Welcome to ISO/TC 211 addressing pages

An address is structured information that allows the unambiguous determination of an object for purposes of identification and location (ISO 19160-1:2015). The objects exist in the physical world (i.e., virtual objects are excluded) and can be outdoor (e.g., a building) or indoor (e.g., an office inside a building). Addresses provide one of the most common ways for locating and identifying objects in the physical world. They are essential for the management of cities, for governance and public administration generally, for service delivery in the public and private sector, and they can give people status or (legal) identity in society. They also play an important role in detecting emerging hotspots and clusters of infected cases during an epidemic or pandemic. Yet, in many parts of the world, addresses do not exist or are poorly maintained, and even if they exist, corresponding address data is often lacking or incomplete. 

ISO 19160 does not intend to promote uniform addresses across the world; instead, it aims to facilitate interoperability between addresses and to promote good governance and management practices for any kind of address so that challenges related to address assignment and maintenance can be resolved consistently and sustainably.  As such, the ISO 19160 standards support the Universal Postal Union’s initiative, “Addressing the World – An Address for Everyone”, which promotes the establishment of national addressing infrastructures to the benefit of all. The standard is also useful for those involved in slum upgrading, as addresses are often assigned when housing conditions in settlements are being improved.

The multi-part ISO 19160 standard on addressing comprises the following:

These pages provide examples of how others have described their addresses and implemented their address assignment and maintenance. We hope that they are useful for anyone interested in understanding how one can conform to the different parts of ISO 19160.