What3words: The app that can save your life

What3words is a location-based service app, which uses three simple words to provide a very specific location. What3words essentially points to a specific location on the earth. The developers of What3words divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m and each having a unique, randomly assigned a three-word address. 

Here are a few examples of the three words assigned to some famous key points in South Africa and other parts of the World: 

Union Building Gardens in Tshwane – embers.wheels.lasted
FNB Stadium/Soccer City – exhale.snitch.sobered
120 Plein Street, Cape Town – grievance.headboards.condensed
10 Downing Street – slurs.this.shark
White House – freshen.zones.glow

The App is so useful and handy that police in the UK have urged everyone to download the smartphone app they say has already saved several lives.

According to the website’s About Us section, “Our vision is to become a global standard for communicating location. People use what3words to find their tents at festivals, navigate to B&Bs, and to direct emergency services to the right place.”

So next time you want to tell someone your exact spot instead of the more complex longitude and latitude numbers, maybe send them 3Words, it will point them to your exact and specific location. 

There are a number of translations of the What3words service, and soon we might have a Sepedi translation too when that happens and you try to find me the three words you will get will be – ke.ko.gae or etla.ko.jackbhuda. 

Try it out and let me know what you think, I am on Twitter at @thabomogaswa or @mzansiurban.

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