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Old 04-18-2017, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to give your location using just three words.

Came across this the other day. It's a simple idea but I think it's kind of genius in its own way.

This is a system for creating an 'address' for every point on the planet. The resolution is a 3m square. Here's an example, not far from me there is an old ruin on the banks of the river Kennet, which has planning permission to be rebuilt into a riverside cafe. It's not on a road, it would be very hard to explain where it is even to people who live in the area. But I can give its location to anyone as: ending.bucked.venue

Another plus is that the addresses often end up being strangely amusing.

The technique is algorithmic, meaning that you do not need an active data connection to determine where an address is or what your current address is (although you do need a gps signal). Sure, you could just give GPS co-ordinates, but it seems much simpler and easier to communicate the three word address. Which would you rather use: 5126'08.2"N 059'50.1"W or tiny.random.colleague (I like that spot, the odd sawtoothed weir is strangely pretty)
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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However ...
"We couldn't find any results for juliet foxtrot charlie"
"We couldn't find any results for pink beaver lick"
"We couldn't find any results for hump trump rump"

All the really fun juvenile words aren't there.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One of the buildings I work in is at: flying.lasted.salsa

flying lasted salsa? hehe

World Trade Center in NY is https://map.what3words.com/maple.oddly.zips

The White House is at https://map.what3words.com/sulk.held.raves

hehe - https://map.what3words.com/congratul...ngernails.desk
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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laughing.out.loud puts you somewhere in the northeast corner of Washington, DC.

I smell shenanigans!
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's actually easy to stump it by entering three random words off the top of my head. stumping it takes me consistently to a Brooklyn hospital.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It's actually easy to stump it by entering three random words off the top of my head. stumping it takes me consistently to a Brooklyn hospital.
Lime.jazz.moonlight is just outside winnipeg manitoba. Here's a google street view of near by.

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Old 04-19-2017, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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AFAICT the words themselves are a rotational scatter plot... well 3 of them actually. basically assign a string of words in a repeating pattern to each block, copy that and rotate it, copy it again and rotate it differently. (or more simply, run it right to left, offset it by 1/3, run it top to bottom, offset it 1/3 again and run it diagonally). looks like the did some custom tweaking of the word pool so that shorter words tend to be in urban areas, probably doing segments in large blocks, and backfilling whatever is left.

it's a neat idea, although I'm not sure I prefer the uniqueness of adjacent addresses over a linear system (where adjacent addresses would be highly similar). there system gains in specificity (and allows tweaking to favor urban areas with smaller words, but loses in navigation (because no single word aids in finding a general area)
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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life.universe.everything is in Oman
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Void View Post
AFAICT the words themselves are a rotational scatter plot... well 3 of them actually. basically assign a string of words in a repeating pattern to each block, copy that and rotate it, copy it again and rotate it differently. (or more simply, run it right to left, offset it by 1/3, run it top to bottom, offset it 1/3 again and run it diagonally). looks like the did some custom tweaking of the word pool so that shorter words tend to be in urban areas, probably doing segments in large blocks, and backfilling whatever is left.

it's a neat idea, although I'm not sure I prefer the uniqueness of adjacent addresses over a linear system (where adjacent addresses would be highly similar). there system gains in specificity (and allows tweaking to favor urban areas with smaller words, but loses in navigation (because no single word aids in finding a general area)
Their introduction video states that similar sounding addresses are intentionally very distant from each other. Presumably on the assumption that you are likely to know at least what country the address is meant to be in. So if you are expecting an address in the US and the address you enter shows up in the Australian outback you will probably confirm the address before making a terrible mistake.

Probably. But... well, you know what people are like.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivanova View Post
life.universe.everything is in Oman
couldn't find:
three.letter.acronym
little.yellow.different
i.love.you
god.bless.america
end.of.days
eat.my.shorts
be.on.time
here.hold.this
pull.my.finger
go.to.hell
what.was.that
happy.new.year

so.very.disappointed
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopsy Pendragon View Post
couldn't find:
three.letter.acronym
little.yellow.different
i.love.you
god.bless.america
end.of.days
eat.my.shorts
be.on.time
here.hold.this
pull.my.finger
go.to.hell
what.was.that
happy.new.year

so.very.disappointed
I don't think it has short words like i, to, was, my, on, what, that.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hmm, Trump Tower is organ.farms.entry

When you go to street view you get this (??)


Last edited by Wanda Belinda; 04-21-2017 at 01:10 PM. Reason: To add picture
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
Their introduction video states that similar sounding addresses are intentionally very distant from each other. Presumably on the assumption that you are likely to know at least what country the address is meant to be in. So if you are expecting an address in the US and the address you enter shows up in the Australian outback you will probably confirm the address before making a terrible mistake.

Probably. But... well, you know what people are like.
yeah that was kinda my point, they trade generalized area identification for uniquness of neighbors... great if you want to avoid confusion when dealing with a local area, horrible if you are trying to navigate to it based on the given information alone. as a replacement for mailing addresses it falls in the latter category because you can't network distribution based on it.
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