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Government introduces Postcodes in Ireland..?

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Comments

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


    plodder wrote: »
    I suspect all that would be needed at the end of the day, would be a license from the OSI. They possibly already have the data. Navteq's data would include a lot of extra stuff (POIs, road junction layouts etc. that wouldn't be needed).

    Incomplete maybe, but not obsolete.

    Frankly, you can't say how substantial all of the effort above would be, without knowing all the details, But consider that the An Post geodirectory is already kept up to date, and the OSI already keep their mapping up to date, it wouldn't necessarily represent much additional effort IMO.

    You don't know how much additional effort would be involved because you don't know how much effort An Post puts into keeping the current directory up to date.
    For a shorter, more manageable code ... Again, I'm only trying to stimulate debate here. I don't have an actual system to show you.

    Frankly the idea of having a postcode system that relies on a maintained database instead of a formula on co-ordinates seems idiotic. Why go to the extra cost to save people remembering a couple of digits?

    Phoney McRing-Ring, the animated phone company mascot, claims that "scientists have discovered that even monkeys can memorize 10 numbers! Are you stupider than a monkey?" Chief Wiggum responds, "How big of a monkey?"

    It simply makes no sense to go to a lot of expense to maintain a database when you don't need to. Waste of taxpayers money TBH and more prone to error than a system based on co-ordinates and a formula to generate the codes as if it is maintained by people you introduce the possibility of human error on a daily basis.

    People can remember the characters, all you have to remember is your bloody post code. You can write it down or save it in your phone if it is that hard for you to remember a few bloody characters. Don't know how people survived this long if they can't remember a few numbers and letters.

    Really seems more like your trolling than trying to stimulate debate TBH.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    brim4brim wrote: »
    Frankly the idea of having a postcode system that relies on a maintained database instead of a formula on co-ordinates seems idiotic. Why go to the extra cost to save people remembering a couple of digits?
    So, the UK postcode system "seems idiotic" ? That comment really contains a lot of insight. :rolleyes:
    Really seems more like your trolling than trying to stimulate debate TBH.
    Trust me. I have better things to be doing than this. I'm rapidly running out of enthusiasm.


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


    plodder wrote: »
    So, the UK postcode system "seems idiotic" ? That comment really contains a lot of insight. :rolleyes:

    Trust me. I have better things to be doing than this. I'm rapidly running out of enthusiasm.

    Yes in the modern world, it would be idiotic to introduce a system created before computer systems were common place.

    If the UK were introducing post codes, they'd do things differently.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,428 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    plodder wrote: »
    So, the UK postcode system "seems idiotic" ? That comment really contains a lot of insight. :rolleyes:

    Yes, if you looked into the details of the UK post code system you would think it is idiotic and completely unsuitable for us. Let me give you a taste of it.

    1) It took the Royal Mail 15 years to introduce their post code system, do we really want to wait 15 years?

    2) It uses between 5 to 7 characters.

    3) The number of properties one post code can uniquely identify can be up to 100 properties, which can be an area of a couple of kilometers in rural areas.

    So given points 2 and 3, it is the same number of characters as PONC (and therefore not satisfying your requirement for a shorter postcode), yet is far less accurate then PONC.

    Where is the benefit of this?

    4) The format of the post codes is complicated and confusing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_postcodes#Format

    A9 9AA
    A99 9AA
    A9A 9AA
    AA9 9AA
    AA99 9AA
    AA9A 9AA

    are all potential British post code formats and this makes it hard for software to check that you entered the correct post code.

    5) They have a different system for London then for the rest of the country!!

    6) London post codes don't actually coincide with the boundaries of the London boroughs and the numbering system appears arbitrary on the map.

    7) It works a large database and lots of maintenance to keep up to date.

    8) The UK post code system is so broken, that the Royal Mail actually have their own completely separate system that they use internally and for bulk mail delivery called mailsort: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mailsort

    Is this really the type of system we want here, I think we can do far better then this mess.

