Wouldn’t it be great if you could just glance at an address and instantly know exactly what part of your area the address was located in? I spent most of the weekend and yesterday writing a proposal for a postcode system for Ireland which would allow you to do just that. It was in response to ComReg’s consultation paper on the topic. A dirtier job than you might imagine, with many numeric, geographic, linguistic and even political twists. But got there in the end.
The full proposal is a little long and answers a lot of questions in the consultation paper about the need for a postcode system in Ireland. However, there’s also a short PowerPoint presentation which summarises the key points of the proposal. It’s only about nine slides long, and I think it’s well worth a look.
The system is designed on the principle that the code has to be useful for many purposes besides delivering mail. That’s why it’s called a ‘placecode’ not a ‘postcode’. It’s designed so that it will be useful for organising public transport, for legal purposes, for publishing census results and for many other activities.
In addition, the numbers are assigned in geographical order, from top-left to bottom right, so that it’s instantly obvious where the code refers to. Have a look at the proposal and you’ll see what I mean.