Originally Posted by Wightdiver
What do I do with it?
You install the app. Sounds like you have. As long as you enabled location for it (on 'droid you'd be asked when you install it / open it first time). It uses your GPS like any other navigation type application.
It will show where you are on a map. It will list three words something like
which is actually just outside Charing Cross Train Station
You tell those three words to someone else who wants to locate you, just like sending them a Long Lat or OS Grid Ref. They locate you to about 3m square anywhere in the world. That simple.
You could for instance teach a four year old a three word phrase for your home location. POSSIBLY easier than house number, street name, town.
Using that daring.loin.race example - in 3 words you have precisely identified where you are. You might say you could do that with "Outside Charing Cross Station" - 4 words - but easier to understand, no app, no confusion...?
Except - there is Charing Cross Underground and Charing Cross Mainline in London, and Charing Cross Low Level in Glasgow that i know of. Its Charing Cross Mainline in London. But I'll guess there are several exits.
You could use a Long Lat (or a OS Grid Ref). You can certainly send a Long Lat formatted in a URL and it open straight to Google Maps to do as Poly describes with a text message. Great on a smart phone.
If you are on the phone to the emergency services you could give a Google + Code: "GV5G+73 London" - but we know people struggle with letters and even with GEE VEE FIVE GEE PLUS SEVENTY THREE LONDON - thats 8 'words' which can be miss heard. Your average punter will make up a commoner version of NATO Phonetics that would work the letters, but they will not say SEVEN THREE they will say seventy three which could be heard as 17 3 (no idea if thats a valid number).
Or you can give the Long Lat:
Did you want that in decimal?
FIFTY ONE POINT FIVE ZERO EIGHT THREE NINE SEVEN
MINUS (bet that gets missed a lot) ZERO POINT ONE TWO FIVE TWO EIGHT EIGHT
So Eighteen words - easily mis-heard - if heard wrong can get a plausible location a couple of miles out.
Do degrees and minutes - no hope of a common punter giving the co-ords with degrees minutes seconds correctly! If someone says 51 degrees 30, 30 point 2 N - did they just repeat the thirty i.e. say 51į30.2N or say 51į30'30.2
We've all heard the CG ask for a Long Lat from a DSC distress call. Its painfully slow.
Its been designed to avoid confusing words as far as possible.
I can see uses for calling the other half to know which exit of a building to pick her up at or something.
As Willk says - some youfs round my way got lost in a forest (it was on a ridiculously raining night last week - you have to question why they were out in their hoodies in the woods in the dark!) - The local cops and MRT used it to locate them. I'm sure they would have managed another way, but seems easy enough... and safely extracted.
From an emergency services perspective I suspect they've been slow taking advantage of tech. Although I heard recently of a teenager who was asked to install an app on their phone at the scene of a serious RTC so that the air ambulance could be streamed pictures of what they were going to while en-route...