What3Words: Three Words that could SAVE your Life

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What is What3Words?

What3words is a proprietary geocode system designed to identify any location on the surface of Earth with a resolution of about 3 meters. It is owned by What3words Limited, based in London, England. The system encodes geographic coordinates into three permanently fixed dictionary words (Wikipedia).

What3Words allows Emergency Communications Officers (911 dispatchers) to pinpoint your location, down to 3 meter blocks, which can be incredibly more accurate than other ways of determining locations in an emergency. The only requirement for What3Words is simply downloading the app before you need it. In an emergency, oftentimes callers can be located off the grid, without the cell service needed to get a good location. With What3Words, you can access this location information, even without cell service, helping to jump over that barrier of an inaccurate location. The most important thing is to ensure that it is installed before you need it.

What3Words 2019©

Pictured above is a view of how What3Words actually works. With the world divided up into small 3 meter squares, the location accuracy is incredibly more accurate. What3Words is just part of a nationwide effort to move 911 Centers to NG911, an initiative to improve the technology in PSAPs (911 centers) across the United States. Part of this initiative is better mapping and location tools to pinpoint caller’s locations with better precision and accuracy.

To use What3Words, download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your smartphone. Then, in the case of an emergency if you can’t be found off your location, use the What3Words app and provide the three words to the dispatcher, and let them know that it is your What3Words location.

For any further questions about What3Words, visit their website at https://what3words.com/products/what3words-app.

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