January 2021 -
Nick Ackfield works with National Park Authorities, tourism boards and local councils in the UK to help them improve their visitors’ experience with what3words. He explains how the system, which has given every 3 metre square in the world a unique combination of three words and is available via a free app and online map, can make car free walks less frustrating, more enjoyable and safer for everyone.
‘When it comes to describing where things are in the countryside, things can start to get really complicated. Many places like field entrances, accessible footpaths and picnic spots have no address at all. Rural postcodes also tend to cover unhelpfully broad areas, often resulting in long, confusing directions - “the B&B can be found approximately 2 miles down the unmarked lane, which you’ll see after walking past the dog-friendly pub and our village post box.”
For some people ‘getting lost in the countryside’ is a romantic idea, which may even add to their adventure. However for most people planning a car free day out, poor addressing is a real challenge. Having no way to describe an exact location wastes time and can even be perilous: how would you tell emergency services exactly where to send help if you or a member of your party got into trouble in a remote location?
That’s why millions of people around the world are using what3words. what3words is a really simple way to communicate any precise location. Every 3 metre square has been given a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, ///pothole.heave.birthdays is the what3words address for the front entrance of Keswick Tourist Information centre.
There are many reasons to use the free what3words app to get the most out of your car-free day out. It’s the easiest way to arrange hassle-free meeting points and is a great way of saving your favourite viewpoints or the location of an interesting wildlife sighting or habitat. The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and our online map help people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in over 40 languages. The app even works offline, making it an ideal tool for people visiting areas where mobile connectivity is limited.
Over 80% of the UK’s emergency services are now using what3words to locate callers faster in an emergency, So if you get into trouble, but don’t know where you are, you can also give a what3words address to 999 and they’ll know exactly where to find you. As a company, we are humbled to hear stories, everyday, about how what3words has helped to save precious time, resources and lives. It is now generally recommended that everyone downloads our free app to be prepared.”
Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. Its partners include Network Rail, Premier Inn, Lonely Planet, Airbnb, Viewranger and TfL. It is used by emergency services in the UK, Canada, Australia, the US and Germany. The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and the online map enable people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in over 45 languages.Find your 3 word address here.
what3words asks that you always remember to check the weather forecast, wear and pack the appropriate equipment and carry a physical map with you whilst exploring a new area. It’s also advised that you check what3words addresses are accepted by the local emergency services in your area here.
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