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Published on May 20th, 2015 | by admin

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Where The Streets Have No Name

U2 front man Bono famously sang ‘where the streets have no name’ and just as these lyrics suggest, the notion that some people live in an area with no address is seemingly not as far-fetched as you might think.

In fact, around 4 billion people around the world are estimated to live in a place with no house number or street name. Of course this must have implications in many ways, not least sending items in the post simply by detailing the recipients address and post code and attaching postal stamps which we all take for granted.

Ways of identifying a specific location

Post Codes were first introduced in this country in 1959 to enhance the delivery of letters and parcels though their usage also extends to being one of the key criteria for calculating insurance premiums.

Norwich was the first city in the UK to trial the use of post codes with the first three characters of the code ‘NOR’ representing the name of the city, and the last three characters a particular street.

The notion of post codes came from the formation of London postal districts which involved dividing the capital into 10 separate postal districts. Numbering of sub-districts followed in other cities outside of London too.

In fact the origins of modern postcodes can be traced further back in time to the postal reforms of 1840 driven by Sir Rowland Hill when the Penny Black stamp was issued.

Modern day post codes following on from the Norwich trials were created in stages during the 1960’s and 1970’s and consist of the outward code needed to identify one town or city from another and the inward code required to sort within that town or city.

In contrast to this approach, while huge numbers of the world’s population are still seemingly off the map, strides are being made to rectify the situation – but not by using addresses and post codes but rather all thanks to sat-nav technology instead.

This new radical approach sees co-ordinates of latitude and longitude divided into 3m-by-3m squares and each one assigned a unique combination of three words. The three words approach to giving a specific location an identity is gathering pace with a successful pilot project having already been undertaken in Brazil. So it may well catch on, watch.this.space.

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patrick.maddison@vowretail.com'



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