The postcode is dead: What3words mapping service locates anywhere on Earth using just three-words
A new mapping service, called w3w, could spell the end of the postcode while being the perfect partner for voice-activated search.
The unique three-word codes are accurate to two metres and are a result of What3Words dividing the world into 57 trillion three-metre squared boxes and giving each one a code using three words from the English dictionary.
For example, the code "limit.broom.flip" takes you to a precise spot in the centre of London's Regents Park. The Statue of Liberty is located at "planet.inches.most".
The great thing about w3w is that it will work with Google Maps. You can even move the w3w pin around in the map to see what a certain area is called. Or just search the w3w site for landmarks or addresses to get the area's code. Ideal for texting a mate on where to meet.
What3words is available as an app for iOS and Android now. This is great for off-road locations or new developments that don't yet have a postcode.
"With GPS and smartphones, we have at our fingertips the ability to pinpoint precise locations," said what3words CEO Chris Sheldrick. "However, until what3words we haven’t had simple, memorable universal system to easily describe locations with any degree of precision. We’ve devised a way to describe exact locations – anywhere in the world – in a simple and memorable way."
So how does it make money? If users want a more accurate location, to one metre, the company is selling OneWord codes. For example, buyers could rename the 3m x 3m square on which their front door is located as *thejonesresidence. Or businesses could name their head quarters easily. Is this the death of the postcode? It certainly looks that way.