Bye Bye, Addresses: What3Words Gives Every World Location a 3-Word Address

Saikat Basu 14-08-2018

Google Maps can take you anywhere around the world. Google Maps alternatives like Bing Maps and Apple Maps are also catching up. So, you’d be right to wonder why another mapping service is joining the fight—and how is it using just three words to describe any address on the planet?


What Is what3words?

It’s a three-word address for any place on the map. what3words is an innovative mapping platform that wants to cut your dependence on large (and sometimes unpronounceable) street addresses.

It makes it simpler by giving each 3m x 3m square on the map a unique three word address. For instance, The White House is kicks.mirror.tops.

You can use what3words in the browser and with its mobile apps. In short, it gives you an alternative way of typing an address:

  1. The world map is divided into grids.
  2. Each square grid is 3m x 3m, so there are 57 trillion squares.
  3. Every square has a unique three-word address that can be found and shared via the map.

The real-life benefits aren’t difficult to understand. 

Think of the three words as a shortcode for an address. Long addresses can be easily understood and shared faster. With voice navigation becoming a part of modern automobiles, the compact what3words addresses can be easily understood by computers and humans alike.


They are easily shareable via messaging apps. It can also help to reduce any confusion in countries where addressing conventions are confusing. Plus, the address won’t take up too much of space on your business card or wedding invite!

Download: what3words for Android (Free) | iOS (Free)

Don’t Get Rid of Google Maps Yet

what3words works as a layer on top of Google Maps. According to the platform, Mercedes Benz is bringing the technology to its cars from 2018. The United Nations and the Red Cross also use the mapping service to reduce the complexity of addresses. So, it’s not time yet to forget your Google Maps navigation skills 8 Voice Tricks for Google Navigation That You Never Knew About With "OK Google" enabled, you'll never have to touch Google Maps again. These voice tricks will make sure of that! Read More .

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  1. Tim
    July 4, 2019 at 5:29 am

    Of some interest to those who don't currently have a recognisable street address.
    Then they can buy on Amazon etc and have deliveries made.
    Otherwise, don't expect this to be of any more than passing interest.

  2. Dieter Verbeken
    August 20, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Google has something build-in into google maps, called Plus Codes... When you select a location on the map you can click on the card on the bottom of the screen to pull up the details. There you will find the plus code (something like V8VR+XJ). This works for every location on earth even if there is no street address... The only difference i can find with what3words is that google divides the earth in grids of 14 x 14 meters... You can then just send someone the plus code, and when that persons searches google maps for that plus code, it will take you to that exact location...