Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.
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45 unmanned systems inside August/September 2016 ugust/Septe August/September 2016 August/September 2016 be August/September 2016 0 August/September 2016 6 August/September 2016 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. BY THE NUMBERS 57 billion The number of unique what3words addresses. Source: what3words formance venues. Supplying them with GPS coordinates didn't fix the problem because it was easy to get the numbers wrong—and, be- cause they were numbers, it wasn't always im- mediately clear an error had been made. Using words was the answer. On the Grid The London-based firm has divided the world into a grid of 57 trillion squares, assigning each 3 m x 3 m space a unique address made up of three words. The words, written collectively with periods in between, are selected to be fa- miliar, easy to understand and unlikely to be confused (unlike the words piece and peace). The address token.ranch.rushed, for example, indicates the center of the Washington Monu- ment in Washington, DC. "The technique does seem to be more people friendly," said Dana Goward, president of the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation and an authority on navigation. "With the ad- vent of technology you are no longer limited to a rigid string of numbers." what3words' technology links every location on Earth with a user- friendly address that can help rescuers move through disaster zones and rangers protect wildlife as well as identify structures needing repair and pinpoint even the most out-of-the-way customer for a drone- delivered package. Users can find their address or the address of another location using the firm's website or its free app. The app is available in 10 different languages with versions in 215 more languages under development—and 'under development' is the right way to describe it. When a version of the app is introduced in a new language it is not just a translation, Jones explained. Not all words are translatable and, in some languages and regions, the more com- mon words are going to be different. This is crucial, she said, because one of what3words' key characteristics is that the most familiar words in a language are incorporated into ad- dresses in high-use urban areas. "It's more likely that people are going to use common words like banana, apple, bowl, spoon," Jones said. "Those kinds of words, which are everyday words, will be put in ur- ban areas where more people speak that lan- guage. So in the Swahili version of our app, for example, the more common words will be in cities in East Africa where Swahili is spoken."