Warning: This post contains swear words. Younger readers, those of a sensitive disposition, the elderly and many others should NOT read on.

If you are still reading, I assume you are not a cartoprude and can decode the asterisks in the post title, I am old enough to still be ill at ease with using swear words in print/online and will do my best to minimise the f***s.

If you follow my ramblings here and on twitter you will know that I am skeptical as to whether Location Grids are addressing systems or just alternatives to coordinates, this is what I wrote last year “A Location Grid is not an address“.

Last week I got a message from my friend Iván Sánchez asking me if I could point him to a list of english insults. Puzzled? I was. It turned out that he was working on his latest project What3F***s (warning the site contains a lot of f***s and other swear words). Now Iván is a very smart guy, he’s an early contributor to OSM and has done a lot of work on Leaflet more recently, he also has a great sense of humour as can be seen from his “performances” at recent FOSS4G events, here is an example.

I decided that rather than writing a long post about why What3F***s is neat, flexible, open and extensible I would call Iván up and interview him yesterday afternoon. The uncut version complete with a lot of f***s explains What3F***s, the algorithms behind it (some of which he claims are 1st year computer science but was way over my head), why he built it, what others might do with it and the reaction so far. Enjoy

This morning I stumbled on the first adaption of What3F***s a clone called What3Pokemon which apparently took about half an hour to clone from the original version. I imagine that there will be a few more ideas for cloning this and the open source code and algorithms could spawn some useful applications, all you need is a relatively short word list and you can create your own custom version.

Written from Vivillon Swablu Alakazam in What3Pokemon or if you really insist super swine dickmonger in What3F***s.

Update – The foundational theory underpinning What3F***s that Iván referred to was Encoding and Handling Geospatial Data with Hierarchical Triangular Meshes  by Geoffrey Dutton


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