[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

stef s at ctrlc.hu
Wed Jun 22 14:14:20 UTC 2016

On Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 04:00:37PM +0200, Ingmar Schlecht wrote:
> Hi Stef,
> their code website (http://openlocationcode.com/) lists a few advantages of
> https://plus.codes/ when compared to e.g. Maidenhead. The one that first
> strikes me is not to use characters that can easily be confused, i.e. no O
> vs. 0 things.
> Quoting from the website:
> "*Why didn't you just use X?*
> The first thing we did was to work out what attributes of addresses were
> useful. Once we had that list, we looked at a lot of existing location
> coding methods to see how well they matched our list. Once we'd done that,
> we decided that it was worth to at least define a new one, and then see if
> it was well received.
> The other methods were mostly designed with different ideas in mind, and so
> this isn't a criticism of them.
> *What makes Open Location Codes different?*
>  * The codes aren't case sensitive and don't include easily confused
>    characters. We've selected the characters to make it difficult to
>    impossible to spell words in any language.
>  * Codes are generated from latitude and longitude, so they already
>    exist for everywhere. Nobody has to set them up or pay for them.
>    Each place has only one code.
>  * Codes that are similar are located closer together than codes that
>    are different.
>  * Open Location Codes represent an area, not a point.
>  * The size of the area depends on the length of the code. Long codes
>    are more accurate than short codes.
>  * Dropping characters from the end of a code gives you a larger area
>    that contained the original code.
>  * Codes are 10 or 11 characters long (8FMGP9FW+6M), but if you're in
>    the local area (within 50km), the leading four characters of the
>    code can be omitted (P9FW+6M) making the codes even shorter.
>  * The short code can be used together with a place name (like P9FW+6M
>    Pisa, Italy)."

now this sounds a lot like maidenhead, but with a different charset, which is
not a bad idea. but then, for maximum unambiguity the nato phonetic alphabet
should be used, and makes all this a moot point.

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

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