what is the difference between what3words and google maps


As technology continues to advance, the way we navigate and locate places has also evolved. Two popular location-based services, what3words and Google Maps, have gained attention in recent years. In this article, I will delve into the differences between what3words and Google Maps, their unique features, and how they are changing the way we think about location.

Understanding what3words

What3words is a geocoding system that divides the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigns each square a unique combination of three words. This means that every location on the planet can be pinpointed with just three words, providing a simple and precise way to communicate and navigate to any location.

The Power of what3words

What3words revolutionizes the way we think about addresses. Instead of long, complicated strings of numbers and letters, what3words provides a human-friendly and easy-to-remember way of identifying locations. For example, instead of sharing GPS coordinates, you can simply give someone three memorable words to lead them to the exact location.

The Benefits of what3words

One of the key benefits of what3words is its universal applicability. It can be used in areas with no traditional addresses, making it extremely valuable for emergency services, logistics, and travel. Additionally, what3words is available in multiple languages, making it accessible to a global audience.

Exploring Google Maps

Google Maps is a widely-used mapping service that offers detailed maps, real-time traffic updates, and a host of other features. It allows users to explore the world, get directions, and find businesses and landmarks with ease.

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The Versatility of Google Maps

Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for many people, whether they are navigating a new city, planning a road trip, or simply finding the closest coffee shop. With features such as Street View and satellite imagery, Google Maps provides a comprehensive and immersive way to explore the world.

The Integration with Google Ecosystem

Google Maps seamlessly integrates with other Google services, such as Google Search and Google Earth. This allows for a seamless experience across different platforms and devices, making it easy to access and share location information.

Differences Between what3words and Google Maps

While both what3words and Google Maps are location-based services, they differ in their approach and functionality. What3words focuses on providing precise and user-friendly location information using a unique combination of three words, while Google Maps offers a more comprehensive mapping service with features such as real-time navigation and street-level imagery.

Precision vs. Versatility

One of the main differences between what3words and Google Maps is the level of precision. What3words excels in pinpointing exact locations with its three-word address system, making it ideal for situations where precision is crucial. On the other hand, Google Maps offers a wide range of features beyond simple location identification, such as turn-by-turn navigation and business reviews.

Accessibility and Reach

Another difference lies in accessibility and reach. What3words is designed to be universally applicable, particularly in areas with no traditional addressing system. Its multilingual support and simple interface make it suitable for a global audience. Google Maps, on the other hand, is deeply integrated into the Google ecosystem and offers a range of features tailored to a wide range of users.


In conclusion, what3words and Google Maps are both valuable tools in the realm of location-based services, each with its own unique strengths. While what3words provides precision and simplicity in location identification, Google Maps offers a comprehensive and versatile mapping experience. Whether you need to pinpoint a precise location or plan a road trip, both what3words and Google Maps have something to offer.

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1. Can what3words be used offline?

Yes, what3words has an offline mode, allowing users to access and use three-word addresses even without an internet connection.

2. Is Google Maps available in all countries?

Google Maps is available in most countries and territories around the world. However, the availability of specific features may vary by region.

3. Can what3words be integrated with other mapping services?

Yes, what3words can be integrated into other mapping platforms and services, providing a seamless way to share and navigate to precise locations.

4. Can Google Maps be used for commercial purposes?

Yes, Google Maps offers a range of solutions for businesses, including mapping APIs and location-based services for commercial use.

5. How accurate is what3words in pinpointing locations?

What3words has been praised for its high level of accuracy in identifying precise locations, making it a valuable tool for emergency services and logistics.