Sometimes, knowing the local context is not only important, but a stark requirement. Scratch that - always. In Managua, Nicaragua, this is point is driven home by the simple task of getting to where you're going. A victim of earthquakes and politics, Managua is generally without reliable street signs, or addresses, but unlike, say, Bangkok, where mapping is a futile attempt in capturing the ephemeral, Managua simply doesn't have the structure to support creating a normal map.
Directions in Managua
So the population has adapted. Addresses in Managua are complex formulas of local history, community, and direction. Cab drivers have a defined territory, and cross-town trips will result in your driver finding a "local" to help with the last few blocks. The cardinal directions are "Al Lago" - towards the lake, or North of the city - Up (East), Down (West) and to the mountains - Southish. Then you specify the neighborhood, and then you go to landmarks. Of course, back to the earthquake problem - those landmarks may not be there anymore.
This particular recipe for an address is in the M. Lezcano neighborhood, and then from where the People's Bank used to be, 2 blocks towards the lake, and a 1/2 block east. They get even crazier - hairy handed women and broken down cars are called out in this NPR interview.
I digress, however.