what3words and QGIS

17.03.2016 06:00 ·  GIS  ·  qgis, plugins

Have you ever tried to pass the coordinates of any location by phone or explain to someone where to find a specific place on a map in the absence of a map? This is not an easy task: not everyone can easily memorize long coordinates, and it is difficult to recognize them, especially when spelling over the phone. Of course, there are different techniques designed to simplify this. For example, one can say coordinate in full, spell it by individual numbers, or even use the International Phonetic Alphabet (of course, if interlocutors are familiar with it). But anyway, it is slow, inconvenient, and error-prone.

In such cases, the what3words service comes to the rescue. With its help, one can pass the coordinates of any location with 3 meters of accuracy in just three words. All you need to do is install the Android/iOS application or open the website, find the desired point on a map, and copy three words that encode the point’s coordinates. For instance, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Svobody square, 4), where the GIS-Forum 2016 is currently taking place, is at robes.mimics.array.

The service is free and already supports 8 languages. The number of supported languages grows every month.

QGIS users can install the plugin of the same name developed by BoundlessGeo. The plugin allows you to get the coordinates of any point in what3words notation and quickly navigate to a location defined by what3words coordinates.

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