London introduces “what3words”: a new mobile mapping app
London startup What3words is the solution to the erratic traditional addresses all over the world.
“It’s user-friendly GPS. Everybody’s got a story of where location has not been good enough,” said Giles Jones, chief marketing officer of the company.
CEO Chris Sheldrick, thought of the idea as he often grew frustrated at poor addressing when he needed to drop off materials at a convention center.
The app can help a user mark out the specific place and tap on a virtual square to conjure up a random (three-word) phrase fixed to that location. The app also allows users to open up the addresses in another mapping provider, such as Google Maps or Apple Maps, which can direct them to the location.
In Mongolia, What3words has become an official addressing system which means that the company’s three-word phrases are now used by the Mongolian postal services, banks, public vehicles, and even restaurants.
The app can still work offline, making it possible for first responders to deploy in remote locations without an internet connection.
What3words is free for the general public. The company plans to profit by licensing its code to businesses that want to integrate it with their systems.