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Government introduces Postcodes in Ireland..?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    I get the impression postcodes are like integrated ticketing for Dublin transport.

    There's a pretty good system just over the water (Or up the road in the case of postcodes) that could be implemented fairly easily, but for some reason the Irish Government wants to reinvent the wheel.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,791 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    France uses 5 digit postcodes, with the first two digits being the department number, (kinda like a list of counties in alphabetical order) leaving 3 digits for the location in the department, post seems to arrive.
    And, as I mentioned earlier, Denmark uses a 4-digit postcode that only identifies the nearest sorting office, and post seems to arrive.

    Why do people keep dragging the postal red herring into this? Ignore the term "postcode", this isn't about post, it's about courier services, ambulances, taxis, tourism...

    The postal service is the reason we don't have post codes.

    Question for those of you who are so strongly opposed to location codes: ever had to give an ambulance directions to a rural house in an emergency?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick


    National Grid gives a 100x100m square, it's been widely used climbing for over 20 years.

    How do the emergency services in France or Denmark locate people?

    Do the taxi's in London use postcodes or must they pass "the Knowledge" instead?

    I'd like to see some cost benefit analysis before any govt money is wasted spent on such a scheme.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,791 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    National Grid gives a 100x100m square, it's been widely used climbing for over 20 years.
    Sure, why bother with a 7-digit postcode when a 12-digit number will do just as well?
    How do the emergency services in France or Denmark locate people?
    I have no idea. Hopefully more easily than the Irish do. I take it your answer to the ambulance question is "no". I wish I could say the same.
    Do the taxi's in London use postcodes or must they pass "the Knowledge" instead?
    You obviously haven't taken a taxi in London lately.
    I'd like to see some cost benefit analysis before any govt money is wasted spent on such a scheme.
    Don't worry about it - as usual, the private sector got fed up waiting and came up with a scheme without government interference help.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    I've just checked out www.irishpostcodes.ie and I must say I'm absolutely blown away by it, it seems like an excellent system.

    I looked up my postcode and I've found it very easy to remember, I plan on using it in the zip field of websites in future.

    I can't understand why anyone would be against such a postcode system being officially used, it seems to be extremely useful to me.

    I live in a relatively new (less then 2 years) apartment building in Dublin City and every single package I've got delivered there, the couriers have had to call to ask for directions and it is the same with Taxis.

    Thinking about it, it is the same with my parents house in Cork and that has been there for over 100 years!!!

    With such a system you would eliminate this nuisance, also a courier once told me that the lack of postcodes in Ireland directly leads to higher delivery costs as they get lost more often and the cost of calling people for directions.

    Never mind the benefit to emergency services, I just can't understand why anyone would be against it and why people aren't shouting for this to be introduced ASAP.

    The only thing I don't get about irishpostcodes.com system is the arrangement of the characters, for example taking W5K 59VN

    The W gets you a 100km squared box and the 5K gets you down to a 3.5km square area within the 100km box. This all makes sense so far.

    But then of the 59VN, the VN gets you down to a 120 meter square area and the 59 gets you down to 6 meter. If this is the case, then wouldn't it have been better to have ordered it as: W5K VN59

    That way people could shorten it to just W5K VN when they only wanted to give out the general area of their home and an area roughly similar to a UK postcode?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    bk wrote: »
    I've just checked out www.irishpostcodes.ie and I must say I'm absolutely blown away by it, it seems like an excellent system.

    But then of the 59VN, the VN gets you down to a 120 meter square area and the 59 gets you down to 6 meter. If this is the case, then wouldn't it have been better to have ordered it as: W5K VN59

    The 3rd and 4th Characters are guaranteed numbers and engineered to ensure that the code is Alphanumeric as stated and designed.

    For those mentioning Irish Grid - these PON Codes at www.irishpostcodes.ie are Irish Grid or more correctly ITM in a different format. W5K 59VN defines ITM position accurate to +/- 6 meters. A full explanation on PON Codes and how they are created starts here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php

    There seems now to be others who want to jump on the bandwagon and create websites or "talk to the Government" about Post Codes. All of them so far have published codes where you can have a Code which reads: "Wanker" or similar. Post Codes are not for those who want to play at this - There is more to this than just spotting a good idea and having a go yourself.

    PON Codes at www.irishpostcodes.ie are the result of well over 2 years of designing, testing, evaluation on Garmin SatNav's, and modifications to ensure ease of use, an easily memorised format, clear origins, low cost implementaion by couriers, emergency services and any user. PON Codes have been tested by service providers, couriers, emergency services and the general public on Garmin Nuvi 700 series satnav's and on the website and the over riding feedback has been "we want to use it now!"

