[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
Sun May 17 12:27:57 UTC 2015

You guys are right in saying that there isn't anything it does on a
technical level that GPS coordinates don't. But the same is true of pretty
much any social networking service vis a vis email. They still get used,
because they solve a social problem.

Words are easier to remember than GPS coordinates, so people can remember
their new address, and they can write it on a box and ship it. If you're in
a city in Ghana (which, I understand, has flaky street naming), the 750m
resolution of Maidenhead just won't cut it.

I would warn us from adopting the kind of techie cockiness on this which
assume that a tuple of 8-digit floating point numbers is a solution to that
problem, because we have Google Maps.

- Friedrich

On Sun, May 17, 2015 at 1:22 AM, willi uebelherr <willi.uebelherr at gmail.com>

> Dear Trio,
> i agree absolutly with your intention and how you describe the reality.
> But many of that, what you explain, we can't change it with the address
> maping in a computer.
> The first is, that all people in the world have a free and unlimited
> access to the technical systems for communication. Then, and only then,
> they can communicate with us. And we with them. This is the immaterial
> transport system. It is easier to build.
> The material transport system is more complicated. But, of course, also
> very important.
> All people have an address. Never we live in a virtual environment. The
> textual descripton helps us, to find the coordinate in the geodetic system.
> As the WC84 (GPS, OpenStreetmap, Gmap) or similar.
> I think, in the textual description we should use and see the geographical
> relations. This helps us for an easier orientation.
> many greetings, willi
> Cordoba, Argentina
> Am 16-May-15 um 19:57 schrieb trio:
>> ...
>> Why is it important?
>> Around 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent,
>> complicated or inadequate addressing systems.
>> This means that around 4 billion people are invisible; unable to
>> report crime; unable to get deliveries or receive aid; and unable to
>> exercise many of their rights as citizens because they simply have no
>> way to communicate where they live.
>> For example, it means that in remote locations water facilities can’t
>> be found, monitored and fixed; and schools, refugee camps and informal
>> settlements remain unaddressed.
>> Even in countries with advanced address systems, people get lost,
>> packages aren’t delivered, and businesses and tourist attractions
>> don’t get found.
>> Poor addressing might seem no more than annoying in some countries,
>> but around the world it hampers the growth and development of nations,
>> ultimately costing lives.
>> We want to give everyone in the world the ability to talk about a
>> precise location as easily as possible.
>> Everyone and everywhere now has an address.
>> -=-=-
>>     Perhaps i've just been attracted to their propaganda that makes it
>> sound like they could "save lives"? I first thought it made sense, but
>> your arguments against it are persuading me to the opposite
>> conclusion.
>>     If one lives in a place where they don't have a serious address,
>> are they going to have enough infrastructure to say "please send my
>> solar panel to up.creek.paddle" instead of "... to the cabin up the
>> hill from the place where the river turns northward, after the big
>> waterfall"? Do i need a precise location under those circumstances?
>> Will an ambulance come to ran.off.road more easily than GPS
>> coordinates where someone found a broken down automobile?
>>     I think i first was tempted by the project because it seems so
>> easily copied by an Open system. But, if it's not worth doing... thank
>> you for saving us the trouble of building it. :)
>>  _______________________________________________
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