Address, or you will not be addressed, part 2
And possibly forget your history.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the strengths and weaknesses of the “addressing system” known as What3Words, and my conclusion was that:
“What3Words seems a really neat application, of an already existing idea, that can solve a lot of real problems worldwide. But it really should not be a PROPRIETARY standard”.
Right after that post, however, I discovered…
People making (rightly?) fun of What3Words
You can give a duck at What3ducks, where “the more ducks you give, the more precision you get!”
Other faults of What3Words
First and foremost, I had not realized immediately that What3Words is a coordinate, NOT an addressing system: Addresses adapt to the requirements, What3Words doesn’t. Above all, addresses are unique. In What3Words, people living one on top of another inside an apartment building, or falling in any other way into the same What3Words square would all get the same “address”, which of course is not right. Even the parking spots in the first image of this post would not have unique address in a multi-level parking.
But the real issue with What3Words remains its close, for-profit nature. For the record, they already sold special, ONE-word locators for a premium, but they stopped. Regardless of that, it would be a really dumb idea to use a proprietary standard for something like addresses. More details and examples on why and how it would be bad are in the OpenStreetMap wiki.