what3words appoints former OSI MD

By on 4 November, 2014

Steven Ramage

Steven Ramage, former managing director of Ordnance Survey International, has joined global addressing start-up what3words.

what3words is a location reference system that has named every 3×3 meter square on earth with 3 unique words: creating a much more user-friendly interface for latitude and longitude. For instance, I can condense the address of my office to future.zoom.drive, or – more conveniently – the location of that great address-less beach I went to on the weekend to (perhaps appropriately) achievable.betrayed.jellyfish.

“Having worked in the industry for the last 20 years, I can honestly say I have not seen anything like this,” says Steven. “What3words is a simple system that allows absolutely everybody to communicate precise location. It offers location referencing for the whole world, with some exciting developments around offline, multiple language support, and voice technology.

“This is a game changing approach that can help the 20 million unaddressed homes in the Brazilian’s favelas, the aid agencies mapping schools in rural Africa, or the numerous governments in emerging nations looking to take the next step of development that robust addressing & location referencing offers.”

what3words co-founder and CEO Chris Sheldrick said “Steven carries enormous respect in the industry, with him leading our strategy we can change the way the world is addressed.”

At the same time geospatial veterans Lokku have invested in what3words and incorporated the technology into a number of their products.

“Most geospatial technology can be bafflingly complex,” said Ed Freyfogle, co-founder of Lokku. “Any solution to the desperate global addressing problem must be simple enough for normal people to use. It is here that 3 words win over alphanumeric codes.

“Chris presented what3words to a highly qualified – and sceptical – audience at #geomob. What won me, and others, over was what3words’ radical, simple approach. We have integrated the ability to search by 3 words into Nestoria our property search engine, it’s a big help in markets like Brazil or India. We’ve also added what3words to our OpenCage geocoding service”

what3words has also appointed Giles Rhys Jones, the director of digital strategy at Ogilvy & Mather UK as marketing director, and Tim Williams as business development director. Tim was previously head of partnerships at Shutl, the rapid fulfilment service who sold to eBay last year.

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