Thursday, September 17, 2015

Map Poetry from What3Words

The what3words addressing system is one of the easiest ways to share your location with friends and family. The what3words location coding system divides the world into 57 trillion 3 x 3 meter squares. Each of those squares can be uniquely identified with just three words.

If I tell you I'm currently at 'Joke, Pretty, Dated', all you have to do is append those three words to the what3words URL ( and you can view a map of my location to within a few feet of accuracy.

Apparently What3Words also has some other uses. For example Darren Wiens is using what3words to create map poetry. what3words Poetry starts you off with a random three word map address as the first three words of a poem. The last two words are then used to create the first two words of the next line of the poem.

Your task is to provide the third word of the second line of the poem. When you enter the word the three words of the second line of your poem is then used as a what3words address and you are shown that location on a Google Map. You can continue in this manner adding a word to every line and receiving another new location on your Google Map.

This sounds far more complicated than it actually is. In fact it is very simple to use. It is also pretty good fun. Here's a poem that I created (you can see the map it creates above),

  unlikely ants trilogy
  ants trilogy reread
  trilogy reread twice

My poem isn't going to win any literary prizes. Why not see if you can do better.

You can read more about the what3words Poetry map, including a link to a whole tumblr blog on what3words inspired poetry, on Darren Wien's Blog, Darren's Side Projects.
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