Let’s Talk Turkey: Why Local Quality is the Best Quality

My day in Istanbul started with a taxi form my hotel to my first meeting. A ride that should have taken about 20 minutes took one hour. The extra time wasn’t due to traffic, it was due to my driver not knowing the exact location of the address that I had provided him. He stopped three times once we arrived to the general neighborhood to triangulate my final destination. After we negotiated the price (good to practice those skills with pros) I made my way to my meeting thinking “If the taxi drivers can’t deliver here, how does anyone get it right?”

Ninety minutes later as the meeting with our local address verification provider for Turkey was in full swing a number of unique reasons why using a local provider versus a generic provider typically makes good sense.

Reason #1- Depth of Coverage

In Turkey there are three main coverage depths: City, District and Belde. Most address verification solutions do not include Belde in their offering thus only offering limited potential coverage. Another example of coverage limitations is within the number of districts. In Turkey there are over 950 districts. Most data sets account for about 400 districts thus excluding almost half of the addressable coverage for the country.

Reason #2- Unique Address Configurations

Remember during the summer when I discussed how addresses in Finland had both a Finnish and Swedish address due to the high level of cross border residencies between the two countries? Well in Turkey most addresses have two street names associated with the address. The reason for this is that addresses tend to be more directional based. The main street is always named and then the nearest cross street is named followed by the building number.  Most non-Turkish address engines cannot handle this type of address and as a result they yield questionable results.

These examples as well as the normal examples of vanity names and parsing nuances highlight how a localized solution can make the difference between a possibly correct address and a definite correct address as it relates to local standards.

Go ask your vendor how many districts in Turkey are covered in the reference data or whether the Belde is part of the coverage. The answer may surprise you.

map of Turkey, converted directly from CIA World Factbook GIF, via Wikimedia Commons