Originally Posted by antoinolachtnai
Mail is not sorted on the basis of grid references, is it? As I understand it, it is scanned to figure out the unique ID for the delivery point, and then each item is sorted into the relevant walk for that delivery point. There are grid references in there alright, but that's more because the data is derived from OSi maps, than having anything to do with sorting and delivery.
The "unique ID" allocated and barcoded on each envelope after scanning is just a serial number (like a DHL or UPS air waybill number). These ID numbers are part of the ISO 15459 standard. This standard covers not only the barcode on individual letters etc, but also the containers in which they are transported, RFID tags, and lots of other related matters. If you look at the post delivered to your home, every barcode on each envelope is different. If it was an ID that referred to your home or street or whatever - the barcode would always look the same. It is the same situation everywhere else on the Continent. My postcode has nothing to do with the barcode on each envelope. In addition, the barcode is printed on the envelope even if the address can't be machine recognised. It is an item identifier - a link to a database of items in transit.
If you look at the unique IDs allocated to buildings, streets, etc by An Post, they appear to be serial numbers. There is no geographical structure or logic to the numbering. For example, if a new building is put up between building ID 10002456 and 10002457, what building number do they assign to it? It matters less if it is a serial number, but if it is the basis on which mail is sorted, you will end up with a dogs dinner in sorting terms, as new constructions spring up. At least the NGR to 1 metre accuracy (which they use) could deal with the task of delivering mail to a new doghouse inserted between two terraced houses, if FIDO was into correspondence via An Post. A "postman's walk" is probably also defined in terms of grid reference boundaries - like a street - only it is probably a wider box than a narrow street in most cases.
If you are only sorting down to the postman's route (rather than to street and house number level), it is a simple mathematical operation to compute which delivery points are within the boundaries of the postman's route.
Mail sorting software is complex and has to be robust. The companies that make the kit (eg Siemens Dematic) won't find it economic to develop special software to for countries that want to create non-standard systems. They would have Health Service type software fiascos on their hands for every project! So it seems to me that they develop a single platform that works universally - ie one based on geographical co-ordinates. This approach will work equally well for the "Sahara Desert Postal Agency" or someone delivering mail in Paris. It is down to the mathematics of a straight line and points along the line or a curved line or a "box". If a new construction pops up and it is simply a new point along the line or within the box in the scheme of things.
Logistics is about universality. You can't impose an "Irish solution" on the rest of the world. In the aviation industry, Dublin airport has an IATA code of DUB for reservations and ticketing systems, an ICAO code of EIDW (dumb American origin - the ISO2 code for Ireland is IE not EI), and 53 25'24" x 6 15'20" co-ordinates. The only really universal element is the co-ordinate reference, and this is what the flight management computer uses for navigation. Not dissimilar to the way that envelopes are "navigated" to the delivery point.
Re stability, Dublin 6 was definitely split during the period you mentioned. Adding new areas to the numbering system generally happened because of a change in delivery practice as I understand it. I heard that there was an adjustment made out around Quarryvale. I've also heard about adjustments up around Dublin 15. It is also hard to believe that a country can go through this degree of economic growth and social change and for a number of delivery offices not to be opened or closed and for routes not to be changed
So what? Everyone knows about Dublin 6 and 6W. Dublin 6W is really probably Dublin 26 in system terms. The changes are few and far between compared with what would be involved in maintaining a database of postcodes down to delivery point with about 1.8 million postcodes, and 600,000 more houses in the pipeline over the next 9 years!
Splits like Dublin 6 and 6W are also a product of bad planning in terms of allocating district numbers. If district numbering was laid out with potential growth in each area in mind, a district served by one DO at present might be allocated two or more district numbers today. When the time came to open a new delivery office to serve an expanded urban area, the codes would be well established and there would be no change from the users point of view. example: Let's assume Swords is Dublin 70 (ie 1070 SWORDS) and has only one postal district today, the opportunity could be taken to give people in Swords North perhaps 1071 and Swords West 1072 today. All three district numbers would be assigned to the same DO today. And when the time comes to open Swords West DO addresses remain unchanged. And if they never open a Swords West DO it doesn't matter.
Re long postcodes, you yourself have demonstrated the need for seven digits of code (or so) in many addresses.
I have not "demonstrated the need" for seven digits. I referred to the old German system which if replicated in Ireland would allow the existing Dublin district numbers to remain as they are. i.e. Dublin 4 would become 1000 DUBLIN 4 for all street addresses and all street addresses in the Dublin area would share the same 1000 postcode. That is very different from "demonstrating the need for seven digits". Functionally, there is no need for anything more than 4 digits.
The other purpose of postcodes is for small area statistics. The CSO says they need this to produce statistics about areas smaller than the county and that they cannot do this economically using current techniques.
Yes they can. The CSO have access to the Geodirectory. They can collect data to an accuracy of 1 M2 of land surface if they want to using this. If the CSO phone you up at random to find out how much pet food you buy or whether anyone in your house has been diagnosed with MRSA - they have several choices in terms of defining your geographic location.
1) They can use your postal district number (ie 4 or 5 digit postcode if/when it arrives). They can then produce statistics on how much MRSA has been found in Dublin 2, Dublin 4, Dublin 13, Cork 4, or 7107 Dromahair. These areas are far smaller than counties.
2) They can ask the interviewee for their full address, and with the postcode and about 4 more keystorkes pinpoint it to an individual house using rapid address matching via the geodirectory.
3) They can use the geographic telephone number they called. The footprint of the NDC + the first 3 digits of the local number is only a few km2 in most cases.
Anyway I have yet to see CSO statistical publications where the data supplied is granular even to postal district number! In most cases they use counties and urban boundaries.
If the CSO wants to impose a high resolution code for whatever reason on the country (hasn't happened anywhere on Continental Europe) let them write to each household and allocate them a "CSO code". They could fine everybody €3,000 if they don't know their CSO code - in keeping with the new Irish police state! But please don't let them warp any postcode system making it user-unfriendly and virtually useless for anyone else!
Finland Post Corp has taken advantage of this mail sorting technology to give postcodes / town names to major companies and organisation.
You can write FI 00045 NOKIA GROUP on an envelope and post it anywhere in the world and it will get to Nokia headquarters. Other Fin postcorp virtual company towns can be found here: http://www.posti.fi/svenska/transakt...ostnummer.html
A breath of fresh air, compared with the complicated, antiquated postcode structures being proposed for Ireland, often by people who are drawing huge salaries from the state and have never lived in a country with postcodes, clean tap water, an efficient waste recycling system that doesn't involve dumping everything in China - exporting valuable raw materials and energy for nothing, and wasting zillions of kW of energy in the process, or a public transport system that is intermodal, efficient and comfortable enough for everybody to use, so that it becomes the normal method of travel rather than the private car, as is the case in Ireland. As for electoral divisions, I see they were introduced under the Poor Laws! "District Electoral Divisions originated as subdivisions of Poor Law Unions, grouping a number of townlands together to elect one or more members to a Poor Law Board of Guardians. The boundaries of District Electoral Divisions were drawn by a Poor Law Boundary Commission, with the intention of producing areas of roughly equivalent rateable value (the total amount of rates that would be paid by all ratepayers in the DED) as well as population. This meant that while DEDs were almost always contiguous, they might bear little relation to natural community boundaries." http://www.answers.com/topic/distric...toral-division
What an antiquated country!