Author Topic: Potential life saving app.  (Read 2401 times)

Potential life saving app.
« on: August 15, 2019, 04:53:02 pm »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49319760

It's on my phone as of today. You just never know...

PH
Bees do nothing invariably.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 05:00:29 pm »

We've discussed What3Words before, I seem to recall many here having non positive views on the subject...

I think it's great, good to see more of you being positive about it!

From ships.cars.probably!

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 05:02:35 pm »
I seem to remember that the discussion went along the lines that mobile devices already have the ability to pass on their location, in ways that emergency services understand, and this app was an additional, unnecessary layer designed to make its writers some money.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 05:08:02 pm »
Why have the BBC published an advert for What3words?

This page summarises some of the problems. https://shkspr.mobi/blog/2019/03/why-bother-with-what-three-words/

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 05:13:49 pm »
and here is the previous thread. It's not as long ago as I remembered.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 06:10:21 pm »
OS has a nice little app which displays  location grid ref on phone.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 06:34:07 pm »
Despite the drawbacks that guarantee linked to and the ready availability of alternatives what it offers above lat/long and thing so  available already is it’s simplicity and ease of use. 

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 06:39:19 pm »
It could be made obsolete if Android and Apple both provided an "Emergency location" page that listed raw location status in various forms (lat/lon and various country specific versions if desired - anything that doesn't require a data lookup).

I find it amazing that there is no way to get this information from a phone without having a 3rd party app installed.

what3words is a business and wants more business. (And precarious as it could effectively be squashed by Apple/Android in a simple stroke.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 06:55:39 pm »
What3words wasn't really developed for emergency purposes. ISTR the main uses when it was launched were claimed to be deliveries in non-addressed areas such as slums, rural regions or brand new developments.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2019, 11:20:56 am »
I have real problems with this story
Quote
After wandering around for hours with no phone signal or data with which to help find her way out, she found enough signal to be able to phone 999.

The operator told her to download the app and within minutes the emergency services new where she was and was able to rescue her.

So she has gone from 'no signal or data' to suddenly enough data signal to download a 50mb app?

If she suddenly had that good enough signal, she had enough to use google maps and access navigation, FFS! Gmaps will download for off-line navigation.

The reporting (particularly single-track's) is very poor. No mention of Sarloc.
Quote
The beauty of SARLOC is that it uses the web browser installed on the smartphone to interrogate the GPS and locate the person, normally to within a few metres. No need to install a separate app.
Much better if the person is not in a good signal area.
Sarloc will work even if the person can't read english well or is having trouble speaking - they just need to click on a link in an SMS.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2019, 11:37:48 am »
It does give the impression of "not enough people are using our app, how can we get more interest in it?"
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2019, 12:04:49 pm »
So she has gone from 'no signal or data' to suddenly enough data signal to download a 50mb app?

If she suddenly had that good enough signal, she had enough to use google maps and access navigation, FFS! Gmaps will download for off-line navigation.

In defence of the app/idea, access to GMaps isn't much use when you're in the middle of nowhere and looking at the Gmaps screen doesn't give you any obvious way of describing your location to someone on the phone with any precision or accuracy. There are plenty of places in, say, Wales that are miles from anything significant on the maps; you're just in a big green blob of national park.

(But, again, that's easily solved if the phones itself had a built in display of lat/lon that could just be read out to the emergency services.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2019, 12:15:25 pm »
(But, again, that's easily solved if the phones itself had a built in display of lat/lon that could just be read out to the emergency services.)

I install GPS Status on my devices as a matter of course.  Back when GPS was more power-hungry it provided a useful indication that something was accessing the GPS, but I mostly keep it around as a handy way to get the equivalent of a Garmin's satellite display.  I think it can copy your coordinates to the clipboard, too.

None of which is likely to help when the emergency services don't know what to do with coordinates, as discussed in the previous thread.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2019, 12:23:46 pm »
You can get latitude/longitude in the Google Maps app, though they don't make it very obvious. Or Plus codes, which are a much better idea than What3words.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2019, 01:26:01 pm »
None of which is likely to help when the emergency services don't know what to do with coordinates, as discussed in the previous thread.

