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Government introduces Postcodes in Ireland..?

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    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.

    Exactly Plodder it is not an area code - its a point based code - the 7 characters define a position to within 6 meters of its actual position on the ground. It is designed so that it does not require any administrative areas to make it work - all this has been explained before and is also explained in detail on the website and we have discussed it here before. You are still hung up on making the first letter indicate a county - it is not supposed to!!!!

    GPS Ireland
    GPS House
    Church Bay Road
    Crosshaven
    Cork W5K 59VN

    The first letter does not indicate the county in the same way that "BT" is the UK Post Code for all over Northern Ireland, "EC" is in London and "ZE" covers Shetland.

    Counties have no bearing anymore on Navigation or deliveries - a Taximan in Dublin may cover several counties as well as Dublin! Dunnes Stores in Yougal may also deliver into Waterford. And DHL in Cork can cover parts of Tipperary and Waterford as well - counties are not relevant only the exact delivery address which PON Codes establish absolutely!

    You can download a google earth map here to see where "W5K" covers if you wish: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php
    (Click on the letters on the image on the right hand side)

    Try not to compare PON Codes to other Post Codes - they are unique - there is no comparison - PON Codes are easier and cheaper to implement and use - i.e. no database with addresses or adminstrative areas defined is required to make them work

    It's a whole new concept!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    garydubh wrote: »
    You are still hung up on making the first letter indicate a county - it is not supposed to!!!!
    Who says it's not supposed to? You do obviously, because it's not part of your system. But if the counties were part of it, and indeed further administrative areas below that, then the codes would be easier to remember, because they would relate to actual areas that people are already familiar with. I've explained this point before ...
    Counties have no bearing anymore on Navigation or deliveries - a Taximan in Dublin may cover several counties as well as Dublin! Dunnes Stores in Yougal may also deliver into Waterford. And DHL in Cork can cover parts of Tipperary and Waterford as well - counties are not relevant only the exact delivery address which PON Codes establish absolutely!
    True, but it's not just about delivery is it? They do have bearing on services like local government. Wouldn't it be useful for a local authority to be able to know which postcodes are in their own county without needing a GIS to figure it out for them. Same goes for lower levels like urban district councils etc - or schools trying to figure out their catchment areas. It is definitely a benefit if post codes capture this kind of information (without needing a GIS to generate it for them)
    You can download a google earth map here to see where "W5K" covers if you wish: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php
    (Click on the letters on the image on the right hand side)

    Try not to compare PON Codes to other Post Codes - they are unique - there is no comparison - PON Codes are easier and cheaper to implement and use - i.e. no database with addresses or adminstrative areas defined is required to make them work

    It's a whole new concept!
    If we want to know whether PON codes would make a good post code system, then I'm afraid we do have to compare them with other systems ...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    Who says it's not supposed to? You do obviously, because it's not part of your system. But if the counties were part of it, and indeed further administrative areas below that, then the codes would be easier to remember, because they would relate to actual areas that people are already familiar with. I've explained this point before ...

    True, but it's not just about delivery is it? They do have bearing on services like local government. Wouldn't it be useful for a local authority to be able to know which postcodes are in their own county without needing a GIS to figure it out for them. Same goes for lower levels like urban district councils etc - or schools trying to figure out their catchment areas. It is definitely a benefit if post codes capture this kind of information (without needing a GIS to generate it for them)

    If we want to know whether PON codes would make a good post code system, then I'm afraid we do have to compare them with other systems ...

    We've gone through all this before Plodder - back in August....... no point in going through it again..............


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,759 ✭✭✭✭dlofnep


    I often fill out forms for buying stuff on the internet and they ask for a postcode, when I try to leave it blank - it requires you to enter it. Quite annoying. I usually type in 051 for my phone area code and it usually suffices.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    dlofnep wrote: »
    I often fill out forms for buying stuff on the internet and they ask for a postcode, when I try to leave it blank - it requires you to enter it. Quite annoying. I usually type in 051 for my phone area code and it usually suffices.

    Now you can get your actual PON Code and put in something into the form that actually has meaning and is beneficial to those delivering.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,759 ✭✭✭✭dlofnep


    Does An Post use the PON codes?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    dlofnep wrote: »
    Does An Post use the PON codes?

