Much of the developed world is covered by an addressing system. For instance, our office is located at 5708 West 36th Street, St. Louis Park, Minnesota, 55416, USA and one of our partners is at Building 46, Second Industrial Estate, Houting, Shajing Street, Baoan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, PRC 518104. From these examples, you can see that addresses are complicated. I guess I could always tell folks who want to visit me at the office that they should go to the very memorable Latitude 44.938090, Longitude -93.352038.
I didn’t really comprehend how big of a mess our addressing systems are until I learned about What3Words.com. Not only are most addressing systems not memorable and often confusing, but much of the world, such as the rural areas of Mongolia or the slums of India, aren’t covered by an address.
What3Words has divided the world into 57 trillion 3 meter by 3 meter squares and has given each square a unique three word address (they use about 50,000 unique, non-confusing words in each of 10 different languages). So our office front door is at vision.rust.charmingly and our back door is at saving.lasted.panel. It’s a lot more useful (and memorable) to route visitors to our parking lot so they can use the back door at saving.lasted.panel. The system requires a phone, tablet, or computer, but the full dataset is small enough to live on any phone so it doesn’t require internet access to work.
The Mongolian postal service has officially adopted the What3Words system. I believe this is a revolutionary system that should be officially adopted by all government agencies worldwide.
From a selfish standpoint, it would make our thousands of orders a year at CountingCars.com easier to ship and the hundred or so wire transfers we make easier to set up (addresses need to be precisely entered by the bank, which the Chinese example above is difficult to get into the given form fields).
Plus, we could consider doing away with street name signs that cost billions of dollars worldwide.
To learn more, check out this excellent two and a half minute summary video: