Last week’s post called Where The Streets have Two Names caught a lot of comments both on this blog and in LinkedIn groups as here on Data Quality Professionals and on The Data Quality Association, with a lot of examples from around the world on how this challenge actually exist more or less everywhere.
Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing a variant of the challenge when driving around in a rented car in the Saint Petersburg area in Russia. Here the streets usually only have one name but that may be presented in two different alphabets being the local Cyrillic or the Latin alphabet I’m used to which also was included in the reference data on the Sat Nav. So while it was nice for me to type destinations in Latin letters it was nice to have directions in Cyrillic in order to follow the progress on road signs.
So here standardization (or standardisation) to one preferred language, alphabet or script system isn’t the best solution. Best of breed solutions for handling addresses must be able to handle several right spellings for the same address.
Great post as always.
Near where I live there is a town that actually has two spellings for it’s name: Hillsboro and Hillsborough. Most town signs use the former spelling, but state documentation and most maps using the latter spelling. As you may well imagine, this difference in spelling has led to some very interesting political discussions (and not all of them nice). To make matters worse, there is a Hillsborough County in New Hampshire, which only adds to the confusion for travelers trying to reach a specific destination.
It’s amazing that with all the technology that has developed over the past few years, that address validation has (seemingly) gotten more complex instead of easier. 🙂
Thanks for commenting Karen. Another good example of how this issue exists all over.