The symbol zero was created originally as a place marker, i.e., it marks the beginning of the next series of counting in the binary (0,1) and the decimal (0-1-9, 10-11-19, etc.)systems.
Zeroes before digits like 01, 010, 0200, 03000, etc. are also place markers, indicating that there are two series of counts (01-99), three strings of counts (100-999), four courses of counting (1000-999), etc. So 017 would indicate the 17th slot in a total count of 999 slots.
The number 0001 can also illustrate the concept of the Big Bang, nothing before the Big Bang and continuous development following the Big Bang. Of course, the void is not countable, therefore 0001 is equal to 01 and is equal to 000000000000001. However, there is a practical use for this place marker. When we talk about 6,000 years B.C., we are actually counting backwards from the first year of the Christian calendar. So the counting starts at 1 A.D. and goes backwards 9 B.C., 120 B.C., 235 B.C., 6,000 B.C. to the Sumerian culture. In this count, 1 A.D. is equal to 0001 A.D. In geometry, we can also designate the Sumerian period as -6,000 A.D. or 6000 x (-) 001 A.D.