What3words app?

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DavidS
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Re: What3words app?

Post by DavidS » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:09 pm

Even our living room has bits four squares....classy eh? :D
Have to say it’s quite impressive but I can’t phone anyone to tell them where I am. :(
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simonw
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Re: What3words app?

Post by simonw » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:05 pm

daryl wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:54 am
Here's a link to an article discussing a few issues with the W3W system.

https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2019/03/why-bo ... ree-words/
That article comes across as a rant about closed source vs open source. He might just as well have ranted about Microsoft Office, or Adobe Photoshop, or macOS or any one of thousands and thousands of proprietary systems. There are pros and cons of both open and closed source licensing models but ranting about w3w making money out of an idea they came up with and put some effort into is not really a good way to illustrate those pros and cons or stimulate debate about the wider issue. I don't see any mention of him spending the last few years to come up with an open source (which people usually think just means "free") alternative which addresses all the shortcomings he alleges.

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Re: What3words app?

Post by daryl » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:03 pm

simonw wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:05 pm
That article comes across as a rant about closed source vs open source. He might just as well have ranted about Microsoft Office, or Adobe Photoshop, or macOS or any one of thousands and thousands of proprietary systems. There are pros and cons of both open and closed source licensing models but ranting about w3w making money out of an idea they came up with and put some effort into is not really a good way to illustrate those pros and cons or stimulate debate about the wider issue. I don't see any mention of him spending the last few years to come up with an open source (which people usually think just means "free") alternative which addresses all the shortcomings he alleges.
Admittedly I fall firmly on the 'everything should be open-source' side of the fence, so am probably not best placed to make a judgement there.

I do think a few of the other points made are quite valid, namely:
  • Internationalisation not being translation based seems like a big oversight
  • no way to directly compare distances between two points without using their database limits its usefulness for navigation
  • Having someone read out the three words in an emergency seems daft, and unnecessary if you've already captured their location to lookup the W3W code (I think SARLOC better suits this use case)
I think their goal of providing simple, easy to remember identifiers to all locations is a good one, however I also believe that for such a goal to be universally acheived (and therefore actually useful to all) then it has to be more open than their current implementation.

As for alternatives, if we really have to use something other than actual co-ordinates, I like Plus Codes (https://plus.codes/). Perhaps not as easy to remember, but it achieves the same goals, whilst remaining free and open (not to mention that it works in google maps already)

Fried Egg Sandwich
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Re: What3words app?

Post by Fried Egg Sandwich » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:45 pm

daryl wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:03 pm
As for alternatives, if we really have to use something other than actual co-ordinates, I like Plus Codes (https://plus.codes/). Perhaps not as easy to remember, but it achieves the same goals, whilst remaining free and open (not to mention that it works in google maps already)
I'd never heard of plus codes before I've just followed that link and checked it out.
Thanks for that Daryl, well cool. Another string to my bow👍
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simonw
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Re: What3words app?

Post by simonw » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:34 pm

daryl wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:03 pm
Admittedly I fall firmly on the 'everything should be open-source' side of the fence, so am probably not best placed to make a judgement there.
I've been open source and (almost entirely) Windows free for about 2 years now too :-) (Settled on KDE Neon, quite quickly. It's awesome)
I do think a few of the other points made are quite valid, namely:
  • Internationalisation not being translation based seems like a big oversight
  • no way to directly compare distances between two points without using their database limits its usefulness for navigation
  • Having someone read out the three words in an emergency seems daft, and unnecessary if you've already captured their location to lookup the W3W code (I think SARLOC better suits this use case)
Agreed.
I think their goal of providing simple, easy to remember identifiers to all locations is a good one, however I also believe that for such a goal to be universally acheived (and therefore actually useful to all) then it has to be more open than their current implementation.
Yes, and there's the dilema, which of course is also faced by many open source projects. How do you scale something, keeping it focused, developing at a reasonable pace such that users are kept interested and engaged, promoting it as widely as possible whilst simultaneously paying your mortgage and buying beer and motorbikes? :-) Or I guess to put it another way, how do you make it open enough to encourage take up without being so open that the idea gets stolen and/or you can't pay your bills. Anyway, wrong forum for the old open source debate I think :-)

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Re: What3words app?

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:36 am

I've got it, I've also got an app that just gives you a plain old UK OS Grid Reference, it requires no phone or data signal, just runs off the phones GPS.

Great for using in conjunction with a map to find out where you are or for writing down the grid & sending people off with it written down in the case of an immovable casualty where you have no signal at the scene.

You can never have too many apps though! 8-)

D

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Re: What3words app?

Post by PaulinBont » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:53 am

Chalky,

What's the app called please?

Chalky723
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Re: What3words app?

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:39 pm

I'm on Android & I've got "GridReferenceFreeOS" which literally just gives you a 6 figure grid. I'm sure there will be similar ones out there for Apple phones too.

Useful to have in the toolbox :D

D

Hugh
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Re: What3words app?

Post by Hugh » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:40 pm

Greetings,

I like to use OS Locate on my Android Chinese spy phone :lol:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... d&hl=en_GB

TTFN

Hugh.

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Re: What3words app?

Post by simonw » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:25 pm

On a similar subject, does anyone know of an app which enables you to just hit a button to record your current location? The use case is you're riding along, see a road/object of interest, don't have time/want to stop and explore further, so you make a note and look online/some other time.

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