    Given that we are so late introducing post codes, we should at least get some benefit out of the lateness, by developing a system that is short yet highly accurate and works well with computers and GPS systems.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    Bk. That may be a fair critique of the UK system, but the question was not whether we should adopt the UK system, but whether the system could use some kind of database or not (mea-culpa for mentioning the UK system in replying to Brim4Brim)

    IMO, if a database were to be involved it would have to be generatable automatically (or largely automatically) and certainly be in place for the whole country before it goes live. Then, the effort involved in updating it, would have to be fairly small.

    I disagree on one minor point above. I don't see why a postcode has to have a fixed length. The structure should certainly be fairly simple and unambiguous. For example, a structure with a variable number of letters, followed by a variable number of digits would be ok IMO.


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


    plodder wrote: »
    Bk. That may be a fair critique of the UK system, but the question was not whether we should adopt the UK system, but whether the system could use some kind of database or not (mea-culpa for mentioning the UK system in replying to Brim4Brim)

    IMO, if a database were to be involved it would have to be generatable automatically (or largely automatically) and certainly be in place for the whole country before it goes live. Then, the effort involved in updating it, would have to be fairly small.

    I disagree on one minor point above. I don't see why a postcode has to have a fixed length. The structure should certainly be fairly simple and unambiguous. For example, a structure with a variable number of letters, followed by a variable number of digits would be ok IMO.

    Error checking is easier with a greater number of knowns. You can see if someone has not enough letters or too many numbers and say that it isn't a valid post code so there are less mistakes people can make when writing postcodes.

    Best to have a strict format to it IMO.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    plodder wrote: »
    I suspect all that would be needed at the end of the day, would be a license from the OSI. They possibly already have the data. Navteq's data would include a lot of extra stuff (POIs, road junction layouts etc. that wouldn't be needed).
    Do you have any idea how much OSI charge for that sort of data?
    Incomplete maybe, but not obsolete.
    Incomplete == obsolete. The utility of a satnav system decreases rapidly as the data on it gets increasingly out of date.
    Frankly, you can't say how substantial all of the effort above would be, without knowing all the details, But consider that the An Post geodirectory is already kept up to date, and the OSI already keep their mapping up to date, it wouldn't necessarily represent much additional effort IMO.
    An Post are on record as opposing the introduction of a post code system, because they have one that they don't want to share. This gives them a competitive edge. Supporting a monopoly isn't a compelling reason for me to hold back the introduction of a usable system.

    As for OSI, as I've mentioned above, they don't exactly make their data freely available. And as for knowing how substantial the effort of keeping a geocache databas up to date would be: as an active participant in the OpenStreetMap project, I have a fair idea how much work is involved.
    For a shorter, more manageable code ...
    The code doesn't need to be shorter. Seven characters is an entirely memorable code. If we're talking about a tradeoff between utility and length, it's hard to think of anything you couldn't do with PON codes, and the length is within norms. As for more manageable, the ability to determine your PON code even before your house is built - hell, even before the road is surfaced - is pretty handy.
    Again, I'm only trying to stimulate debate here. I don't have an actual system to show you.
    We're having a debate. I'm not clear that the substantial costs and defects involved in the theoretial system you've outlined are worth the reduction of - what? - one or two characters?

    brim4brim, don't accuse people of trolling - read the charter, thanks.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,428 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk


    plodder wrote: »
    Bk. That may be a fair critique of the UK system, but the question was not whether we should adopt the UK system, but whether the system could use some kind of database or not (mea-culpa for mentioning the UK system in replying to Brim4Brim)

    But then the question is, what benefit is there in using a system that is build out of a database, versus a geographic system like PONC, I'm simply don't see the benefit?

    Can you please tell me what the benefit of a database system would be?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    As you describe it, it sounds strange. If the person wasn't trying to patent it or profit from it personally, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. As for "DOG FACE" and "Wanker", I'd imagine that problem is easily fixed by using numbers in part of the code, but without knowing anything at all about it, other than those example, I couldn't be sure.

    Interesting that you want to disregard PON Codes, which were designed from independent professional research, they work well and have widespread support.......apparantly because you were not involved in the design, they do not use county codes and 7 characters is too much!

    Yet you want to help "easily fix.." a private system that was built for private advantage by a member of a Government Board from information which has not been made publicly available and is priviledged to members of that Government Board - it uses up to 7 characters but was childishly conceived allowing the inherent characters to spell words??

