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Eircode discussion

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  • The Irish Times has an admission that An Post don't (can't) use the Eircode.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/an-post-confirms-staff-do-not-use-eircode-system-for-local-deliveries-1.3104577

    While they probably have no problem using the 'routing key' ie the first three characters, the following four characters are meaningless. 50% of Irish addresses have no house number and street name. Which puts Ireland in the third world in terms of infrastructure for finding people and offices and factories.

    The eircode needs to be scrapped as a postcode. If statistics, revenue, commercial registry and similar see some value in it - fine leave it be as a hidden code.

    But Ireland needs, like every civilized country to give a name to each street/road and a building number to each building. Ideally using km numbering in rural areas - eg 200 road xyz is 100m from 301 road xyz but it is on the other side of the road.

    Ireland's postcode is not compliant with those used in other sorting systems in other countries. Hence post to from Ireland takes much longer than say between Luxembourg and Monaco - two tiny countries where letters are delivered next day or the second next day - despite the distance between each country and the time of day of posting. Because they use a standard address format, which is easily machine recognizable.




  • Impetus wrote: »
    The eircode needs to be scrapped as a postcode.

    The simple fact is that, without rehashing all the arguments in the thread, Eircode is not and never has been a postcode because our national postal service does not use it as one. Including it in an address will not help An Post deliver your letter faster nor will leaving it out delay it, provided the rest of the address is accurate and complete. So far as An Post is concerned, it is completely redundant.




  • gizmo555 wrote: »
    The simple fact is that, without rehashing all the arguments in the thread, Eircode is not and never has been a postcode because our national postal service does not use it as one. Including it in an address will not help An Post deliver your letter faster nor will leaving it out delay it, provided the rest of the address is accurate and complete. So far as An Post is concerned, it is completely redundant.

    Royal mail still use the postal address and the post code only goes to street level at best . While here for example x11 df45 and nothing else will result in a delivery




  • Royal mail still use the postal address and the post code only goes to street level at best . While here for example x11 df45 and nothing else will result in a delivery

    You're right, but also being pretty disingenuous. A letter with just an Eircode as address will arrive. However, it'll typically arrive late with a note from An Post on the envelope to use the full address in future.




  • gizmo555 wrote: »
    You're right, but also being pretty disingenuous. A letter with just an Eircode as address will arrive. However, it'll typically arrive late with a note from An Post on the envelope to use the full address in future.

    And? We've to start looking at eircodes as machine understandable. So if I move to random town land, some county, some where and the postman looks at the address as says who's Mr LeinsterDub and what townland is that. Tap tap tap eircode awe that's the old Murphy place. Once that association is made the eircode become 'redundant' again. Eircodes are designed for the information age where the Internet is ever present (more or less)


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  • Impetus wrote: »
    But Ireland needs, like every civilized country to give a name to each street/road and a building number to each building. Ideally using km numbering in rural areas - eg 200 road xyz is 100m from 301 road xyz but it is on the other side of the road.

    Why on earth should we have to make up road names, doing enormous damage to the geographic structure in the process, when everyone has a unique Eircode?




  • And? We've to start looking at eircodes as machine understandable. So if I move to random town land, some county, some where and the postman looks at the address as says who's Mr LeinsterDub and what townland is that. Tap tap tap eircode awe that's the old Murphy place. Once that association is made the eircode become 'redundant' again. Eircodes are designed for the information age where the Internet is ever present (more or less)
    The problem is that the cost of pretending that Eircode is a postcode (in order to get An Post to support it) was replicating the peculiar delivery structure of An Post, and negating many of the benefits of a neutral, balanced structure.

    Eg. the huge, highly populated routing keys in the West, as opposed to the small, sparsely populated ones in the East of the country. Eircodes being "machine understandable" doesn't help with that.

    Even though people involved with the project claimed that people wouldn't use Eircodes directly for statistics, they would create new identifiers for different purposes, but postcodes are used everywhere in the world for statistics because they are identifiers that people are familiar with.

    CSO: House prices by Eircode

    Quite a useful tool for the east of the country, Dublin particularly. A lot less so, in Galway for example.




  • plodder wrote: »
    The problem is that the cost of pretending that Eircode is a postcode (in order to get An Post to support it) was replicating the peculiar delivery structure of An Post, and negating many of the benefits of a neutral, balanced structure.

    Eg. the huge, highly populated routing keys in the West, as opposed to the small, sparsely populated ones in the East of the country. Eircodes being "machine understandable" doesn't help with that.

    I think it would help if An Post had a bit more of a modern view.

