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Mongolia adopts what3words as national addressing system

June 1, 2016  - By 1 Comments

Mongol Post, Mongolia’s national postal delivery service, has adopted the addressing platform what3words for postal deliveries to customers across the country.

The three-word address shops.maps.exonerates is a tent home. (Photo: what3ords)

The three-word address shops.maps.exonerates is a tent home. (Photo: what3ords)

Mongolia covers an area nearly the size of the European Union, but has no consistent addressing system. what3words has developed a accurate address for every 3 x 3-meter square in the world, and Mongol Post is now making this address system integral to its service and a part of the infrastructure that will help drive the country’s economic development.

Mongolia — known for its nomadic population and vast, sparsely populated landscape — faces unique challenges when it comes to postal services. In many parts of the country, citizens have to collect mail from post office boxes dozens of kilometers away from their homes.

The what3words address of this location is uniform.resettle.wakes.  (Photo: what3words)

The what3words address of this location is uniform.resettle.wakes. (Photo: what3words)

Other customers have no access to postal services or deliveries at all. When deliveries are made, descriptive directions (for example, “opposite the gas station, near the Internet Cafe”) and landmarks are often the only way to specify a location; customers regularly provide a mobile phone number on the envelope so the driver can call for directions.

Failed deliveries are commonplace, inconveniencing citizens, holding back the operations of both businesses and government, and raising the cost of deliveries.

Vast stretches of uninhabited land characterize much of Mongolia. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Vast stretches of uninhabited land characterize much of Mongolia. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mongol Post is the country’s largest postal service provider, with 900 employees serving more than 3 million citizens, 30 percent of whom are nomadic, roaming an area of more than 1.5 million square kilometers. As a rapidly emerging market, Mongolia needs a functioning address system to sustain its economic development and attract investment.

what3words is a multi-award winning location reference system based on a global grid of 57 trillion 3 x 3-meter squares. Each square has been pre-assigned a fixed and unique three-word address. The system is available as a mobile app or API integration and works both online and offline. It makes it easy to discover an address, communicate it and deliver to it.

Mongol Post customers will be able to discover any three-word address using the free app, and write it on an envelope or enter it on the checkout page of a shopping website. Every citizen now has an address, whether they live in rural areas, the Ger districts (informal settlements in the capital) or the center of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

what3words will be integrated across Mongol Post’s internal systems, while postal workers will use the three-word address to navigate directly to the 3 x 3-meter square where they will find the customer’s front door.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Featured Stories, GIS News, Mobile Devices, Technology
Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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