    I think I know where you are coming from now!

    I have ceratinly been wasting my time trying to explain in detail and rationalise the genuine effort and professional concepts behind PON Codes.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    garydubh wrote: »
    Interesting that you want to disregard PON Codes, which were designed from independent professional research, they work well and have widespread support.......apparantly because you were not involved in the design, they do not use county codes and 7 characters is too much!

    Yet you want to help "easily fix.." a private system that was built for private advantage by a member of a Government Board from information which has not been made publicly available and is priviledged to members of that Government Board - it uses up to 7 characters but was childishly conceived allowing the inherent characters to spell words??

    I think I know where you are coming from now!

    I have ceratinly been wasting my time trying to explain in detail and rationalise the genuine effort and professional concepts behind PON Codes.....

    If you're implying that I have something to do with that system, you're mistaken. I was just pointing out that the problem you identified could be easily fixed (I wasn't asking you to do anything). The problem with your system is that it's already deployed and can't be changed. Eg. when we talked about county letters, you could only add them on as a redundant extra component. And like I've said for the umpteenth time, I'm not accepting PONC unquestioningly, but I'm not disregarding it either.
    OscarBravo wrote:
    I'm not clear that the substantial costs and defects involved in the theoretial system you've outlined are worth the reduction of - what? - one or two characters?
    Fair question. But you don't know what the costs are, and what the potential reuction might be. So, it's hard to make a judgement. It's certainly possible that it isn't worth it.
    bk wrote:
    Can you please tell me what the benefit of a database system would be?
    A database does not confer any benefit per-se. It's the system that has a benefit (and a cost). Using a database does not rule out the use of geographical co-ordinates either. A system could be based on administrative areas at the highest level, and geographical coordinates at the lowest level. A database would then be needed to link the two levels.

    As for the benefit of such systems, people would be able to link postcodes to areas more easily (without needing a GIS). That could be useful for businesses, eg. a pizza company could know it will deliver to areas X,Y, and Z but nowhere else.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    If you're implying that I have something to do with that system, you're mistaken. I was just pointing out that the problem you identified could be easily fixed (I wasn't asking you to do anything). The problem with your system is that it's already deployed and can't be changed. Eg. when we talked about county letters, you could only add them on as a redundant extra component. And like I've said for the umpteenth time, I'm not accepting PONC unquestioningly, but I'm not disregarding it either..

    1. County ID's have been included with PONC from the start as an optional extra - not because you raised it!
    Mind you County ID's are no good to a taxi driver in Dublin who picks up a fair at 3 in the morning going home to Ashbourne! We would have to create some arbitrary greater Dublin or "Pale" like ID code!!! - yet another reason why PON Codes not do directly include County ID's - not much practical use these days!

    2. Not days ago you were crying out that the Government had not published results of consultations - now it does not bother you that those consultations have may have been misused?
    plodder wrote: »
    As for the benefit of such systems, people would be able to link postcodes to areas more easily (without needing a GIS). That could be useful for businesses, eg. a pizza company could know it will deliver to areas X,Y, and Z but nowhere else.

    Stop, STOP STOP - please please please please - no more!!!!! - what do you think a GIS is - No1 function - a means of storing, analysing and displaying the type of geographical database you are advocating!!!!

    A geographical database needs some form of GIS (Geographic Information System) to operate.

    What you are actually trying to say is that you want postcodes to be aligned to administrative areas - ok that is your first requirement - this needs a database to define the area (choose from the many administartive areas that exist in Ireland now and in the future) and a GIS type system to interpret (Not really a problem) - but most importantly a bigger database will be required (defined, established and maintained) to identify what propterties, parts of townlands, parishes, streets and parts of streets and addresses and property names/numbers are inside the bounds of that area and specila provisions when they are partly in and partly out of it. Now we are back to the establishment lead times and costs and whether the resulting resolution meets the user requirements which you have yet to define??? (By the way if any location has a PON Code it can be identified inside or outside any administrative area on the fly in fractions of a second by eye, GPS, GIS, Google etc etc - so why bother with all the effort/cost/time?)

    Here we go around in circles again......................

