Digital Geography

new word-based coordinate system

A few days ago I saw an announcement about what3words, a new startup which claims to have invented the simplest way to communicate a location. This statement forced me to have a closer look into their new coordinate system, because to communicate a location systematically with words isn’t easy. In order to organize venues or other meeting places, we’re often talking about locations and geographic places. A popular way is it to announce street corners to define meant places.

projections, ellipsoids/spheroids, coordinate systems, datum and all this crazy cartographic stuff.

We will go straight to the main part of the problem:how to communicate, where you are. Sometimes it is as easy as “one, two, three” but most likely it is as you are talking in another language compared to your listener. Let us assume you say something like “I am in the mall 500m northwest of the church”. Well there is plenty of information in it. More after the break!