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Eircode discussion

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  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭Padster90s


    Eircodes should never have been designed to include the letters j,k,q,v,w,x,y,z - they are not in the Irish alphabet. How do you write (or pronounce) an Irish address with characters that are not part of languages alphabet?

    An entirely numeric code (as used in a number of other countries) would have been language agnostic.
    Well if that is your thinking, what are your feelings on car reg plates, Numerical too? The Irish alphabet is to limiting, only 19 letters. J K Q V W X Y Z should be used in postcodes, they're distinguishing from other letters that look like numbers. I'm with you in the numbers though. It would have been better all numbers based on the landline codes that most people are already very familiar with.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 158 ✭✭GJG


    PDVerse wrote: »
    @FishOnABike
    On the question of using alphabet letters not traditionally used in the Irish alphabet (JKQVWXY & Z), these letters have actually become in general use in Irish now (see breis.focloir.ie/en/fgb/) and the rationale of their use is solely as data, and not relating to existing placenames.
    Their use is usually restricted to loanwords or mathematical / scientific terms adopted from a foreign language. They are not used in native Irish words. I know language changes over time but the use of relatively few gaelicised foreign words does not make the letters part of the Irish alphabet any more than the myriad of loanwords with accented letters in the English language means English includes umlauts, accute, grave and all the other accents, etc.

    In my view the use of jkqvwxyz in eircodes is not language neutral. Using a numeric code would have been.

    I realise CnaG's issue is with Irish address / placename errors in the geodirectory and not the eircode itself. The use of non Irish letters by eircode in a country whose first language (in theory if not in practice) is Irish and in which a small but significant minority speak Irish in their daily life, could be seen as an oversight in the eircode design.

    In fact the letters J and Q are not used in Eircodes. Only 15 of the letters of the alphabet are used; the exclusions are for a variety of reasons, such as sounding too similar, being prone to confusion when said on the telephone, and being prone to visual confusion either by eye or optical scanning. Source.

    The fact that you haven't bothered to check what you are complaining about, or take into account that there are other, more pressing reasons to select the letters used, or even pay attention to the fact that you are assuming that you should be the arbiter of what is acceptable for Irish speakers ahead of both Conradh na Gaeilge and Foras na Gaeilge doesn't support your argument.

    Eircode must be suitable for a wide variety of uses. The problem with the monomaniacs is that they focus on their pet peeve with total disregard for other uses, such as insisting that Eircode should represent the Irish-language name of the county. A moment's thought should show how impractical that is - which county should get 'C'? Ceatharlach, Cabh n, Cl r, Corcaigh, Ciarra , Cill Dara, Cill Chainnigh or Cill Mhant in?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 148 ✭✭a65b2cd


    Any choice was possible for the routing keys - Irish county names could have been used as the basis for them but of course it requires a little flexibility and imagination and not a rant. We have meaningless routing key codes that inhibit adoption. I would have preferred more meaningful codes even if they were in Arabic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    The problem with the monomaniacs..
    There seems to have been a fear that anything useful that would have captured the imagination of the public, would have been mired in controversy. So, the answer was to go with something opaque and meaningless.

    In all probability, just like with the car reg system, there would have been complaints from some Irish language zealotsenthusiasts, but the law is clear enough that either language can be used for specific purposes, and most people would have been happy with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭FishOnABike


    Is an Eircode a native Irish word?
    No an Eircode is not a native Irish word. An Eircode is a code, not a word in any language.

    The word 'Eircode' is a new word which did not exist in any language before our delivery address code system was conceived. As an entirely new word it is as new to one language as another and as chance would have it can be spelt using only characters of the Irish alphabet.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,606 ✭✭✭gctest50


    No an Eircode is not a native Irish word. An Eircode is a code, not a word in any language.

    The word 'Eircode' is a new word which did not exist in any language before our delivery address code system was conceived. As an entirely new word it is as new to one language as another and as chance would have it can be spelt using only characters of the Irish alphabet.