    Try Starting with Defining the following: (For Yourself - basic Google Research will do)

    Potential users and requirements
    Resulting Resolution Requirement
    Maximum allowable Lead Time for Implementation
    Suitable Determined Post Code Method
    Implementation Costs, Method and Timescales
    Maintenance Costs, Method and Timescales

    By the way - all of the above has already been done by the Government through paid consultants and boards - perhaps you should be spending the money on the FOI request!!!

    I have done it all at my own cost and I have made it all available to you here at no cost!!!!


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    plodder wrote: »
    Fair question. But you don't know what the costs are, and what the potential reuction might be. So, it's hard to make a judgement. It's certainly possible that it isn't worth it.
    Let's look at quantifying it, on a cost-benefit basis. As a starting point, let's say the cost to the end-user of a database-backed postcode system would be comparable to that of keeping a sat-nav system updated - fair enough? It's hard to see how it could feasibly be done any more cheaply. Then you have the power users, who want more open and in-depth access to the database; it's fair to assume that this would cost substantially more.

    How do you enumerate the benefit of a shorter code? How much is it worth to someone to have a 5-character code, and is it worth enough to cover the cost of ongoing database updates?

    The next question is: is it possible to have a shorter code, while still capturing the detail you think should be there? You talk of having an abbreviation of the county as part of the code - the reduction in available entropy (I think that's a reasonable use of the term) means that the chances of being able to capture a useful amount of location information in the rest of the code are fairly slim.

    To explain what I mean: let's consider a postcode that uses MO for the Mayo, similar to car registrations. You can't use M, because that could be Meath or Monaghan. (I note straight away that I've introduced a new potential problem: the letter "O" is ambiguous, and could be mistaken for a zero. Moving on...) Assuming we want to have a 5-character code, you have three characters left - only sufficient for a thousand locations within Mayo if you use digits, or almost 47000 if you use full alphanumerics. (You'd have to think carefully about which alphanum characters you'd want to use, to deal with the ambiguity problem mentioned earlier.)

    That may seem like quite a lot, but there are a lot of roads in Mayo, and to have a system based on the road network, presumably the code would have to include some form of heirarchy - N-roads, R-roads, L-roads, not to mention main streets, housing estates, cul-de-sacs... there simply isn't enough entropy in the code to cover this in a useful way. It may be barely possible to design a code that works well this way now, but the chances of it scaling gracefully are slim.

    And that's before we get near Cork, Galway or Dublin...
    A database does not confer any benefit per-se. It's the system that has a benefit (and a cost). Using a database does not rule out the use of geographical co-ordinates either. A system could be based on administrative areas at the highest level, and geographical coordinates at the lowest level. A database would then be needed to link the two levels.

    As for the benefit of such systems, people would be able to link postcodes to areas more easily (without needing a GIS). That could be useful for businesses, eg. a pizza company could know it will deliver to areas X,Y, and Z but nowhere else.
    There's an inherent contradiction in the above: you talk of not needing a GIS to link a postcode to an area, but the entire hypothetical system you talk about is predicated on a GIS.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    garydubh wrote: »
    1. County ID's have been included with PONC from the start as an optional extra - not because you raised it!
    I believe you, though you never mentioned it previously, nor was it mentioned on your website. The other point still stands though.
    Mind you County ID's are no good to a taxi driver in Dublin who picks up a fair at 3 in the morning going home to Ashbourne! We would have to create some arbitrary greater Dublin or "Pale" like ID code!!! - yet another reason why PON Codes not do directly include County ID's - not much practical use these days!
    Nobody is claiming that they are useful for all problems
    2. Not days ago you were crying out that the Government had not published results of consultations - now it does not bother you that those consultations have may have been misused?



    Stop, STOP STOP - please please please please - no more!!!!! - what do you think a GIS is - No1 function - a means of storing, analysing and displaying the type of geographical database you are advocating!!!!

    A geographical database needs some form of GIS (Geographic Information System) to operate.
    Obviously, GPS units and any software that needs to convert a postcode into an actual navigable location, needs to have a database or set of tables, which allows for that. Now if you want to call that a GIS, then fine. GPS units already can do this (in some way) for UK postcodes.

