New App Allows RCMP to Track Missing and Injured People in the British Columbia Backcountry

Dominic Gawel | BackcountryBackcountry | BrainsBrains

What 3 Words is a new digital app that allows emergency services to pinpoint exactly where you are located in the backcountry. The app has divided the Earth into 3-meter squares – each 3-meter square has three words to identify it. For example, “untrained.lobsters.warrior” is a three-letter combination for a 3-meter square near Mt. Robbie Reid in British Columbia.

All you need to do is call 911. From there, dispatch will text you a link to click and you give them the three words associated with your position. If you have downloaded the app, all you have to do is give dispatch the three-word combination from the app and search and rescue teams will know where to find you.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have successfully used the app to find missing hikers near the North Shore mountains of Vancouver. All the hikers had to do was click on a link that let dispatch know where they are. From there, dispatch could relay their coordinates to Search and Rescue. RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries commented:

” [The app] divided the earth up into a gridwork of three-meter squares, each assigned a random sequence of three words. Those three words label the square in which a person is standing. All they have to do is click a link and we’ll be able to pinpoint where they are.”

The app is a gamechanger and makes it much easier to pinpoint a cell phone’s location. Compared to other methods of finding a cellphone, this is much more simple. The biggest drawback is your cell phone does need service. Soon, the app will be used worldwide.

What 3 Words? Credit: Popular Mechanics

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