What3words is an interesting way for the general public to pinpoint a location on a map. There is a free smart phone app available, so all anyone has to do is open the app and it will describe their current location using 3 simple words.

What3words can be used to describe a GPS position anywhere on the globe – accurate to 3metre x 3metres. The app still uses GPS to know its position – but when accuracy it not crucial – then ///daily.cycle.amuse is easier to communicate than N51° 30.536′ W000° 07.447′ or 51.508934, -0.124111.

Initially used by the emergency services, but increasingly by other local authorities and the general public, what3words is gradually becoming more widely used. We may see it more in our industry.

  • Your customer could use it to describe a tree they are worried about.
  • A volunteer or community survey of the trees for a parish council.
  • Ecology habitat surveys.

Search Maps

We have added a feature to pin-point a what3words location on the OTISS maps.

On the Maps webpage, press the Search for… button and type in the what3words address.

Survey Forms

For our Premium users only, the ///what3words address now appears on the Survey Form along side the grid reference – e.g. TQ 45895 79987, ///wells.spend.join

Excel Reports

For our Premium users only, the ///what3words address can be added to the Excel Reports.

  • None of the standard reports have it as yet.
  • But when using the Excel Report Templates, you can simply add a column called “What 3 Words” into the table. OTISS will fill in the address.
  • Note: adding this column will slow down the report generation a little (because the addresses have to be calculated) – allow 30 seconds extra per 1000 trees.

Other ideas

Please get in touch with OTISS if you are finding ways that what3words is becoming useful in the arboriculture industry and we will expand our support within OTISS.