PODCAST: Originally from the music industry, what3words CEO Chris Sheldrick identified the need for a better addressing system, after bands and equipment constantly kept getting lost.
DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode: https://tinyurl.com/SDP89
FIREFIGHTING and PLAT BOOKS
Dr. Perrodin aced his classroom and field firefighting certification competencies – with one exception. He struggled to interpret coordinates on a plat book. First, for those of you not from my generation, a plat map, also known as a “plat,” shows how a tract of land is divided into lots. It is drawn to scale and shows the land’s size, boundary locations, nearby streets, flood zones, and any easements or rights of way. In the 1990s, fighting a fire in a rural, or unpopulated area, meant that the firefighter needed to pinpoint the location of the fire against the matching “plat” in what was typically a bound book of plat maps.
W3W started in 2013 and has blazed across the globe, benefiting not only the logistical variables of delivery, but has extended into other areas, including rescue. The what3words system is fixed and will never change. So a 3 word address today will still be the same in 10 years’ time. The square size of 3m x 3m is consistent across the globe, eliminating the need to switch between addressing formats or coordinate systems based on a country or industry sector.
WORDS BEAT NUMBERS
Using words means that non-technical people can discover and understand a 3 word address more easily than a postcode or GPS coordinates. They can also share that address more quickly, more accurately and with less ambiguity than with any other system. For example, cave.arrive.rider is a square of beach in Los Angeles. This might be handy information for staking out the best spot for sunning, but it could also be information to direct emergency assets if someone had a heart attack. The beach doesn’t have an address – so the problem with emergency response is quite clear – and also the specific way that what3words can add precision to a rescue.
HOW THIS FIXES THE PROBLEM WITH SCHOOL RE-UNIFICATION SITES
Dr. Perrodin’s consistent message for school safety is to cautiously approach preparing re-unification sites as part of a school safety plan. The problem with designating a church 2 blocks away as a re-unification site is that the fire department might declare a perimeter of 6 blocks around the school. In a moment, everything you’ve planned for in your evacuation is now out the window. Instead, at the start of every school year, Dr. Perrodin urges schools to inform parents that in the event of a student evacuation, the re-unification site will be determined as “part of working the problem.” what3words can provide a 3 word address for the impromptu re-unification location. This is a step forward from an address, example, as the W3W address can identify a specific entrance for parents.
David also notes that the W3W system appears to be highly-compliant with ADA standards. It can interface with voice-input systems, wearables, and so on. This is very important for school as it helps ensure accessibility by students with special needs.
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Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com
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