    It's highly likely that all their staff have smartphones already. An Post could develop an app for their Post people that all employees could download and use to help them on their route. They could give a small allowance to them for using their own data* on their mobile and it would revolutionise their processes.

    I've seen this done with so many companies around Ireland and it works really well.

    *or do what I've seen other companies do, negotiate a package with a mobile carrier for their staff. I.e. An Post could buy a certain amount of data per month that can be shared amongst staff, as some may need more than others, they can even go so far as to know which app is using the data in which device. I've seen this in 1 company in Ireland and it works really well, it's also dirt cheap




  • To me Eircode has a problem in that they have chosen too few Routing Codes, 139 instead of about 1,000. They should have used four characters as the routing code, with a level of redundancy to give error detection. They even have a non-contiguous routing code - now try explaining that one.

    Using a larger number of routing codes would allow a more uniform spread, with approximately the same number of addresses per code, which would have great benefits for other uses than postal delivery.




  • The biggest problem Eircode has is that people are still trying to design it long after its implementation.

    I won't say much more, because the last time I dared to say anything that wasn't critical of Eircode I was subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment on Twitter by one of its more vocal opponents, and life's too short.


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  • oscarBravo wrote: »
    The biggest problem Eircode has is that people are still trying to design it long after its implementation.

    I won't say much more, because the last time I dared to say anything that wasn't critical of Eircode I was subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment on Twitter by one of its more vocal opponents, and life's too short.

    It is what it is. It might not be perfect, but it is not going to be replaced with anything else, so we need to deal with it.




  • To me Eircode has a problem in that they have chosen too few Routing Codes, 139 instead of about 1,000. They should have used four characters as the routing code, with a level of redundancy to give error detection. They even have a non-contiguous routing code - now try explaining that one.

    Using a larger number of routing codes would allow a more uniform spread, with approximately the same number of addresses per code, which would have great benefits for other uses than postal delivery.

    Who cares if there is one routing code with 10 houses and a other with 1000 ? It's all sorted by machine anyway.




  • Who cares if there is one routing code with 10 houses and a other with 1000 ? It's all sorted by machine anyway.

    That is exactly the point. The people who care are the statisticians who try to show economic effect by Eircode but cannot do so with any meaning because of the huge variation on routing code. And of course, routing code does not respect and administrative boundaries, like county boundaries.

    That is the problem.




  • Who cares if there is one routing code with 10 houses and a other with 1000 ? It's all sorted by machine anyway.

    For use online it's an issue. Say I live in H91 (Galway). That's a massive area covered by one routing key. In the UK on most sites you can search by postcode or even partial postcode. I don't want to give my eircode to a website that completely identifies me, but I might want to find services near me (for example).

    As other posters have said - What they should have done was broken the keys down further to be four digits for a more granular localised routing with three random last digits. Say Clifden as H901 xyz out to Balinasloe as H9xx xyz or whatever. H9 is Galway county, H9x is West or East etc, H9xy is localised, H9xy xyz is your house...




  • MBSnr wrote: »
    For use online it's an issue. Say I live in H91 (Galway). That's a massive area covered by one routing key. In the UK on most sites you can search by postcode or even partial postcode. I don't want to give my eircode to a website that completely identifies me, but I might want to find services near me (for example).

    Get real. Websites already know you much much better than you realise.




  • grogi wrote: »
    Get real. Websites already know you much much better than you realise.

    But perhaps not my actual address hey...?




  • grogi wrote: »
    It is what it is. It might not be perfect, but it is not going to be replaced with anything else, so we need to deal with it.
    True, but part of "dealing with it" means understanding the privacy/data protection implications. Take the CSO stats I linked to. House price data is public information and there is no issue. But, what if it were mental health statistics?

    The routing key area where I live has a population of a few hundred people. If someone published mental health stats by RK area, then in many areas (like Galway) it would be completely anonymous, but me and my neighbours could say: "Oh, one case of schizophrenia! That must be Mrs Murphy down the road. Zero cases of bipolar. What about the Jones lad? He must be cured."

    I'm not getting a warm feeling that people appreciate the implications of it.




  • plodder wrote: »
    True, but part of "dealing with it" means understanding the privacy/data protection implications. Take the CSO stats I linked to. House price data is public information and there is no issue. But, what if it were mental health statistics?
    MBSnr wrote: »
    For use online it's an issue. Say I live in H91 (Galway). That's a massive area covered by one routing key. In the UK on most sites you can search by postcode or even partial postcode. I don't want to give my eircode to a website that completely identifies me, but I might want to find services near me (for example).