    That'd never be enough though so ...... Aercód ............ :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭FishOnABike


    gctest50 wrote: »
    That'd never be enough though so ...... Aercód ............ :p
    Ahhh sure, you couldn't be certain it was an Irish word without at least one fada in it somewhere. The rot started with doing away with the seancló :D , there was no ambiguity then.;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,443 ✭✭✭sondagefaux


    Is an Eircode a native Irish word?
    No an Eircode is not a native Irish word. An Eircode is a code, not a word in any language.
    So what's the big deal about which characters are used in Eircodes?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0714/802305-eircode/
    A report by Capita, the company that helped set up the system, stated in 2014 that random codes would avoid "postcode discrimination", which happened in Britain and that area-based or sequential codes would have to be updated to cater for new developments.
    Still peddling the same nonsense. The post code design board didn't come to that conclusion - rightly. Does anyone really believe that service providers didn't discriminate on the basis of address just because we had no postcodes before and now that we do, because they are random?

    The only difference is you can see it with a structured code, but you can't see it with Eircode. It (might) still happen either way. While it might make the odd headline in the Daily Mail, I seriously doubt that anyone involved in the UK postcode would accept that they should have used a random code like us, to avoid "postcode discrimination".

    As for dealing with new developments, sure why don't we make street numbers random too, for the same reason? We don't have to because there are simple pragmatic ways of dealing with the occasional infill development. You just give new developments the next highest code, and accept that it isn't sequential in all cases.

    The fact is that Autoaddress and Capita designed it that way to make life easy for themselves, as they have admitted, and also to force users to (directly or indirectly) use the Eircode databases, rather than freely obtain information from the code structure itself. Nobody ever thought to ask the public what they thought or wanted. The new minister has already accepted the code should have been hierarchical.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,778 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    You're still complaining about the design of the code, more than a year after it launched?

    Dude. Let it go.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    You're still complaining about the design of the code, more than a year after it launched?

    Dude. Let it go.
    Just reacting to what I see in the media today :)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,123 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Criticism on RTE today

    Basically saying that An Post deliberately got the design such that it was useless for their competition and they had no intention of using it. He cited Autoaddress (he described as part of the design team) who have produced two systems that compete (one based on SAC and the other on 'which three words'). Sounds plausible to me.

    The design could be saved by making the routing key part cover a much smaller area. This need not be done in one go - it could be done region by region starting with the largest routing key areas.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,334 ✭✭✭SPDUB


    Criticism on RTE today

    Basically saying that An Post deliberately got the design such that it was useless for their competition and they had no intention of using it. He cited Autoaddress (he described as part of the design team) who have produced two systems that compete (one based on SAC and the other on 'which three words'). Sounds plausible to me.

    That link doesn't say what you appear to be saying it says

    You appear to be be quoting other reports on RTE that are not in that link


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,123 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    SPDUB wrote: »
    That link doesn't say what you appear to be saying it says

    You appear to be be quoting other reports on RTE that are not in that link

    It was on the O'Rouke Today programme. The Eircode bit is available as a podcast - not sure how to link to it.

    Podcasts are available here. Go to the one labelled 'Eircode'.

    It is all over RTE today - mostly unfavourable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,334 ✭✭✭SPDUB


    It was on the O'Rouke Today programme. The Eircode bit is available as a podcast - not sure how to link to it.

    Podcasts are available here. Go to the one labelled 'Eircode'.

    It is all over RTE today - mostly unfavourable.

    Yes .

    I have noticed RTE doing a hatchet job ( not questioning the Freight spokeswoman when she said Eircode gives false results on Sat Nav's then changing her words to "it will give false results " )


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,123 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    SPDUB wrote: »
    Yes .

    I have noticed RTE doing a hatchet job ( not questioning the Freight spokeswoman when she said Eircode gives false results on Sat Nav's then changing her words to "it will give false results " )

    Eircode is not on any Satnav that I know of so it cannot give false results.

    However, it was mentioned that construction sites do not have Eircodes and cannot get them. - True.
    Eircode was not going to be used by An Post - at least outside their automated sorting offices. - True.
    Eircode was opposed by An Post and the communications workers Union. - Apparently True.
    Eircode did not follow the hierarchy design rules they were given. - True.
    Eircode is not on Satnavs or Google maps despite promises. Not good.
    Eircode was due to cost €25m but looks like the figure will be €38m. Not good.

    However it is used by some state services like ambulances. So that is good.
    It is used by SUSI and saves lots of office time. That is good.
    It should cut down on welfare fraud. That is good.
    It should be of great use to Revenue. That is good.

    So overall - first anniversary and still along way to go, but might get there in the end. Pity we cannot find an app or Satnav to get us there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 892 ✭✭✭Bray Head


    I listened to the fella from the FTA on Sean O'Rourke. It was totally bizarre. He actually made that point that something to be integrated with technology was needed (implying that a hierarchical code wasn't strictly necessary) but that his members couldn't use eircode for route optimisation.

