[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

stef s at ctrlc.hu
Mon May 18 11:29:30 UTC 2015

On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 11:04:20AM +0200, stef wrote:
> On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 09:23:26AM +0100, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> > 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).

just to make it clear i'm not against the blogpost or the +1, i'm only against
the mixing maidenhead locators into this topic. i agree 8 digit floating
tuples are less preferable than the 10 letter (at 25x25m resolution) of the
maidenhead system. i would even expand the scope of the mailinglist also to
the NIH syndrome that seems to pop-up here.

also i would emphasize, that any system that is not possible to invert without
using any kind of digital technology, is opposite to the value we all (i hope)
share openness, and is simple profiteering and exploitation of those suffering
already from information asymmetry.

> > On 17 May 2015 at 13:27, Friedrich Lindenberg <friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
> > > wrote:
> > > 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.
> just to repeat and dispell misinformation/ignorance: maidenhead has an
> infinite resolution, depending on how many digits you release, the example i
> gave has actually a 25x25m resolution.  here's my stab at the OKFN office QTH
> locator: JO02BF86ML

to make it clear what the benefits of the maidenhead system are

 - if you leave out digits/letters from the right, you decrease granularity,
   and can protect privacy, like stating you come from "JO" which includes the
   UK and Ireland.

 - if you however are in the situation, where your horizon is much smaller,
   say you have a chance of traveling to the neighboor village once in your
   life, then you can omit the leading digits/letters, when they're all in the
   same quadrant, at a 25x25 resolution you, might say, that from the okfn
   offices at (96ET) you go over to the neighbour village to have a swim at
   (96KX) where both addresses share the same prefix: JO02BF

 - you can increase granularity by dividing the smallest quadrants further.

as a last contribution to this thread:
as a way to encode digits as words. however discussions showed, that in an
international multilingual context, especially over voice channels the NATO
phonetic alphabet is the most resilient and widely adaptable system:

otr fp: https://www.ctrlc.hu/~stef/otr.txt

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