Ontario Police Use ‘what3words’ Location App to Rescue Missing Hikers

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) last week rescued a group of three hikers who went missing in Halfway Provincial Park, thanks largely in part to the “what3words” app — reports CTV News.

what3words is a free-to-use location app that assigns a unique, three-word string to every three squared metres of the planet. Three-word strings from the app can be converted into latitude and longitude coordinates, making it quick and easy for anyone to share their precise location.

The OPP received a call at 10:17 p.m. on July 17 about the missing hikers. They “were able to locate and assisted the missing hikers back to the campgrounds without any medical concerns,” they said in a news release.

“The OPP would like to remind the public (that) the what3words app is offered for free by both Android and Apple devices to download,” the release added.

“The app labels every three squared metres with a unique three-word location string which can be converted into latitude and longitude coordinates for entry into the computer aided dispatch system in use at the OPP provincial communication centre.”

what3words even works offline if you already have it installed. If you don’t have it installed, you can also retrieve and share your what3words location from what3words.com. The app is also used by Toronto EMS, Burlington Fire Department, Oakville Fire Department, Halton Hills Fire Department, Halton Regional Police Service, and Guelph Fire Department, among others.

what3words is available in 43 different languages, but locations only contain English words.