    Then he started waffling on about how members would use some tool which involves the geo-coordinates of addresses in the geodirectory. It was totally nonsensical. O'Rourke is generally pretty sharp but he didn't really know enough to pull the guy up.

    If this crowd go the way of the dodo I wouldn't be bothered. Any firm that actively resists a technology that can make it more efficient will not be around for very long.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,606 ✭✭✭gctest50



    However, it was mentioned that construction sites do not have Eircodes and cannot get them. - True.


    there's a flag for that so........ soooon :

    https://www.autoaddress.ie/support/developer-centre/api/get-ecad-data


    underConstruction
    boolean


    Flag to denote if a building is under construction

    holidayHome
    boolean


    Flag to denote holiday homes



    or you can give it co-ordinates and a distance and it'll return stuff for you

    http://ws.postcoder.com/pcw/PCW45-12345-12345-1234X/rgeo/ie/53.332067/-6.255492?distance=500



    .


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,123 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    gctest50 wrote: »
    there's a flag for that so........ soooon :




    or you can give it co-ordinates and a distance and it'll return stuff for you

    http://ws.postcoder.com/pcw/PCW45-12345-12345-1234X/rgeo/ie/53.332067/-6.255492?distance=500



    .

    Your link does not work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    https://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-sean-o-rourke/programmes/2016/0714/802359-today-with-sean-o-rourke-thursday-14-july-2016/?clipid=2231468%232231468
    Bray Head wrote: »
    I listened to the fella from the FTA on Sean O'Rourke. It was totally bizarre. He actually made that point that something to be integrated with technology was needed (implying that a hierarchical code wasn't strictly necessary)
    I didn't hear that at all ...
    Then he started waffling on about how members would use some tool which involves the geo-coordinates of addresses in the geodirectory. It was totally nonsensical. O'Rourke is generally pretty sharp but he didn't really know enough to pull the guy up.
    He was talking about a system based on the Geodirectory which already has addresses and geocodes in it. It was a good point actually. If you already have a system based on geodirectory why bother with Eircode when so few people are bothering to use their code?

    O'Rourke was a bit taken aback by his suggestion that An Post deliberately crippled the design, but he argued the point well. It's actually hard to explain this kind of stuff in sound bites, but it was quite a good interview.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,297 ✭✭✭TheChizler




  • Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭PDVerse


    It is unfortunate that the false "An Post deliberately crippled the design" claim is still being made. The Eircode design, including the "random" last four characters, was designed during the tender phase before any interaction with An Post. The final design document that is quoted includes An Post's view of a requirement for hierarchy/sequencing in a postcode. Their assessment agreed with and cited a subset of the reasons why hierarchy/sequencing should not be included. Neither An Post, CWU or DCENR dictated the design of the unique identifier, it was chosen as the best available option considering all the pro's and con's.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    It is unfortunate that the false "An Post deliberately crippled the design" claim is still being made. The Eircode design, including the "random" last four characters, was designed during the tender phase before any interaction with An Post. The final design document that is quoted includes An Post's view of a requirement for hierarchy/sequencing in a postcode. Their assessment agreed with and cited a subset of the reasons why hierarchy/sequencing should not be included. Neither An Post, CWU or DCENR dictated the design of the unique identifier, it was chosen as the best available option considering all the pro's and con's.
    Personally, I think it would be more correct to say that An Post's requirements crippled the design. It's too emotive and hard to prove that they did it deliberately, though as you said they concurred with the decision to make the codes random.

    The huge variation in routing key area size is another example. You could say it was a deliberate decision to make the public aspect of the structure as useless as possible, or it was done simply to reflect An Post's strange internal workings. Either way, the result was the same.


  • Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭PDVerse


    The design was created before An Post expressed a view, so definitively NOT a requirement.

