What3words (with whom I have no
connection) is potentially such an important safety aid, I have decided to
include a page to explain briefly what it is.
Described by the BBC as "the app that can save your
life", this app has the entire globe divided into 3m (10 ft) squares. Each
square has been given a unique series of three words which will never
change. The particular square you are in is identified via the app in
conjunction with GPS information. It provides a very precise way of locating exactly where you are and
is recognised by the emergency services and Mountain Rescue.
In an emergency situation, being able to give three words
over your mobile phone is much simpler and more certain than giving an
Ordnance Survey reference, when a mistyping, misreading or "mishearing" of
only one number can invalidate the information.
For example, the OS reference for the trig point on
Helvellyn is NY 34170 15159. In practical terms, this would be shortened to
NY 342 152, or would be if you round up the numbers, always assuming you have read
your map or GPS receiver correctly in the gale/driving rain! If somehow in
the panic this
was wrongly sent/received/typed as NY 342 252, rescuers could be looking for you
somewhere east of Threlkeld!
This picture has the what3words grid overlaid on the Google
satellite view of the cross shaped shelter on the top of Helvellyn.
As you can see, each of the 4
sections of the shelter actually has its own unique three word sequence
which is accurate enough for anyone. The words make no logical sense in
relation to each other but are allocated at random. Similar sounding words
are not associated together.
For all the details about
what3words and to get the app for your phone, see their website what3words.com
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.