[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

stef s at ctrlc.hu
Wed Jun 22 09:36:57 UTC 2016

in the subject you mention what3words, but i gather this is a completely
separate project? again, just as with what3words, the question, why reinvent
the wheel? why not use the maidenhead locator system?

On Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 07:24:20PM -0400, Tom Morris wrote:
> Apparently Google has decided that Open Location Code is mature enough to
> promote now because I got the attached on one of the other lists that I
> subscribe to:
> My name is Doug Rinckes and I work for Google in the Zurich office. We have
> a project that we want to tell you about, firstly because it might benefit
> some of you, and also because you and your groups can help it be successful.
> I've added the road network of some cities
> <https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Al+Junaynah,+Sudan/@13.4469466,22.4389738,13524m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x1133300d1d348fbb:0x824617b06d74f03a!8m2!3d13.447898!4d22.4649083?hl=en>
> to
> Google Maps, but I couldn't add in the street names, but I hoped eventually
> someone else would. Then I learnt that in many countries, it's normal for
> streets to be unnamed. This might not be news to you, but it certainly is
> news in Switzerland!
> A group of us in the Zurich office started thinking about this. We found
> that the World Bank believe that half of the roads in cities worldwide
> don't have names. We found that mapping and naming projects can be very
> expensive. We thought about what would be difficult if we didn't have
> street addresses and decided to try to do something about this problem.
> We decided that any idea we had, would be open sourced, it would to be free
> to use, work offline, and not depend on the city or town being mapped. It
> must work in Zurich
> <https://www.google.ch/maps/@47.3645065,8.5249763,833m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en>,
> and also places like Sennar
> <https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Sennar,+Sudan/@13.5381179,33.6023175,5698m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x16f58fb64d155429:0x6e7433e8c7f47d3f!8m2!3d13.0317108!4d33.9750018?>
> in
> Sudan or Al Zaatri
> <https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Al+Zaatri/@32.2978155,36.321236,1469m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x151ba3169c784927:0x4659e77940a5da45!8m2!3d32.3035094!4d36.3222082?>
> camp
> in Jordan.
> The solution we came up with encodes a location into a reference like
> 8G4R78RJ+R4. This represents a latitude and longitude, and can be created
> and decoded with a simple library. But we want the codes to be easy to
> remember and use, and this is too long. But if we combine it with the town
> or city name, we can shorten it and get addresses like "78RJ+R4 Al-Mafraq
> <https://www.google.ch/maps/search/78RJ%2BR4%20Al-Mafraq>", or "GJJC+FH
> Sennar <https://www.google.ch/maps/search/GJJC%2BFH%20Sennar>".
> We called our project Open Location Code. I've been working with the postal
> services in Cape Verde and spent time there earlier this year, to talk to
> people and see what they thought about the idea. The strongest reaction was
> from a small business owner who delivers food - "this will make me money!"
> he said to me. (He also told me that I will never pay for pizza in Cape
> Verde, but unfortunately he doesn't deliver to Switzerland. :-)
> In addition to Cape Verde, we've been making contacts with postal services
> and governments in a number of countries, and there seems to be a lot of
> interest.
> If businesses publish their address on Facebook, people might be able to
> find them more easily. If they can add an address finder to their web site,
> their customers can discover their address and get their deliveries faster.
> If people can discover an address for their home, they may be able to get
> post or packages delivered. If people can give an address to utilities,
> they may be able to do installations and fix problems faster. If the post
> office supports these addresses, they could deliver the mail directly to
> people's homes.
> And this is where I need your help. People need ways to find out their
> addresses and know where they can use them. Businesses need to add their
> address to their website or facebook page so that people can find them, and
> they need to know what to do when someone gives them an Open Location Code
> address. Delivery companies need to know how to deliver packages with these
> addresses, and their delivery workers need devices or maps showing them
> where to take stuff. We can add features to our products and make software
> available, but if it's not supported by businesses, nobody will see the
> advantages.
> We're really interested in your feedback. So find out your Open Location
> Code <https://plus.codes/>, try searching for it in Google Maps, and think
> about who in your city or country could use accurate addresses, and how you
> could help them. And let us know what you think!
> Resources:
>    - Read about it on the Open Location Code site
>    <http://openlocationcode.com/>
>    - Discover your address with the plus.codes demonstration site
>    <https://plus.codes/>
>    - Discuss in the public discussion group
>    <https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/open-location-code>
>    - Download source code and an example android app
>    <https://github.com/google/open-location-code>
>    - Look at examples for web developers
>    <https://jsfiddle.net/user/openlocationcode/fiddles/>
> Thanks for your consideration,
> Doug Rinckes
> Technical Program Manager
> Google Switzerland
> On Sun, May 31, 2015 at 6:48 PM, todd.d.robbins at gmail.com <
> todd.d.robbins at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I just came upon this useful comparison essay
> > <https://github.com/google/open-location-code/blob/master/docs/comparison.adoc> from
> > the Google-sponsored Open Location Code <http://openlocationcode.com/>
> > project's repo.
> >
> > Anyhow, it's exciting to see all of these approaches moving forward.
> >
> > –Tod
> >
> > --
> > Tod Robbins
> > Digital Asset Manager, MLIS
> > todrobbins.com | @todrobbins <http://www.twitter.com/#!/todrobbins>
> >

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

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