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Glenn Roberts
Surveyor/GIS Mapper
Asked a question 9 months ago

I use a Trimble R8S GNSS receiver for cemetery surveying which usually yields centimeter or better accuracy. I then apply the W3W square. My question is most folks use smart phones for their general location services. Most smart phones have a few meter accuracy at best. Doesn't this impair the accuracy of the W3W square?

Where am I?

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Hi @Glenn Roberts15 - good question! In short - yes. In terms of finding your current what3words location, the accuracy is dependent on the device's GPS accuracy.  We encourage people to wait a few seconds after opening the app to allow this GPS signal to settle, for greater accuracy. They can also look at the map in satellite mode if they have a data signal, and select a more accurate square that way.

In general, we find the level of accuracy from a smartphone is perfectly sufficient for helping people use what3words accurately for things such as specifying delivery locations, telling emergency services, taxis and friends where they are, or recording the location of objects and assets.


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