In these strange days of COVID-19 isolation I am using this page to share things that are keeping us busy. If you have questions about this activity -- or are really into it and want to create more for our neighbourhood! -- please email me at greybird.cpst@gmail.com.

Neighbourhood Exploration Bingo

Part scavenger hunt, part virtual geo-cache, part “my kid won’t go for a walk without a destination”, we created this little neighbourhood exploration to keep ourselves busy, and thought others might enjoy it too. 


What is What3Words? 

What3Words is a neat little app that uses three word combinations to identify a 3m x 3m location, anywhere on earth. 3 Word combos are easier to remember and communicate than a long string of lat/long or UTM coordinates. It’s fun, and also precise (well, as precise as your phone’s GPS on any given day). 

For example, if you wanted to tell someone to meet you on the trails by the condos where four paths join into one, but are having trouble describing that to your friend, you could instead tell them to meet you at disappears.proves.hedge

Try it - switch to satellite view for maximum effect: https://w3w.co/disappears.proves.hedge

Read more from Wikipedia here.

Read a news article about its use by search and rescue here

How to use it for this activity

Download the What3Words app on iOS or Android. You do not have to create an account, but if you do you can save locations. W3W is also usable on a laptop, but laptops aren’t very useful for an activity that involves walking around. Find more info about it here: https://what3words.com/

Does it use data?

Not if you don't want it to. If you do click navigate from What3Words your phone will offer any mapping app you have installed. You can use turn-by-turn directions without data if you have previously downloaded a Google map. But turn-by-turn directions defeats the purpose of this activity, so skip that part and read on!

How to find the locations

Watch your blue dot (your location) move relative to any location on What3Words without launching directions, and without using data. Zoom in or out to see your blue dot and the destination location, and then choose your route accordingly using your knowledge of the neighbourhood, the streets or paths you can see on the map, or with the streets or paths in front of you.

See it in action

Click the video to see an example of how it looks on a phone. I recorded it outside so there's a bit of wind noise, but you'll get the idea.

Exploration Bingo Activity

The following 9 locations are in the north part of Sage Creek and are all accessible by walking or biking. Biking will be hard unless one in your party has a handlebar-mounted phone holder and is comfortable using it. No off-roading required, and only one is on a trail rather than a road/sidewalk. In an effort to avoid playgrounds none of the below locations are playground equipment, but some are near playgrounds.

If other people are near these locations while you are searching them out you should of course give lots of space and wait your turn. 

Can you complete the bingo card/list? The photos are clues to your destinations. Click on each photo to open the app or browser, and then use What3Words to find them.

Top to bottom, left to right, they are arranged in a roughly circular walking route. When viewed on a phone they should just show sequentially in order. If you complete them in order there won’t be any doubling back.