Three words and they know exactly where you are - a simple free app makes it happen.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 11th,2020



This one is a little on the complex side.

The Regional Police have signed on to a web site that will aid them in finding people who are lost and help people who are lost in getting found.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) announced a new partnership with What3Words. They are one of the first police services in the country to adopt this potentially lifesaving technology and is confident that this new program will help reduce response times.

The service is called – What3words – described as an easy way to communicate an exact location. This is done by dividing the world into 3 metre squares and assigning each square a unique combination of three words.

We did say it is complex.

For example, the what3words address of the HRPS Headquarters’ front entrance is Erupt.Venomous.Linear.

Using the app, callers can communicate their precise location to call takers at the HRPS. If they do not have the app, the HRPS can send callers a text message that will identify their location and unique what3word address. HRPS communicators can then direct officers to the exact location of the caller.

What3 words graphic

It is complex – but if it works – it could be great.

“This technology could be especially helpful in situations where people have become lost hiking, or have driven off the road and are trapped in a vehicle and don’t know where they are” says Staff Sergeant Stephanie Jamieson, Communications Bureau.

“We think this will also help immensely along the 325 square kilometres of Lake Ontario policed by the HRPS Marine Unit. Boaters can become stranded or lost and struggle to communicate their location to police.”

This program is far more precise than a traditional cell phone ‘ping’ often used by emergency services.

The HRPS will begin using this technology effective immediately.

The app is available for free on iOS and Android or via the online map at It’s also available in more than 40 languages.

The app also works offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas of Halton that may have poor or unreliable data signal.

For more information a video on how the program works can be found HERE.

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1 comment to Three words and they know exactly where you are – a simple free app makes it happen.

  • Alan Harrington

    This app is excellent to pinpoint a location for someone in distress

    Also interesting to see the random 3 word names generated

    for “ten foot square footprint” of landmark locations:

    End of the Burlington Pier: Defended – Driveway – Private
    Top of Light Tower on Pier: Caskets – Exists – Tulip
    Burlington Cenotaph : Gloves – Fighters – Airship
    Burlington City Hall Fountain: Sleepy – Special – Talkers
    Spencer Smith Park Gazebo: Tourist – Viewing – Dragon

    Tim Hortons by Lakeshore: Ambition – Leaves – Images
    Joseph Brant Museum: Harmless – Squish – Assures

    Very Tip of CN Tower: Strut – Explain – Chins
    Centre Ice Maple Leaf Gardens: Cucumber – Cucumber – Grapes
    Tip of Peace Tower Ottawa: Adjusted – Nibbles – Cricket

    Larger landmarks have many 3 word names generated.