Precise and simple locations with Mapbox Dash and what3words for voice and text

Greg Jourdan
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Aug 17, 2021

Precise and simple locations with Mapbox Dash and what3words for voice and text

Greg Jourdan

Guest

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Guest

Aug 17, 2021

We have all struggled to type in a combination of numbers and letters of an address before navigation, thinking there must be a better way. Street addresses can be long, contain multiple words with unfamiliar spellings, as well as numbers. Mapbox Dash (turnkey navigation system) and what3words combine for a new feature -- voice integration that avoids those pitfalls and lets users simply speak or type three words instead.

What3words provides drivers with a precise, easy-to-memorize way to describe a location that has already been adopted by companies like Mercedes, Ford and Mitsubishi as part of their core navigation experience.

Finding the right entrance to a large building, driving to a specific camping spot, one corner of a park, a spot on the beach, or a location in a remote or rural area - all of those are familiar situations. For many of these situations, a street address is not a complete solution. What3words divides the world into 3 meters (9.8ft) squares and assigns each square a unique combination of three words. What3word addresses are short and easy to remember, and refer to a location with high accuracy.

“Pier 39” street address, compared to what3words addresses for points of interest in the pier.

A building street address might not refer to a specific entrance, delivery, or meeting point. Some locations don’t have an address making location and navigation a challenge. Many countries are currently attempting or needing to update their addressing systems - less than 10 years ago, 80% of African countries were involved in an addressing project, according to the United Postal Union, a sister organization to the UN who was also actively engaged on addressing projects in Costa Rica, India, South Korea and Denmark.

What3words addresses are unique worldwide, while a street address can be similar or repeat in closeby cities and even within the same city.

Similar addresses in downtown Seattle.

Dash users are able to set their destination to a specific location within large areas such as parks, trails, beaches, or navigate to places that don’t have an address at all, and do so in 48 languages without any additional localization work, in countries with multiple ways of codifying addresses.

Multi-language support, including EMEA and APAC Regions.

For developers building on-demand logistics, e-commerce, navigation, or social applications wanting to add this Dash feature, we are releasing the core what3words + Search SDK solution on GitHub. With less than ten lines of code, all Mapbox developers can implement what3words’ precise locations.

Mapbox + w3w code sample.

The what3words Android wrapper integrates with Mapbox Search SDK to create a forward geocoding search box that returns location for either a regular street address or a 3-word address. Based on their needs, developers can then connect this data with the Mapbox Maps SDK or Navigation SDK for an end-to-end experience. The full code sample is available on GitHub and contains examples of both implementations.

Adding what3words to your Mapbox app empowers users with easy-to-communicate, precise addresses to arrange a meet-up, add an exact delivery point, or direct them to one specific entrance of a building.


Contact us to ask about Dash, or log into your Mapbox account and get started with what3words and Mapbox SDKs.

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