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 (

We use it pretty heavily here at the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellowship (, 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 (specifically app/, and it is deployed at Feel free to use that endpoint for your own purposes for now (simply drop it into

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.