[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon May 18 08:23:26 UTC 2015

Just wanted to +1 this - I almost feel these points (generalized) could be
a useful post and warning to ourselves about "techie cockiness" (and
forgetting users).

On 17 May 2015 at 13:27, Friedrich Lindenberg <friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
> wrote:

> 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> wrote:
>> 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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