This Digital Location Tech Could Help Emergency Crews Find You In The Wilderness


What3words divides the surface of the entire Earth into 57 trillion squares, each about 10 feet (3 meters) on edge. It then assigns a unique three-word label to each patch so hikers can find a trailhead, mail carriers can deliver the mail and tourists can find their vacation home.

Smart thinking

Smart thinking, but it took a lot of work, or computer time. Easier to remember than L/L.

It may be a long time before it's universally accepted though. Lots of reprogramming to do on GPS stand alones. An APP on a cell phone is not so hard to do.

Metricman DriveSmart 76 Williamsburg, VA

I read about this here and

I read about this here and elsewhere several years ago. Can't remember when. Sounded like a good idea, but it appeared to fade away. Glad to see it back.

Frank DriveSmart55 37.322760, -79.511267

Yes BUT...

The app may help in an emergency. BUT you have to remember, this app can only help if you're within range of a cellphone tower. You think, Isn't everybody? Well in a city or suburb, yes, but go out into the woods or mountains or farmland, and you may very well be out of range of a cellphone tower. This is one reason why hiking alone is a bad idea. If you get lost or hurt, you may have no way to tell people where you are and get help.

Emergency rescuers in remote areas, even big national parks, say this is a serious problem, because people think they can summon help with their cellphone in an emergency. It often doesn't connect out there.

Same issue if you drive depending on cellphone navigation. There are cellphone towers along most all the US interstate highways, but get off those highways, and you can drive for hours especially in the western US without getting a cellphone signal.

"141 could draw faster than he, but Irving was looking for 143..."

some things

are a bigger deal than one would think, such as the scrambling around Kari's Law.

the one time I did call 911 with my cell phone, I was routed to the PSAP in Philadelphia, when I was in NJ.

Ever see the systems in an elevator which start shouting emergency emergency please send help to 123 Main St. anytown USA!! over and over.

The idea is in a panic people may be unable to speak or be confused to the recording is playing...

The best thing is to know where one is and to be able to describe the emergency. That would be better than an app.

Other considerations

As with every other technology, there are controversies with this app, which a perspective user can read about websearching "what3words privacy security controversy."

The app can save some precious time in an emergency, but another consideration is that newer Android and Apple phones already can display your phone's current longitude and latitude with a few clicks, if you know how. (Obviously, you would need to practice this before an emergency to have a chance to do it right when needed.) And if you don't know how or are too out-of-it to get it right, many emergency dispatchers can talk you through it, or even easier, can send you a text which you can click to reply on which will send your longitude and latitude back to them. Again like the app, this can only help you if you're in range of a cellphone tower.

I do understand, in an emergency, you can be panicky or disoriented, so this app could help some people who would have trouble communicating their location without it, or by saving time, and is worth considering.

"141 could draw faster than he, but Irving was looking for 143..."