Using what3words

Using what3words to Tag a Location

What is what3words?

What3words is a geolocation system that uses words instead of numbers to define a precise location.

"We divided the world into 3 metre squares and gave each square a unique combination of three words. It’s the easiest way to find and share exact locations." (from the what3words website).

Finding the what3words address for an observation

When you identify a non-native species and want to report it on this website, you need to find the three unique words that defines its location so that you can complete the observation form. There are two ways to to this:

  • If you are back at home and looking at a tablet or computer browser, you can use the what3words website to find the aerial view of where you made your observation. The What3words Map buttons next to each species description open a satellite view centred on Mileham Village Store.

    See the
    first screenshot of a web browser view of the what3words website.

Move around the satellite map and choose the 3m square nearest to your sighting. Copy the three word address by clicking the copy icon ⧉, or just note the three words. When you are filling in the reporting form you can paste the address which will be in the form ///word1.word2.word3

  • Alternatively, if you have a smartphone, you can use the what3words app for Android or iPhone whilst you are making your observation to get the three word address. Start the application and, provided you have allowed the app access to your location, it will show the three word address of where you are. Touch and hold the three word address to copy it to the clipboard or use the Share option to save the address for later.

    The s
    martphone app is well worth installing as it is a good method of providing your exact location to the emergency services if necessary.

What3words viewed in a web browser and centred at the front of Mileham Village Store.
Note the copy-to-clipboard icon ⧉ to the right of the 'breakfast.nutrients.noticing' address.


Screenshot of what3words on an Android phone

Screenshot of what3words on an Android phone.
The 'copied' message at the bottom of the screen is because a held touch on the three word address has copied it to the clipboard.