Viewing 40 posts - 121 through 160 (of 178 total)
  • What3words not suitable for safety critical applications
  • crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Contacting the emergency services, they gave their what3words location, however unfortunately this did place them about 10 miles away in a different part of Monmouthshire.
    After further investigation and information from a local resident, we were able to determine that she was in the Grwyne Fawr valley.

    It’d be interesting to know the location given and the nature of the error – mispronunciation, misreading the words, call handler hearing a different word…

    CountZero
    Full Member

    I see people keep talking about sending or using a postcode; do people not realise that a postcode can cover a significant area, especially in rural regions. I can recall any number of occasions when going to pick up a car from a client in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, etc, where we were given a house name and a postcode, and then spent absolutely ages driving along a road following the satnav, and getting literally nowhere, then tried phoning the client for directions, which raised another issue with cellphone coverage in rural areas.
    After nearly an hour driving around we got a clue and a phone connection, and the place we needed was in exactly the opposite direction the satnav took us, nearly a mile from where we first ended up. W3W allows the user to send the location directly to TomTom, our preferred, (and mine as well), mobile navigation system, giving a W3W reference would have saved an hour of frustration trying to find the clients house, which was also set well off the narrow country lane along a hedged drive.
    Oh, and thanks to franksinatra for a well written response from a real-world users perspective.

    firestarter
    Free Member

    Not sure if I posted on here before I cant remember but im in the fire service and we dont use what3words in outr brigade. but last year I was spotted by a pair of paramedics in their car not on duty and id collapsed at the roadside after I got ill, when they were looking after me they tried to describe the location and the call handler couldn’t place it and so they used what 3 words and they turned up at the exact location required, sometimes I wish we used it when trying to locate fires in the woods lol

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    a vocabulary of 36 words and we use 8 to determine a location? Mostly, we’d only need 10 words and use 6 of them.

    That system works for me, but only in GB. (Except only 35 words are used).

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Phew!

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    W3W allows the user to send the location directly to TomTom, our preferred, (and mine as well),

    Nice. 2 extra programs to do what Google maps does natively.

    Program before you leave and it will guide you to the door.

    SMRT post on w3w was enlightening. Basically give us what ever you want. We appreciate that the general public can’t give an accurate grid ref but we would rather you used OS locate – as we will change it to a grid ref as that’s what is on our maps.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=4013130385391090&id=337733089597523

    redthunder
    Free Member

    SARLOC … 999 ?

    or Maidenhead Locator.

    https://github.com/google/open-location-code

    and

    https://maps.google.com/pluscodes/

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    The map you have taken with you they say….

    Unlikely . So many folk even on here say maps totally unnecessary

    rootes1
    Full Member

    Used it after an issue on Dartmoor and was good not only to give location of patient to the 999 handler, but also the nearest tarmac road point to him.

    bigginge
    Full Member

    I saw news related to this on the Register this morning and thought it may be of almost no use to anyone here (the alternative service’s tags aren’t the sort of things you would want to try saying to your helpful dispatcher). It still appealed to the 9 year old in me though so I though it might do the same for some of you lot.

    https://www.fourkingmaps.co.uk/

    https://www.theregister.com/2021/08/14/sweary_four_word_map/

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    The map you have taken with you they say….

    Unlikely . So many folk even on here say maps totally unnecessary

    well it won’t be much good if you are looking for a W3W reference on it…

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    I’m going to insist on Four King Square locations for all future mountain rescue incidents. It will lighten up otherwise grim situations. Awesome

    sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    Beaten to the Registers report on a rude four word option for w3w.

    thepurist
    Full Member

    I hope this person is using the FourKing map to navigate

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-58229967

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    well it won’t be much good if you are looking for a W3W reference on it…

    To be fair 2 months later. Probably won’t even be a body to collect.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    fourkingmaps is already the highlight of my week!

    Travis
    Full Member

    My friends and I have started using FourKing Maps for highlighting areas of football violence.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Have you got that wee three words?

    4:20

    Gee Atherton Releases new Video about his Crash

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02LkWYyoqxA8eNS6tK6su4vBcaQCRZFhjvnTv8cNVyVTW6AynX3zAWuciVfJQ4Cn5ul&id=100064748134264

    An 83 year old woman collapsed in Crow Park. The informant gave the 999 call handler a What3Words location which was close to Hawes End. The team sent a Landrover first truck to the location only to find nobody. Further enquiries revealed the true location within walking distance of the base. Fortunately more team members had arrived at base and were able to respond quickly to this potentially serious medical incident. The casualty was assessed and stretchered back to base for further assessment and to await the arrival of an ambulance.
    This is the second callout in 3 days (and there have been others) when the W3W location has been close enough to be believable but wrong enough to be useless. W3W should not be relied upon on its own. Always give a verbal description of where the casualty is and better still a grid reference from a map or use the app OS-Locate (https://shop.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/apps/os-locate/).

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    I’ve read this earlier today, call handlers is at fault, the stressed anxious caller less so. It’s not a problem with what 3 words per sae it’s just it needs to be checked and the call handlers should be trained to do this.

    el_boufador
    Full Member

    Better solution

    https://www.fourkingmaps.co.uk/what/

    Nsfw

    Northwind
    Full Member

    “This is the second callout in 3 days (and there have been others) when the W3W location has been close enough to be believable but wrong enough to be useless. “

    See this is the exact thing that W3W is supposed to never do. I’ve defended them in the past on this basis- it’s the biggest issue with unskilled mapreading and with transposed or misread digits in GPS or grid coordinates, it’s very easy to be a little bit wrong and that’s a huge problem for mountain rescue, whereas W3W is SUPPOSED to be either pretty much right, or very wrong, which prevents the “close enough to be believable” error.

