When a woman crashed in her car in rural England after being forced off the road by another driver, she was unable to communicate her precise location to first responders because she was unfamiliar with the area.
The solution was What3Words, a geocoding app that divides the world into 57 trillion three-by-three-meter squares, each one with its very own three-word “address” (such as croak.stoop.wriggle) so users can easily describe super-precise locations.
The woman used the service to find her three-word location code before passing it on to the call handler who could then send help.
This week, the London-based startup behind What3Words alongside Vodacom announced that it has now zero-rated the what3words emergency find me website which means that South African Vodacom subscribers can access the website for free with no concerns over data costs or data running out.
This is one of numerous websites that Vodacom is making accessible at no cost, alongside key educational, job seeking and health websites which can all be found on the network’s ConnectU platform.
When in an emergency, a what3words address will be given to the call handler to identify precisely where help is needed. The free what3words app works offline, but when a caller does not have the app, emergency services text a link to the what3words emergency find me website which tells them the what3words address for the location. The caller then simply must read the three on the screen of their smartphone or data enabled phone.
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