Postcode systems are like buses…

…. you wait ages for one and then two come along together. I wrote previously about GPS Ireland’s system and now Gerard O’Neill points us to TICode which, though it isn’t calling itself a Post Code system seems, unless I’m greatly mistaken, to do exactly the same as GPS Ireland’s system.

"So what is a TICode? Simply put, a TICode is a 7 character code which identifies any location in the island of Ireland to an accuracy of 7 meters squared. You can either search for your TICode using an address, or you can use an interactive map to find the TICode for any point on the island of Ireland. When you’ve found your TICode, you’ll also be able to email the map to your friends, upload it to your Garmin SatNav or put it as a link on your website or email signature so people can find you."

Am I missing something here? Did TICode license GPS Ireland’s system and if so why has it been launched first? Or is it just an incredible coincidence that they both came along together? Won’t two competing systems create enormous confusion and seriously dent the hopes of either one becoming a de facto standard?

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8 Responses to “Postcode systems are like buses…”

  1. Will King Says:

    Could be that the theory behind creating the postcodes is fairly straightforward. I’m sure the work is in writing the code.
    TICODE would appear to have ‘drawn’ a rectangle with numerous grid squares over the map of Ireland. Lets say Co. Donegal’s (top left of rectangle) postcode is 00 0000 then you just keep drilling down into that grid square to get a full postcode. Just seem to be coordinates by another name but still useful.

  2. mj Says:

    Aha, but whomever owns it, owns the right to sell the database to commercial concerns.
    Establishing a de facto standard will only happen through market forces. There’s two horses in this race and if it starts looking like it will be profitable, there will be more.

  3. John Dundon Says:

    In the scheme of things, defining a geographic based postcode system seems to be the trivial part – developing a system that will be used by everybody (including those that have neither pc nor gps) is the tough part. Can private companies, unless they have very deep pockets, implement a national initiative – the resources required on the face of it seem daunting. Not only that, what are the incentives necessary to get the appropriate State and semi-State bodies to endorse one of these proposed systems as the de facto standard over and above their own. Without overwhelming buy-in from everybody can these systems actually succeed?

  4. Denis Hennessy Says:

    And don’t forget that An Post may still get its act together and finally roll out the system that minister after minister have been flip-flopping on. I’m starting to think that no postcode might be better than three…
    Seriously lads, sit down and work out which to go with, or just toss a coin. Having more than one is going to stop anybody adopting it.

  5. Pat Donnelly Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about either of the two suggested postcode systems, neither will prevail. They are both just shorthand methods of writing lat/long coordinates rather than actual postcodes.

  6. garydubh Says:

    The latestupadte on Post Codes and PON Codes in Ireland is here:
    http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2897

  7. Pol O'Phoill Says:

    Just spotted this whilst googling and thought I’d add update. Have seen Ticodes being used by businesses as location codes in their customer/sales databases. Have now encountered them in quite a few places. they can use them to sort out their databases and for delivery/direction for customers. They get either 4, 5 or 7 letters and numbers in the codes they use which link to the area that needs to be covered – and they’ve a big database of over one and half million addresses with codes. Apparently it doesn’t matter whether these location codes are used as postcodes since An Post says it doesn’t need them. And don’t see the Govt lashing out millions to implement another one any time soon.

  8. garydubh Says:

    PON Codes now fully released as Loc8 Codes at http://www.loc8code.com and also now dircetly supported on Garmin SatNavs

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