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Unique addresses - could we implement them?

  • 30-01-2017 10:37am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Mod Note: This thread has been started as non-unique addresses are not part of the Eircode subject.
    The first post has been moved from the Eircode implementation thread.

    plodder wrote: »
    Postcodes plus building number are unique in urban areas in the UK. They should roll it out for rural areas too. Wouldn't have to be part of the official address but could be used when uniqueness is actually required such as for navigation. Would be the ideal solution. Though there would probably be resistance to it regardless.
    Uniqueness is pretty much always required except for aggregating statistics purposes or in circumstances where service providers prefer to use crude instruments (i.e. lumping together all the address in a postcode when assigning risk) over more precise data. 
    How much would it cost to assign unique building numbers to every rural address in the UK, including all those in rural Northern Ireland which use the Irish townland system (or did until local councils assigned names to rural roads, a process which took decades, met a huge amount of resistance, including from unionists, and cost shed-loads of money), and parts of rural Scotland, which have a similar system (e.g. the area of Point on the Isle of Lewis)? 
    In fact, the change from using townland names as parts of addresses in Northern Ireland still upsets people and townland names may yet be revived: 
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/names-of-ancient-townlands-could-be-revived-by-councils-under-new-proposal-34202930.html
    I'm not sure if any posters here who talk about making wholesale changes to addresses in the UK realise just how conservative most people in the UK are, and how touchy many of them are about even relatively minor changes, especially people who live in rural areas, including small towns and villages.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Impetus;102121924
    GreenFolder2;102035647They've exactly the same problem we have, just with a smaller % of addresses. The issue is house / building names, unnamed roads, town lands etc and the postal codes become vastly less granular when you get into rural areas - to the point that that they're not much better than a codified townland.

    Ireland's addressing conventions are very similar to the UK and come from the same 19th century GPO system origin of using post office towns and so on.

    We just have a way higher % of one off housing as a proportion of our housing stock.

    When you get into using building names instead of numbers and vague, verbose addresses, things start to get complicated for computers as you can't guarantee the address will always be written the same.

    You could probably do with extending the UK postal codes with an optional building identifier. It would be genuinely useful.
    The randomization issue of the last four characters of the eircode really shot it in the foot. But it is no excuse for not doing what most of the rest of the world has done. ie give every road a name and every building a number, and match them to a unique town name.


    How much would this proposal cost for the entire Irish state? Please post your best estimate to the nearest million euro based on researched sources for the following:

    cost of assigning road names

    cost of assigning address numbers

    cost of updating databases

    cost of putting up and maintaining road signs

    What would the process be for deciding on the names of roads? Would a road have the same name for its entire length or would different sections be given different names?

    For example the former N8 which goes from Portlaoise to Cork - same name for its entire length or different names for different sections?

    If the latter (different names for different sections) how many sections would it be divided into? One for each county it passes through? One for each townland it passes through? Or one for each (insert division of choice) it passes through?

    Is there going to be a process of public consultation before road names are assigned? Or will they be assigned by local councils or by some central authority? Will the Irish language version of these new road names be assigned by local councils or by some central authority? What happens if the people who live along a road (or section of a road) disagree with the name assigned to it? Will they have a legal right to change the name (either at the time it's assigned or in the future)? If so, what would the process be (a local referendum, local councillors acting on behalf of locals?) and what happens if the name is changed to a name that is regarded by the authorities as unsuitable (e.g. if the locals in part of County Galway want the name of a road to be 'Mayo Is Sh*te At Football Road')?

    How do you avoid non-unique names for roads or sections of road? The most logical name for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of roads (or sections of roads) will be Dublin Road, or Cork Road, or Limerick Road, or Galway Road, or Waterford Road etc, etc. There are already numerous streets in towns and villages all over Ireland called Dublin Road. How do you avoid having non-unique road names in rural areas, especially when decades of local usage and custom means that a particular road (or section of road) is already informally know as 'the Dublin road'? How do you convince local people who have called a road (or section of road) 'the Dublin road' all their lives to call it by another name?

    If it's left to local authorities to decide on the change from townland names to road names, how long will the process take? Weeks, months, years or decades?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21110059

    How do you assign unique house numbers to all these newly minted rural road addresses? By year of construction (assuming you have that information readily available), by length of residence/occupation (assuming you have that information readily available), by proximity to a junction with another road (or section of road), by distance from a designated point or locally-known landmark (e.g. a school) or by some other method?

    If you decide on the distance from a designated point method, what happens when new addresses are built between existing ones? For example, if you have a road (or section of road) where there are five houses numbered 1 to 5, and then a new house is built between the first house (number 1) and the second house (number 2). Does the new house get numbered as number 2, with all the following houses renumbered (i.e. existing number 2 becomes number 3, existing number 3 becomes number 4, existing number 4 becomes number 5, existing number 5 becomes number 6, existing number 6 becomes number 7) or does the new house become number 7, so the sequence would now go: 1, 7, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6? Or does the new house become 2A?

    What happens if an existing building gets demolished, or is no longer used as an address (i.e. an old house being used as a cattle shed), or if an existing building is sub-divided?

    What happens if people disagree with the numbers assigned to their address? For example, if the numbers are assigned by proximity to a junction, with the addresses closest to the designated junction starting with 1 and going up as you move further away from that junction, what happens if the locals want to have numbers decided on the basis of distance from the local National School? Will people simply have to accept what is handed down from a central authority or by the local council?

    Is there any history in Ireland of people resenting such decisions, actively campaigning against such decisions and taking actions to resist such decisions?

