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Find yourself anywhere in the world with just 3 words

Who can even remember addresses anymore? Trying to navigate with street numbers and names can be difficult, especially in a big urban area. Was that 1847 48th Street? Or was it 1848 47th Street? Or was it West 48th Street? Or was it 47th Avenue?Some cities make it even worse by adding to street names with suffixes like “Northeast” or “Northwest.” And then there are cities like Atlanta, which has 71 streets with “Peachtree” in the name, along with compass directions and indicators like “Drive” or “Street” or “Place.”Not only can you have directions like “Peachtree and Peachtree,” you can also find yourself standing at the wrong corner of Peachtree and Peachtree, which is mildly infuriating. Three little words are going to take the navigation pain away.

Hip to be square

What 3 Words is a mapping startup that’s trying to put numbers, names, and Peachtrees in the history books. Initially designed for cities in Africa and India that don’t have street names, What 3 Words breaks the entire planet up in a series of 3-meter by 3-meter (roughly 10-feet by 10-feet) grids. Each square gets its own three-word identifier and every square in the world is unique, and they do mean every single square.

Meet me at where now?

If you want to find Big Ben, you’re looking for “clean.wider.both.” Trying to find your way to Babalu Tapas and Tacos in Midtown Atlanta? It’s just on the corner of West Peachtree Street Northwest and Peachtree Place Northeast! Save your sanity and remember “same.domestic.complains,” though not as much as I complain about driving in Atlanta. You can type in a restaurant or even a street address and get a handy three word phrase to remember.

Pizza for the man at potato.potato.potato

Businesses are catching on, too. The system was originally designed for helping out where addresses are vague. Even if you live at “The apartment upstairs and on the right from the convenience store just past the feed store,” sometimes you just want a pizza. Domino’s is working on using the system on the island of Saint Martin to get their tasty pies to hungry islanders.

Travel with three little words

It’s not just food delivery! Travelers trying to get around Mongolia can use What3Words’ technology to find their way to the next yurt, while devout Muslims are using it to perform their pilgrimage to Mecca and navigate in the desert. If you’re an upscale driver on the go, Mercedes is building it into their voice navigation system. Computer, take me to “shuttled.mutually.foxes,” I’ve got some alligators I want to see! Even the Tuvalu post office is getting in on it, using What3Words to deliver packages and parcels in areas where directions are vague.


And while the vast and shapeless sea may overwhelm a landlubber, even the rolling swells of the Pacific are marked off with their own three-word navigation system. is using What3Words to help sailors find ports, harbors, waterfront communities, and even navigation hazards. I suggest wary sailors staying away from “freeing.tinges.objection,” however — it seems like you might run into a few pirates.

Label those photos

Maybe you like taking great pictures outdoors, but they all tend to blend together after a while. Where was that scenic cliff face with the waves crashing down on the beach? California or Oregon? All trees kind of look the same after a while, don’t they? The 3WordPhoto app will add the three-word address tag so you know where you took it and, most importantly, how to get back there and show everyone it wasn’t Photoshopped.

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