Brazil will be teeming with tourists this summer, with an extra half-a-million visitors expected in Rio de Janeiro during August alone. But despite the new venues, and the city’s notoriously poor addressing system, athletes, tourists and logistics workers don’t have to get lost. what3word’s unique 3 word addressing system has been integrated into numerous mapping and navigation services, from the award-winning RioGo app (which won the Rio Olympics Transport Challenge) to Navmii, the biggest offline satnav app in the world.
what3words makes it easy to find and get to any location in the world. The service works both online and offline, and is based on a location reference platform that uses a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares. Each square has a unique pre-assigned 3 word address, no matter how remote. This makes it easy to both pinpoint an address and communicate it – in whichever of its nine different languages travelers prefer, including Brazil’s national tongue Portuguese.
It’s vital for the Olympics, where getting around can be even more complex. Specifying exactly where to meet, or where to go in a pop-up venue like the Olympic park can be difficult. For example, there are 4 entrances to the Aquatic stadium: expired.stud.cucumber, carbon.padding.puddles, ducks.hillside.frocks and saying.rosette.slogged.
Meeting friends or family in the Olympic Park is easy – meeting at forgiven.milder.dragon (the handball entrance in the Future Arena). If medical attention is needed, tourists can navigate offline to the Jacarepagua Pharmacy is at hint.laws.squares, while the Victoria Hospital is at reheat.admit.take Outside of the Olympic Park, tourists can park near the Christ the Redeemer statue at puff.goggles.really, or find the start of the walking trail to Sugar Loaf at replays.chain.assist.
There are many different ways what3words will be used during the Olympics, including:
Finding your way around Rio is simple using free apps with what3words inside. what3words is in RioGo, the Olympics public transit app – so you can use multi-modal journeys (bus, bike hire, walking, taxi…) to navigate around the city. For navigation when walking or driving, you can simple type in 3 word addresses into Navmii for offline routing to and from 3 word addresses.
Offline travel guide to Rio: PocketEarth
PocketEarth, an app available on Apple OS, lets users view worldwide street maps and key locations of hostels, cafés, bars, hiking trails and more. Guests simply download the offline map for Brazil and they can navigate the entire country simply, using 3 word addresses for every location.
Tourist spots: TripUGo
When planning their trip, visitors can use TripUGo’s travel guide to find museums, swimming spots, adventure playgrounds, hiking and biking trails and much more. Every TripUGo location has its 3 word address listed – from the skatepark at akward.tilting.beams or the Casa do Pontal Museum at owner.includes.solo to the surf spot at Saquarema beach.
Safety at the Olympics: DigitalGlobe
DigitalGlobe, one of the world’s largest satellite imaging companies, has developed an extensive security package to ensure the safety of guests and athletes during Rio 2016. Using its fleet of WorldView satellites, DigitalGlobe is formulating a series of 3D models that can help VIP attendees plan for security breaches, avoid mosquito zones (Brazil is facing a servere Zika virus outbreak) and plan a quick exit if needed. The security and intelligence package detects disruptions to infrastructure, identifies high-crime zones and offers the most up-to-date imagery of Rio as seen from space, providing security officials with the information needed to formulate comprehensive security planning.
The Rio Olympics security package consists of over 100 geospatial layers containing over 80,000 features and 1.25 million building footprints, extracted and compiled from DigitalGlobe imagery and publicly available data. In order to support efficient and accurate action in response to this complex geospatial data in the real world, what3words has been integrated into the platform. While GPS coordinates are accurate, communicating long strings of numbers between humans is prone to error. This is exacerbated in a high-pressure situation in the field and when mistakes happen it can cost lives. With what3words, security teams and those on the ground can quickly identify and easily communicate incidents, team rallying points, helicopter landing sites, or temporary triage tents. They can simply share an accurate location with a paramedic, a security team member or even with civilians and guests. Better communication of location means more efficient management and a faster more effective response.
what3words in the favelas
The residents of Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha, already know all about the efficiency of what3words. According to many official maps, Rocinha is just an empty space. More than 3,000 streets and the homes of more than 70,000 residents are invisible. The Brazilian post office does not deliver in favelas, but a local co-operative, Carteiro Amigo, is using what3words to address every single house in the teeming favela to safely deliver letters and parcels.
Since its launch in 2013, what3words has experienced huge success; in 2015, the company was awarded the prestigious Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation and closed a $3.5million Series A funding round led by Intel Capital, and included Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures. In May 2016, the company won two prestigious Webby Awards – the Webby for Mobile: Best Use of GPS or Location Technology, and the People’s Voice Webby in the category Web: Technical Achievement.
“We are on a mission to change the way people communicate location, to make the world a more efficient, less frustrating and a safer place with 3 word addresses,” says Chris Sheldrick, CEO and co-founder of what3words. “With what3words, there’s simply no reason to get lost in Rio this year.”