    So the RK is simultaneously is too big and too small :rolleyes:




  • So the RK is simultaneously is too big and too small :rolleyes:
    In different cases, yes. There's about 35 different routing keys in Dublin. So, that's good for finding granular property price stats. But, potentially risky for some other kinds of stats. The reverse is true for Galway, with only one routing key for the city and most of the county.




  • plodder wrote: »
    In different cases, yes. There's about 35 different routing keys in Dublin. So, that's good for finding granular property price stats. But, potentially risky for some other kinds of stats. The reverse is true for Galway, with only one routing key for the city and most of the county.

    Well you square that circle because I know no one else can .


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  • So the RK is simultaneously is too big and too small :rolleyes:

    People have different viewpoints. Doesn't make your one right though. Rolls eyes sarcastically....

    Anyhow - It depends what you do with the information provided. If the routing key was far more granular (as I said) then you could only ask for a portion of it in questionnaires, and the like, to gather statistics. It would provide enough detail to gather measurable and accurate data but not individually identify the person submitting the data.

    However they missed that opportunity by choosing an inferior routing key method to (allegedly) gain the support and backing of An Post. Who in turn, might also co-incidentally want to seriously limit the chance of another operator delivering post by using meaningful localised routing codes....




  • I know it's been posted before, but maybe the OSi Small Areas would be a more appropriate measure for looking at these kind of stats.

    http://census.cso.ie/popbysa/

    They're designed to enable statistics of areas of 50-200 dwellings and can be easily determined from an Eircode lookup. This is something they were specifically designed to do, and can be evaluated against that design requirement. Unlike Eircode, which was not something it was designed to do.




  • MBSnr wrote: »
    People have different viewpoints. Doesn't make your one right though. Rolls eyes sarcastically....

    The point was you can't please everyone all the time. No matter what was chosen people would want something different. Eircode is working and it's not going to be changed now




  • Eircode is working

    Well, that depends on how you define "working". As the recent Irish Times piece highlighted, it is certainly not working as a postcode.




  • gizmo555 wrote: »
    Well, that depends on how you define "working". As the recent Irish Times piece highlighted, it is certainly not working as a postcode.

    In the U.K. their postcode doesn't help the postman identifiying each house either, there's always a human element

    What do people actually want ericode to do?




  • ukoda wrote: »
    What do people actually want ericode to do?

    Stop pretending it's a postcode perhaps?




  • gizmo555 wrote: »
    Stop pretending it's a postcode perhaps?


    What exactly is a postcode?

    It's defined as:
    "a group of numbers or letters and numbers which are added to a postal address to assist the sorting of mail."

    If An Post say they use it in their mail centres to sort Mail, Then by definition eircode is a postcode.

    However, personally, I don't think it's usefulness has anything to do with post.




  • As it stands, the heavy lifting for a post code has been done. It can be redesigned at a small cost because of this. For example the current routing keys could be divided into sub divisions one at a time where they are found to be too big. It is done with telephone STD codes and could be done with routing codes easily. For example Q23 could be reassigned to Q33 Q43 and Q53, each relating to a small area of Q23 and Q23 could be retired after a while.

    The fact is - every address now has a code that identifies it individually, just as every tax payer has a PPS number. Every passport maps back to a PPS number as does every driving licence.

    Eircode will do wonders for tax collection and law enforcement - eventually.




  • Eircode will do wonders for tax collection and law enforcement - eventually.

    And, of course, this is what it's all really about. And, by the way, I'm fully in favour of tax collection and law enforcement.

    What I'm not in favour of is the state insulting our intelligence because it doesn't want to admit what it's really up to, much like Paschal Donohue insisting the Public Services Card "isn't mandatory", when without one you won't be able to get a passport, driving licence, or any Social Protection payment including Child Benefit or state pension.


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  • As it stands, the heavy lifting for a post code has been done.  It can be redesigned at a small cost because of this.  For example the current routing keys could be divided into sub divisions one at a time where they are found to be too big.  It is done with telephone STD codes and could be done with routing codes easily.  For example Q23 could be reassigned to Q33 Q43 and Q53, each relating to a small area of Q23 and Q23 could be retired after a while.
    That would be madness. The whole point of an eircode is that it is unique and permanent for a given premises. Changes would be a nightmare, People would forget, databases wouldn't get updated and duplicates would hang around systems for years.
    Each routing key has 26^2 = 456,976 possible four-digit combinations for endings. There is huge capacity already within the existing routing keys short of building a new city from scratch.
    H91 is probably the biggest routing key by population but even that must have no more than 200,000 dwellings and premises in it.
    If we ever run into capacity issues - which we won't for a very long time - the logical thing would just be to come up with a new routing key which is contiguous with H91, and assign all new eircodes using it.


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