    An Post does not need Post Codes - everyone else does - have a read here for a full discussion: http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2897&trv=1


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


    plodder wrote: »
    then the codes would be easier to remember

    Lets look at my phone number (+35321487****) in parts, off the top of my head

    +353 - nothing there to indicate Ireland
    2 - nothing there to indicate Cork County
    14 - once again, no hint to Cork City and outlying areas
    8 - nothing says to me this means west of the City
    7 - no hint that this could mean Ballincollig

    Yet I still remember my phone number easily, do you?? You dont need to have the number/letter relate to areas - to do so would only increase expense, you can remember it easily already.
    plodder wrote: »
    If we want to know whether PON codes would make a good post code system, then I'm afraid we do have to compare them with other systems ...

    I dont think you really grasp how good this system is in that It does not really on say 'C' for Cork. Because of this you dont need to have a database on every GPS you get. Which means you dont have to pay a yearly subscription whatsoever, and also means your GPS is up to date every second you use it, with the exception of the map which is just an image representation and not totally necessary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    turgon wrote: »
    Lets look at my phone number (+35321487****) in parts, off the top of my head

    +353 - nothing there to indicate Ireland
    2 - nothing there to indicate Cork County
    14 - once again, no hint to Cork City and outlying areas
    8 - nothing says to me this means west of the City
    7 - no hint that this could mean Ballincollig

    Yet I still remember my phone number easily, do you?? You dont need to have the number/letter relate to areas - to do so would only increase expense, you can remember it easily already.
    Not sure you are comparing like with like there. First of all, numbers are easier to remember than alphanumeric codes anyway.

    A better comparison would be old style (pre 1987 car regs). Were they easier to remember and more useful than the present system? Which system do people prefer? I would wager that people prefer the present one, because the information in the code is more meaningful. It is very easy to remember the year, and county, then all you really have to think about is the 4 or 5 digits after that.
    I dont think you really grasp how good this system is in that It does not really on say 'C' for Cork. Because of this you dont need to have a database on every GPS you get. Which means you dont have to pay a yearly subscription whatsoever, and also means your GPS is up to date every second you use it, with the exception of the map which is just an image representation and not totally necessary.
    I think I grasp pretty well what the pros and cons of various kinds of system are. For instance, a system that uses a county code, and then a geographical co-ordinate within each county, would meet all the needs you mention above, ie. since county boundaries don't change, then your GPS would never need to be updated.

    I think it's understandable that people have latched onto Gary's system because it's the only proposal that is in the public domain right now (apart from latitude/longitude, ITM etc.) But it would be wrong not to consider other possibilities.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,759 ✭✭✭✭dlofnep


    garydubh wrote: »
    An Post does not need Post Codes - everyone else does - have a read here for a full discussion: http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2897&trv=1

    Cool thanks.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    Not sure you are comparing like with like there. First of all, numbers are easier to remember than alphanumeric codes anyway.

    A better comparison would be old style (pre 1987 car regs). Were they easier to remember and more useful than the present system? Which system do people prefer? I would wager that people prefer the present one, because the information in the code is more meaningful. It is very easy to remember the year, and county, then all you really have to think about is the 4 or 5 digits after that.


    I think I grasp pretty well what the pros and cons of various kinds of system are. For instance, a system that uses a county code, and then a geographical co-ordinate within each county, would meet all the needs you mention above, ie. since county boundaries don't change, then your GPS would never need to be updated.

    I think it's understandable that people have latched onto Gary's system because it's the only proposal that is in the public domain right now (apart from latitude/longitude, ITM etc.) But it would be wrong not to consider other possibilities.

    Plodder - and does the county of registration really matter to the user when it comes to vehicle registrations? - it becomes completely irrelevant when vehicle is then sold to someone living on the other side of the counrty - not a good example to use really!

    Anyway back to PostCodes - around in circles we go!! - somewhere in the annals of this thread you wanted a shorter code - i.e shorter than 7 characters. You can have a PON Code with County Code letters with 8 characters with an associated county polygon defined and deployed with PON codes - no problem technically! But again as previously explained we now have to change the county codes used in the Vehicle Reg system as some of them are 1 letter and others are two - again this is to get a consistent length code so that a code begining with W is clearly either Waterford, Wexford or Wicklow and there is no danger that a letter has been omitted. So now we would be extending from 7 characters to 8 when you wanted a shorter one and we have also now introduced confusion - i.e. one set of characters for counties on vehicle registrations and another for Post Codes. (Not to mention the arguments associated with whether Cork should be CK or CO and the same for Dublin etc etc) And then introduce the fact that all official publications should be both in Irish and English - so now we have to provide for the Irish version of the counties as well ! Furthermore if the Code is DB for Dubli - is this County or City???

