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Canterbury in 3 Words

A digital treasure hunt that challenges you to discover and share stories about Canterbury, written using addresses on the what3words app.

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Canterbury in 3 Words was a digital treasure hunt game played using what3words, a free-to-use geolocation system and app that divides the world into three-metre squares and gives each one a unique three-word address.


Hosted on a Facebook group, the game challenged players to post stories about places in Canterbury using all three words of their addresses on what3words, alongside a photograph clue. Other players could then attempt to find the places referred to in the stories, using information in the posts and the what3words app.


When players found the correct three-word address used in a story, they would indicate this by commenting on the story post, without giving the solution away. A leaderboard hosted on Google Sheets and linked in the Facebook group monitored player activity, giving players points and ranking them based on factors such as the number of story locations they had found.

Learn more about Canterbury in 3 Words:


Skills used


“One of the nice things about the game was that you start looking for things that you wouldn’t otherwise see. You do gain an extra insight, that extra detail; a layer of the city that would usually completely pass you by. It makes you stop, and think, and look at things, and discover and explore.”

“It got me to start looking round rather than walking around looking at my phone all the time. It got me to actually lift my head up and start looking at Canterbury more carefully and seeing it in a different way for the first time.”

“I thought the idea of it was so fantastic. It was just such an opportunity for me to be creative, and to see how others could be creative, and I really enjoyed that.”

“I think it just drums home that everyone is there for some kind of purpose. There's a story behind everyone and everything. It just makes you realise how many stories are out there, all linked to this one place.”

“I loved it. I thought it was just such a great idea. Like a sort of mystery puzzle, but at the same time you get to know the city better.”

“I thought it was a really cool idea. I’ve lived in Canterbury a long time, and it made me kind of notice things I hadn’t noticed before. I was looking up at the buildings and spotting little things that I noticed, so that was quite interesting.”

“You’ve used the technology in a very ingenious way to put a game together.”

“I think the concept is amazing. It brings your attention to things that you take for granted within the town. So it's a really clever way of actually making you see them better; making you see the things that you normally see around you, you pay more attention to them. I think it’s a really, really good idea.”

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