Finding where you are in 3 words

Geopositioning gets better and better, but more precise doesn’t mean simpler. GPS coordinates give you the option to locate a place within a meter or less, but the drawback is having to remember long numbers for latitude and longitude. You can always pass on this information with a post address, but what if you are out in the wild?

An english start-up figured out a way to get positioned everywhere in the world using combinations of 3 words. I read about it on techcrunch.com, but you can check out the project in what3words.com. Go use their map to choose a point to your liking; it gives you the coordinates of a 3 meter by 3 meter square wherever you are: Three words in your language.

Mount Vesuvius has a very happy-go-lucky name
Mount Vesuvius has a very happy-go-lucky name. A pity it is not “Lovely daytime, fellow”.

I think this is brilliant. Aside the human-oriented aspects like post addresses for everyone (they even got a awarded for their innovation), it can be used for geology. Here are two reasons why:

  1. Resolution: The 3×3 meters square is precise enough to mark rocky outcrops or interesting cave-ins on a mapping day.
  2. Simplicity: When describing the geology on a field notebook it’s easier to write 3 words than note down the GPS coordinates of a point, so you can have all recorded in one place for future reference.

One thing, though: Be careful with this system when using it for your job, as some 3 word combinations are silly. So that maybe tones down the professionality of what you wanted to convey, but identifying places like this will make you remember them more easily, right? Workaholic projection intros, for example, is better than “beach number 2”.

Try captioning a photo on a stratigraphy page like this, I dare you.
Try captioning a photo on a stratigraphy page like this, I dare you. By the way, that’s the real geopositioning of a granite outcrop.

On a more personal note, I’d recommend you to go see the geology at lurched.outdoes.circuit. The service now only needs to get popular to be really useful; I recommend you go try it, and find it new uses for your line of job.

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