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Three little words

September 2nd, 2017 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Technology · No Comments · Life, Technology

I am finding the website what3words.com endlesslessly fascinating, especially the map part of it.

Basically it is a concept for a geolocation system. The whole world is overlaid with a grid of 3-metre squares and each square has a unique name made up from a combination of three randomly-assigned words. The idea is to have a uique identifier for any place so that even somebody in a favela without officially recognised or designated streets can have an address. It is also supposed to be easier to remember and communicate than map grid references.

It doea mean that every place in the world has a name that sounds like a Fall album – and, yes, I did search for “imperial.wax.solvent” but obviously not all those words are in its dictionary of 40,000ish words. I am guessing it maybe only has words that are four letters or longer.

So, for example, drift.stiff.guitar is a location at the end of Brighton pier, rival.global.awakening is in Pease Pottage services on the M23 and gravy.dash.patch is in the middle of the pitch at the Broadfield stadium.

I keep looking around to see if I can find places with particularly apt addresses, or just really good ones. The council chamber in Crawley Town Hall has counts.hosts.dozed for example, but so far I haven’t found anything really special.

Another approach is to take a three-word phrase and see where that is, if it exists. I have found public.image.limited in the Eldorado forest in California, living.after.midnight in the middle of nowhere in South Australia and young.marble.giants in Alaska.

Because most houses are more than three metres square, any given building will have more than one address, so you could look through the ones that cover you and choose your favourite. My old house in London could be chill.switch.watch or grin.spring.head or flash.hedge.pumps or several others. If I still lived there I would have gone for rotate.crops.reform I think.

I don’t know if the idea will take off. If it does it opens up the possibility that a house with a really cool three-word code could attract a small price premium, like a particularly good car number plate.

Having recently snapped up all the Age of Empires games and the Zeus/Atlantis games via Steam, the last thing I need is yet another way to waste an hour without realising it, so I have to resist the temptation to keep browsing the maps, although that is going to be hard now that I have found a house in Massachusetts with the address shiny.happy.people in its garden.

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