What3words put remote island on the map

June 5, 2018



Giving simple three-word addresses to remote homes will enable emergency response teams to find them much more quickly, should need arise.

Living in a deeply rural area can have all kinds of unforeseen challenges, one of which is explaining to emergency services where you live if you need an ambulance. This has been a real problem on the Scottish island of Mull, on which exist many remote houses without traditional addresses, many of which share postal codes. Land Rover and a company called What3words have teamed up to help solve this problem in a fascinating and unique way.

What3words is a mapping company that has come up with a way to establish fairly exact locations without using traditional means of addressing or latitude/longitude coordinates. What it’s done is break the entire world down into three-meter by three-meter grid squares and assign each of them a unique series of three words from a dictionary of around 40,000 words with an algorithm choosing simpler words for more populated areas and longer words for more rural areas.

To help solve Mull’s emergency services problem, What3words and Land Rover made wooden placards with each dwelling’s unique three-word address that can be kept by a telephone and set out to deliver them in a small fleet of Land Rover vehicles which were piloted by Land Rover Experience instructors.

Read the full article on RoadShow here.