- Place names are listed smallest feature to largest feature (address, city, state, etc)
- There is one name (per language) for every place, and everyone agrees on it
- Place names will start with an alphabetic character (see: 's-Heer Arendskerke)
- Addresses start with a number, for each building
- Addresses include a number for each building
- Address exist for each building
- On streets with addresses, the addresses will be in order of location on street
- Speaking of streets: all streets have names
- Every country's place hierarchy is roughly similar, or at least has a similar number of layers
- A city can not contain other cities
- Zipcodes have defined areas
- Zipcodes are areas
- Zipcodes are stationary areas
Here's some that are more Arg! Programming!:
- People will search for features in the language in their phone settings
- Two similar names separated by punctuation are likely to be synonyms (lookin' at you, Helena-West Helena)
- Governments use consistent projections
- Governments use consistent file formats (thanks for the SOSI, Norway) (no but really y'all make great maps, thank you)
I could go on. Even though there's a ton of inconsistencies and frustrating moments, it really is a joy to learn about the world through its idiosyncrasies.
(edited for formatting)
It was always fun seeing packages arrive in Singapore with an address ending in "Singapore, Singapore, SINGAPORE" since every international shipping company assumes that city, state/prefecture, country are all different and required.
Ideally address input would just be one multiline text field, but unfortunately users are just too unreliable to be left to their own devices like that...
- Zipcodes have defined areas
- Zipcodes are areas
- Zipcodes are stationary areas
Certain extremely high-traffic entities (e.g., government agencies) may also receive their own zipcodes - and mail directed at them may go to different places. Private places (see: Empire State Building, 10118) may also receive their own zipcodes which, while representing a physical building, defies the usual "defined boundary" zipcode definition.
It still definitely counts as an edge case though, in the sense that if the building were torn down or foreclosed I don't think its block would still warrant its own code
Lots of edge cases abound when using zipcodes, especially zipcodes in a spatial context.
For example, the World Trade Center's zip code was retired after the 9/11 attacks.
So at a given moment you can generalize those lists into areas, but the way they are defined, there isn't a real boundary, just a line that happens to separate the addresses with different postcodes.
ICICI BANK LTD,
273, 15TH CROSS,
JP NAGAR 5TH PHASE,
BANGALORE - 560078
* FALSE: You don't need to know the difference between geographic and projected coordinate systems
* FALSE: There is only one geographical coordinate system and it's called WGS84
* FALSE: For any pair of coordinate systems there is one and only one way to transform data between them
(On the last one: https://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2009/05/06/about-geograph... )
*FALSE: A coordinate that looks like 15 45 38 is Degrees, Minutes, Seconds.
(Sometimes it's degrees, decimal minutes. Happily, the maps in question had some "seconds" values greater than 59, which tipped us off.)
In communist Romania even churches moved, and quite by a long distance (200 meters or so). There's this Google Images link for moving churches (https://www.google.ro/search?client=firefox-b-ab&biw=1920&bi...) and this other one for moving buildings (https://www.google.ro/search?client=firefox-b-ab&biw=1920&bi...)
It happens so rarely, though, I can't imagine putting in any specific code for a building having been moved. Idk.
* FALSE: the levels of the hierarchy are the same everywhere
* FALSE: the levels of the hierarchy are the same within each country
* FALSE: street addresses contain street numbers
So you could have house number 200 between 15 and 42 ... of course I had to go the full length of the street before finding the right address. I remember feeling sympathy for English postmen back then ;-)
I think postcodes are geographically contiguous but I'm probably wrong. :P
My address is 11 XXX Street. The house nextdoor to mine is 17 XXX Street. 13 and 15 XXX Street both exist, however they are on an identically named street on the other side of town with the same town name and zip code mailing address. Ever single "in between" number on my entire street is on the doppelgänger street.
Not so much of a problem from programmers (yet!) but delivery/repair people sometimes get confused and end up on the wrong street.
