While having a home address seems like a routine thing for millions of individuals around the world, there are still areas where creating an address is not a simple task. Rural areas such as the Navajo Nation, Mongolia, or rural China have a difficult way of identifying where an individual lives because traditional addresses are not used. This can inhibit not only the individual’s’ ability to receive mail at their home, but also apply for credit cards, register to vote, or have emergency services be able to locate you if necessary. That’s where TEDGlobal comes in.
TEDGlobal is a company that has started a standard address system that uses just three words to designate an individual’s address. The program is called What3words. A charity in Durban, South Africa recently implemented the program and has provided addresses for 11,000 pregnant women. Before the use of the address, if one of these women went into labor, the ambulance would spend hours searching for them. Now, it is a quick trip. What3words has also teamed up with Khan bank in Mongolia to provide addresses to individuals when they apply for a bank account.
Not only could What3words provide a universal address for every living person, but it can map out more fully rural areas that remain almost a hidden mystery from the modern world.