what3words helps Olympic visitors navigate Rio

By on 9 August, 2016


With an extra 500,000 athletes, fans, media and staff currently in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, more than a handful of these new visitors will get lost amongst the crowded beaches, sprawling favelas and new sporting infrastructure. To combat this, the award-winning Olympics planning app RioGo has integrated unique addressing system what3words, making it possible to locate and travel to a location in Rio de Janeiro using a 3 word address.

The custom-developed RioGo app was created by Sydney-based start-up SkedGo and won the “Experience the Olympics” category of the Olympic City Transport Challenge in Rio. RioGo is available on Android and iOS and uses the award-winning technology behind the established TripGo brand, which combines all available public and private transport methods.

rio-olympics-w3wTo help navigate the new venues, and the city’s notoriously poor addressing system, the RioGo app provides detailed information about Olympic events. This enables the user to choose whether they prefer the fastest, cheapest or environmentally friendliest trip. RioGo then automatically produces an itinerary and alerts the user when to leave and which transport to catch.

As well as RioGo, what3words is also integrated into travel apps including PocketEarth, Navmii and TripUGo, meaning that visitors to Rio can explore its famous sights using a 3 word address.

“We are on a mission to change the way people communicate location, to make the world a more efficient, less frustrating and a safer place with 3 word addresses,” says Chris Sheldrick, CEO and co-founder of what3words. “With what3words, there’s simply no reason to get lost in Rio this year.”

what3words is already being used by residents of Rio’s largest favela, Rocinha, where thousands of streets and the homes of over 70,000 residents do not have suitable addressing. Local co-operative, Carteiro Amigo (Friendly Postman), uses the native app to give people 3 word addresses in Portuguese so they can get mail and packages delivered. Addresses are even written on stickers for the residents who can use them when ordering online.

what3words works on the most basic smartphones and offline. Given the patchy data connection in the favelas there is no problem identifying a 3 word location or using the compass mode.


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