not.reliable.enough (Part 1)

you can’t beat a six or eight figure map reference and local knowledge IMO - used both in my time in various "jobs " mainly the fire service on Dartmoor - and made damned sure my crew could read maps to my required standards, vis they could navigate by them and a compass !! - now of course we have all this "tech " and (what the heck is ??) W3W - nope not for me thanks - tech can fail - old school works - always will and if you are out in remote spots - always think "WHAT IF ?? " tell someone where you are going - what time you expect to be back and take stuff in case you can’t get back - been caught out a couple of times by Dartmoor fogs , and had to use the follow a stream or river and you will find a road method during my 30 years living up there

easy now in the city - but then i don’t go out much .lol … oh and duff locations ?? had a few given in my time - but in my previous job there was usually a clue … such as smoke , but i have had to drive up to north Hessory tor tv mast a few times and look for it , one of those "gorse alight - Dartmoor " turn out sheets i loved soooo much - like there’s 380 square miles of Dartmoor … i could tell you tales !! … oh the best one ?? … we got mobilised to the moon coming up , honest … wonder what the W3W is for that place ???


As part of my not inconsiderable training in climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, etc., one of the golden rules to follow was “never follow a stream or river” in conditions of bad visibility and in unfamiliar and uneven terrain - flowing water has a natural tendency to take the easiest route down, which often means taking steep drops from one level to another. Follow that at your peril.


This is a good general rule for mountain areas but stream following works for less rugged areas such as Dartmoor or South Wales - when you can find a stream!


In those situations, I’d tend to agree with you - hence my explicit usage of “uneven terrain”, by which I meant mountainous or hilly ground with actually mentioning those terms.


yes - dartmoor is more "rolling " terrain with a few steep bits - but can understand the advice in areas with mountains and steep drops - whatever works for you i guess - bit of a moot point now as the old arthritics preclude virtually any walking for me these days - but back in the day - walked most of Dartmoor … usually putting it out as we went. lol


I once used the “follow a stream” technique. It was a disaster. I ended up at the top of a muddy moor. Not recommend at all.


The “follow a stream” technique could have dire consequences on Pen-y-ghent, Malham Cove or Cadair Berwyn!


Anyone would think that stream followers go galloping downhill while wearing a blindfold!


You know as well as I do that it is possible to get into difficulties without galloping or blindfolds Brian.

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Agreed Tom.

I had a good sense of direction but lost confidence when on my first trip to the Northern Hemisphere. Pre mobile phone or GPS days. I looked at a map before leaving my room. But…
I kept getting my left and right turns mixed up.

Take away from this discussion. It’s the auto carrot in my phone that is giving me grief. I’ll rabbit that out. Might have to burrow into the system.


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well there is a place on dartmoor that a stream ( appeares ) to flow uphill !! - where you near there ?? lol

I had my 1st practical experience of being asked to use W3W last week.

I was ordering some timber which was to be delivered to our house. The order form asked for W3W location. Amusingly I noticed that the area of our house alone had several W3W locations, and the garden even more. Which one to choose?? Nearest the door? Nearest the centre of the house? Or the driveway?
It also asked for our address & postcode.
I paid the bill.

The delivery was held up because it was wrongly claimed I hadn’t paid the delivery charge - which we had. This was they said, that I didn’t put the name of our very local, (to them), name in the right box. Despite them having the correct postcode which is unique to our house and one other on our road, and of course a W3W location and as Iour village name was clear on the order form they could hardly have not known where that was as we are only a few miles down the coast.

I also noted that the W3W map had our road name, Manor Road, on the correct road. But at the rear of our house is an old manor house and church. with a connecting private driveway - this on the W3W map was also marked Manor Road.

So I wrote/emailed some plain english delivery instructions for the driver (drive to our village, turn right at the post office - we are the house on the right, sort of thing).

The driver turned up later than told. It turned out he’d be phoned the W3W location from their office, misheard it (confused Sheet for Sheep - or was it cheet? I think). When he released this would place our house 421 miles away in Scotland he simple used our postcode and read the delivery instructions without problems.

Alas, I think W3W is hear to stay, but for the life of my I cannot remember any of the 28 W3W references for our house, garden and workshop, I can remember our post code.


Here? Me?

And that’s the crux of the problem Dave :wink:


Those were deliberate typos to demonstrate the problems with W3W (not!). Trouble is I don’t always check my grammar or spelling. :cold_face: :cold_face: :flushed:

Oh, I’ve also just notice ‘cheet’ which is incorrect too. It should of course be cheat.

I’ll leave them in they sort of demonstrate the problems of any system based on English words. :worried:


Apart from the clever scripts, Barker excelled at delivering hilarious lines with a straight face. But indeed this is only a slight exaggeration of the mistakes that can be mode.


Ronnie Barker wrote many of his most famous sketches under the name Gerald Wiley. Even the production team didn’t know it was him for many years.


Know how much they made in 2021?

£43,000,000… OH SORRY… That’s how much they lost Forty Three Million Quid… on turnover of under £444,000. (which is actually less than in 2020!)
Bad year? Nope.

2020 - lost £16,000,000 on Turnover of £458,000
2019 - lost £14,000,000 on Turnover of £392,000
2018 - lost £11,000,000 on Turnover of £273,000
It gets fiddly after this as they changed their accounting period from end of July to End of December.
2017 (from July 16, so 18 months) - lost £8,000,000 on Turnover of £110,000ish
2015/16 - lost £2,256,000 on Turnover of £3,580
Before this they were small enough to submit abbreviated accounts so there’s not much point in going into it.

Anyway… in the last few years they’ve lost about £85,000,000… mostly due to staff, advertising and marketing costs. Turnover is still a tiny fraction of this.

Somehow they are still getting investors who keep putting money in… but there’s a helluva hole in the bottom of the bucket. At the start of 2022 they had just over a years “cash at hand” if they carry on at the same rate. Unless of course more people pour money in.

Hey, what do I know… I’m not a business accountant.

Their model is to give it away free to the public and emergency services, then get companies to pay to use their services. From the figures above it seems their turnover has plateaued over the last 3 years around the £400K-£450K mark. So unless there’s a massive customer out there that is suddenly going to pay a whopping licence fee, it’s going to take a wee while to make back those losses. They are not even remotely close to having a single break even year.

So… will they be around in five years? Dunno, but I don’t think I’ll be buying any shares… YMMV.

(Where are my figures from? Companies House website - good old UK rules mean they have to publish their accounts here as that’s where they are HQed).

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Of course I know that even if they do go bust… someone will buy up the intellectual property and the systems will (probably) carry on running.

Note: I have no evidence that they are at risk of insolvency and I am not trying to say they will go bust. I’m just reading their accounts…

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This topic was automatically closed after reaching the maximum limit of 100 replies. Continue discussion at not.reliable.enough (Part 2).