Slack Integration for what3words

This is a guest post by Sam Zhang: please let us know if you’d like to contribute to the w3w tech blog.

Slack is a chatting application with a repertoire of 3rd party integrations, like pretty-printing code from linked Gists, showing commits to relevant github repos, and so forth (slack.com/services).

We use it pretty heavily here at the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellowship (dssg.io), where recently what3words has taken our office by storm.

So like any self-respecting data nerd on a coffee break, I built a custom Slack integration that listens in a channel for tokens that fit into the w3w regular expression pattern: ^wwww+?.wwww+?.wwww+$, and returns links to the w3w location.

The code is at github.com/samzhang111/slack-w3w (specifically app/views.py), and it is deployed at dssg.herokuapp.com/receive. Feel free to use that endpoint for your own purposes for now (simply drop it into slack.com/services/new/outgoing-webhook).

Chris Sheldrick from w3w reached out with supportive words, and I’ve now sent the Slack team a message about developing an official integration, and they should be getting back to us soon.

You never know where a coffee breaks might lead you!

Speaking of coffee, drop by *espresso if you’re in Melbourne: it’s owned by the brothers Savage, one of whom is on our team.

Sam Zhang is a Fellow at the 2014 Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellow at the University of Chicago.