What 3 words

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I've had some feedback from my 1st responder paramedic friend; it's not been favourably viewed to be honest. All the testing they did threw up far to many erroneous position (he didn't say why). They are a bit annoyed it's being pushed to the 'amateur' market. They see it as a marketing stunt because W3W is charging first responder organisations for the decoding software so they are giving it away free to the public to try and force it on the market. However, most professional first responder groups have invested in automatic GPS location decoding from phone signals so they don't care what app the public use; they'll ignore the information and use the decoded signal!
 
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cipherdias

Settler
Jan 1, 2014
509
219
Wales
I've had some feedback from my 1st responder paramedic friend; it's not been favourably viewed to be honest. All the testing they did threw up far to many erroneous position (he didn't say why). They are a bit annoyed it's being pushed to the 'amateur' market. They see it as a marketing stunt because W3W is charging first responder organisations for the decoding software so they are giving it away free to the public to try and force it on the market. However, most professional first responder groups have invested in automatic GPS location decoding from phone signals so they don't care what app the public use; they'll ignore the information and use the decoded signal!

Interesting feedback there Broch. It seemed like a real winner but if the emergency services aren’t really using it then it’s a bit of a waste of time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,091
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Hants
Likewise Paul B, I've heard of it being used by some teams, my impression was that it was being quite widely adopted and welcomed as another useful tool in the toolkit.

I've started using it myself last year and find it very useful, and has proved a great help in directing other folk to specific locations who would probably not know what to do with a grid reference, or even if they do it's still quick, easy and reliable I've found.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
5,107
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Mid Wales
I agree that it could be a useful addition to the toolkit but if their business model is to sell it to 1st responder teams and they're not buying it (I was told the paramedics in this area are actively discouraging it) I wonder how it will progress - I shall watch with interest.
 

MikeeMiracle

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Aug 2, 2019
236
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Northampton
For someone not familiar with OS maps I find it very useful for tagging locations I have previous camped in and have left resources at. In my experience it's more like a 10m x 10m square though than a 3x3m square it directs you to.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,881
858
Vantaa, Finland
All the testing they did threw up far to many erroneous position (he didn't say why).
We have in Finland an APP that automatically sends your position as text message to the emergency number and their part on the SW connects the call and message and shows the location on map. As far as I understand it has worked quite well and has taken out large part of the guesswork of the caller's position.
 

nigelp

Full Member
I recommend folk download the OS Locate app. It works without any data signal and you can plot your position on a map.
The main pushback is from outdoor professionals who have seen the app fail on numerous occasions and are concerned that people will die if the emergency services do not understand the limitations of W3W. The adoration by the emergency services is quite staggering and W3W are not at all open with data that might show the short comings of it.
 
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TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,881
858
Vantaa, Finland
What is wrong with the Ol' latitude/longitude in various combinations of degrees/minutes/seconds? Yeah, I know the datum problem but in most cases it is not really that big.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,107
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Mid Wales
We've been over this discussion TBH - in the UK we have a very good coordinate system that works very well but, of course, that doesn't work anywhere else. If you use the OS locate app that Nigel refers to, or something like Memory Map, you can choose to use a variety of coordinate systems.
 
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Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,758
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Kind of hard to get a grasp of how big the problem is from the news report.
Is it better or worse than any other coordinate system is surely the question that should be asking.

Though it is surprising that more time wasn't put into selecting a set of words that have minimal sound pairs of words that sound alike.
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,740
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Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Kind of hard to get a grasp of how big the problem is from the news report.
Is it better or worse than any other coordinate system is surely the question that should be asking.

Though it is surprising that more time wasn't put into selecting a set of words that have minimal sound pairs of words that sound alike.
I agree.
Bit of media milking of the story potentially?

I’m sure that when the mountain rescue teams put the words in and discovered that they were ina different country they realised it was wrong, at least I hope so! :)
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,107
4,453
Mid Wales
I agree.
Bit of media milking of the story potentially?

I’m sure that when the mountain rescue teams put the words in and discovered that they were ina different country they realised it was wrong, at least I hope so! :)

Yep, but they had no idea where they were supposed to look. I've never been very keen on this app but friends in rescue and paramedic teams do not like it; that should be enough really. Joe Public should have no influence on the tools that professionals use and that was W3W's aim was by giving it away initially.
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,740
681
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Yep, but they had no idea where they were supposed to look. I've never been very keen on this app but friends in rescue and paramedic teams do not like it; that should be enough really. Joe Public should have no influence on the tools that professionals use and that was W3W's aim was by giving it away initially.
I hadn’t noticed! :p
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,107
4,453
Mid Wales
My current position is "index.scar.escalates" (it really is)
"sorry, it's a bad signal, did you say insects, star, escapades"
no index.scar.escalates
"OK that's insects, star, escalates"
no index.scar.escalates - oh, blow that, I'm at Sierra Yankee 1 6 8 1 8 4
:)
 
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nigelp

Full Member
Kind of hard to get a grasp of how big the problem is from the news report.
Is it better or worse than any other coordinate system is surely the question that should be asking.

Though it is surprising that more time wasn't put into selecting a set of words that have minimal sound pairs of words that sound alike.
Worse. That’s why they are recommending people download and use the OS locate app. The UK grid reference system is established and trustworthy. I think the main problem is that folk are only using W3W, rather than both. You can also not plot your position on an OS map using W3W like you can with a grid reference. W3W is a private company and will not release date on how many words are very similar and in the same vicinity.
 

nigelp

Full Member
I agree.
Bit of media milking of the story potentially?

I’m sure that when the mountain rescue teams put the words in and discovered that they were ina different country they realised it was wrong, at least I hope so! :)
Many of the locations with similar words are in the same area, same ambulance area or the W3W app has given incorrect location information due to poor data signal.
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,758
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Wales
Technically shouldn't need an app for this if have a smart phone with a browser on it.

SAR/Emergency services should be able to send a SMS or Email message with a link in it. Opening that link on the phone will report back the GPS location of the phone. No app required.

IIRC the first was SARLOC, now there are many more, like https://yourlo.ca/tion
And pretty sure the same functionality has been integrated into most emergency call management software.

PS: For anyone that groks javascript https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Geolocation_API
 
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