Assigning What3words Addresses To OSM Buildings

Posted by Martin Seiler on Tue, Dec 16, 2014
Tags what3words geocoding

What3Words offers multilingual and memorizable addresses for 3x3 meter grid cells on the entire globe (more on this in an earlier post). So with w3w it becomes possible to assign addresses e.g. to buildings even in countries without functioning traditional addressing schemes.

As a demo I assigned addresses to buildings in Sierra Leone, as available in the OpenStreetMap database (open in new window):

For this example I downloaded the OSM data from Geofabrik, loaded the buildings (> 420.000) into a postgreSQL database and derived the centroid for each polygon. The centroids’ lat/lon coordinates are used to query the what3words API in order to receive the w3w in different languages. (Alternatively of course it would be possible to receive the center points of the buildings on the fly e.g. from the overpass API).