Spring 2015, on a practice at meh.com:
One’s order “number” is not a number at all, but three random words. Harder to fake, I’m guessing.
Last week, on trying to make addresses in Florence make sense:
“It has a unique address system with two number systems running side by side. Generally speaking, residences have a number in black or blue, while businesses have numbers in red (rosso in Italian), which is usually written with a little ‘r’ following the number.”
Amazingly, there is a point of convergence for these two situations, and it’s in Mongolia, where something remarkable is happening:
Mongolia will become a global pioneer next month, when its national post office starts referring to locations by a series of three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names.
The new system is devised by a British startup called What3Words, which has assigned a three-word phrase to every point on the globe. The system is designed to solve the an often-ignored problem of 75% of the earth’s population, an estimated 4 billion people, who have no address for mailing purposes, making it difficult to open a bank account, get a delivery, or be reached in an emergency. In What3Words’ system, the idea is that a series of words is easier to remember than the strings of number that make up GPS coordinates. Each unique phrase corresponds to a specific 9-square-meter spot on the map.
For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves; the Tokyo Tower is located at fans.helpless.collects; and the Stade de France is at reporter.smoked.received.
And nine square meters is pretty efficient at defining a point. Consider the palatial estate at Surlywood, which all by itself sprawls over a thousand square meters; I could theoretically have several different phrases for different parts of the house or the yard.
Some places around Oklahoma City on the What3Words system:
- Mathis Brothers Furniture: coats.extend.horns
- Devon Tower: deeper.dawn.emerge
- Oklahoma State Capitol: harp.fade.runs
- Chesapeake Energy Arena: modest.onion.flute
Kyle Singler used to play the modest onion flute in his spare time.