I like finding exceptions to rules.
The sort of things that expose assumptions about how we think the world works,
and that confuse any computer system that isn't set up to accept them.
Like: streets have names, right?
Okay, sure, there are some people out there who'll immediately go,
ah, no, see, there are lots of streets that don't have names,
in rural areas and the developing world,
or there are the roads that just have a number or a letter.
And some of you will go, oh, well, actually, Japan.
Most of Japan doesn't name its streets, it names and numbers its city blocks,
and besides it's more complicated than that...
But, okay. In a Western European nation like Germany,
in the centre of a large city like Mannheim,
you'd expect there to be street names.
Nah. Welcome to the exception to the rule.
Here inside the Quadrates of Mannheim, the Squares of the town centre,
only a few major streets have names.
Every other building is referred to by which square it's on, as part of a grid.
The west half gets the letters A-K; the east half, L-U,
and that's followed by the number of blocks from the centre.
So you can have C4, or in German "𝕮𝟜" [see-fear],
which explains why the art gallery on it is called Zephyr.
Given the German reputation for humour, that's a pretty good multilingual pun.
None of the modern mapping companies know what to do with this.
They'd be fine if the whole country ran on a different system,
but mixing and matching in the same area,
in a region that, as far as most people know, just doesn't do this...
well, they can't cope.
Google and Microsoft get confused and give each road multiple names.
Apple insist that each road just has one name, and they're entirely wrong,
although it's Apple Maps, so, you know(!)
OpenStreetMap, which is community-led, recognises full addresses but not the individual blocks,
although presumably that'll be fixed within a few hours of this video being uploaded.
This isn't some modern invention, either.
This isn't something brought on by future-looking city planners rebuilding after the Second World War,
or 80s planners getting ahead of themselves.
While the numbering patterns have changed over the years,
this bit of Mannheim has had some form of block numbering for a long, long time.
Why change it just because some programmers can't figure out how to put it into their database?
The programmers have only been around for a few years. This city has been around for centuries.
The address of a place here in the Quadrates really is just a number, then a block,
Even if some computers don't believe it.