    The Togher/Wilton article in the Examiner this morning provides a glimpse into the alternative universe where Eircode used "areas" within the code. The response is EXACTLY as predicted. This would have been repeated thousands of times up and down the country, IF Eircode had launched with a hierarchical design. My view has always been that these problems would have become known during the build phase and caused politicians to sink the entire postcode project before launch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    The design was created before An Post expressed a view, so definitively NOT a requirement.
    The routing key areas are aligned to An Post's sorting/delivery structure, are they not? It doesn't really matter when the decision was made to do that. It is the situation.
    The Togher/Wilton article in the Examiner this morning provides a glimpse into the alternative universe where Eircode used "areas" within the code. The response is EXACTLY as predicted. This would have been repeated thousands of times up and down the country, IF Eircode had launched with a hierarchical design. My view has always been that these problems would have become known during the build phase and caused politicians to sink the entire postcode project before launch.
    I don't doubt that you believe that, but it wasn't your decision to make, not least because the postcode design board had already taken a different view. The equivalent issues with the UK postcode are completely blown out of proportion. The fact is it's only very rare cases where people are unhappy with their postcode. It could have been even less of a problem here, if we also had the unique code per property aspect. As everyone keeps pointing out, that allows you to aggregate properties in any number of different ways, if that is what you want to do.

    Even now, it's still possible to partially remedy the situation. A free dataset with the same kind of limited information you would get from a hierarchical code (freely) should have been part of this system from day one, and still could be added to it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭PDVerse


    The two year collaborative tender process, which used the Postcode Project Board recommendations as a starting point, yielded a vastly improved final tender requirements document. That was the sole basis for decision making.

    The definition of urban areas (e.g. Wilton/Togher) and practically every townland in the country are vague at best, and most definitely would have caused the type of reaction that we are seeing today in the Examiner if included in the Eircode design.

    The "free" dataset you are advocating would have doubled down on the problem by allowing Insurance companies to rate properties by Eircode area as an alternative to licensing the Eircode data and using the exact location of the property.

    Not all expenditure by Government on consultants is a waste. Sometimes their expertise ensures all aspects of design implications are properly weighted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,064 ✭✭✭plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    The two year collaborative tender process, which used the Postcode Project Board recommendations as a starting point, yielded a vastly improved final tender requirements document. That was the sole basis for decision making.
    There would appear to be some disagreement on that ...
    The definition of urban areas (e.g. Wilton/Togher) and practically every townland in the country are vague at best, and most definitely would have caused the type of reaction that we are seeing today in the Examiner if included in the Eircode design.
    It didn't have to use anything other than CSO small areas, which are precisely defined.
    The "free" dataset you are advocating would have doubled down on the problem by allowing Insurance companies to rate properties by Eircode area as an alternative to licensing the Eircode data and using the exact location of the property.
    Exactly. Eircode was designed to be obscure/random so that people couldn't extract any benefit from it, without paying. But, every other postcode in the world has some uses even without paying.

    In all probability, insurance companies would have still licensed ECAD etc, but it is voluntary organisations and other non commercial entities that would like to do some analysis using postcodes, but find they aren't likely to given they have to pay.
    Not all expenditure by Government on consultants is a waste. Sometimes their expertise ensures all aspects of design implications are properly weighted.
    Neither does it guarantee that outcome. What was missing here was openness, transparency and public consultation.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,123 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    plodder wrote: »
    The routing key areas are aligned to An Post's sorting/delivery structure, are they not? It doesn't really matter when the decision was made to do that. It is the situation.

    This is a valid point.

    Why, if An Post has a fully automated sorting system does the Eircode have to have any relevance to An Posts systems? Surely, if they can cope with entirely random parts of the code, could they not cope with a fully random code? In other words, no matter what the Eircode structure chosen would it affect An Post.

    The SAC instead of An Posts routing key would have been more valid since An Post could still use it, while others could just use this bit. An Post has actually more like 2,000 routing keys (post towns) but chose to use just 139 of them - I wonder why. It was suggested they wanted to cripple the design - not sure about that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭PDVerse


    @plodder I think disagreement is the wrong word. There are those who were involved in the process and know the facts, and those outside the process who make claims.

    You may be unaware of how Small Areas are defined. They use townland boundaries in rural areas, which use "official" boundaries. In exactly the same manner as outlined in the Wilton/Togher debate they can have many different interpretations locally. I would defy anyone to tell my mother-in-law that she has been using the wrong townland in her address for the last 75 years.

    The funding model chosen by Government had no impact on the design. If we knew that the data would be released as open data the design would be unchanged.

    We considered all user groups in the design, but the overriding concern was deliver a design that provided maximum benefit to the public, especially those in non-unique addresses in rural Ireland. Nobody asks a heart transplant surgeon to perform a survey of patients to determine which anti-rejection drug to recommend. Design by committee does not have a good track record.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,614 ✭✭✭grogi


    gctest50 wrote: »

    It looks a lot like xml, not csv... Funnily enough edge gets a JSON :D


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