[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

willi uebelherr willi.uebelherr at gmail.com
Sun May 17 14:24:57 UTC 2015

Am 17-May-15 um 09:27 schrieb Friedrich Lindenberg:
> 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

Dear Friedrich,

you misinterpret this discussion. All writers agree with a method of 
textual description. And for all is clear, that we map this to the 
lat/lon coordinates in the computer, that we can use this text. Only 
this transformation we need.

But also the most writers agree, that the textual description of a 
geographical position have to follow our logic. This means, that the 
different points in a neighborhood have to have this relation in the 
word sequence. In the "what3words" mapping system the geographical 
relations are lost. It is a stochastic distribution, based on an 
internal mathematical algorithms.

Therefore, for us it is a step to "solve a social problem". And the 
technical methods and algorithms are only intruments for us to do that. 
"what3words" want to make a buisness and only use real existing demands 
for her private interests. And this is very different.

many greetings, willi
Hostal Arveal, Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina

More information about the okfn-labs mailing list