Addresses are long and tiresome to remember. And many things don’t have addresses.

“Meet me by the lake. Near the bench on the side with the bridge. The longer bridge - the one with the knobs on.”

“Which lake?”

What3Words is an attempt to overcome this failing of our addressing system.

What3Words is a service that provides a set of 3 words (in many languages) for every 3x3 metre square on the planet. That’s 57 trillion squares! This makes is possible to remember just 3 words to get directions to any place on Earth - much easier than trying to remember a GPS coordinate.

“Where’s Jessica Ennis’ golden postbox in Sheffield?”


…is a lot easier than

“Find the city hall, find Division Street and Holly Street and it’s there on the corner.”

Even some obscure 3x3 metre square in the middle of the ocean has its own address. There are some great addresses out there. Imaging living in dark.chocolates.pool! It’s a shame it’s a field.

There would be issues with using what3words addressing for housing (ground-floor and first-floor flats, for example) or anything that might occupy the same square but it clearly has its advantages. It might take a role in automation. It’s already found a place in UN disaster relief and delivery services.

So, when we found out about it, my nerdy dev friends and I all wanted to work out what the words for our houses were. Now, I don’t have a huge place, but it covers more than 3x3 metres, and so I was left with using the slightly awkward map explorer to slowly shift around each square.

This won’t do.

So, I knocked up which3words to help you decide which of the many 3 words on a single plot you might like to remember for future 3-word use.

Simply draw a polygon around part of the map and it’ll show you what grid squares are within the polygon and what words are associated to them.

Here’s a little gif Matt put together for me:

Which3Words Demo

I knocked it up using a blend of Typescript, RiotJS and Webpack, utilising Google Maps drawing manager and the what3words api and built and deployed to my site using GitLab’s CI.

Have you found any interesting what3words combinations? It which3words useful to you? Let me know in the comments below!