    All the talk about how many characters a Irish Post Code should have is not a matter for an off the cuff decision. The number of characters is determined by what resolution the Post Code is to have, and whether it is numeric, or alphnumeric. Writing here that it should be a certain number of characters is all very well - you should understand that PON Codes took well over 2 years to develop and there is a lot to consider - and is designed to meet the stated requirements of ComReg, the CSO and the UPU.

    For those who insist on less characters, then reducing the code's resolution - location can be defined to +/- 120 meters by trunctacting the PON Code W5K 59VN to W5KVN


    If you need more detail on PON Codes just contact is designers at info@gpsireland.ie


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    garydubh wrote: »
    For those who insist on less characters, then reducing the code's resolution - location can be defined to +/- 120 meters by trunctacting the PON Code W5K 59VN to W5KVN

    Yes, but that might cause all sorts of problems and confusion for software apps, for instance does the Garmin software understand W5KVN?

    I still don't get why it is ordered the way it is, W5K VN59 is still alpha numeric, perhaps I'm just missing some detail of the implementation that makes it necessary.

    BTW I'm not saying this so that there are less characters so it is easier for people to remember, rather I'm just saying that there are circumstances where people might not want 6m resolution and a 120m would be sufficient.

    BBTW This isn't a major criticism, I think your system is excellent and I hope something like it gets officially accepted, I'm just wondering if it could be slightly tweaked to make it even better.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    Oh, thinking about it further, I get the reason now. You could potentially end up with a code like WTK VN in some circumstances, but personally I don't see this as being a big problem. Why must there be a number in the code?

    BTW can someone use a code like W5K 00VN to give just a 120m resolution and still work with GPS and mapping software?


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,791 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    I don't see any reason why GPS and mapping software can't figure out that the length of the code indicates its resolution. I'm not sure why the code groups are not in decreasing order of significance, but I can't see it presenting any major problems.

    What would be really cool, is to have the encoding/decoding algorithm open-sourced...

    /me pokes Gary


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,035 ✭✭✭BKtje


    Whatever maps they use on that website aren't very accurate unfortunately. Mis named roads and even roads not totally accurate.

    Anyway it looks like a good system.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,791 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    B-K-DzR wrote: »
    Whatever maps they use on that website aren't very accurate unfortunately. Mis named roads and even roads not totally accurate.
    Google Maps - using the less-than-perfect TeleAtlas street data. Yahoo Maps (and most of the satnav products) use the much better Navteq data.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    bk wrote: »
    Oh, thinking about it further, I get the reason now. You could potentially end up with a code like WTK VN in some circumstances, but personally I don't see this as being a big problem. Why must there be a number in the code?

    BTW can someone use a code like W5K 00VN to give just a 120m resolution and still work with GPS and mapping software?

    bk, appreciate all your positive feedback. You can be sure that any software developed will be able to read the code short or long including Garmin. However, its is designed for best use at 7 characters so that delivery vans will even know what side of the road to park to make the delivery.

    Some of my earlier comments were in reply to others posts rather than yours.

    If you need any more detailed info - you can get me at info@gpsireland.ie:)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    OscarBravo,


    many thanks for all your support on this. Regarding the source code - we are currently making it available under a royalty free licence for website developers. Please contact me if you want to discuss - info@gpsireland.ie


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,078 ✭✭✭✭LordSutch


    Presuming PON is the official term for 'Irish Postcodes' what does PON stand for? Post Office something ... ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    ArthurF wrote: »
    Presuming PON is the official term for 'Irish Postcodes' what does PON stand for? Post Office something ... ?

    ArthurF - PON Code stands for Position Orientated Navigation Code - full explanation here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/findoutmore.php

    These codes are not just designed for mail services - they are for anyone trying to find any location in Ireland. They are starting to be used by Tourist and Hospitality related businesses - see here: http://www.travelshopireland.com/featured-accommodation/bed-and-breakfast/lecan-lodge-ennisrone.html

    Anyone wants to have a look at them in use on a Garmin Nuvi 700 series SatNav contact us at info@gpsireland.ie and we will arrange it for you.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭turgon


    garydubh, a great service imo that shows one of the main benefits of capitalism - private innovation. Tell me, are ye in discussions with the government about officially introducing them?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,609 ✭✭✭Flamed Diving


    I work for a service where we need to record peoples addresses over the phone and I swear to **** some of them are in Japanese.

    'Where do ya live'?

    Billgooleybaiely,
    Capperrappertwomey,
    Balineslappedurrow,
    Tuam
    Co Galway

    Bring on post codes, I say.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,078 ✭✭✭✭LordSutch


    Just out of curiousity, is the PON number relavent to the name of the Townland?

