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This startup wants to replace GPS coordinates with strings of words

There's a British startup that thinks GPS is too complicated.

Instead of strings of numbers (38.897874, -77.035484), the startup what3words has figured out that you can cover the entire Earth in three by three meter squares if you use strings of three random words. So in other words, 'knife.fork.spoon' goes to a small spot in North London. 

The system is meant to replace impossible-to-memorize GPS coordinates or imprecise street addresses. If you're only referring to a nine-foot square, you can get specific down to not just the street address but a specific office. For example, the center of the White House is sulk.held.raves but a location in the West Wing is clots.harp.larger. Part of 1776 is stones.galaxy.pilots. (Startups, feel free to tell us which three words refer to your exact desk there.) The Center Cafe at Union Station is glare.boots.buys but the Bikeshare station outside is rainy.navy.oath.

Smithsonian Magazine says that denser areas get shorter, more common words, while a spot in the ocean might be "quarterfinals.unobtrusively.repressions."

Of course, GPS has one big advantage, which is that 38.897874, -77.035484 is right next door to 38.897874, -77.035485. Words are easier to remember, but they don't sort (what3words doesn't order its words alphabetically).

Still, we've had a little fun on this snow day looking up locations in the District. Check it out here.
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