Author Topic: what 3 words  (Read 56971 times)

Kim

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Re: what 3 words
« Reply #375 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:02:21 pm »
The confusion with OSGB co-ords lies in whether the initial digit is the 100k square designator, or if it's the start of a higher-resolution co-ordinate within the 100k square.

Which is a strong argument for not using the numerical version.

If I were talking to a human with an OS map, I'd use a traditional 6-figure grid ref, perhaps including the letter prefix for clarity.

If I were talking to a computer (which in this context means someone who doesn't understand maps mindlessly plugging coordinates into something that will plot a location on a map) I'd use WGS84 with decimal degrees, and when they didn't understand that I'd probably try to find them a W3W address or a postcode, because if you can't cope with entering WGS84 coordinates an OS grid reference (in any form) is unlikely to add clarity to the situation.

(Degrees, minutes, seconds can get in the sea, where it belongs.)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #376 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:07:08 pm »
Six figures plus letters is the format used by the OS Locate app.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Kim

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Re: what 3 words
« Reply #377 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:23:18 pm »
Six figures plus letters is the format used by the OS Locate app.

My eTrex gives the letters plus 5 digits of precision (which is entirely reasonable for a GPS receiver).  It tends to display coordinates on two lines, like so:

SP 07036
BNG 86639


So that it's clear where the easting ends and the northing begins, which makes it easy to drop digits when reading them out.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #378 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:26:54 pm »
Six figures plus letters is the format used by the OS Locate app.
You can set it to 8 or 10 figures if you want. And if you use the "share" button, it defaults to 10 figures anyway.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #379 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:30:12 pm »
My Suunto watch which I wear in the hills gives letters and then 5 digits each for E and N, to a total of 10 digits.
That's a resolution which is consistent with GPS accuracy.
The letters make it un-ambiguous.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #380 on: 21 June, 2023, 12:33:15 pm »
Six figures plus letters is the format used by the OS Locate app.
You can set it to 8 or 10 figures if you want. And if you use the "share" button, it defaults to 10 figures anyway.
Gosh! Had a poke around and so it does. Also lat/long if preferred. All cunningly hidden under the 'About' button.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #381 on: 11 July, 2023, 11:18:55 pm »
Just seen an advert from the OS. Is this a consequence of the money thrown at W3W…?
It is simpler than it looks.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #382 on: 12 July, 2023, 08:39:17 am »
Just seen an advert from the OS. Is this a consequence of the money thrown at W3W…?
It is a consequence of their new marketing team.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #383 on: 12 July, 2023, 10:26:03 am »
Just seen an advert from the OS. Is this a consequence of the money thrown at W3W…?
It is a consequence of their new marketing team.

Ah, that’s something I hadn’t realised. The sleeping lion awakes?
It is simpler than it looks.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #384 on: 12 July, 2023, 10:30:13 am »
It's an unrivalled national resource.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #385 on: 19 July, 2023, 10:42:26 pm »
I might make a few discrete enquiries when I next speak with an appropriate person  and see if they are able to shed any light.

Well, I struck lucky with my first enquiry.  The answers I got were :

  • AML is working and we can access the endpoint and extract the data
  • Our existing control room system integrates with the AML endpoint
  • The installation of our existing control room system has, right from day 1 been subject to crashes, freezes and go slows.  The reasons behind this have never been successfully dealt with.  There are a number of functions that the service would like to turn on but whenever they try, the system threatens to fall over so they remain inactive despite the fact that they would be extremely valuable to us.
  • The requirements for the new system included the proven ability to implement AML.

I was aware that another important function promised with this system back on 2014 had never materialised but wasn’t aware that multiple bits of functionality had been affected.  No doubt incredibly frustrating for those involved and for frontline staff and imho a complete shambles that has dragged on far too long.   Surely the nettle should have been grasped long ago and if a fix couldn’t be found then a new solution should have been sought?  Or is that a naive viewpoint?

Just as an aside, I checked the current marketing brochure of the system we currently use and no mention of AML integration but it does bring the prospective purchaser’s attention to “ What3Words integration for location finding”.

Somewhere way up thread, I promised an update on this so….

Our new control / mobilisation system is now up and running as of last month.  I attended a fire yesterday and on return to the station, I had reason to drill into the incident log within the new system to find some timings on when I sent various messages etc.  In doing so, I came across the AML entries so it clearly works and on the very limited evidence of a single incident, it is both fast and accurate. 

The first entry has given a low confidence initial location to the system before the call has even been transferred from the BT 999 centre to our Control Operator, something like 3 seconds into the 999 call.  It says low confidence but the GPS coordinates were well within 100m of the actual location. 

A second, higher confidence, location is received within 20 seconds of the call starting and that gave a location close enough that I would say it was where the caller was stood when they made the call.

My only issue now is that the postal address this gps coordinate was converted to was inaccurate by a good 5 miles.  Not sure if this was due to an incorrect address given by the caller or whether the system somehow assigned a wrong address but fortunately the attending resources were chosen based on the gps coordinates.

Kim

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Re: what 3 words
« Reply #386 on: 20 July, 2023, 12:50:00 am »
That's good to hear.  Apart from the postal address thing.  TBH, converting map coordinates to postal addresses is always going to be a bit sketchy, so I'd hope the system wasn't doing that automatically, and was merely passing through something reported by the caller.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #387 on: 20 July, 2023, 07:59:48 am »
My only issue now is that the postal address this gps coordinate was converted to was inaccurate by a good 5 miles.  Not sure if this was due to an incorrect address given by the caller or whether the system somehow assigned an wrong address but fortunately the attending resources were chosen based on the gps coordinates.

