Did You Mean Potato or Potahto?

As told in the post Where the Streets have Two Names one aspect of address validation is the fact, that in some parts of the world, a given postal address can be presented in more than one language.

I experienced that today when using Google Maps for directions to a Master Data Management (MDM) conference in Helsinki, Finland. When typing in the address I got this message:


The case is that the two addresses proposed by Google Maps are exactly the same address, just spelled in Swedish and Finnish, the two official languages used in this region.

I think Google Maps is an example of a splendid world-wide service. But even the best world-wide services sometimes don’t match local tailored services. This is in my experience the case when it comes to address management solutions as address validation and assistance whether they come as an integrated part of a Master Data Management (MDM) solution, a stand-alone data quality tool or a general service as Google Maps.

3 thoughts on “Did You Mean Potato or Potahto?

  1. Prashanta C 8th December 2015 / 19:01

    Thanks for sharing a quick post on your experience. Even here in NA, I often hit the same dilemma, although English is the primary language in this region. The implication of this on MDM is huge specifically when you have to rely on automation. Human are ‘intelligent’, what will you have system pick?

    Also, I am curious to know if picking one over the other option in Google Map help in getting voice direction in that specific language. How cool if you pick Swedish address to make Google talk Swedish!? 🙂

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 9th December 2015 / 09:02

      Thanks for dropping by Prash. I agree, the implication on this challenge is huge when it comes to automation. Having it shown in interaction can be just refreshing. For voice guidance, I would go for Swedish then, as it is close to Danish. My Finnish vocabulary is approximately three words.

  2. Ayşegül Yüksel 10th December 2015 / 02:55

    You know made my library in 2012 site which is closed now. And ı will suggest to you a new way about maps or alternative.. Here maps https://www.here.com/?x=ep&map=41.0136,28.955,10,normal Also I never trust Google and Google products Google Informations tangle mess for my eyes. My o pi nion this sorry. Sometimes keywors spelling wrong on google completion. do you know Why? because someone buys keywords with money. Problem starting with this. All things is Money for google . Rich company but still hungry. All internet is starts about SYNTAX for me but for Google starts Money no dataquality on Google of course SYNTAX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ07ZNdzNm4 this is difference Never mind.Google is not my problem . I dont care. I want you share a link with you, if you can read if you like to think about a comparison maps http://360.here.com/2015/11/17/comparing-google-maps-and-here-maps-offline/
    And never forget this librarian epigram : “Google can bring you back 100000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one”

    Ayşegül Yüksel God’s number pi

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