Botswana is totally land-locked and sandwiched between South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.  Not a terribly rough neighborhood, but again, aside from SA, not dramatically developed.  The Post has accepted the challenge of beginning the process of providing the citizenry addresses by developing a traditional block and lot and street name and number system.  Their first goal, 6000 homes in an urban area in one year, is not very dramatic, and bodes ill for efficient installation in a short time.  Were a geo-code system to be selected, it’s likely the job would be done much more quickly.  That is what we at GADA are advocating for at the Universal Postal Union.  Had we an opportunity, we would have made the same pitch for Botswana in order to save them money and time.

On the other hand, they are also planning to give the address all  the other jobs it traditionally has, which covers many service areas of government and utilities, some of which are challenging to accomodate with geocode systems, self-evident localization possible with consecutive numbers being one of them.   But even that can be accomodated with mobile phones and maps.  We will continue to advocate for faster deployment of geocode addresses so countries can reap the fruits of location identity as soon as possible. Sure, you get lots of other capability with consecutive numbering and street names, but the price in installation, and lost time, is too high.

Nevertheless, we salute the Botswana Post for launching this resource intense project and wish them well with it.


Categories : GPS


  1. The technical expert on this project, Pierre Roussow,has written us with a few very important corrections:

    In fact, the Botswana system is based on geographic information system. All houses have been mapped, all have cadastral identification and area coding is being implemented country-wide. The geocoding has been developed by the LAPCAS team (with some help from Landmateriat of Sweden a few years ago), the Surveyor General’s Office and including professional and geographic information systems practitioners, under Botswana’s Department of Surveys & Mapping. In a later phase of the project, the system will be enabled on mobile devices.

    The project management is the responsibility of Botswana Post, the project is sponsored by the UPU and the writer is the appointed expert consultant to the project.

    For more information on the work of the UPU’s Addressing Group in this regard, one may refer to the “Addressing the World – An Address for Everyone” initiative, by visiting http://www.upu.int/en/activities/addressing/addressing-the-world-initiative.html.

    Our apologies to Pierre and to Botswana Post. Editor

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