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Sending Mail in Mongolia? ‘Dissident.sloth.ploy’ Could Be the Address

These oddly poetic three-word codes will soon act as a stand-in for the more common addressing convention of house number, street name and postal code, which never quite caught on in Mongolia, one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries.

They are the invention of a British start-up, What3Words, that has mapped the world into 57 trillion patches of nine square meters and given each one a unique three-word identity.


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A very strange idea, don't you think?

Strange, Adam, yet apparently needed:

Mongol Post, the country’s largest mail provider, has licensed the system from What3Words, and starting in September it will offer customers the option of using the three-word codes. (The company added Mongolian to its first 10 languages; 14 more are coming.)

“Try to find someone moving around with their animals on a territory the size of Alaska,” said Ganhuyag Ch. Hutagt, the chief executive of Ard Financial Group, an owner of Mongol Post.

Under the new system, Mongolians will be able to use a What3Words smartphone app to look up the three-word code for where they are or where they want to send mail, by placing a pointer over a spot on the app’s global map or by entering an address if one is available. Postal workers can then use the app to arrive at the location by sending the three words, automatically converted into GPS coordinates, to any navigation system on their phone for turn-by-turn directions.

I entered different addresses several times over, and each one, each time, got their own same three words. 

The NYT did their own thing:


I guess it's easier to remember three word codes than latitude and longitude numbers. 

I guess it is...

“Words are easier to remember and communicate than GPS or other alphanumeric systems,” said Giles Rhys Jones, a What3Words spokesman.

"... has mapped the world into 57 trillion patches of nine square meters and given each one a unique three-word identity." This isounds mind-boggling.

It does! Thank goodness for software. 

Where would you start?

I'm not even sure.

Mulling it over a hot pizza would be a good starting place :)

Not really Dissident.sloth.ploy, because they are translating the system to whatever the language in Mongolia is.  In any case, this is a clever application of hash functions.

Agreed, very clever. 

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