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Thread: Never get lost again - what3words

  1. #11
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I just wish it would catch on quicker.
    This is why I am amazed that I am just reading about it now and sharing the info. It sounds like an awesome app to have on one's phone. That young woman who died after getting lost snowshoeing on a trail in BC is an avoidable tragedy.
    TMS had some good questions as well.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  2. #12
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    The ironic thing is, this app, does what GPS does. Some will say, no, it does finer detail, but they don't realize how GPS works. What us civilians use is intentionally scrambled to a lower standard, while the military's wouldn't need this app.
    My late uncle was a surveyor that used GPS, and was given access to military grade when doing work for the government, and the oil industry.

  3. #13
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Off topic - I wish I knew why I am getting two identical posts lately. The 'submit' starts and stops. I just switched to a new provider for my internet which had become so slow and a problem. I had to update all my devices to the new wifi broadcast and all my accounts since my phone number changed as well.

    Yes, I did clear my cache including cookies and lost some of my passwords including to SLF. Yes, I have a password keeper but it seems that Google save and autofill is causing some problems as well. I don't think that the SLF are the problem. My apologies for the double posts. Grrrr.

    Meanwhile back to the thread...
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  4. #14
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    The ironic thing is, this app, does what GPS does. Some will say, no, it does finer detail, but they don't realize how GPS works. What us civilians use is intentionally scrambled to a lower standard, while the military's wouldn't need this app.
    It's great that GPS gets far more granular than what us mere mortals may use. But if we are not allowed to use the really good version, one can contend it (sort of) doesn't exist. W3W is publicly available to anyone who wants to use it, without permission beyond accepting an end user agreement.

    In addition, W3W provides much the same function that Domain Name Service provides on the Internet -- it gives places a name that's far easier to remember. It's easier to search for, find, and type simplelivingforum.net instead of 104.192.220.109. It's easier to ask someone to meet you at jumping.reinstated.jaunts than it is to ask them to go to 44.854218, -93.239078 (Gate C of the mass transit station at the Mall of America); humans just are not good at tracking so many digits accurately.

    So I think there's value in What3Words given the alternatives.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #15
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    We use it in the field for most often for locating other search team members in the field. Sight lines are quite limited in the forest/mountain area here, we communicate by radio, and the radio signal is often a bit sketchy, depending on your location, where the repeaters are, tree cover, and so on. As a result, reading out detailed GPS coordinates is subject to error - the long strings of numbers are likely to be misheard, or have some of the information dropped out. What3Words are pretty identifiable and robust words, and if you repeat the phrase 2-3 times, the message tends to get through, or is immediately found to be incorrect.

    It's also very handy to tell people where to meet up when you are scattered about.

    Also, search victims are often not up to the task of relaying their GPS coordinates from their phone if they have them, for a variety of reasons. Several times we have coached them through the process of downloading the What3Words apps (if they are lucky enough to have cell data coverage here), and then things proceed much smoother. This is just a low-probability use of the tool though, as victims often don't have any communications channel available, nor a data connection.

    We did have a lady 2 years ago manage to send us several photos of terrain features she could see, from her phone, and we were able to get her position with deductions from that, which was cool.

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