November WARP

I made a New Year promise to include a regular slot in my blog for 2014, called my ‘monthly WARP’. This is based on an acronym where the ‘W’ stands for a web resource, the ‘A’ for an app, the ‘R’ for a reading resource, and the ‘P’ for a photograph or image.
My eleventh WARP – for the month of November – consists of the following:


ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 24 20.16‘What Three Words’ (w3w) is a funky new way to locate specific points on a map. It consists of a giant grid of the world made up of 57 trillion squares of 3 metres x 3 metres. Each square has been given a 3 word address comprised of 3 words from the dictionary. what3words is a unique combination of just 3 words that identifies a 3mx3m square anywhere on the planet. It’s far more accurate than a postal address and it’s much easier to remember, use & share than a set of GPS co-ordinates. It’s a tiny piece of code that works across platforms & devices, in multiple languages. It also works offline, where there is no data connection and it works too with voice recognition.
ScreenHunter_02 Nov. 24 20.16Poor addressing might seem no more than “annoying” in some countries, but it costs businesses billions of dollars, and around the world it hampers the growth and development of nations, ultimately costing lives. The founders of this new method of geo-location claim that around 75% of the world suffers from inconsistent, complicated and poor addressing systems. This means that around 4 Billion people are invisible; unable to report crime, get deliveries, aid or simply have a name for where they live. It is their intention to give everyone in the world the ability to talk about a precise location as easily as possible. It is their mission to be the world’s address system; the universal standard for communicating location.
ScreenHunter_03 Nov. 24 20.18Each square’s address contains totally different words to its nearby squares – an example might be: Each w3w shortlink uses the w3w address in the link, such as: This can be embedded in a web site or blog, or e-mailed to a friend. By clicking on the link, you are taken to the specified location on a map on the w3w website.
It is also possible to reduce the 3 word code to a single word to make life even easier – at a cost of £1.49 a year.
If you want to check it out, try clicking on the links below to take you to my school:
I opted for a One Word Code:*Dreamland as I wasn’t too keen on the three word code: for my place of learning!


Real Chalk HD

chalkThis fun app satisfies my nostalgia for working with chalk! It is a simple programme that can be used to make display posters, leave messages on the whiteboard or make slides for presentations. The adverts are annoying, but these are lost when you upgrade from the free version.
chalk sample
There is another similar app called ‘Chalkboard’ – but it doesn’t have the quite the same chalky effect as this one!


AttentionMy selected book this month is “Attention All Shipping” by Charles Connelly. This is an extremely funny travelogue based on the different zones listed in Radio Four’s shipping forecast. These names are firmly planted in our subconscious, but do we really know where these places are, and what secrets they might reveal? Connelly sets out on a tour of the forecast to discover the answers – and along the way, discovers some of the history and culture of one of Britain’s best-loved broadcasting institutions. A must-read for all geographers!
Extract: (Describing Viking, North Utsire and South Utsire) – useful to support one of the classic coastal case studies on many a GCSE syllabus: “The North Sea. For me, the name itself conjures up swelling mounds of black water crested by foam and pockmarked by rain. It carries none of the attractions of the Caribbean Sea, with its clear, light-blue water scattered with shimmering sunlight, nor any of the mystery of, say, the Sargasso Sea. No. This is a sea, and it’s in the north. No mucking about.
It’s a stroppy old sod, the North Sea. Stormy and heavily tidal, it’s also shallow. Only north of the Shetlands does the depth reach a hundred fathoms. Over Dogger Bank the depth subsides to as little as fifty feet, and by the time you get to the Strait of Dover, you couldn’t sink St Paul’s Cathedral, even in the unlikely event of you wanting to. The North Sea pounds the east coast of Britain, knocking great lumps out of it when and where it can. Two and a half miles of coastline have disappeared since Roman times, accounting for some 30 towns and villages. Take Ravenser, a town that stood at the mouth of the Humber and was once so significant it returned 2 MPs. Gone. Claimed by the North Sea sometime in the early 16th century. Dunwich in Suffolk was once a thriving town and one of the most important ports in England, boasting six churches, a monastery, and even a mint. All gone, a new village having sprung up further inland. Half a mile of Suffolk has been pilfered by the North Sea since the 14th century.” (pages 35-36)


This month, I offer some more of my favourite photographs from a trip I made to Antarctica. Some of the ice scenery there was breathtaking:

More photos from my travels can be seen at:


About devongeography

Head of Geography and Assistant Vice Principal at South Molton Community College, North Devon. Exeter Chiefs supporter!
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