what3words prepares for growth with new CTO

By on 21 July, 2015

gary gale

Gary Gale, the British geocoding expert and former director of places at HERE, has joined global addressing company what3words as chief technology officer. Gale joins what3words from the Ordnance Survey, the UK’s national mapping agency, where he was head of APIs.

Co-founder and CEO of what3words, Chris Sheldrick, said the appointment comes as the company enters a new phase of international growth: “As our business and consumer base is fast becoming global, Gary’s experience integrating geo-technology at an enterprise and national government level will be invaluable, as we expand how organisations and consumers can interface with 3 word addresses.”

Gary Gale has worked in the mapping and location space for more than 20 years. Before joining what3words from the Ordnance Survey, he was the geo-technologist at Lokku (where he devised and launched the OpenCage Data geocoding service), and director of places and director of global community programs for HERE. Before joining HERE, Gary led the Geo-technologies group for Yahoo!.

A regular keynote speaker and content contributor, Gary has written for The Guardian, GPS Business News, Coordinates Magazine and The Cartographic Journal, and appeared on The Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast and BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.

“I’m excited to join what3words at this crucial stage in the business’s growth, and continue their work to integrate this solution into more and more mainstream services across the globe,” said Gale.

“What this company has done is revolutionary: it has developed a coordinate system that is truly user-friendly. what3words will make a huge difference, especially in poorly addressed parts of the world, where people right now are struggling with addresses based on landmarks and directions,”

what3words is a global address system based on a grid of 3mx3m squares. It uses an algorithmic engine to give each of the 57 trillion squares a pre-assigned and fixed address of three dictionary words.


A keynote speech about what3words will be given by Steven Ramage at GeoNext 2015, 19 August at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ramage is a board director of what3words, geospatial consultant at the World Bank and visiting professor at the Institute for Future Cities, in Scotland.


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