“What three words”

Anyone looked into using what three words with GTM?

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Interesting concept. The issue I see with GTM is that you would have to be on-grid to use it to look up a location - or that’s what it looks like.

I’m not entirely sure of the point here though, I assume the idea is to be able to share your location in a message using the “three words”, but I don’t see how that’s more beneficial to someone than latitude and longitude coordinates. Since your phone can get geo coords without an internet connection I would say that’s the more useful of the two. With something as simple as HERE Maps or something that lets you download maps for offline access you’d be able to plug in coordinates to see a friend’s Location on a map. I’m just not seeing how the alternative coordinate system that is what3words is of any use. I suspect that’s why it never caught on.

I can see the point of this. At my age it’s easier to remember three words to a point then it is to remember the numerical coordinates to within the same accuracy.

Yes, and that’s the catch as far as needing to be online to apply three words and look up the same. Can’t do that offline, at least at first blush. Perhaps there’s something about this that’s not obvious?

From this post linked below it appears w3w can be made to work offline as well. Apparently according to w3w their “addressing” system is being used in some European countries to assist emergency responders find locations. And in less developed areas of the world for general addressing. Which is where I was thinking these two technologies may share operational space. I agree easier to remember or communicate 3 words than lat Lon particularly if / when location data needs to jump off a digital communications network.


May be a bit out there but offered as food for thought to the GTM dev folks.

I suppose I can get the use if communicating offline, but if you’re using GTM to communicate then you’re not entirely offline, just not on the internet. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with w3w I’m just saying I don’t see where GoTenna development people should do something with it. The software is essentially instant messaging software, it’s not navigation and mapping software, so I don’t see what we’re wanting to implement. Again though, I’m not opposed to implementing something, I just don’t understand what we’re suggesting implementing.

My understanding was that GTM at least the commercial side targets mil and first responders. Again I thought there could be a synergy assuming the target customers are utilizing both technologies.

From the responses I am getting here I am off base and will drop the subject. Thanks.

Probably more a focus for the goTenna Pro X. There it may very well be something to pursue as it could help with various interpretations of the graphical output available there.

That said, if there is a neat way to package w3w for offline use on the GTM, I’d think that would be valuable. Whenever I look at a Lat/Lon coordinate, my eyes glaze over past the decimal point and I just need to write it down. w3w could help me there.

Completely agree!! :slight_smile:

w3w is certainly compact enough as a coordinate that the GTM ecosystem can deal with it and exchange in the available bandwidth. The issue will be finding and issuing w3w coordinates off line.

Have a look here. Code is available for w3w to be offline.


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Google has a system like this too. Kind of a way to convert a lat/log into letters and numbers that are shorter, but not necessarily easier to remember. Useful for communicating a location without address using between 4 and 11 characters, depending on needed level of precision.

They discuss pros and cons of their system on their Wiki page. https://github.com/google/open-location-code/wiki/Evaluation-of-Location-Encoding-Systems#an-evaluation-of-location-encoding-systems

I agree the ability for What3Words to be downloaded in an offline mobile app is a plus, and not relying on a Google geocoding service might be a benefit to some users too.