W3W also suffers from this, so I think that the problem is in the mapping of locations to postal addresses.

I've been given w3w location codes for a place that were over a mile out; checking on google maps, the w3w location matched the location that google maps had for the place. In other words, the google maps location was incorrect. I suspect (but have no proof), that if you search for a place in w3w (e.g. joan's diner in settle), then w3w uses google maps to find a location and then calculates the code from that.

Similarly, if you take a w3w location code and try to match it to a location, it is picking a 'registered place' in google maps nearby. That is dangerous if used by emergency services.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

rr

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #388 on: 20 July, 2023, 09:08:18 am »
The best way to locate an address is via the royal mail website, they, at least in theory, know the location of every delivery point in the UK.
I suspect this is one of their most valuable assets so I imagine automated access to it is expensive.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #389 on: 20 July, 2023, 09:36:59 am »
That’s fine for properties, but problematic for roads, fields and mountains. Etc.
It is simpler than it looks.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #390 on: 20 July, 2023, 11:03:32 pm »
My only issue now is that the postal address this gps coordinate was converted to was inaccurate by a good 5 miles.  Not sure if this was due to an incorrect address given by the caller or whether the system somehow assigned an wrong address but fortunately the attending resources were chosen based on the gps coordinates.

W3W also suffers from this, so I think that the problem is in the mapping of locations to postal addresses.

Now you may have something there.  The AML location was translated to both a postal address and a W3W code and all 3 were presented to me.   I ignored the W3W code as I had a good lat long from the gps which had been mapped for me so why add an extra round trip to W3W just to get back what I already knew?  My presumption was that the lat long had been converted to W3W and separately gps lat long incorrectly converted to an address of sorts.  I now wonder whether the conversion process was gps to W3W and then that W3W to incorrect address.  I do hope not!  I will attempt to make some further enquiries.

Tim Hall

  • Victoria is my queen
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #391 on: 20 July, 2023, 11:33:49 pm »
JellyLegs, this is really interesting useful stuff. Thanks.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #392 on: 31 July, 2023, 11:15:58 am »
FT deep dive into W3W's finances:
https://archive.ph/rWK12

TL;DR: Their income is a fraction of annual spending and the author thinks the numbers point to a "precarious cash position" - i.e. about to run out of money, short of something unexpected (or firing all of their staff).

Kim

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Re: what 3 words
« Reply #393 on: 31 July, 2023, 12:59:05 pm »
How completely unsurprising.  Not just because everything seems to succumb to Finance these days, but the entire concept seemed designed to appeal to investors more than end-users.  (Parts of the world that lack formal postal addresses always seemed like the least-flawed use-case, but that's unlikely to be lucrative.)

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #394 on: 31 July, 2023, 06:55:09 pm »
What 3 weeks?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #395 on: 31 July, 2023, 07:50:26 pm »
Well there presumably isn't much money in Mongolian deliveroo, but if Rio Tinto used it at Oyu Tolgoi? They need a version that works underground... and think of the cave rescue potential!
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #396 on: 31 July, 2023, 08:54:17 pm »
They need a version that works underground... and think of the cave rescue potential!

Does it? How?

I thought it was just a proprietary method of encoding an existing GPS lat/long into words because people are too stupid to type the numbers.

Still requires a GPS lat/long in the first instance.

Or have I misunderstood what.this.thing does?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: what 3 words
« Reply #397 on: 31 July, 2023, 09:02:47 pm »
They need a version that works underground... and think of the cave rescue potential!

Does it? How?

I thought it was just a proprietary method of encoding an existing GPS lat/long into words because people are too stupid to type the numbers.

Still requires a GPS lat/long in the first instance.

Or have I misunderstood what.this.thing does?
I'm sure it doesn't work underground, because as you say, it needs to sight GPS satellites. It was just a poor attempt at humour, because when w3w started up, their use case was deliveries in address-less Mongolian nomadice settlements; I was saying there's not much money in that, but if they could get a big business using it... (Oyu Tolgoi is a huge copper mine in Mongolia run by Rio Tinto)
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #398 on: 01 August, 2023, 10:16:48 am »
When talking scathingly to No1Daughter about this yesterday she said it was great for them at Eastern Concrete because you couldn't rely on the doofus at the corner of the field having an address or enough nous to share a series of numbers. I explained that you don't need the numbers, the smartphone shares them. But she pointed out that the concrete truck despatch & planning would need to have software that decoded the message for the doofus driving the concrete truck. I asked if the business had paid for software to use what 3 words and she said no, she used her phone. Which is another reason they haven't made money, businesses who use it don't pay for it.

I asked what they'd used before W3W and the answer was doofus had to phone and talk to driver doofus and give directions.

Re: what 3 words
« Reply #399 on: 01 August, 2023, 10:22:03 am »
When talking scathingly to No1Daughter about this yesterday she said it was great for them at Eastern Concrete because you couldn't rely on the doofus at the corner of the field having an address or enough nous to share a series of numbers. I explained that you don't need the numbers, the smartphone shares them. But she pointed out that the concrete truck despatch & planning would need to have software that decoded the message for the doofus driving the concrete truck. I asked if the business had paid for software to use what 3 words and she said no, she used her phone. Which is another reason they haven't made money, businesses who use it don't pay for it.

I asked what they'd used before W3W and the answer was doofus had to phone and talk to driver doofus and give directions.
So now they pump a w3w location into the app, get routing via google, and drive a concrete lorry over a bridge with a 3 ton weight restriction.
<i>Marmite slave</i>