GPS coordinates

what3words addresses are a human-friendly way of giving the same information as 16 digit GPS coordinates:

51.520847, -0.19552100 ←→ /// filled.count.soap

They are easier to remember, and quicker and easier to say over the phone, or to enter into a device or navigation system by voice or text. what3words has error-prevention technology which helps users quickly identify and correct input mistakes.

Using GPS coordinates with what3words

GPS coordinates can be typed into the what3words app or online map at what3words.com to return a what3words address. To see the formats we accept and also how to see the coordinates for any what3words address click here.

Developers can also use our API to convert between a what3words and GPS coordinates.

The British National Grid reference system (Ordnance Survey)

To search using British National Grid references, they can be entered into the app or online map at what3words.com to return a what3words address.


If you want to view the British National Grid references in the app, open the menu and tap display settings and then select Country-specific systems and the format you’d like to use. The preview box will then show you how this appears.

If you're using our online map then to view the grid reference for a specific what3words address, click ‘Share’, then ‘Customise share settings’ and toggle on British National Grid. You can customise the format to show Eastings and Northings, or 6, 8 and 10-digit grid references. Now, whenever you click Share in the side panel, you’ll see the location’s grid reference in the preview box.

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