All tutorials

PHP

intermediate

This what3words PHP wrapper gives you programmatic access to the what3words API V3.

The what3words API is a fast, simple interface which allows you to convert 3 word addresses such as ///filled.count.soap to latitude and longitude coordinates such as (-0.203586, 51.521251) and vice versa. It features a powerful AutoSuggest function that can validate and autocorrect user input and limit it to certain geographic areas (this powers the search box on our map site). The API allows you to request a section of the what3words grid (which can be requested as GeoJSON for easy display on online maps), and to request a list of all current languages supported by what3words. For advanced users, AutoSuggest can be used to post-process voice output. See links on the left to navigate.

All coordinates are latitude,longitude pairs in standard WGS-84 (as commonly used worldwide in GPS systems). All latitudes must be in the range of -90 to 90 (inclusive).

1
2

Installation

The source code is available on GitHub. Use Composer to integrate this library into your project, or do it manually.

Composer:

{
   “require”: {
    “what3words/w3w-php-wrapper”: "3.*"
   }
}
Copied

Manually:
Add this file to your project: Geocoder.php.

3

Setup

If you manually dropped in the file then use require_once("Geocoder.php") instead of require_once("vendor/autoload.php")

require_once("vendor/autoload.php");

use What3words\Geocoder\Geocoder;
use What3words\Geocoder\AutoSuggestOption;

$api = new Geocoder("<Secret API Key>");
Copied
4

Usage

Convert to 3 word address

Convert coordinates, expressed as latitude and longitude to a 3 word address.

More info about convertToCoordinates, including returned results is available in the what3words REST API documentation.

Find the words for (51.520847, -0.195521):

$result = $api->convertTo3wa(51.520847, -0.195521);
print_r($result);
Copied

Convert to coordinates

Convert a 3 word address to a position, expressed as coordinates of latitude and longitude.

This function takes the words parameter as a string of 3 words 'filled.count.soap'

More info about convertToCoordinates, including returned results is available in the what3words REST API documentation.

Find the words for ///filled.count.soap:

$result = $api->convertToCoordinates("filled.count.soap");
print_r($result);
Copied

AutoSuggest

When presented with a 3 words address that may be incorrectly entered, AutoSuggest returns a list of potential correct 3 word addresses. It needs the first two words plus at least the first character of the third word to produce suggestions.

This method provides corrections for mis-typed words (including plural vs singular), and words being in the wrong order.

Optionally, clipping can narrow down the possibilities, and limit results to:

  • One or more countries
  • A geographic area (a circle, box or polygon)

This dramatically improves results, so we recommend that you use clipping if possible.

To improve results even further, set the focus to user’s current location. This will make autosuggest return results which are closer to the user.

More information about autosuggest, including returned results is available in the what3words REST API documentation.

Code example Simple basic call:

$result = $api->autosuggest("fun.with.code");
print_r($result);
Copied

Code example AutoSuggest, clipping the results returned to France:

$result = $api->autosuggest("fun.with.code", [AutoSuggestOption::clipToCountry("FR")]);
print_r($result);
Copied

Code example AutoSuggest, Focus on (51.4243877,-0.34745)

$result = $api->autosuggest("fun.with.code", [AutoSuggestOption::focus(51.4243877,-0.34745));
print_r($result);
Copied

Code example AutoSuggest, with Generic Voice input type.

$result = $api->autosuggest("fun.with.code", [AutoSuggestOption::fallbackLanguage("EN"), AutoSuggestOption::inputType("generic-voice")]);
print_r($result);
Copied

Grid section

Grid Section returns a section of the what3words 3m x 3m grid as a set of horizontal and vertical lines covering the requested area, which can then be drawn onto a map.

The requested box must not exceed 4km from corner to corner, or a BadBoundingBoxTooBig error will be returned.

More information about gridSection, including returned results is available in the what3words REST API documentation.

Get a grid for 52.207988,0.116126) in the south-west, and 52.208867,0.117540 in the north east:

$result = $api->gridSection(39.903795, 116.384550, 39.902718, 116.383122);
print_r($result);
Copied

Available languages

This function returns the currently supported languages. It will return the two letter code, and the name of the language both in that language and in English.

More information about availableLanguages, including returned results is available in the what3words REST API documentation.

$result = $api->availableLanguages();
print_r($result);
Copied

Handling errors

Errors returned from the API can be caught with the wrapper through the use of a catch function.

