Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Getting from A to B in a City

There are a couple of interesting articles in the latest issue of The Economist.

One called, Getting on the Map, is mainly about crowd-sourced mapping projects like OpenStreetMap. (Article is behind a paywall).

The second is a little more interesting from a natural navigation perspective, it is titled: Getting From A to B. (Article is behind a paywall).

In this article some of the different methods and conventions for street addresses are discussed, here is a brief synopsis of the more interesting conventions:

Odd numbers on one side, even on the other (common in Europe)

Numbers indicating distance from one end of the street (Americas)

Numbers going in up on one side down on the other (eg. Berlin)

According to when they were built – very confusing (Japan)

“Until recently Costa Rican addresses were simply directions from landmarks: “100 meters south of McDonalds” …(A quarter of all post went astray)”

Ireland, long without postcodes, is trying to leapfrog to the front of the sophistication queue by assigning all 2.2m addresses their own unique seven-digit code.

If you are happy to subscribe (and it is a great magazine), here is the link to the full article.

I discuss some of the main UK and US conventions in my latest book, The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs.

Get in touch if you know any unusual conventions and with your permission I’ll add them and give you credit/link.