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Minister to delay postcode system

Government Minister to delay Irish postcode system. Not such a big surprise. The plan had been to launch a scheme by January 2008, but the project appears to have become mired.
It is really a shame that these things take so long. Obviously, it is a hard problem for a government to grasp and to find a way to work with all of the key players.

See also: Government moves forward on postcodes; Coding the Post

Here’s a clipping of an article from the Examiner newspaper about this (A lot of the comment is just plain wrong. You would not need to survey Ireland in detail to assign postcodes. This surveying has already been done, it’s a matter or re-purposing the databases that already exist, not creating new ones.

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  1. Will they hurry up and roll the system out. I run a small business in rural Ireland and delivery companies can never find my house, often resulting in delays, with a good post code system this wouldn’t happen. It would allow easier GPS navigation for in car sat-nav more importantly enable emergency crews to pinpoint accident locations for 999 calls. There are many other advantages including reduced mail delivery errors (we still get at least one item of incorrect mail from An Post each week).

    All for post codes here, just wish they would hurry up with it.

  2. It seems that the post code thing has become unstuck. A memo was submitted to the Government in May seeking approval for the implementation of a postcode system. Now it seems that another round of analysis to quantify the benefits is being carried out. A public consultation is to follow. All this is after two major reports, & an extensive public consultation which was carried out previously. Looks like another bloody Irish merry-go-round.

  3. I don’t think it is quite true to say that it is the only suitable system. There are a number of other, similar GPS-based systems proposed.

    Do you think memory for things like lookup tables is really a constraint in satnav systems?

  4. My Location (Post Code) system is not GPS based – it is both GPS and GIS suitable – it is based on our ITM grid which is the only official Grid System of Ireland and that upon which all location definitions should be based. It is all the more suitable as it will minimise the costs of adoption as because it is based on an existing Grid system which has a defined relationship to Lat/long WGS84, users can find their Post Code by reference to free Internet Mapping of Ireland which has now reached a level of detail which can be practically used.

    GPS Ireland has software being released in October which converts Lat/long and ITM grids to Post (Location Codes).

    I am involved daily in the location business – I talk to and train commercial road users and emergency services daily. They are all demanding Location Codes – and a system which is immediately useable in GPS, SatNav and GIS.

    No need to keep talking about it – its ready to use. see



  5. You should write to Eamonn Ryan and let him know about the concerns of your customers.

    There are other ways of coding locations. A postcode obviously has to fulfill a lot of functions, and work in a lot of contexts.

  6. Works in all contexts – sure there may be refinements to make… let me know and they will be considered

    strange that this forum seems only to reflect the demands of people in business and using the roads – a real time, every sday demand where time and money is being wasted without a suitable system.

    How could anyone who is familiar with Navigation,positioning, surveying, GIS, GPS, Transportation etc etc suggest a system other than that based on an existing Grid System????

  7. Coordinate-based systems are excellent for sea travel and for air travel. Ignoring the terrestrial infrastructure in terms of post-codes makes sense only if you are intending to deliver packages by stork.

  8. Michael,

    using coordinates or coordinate based systems for road navigation is routine – when you put an address into a SatNav – that address is defined by coordinates fixing its location on the Earth’s surface. Then using the data base of roads in the SatNav a route is calculated by sophisticated routing engines to the selected coordinates from the user’s current coordinates as determined by GPS. Coordinates are the basis for all Navigation – Land, Sea and Air – equally coordinates are the basis for GIS systems which are used by more and more businesses (Business Post – Sunday 23rd September 2007) Every element of data on a Map or Air/Nautical Chart etc is defined by a set of coordinates whether they be Lat/Long or Grid or a indeed a derivative of either such as my proposed Post Code System. Coordinates of customer locations are already collected by many businesses partcularly those accessing their customers by road.I have been suppporting Farmers,Farm Contractors and foresters in Ireland who have been using coordinates in one form or another to define field locations,areas,yields, accesses and descriptions for more than 10 years now. The problem is that Lat/long or Irish Grid/ITM is cumbersome to use and difficult to remember. My proposed Post Code System takes what already exists and is already used and just makes it easier to handle and remember, giving it wider appeal.



  9. Our proposed Location Code System (Post Code) will be available for testing on Garmin SatNav receivers in March 2008. (Now slightly revised and with a working same of PONCode) Anyone will be able to get their own PONCode through our website using a Web Mapping interface – all free of charge at -from March 2008 also. No need for big investment – expensive street related databases, years of discussion, expensive updates whn nwe infrastructure is added – its almost here and those who use SatNav commercially are invited to trial the system in March – just contact me to arrange – Full details here>

    Thanks – Gary

  10. 1st March 2008
    The Postal Code System proposed by the Irish Government as reported in the Irish Independent in Feb 2008 is not a functional system! A post code defined as D04 123 could only accomodate a maximum of 999 properties in Dublin 4. This is not practical and is little to show for 3 years of consulting. Also as it is proposed to Post Code every property in Ireland, it will take a considerable time and expense to code each one and then relate it to a geographic location – also requiring a substantial and frequently updated database on mobile units such as SatNavs and Mobile phones with Integrated GPS. As promised in my ealier pots, GPS Ireland has progressed with a geographically based system which in March 2008 is being tested with the help of Garmin on a Garmin Nuvi 760 SatNav. A web interface – http://WWW.IRISHPOSTCODES.IE will become available at the end of March 2008 to allow anyone get their Post Code by clicking on their property location on a web map for free. This will be a 7 character alphanumeric code which can be passed to logistics companies who will punch it into their SatNav’s and arrive at your door. Full Details at – Contact GPS Ireland at, Tel: + 353 21 4832990
    Rgds Gary Delaney

  11. This 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.

    However a true postcode system run by the postal authorities would translate addresses in a database into a code and then post a card or letter to every house and business informing them of their postcode. Therefore everyone has the code automatically.

  12. I think that GPS ireland have a great idea, At last some forward thinking to bring this country out of the middle ages, I live out in the country where not only can i still not get a broadband connection by either line or air, but also have no address except house number 1!!! you might think that i am living up the top of the Burren but in fact i am only 18M from Galway town center.
    I run a small ebay concern and am always having parcels lost, returned or simply vanish. I have to put my phone number on every shipping address i hand out otherwise it takes weeks for a package to arrive.
    I spoke with a courier the other morning after he had to telephone me to get the address and he was also of the same conclusion that the sooner they introduce a GPS based code the better for everyone.

  13. A Postcode system needs to be just that, usable by the Post and hence based on sorting offices and delivery areas, which also reflects where people actually live so will give more detail in densely populated areas which is an advantage over a coordinate system.
    The UK actually did rather better than it planned with its system which was never designed for SatNav but is actually very good for this.
    It also has the feature that there are never two house No 1 in the same postcode so the postcode and house number are all that is needed to find an address.


  • » GPSIreland Postcode ideas December 9, 2009

    […] I’ve written loads about postcodes before. GPS Ireland have published a concept for a postcode system, and Garmin have implemented it in a limited way on their devices. Good for them for publishing their idea. However, there are a number of big issues with implementing such a system. […]