I will be honest: having lived in 4 different countries previously with one of them being a 3rd world country, Spain is the first country where I encounter complete madness when it comes to addresses. I get delivery drivers completely lost when I give them my official address and the only way to get out of this craziness is to send them a live location. And believe me when I say this: I am not alone – half of my friends’ circle experience exactly the same issue.
It is even more challenging when your business address is not properly on the map and you have to share your business location with customers on a daily basis. We are quite lucky that our quad bike base is right on the main road Avenida de Mijas, yet, and would you believe that, it does not officialy sit on Avenida de Mijas. Instead we are assigned some strange Arrabal sector position, which most people would find totally confusing. Why on earth is this happening?
I did a bit of research and this is what I found.
Spanish addresses can be challenging or impossible to locate due to the following:
- Lack of Standardization: In certain areas, especially in rural regions, there might be a lack of standardized address systems. Properties may not have formal street addresses, and instead, rely on more descriptive or informal location-based references, making it difficult for mapping services to accurately pinpoint them.
- Incomplete or Outdated Mapping Data: Some mapping services may not have comprehensive or up-to-date data for certain regions in Spain. This can lead to missing or inaccurate information when trying to locate addresses.
- Complex Urban Layouts: In historic towns and cities, the road networks can be intricate and convoluted, with narrow streets and irregular layouts. This can make it challenging for navigation systems to accurately guide users.
- Geographic and Terrain Challenges: Spain has diverse landscapes, including mountainous and rural areas, where properties might be located in hard-to-reach or less accessible locations. This can pose challenges for mapping services to accurately represent such addresses.
- New Developments: Rapid urbanization and new property developments might not be immediately updated in mapping databases, leading to temporary inaccuracies in locating addresses.
One of the funniest and frustrating experiences I had was when one UK customer struggled to find us because he chose to use Waze instead of Google maps and was taken somewhere else. He called me and demanded a proper postcode, which I of course gave him originally. I tried and failed to explain to him that post codes in Spain are not at all the same as in the UK and cover vast areas. My house is assigned 3 different post codes by three different navigation systems. It is unthinkable for some but, hey, we are in Spain.