California State Parks is partnering with what3words to deploy new geolocation technology in parks statewide.

The what3words technology provides state parks dispatchers with the means to assist visitors in the event they become lost, stranded, or may need help from emergency services. In a press release, California State Parks explained that the what3words app works by providing users with a simple way to communicate precise locations.

The location technology divides a location into a grid of 10 ft. x 10 ft. squares, and gives each square a unique combination of three words, known as a what3words address. The park system says that this means that every park bench, parking space, pitch on a campsite, and remote spot on a hiking trail has its own what3words address. The app is available in over 50 languages and is free to download for both iOS and Android devices.

“Being able to locate a caller during an emergency is essential and the faster the location is confirmed, the faster help can be dispatched,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “what3words enables callers and dispatchers to communicate precise locations with just three words and quickly get the help they need.”

While what3words has its own app, California State Parks said its official app – OuterSpatial – now displays what3words addresses for over 8,000 locations in the state park system, including campsites, trailheads, and picnic areas. Additionally, OuterSpatial is working together with what3words to offer more ways to use three-word addresses in the app, with updates due to be released later in the year.

“From Garrapata on the Big Sur coast to Bodie State Historic Park near the Sierra Nevada, California’s state parks offer some of the most stunning and varied landscapes on the planet, attracting explorers from across the globe,” said what3words CMO Giles Rhys Jones. “With every 10 ft square having its own what3words address it is simpler than ever to arrange meeting spots with your friends, save precise locations of epic viewpoints, remember the space you parked in, and in the event of an emergency – describe exactly where to send help.”

The park system also noted that the what3words can also be used for non-emergencies, like giving friends and family directions to a specific campsite or sharing beautiful viewpoints.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs