Where is WhatFreeWords mirrored?

WhatFreeWords is currently available at:

If you want to mirror the site, please do so, and tell us, and we will add your mirror to the list.

What license is WhatFreeWords published under?

The JavaScript, Go, and Python libraries are all published under the Creative Commons CC0 license. This means they are as close to public domain as it is possible to get.

Why is the library so large?

The JavaScript library is about 2.4 megabytes. Almost all of this data is encoding data about how regions of the Earth are mapped to n values. There are over 300,000 regions. The raw data for the regions is 1.8 megabytes, and getting the data encoded in a JavaScript file raises this to 2.4 megabytes even after compression.

The Go library is about 2.6 megabytes of source code, for similar reasons, and produces executables of at least about 5.7 megabytes.

If you can shrink any of this data or make any other improvements, then please contact us and we will be pleased to use your improvements.

Why isn't it on GitHub?

Before WhatFreeWords existed, another group had released an open-source implementation of What3Words and published it on GitHub, and GitHub removed the repository after receiving a DMCA takedown notice from the What3Words company. It is likely that similar action would be taken against a WhatFreeWords repository on GitHub.

We can not know what was in the repository, but it is likely that the DMCA notice was illegitimate. If the repository (like WhatFreeWords does) contains a clean-room implementation of the software algorithms, and only contains data that is necessary for interoperability, then What3Words have no copyright over the contents of the repository. Nonetheless, we do not want the conflict, so we stay off GitHub.

Who are you?

We prefer to remain anonymous. The What3Words company has shown that they will attempt to cause problems for people distributing open-source implementations of the What3Words geocoding system, so it is easier if we are anonymous.

Do you want to ruin the What3Words company's business?

Yes. The What3Words company are the worst kind of bullies. When we first started the WhatFreeWords project we expected to peacefully coexist with the What3Words company, but they have repeatedly had the project website taken down, and they have now even started taking down Tweets about the project. We can only hope that this backfires due to the Streisand Effect.

We do not believe that an open-source implementation of the What3Words geocoding system has negative effects on the What3Words company's commercial offering, but we wish it did.

How can I help?

Port the WhatFreeWords library to new languages, write examples and documentation, tell people that WhatFreeWords exists, mirror the website to protect against it getting censored, and distribute the library and explanation of the encoding scheme as widely as possible.