Not everyone is comfortable with GPS, grid references, lat/long, and so on. Although I’m a geography graduate and happy using these, I’m also a bit of a geek, and a big fan of innovation. It’s not often that a new simple system comes along which revolutionises how we detail and share locations. Recently I’ve starting using What3Words. Not heard of it? Read on . . .

How what3words works

Thanks to the impressively innovative What3Words, it’s now possible to locate a 3x3m location anywhere in the world with just three unique words. The system is supported by a simple app, and an easy to use website.


Three backslashes followed by three words separated with stops is all that’s required to find any 3x3m location in the world. The three words for each 3x3m location are randomly predetermined and fixed.

If you’re a fan of the outdoors and exploring it could be really useful for you in sharing locations with friends. It’s also potentially a life saver in emergency situations in remote locations. There are lots of examples of What3Words saving lives. The system is quickly gaining traction among emergency services, car manufacturers, and gps systems.

Some interesting tree locations with what3words

If you want to track down a specific tree, perhaps one of those in a public list of great trees (e.g. Great British Trees), most will be well-signposted or in easily identifiable places, like the Llangernyw Yew, the oldest tree in Europe (4-5,000 years old), situated in the churchyard of St Digain’s, Llangernyw in Conwy. Imagine instead, that with just three words you can describe exactly (down to 3×3 metres) the location of any tree far from any road, anywhere in the world, without resorting to the long numbers, eastings/westings, latitude and +/- of longitude (and is that decimal or not?).

Imagine being able to describe in three words the location of any tree! ///window.tricks.cake

Imagine being able to describe in just three words the location of any tree in the world!

Here are a few examples of trees or places that mean something to me. Why not share some of yours by leaving some feedback below? Extra credit for anyone finding out what famous tree is found at ///conflict.rucksack.misled !
Westonbirt Arboretum, UKroad entrance: as featured in The New Sylva///aunts.plotter.foods
Piles Copse, Dartmoor National Park, UKlocation of long-term photo monitored tree///ramming.porch.nicely
Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, UKtree location///windmill.zinc.catapult
Blackwood of Rannoch, UKparking: as featured in The New Sylva///tipping.catapult.reach
Oxford Castle, UKtwo sycamore trees///window.tricks.cake
Redwood National Park, CA, USAthe home of the world’s tallest trees///humanities.things.plots


  1. I like ///windmill.zinc.catapult

  2. It’s the Hundred Horse Chestnut, Castagno dei Cento Cavalli

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