If a friend told you, “I’ll meet you at the Desperate Dan statue”, you would probably be pretty clear where they meant if you were from Dundee.
But what if they said to you, “I’ll meet you at ‘wizard.degree.shot'”?
Interestingly, they mean the same location – the statue of the famous Dandy character on High Street.
The three-word code ‘wizard.degree.shot’ for the location of the statue is created by an app called what3words.
It has divided the world up into 3m square sections and given them a three-word address, which will never change.
That means wherever you stand in the world, within that 3sqm section, you can be located.
For example, if you were to stand at the edge of the cliffs at Dunnett Head, which is the most northerly point of Great Britain you are standing in ‘rewriting.nozzles.passage’.
Conversely, if you were to stand at the bottom of Lizard Point in Cornwall, the most Southerly point on the British Mainland, you would be at ‘available.beans.class’.
The style for the code used by the app is to write each word lowercase, joined together with a full-stop in between each, as used in the examples above.
While quirky, interesting, and in some cases amusing, the technology can also be lifesaving.
In August, The BBC reported that the app had saved the lives of a group of friends lost in woods in England.
They were at the location ‘kicked.converged.soccer.’
Such is the precision of the app, the police could pinpoint where in Hamsterley Forest the group were.
Telling the police they were “near some trees” was not much help in a 4,900 acre forest. Tracking the group to a 3sqm section of land was.
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The app was launched in 2013, but has grown in popularity and prominence in the past two years.
In May 2018, the Mercedes A-Class became the first vehicle in the world with what3words on its built in navigation system.
As of October this year, 75 English and Welsh emergency services have also signed up to the system.
With that in mind, The Tele decided to find out ‘what3words’ are used to describe some landmarks in and around Dundee:
If you stand at the furthest 3sqm forward point of the famous Antarctic research boat, first launched in 1901, your location is ‘sloping.insisting.dress.’
At the point where the arches of the two halves of the building meet, you are standing in ‘quaking.output.brink’.
The monumnent in the centre of the highest point of the City of Discovery is referred to as ‘placed.angle.dizzy’ by the what3words app.
Desperate Dan statue
The former cover star of the Dandy was immortalised with a bronze statue, alongside his sidekick Desperate Dawg, in 2001. Type in ‘wizard.degree.shot’ to find the statue on the app.
The Tay Road Bridge
The iconic bridge which links Dundee and Fife was built in 1966. If you were to stand exactly halfway along the bridge, heading southbound towards Fife on the left of the road, you would be standing in the square known as ‘diverts.hurricane.under’.
Search the system for your house, workplace or favourite pub by clicking here, and tell us the 3-word code!
The designers of what3words list reasons on the firm’s website as to why they consider it to be superior over rival navigation systems:
- Map pins on GPS systems aren’t accurate. Searching for the right entrance to a building wastes time.
- Duplicate street names are confusing – there are 271 First Streets in California.
- Many places don’t have addresses – the start of a hiking trail, pop-ups and even homes.
- 3-word addresses are unique, more precise than postcodes and available in over 35 languages.
- To prevent mistakes, similar 3-word addresses are placed as far apart as possible.