Hexagon enhances geocoding capabilities, connects to what3words to boost location capabilities for emergency calls

18 May 2021

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, May 18, 2021

Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division has enhanced its geocoding capabilities and teamed with what3words to improve the ability of emergency services to locate and respond to those in need. The integration of Hexagon’s industry-leading public safety software with what3words’ location service will enable Hexagon’s customers to respond faster to emergencies when callers are unable to provide their exact location.

Accurate location data is vital for emergency response. However, fewer than 20 percent of emergency requests for service originate from landlines, resulting in fewer calls with precise location details. Hexagon’s new Geocoding Interface for its industry-leading computer-aided dispatch (CAD) solution, HxGN OnCall® Dispatch, connects to geocoding capabilities, including an out-of-the-box integration with what3words.

what3words divides the world into 57 trillion 3x3 metre squares, giving each square a new, simplified address made up of three random words. Through the integration, those calling for emergency assistance can explain their location by simply reading out the three words from what3words’ app. Emergency call-takers using Hexagon’s CAD system enter the what3words location, and Hexagon’s software reverse geo-codes the location to present matching addresses from the agency’s gazetteer to verify with the caller. The process is managed within the Hexagon software, which interfaces seamlessly with the what3words API.

The experience is simple and straightforward for emergency call-takers, who follow their normal location capture processes, while also helping to remove confusion and frustration for emergency callers. The integration also improves information sharing between emergency services with different systems when hand-off is required, as a what3words address is unambiguous.

“We’re really pleased to partner with Hexagon, a leading computer-aided dispatch and public safety solutions provider, to enable even more emergency services to use what3words,” said Chris Sheldrick, CEO and co-founder of what3words. “The ability to input precise what3words addresses directly into Hexagon's innovative control room solutions helps services to find, share and coordinate locations more efficiently, crucially saving lives.”

“Hexagon is delighted to offer its public safety customers location validation that seamlessly integrates with the what3words methodology,” said Nick Chorley, director of EMEA public safety and security for Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division. “Now, emergency communications centers can pinpoint a caller’s location in the iconic what3words format just the same as a normal street address.”

Hexagon public safety solutions help protect 1 in 9 people around the world, and what3words is offered in more than 40 languages and 170 countries.

About Hexagon
Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety and mobility applications.

Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous — ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division provides software for smart and safe cities, improving the performance, efficiency, and resilience of vital services.

Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 24,500 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.8bn USD. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.

About what3words
Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words is the simplest way to talk about location. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. A what3words address is a human-friendly way to share very precise locations with other people, or to input them into platforms and machines such as autonomous cars or e-commerce checkouts. It is optimised for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to immediately identify and correct input mistakes.

The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and the online map enable people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in over 40 languages. A 3 word address in one language can be switched instantly into any other supported language, and even looked up in one language and shared in another. what3words can be easily integrated by businesses, governments and NGOs into apps, platforms or websites, with just a few lines of code, and products are available for free or for a nominal fee for qualifying NGOs. Its partners include Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Domino’s Pizza, Lonely Planet, Airbnb and Cabify.

what3words has a team of over 120 people, across offices in London, UK, San Francisco, USA, Johannesburg, ZA and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The company has raised over £40 million in capital from investors such as Intel, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, SAIC and the Sony Investment Fund. what3words is used in 193 countries in the world. Thousands of businesses are using millions of 3 word addresses to save money, be more efficient and provide a better customer experience.

Find your 3 word address here.

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