In Vietnam my address is something like 422/35/11 Dien Bien Phu, Ward 17, Binh Thanh district, Ho Chi Minh City.
The number means "go to the building #422 on the main road and turn down the unnamed road you see there; drive until you see the house numbered 35 and turn down the unnamed road THERE; then proceed to number 11."
Make sure you're looking for #422 in Ward 17 and not some other stretch of the same road that might reuse those numbers.
Oh, and if you're still using the old address system then I'm actually at 107/11b. ("B" because a single lot was subdivided once upon a time.)
Notice there are no zip codes.
99% of web forms outside of Vietnam can't handle my actual address. They require a zip code or disallow the "/" character or don't have room anywhere to write the Ward and District. Last time I checked, Open Street Maps didn't know how to parse my address and find my house.
And this is for a country with 100 million people -- more than France, the Netherlands, and Belgium combined. I'm sure other developing countries, also with tens of millions of people, have their own idiosyncrasies that get papered over by Western developers.
I’ll take a second to point out that American addresses are bizarre to many Europeans, for the same reason that your dates are; the room number or suite number is written _after_ the street number.
Random addendum: in the UK, a postcode plus a small number will accurately identify most addresses, and when entering an address online you’ll be asked for a postcode and then prompted to choose from about 20 residences or businesses that that could be
I guess the American system has its advantages when you split up properties. In Europe you sometimes end up with numbers like 12A, 12B etc. that way.
Years ago I rented a newly constructed house in an outer suburb of Sydney, Australia. The suburb had (at the time) only been recently developed. The real estate agent told me the address I was renting was "Lot 8 Whatever Rd". I move in and get all the utilities transferred into my name. A couple of months later, I get a notice under my door warning that my electricity is going to be disconnected because I hadn't paid my bill. I found that odd since I had paid it. The next day, come home to find the power is off. Call the real estate agent, who sends out an electrician who discovers someone (presumably the electricity company) has removed the service fuse. He puts it back in. I call up the electricity company to complain.
Soon I discover the answer: "Whatever Rd" actually had three separate houses on it all called "Lot 8". I'd actually been paying the electricity bill of the "Lot 8" up the road. I give the electricity company the meter number from my electricity meter and they sent me a bill adjustment, no more problems with them. But, I keep on having problems with mail going missing, and getting other people's mail, because with three "Lot 8"s on one street, the post office doesn't know which one should get the mail, they seem to distribute it randomly between them.
I complain to the real estate agent about the street address situation. He says to me: "Nothing the landlord can do about it, street addressing is responsibility of the local council." I sent the local council an email to complain. Their response – "We can't assign new house numbers to that street yet, because development plans have not yet been approved for all the former rural blocks, so we don't know how many street numbers will be needed." I say – "Can't you just work out the maximum number of houses each of those blocks could possibly have, given planning regulations, and reserve that many for them, maybe even a few more for a margin of error?". Their response – "No, we can't do that. Then there might be gaps in the street numbers. Gaps in street numbers are not allowed."
They did tell me I could disambiguate my address by adding the development plan (DP) number to it (the DP is the legal plan approved by the government for subdivision of the original rural block of land). So my house was "Lot 8 DP 12345678" and the other "Lot 8"'s were "Lot 8 DP 4567890" etc. I asked how the post office would know what DP number my "Lot 8" was. The council said I should stick a sign out the front, next to the mailbox, with the DP number on it.
I didn't stay in that house for long, as soon as the fixed term of the lease was up, moved out.
But it did convince me that the American approach is actually superior.
> Kungsgatan 10 A LGH 1301
King's street 10, staircase A, apartment 1302 which means third floor (10 being ground, 01 being basement), then second apartment counting clockwise, meaning it could be on your right if there are just two per floor.
> 10 Main Street Apt# 150
Which frankly just looks weird. At least the Scandinavian standard has them in a sensible order.
In Denmark it could be:
> Bredgade 10, 3. th
On Wide Street 10, 3rd floor, on the right (th being short for 'til højre'; others being mf (midt for; middle) and tv (til venstre; on the left) -- if more than three on the same floor, just a hyphen followed by a number).
Plus our post numbers come before the city name, which is also more useful.
> 10 Main Street
> Apt. 150
Which I wouldn't use as an example, set aside postal codes (that do work nicely for the postman) actual addresses (meaning actually driving/walking to a given address) are not as straightforward/easy as in continental Europe.
See the classic "How to be an Alien" by George Mikes, the seven points in Chapter 21 "How to plan a town" remain IMHO a masterpiece.
What really makes me perplex sometimes about our US friends is their way of numbering floors:
Not entirely unlike when a program (or OS) starts numbering items from 0 when another program (or OS) starts numbering them from 1.