    But it just doesn’t seem to work?

    nickjb
    Free Member

    It’s not a problem with what 3 words per sae

    It is a flaw with their system. Should be possible to avoid this happening with the right word list. Maybe also add something like a checksum or a fourth check word. Shame it isn’t open source.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    It is a flaw with their system

    It is, but it’s known to have flaws so it should always be checked by the professional call handlers who should not be relying on the flustered members of public making the call.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    And yet it still comes up.on Police and mountain rescue posts as having helped them locate people.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    It’s a tool, one tool it should not be relied upon on its own, do call handlers take grid references from flustered members of the public without double checking?

    Greybeard
    Full Member

    I don’t understand why (other than Government focus on the wrong things) why emergency services need to ask anyone using a mobile to describe their location, all they need to do is ensure that Location is enabled and the information will automatically be sent using Advanced Mobile Location protocol. Why risk miscommunication when the information is embedded in the phone signal?

    All UK networks have enabled AML, and nearly all phones support it, but apparently not all emergency control rooms are able to interpret it. That could probably be fixed for the cost a few mislocated call-outs.

    nickjb
    Free Member

    It’s a tool, one tool it should not be relied upon on its own

    Isn’t one of the issues with W3W and its proprietary software and data that the owners aren’t happy with you using their data sets in conjunction with other systems? Obviously this can be worked round with multiple apps at your end and the call centre end but it’s not a great solution.

    roger_mellie
    Full Member

    Better solution

    https://www.fourkingmaps.co.uk/what/

    Nsfw

    Tremendous.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Isn’t one of the issues with W3W and its proprietary software and data that the owners aren’t happy with you using their data sets in conjunction with other systems? Obviously this can be worked round with multiple apps at your end and the call centre end but it’s not a great solution.

    It doesn’t have to be an app or a system or anything just call handlers asking a few simple questions to double check, don’t see how this is hard.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    roger_mellie
    Full Member

    Better solution

    https://www.fourkingmaps.co.uk/what/

    Nsfw

    Tremendous.

    And what better seal of approval could it get?

    crumpsbutts
    Full Member

    If someone in distress is insistent on using W3W because they can’t find a grid ref, surely the call handlers should ask for two W3W strings because the chance of both locations being misread and both being in the same place must be practically impossible.

    poly
    Free Member

    It doesn’t have to be an app or a system or anything just call handlers asking a few simple questions to double check, don’t see how this is hard.

    100%

    The question is not in this particular case did it take someone to the wrong place, but without W3W would they have been able to better describe their location.  Its not like emergency crews never had to hunt for their callers before W3W arrived.  Plenty of ambulance crews etc have been sent to Smith St rather than Smith Rd.

    And it’s misleading to suggest the W3W is fundamentally any more flawed than other systems.  NM123456 and NN123456 very easy to mishear (with untrained users who do not use phonetic alphabet etc).  Get an American to say NZ and a brit likely to hear NC etc.  Then possibility to jumble numbers – has nobody here ever read 124356 as 123456 or written 787878 as 787877?  And the possibility of someone not familiar with grid refs (either caller or call handler) seeing NS123456 7890123 and being asked for six fig GR giving NS123456 rather than NS123789 etc. Handwriten records have potential for further misreads. Same issue when you mix decimal lat long and min/secs.  An “ideal” mayday call to the coastguard from a vessel describes its positions both in lat long and a bearing and distance from a defined landmark.  Realistically many mayday calls are lucky to include any position info.

    The person who suggested it is totally pointless as the smartphone will be able to tell the system automatically were it is have assumed that the person making the 999 call is at the scene.  They may have had to walk to get signal, they may have relayed a message (e.g. via a security person on a large site, via a family member etc).  Lots of scope for error.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    it’s misleading to suggest the W3W is fundamentally any more flawed than other systems. NM123456 and NN123456 very easy to mishear

    Yeah but those two points aren’t close together so it’s pretty simple to determine which would be the correct one. W3W surely shouldn’t have two points “similarly” named but close enough to cause confusion, which is what happened in this latest instance.

    Big-Bud
    Free Member

    A few years ago I was in a local to me woods with a dislocated elbow and w3w had me miles away , search and rescue said it was flawed and used a different system and located me straight away .
    No idea if they now use w3w but it didn’t work for me

    nickjb
    Free Member

    it’s misleading to suggest the W3W is fundamentally any more flawed than other systems. NM123456 and NN123456 very easy to mishear

    But literally the point of W3W was to stop this very problem and it doesn’t.

    pdw
    Free Member

    W3W surely shouldn’t have two points “similarly” named but close enough to cause confusion, which is what happened in this latest instance.

    Exactly. W3W aggressively claim that locations that sound similar will never be near, but it’s been shown repeatedly that this is not the case, and it’s not just isolated cases: the algorithm for generating the location codes is flawed and actually consistently generates confusable pairs within close proximity.

    It’s not a problem with what 3 words per sae it’s just it needs to be checked and the call handlers should be trained to do this.

    Both are true. Yes, call handlers should double check, but they shouldn’t be starting from a flawed, proprietary system.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    NM123456 and NN123456 very easy to mishear (with untrained users who do not use phonetic alphabet etc).

    That’s generally unlikely to be a problem, though. I rarely use the prefixes, normally locality + 6 figs is enough.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    It’s not a problem with what 3 words per sae it’s just it needs to be checked and the call handlers should be trained to do this.

    I’m not sure how you’d check, short of “please spell out the words” – which would seem to defeat the point of using it over anything else.

    Most people don’t know where they are – ask them to describe and “er, there’s grass? I passed a robin a little while ago…”.

Viewing 40 posts - 121 through 160 (of 178 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.