That all seems anecdotal. There have been plenty of reports elsewhere of the emergency services being fine with given lat/lon.

If w3w requires the operator to type in the three words into the w3w website to get the location they can easily be talked through entering lat/lon into the gmaps website too.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2019, 01:42:27 pm »

That all seems anecdotal. There have been plenty of reports elsewhere of the emergency services being fine with given lat/lon.

If w3w requires the operator to type in the three words into the w3w website to get the location they can easily be talked through entering lat/lon into the gmaps website too.

Agreed but I’d say there’s less potential for error with 3 words rather than 2 strings of numbers.  It gets even easier if the location is passed by text/email as the 3 words can be pasted straight into the location “finder” whereas some, admittedly trivial, parsing has to be done of the lat/long by the operator.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2019, 04:50:49 pm »
None of which is likely to help when the emergency services don't know what to do with coordinates, as discussed in the previous thread.

That all seems anecdotal. There have been plenty of reports elsewhere of the emergency services being fine with given lat/lon.

The singular of data is anecdote.  I don't want it to be my middle-of-nowhere emergency that the emergency services take longer to get to because the operator isn't properly trained or doesn't have the correct tools.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2019, 06:32:48 pm »
Agreed but I’d say there’s less potential for error with 3 words rather than 2 strings of numbers.

If the app was resilient enough to cope with homophones and other common word substitutions then perhaps yes.

But AFAIK, it isn't.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2019, 09:33:24 am »
For emergency services use, if the person in trouble has a phone signal, Sarloc seems 1000 times better. The person in trouble doesn't need to be able to speak coherently in English (that works well when someone is hypothermic), download (and learn how to use an app), have 50mb of data download available on their phone. They just need to click on an SMS link.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2019, 10:10:44 am »
But what is Sarloc?
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2019, 10:20:08 am »
But what is Sarloc?
http://www.lakeland-walker.com/help-is-coming-stay-put/

No glamorous, not glitzy, doesn't make anyone any money. Just does the job.
Been around for 8 years. Creative commons licensed. Saved lots of lives.
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2019, 10:21:47 am »
But what is Sarloc?

It's a web based service for getting the location of a misper. This article is rather interesting:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/using_sarloc_for_rescue_on_your_smartphone-10917

"The rescue team simply sends an SMS text message with a link to a webpage. Clicking on this link opens a page in the phone's browser which queries the phone to identify its location. This data is then displayed to the user and automatically added over the internet to the MRMap database. So, whoever it is back at base with the kettle, handling the call-out, can see the casualty's location on the digital OS map display. And, more importantly, he or she can now instruct team members exactly which direction to head in."

Not universally rolled out, looks like it's a SAR/MRT specific, which is fine if you have actually got through the first few hops to get a LSAR or MRT callout going. But usually by the time you get to that level, if you have comms, then they are pretty good at getting the info from you to find you. The problem is, if you are just talking to the 999 call centre, they are unlikely to have it.

Personally I have an inreach+ tracker. If I'm really in the shit, I'll hit the magic button and await help. It sends my position via satellite to a control desk, who notifies the correct people where ever I am, works world wide (except a couple of war zones, where it works, just noone will come for me), no issues with phone signal (and before everyone says "but GSM is pretty good now" check your privilege and go cycle 10km outside of a German town...), no issues with having to work out my position and relay it to someone.

What3words has a place, I think it's a great idea, tho I understand some peoples scepticism.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2019, 10:27:24 am »
Sarloc seems to have an advantage over w3w in that it doesn't require the person being rescued to do anything other than click an link. No need to have heard of Sarloc before. But it does seem to be UK specific. And both require an internet connection.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Potential life saving app.
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2019, 10:54:33 am »
Any modern smartphone can automatically send your location, when you phone up the emergency services. No need for any extra apps or services. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Mobile_Location