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What3Words app


Police have urged everyone to download a smartphone app they say has already saved several lives. What is it and how does it work?


What3words essentially points to a very specific location. Its developers divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address.

For example, the door of 10 Downing Street is slurs.this.shark, while the area across the road where the press congregate is stage.pushy.nuns.


Mongolia has adopted what3words for its postal service, while Lonely Planet's guide for the country gives three word addresses for its points of interest. If people do not have the app, the emergency services can send a text message containing a web link to their phones.

But that requires a signal (85% of the country is said to have a 4G connection). The app does not need a phone signal to tell someone their three-word location. The emergency services are urging people to download the free app. We would urge you to do the same


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