    Example: In the UK a Postcode for Twickenham might be 'TW12 2DX', Kingston might be 'KT4 6BY', Belfast 'BT6 2NI', and London/Glasgow are divided into SW (South West) SE (South East) etc etc etc ...................

    The first two letters usually signifying the Town/City name (London/Glasgow apart) which I presume is pretty handy for Postmen & Customers alike, Dun Laoghare might have a 'DL' prefix?

    Is PON this user friendly? does it have a two letter 'clue' in the code? or not?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    ArthurF wrote: »
    Is PON this user friendly? does it have a two letter 'clue' in the code? or not?

    Not quiet the same, Dublin would always start with a M, Cork starts with a W, etc.

    So I'm sure people would quickly learn roughly where in the country a particular code is (like 01 is Dublin, 021 is Cork, etc.).

    IMO the many other advantages of this system way out weight this one advantage of the British system.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    The advantage of a PON Code is that it does not need a database. If characters in the code are to indicate Towns like the UK, then the code would need a database which then would need to be regularly amended/updated. Any thing with a database costs extra in money and hardware resources when it comes to being deployed on mobile devices and the end result is things get out of date. This is the problem with the UK postcode system as well as the fact that its resolution is related to areas rather than individual properties. Routinely, as a result of new housing estate developments in the UK, houses are changed from 1 postcode area to another. Also only propreties in the UK can have post codes - so lots of hassle and problems and it has taken 50 years to get it generally accepted. We don't have 50 years to make a PostCode system for Ireland work!

    For all these reasons PON codes are coordinate based - and therefore, they do not need a database;- so no keeping up to date problems and costs for the users. Every property can have a PON code as well as non properties such as mobile clinics, point to point meeting places, football matches, delivery points on new road constructions, accident locations etc etc - anything/anywhere! (Anytime/Anyplace!!!)

    The first 3 characters of the PON Codes define areas which are 3.5 km square and users will become familiar with these with use. Have a look here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php for more explanations.

    If you have Google Earth installed, you can click on the letter squares on the right of the page in the link above and see where each of the first 3 characters cover in the country.

    As for talking to the Government... we have indeed spoken with them - they are very much aware of PON Codes and are watching carefully as they will be nationalising some system in 2010 and any system that is running and running well will be attractive.

    Thanks all for your interest- I hope I am answering your questions fully - if not please e-mail me at info@gpsireland.ie. I supppose also that you should not forget that PON Codes are designed to take full advantage of GPS (SatNav) and GIS technologies - things that were not around when the UK system was designed!!! PON Codes are not just about delivering mail - they are also there to support the 0.5 million commercial vehicles plying our roads daily and the 1 million visitors who come to Ireland by road annually - looking for places to stay, eat, do business and be entertained!

    PS -watch out for Sunday Business Post tomorrow 17th Aug - there should be something on SatNav's and PostCodes etc (Barring something more important cropping up - which is very possible....)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,078 ✭✭✭✭LordSutch


    Very interesting indeed, and thank you 'garydubh' for that explanation of PON codes, I must say that the logic at first glance sounds watertight apart from the obvious anomoly of Dublin having the letter M instead of D in its PON code, but once we get used to them they seem to be much more precise & fool proof than Royal Mail Post codes, I must say that I still like the idea of the Town name being represented in the Postcode for example (Belfast = BT or Coventry = CV) but I suppose you just cant have everything in the code, & you cant please everybody ~ anyway, the PON system sounds Great, and about time too . . . . .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭turgon


    ArthurF wrote: »
    I must say that I still like the idea of the Town name being represented in the Postcode

    Having done a bit of database work myself I can see where Gary Dubh is coming from. Imagine ArthurF that you buy a sat nav. Now with Gary Dubhs system you would never need to update your sat nav that often, maybe only to include newly built roads. Because no matter how many new houses are built the old postcodes stay same and the ew ones are predictable.

    On the other hand if you want your postcode to be in some way related to the geographical location ('D' for Dublin etc), the 100% basis on maths is gone. Thus your satnav will need to store information on its memory so it will know where D is actually is (rather than simply using maths and a large map to work it out). The should county bounds be changed, or new developments crop up, you will need to update this memory on a regular basis which will cost you money.

    At least thats how it would seem to me.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,078 ✭✭✭✭LordSutch


    Agreed, and I still think PON codes are a Great idea, & you and I might have Sat Nav's, but not everyone will . . . . but yes, I agree that its foolproof & logical.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    PON Codes may not have D for Dublin - but they do have M for Metropolis - which better reflects the true modern-day geographic extent of our Capital and its hinterland!