Within the catch function, code and message values which represent the error, are accessible from the error object parameter

$result = $api->convertToCoordinates("garbage.input");
if ($result == false)
  {
  $error = $api->getError();
  print "Error with code " . $error["code"] . ": ";
  print $error["message"] . ":\n";
  exit();
  }
Copied
5

Regex functions

This section introduces RegEx functions that can assist with checking and finding possible what3words addresses in strings. The three main functions covered are:

  • isPossible3wa – Match what3words address format;
  • findPossible3wa – Find what3words address in Text;
  • isValid3wa – Verify a what3words address with the API;

isPossible3wa

Our API wrapper RegEx function “isPossible3wa” can be used used to detect if a text string (like “filled.count.soap“) in the format of a what3words address without having to ask the API. This functionality checks if a given string could be a what3words address. It returns true if it could be, otherwise false.

Note: This function checks the text format but not the validity of a what3words address. Use isValid3wa to verify validity.

<?php

require_once("vendor/autoload.php");

use What3words\Geocoder\Geocoder;

function main() {
    // Initialize the What3Words API with your API key
    $api = 'YOUR_API_KEY';
    $w3w = new Geocoder($api);

    // Example what3words addresses
    $addresses = ["filled.count.soap", "not a 3wa", "not.3wa address"];

    // Check if the addresses are possible what3words addresses
    foreach ($addresses as $address) {
        $isPossible = $w3w->isPossible3wa($address);
        echo "Is '{$address}' a possible what3words address? " . ($isPossible ? "true" : "false") . "\n";
    }
}

main();

?>
Copied

Expected Output

  • isPossible3wa(“filled.count.soap”) returns true
  • isPossible3wa(“not a 3wa”) returns false
  • isPossible3wa(“not.3wa address”)returns false

findPossible3wa

Our API wrapper RegEx function “findPossible3wa” can be used to detect a what3words address within a block of text, useful for finding a what3words address in fields like Delivery Notes. For example, it can locate a what3words address in a note like “Leave at my front door ///filled.count.soap”. The function will match if there is a what3words address within the text. If no possible addresses are found, it returns an empty list.

Note:

  • This function checks the text format but not the validity of a what3words address. Use isValid3wa to verify validity.
  • This function is designed to work across languages but do not work for Vietnamese (VI) due to spaces within words.
<?php
require once('vendor/autoload.php');

use What3Words\Geocoder\Geocoder;

function main() {
    // Initialize the what3words API with your API key
    $apiKey = 'YOUR_API_KEY';
    $w3w = new Geocoder($apiKey);

    // Example texts
    $texts = [
        "Please leave by my porch at filled.count.soap",
        "Please leave by my porch at filled.count.soap or deed.tulip.judge",
        "Please leave by my porch at"
    ];

    // Check each text for possible what3words addresses
    foreach ($texts as $text) {
        $possibleAddresses = $w3w->findPossible3wa($text);
        echo "Possible what3words addresses in '$text': ";
        print_r($possibleAddresses);
        echo "\n";
    }
}

main();
Copied

Expected Output

  • findPossible3wa(“Please leave by my porch at filled.count.soap”) returns ['filled.count.soap']
  • findPossible3wa(“Please leave by my porch at filled.count.soap or deed.tulip.judge”) returns ['filled.count.soap', 'deed.tulip.judge']
  • findPossible3wa(“Please leave by my porch at”) returns []

isValid3wa

Our API wrapper RegEx function “isValid3wa” can be used to determine if a string is a valid what3words address by checking it against the what3words RegEx filter and verifying it with the what3words API.

<?php

require_once("vendor/autoload.php");

use What3words\Geocoder\Geocoder;

function main() {
    // Initialize the what3words API with your API key
    $apiKey = 'YOUR_API_KEY';
    $w3w = new Geocoder($apiKey);

    // Example addresses
    $addresses = [
        "filled.count.soap",
        "filled.count.",
        "coding.is.cool"
    ];

    // Check if the addresses are valid what3words addresses
    foreach ($addresses as $address) {
        $isValid = $w3w->isValid3wa($address);
        echo "Is '$address' a valid what3words address? " . ($isValid ? 'True' : 'False') . "\n";
    }
}
main();
Copied

Expected Outputs

  • isValid3wa(“filled.count.soap”) returns True
  • isValid3wa(“filled.count.”) returns False
  • isValid3wa(“coding.is.cool”) returns False

Also make sure to replace <YOUR_API_KEY> with your actual API key. These functionalities provide different levels of validation for what3words addresses, from simply identifying potential addresses to verifying their existence on Earth.

Related tutorials