    Or is the Town/City more important than the County in modern life - the Taxi driver in Dublin does not want to be told he is going to Meath - he is more interested in the fact that it could be Ashbourne or Navan!!! So why not use characters to define these like they did in the UK????? ASH/NAV - so now we are at 3 first letters at least!

    This is why in the design of PON Codes we steered clearly away from all of this quagmire!!!!!

    And..... I know you will now come back with the argument that we can use the place letter codes and still achieve the same aim with less characters or at least have less in rural areas. Ok so you have been raising the same questions now for nearly 4 months - where is the solution????

    People are using PON Codes - not because it is the only solution - there are several - it is the only one that works and it avoids the pitfalls that you insist on diving into!

    Finally what in the statement "Cork W5K 59VN" as you would see on any written address - does not make it claer that the location is in Cork?


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


    I think the entire point of post codes in a modern world is being missed.

    They are used for navigation! People will only ever need to remember two codes.

    Their own and the place they are going to for each journey. Focusing completely on how easy they are to remember is ridiculous because it's barely even relevant.

    If someone wants a plumber they can look them up online or in the Golden Pages or whatever and they can list their post code there and the person just types it in from that to their Sat Nav and does not have to remember anything especially since their own house will be a favourite most likely on their satnav so they actually don't need to memorise any post codes to complete that journey.

    The courier will have a list of people he has to visit printed from a database and it will be contained on a list. The person then looks at the list and enters the post code for the next location and goes there. This list will probably contain the address too as is required on almost all online forms so this tells the person where the areas are that are in close proximity so he can organise an efficient route.

    If your walking somewhere you use your built in GPS on your phone (which everyone will have in the coming years) or you type the location in online, see where you need to go and go there. You can save the post code on your phone if you need to.

    Can someone please outline instances in which someone does not have a phone, GPS or access to paper to write down a post code when they need to remember it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    So there you go - as I projected - a National Post Code system was supposed to be introduced by Jan 2008. I have spent the last few hours searching through the budget estimates for 2009 as announced today and there is no apparant allocation for a National Post Code system in 2009 either. In fact, the Dept Of Comms budget in 2009 will be down by 13% - so definitely no obvious provision for the capital cost of a National System or for the compensatory costs suggested for An Post.
    Outline capital estimates for 2010, also published today, show no obvious allocations either. In fact, as far as I can see, the last official (Government or Departmental) mention of a National Post Code system was in the Green Party statement on the programme for Government last December (2007). Looks like proposals for a National Post Code system have been well and truly shelved for now!

    Just as well PON codes are in place - they do not require millions of capital expenditure to establish and they are ready to use..... www.irishpostcodes.ie and - at no cost to the state!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ob


    plodder wrote: »
    Not sure you are comparing like with like there. First of all, numbers are easier to remember than alphanumeric codes anyway.

    Is this your personal opinion, or has there been studies to prove it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    ob wrote: »
    Is this your personal opinion, or has there been studies to prove it?
    I'm not aware of any studies, but it has been my personal experience. To me, it makes sense, since there are 26 different letters, but only 10 digits. The human brain is set up to remember words quite well, but a word is really recognised as a complete symbol in itself, whereas random collections of letters are not recognised as such.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    garydubh wrote: »
    Plodder - and does the county of registration really matter to the user when it comes to vehicle registrations? - it becomes completely irrelevant when vehicle is then sold to someone living on the other side of the counrty - not a good example to use really!

    Anyway back to PostCodes - around in circles we go!! - somewhere in the annals of this thread you wanted a shorter code - i.e shorter than 7 characters. You can have a PON Code with County Code letters with 8 characters with an associated county polygon defined and deployed with PON codes - no problem technically! But again as previously explained we now have to change the county codes used in the Vehicle Reg system as some of them are 1 letter and others are two - again this is to get a consistent length code so that a code begining with W is clearly either Waterford, Wexford or Wicklow and there is no danger that a letter has been omitted. So now we would be extending from 7 characters to 8 when you wanted a shorter one and we have also now introduced confusion - i.e. one set of characters for counties on vehicle registrations and another for Post Codes. (Not to mention the arguments associated with whether Cork should be CK or CO and the same for Dublin etc etc) And then introduce the fact that all official publications should be both in Irish and English - so now we have to provide for the Irish version of the counties as well ! Furthermore if the Code is DB for Dubli - is this County or City???

