[Insight] Technology + smart use = win

[Insight] Technology + smart use = win

75% of world’s population does not have an address — that’s 4 billion people. Seems anecdotic, but without it, you won’t only miss Amazon deliveries: you can’t open an account, be registered as a voting citizen, emergency service cannot locate you and save you if you’re having a heart attack…

Mongolia has this kind of problems, being the least densely populated country in the world, with 25% nomadic population. Even in the capital city Ulaanbaatar, many streets lack names, so people either give additional informations (“after the red door, continue 100 meters straight and turn left before the lamppost”) or walk to delivery points that have a known address.

To face those challenges, the Mongolian Post Office just made a pioneering move by signing a deal with British startup What3Words, specialized in mapping technologies: their software can assign a 3-words phrase to every point on the globe. For example, the Stade de France address will be “reporter.smoked.received”; a local pharmacy in Ulaanbaatar might be located at “look.key.burning”. People can look the translation 3Words <-> GPS-points online or thanks to a dedicated app.

Several organizations, such as the United Nations, courrier companies and mapping firms already use the What3words system — and this could solve many of developing countries’ problems.

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Originally published at knowledge.fredfarid.com.