What 3 Words integration

Every time one of our volunteers offers a suggestion, we consider it and try to improve our system with all your input.

A few days ago, Michael Foater from Michigan, a very active volunteer who is also involved with Search and Rescue, took the time to explain to us the benefits of using What 3 Words in our system. We exchanged quite a few emails back and forth. Later, I spent some time implementing his suggestion. Thank you, Michael!

So we are thrilled to announce, that we now have the ability to capture the “what 3 words” code generated by W3W to find the location of a recovery. Our system has a new feature that allows requesters to provide the code while administrators have the ability to convert the 3 words back into a GPS coordinate in order to find nearby volunteers.

What 3 Words W3W
Image from what3words.com

For those unfamiliar with What 3 Words

W3W is a geocoding system that divides the entire world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigns each square a unique combination of three words. This innovative approach to location mapping offers several benefits to people:

  1. Precise Location Identification: “What 3 words” provides a highly precise way to identify locations. This can be especially valuable in rural areas, developing countries, or places with non-standard addressing systems. For example, it can help emergency services find remote or off-grid locations quickly.
  2. Simplified Addressing: “What 3 words” simplifies addressing, making it easy to communicate precise locations through just three words. This is particularly useful in situations where traditional street addresses or GPS coordinates may be complicated or non-existent, such as music festivals, hiking trails, or large parks.
  3. Global Accessibility: “What 3 words” covers the entire globe, making it accessible and useful in almost any location, regardless of local infrastructure or addressing conventions.
  4. Multilingual Support: The What3words system is available in multiple languages, making it user-friendly for a global audience and accommodating non-English speakers.
  5. Disaster Response and Humanitarian Aid: “What 3 words” has been used in disaster response and humanitarian aid efforts. It allows for the quick and accurate location of people in need, which can be critical during natural disasters or in refugee camps.
  6. Travel and Tourism: Travelers can use “What 3 words” to pinpoint specific destinations, share meeting points, or find hidden gems in unfamiliar locations.
  7. E-commerce and Deliveries: E-commerce companies and delivery services can use “What 3 words” to ensure accurate and timely deliveries to both urban and remote areas.
  8. Adventure and Outdoor Activities: Outdoor enthusiasts can use “What 3 words” to share precise locations for meeting points or to locate specific spots for hiking, camping, or geocaching.
  9. Accessibility: What3words can be a valuable tool for people with disabilities, helping them convey their exact locations to transportation services, emergency responders, or caregivers.
  10. Business Efficiency: Companies can utilize “What 3 words” to optimize logistics, plan events, and manage assets more efficiently by accurately identifying locations.

In summary, What3words provides a user-friendly, universally applicable, and highly accurate geocoding system that can benefit individuals, businesses, emergency services, and humanitarian organizations in various ways, improving location accuracy and communication globally.

Many governmental agencies now use What 3 Words, and have trained their employees and members in the use of this system, including Search & Rescue. We are happy to finally complete the integration of this new system with ours. Expanding the options for those seeking help.

For our volunteers

On the other side, in our lobby, where volunteers gather to coordinate and share notes about the recovery, we now have a new button that allows users to open W3W website using the recovery’s location.

Quick Update

What 3 Words, reached out to us, and we met over Zoom with Khongorzul Otgonbayar, Partnerships Lead for What3Words.com, where she walked us through a few more options to implement in our system. They were pleased with our implementation so far, and we will work closely with W3W to improve our system. Thank you Khongorzul.

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