    But the substantial point is that, people will relate postcodes to actual areas without needing any kind of GIS to do this (hence the pizza analogy). Eg. If the postcode prefix DXA refers to Malahide, Co. Dublin, and the prefix DXB refers to Swords, then people will not need a GIS to know which is which. The complexity is built into the software, not outside of it.
    What you are actually trying to say is that you want postcodes to be aligned to administrative areas - ok that is your first requirement - this needs a database to define the area (choose from the many administartive areas that exist in Ireland now and in the future) and a GIS type system to interpret (Not really a problem) - but most importantly a bigger database will be required (defined, established and maintained) to identify what propterties, parts of townlands, parishes, streets and parts of streets and addresses and property names/numbers are inside the bounds of that area and specila provisions when they are partly in and partly out of it. Now we are back to the establishment lead times and costs and whether the resulting resolution meets the user requirements which you have yet to define??? (By the way if any location has a PON Code it can be identified inside or outside any administrative area on the fly in fractions of a second by eye, GPS, GIS, Google etc etc - so why bother with all the effort/cost/time?)

    Here we go around in circles again......................

    Try Starting with Defining the following: (For Yourself - basic Google Research will do)

    Potential users and requirements
    Resulting Resolution Requirement
    Maximum allowable Lead Time for Implementation
    Suitable Determined Post Code Method
    Implementation Costs, Method and Timescales
    Maintenance Costs, Method and Timescales

    By the way - all of the above has already been done by the Government through paid consultants and boards - perhaps you should be spending the money on the FOI request!!!

    I have done it all at my own cost and I have made it all available to you here at no cost!!!!
    On that last point, I was actually told it was likely my FOI request would be refused. But if that is how you got it, then maybe I will try anyway.

    On the question of the hassle and overhead involved in defining administrative areas, I fully understand the difficulties, but I do know that some work is being done in this area already, where so-called atomic small areas are being defined, principally for the evaluation of census statistics, but which can then be aggregated for other purposes, such as postcodes possibly. I'd like to be sure that this has been considered carefully.

    Maybe the answer awaits me in the government' secret files. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    I believe you, though you never mentioned it previously, nor was it mentioned on your website.
    You have forgotten that I pointed you to our company website where is is posted since 27th January 2007! http://www.gpsireland.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=79&limit=1&limitstart=1
    plodder wrote: »
    But the substantial point is that, people will relate postcodes to actual areas without needing any kind of GIS to do this (hence the pizza analogy). Eg. If the postcode prefix DXA refers to Malahide, Co. Dublin, and the prefix DXB refers to Swords, then people will not need a GIS to know which is which. The complexity is built into the software, not outside of it.
    and in the PON Code W5K 59VN - W5K relates to Crosshaven, Co. Cork. - see here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php
    plodder wrote: »
    I fully understand the difficulties, but I do know that some work is being done in this area already, where so-called atomic small areas are being defined, principally for the evaluation of census statistics, but which can then be aggregated for other purposes, such as postcodes possibly. I'd like to be sure that this has been considered carefully.
    Sounds like PON Codes to me - Point Codes that can be aggregated to satisfy an area/polygon requirement!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    Frankly, you can't say how substantial all of the effort above would be, without knowing all the details, But consider that the An Post geodirectory is already kept up to date, and the OSI already keep their mapping up to date, it wouldn't necessarily represent much additional effort IMO.

    Just a quick additional note on this matter.
    OSI map updates are not instantaneous - map detail revisions are achieved over years not days in a cyclical plan for different map scales. Map updates are, therefore, significant undertakings.

    SatNav mapmakers update more frequently than the OSI but but there are major problems with the accuracy and completeness of updates - mentioned in the press over the last few weeks - see here: http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2008/08/17/story35135.asp

    The Geodirectory is jointly maintained by OSI and An Post and is always struggling to keep up to date with new addresses. The cost of licensing this product is a major issue and there are also data protection issues related to using its content - mentioned by Noel Dempsey in the Dail in 2005 - see here: http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0605/D.0605.200506290172.html Geodirectory contains locations of centroids of properties which is not always the most useful if you are trying to gain access from a public road.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    A review by a second set of consultants (2008) into the recommendations of the first set of consultants (2005), received by the Eamon Ryan - Minsiter for Communications - recently seems now to be recommending adoption of a Post Code System which will allow a unique post code for most properties - i.e the type of system proposed by GPS Ireland in PON Codes.
    See here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0909/1220629653090.html

    This is different to the original Government Post Code Proposal which seemed to suggest an area based system like "D04 123" or "GAL 123" which represented an area of about 20 houses in Dublin 4 and up to 5 or 6 square kilometers in country areas and would not have been of any value for vehicle based services including Emergency Services and SatNav users.

