A Postcode solution or Postcode madness?

tAfter returning from CreativeCamp Kilkenny I wrote about one of the more interesting presentations I attended on the day, where Gary Delaney of GPS Ireland announced that his company had developed a Post Code System for Ireland which will be available on Garmin SatNav Systems from the end of March. The follow on discussion/debate has been very interesting and is well worth promoting to a summary post.

For starters Conor O’Nolan thinks Gary’s system is "Postcode madness. Essentially anyone who wants a code has to go online and find out their own code using a map to pinpoint their house or workplace. They then need to transmit that code to a delivery company who are using GPS devices provided by GPSIreland."

John Dundon thinks it’s an interesting system but struggles to understand that in order to find a postcode you have to pinpoint a location on a map first – "if you do that you may as well just navigate to the address. I see the biggest challenge is not one of defining a postcode system but of implementation and acceptance by the public, not just users of Garmin sat nav."

Gary Delaney responded to both points – "Discussions about the merits/dismerits of any system are welcome – but if the discussion continues for a number of years it is useful if someone goes and just does it to assist in the efficiency of vehicle managmenet. I am that person in this case."

But John Dundon still wanted to know, how the system would deal with an address with many access points – "does it have many postcodes, or if there are many delivery points in the building, e.g. businesses, do they share the same postcode." While ‘Langer Dan’ commented "If the algorithm for conversion from grid location to ‘Irish Post Code(tm)’ is held only by GPS Ireland and some manufacturers, then it’s useless…. the algorithm should be available and open to public review."

Gary again responded, stating that any place can be given a grid reference and have a PostCode, not just a building or structure. "Where different persons/organisations are in the same buidling they can have the same main postcode if they wish but there is provision for an additional element which gives floor number." And, as for the algorithm "that has my copyright at present but that does not have to be the case for the future. Lets see if we can get it off the ground first and you can be sure that I will want as many people as possible to have access to the conversion – lets just see…"

All in all I think it’s a very exciting development and will regularly return to it on this blog as we follow progress.

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4 Responses to “A Postcode solution or Postcode madness?”

  1. gps systems Says:

    GPS is the way to future. I see in next 20 years or so , may be no vehicle in our countries will be without gps. However , cost is still a problem , specially in developing nations. But I am sure , with increase in demand the cost will come down. Nice blog.

  2. Lost in the Woods for the Trees Says:

    I think GPS Ireland’s Post Code idea is great.I would love to see it in everyday use. However, I think if it is to have a serious chance at being taken up by the wider public, it needs to be given a free license of some kind (Creative Commons, GNU etc.). It’s worth noting that GPS Ireland would still own the copyright- it would just be licensed freely.

  3. Gary Delaney Says:

    A New Way of Posting Ireland – a New type of Post Code System is now available at http://www.irishpostcodes.ie It is also available for use on Garmin Nuvi 7xx series SatNav’s

  4. garydubh Says:

    PON Codes are now fully released and supported directly on Garmin SatNavs – now called Loc8 Codes at http://www.loc8code.com

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