    W then stands for Wonderland - I can say that having lived in Cork now for 29 years!!!!

    So it appears that I migrated to the Wonderland from the Metropolis!:D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,012 ✭✭✭✭thebman


    Honestly are people that thick that they can't remember a mix of numbers and letters?

    Since I first heard of PON, I've been waiting for people to wake up to what a great idea it is.

    I do have to say that I don't actually like the website but the idea is fantastic. This is the second Irish company I've seen recently where I've loved the product but hated the p*ss stain yellow background on the website (no offense). I don't know what the logic is behind it or why people can't just use a white background on their website.

    Anyway great idea and fully support it despite the website. I think the level of detail or resolution as you call it is important and I think its at the perfect level. I'm willing to remember the extra digits for a postcode if it is that much more accurate.

    I have to believe that anyone not willing to remember so few digits doesn't get why the idea is so good and needs to read more about the subject. As best I can remember, all the benefits and reasons for the length of the post codes are on their website and give a good explaination. Just bear with the length for the sake of the emergency services FFS.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,442 ✭✭✭Firetrap


    I like the idea too. The problem is getting An Post to move on it. The work practices in there leave a lot to be desired.


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,626 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    I remember all but 3 of the post codes I've ever lived in. 98223, 32174, 29414 and 29483. and those missing were only from a lack of not needing them when I was there. 98223 was when I was 6 years old :rolleyes: the argument that they are difficult to memorise is silly. though you could argue the digit by itself is kinda meaningless in general conversation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭turgon


    ArthurF wrote: »
    Agreed, and I still think PON codes are a Great idea, & you and I might have Sat Nav's, but not everyone will . . . . but yes, I agree that its foolproof & logical.

    Well I actually dont, I was talking hypothetically.
    brim4brim wrote: »
    Since I first heard of PON, I've been waiting for people to wake up to what a great idea it is.

    Sometimes in this country you get the distinct impression that your time would be better spent planning an uprising and taking over the place, rather trying to speak to the conservative backbone of the electorate. This is the country where people equate nuclear power with nuclear weapons, and automatically assume that we will have a Chernobyl style incident within hours of starting to build a nuclear power plant.

    Maybe we should lobby the government.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    brim4brim wrote: »
    Honestly are people that thick that they can't remember a mix of numbers and letters?

    Since I first heard of PON, I've been waiting for people to wake up to what a great idea it is.

    I do have to say that I don't actually like the website but the idea is fantastic. This is the second Irish company I've seen recently where I've loved the product but hated the p*ss stain yellow background on the website (no offense). I don't know what the logic is behind it or why people can't just use a white background on their website.

    Anyway great idea and fully support it despite the website. I think the level of detail or resolution as you call it is important and I think its at the perfect level. I'm willing to remember the extra digits for a postcode if it is that much more accurate.

    I have to believe that anyone not willing to remember so few digits doesn't get why the idea is so good and needs to read more about the subject. As best I can remember, all the benefits and reasons for the length of the post codes are on their website and give a good explaination. Just bear with the length for the sake of the emergency services FFS.
    Firetrap wrote: »
    I like the idea too. The problem is getting An Post to move on it. The work practices in there leave a lot to be desired.
    Overheal wrote: »
    I remember all but 3 of the post codes I've ever lived in. 98223, 32174, 29414 and 29483. and those missing were only from a lack of not needing them when I was there. 98223 was when I was 6 years old :rolleyes: the argument that they are difficult to memorise is silly. though you could argue the digit by itself is kinda meaningless in general conversation.

    Brim4Brim - website is beta test version only - will be redesigned in time.

    Firetrap - No need to worry about An Post - there will be Postal Liberalisation in 2010 and Dept of Comms do now and will then make all regulatory decisions. PON Codes are already in use - no need to wait for approval from on high - if they save money/time/fuel etc then just use them.

    OverHeal - I agree - people have to remember more and more passwords, pin numbers, e-mail addresses etc etc these days that they are used to remembering what they use regularly and get benefit from. If you are being asked to provide a Zip/post Code when buying on line - then remembering and using PON Codes will be a major benefit. There is no digit on its own?

    Remembering your PON Code after a night on the town to give to the taxi man will be the ultimate challenge !


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭ChocolateSauce


    Post codes? That'll upset some of the south Dubliners who are happy to live in "Co.Dublin" :D

    But yeah, it is annyoing when I'm trying to buy something online and the site insists on a "zip". I once had to tell a seller on ebay TWICE that I had no post code before he got the message.


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