    Right now, PON Codes which are available at www.irishpostcodes.ie are the only system publically available, proven and working which can satisfy the recommendations of the latest consultants. The only satisfactory way to give unique Post Codes to each property is to use Coordinates - i.e. grid references presented in a user friendly and memorable format like PON Codes


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    Let's hope they publish the report as they promised they would.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Yesterday I read that in Ireland both the Transport and Agriculture sectors' Carbon emissions have been underestimated by up to 12%

    A Post Code system which is capable of locating individual properties, used in conjunction with a SatNav, would straight away reduce failed courier deliveries by 3%. Equally, as time and fuel trying to find the property will have been reduced, and the need for a revisit will have been eliminated, then the carbon footprint of couriers will have been reduced by at least 3%.
    Post Codes defining individual properties will also allow for best route optimistaion and load factor maximisation, again reducing significantly the sectors' carbon footprint and related costs. For this reason DHL are taking an active part the Galileo Masters GPS project to satisfy these aims.

    Furthermore, the 0.5 million commercial vehicles on our roads would also take advantage of better routing and less time and fuel wasting trying to find places. It is estimated that high resolution postcodes used in conjunction with SatNavs can contribute to up to 15% in fuel savings and related carbon emmission reduction from the transport sector.

    PON Codes are the only working post code system capable of supporting these savings and reductions.

    It is true that in this country, the Government has yet to understand the potential contribution of SatNavs to Carbon emmission savings. If they did understand the potential, they would already be supporting, through their departmnets and agencies, realtime road change updates and the installation of realtime traffic instrastructure capable of feeding information to SatNav's which already can reroute on the basis of traffic information - thus saving significant time, fuel and carbon emmissions!! The potential savings could be up to 20% with full support and infrastructure!!!.

    SatNavs are not just for fun - they are now a commercial necessity, needing full Government support to take full advantage of the benefits......PON Codes www.irishpostcodes.ie have been designed as the most fundamental building block in in a SatNav based fuel, time and Carbon reducing infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Post Codes promised for Jan 2008 are still being disputed at Government and Postal level - working under the fallacy that they are mainly about delivering mail!!! And more than this it is now suggested that part of the hold up is because the people in Dublin 4 do not want to have to stoop to a different Postal code.

    So why did they base a Post Code proposal on arbitrarily detremined boundaries and polygons - let others do this - use PON Codes instead which do not have to worry about arbritarily contrived boundaries which will be disputed forever and at some time will have to be changed.

    News for those in D04 - your grid reference is already in existence and you have no control over it - and PON codes are just an easier way of expressing it.

    PON Codes can be used now for time, fuel and carbon economies - Garmin 700 series SatNav's have PON Codes for testing purposes see here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/useponconsatnav.php


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 141 ✭✭Sin e an Fear


    Gurgle wrote: »
    We don't have any major cities, the system we have works just fine for our population distribution.

    Why do people make Ireland out to be small? Compared to where - Luxembourg? Malta? Cyprus? Andorra?

    New Zealand used the same argument againt postcodes for years (other than using them for bulk mail) but now has seen the light, and postcodes are now required for addressing all items. Incidentally, if postcodes are as unnecessary as An Post says they are, why not get rid of the numbering system in Dublin, just as New Zealand did in its three main cities?

    I agree that having 'M' for Dublin and 'W' for Cork is a bit confusing - it's a bit like the Canadian postal code system, where the letters bear no relation to the place names, except for 'V' which covers Vancouver, Victoria and the rest of British Columbia, and 'S', which covers Saskatchewan - 'T' is for Alberta, 'M' is for Toronto, 'H' is for Montreal.