Apparently, dropping the last character and requerying is the equivalent of a proximity search!
This in itself is laughable. But the company sent the code back to the creators to have the ability to query by city added.
Guess what. Apparently if you drop the last letter of a city, it's the equivalent of doing a proximity search!
I must be totally turned around on this.
Meanwhile, programmers believing some falsehoods about text encoding (that one character is one byte and -1 is EOF) may find themselves with a surplus of the “ÿ” character.
Of course we do. While ÿ is not common, you find it here and there.
Typing it on a keyboard is no different from typing ë (the tréma first, then y).
It is true however that some mobile keyboards do not have it as part of of the "y" family.
Two identical number and street name. (Eg 12 Aspen Lane) (). As a delivery person we (USPS, fedex, ups) make that mistake once. Why knowing name is critical.
Farmland made into houses: postal address in town A, property in town B. Have 4 houses with this in my area.
() the only reason this never changes is cause 911 knows the difference.
- Residential buildings can be identified by the name of the street they're on and a number.
For whatever reason, we decided that naming streets and numbering the buildings on them is too passé, so lots of our cities use Section + Number (where the numbers carry no geographic meaning), in parallel with Street + Number, but every building is addressable using only one scheme.
Concrete example with the city of Sofia, Bulgaria - consider these two buildings  . They're both next to Vasil Kalchev street. One is a kindergarten, the other is a block of flats. Let's see what the address for each is, if you want to send a letter to them. The kindergarten is, obviously, St. Pimen Zografski street No. 5... well OK, that's the street on the other side of the building, nothing too strange; while the block of flats is zh.k. Dianabad bl. 54. The abbreviations mean literally "residential quarter Dianabad, residential building number 54". No, the building is not addressable via the street, you cannot send post to that building or locate it on a map via "Vasil Kalchev street, No. X" for any X. There are, in fact, no numbers on Vasil Kalchev street. And the residential building numbers aren't geographically meaningful - directly east of said building 54 is building 53, but directly west of it are buildings 42 and 43. There is no building 44. There are, however, 33, 33A, and 33B. They are just ad-hoc numbers (maybe with letters) that you need to have in a database, like you have the locations of streets and where the numbers on the street are geographically.
So what does this have to do with Google? Maps doesn't understand the Section+Number address system. 90% of the residential buildings cannot be found on Google maps using their official address. If I need to send my address to a friend, I can only do it as coordinates, because entering my address, the one on which I receive mail, will result in either no results, or worse - Maps will try interpreting it as a place name, do a partial match, and send you to some completely unrelated building, maybe on the other end of the city.
They're getting kind of better, because people are adding buildings to the map as "missing places", but it's still much safer to just use our local maps site. What I do to plan routes using Google Maps is first locate where the place is using our maps, then match the location on Google's. At least it has pretty good road data.
Edit: P.S. I just checked and OSM understands my address, and even shows you building numbers when you scroll around the map.
Surely they mean the Kerguelen Islands ?
No one actively thinks "I'm going to intentionally omit solid unicode support"; we just don't bother with it until we feel there's a good reason to, and by then it's often too late.
You may also want to make sure your customers have entered their full address, rather than a short form that cannot be used (see: "123 Fake St", without any markers for city, county, country, etc) - and doing so necessarily requires some structured understanding of addresses... which comes with all the pitfalls of assumptions.
There are also uses for addresses that aren't necessarily about delivering a physical item to said address - for example determining the correct taxes to charge a customer based on zip code (some zip codes do not map to a physical area, therefore are not useful for determining taxation).
There are lots of perfectly understandable reasons why programmers would assume the format of an address.
Can we just concat "Falsehoods (Arbitrary group of people) believe about (Arbitrary Massive Topic)" and just post it directly to a wiki?
This seems like the equivalent of "10 ways you're doing sex wrong".
Such a wiki would be great, but it would basically amount to collecting all the practical knowledge of every domain to which computers have ever been applied!