Thursday, July 07, 2016

Imagine your World in 3 Words, then Russia will be flaky.redefined.aftershave

Something revolutionary got reported on the mainstream news in Singapore over the past few days but didn't gain much traction on social media. Perhaps words are not as attention-grabbing as images and videos. Most likely, we were all focused on clickbait headlines and, of course, Hari Raya festivities!

Read from Channel NewsAsia that a British company, what3words, had "developed a simple way to refer to any location in the world using a global grid made up of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares, each tagged with a code of three English words." The company's website and mobile app turn geographic coordinates into 3 word addresses & vice-versa.

Anyone who read about this would probably end up like me, throwing in lots of addresses to find out what3words come out of it. Here are some of them:

NTUC Centre @ One Marina Boulevard


Definitely got to start with my workplace address. But hey, aren't 1) One 2) Marina 3) Boulevard three words already?

Next: Eunos Community Club


Interestingly, the same venue can give you different results. "Eunos Community Club" yields await.paper.waddle while the address, 180 Bedok Reservoir Road, yields loans.tooth.worker. And both names are two extreme ends.

Since the grids are 3 metres by 3 metres, as your cursor scrolls into the different parts of the Community Club, you get 3 different words as well.

The Istana Singapore


Oi. Why like that?

Parliament House of Singapore


Don't friend you already.

Jurong Island Singapore

[No photography allowed in Jurong Island]


Seems like a good place to work

Police Cantonment Complex Singapore


Hours (of non-cooperation) causes slams of fists (on the table).

And finally, Merlion Singapore


Enough. (Don't try keying in "Singapore". Once seen cannot be unseen)

It is totally unfair that the West gets better 3-word names. While Malaysia's what3words is disorder.rule.riding, Thailand's midbrain.bumpy.blouses, United States of America's what3words is revised.eloquently.shimmered, England's

And Russia's flaky.redefined.aftershave. Yes, aftershave!
China's birdseed.suppressing.buttery.
Taiwan's searcher.defectors.misnamed

I smell politics.

With good urban planning, Singapore won't need to be relying on 3 weird words too much. On a serious note, the reason I call this a revolution can be found in what3words' noble cause as stated on its website:
Around 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems... 
Even in countries with advanced address systems, people get lost, packages aren’t delivered, and businesses and tourist attractions don’t get found. 
Poor addressing might seem no more than annoying in some countries, but around the world it hampers the growth and development of nations, ultimately costing lives.
Now that the grids are all named, with apparently no chance for protests against weird names, hopefully there won't be nasty words which might find its way to some villagers' envelopes in the future. And may what3words addresses spurn a continued interest to pick up English despite Brexit.

Source of photos: WikiCommons 

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