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


    garydubh wrote: »
    PON Codes are the only working post code system capable of supporting these savings and reductions.

    Show me the petition and ill sign it!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,163 ✭✭✭✭Liam Byrne


    Given that we - the public - have to pay to recycle all the advertising flyers and rubbish, I'll sign up for these AS LONG AS the Government offers an ENFORCED opt-out database for physical, through-the-letterbox SPAM and bulk mail.

    Otherwise, leave it as-is.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Liam Byrne wrote: »
    Given that we - the public - have to pay to recycle all the advertising flyers and rubbish, I'll sign up for these AS LONG AS the Government offers an ENFORCED opt-out database for physical, through-the-letterbox SPAM and bulk mail.

    Otherwise, leave it as-is.

    Liam, the beauty of PON Codes is that they need no address database - they are just a mathematical calculation!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,163 ✭✭✭✭Liam Byrne


    garydubh wrote: »
    Liam, the beauty of PON Codes is that they need no address database - they are just a mathematical calculation!

    Precisely my point. If - as a result of this - I end up getting loads of rubbish that goes straight into the bin, then I'll group it all together and deliver it to the Government department responsible.

    The "mathematical calculation" should also apply to cold-calling, but you're entitled to get your number blocked; the same principle HAS to be applied to postcodes, otherwise we'll get loads of rubbish through the letterbox that WE'LL have pay to recycle.

    By all means introduce it, but safeguard the nation's privacy and preferences in the same way as is currently done for phone numbers.

    Otherwise (if they can't implement a safeguard against the SPAM marketing scum) leave it as-is.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Liam Byrne wrote: »
    Precisely my point. If - as a result of this - I end up getting loads of rubbish that goes straight into the bin, then I'll group it all together and deliver it to the Government department responsible.

    The "mathematical calculation" should also apply to cold-calling, but you're entitled to get your number blocked; the same principle HAS to be applied to postcodes, otherwise we'll get loads of rubbish through the letterbox that WE'LL have pay to recycle.

    By all means introduce it, but safeguard the nation's privacy and preferences in the same way as is currently done for phone numbers.

    Otherwise (if they can't implement a safeguard against the SPAM marketing scum) leave it as-is.

    Liam - the idea of getting spam mail in my letterbox is equally abhorrent to me. However, assertions that Post Codes will cause Spam mail needs to be carefully looked at before conclusions such as yours are drawn. Some points to note:

    1. Most of the spam mail that comes through my door, and I presume it is the same for most people, has no address at all on it. Why? Because it is given to the Postman or specialist companies to hand deliver in targeted areas - no need for an address at all - let alone a Post Code!

    2. It is your address that causes you to be targeted - i.e. your location and house type indicates your income bracket and therefore what you can afford. This allows direct mail and marketing companies to target you with products they think you can afford.

    3. Therefore, an address database is required to efficiently target you with direct mail and marketing material. This already exists - Post Codes are not required to facilitate this. Direct Mail and Marketing companies specialise in building address databases and using them to best results. An Post and the OSI has the most comprehensive address database in the country - the GeoDirectory - which as 1.8 million property addresses listed and this is sold widely to anyone who requires it - see here: http://www.geodirectory.ie/About-GeoDirectory.aspx As well as this, there is the register of electors, phone directories , Golden pages etc etc all of which are in digital formats nowadays.

    So if you look at this matter carefully you will realise that to put marketing mail in your door does not need Post Codes at all. And you are right - some legislation needs to be put in place to protect homeowners and I would support that fully.

    But this should not be used as an argument against Post Codes. Post Codes have a very important function to make things more efficient and support the modern requirements to have more things delivered to our locations of choice.

    PON Codes can work without any address database. Every location in Ireland already has a set of natural geographic coordinates - PON Codes just convert these coordinates into a useable and memorable format. They are not related to address - just coordinates. PON Codes, therefore, do not need a related address or address database to work. So PON Codes cannot be associated directly with spam mail and therefore this argument cannot be used against them.

    Of course they can indeed be added to an existing address database to make it easier to use and find places - but these address databases already exist and are already being used by the marketing companies.

