George V. Reilly


3-metre grid

Without an Address, You’re No One introduced me to What3Words, an innovative system that uses just three English words to address any 3m×3m square on the planet. These words are drawn from a 40,000-word vocabulary. A 3m×3m square is precise enough to identify a particular doorway in a large building or a towel on a crowded beach.

I spent much of my childhood living at uses.pills.crunch (Dublin). I spent ten years working at navy.clear.poems (Mi­crosoft­’s Redmond campus). If I pinpointed the buildings that I worked in, they would each have completely different w3w addresses.

It reminds me a little of Diceware which strings together several words to form an easy-to-remember but hard-to-crack password.

I said “English words” above but I lied. W3w is actually available in multiple languages, though many of them use a 25,000-word vocabulary, which omits the seas.

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