What3words: Revolutionising location-based services for businesses

Gerry White
October 3, 2023

3 min read

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What3words: Revolutionising location-based services for businesses
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In today's digital age, location-based services have become an integral part of our daily lives. From finding directions to discovering new businesses, the accuracy and ease of locating places are crucial. One innovative solution that has taken the world by storm is What3words. This revolutionary system has simplified the way we communicate locations and offers tremendous benefits for businesses. In this article, we will explore what What3words is, its history, and how it can help people find your business.

What is What3words?

What3words is a geocoding system that divides the entire world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigns each square a unique combination of three words. This system effectively converts complex GPS coordinates into a simple and easily memorable three-word address. For example, the iconic statue of liberty in New York is located at "ladybug.shiny.sparkle."

The system was developed by Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam, and Michael Dent. It aims to provide a precise and user-friendly way to communicate locations, especially in areas with poorly defined or non-existent addressing systems.

I personally quite enjoy that the Mirador Office in Leeds is Bucked Sushi Milk

The history of What3words

What3words was founded in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, who was inspired to create the system after working in the music industry, where precise location coordination for events and equipment proved to be a constant challenge. The idea for What3words arose from this frustration, and the company was officially launched in 2013.

Since then, What3words has gained widespread recognition and support from various organizations, businesses, and governments around the world. It has been adopted by emergency services, travel and navigation apps, logistics companies, and even humanitarian organizations to improve disaster response efforts.

How does What3words work?

What3words operates on a simple yet powerful principle. It divides the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares, covering every inch of the Earth's surface. Each of these squares is assigned a unique combination of three words, creating a vast and precise addressing system.

To find the three-word address for a specific location, users can use the What3words app or website. The app provides the three-word address for any point on the map and also allows users to save and share locations easily. Businesses can also integrate the What3words API into their websites and applications, enabling customers to find their locations with three-word addresses.

How What3words can help businesses

  1. Improved Location Accuracy: What3words provides a more accurate way to pinpoint locations, making it easier for customers to find a business, especially in areas with confusing addresses or remote locations.
  2. Enhanced Customer Experience: Businesses can integrate What3words into their contact information, making it simpler for customers to locate them. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction and repeat business.
  3. Global Reach: What3words works worldwide, making it valuable for businesses that operate internationally or have customers from different parts of the world.
  4. Marketing and Promotion: Businesses can use their three-word addresses in marketing materials, social media, and websites, creating a unique and memorable way for customers to connect with them.

How to link to What3words from your local page

Integrating What3words into your business's local page is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Obtain Your Three-Word Address: Visit the What3words website or use the app to find the three-word address for your business's location.
  2. Update Your Local Page: Log in to your business's website or local listing page. Navigate to the contact information section.
  3. Add the Three-Word Address: In the address field, include your three-word address along with your traditional address. For example, "123 Main Street, City, Country, | three.word.address."
  4. Provide Instructions: Consider adding a brief note explaining what the three-word address is and how customers can use it to find your location.
  5. Save Changes: Ensure that you save the changes to your local page so that the three-word address is visible to customers.

What3words is a revolutionary geocoding system that simplifies location communication and offers significant advantages to businesses. Its innovative approach to addressing makes it easier for customers to find your business accurately and conveniently. By integrating your three-word address into your local page and marketing materials, you can enhance your online presence and improve customer engagement. As What3words continues to gain traction worldwide, it's a valuable tool for businesses looking to enhance their location-based services and customer satisfaction.