What 3 Words

10 August 2020

What 3 Words

Many of you will have heard of the app ‘What 3 Words’ (W3W).

The app allows a user to identify their location, anywhere in the world, using just three words unique to that 3m grid square. This may prove more accessible or easier to communicate than a grid reference in some situations.

Alternatively, you can navigate to a location using the three words and a smartphone, providing you have data signal of course!

We asked for feedback from CRO and UWFRA on the system. Both organisations confirmed their ability to use W3W, which was reassuring. However, CRO felt that OS grid references are preferable as any callouts using W3W get converted to a grid reference anyway. UWFRA were positive and said that they had recently used W3W to locate missing people.

We have added the W3W references for all the caves on our website for which we also have a grid reference.

This may not prove any immediate use to cavers, many of whom will be much more comfortable navigating using map, compass, or GPS (without the reliance on data signal). Nonetheless, the CNCC always strives to stay ahead of the curve on new technology and innovation, so we didn’t want to ignore the increasing popularity of this new system.

If anything, it will make for an interesting conversation if visiting Diccan Pot!