    Or is the Town/City more important than the County in modern life - the Taxi driver in Dublin does not want to be told he is going to Meath - he is more interested in the fact that it could be Ashbourne or Navan!!! So why not use characters to define these like they did in the UK????? ASH/NAV - so now we are at 3 first letters at least!

    This is why in the design of PON Codes we steered clearly away from all of this quagmire!!!!!

    And..... I know you will now come back with the argument that we can use the place letter codes and still achieve the same aim with less characters or at least have less in rural areas. Ok so you have been raising the same questions now for nearly 4 months - where is the solution????

    People are using PON Codes - not because it is the only solution - there are several - it is the only one that works and it avoids the pitfalls that you insist on diving into!

    Finally what in the statement "Cork W5K 59VN" as you would see on any written address - does not make it claer that the location is in Cork?

    We've been over all of this before. First, when you say I want a shorter code, what I actually said, was that if a code is going to be essentially a random collection of letters and digits, then it should be as short as possible. And I speculated if other systems might be possible that are shorter than yours.

    If a post code includes recognisable information like county codes, then in my opinion, they can afford to be a bit longer, because they would be easier to recognise and remember. That's the only point I'm making.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ob


    plodder wrote: »
    I'm not aware of any studies, but it has been my personal experience. To me, it makes sense, since there are 26 different letters, but only 10 digits. The human brain is set up to remember words quite well, but a word is really recognised as a complete symbol in itself, whereas random collections of letters are not recognised as such.

    I'd have the opposite experience, but I guess everyone has there own preference.

    It might make sense if you didn't already know the 26 letters, but since I already do, I'm confident I could handle such complex system of numbers and letters.

    I don't get your argument about random collections of letters - how is that different from random collectons of numbers?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    The question is discussed in this wikipedia article on human working memory
    He noticed that the memory span of young adults was around seven elements, called chunks, regardless whether the elements were digits, letters, words, or other units. Later research revealed that span does depend on the category of chunks used (e.g., span is around seven for digits, around six for letters, and around five for words), and even on features of the chunks within a category.
    It makes sense because the information content is greater in one letter as compared to one digit (1 of 26 possible values as opposed to 1 of 10 possible values), and it stands to reason that people would remember fewer letters than digits.

    This has been used in computers for decades in order to compress data, but still store it in a form that comprises printable characters (letters and digits) IIRC, the government's original postcode study document alluded to this point.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ob


    plodder wrote: »
    The question is discussed in this wikipedia article on human working memory


    It makes sense because the information content is greater in one letter as compared to one digit (1 of 26 possible values as opposed to 1 of 10 possible values), and it stands to reason that people would remember fewer letters than digits.

    Yea, it looks like nodody is too certain, when they say 'around six' or 'around seven', does that mean +-1, +-2, ...etc, or does it depend on the person?
    plodder wrote: »
    This has been used in computers for decades in order to compress data, but still store it in a form that comprises printable characters (letters and digits) IIRC, the government's original postcode study document alluded to this point.

    I don't understand what you mean here, what has been used?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    Both numbers an letters are no more than characters - they are treated the same by the brain as they are by computers and mathematically also. Only base 10 systems only use numbers but in the computer programming that Plodder refers to, both letters and numbers are used frequently to support other higher base systems.

    Also PON Codes are not in any way random - they are created by a mathematical formula with strict realtionships.

    Characters - letters or numbers - do not have to spell words to be memorable- O2, H2O, 10K, RTE1, BBC2, 7UP, 102FM, B2B, Y2K, D4, SW1, 49ERS, 1ST, F1, etc etc.

    Finally - in Northern Ireland and the UK they use a combination of letters and numbers in their Post Codes - mainly 7 charactersn- and whilst there have been many complaints about the system since the 1950's - none have been that users could not remember their own Post Code or that of important addresses!!!

    How about we try a test - get your PON code and use it on the web, on mail etc (all the usual places) for 2 weeks - then try to recall it at the same time as recalling your bank PIN number and see if there is any problem...

    Funny how the mind works to remember things - word association etc - W5K 59VN - Walk 5 Kilometres - route 59 Very Near!!!!!!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    If a post code includes recognisable information like county codes, then in my opinion, they can afford to be a bit longer, because they would be easier to recognise and remember. That's the only point I'm making.