    Before 1972 townlands were included on all postal addresses throughout the island, but in that year the Royal Mail decided that the townland element of the address was obsolete in Northern Ireland.[10] Townland names were not banned, but they were deemed "superfluous information" and people were asked not to include them on addresses.[10] They were to be replaced by house numbers, road names and postcodes.[10] In response the Townlands Campaign emerged to protest against the changes. It was described as a "ground-level community effort". Taking place in the midst of The Troubles, the campaign was a rare example of unity between Catholics and Protestants, nationalists and unionists.[10] Townlands and their names "seem to have been considered as a shared resource and heritage".[10]Those involved in the campaign argued that, in many areas, people still strongly identified with their townlands and that this gave them a sense of belonging. The Royal Mail's changes were seen as a severing of this link.[10]

    At the time the county councils were the government bodies responsible for validating the change. However, as local government itself was undergoing changes, the Royal Mail's decision was "allowed ... to become law almost by default".[10] County Fermanagh is the only county in Northern Ireland that managed to resist the change completely.[10] Nevertheless, many newer road signs in parts of Northern Ireland now show townland names (see picture). In 2001 the Northern Ireland Assembly passed a motion requesting government departments to make use of townland addresses in correspondence and publications.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,116 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Mod: I have moved these posts to a new thread as it is more relevant that the Eircode thread.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,116 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Adding an Eircode to a non-unique address only works if you happen to know the Eircode.

    If non-unique addresses are to be relegated to history there needs to be a plan on how to do it, and the best time to have implemented such a (non-existing) plan would have been as part of the Eircode project. In fact, if such a plan had been launched, it could have been beneficial to both projects.

    However, that ship has sailed.

    The first task would be to assign an authority to oversee the transition and owner of the plan. It could be the local planning office, the Revenue, or An Post, or a new Quango.

    The next job is to assign the format for preferred addresses in Rural areas, and preferred addresses for Urban areas. Most non-unique areas are in rural areas. Making unique addresses for urban areas would be relatively trivial, but not necessarily without problems.

    So, with armed with preferred address format, planning authorities would assign addresses to all (where possible) new structures with an address. Obviously, roads need a name or number, a start point for numbering, and a townland, barony, and county. Houses need a name or number.

    It is a huge problem, but to solve it, it needs to be started.

    Eircode is not the solution, because if you do not know the Eircode, you cannot find the location. Even with the Eircode, you cannot locate the premises because no building displays the Eircode. [Most commercial premises do not even show the building number in urban settings].


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    It's news to me that I started this thread. :ermm:

    Anyhoo, we already have unique addressing. The system of unique addresses we used in Ireland is called Eircodes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Mod:  I have moved these posts to a new thread as it is more relevant that the Eircode thread.
    Can you please make it clearer that I did not start this thread? Perhaps by making your post the first one?


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,116 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Can you please make it clearer that I did not start this thread? Perhaps by making your post the first one?

    I moved the thread and cannot pre-date it. However, I can edit the first post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Adding an Eircode to a non-unique address only works if you happen to know the Eircode.

    Every address in Ireland has been given an Eircode. If you don't know yours, you can look it up. 
    Eircode is not the solution, because if you do not know the Eircode, you cannot find the location. Even with the Eircode, you cannot locate the premises because no building displays the Eircode. [Most commercial premises do not even show the building number in urban settings].

    How many residential addresses in urban areas display numbers? A fair few don't. But enough do so that you can figure out the missing ones. How many in rural areas? None, because none of them have numbers. Do you really think they're going to start displaying house numbers when they don't display Eircodes? Kind of a problem if your proposal relies on building numbers being displayed...
    Second point: if you use a navigation system to get to an address with an Eircode, you'll be brought to the entrance or within a couple of metres of the entrance. So not having Eircodes displayed isn't a big deal.
    Let's say you don't know the Eircode but you know the address. You can look up the Eircode. Not so for non-unique addresses says you. Fair enough. 

    So let's make a small tweak to Eircode Finder: put in a non-unique address and the map view shows you all the possible Eircodes in a rural townland. 

    What if people who lived at those addresses/business that operated from those addresses had the option to add identifying labels to the little red dot? 

    So that when you saw the map view, it wouldn't just show a load of red dots, but each dot could have a business name displayed with it (see below) or a family's surname, or other details, if the business/people at the address chose to? 
    Obviously it would be their choice. 

    This can be done with Google Maps. You can choose to put your business name (or even your family name if you pretend that your house is a business location) which is displayed on Google Maps.

    408191.jpg
    In the example above, most families and/or business premises in the rural townland have chosen to show additional details adjacent to the red dots.
    So if you don't know the Eircode for someone but do know their address, you can check their Eircode on the Eircode Finder website. If the address is a non-unique address in a rural townland you'll be able to see their details in the map view (if they chosen to have them displayed). I can't imagine too many business premises wouldn't want to do this. After all, most businesses want to be found by (potential) customers. And people who are fed up of deliveries going to the wrong house would be able to display their names on the Eircode Finder. 
    So, with armed with preferred address format, planning authorities would assign addresses to all (where possible) new structures with an address. Obviously, roads need a name or number, a start point for numbering, and a townland, barony, and county. Houses need a name or number.

    It is a huge problem, but to solve it, it needs to be started. 

    Why do they need a barony? How many people even know what a barony is? How much would it cost to name all the currently un-named roads in the state? How much would it cost for signage for all these roads? How long would it take? Who would be responsible? What happens if there's disagreement with the people who live on that road (or section of road)? Your proposal answers none of the questions I posed in the other thread where I posted my response and questions initially.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Can you please make it clearer that I did not start this thread? Perhaps by making your post the first one?

    I moved the thread and cannot pre-date it.  However, I can edit the first post.
    Thanks.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,116 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Mod: Since there is only one poster, I am closing the thread.


This discussion has been closed.
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