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Posts: 139 | Thanked: 24 times | Joined on Sep 2005
As some posters implied, there are local schemes that help here -- thirty years a go every county used to have their own coordinate system (with the center point at e.g. the main square). It was nice for local measurements as the numbers were "easy".

Then they realized it would be useful to be able to use coordinates from several cities on the same map... everything was moved to national grids and all was well.

Then they realized that working with several national grids at the same time was icky (but necessary as things just became global). So now everyone and their uncle is moving to the GPS coordinate system, or a local variation of it.

Basically, the advantages of a global coordinate system are so big that I don't think we'll ever go back to local ones, even for UIs. Even a global version of a UK style postal code system (which is kind of cool) would be difficult -- remembering ten random characters is just about as impossible as remembering coordinates.