    Therefore your issue, Liam, should be addressed to the use of address databases for the production of unwanted mail and possible legislation needed to protect the homeowner in this regard. I would also agree that direct mail and marketing companies should not be involved with the specification, development or management of any proposed Post Code system.
    GPS Ireland, which developed PON Codes, is a GPS/Navigation/Positioning Company and has no involvement with the mail or marketing industry in any form.

    However, possible legislation against unwanted uses of Address Databases should not be confused with the case for Post Codes and has nothing to do with PON Codes which are unlike any historic Post Code system as they do not need a look up address database to allow them to be used.

    Hopefully this dispels the "Anti Spam Mail" argument against Post Codes that is raised here - and instead puts the focus in that regard on issues relating to the unwanted use of address databases and the issue of placing unaddressed mail through letterboxes rather than on the necessary introduction of Post Codes in Ireland.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,163 ✭✭✭✭Liam Byrne


    Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

    The "scaremongering" issue with postcodes, though, is that they COULD be just mathematcially done, similar to "random phone number generators", which to the best of my knowledge are illegal.

    But if this issue is dealt with comprehensively by the Government FIRST, with substantial fines that discourage the "laws of percentages" (fines high enough so that the dodgy companies that acknowledge that the fines will have to be paid in some cases but take a gamble that the return will outstrip the fines) THEN the focus COULD be put purely on the ACTUAL pros and cons of postcodes.

    Until that's done - FIRST - then SPAM-through-letterboxes IS still a con - in both definitions of the word.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Liam Byrne wrote: »
    Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

    The "scaremongering" issue with postcodes, though, is that they COULD be just mathematcially done, similar to "random phone number generators", which to the best of my knowledge are illegal.

    But if this issue is dealt with comprehensively by the Government FIRST, with substantial fines that discourage the "laws of percentages" (fines high enough so that the dodgy companies that acknowledge that the fines will have to be paid in some cases but take a gamble that the return will outstrip the fines) THEN the focus COULD be put purely on the ACTUAL pros and cons of postcodes.

    Until that's done - FIRST - then SPAM-through-letterboxes IS still a con - in both definitions of the word.

    Liam - must be the way I am explaining it but you've missed the point - it is the unwanted use of address databases which are your concern not postcodes.

    I will say it again - any legislation needed to prevent unwanted mail through letterboxes will be in relation to the nuisance use of address databases not Post Codes. This argument does not have a place in a discussion about Post Codes.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Interesting that the new Post (PON) Code for Thomond Park is PDJ 97MV - seems that the "MV" part stands for Munster Victorious.... any other interpretations?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    garydubh wrote: »
    Interesting that the new Post (PON) Code for Thomond Park is PDJ 97MV - seems that the "MV" part stands for Munster Victorious.... any other interpretations?


    Maybe the PON Code for Croke Park MTB 107F is good omen as well - Mr Trappatoni's Boys 107 For - Ireland's final goal count at the end of this World Cup Campaign!!!!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,118 ✭✭✭plodder


    Why do people make Ireland out to be small? Compared to where - Luxembourg? Malta? Cyprus? Andorra?

    New Zealand used the same argument againt postcodes for years (other than using them for bulk mail) but now has seen the light, and postcodes are now required for addressing all items. Incidentally, if postcodes are as unnecessary as An Post says they are, why not get rid of the numbering system in Dublin, just as New Zealand did in its three main cities?

    I agree that having 'M' for Dublin and 'W' for Cork is a bit confusing - it's a bit like the Canadian postal code system, where the letters bear no relation to the place names, except for 'V' which covers Vancouver, Victoria and the rest of British Columbia, and 'S', which covers Saskatchewan - 'T' is for Alberta, 'M' is for Toronto, 'H' is for Montreal.
    In Canada, 'M' actually represents all of Toronto, but in this one, M isn't really for Dublin, nor W for Cork. These codes represent 100x100km squares that happen to include most (but not all) of the respective counties, and bits of others too.

    Personally, I think it's counter-productive to try to find relationships between parts of this code and real administrative areas (eg counties). The problem is that while it might fit reasonably well in some places, there are probably far more anomalies, than good fits IMO. I think it is better for the PONC system to be characterised as a good point location code, rather than an area code, per-se.


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