Notes about the North Pole

This is the seventh post in a series of short blog posts focusing on data quality related to different countries around the world. However, today we will be at a place not belonging to any country (so far) and only reachable on foot because it is in the middle of an ocean covered by ice (so far).

Who lives on the North Pole?

Obviously no one – except of course that according to tradition in some Western countries the North Pole is described as the residence of Santa Claus. Actually the Canada Post as assigned the postal code “H0H 0H0” to the North Pole. So it’s a good data quality question if “H0H 0H0” is a valid Canadian postal code.

Also Santa Claus may have several other residences, as the Finnish claims the correct address is “Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle, Finland” and in Denmark we believe the correct address of Santa Claus to be “Box 1615, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland”.

If you are interested in identity resolution covering multiple countries, there is a discussion going on in the LinkedIn Data Matching Group.

Where is the North Pole?

The latitude is 90° – but there is no longitude. So if you don’t accept null in the longitude attribute of your geocodes you might get a data quality issue when Santa Claus becomes a customer and you believe the Canada Post is the only single version of the truth.

Previous Data Quality World Tour blog posts:

2 thoughts on “Notes about the North Pole

  1. John Owens Dunedin 18th May 2011 / 04:39

    Thanks for the post, Henrik.

    One convention is to enter the Longitude as 0 deg W.

    This will avoid any data errors on systems where the co-ordinates are mandatory/not null – which, of course, they should be!


    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 18th May 2011 / 06:49

      Thanks for commenting John.

      Assigning 0 instead of null could be a slippery ground. Now, this is of course not an issue with customer master data and the like, but if the longitude should be used for assigning a national owner for the North Pole 0 would favor Norway to the dismay of Russia, United States (Alaska), Canada and Denmark (Greenland). We wouldn’t like that, wouldn’t we?

      (A bit of geography: 0 degree passes between the Norwegian North Atlantic islands Jan Mayen and Svalbard).

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