA, Ecuador
Diego Saravia, Software Libre, Argentina
Reanata Aquino, proyecto de investigación IGF en LA, Brasil
Jose Felix Arias Ynche, IGF, Peru

many greetings, willi
Cordoba, Argentina

Am 14-May-15 um 15:01 schrieb Friedrich Lindenberg:
> Hey all,
> during the OKFNlabs hangout I just mentioned what3words [1], a hip new
> startup that has developed a geographic grid system which turns the entire
> globe into 3x3m boxes that can be addressed through sets of three words
> (e.g. what.the.fuck).
> It's a nifty idea, and they're pitching it as a solution for developing
> countries where many settlements don't have well-defined addresses.
> Unfortunately, it's a closed platform: instead of publishing the mechanism
> so that it can be widely adopted, all conversion to and from w3w must
> happen via their API. While they are offering some NGO pricing, this leaves
> me concerned that development organisations might actually adopt this and
> produce datasets with copyrighted location names in it. Basically, it's Dun
> & Bradstreet D-U-N-S for places [2], and it will create a licensing
> disaster if left untreated.
> Since the idea is good, though, and there is not yet an "installed base", I
> would like to propose we pre-empt this disaster by creating an openly
> licensed clone of the mechanism. (I also hope this might exert enough
> pressure on them to reconsider their approach). Unfortunately, I don't know
> very much about GIS and geospatial reference systems, so this is a call for
> help:
> ## Who can help come up with a word-based geospatial grid system?
> A lot of the necessary components seem to be available in places: making
> word lists of 3-5 character words should be easy, and there's already some
> existing grid systems like MGRS [3] - and making an API to wrap this once
> an implementation of the core mechanism is there shouldn't be too hard,
> either [4].
> Who could help this? Post your ideas at
> https://github.com/pudo/open3words/issues :)
> Cheers,
> - Friedrich
> [1] http://what3words.com/
> [2] https://twitter.com/pudo/status/598884980182413312
> [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_grid_reference_system
> [4] http://developer.what3words.com/api/
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