Down the Street

Having an address consisting of a house number and a street name, or vice versa, is the usual way of addressing in most parts of the world. This construct is also featured in the presentation of the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) international standard initiative (S42):

(Click on image to see the presentation)

Somehow I always end up living at a place with issues in relation to this construct.

Our current address is (without unit):

“Kenny Drews Vej 27” which would be “27 Kenny Drews Way” in an Anglo-phone country.

But our area has a new style of block buildings with canals between as we like to pretend that we live in Venice or Amsterdam:

This means that the house numbers aren’t sequenced down the street, but is spread round the block as if we were living in Japan. Google maps have the position exactly as it is:

Number 27 on Kenny Drews Vej is actually much closer to two other streets, which makes it very difficult when people are visiting us the first time and for some also the second time.

But that’s because I, and some of our visitors, are old fashioned. As Prashanta Chan says in his blog post Geocoding: Accurate Location Master Data: It will be much better to invite folks to your geocode.

The same thing applies to when you want some goods delivered to your premises or want a taxi as close to your front door as possible.

And regarding letters delivered by the good old postman: They will probably all be sent electronically before the UPU S42 addressing mapping standard is adapted by everyone.

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9 thoughts on “Down the Street

  1. Doug Newdick 3rd September 2011 / 11:33

    I love address issues. As you say, but abbreviate, the standard is Number, street name, street type. Here in Wellington We have a street called just “The Terrace”, where, of course, “Terrace” is usually a type of street (like “Rue” or “Way”). This causes no end of trouble for most address matching routines. Another interesting issue is in NZ rural addresses often don’t have street numbers, and so, people in the country often use their Fire number (a unique number assigned by the rural fire service to assist in finding a house in the case of a fire or other emergency) instead of their official postal address (which is often very little help in finding their house or farm). Things like this, that vary wildly from country to country (and within a country as the fire number example shows) are the stuff of nightmares for managing address data, let alone international address data.

  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 3rd September 2011 / 12:05

    Thanks for commenting Doug.

    It’s true. Around my geocode we usually have street name and street type in one compound word, like in the German example on top of the post. However streets named after a person, like my current street, is one exception confirming this rule.

  3. Cliff Elam 3rd September 2011 / 16:12

    I must be a sad data quality geek because I found that very interesting.

    There are other countries (India springs to mind) where an address might be: “11/34 Block Jandish Building past Bhannergatta third lay-by, Bangalore, India”. The cool thing is that even though it’s not the third lay-by anymore people can still deliver stuff.


  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 3rd September 2011 / 19:09

    Thanks for joining Cliff. Good example of more exciting addressing than usual.

  5. Tirthankar Ghosh 3rd September 2011 / 19:56

    My address does not follow this construct.
    It is: Dhansiri, Swaraj Park, Rajarhat Road, Dashadrone, Kolkata

    Dhansiri is the name of our house, Swaraj Park is the place we live in. It’s a small locality in Dashadrone. Dashadrone is a suburb of the state capital Kolkata.

    Cliff… Yes…there are varieties of address patterns in India. Bangalore addresses are still manageable. You may check the addresses from the remote areas. I saw an address which was written in a local language using roman alphabets and it just indicated the yellow colored house opposite to the third hillock from the lake.

  6. Cliff Elam 3rd September 2011 / 20:15

    Tirthankar –

    That is an AWESOME address.

    We have a small town called Carmel California. You may have heard of it because Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) was the mayor for many years. It is a former artist’s colony and they eschewed street names, instead naming houses. So the address of a house would be “Mame House, Carmel, California.” AFAIK they do not use zip codes in any way to deliver. It is a very small town, obviously. Directions are given as “turn at the Mame House and ….”


  7. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 3rd September 2011 / 20:45

    Thanks Tirthankar and Cliff again. I envy your address too Tirthankar. And with Cliff’s story I guess The Clint may be called Dirty (data) Harry from now on.

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