Like @Jim1 I don’t get the anti-proprietary sentiment. The team have worked hard to build it, so is it so wrong of them to charge for it? They don’t charge consumers, only developers/corporates. Also, Google do it already (Charge for geocoding, that is). To me, this argument is like asking Freetrade to put their Invest platform code onto GitHub, or being worried that Freetrade will lose to someone who builds a *non-profit, *open-source commision free broker - which is, to me, extremely unlikely.
I don’t mean to sound stand-offish, sorry if I do, I just really want to see where people are coming from with this.
This. W3W is a non-starter for ‘digital’ location sharing, it’s so easy to just share a link. But W3W is clearly more useful for e.g. postal addresses - that would be a big enough market alone to make a successful company; We can’t put links on envelopes, nor can we remember the 15 digits of a gps coordinate to write down on an envelope. I’ve seen first-hand how our traditional postal address system leads to poor efficiency in logistics. The efficiency of a solution like W3W would be far more efficient and therefore very valuable to couriers, etc.
Very rare to do this outside (or even in) the US, but they appear to have done it; they have patents ( PCT/GB2014/051152). I’m a bit surprised they managed to obtain it, to be honest. To be clear, they’ve patented the software, not data.