When it comes to security and emergency communications, it can be difficult for security to communicate without a physical address of a location. Traditional street addresses can only work to a certain extent – globally, 70% of addresses will not take a person to the front door, with 74% of people saying clients, services and deliveries struggle to find them, according to one study. Many places don’t have an address at all, so security teams or first responders responding to a situation are left to depend on landmark-based descriptions such as “behind the third building to the left of the large tree, just after the crossroads.” GPS coordinates can help, but they are difficult to communicate over the radio and not everyone knows how to use them.

Location and property management company, The Movie Lot, which specializes in film and television security, location support, and traffic management for the British entertainment industry, needed a solution to help coordinate necessary responses efficiently and precisely. The Movie Lot use what3words to coordinate production and security crews as well as equipment while on location and have also provided security staff for University College Hospital London during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as working on some of the world’s biggest household name entertainment productions such as the Fantastic Beasts and Doctor Who franchises. 

What3words is a free app, which divides the world into a grid of 3-meter squares and gives each square a unique combination of three words: a what3words address. For example, the Security gate at Pinewood studios can be found at “///trials.inspector.press.” The app enables security or other users to convey locations from specific building entrances or parking spots with easy location references in places with no street addresses, such as building sites, event spaces and large offices with multiple entrances.

The Movie Lot staff can even communicate precise location of assets and sites, report incidents and coordinate operations on the ground. The app also works offline, making it useful in rural areas or areas with unreliable data connection.

Mark Davies, Director at The Movie Lot said, “We are proud to be a partner with what3words, it has been a huge addition for us to navigate guards to their exact position on locations. We’ve used [the app] to coordinate guards on locations from hospital sites to outdoor film sets.”