    Ok good - so you have no problem with
    Cork W5K 59VN or
    C-W5K 59VN
    - which is already dealt with here: http://www.gpsireland.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=79&limit=1&limitstart=1 and earlier in this thread....

    In our detailed spec for PON codes we define a County Code prefix as an optional element as per the link above and we include 2 character codes for Northern Counties also.


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


    This thread is going in circles at this stage and nobody has managed to outline a scenario in which one would ever need to remember more than one or two post codes if they'd even need to remember that.

    I don't remember my car license plate, I have it entered in my phone. Its a simple system that anybody can follow. Write stuff you can't remember down if its too difficult for you. I hear in some countries have been doing this for centuaries but we are always the last to pick these things up.

    Anyone that can't remember 7 random digits probably shouldn't be allowed drive to the post office to post their letter anyway. I would have serious concerns over there ability to remember all the rules of the road and the meanings of all the signs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,149 ✭✭✭plodder


    garydubh wrote: »
    Ok good - so you have no problem with
    Cork W5K 59VN or
    C-W5K 59VN
    - which is already dealt with here: http://www.gpsireland.ie/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=79&limit=1&limitstart=1 and earlier in this thread....

    In our detailed spec for PON codes we define a County Code prefix as an optional element as per the link above and we include 2 character codes for Northern Counties also.
    I do have a problem with redundant information in a code. It creates problems for software (and people) that have to deal with it. What if someone says their code is D-W5K 59VN?

    Rather than trying to convince people that your code "does everything", you should just accept that like all kinds of design, it involves compromise, and argue for the compromises that you have made.

    brim4brim. If you think the thread is going round in circles, then don't bother reading it. You're not contributing a whole lot anyway.

    Personally, I think the best way forward for the government would be to define three or four different systems (including PONC), write up a detailed document describing the costs and benefits of each. Then, ask the public which one they prefer. If all other things are equal, it might come down, to a matter of preference.

    [edit]Actually, I agree with brim4brim, the thread is going round in circles. This is my last post on it. Gary can keep bumping it every few weeks if he wants to. I won't intervene....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    plodder wrote: »
    I do have a problem with redundant information in a code. It creates problems for software (and people) that have to deal with it. What if someone says their code is D-W5K 59VN ....

    Exactly there is no need for the County Code bit - but you are the one calling for it.

    On the matter of going around in circles - try using a PON Code it will get you there directly....

    You should not quit just because you get crticised - hey then what would I do!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭rinnin


    Sorry if this has been asked alreaady but do you think PONC codes will be accessible via Google Maps?
    I think Google Maps for Ireland is lacking behind other countries partly due to our lock of postcode system & its a pity we have to use http://maps.google.co.uk to find an Irish address.
    I hope PONC gets implemented by the government & we get our own http://maps.google.ie domain soon.

    PS I was looking to go to a 1 day seminar in Cork at St. Mary's Orthopaedic Hospital, Gurranabraher but sure cant find out where the hell it is by searching the internet - have its address from the HSE website but no map viewable via Google Maps. Sucks big time. Only way to find it now is to ring them and ask for directions. Rediculous.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    rinnin wrote: »
    Sorry if this has been asked alreaady but do you think PONC codes will be accessible via Google Maps?
    I think Google Maps for Ireland is lacking behind other countries partly due to our lock of postcode system & its a pity we have to use http://maps.google.co.uk to find an Irish address.
    I hope PONC gets implemented by the government & we get our own http://maps.google.ie domain soon.

    PS I was looking to go to a 1 day seminar in Cork at St. Mary's Orthopaedic Hospital, Gurranabraher but sure cant find out where the hell it is by searching the internet - have its address from the HSE website but no map viewable via Google Maps. Sucks big time. Only way to find it now is to ring them and ask for directions. Rediculous.

    We believe that Google is looking at supporting PON Codes. However, Google uses TeleAtlas map data which not the most complete for Ireland. Navteq is better, that is why on the PON Code website we show how to use Yahoo Maps which use the better Navteq Map data to find places not available on Google.

    Have a look here: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/yahoo.php

    If you cannot find St Mary's it is at PON Code:
    W9Q 87X1

    Put it in here to see: http://www.irishpostcodes.ie/ponc/poncviewl.php


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭rinnin


    Thanks garydubh. Did you just happen to know the location of St Marys or did you do a search for it somewhere?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    rinnin wrote: »
    Thanks garydubh. Did you just happen to know the location of St Marys or did you do a search for it somewhere?

