October 29, 2015 — what3words announced today that it will be providing its innovative 3 word address and location reference system to the ArcGIS platform. what3words is an Emerging Business Partner in the Esri Startup Program, a three-year program designed to empower small companies to solve big problems with the use of geospatial technology.
A simple address
what3words is an addressing and location reference system based on a global grid of 57 trillion squares of 3mx3m; each square has a unique pre-assigned 3 word address.
For example, crayon.giants.liking is a perfect spot in the Grand Canyon to take a picture of the Kaibab Suspension Bridge across the Colorado River.
Poor addressing is frustrating & costly in developed countries, and it hampers the growth and development of many nations around the world. Street addressing is irregular and incomplete; finding an address and communicating it to others is still a very imperfect science. Whilst coordinates work well for many GIS professionals, they are error-prone and badly understood by non-GIS users, which prohibits their more widespread use.
Addressing just got easier
“Geographical information is a fundamental business tool. A simple way to communicate location is essential to unleash its full potential for everyone, what3words has solved a major aspect of that, particularly in geographies that are disadvantaged with lack of addressing and place name description data.” said Jack Dangermond, President of Esri. “Addressing has just got easier.”
The simple what3words system is now available as a locator, accessible via the industry-leading ArcGIS platform from Esri.
The locator allows ArcGIS platform users to display the 3 word address for any location or search for a 3 word address, either individually or via batch conversion to and from coordinates. It makes full use of the Esri Geoinformation Model and is accessible online or offline, anywhere in the world.
The what3words locator can be configured at an organization level, whatever the ArcGIS deployment model, so that any roles and users can access it across the entire ArcGIS platform.
Words beat alphanumeric codes
“Using 3 words instead of long sequences of coordinates or complicated alphanumeric codes means that people can identify any location accurately and communicate it more quickly, more easily and with less ambiguity.” Chris Sheldrick, CEO what3words. “Our conversations with Esri partners and users have been overwhelmingly positive and those who have participated in our beta trials are keen to introduce what3words throughout their workflow.”
The what3words system is non-sequential and non-hierarchical to ensure human communication errors are intercepted. The system distributes similar 3 word addresses far apart, often in different countries, to allow manual or automated error detection in real time.
Better addressing for everyone
Better addressing can significantly improve customer experiences for the navigation, logistics, post, utilities, census and data collection sectors where inaccuracies and friction towards coordinates cause erroneous data, incomplete data and ambiguity. Municipalities and governments exchanging geographic data with their citizens will also benefit by introducing a system which can be easily understood by the general population.
The human-friendly nature of 3 word addresses combined with the scale and reach of ArcGIS means not only that everywhere now has a simple address, but that absolutely everyone can use it.
Learn more and access the locator at w3w.co/esri.