Berlin MediaHackDay

what3words attended the MediaHackDay hackathon as an API partner over the weekend. Held at the Axel Springer Plug & Play Accelerator in Berlin, the event saw 20 teams of developers and designers hacking together car and transportation orientated apps. Other API partners present included Spotify, TomTom, Der Spiegal and Bosch.

Some fun, crazy, interesting, useful (and not so useful) apps were produced in equal measure. The winner of the what3words API prize went to an innovative mashup of the TomTom, Spotify and what3words APIs. Named what3trackz, the in-car app enabled users to navigated to 3 word addresses within the TomTom navigation platform while simultaneously streaming songs from Spotify that included the 3 words in their title.

More details on all the projects can be seen here and the what3trackz code can be found on github.

RSTATS interface to what3words

We love developer and community engagement here at what3words and we’re pleased to see the latest example from Barry Rowlingson, Research Fellow at the Lancaster Medical School. We noticed on twitter that he has “just bashed out an #rstats interface to @what3words” and we encourage our tech blog readers to take a look at his work, posted here on github.

 

We welcome all developer feedback and look forward to seeing more innovative interfacing with what3words in the near future.

Nestoria and w3w API Libraries

Most readers of this blog will be very familiar with the what3words API: we try very hard to make our API as easy to use as possible. One developer proudly told us that it took her only 20 minutes from signing-up and receiving her API key to having a working implementation of what3words in her app. (This is a record waiting to be broken…).

We’re seeing great support from developers to make our API even easier to use, ranging from feedback and requests (which we love to receive) right up to the creation of these beautifully simple API libraries/wrappers, thanks to the team at Lokku and Nestoria:

There are  more details over on the Nestoria techblog, and of course on the pages for the libraries themselves. We’ve got a feeling that these libraries might just be the key that helps someone crack the 20 minute w3w API implementation record!

We’re extremely grateful to the guys (Marc and Ignacio) for making these and publishing them with such clear guidance.

In the meantime, get on over to Nestoria and see what3words in action – how about looking for somewhere to live in the puxar.diretos.chamam area of Rio de Janeiro

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.

Convert what3words to any other Spatial Reference System with TWCC

TWCC, The World Coordinate Converter, is an open and free web application designed and built by Clément Ronzon that allows to convert spacial coordinates between most of the existing systems.

Most of the CRSs (Coordinate Reference Systems) are based on numbers and sometimes on letters organized in a logical manner.

What3words is an innovative coordinate system and is new in its kind. Based on random words in various languages, it has apparently no mathematical or logical link with the most known CRS: WGS84, aka GPS.

Fortunately what3words provides an API for conversions from and to WGS84.

This has been a new challenge to integrate what3words system inside TWCC and the result is up to the expectations.

You can try now to use w3w system inside TWCC: convert “knife.spoon.fork” to GPS!

Enjoy!