    I have access to several useful resources.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,512 ✭✭✭✭The Cush


    Article on Postcodes from The Sunday Business Post (7th Dec)
    Postcode system could save public bodies €22 million

    07 December 2008
    By Niamh Connolly, Political Correspondent
    The introduction of a national postcode system could mean benefits of €22 million for public bodies, according to a new report.

    Ireland is the only country in the EU that does not use national postcodes, and the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, plans to bring proposals on the issue to government shortly.

    A report by PA Consulting, which evaluated the monetary benefits of national postcodes at the request of the minister, estimated that it would save public bodies, including the emergency services, €22 million and would create efficiencies in all areas of social and economic planning.

    Ireland’s postal sector is due to liberalise fully on January 1, and postcodes would form an important piece of infrastructure for competition, according to the report.

    Cost savings were identified in a number of government departments, including Revenue and the Department of the Environment, along with Health, and Social and Family Affairs.

    A postcode system would facilitate cross-departmental sharing of public data and information dramatically cutting waste and duplication.

    The country’s rapid heterogeneous population growth also increases the need for efficient database based on postcodes reducing inefficient service delivery and infrastructural planning.

    In addition, postcodes are seen as vital to efficient spatial planning and aiding health research, education, housing social care and employment integration.

    The business sector has said that a postcode system would lead to increased efficiencies, while the insurance sector has estimated that it would result in annual savings of around €40 million by improving their risk management assessments.

    In the voluntary sector, the charity Breastcheck said it relied on accurate postal services for efficiencies in its own service.

    The Irish Exporters Association previously estimated that the lack of postcodes added up to 30 per cent to An Post’s sorting and routing costs.

    But An Post opposes a national postcode, saying it is an unnecessary expenditure that may not be widely used.

    Former communications minister Noel Dempsey aimed to introduce postcodes by next month, but this was deferred to allow for further consideration of the economic benefits. The National Postcode Project Board has said that the cost of implementing and promoting a national postcode system would be an estimated €15 million.

    Annual maintenance costs for a postcode management licence holder are estimated at about €2.5 million, but the minister said last week that ongoing costs would be covered by income generated by the eventual licence holder.

    Previous suggestions were for multiple numeric and alphabetical postcodes, similar to those used in other parts of Europe.

    These might include the one and two-character county codes currently used in vehicle registration plates, but Conradh na Gaeilge wants a postcode that recognises both languages.

    © Thomas Crosbie Media, 2008

    and a letter from The Irish Times (9th Dec)
    Adopting postcodes
    Tue, Dec 09, 2008


    Madam, - Ireland currently is the only country in the EU that does not have a postcode system. However, it has been reported that the Minister for Communications, Eamon Ryan, is to bring proposals to the Dáil shortly with regard to the introduction of postcodes in Ireland.

    The naming convention applied to postcodes by our European partners often consists of a series of letters and numbers that frequently have little real meaning.

    When Mr Ryan makes a final decision with regard to postcodes we should use our "last mover" status to our advantage and introduce 21st century postcodes that use GPS location codes.

    This could be done by using more user friendly shortened four-digit longitude and four- digit latitude codes that indicate the general area.

    This will help business and consumer deliveries to better locate their consumer, avoid delays and aid productivity. - Yours, etc,

    CIARÁN TANNAM,
    Asgard Road,
    Dublin 2.

    © 2008 The Irish Times


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 443 ✭✭garydubh


    The Cush wrote: »
    Article on Postcodes from The Sunday Business Post (7th Dec)



    and a letter from The Irish Times (9th Dec)


    The content of the article in the Business Post was published by the Irish Times in Sept 2008 and the Independent in June 2008 - so nothing new there and not an indication that anything is going to happen from the Government any time soon. There is one thing different and that is the comments of Conradh Na Gaeilge.

    The letter to the Irish Times suggests the use of Lat/long. In itself this is not practical but using a derivative of Lat/long or Irish Grid is and that is what PON Codes are and PON Codes satisfy the requirements of Conradh Na Gaeilge also - PON Codes - Geo Post Coding system - are available at www.irishpostcodes.ie

    They already have been sucessfully tested on the web and on Garmin SatNav's since June 2008 and significant steps forward in availability on SatNav's will be announced in Early 2009.

    PON Codes are a candidate system for a National post code but in these times of restricted budgets - there is not need to wait for the Government to find the cash - PON Codes are already in use at no cost to the Country or the user and they define any location to +/- 6 meters.......


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