The reason, I believe, is that the city portion of addresses in this area often doesn't match the actual boundaries: locations well outside of the named city or town still have that in their address.
Addresses are hard. And they don't necessarily line up as nicely with the data needed to make a map as you might think. And this is just for the "easy" stuff, really.
An example address:
> Donde fue Lacmiel, 2 cuadras arriba, 1/2 cuadra al sur (translated: where previously was located Lacmiel 2 blocks east, 1/2 block south).
There are 2 options for after 422 depending on which direction you are facing
How is that resolved and understood
These aren't 4 way intersections. Instead it is a main road with what an American would call an alley branching off of it. And the same distinction applies in Vietnamese, I live on a hẻm ("alley") not on a đường ("road" or "street"). These side alleys are almost never big enough for two cars to pass. Sometimes they aren't even big enough for two scooters or bicycles to pass.
It was a challenging job.
Parsing the new addresses, normalising them and matching them to existing addresses was a major effort.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism publishes electronic data about historical addresses as huge address changes have been done over time with the creation of new cities and metropolitan areas. That all has to be factored in when trying to normalise a pre change address.
Rural addresses get weird. Sometimes we had to try and find anomalies on a map to check that they were possible addresses.
In the end, the biggest help to find mistakes in the data is to send a postcard to that address. If it gets returned then investigate the reason.
But I suppose it depends on which department is in charge of the project. In the places I've worked, if the project is deemed to be IT-related in any way, a "meatspace" solution like this would never see the light of day.
I love the way Japanese cities are laid out, and accept this system as a consequence of that. The haphazard layout is very aesthetically pleasing and walking from A to B, while requiring a winding and inefficient route, is a very pleasant experience. I live in Philadelphia, where the grid is convenient but feels suffocating and artificial. The more organic layout is much warmer.
So you can have a pleasant experience following an inefficient route but still reach your destination.
Big and little-endian, in other words.
(And you know, writing the address to google maps gives you pretty precise location)
And it’s not like she lived in some grand house; just an ordinary single family house. I walked by it last year and the current owners have a number on the gate (up I had never known what it was); my cousin kept the house name plate that unused to hang there.
What a difference it's made to getting around! I recall going back a number of years finding many specific things could be a real challenge. I remember wandering around for an hour once trying to find our office.
* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5791489 (2013)
* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8907301 (2015)
Turns out “100 Some Road” can exist in multiple contiguous suburbs here in Australia. The numbering for the road re-starts at a suburb boundary! Who knew?
This means that, upon exiting a train station and seeing number 2, 4, 6... to your left, you can’t walk left and find the 100 you’re looking for. You might be in the wrong suburb, and your number 100 might in fact be to your right.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. 2nd December 2003. I’m an Australian now, but I had the good sense to move to Melbourne. ;-)
And, even within a town, it's not unusual for streets to change name a couple times in the course of a few miles. And towns reuse street names all the time--especially for things like Main Street.
You say that as if it was a bad thing. This idea that a "street" is a line on the map, and whether there is actually asphalt at that spot is yet to be defined -- this is a very strange idea to me. If I get to the right street, I expect to be able to follow it until I get to the correct address. Streets with gaps in them don't work so well for this.
Yes, if the city is laid out in a rectangular grid, that has its advantags, too. But I just want to point out a different way to look at things.
Assuming you're on the street in the correct town, sure.
Continuity is actually one of the things that was fixed as part of the whole E911 system in the US. Before that, you would sometimes have streets that, for example, would have two segments that weren't actually connected in the middle. Or you'd have a single named road with a T shape or some other layout that meant you couldn't just follow it from one end to the other.
You also, as someone else mentioned, used to have houses with rural route numbers (I grew up on one) that didn't have a street address at all. In our case, our town address didn't even correspond to where we were located because it was the adjacent town that did the RR deliveries.
Seemed strange to me that Rambus could be in Los Altos (a largely residential town) until I drove past it one day and thought it was in Mountain View.
In short, addressing and geocoding is a hard problem and there are lots of weird edge cases. The web is full of broken assumptions about addresses, post codes, etc.
Left us wondering how that addressing system works.
From the article i'm guessing this would have been a "banchi" block, where numbers were assigned in order of registration.
Box #123 RR 456 (RR for Rural Route)
City, IA 50000 (city of nearest post office)
The replacement started in the 1990s was called something like 911 address because nobody but the postman could easily navigate to your home unless they already knew. Country roads didn't have names.
Then there were the people who didn't get mail delivery so all they had was a PO box. To this day, there are people who still only have a PO box as their "real address" and they have to go get a 911 address assigned from the Postmaster or their county when they renew their voter registration or state ID because the state decided a few years ago that PO boxes weren't real addresses for voting or having on a license. The address still doesn't work for mail delivery, it's just to fulfill a location rule.
Also, verticality would be an issue.