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Postcodes are totally unnecessary


firefighter

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Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
334
Eamon Ryan has just awarded PA Consulting the contract to introduce postcodes.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ryan-under-fire-as-firm-wins-euro05m-contract-on-postcodes-2361810.html

There is such a thing as semantic search engines in the 21st century, which enables free-text to be resolved to a GPS coordinate without too much fuss.

e.g. it's easier for a human to understand and interpret "54 St John's Avenue, Dalkey" than "Z49PQH". The former doesn't always need to be confirmed, whereas a postcode that is abstracted far away from the meaning of the address always needs confirmation. Also, in this day and age, computers can read addresses as quickly as they can read postcodes (unlike back in the 1980s, where a computer wouldn't know where to start if you gave it a free-text address, hence the need for postcodes). Yes, some ambiguity can arise with free-text addresses, but it's pretty obvious once a little bit of context is applied.

Hey, we even have a company called Google here in Dublin who have expertise in the small matter of geolocation and make their services free to the general public.

The Labour party (who I don't normally agree with) have said this system is "outdated and cumbersome". This is spot on. The confusion that will arise from it's introduction and the requirement to overhaul existing systems will be of no benefit whatsoever; despite the claimed increases in efficiency from having a postcode system.

A needless expense that detracts from the real issues. Joe Duffy listeners will be entertained for months with this one.
 
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SideysGhost

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Nov 30, 2009
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17,716
Having a fair amount of experience in geographical software systems myself, I agree it all seems a bit silly when there are loads of companies that provide, for example, geocoder and reverse-geocoder software. I can, should I wish, give these programs a latitude/longitude and get a text address back; or give them a text address and get a lat/lng to feed into a satnav - or Google Maps - to provide a driving route from my starting point.

All this isn't new either, it's been available commercially for years.

What exactly is this postcode melarky supposed to achieve exactly? And what exactly is the scam involved here - cos if a Fianna Fáil government is doing it then somebody is going to be trousering a huge wedge at the expense of the ordinary worker, some way, somehow.
 

firefighter

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Sep 21, 2010
Messages
334
Having a fair amount of experience in geographical software systems myself, I agree it all seems a bit silly when there are loads of companies that provide, for example, geocoder and reverse-geocoder software. I can, should I wish, give these programs a latitude/longitude and get a text address back; or give them a text address and get a lat/lng to feed into a satnav - or Google Maps - to provide a driving route from my starting point.

All this isn't new either, it's been available commercially for years.

What exactly is this postcode melarky supposed to achieve exactly? And what exactly is the scam involved here - cos if a Fianna Fáil government is doing it then somebody is going to be trousering a huge wedge at the expense of the ordinary worker, some way, somehow.
The real money is in updating all those public sector computer systems running proprietary software.
 

SideysGhost

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The real money is in updating all those public sector computer systems running proprietary software.
Even for FF there'd only be a few million in that scam surely? Hardly seems worth the effort after all the tens of billions they've already stolen.

But I suppose like paper never refuses ink, FFers just can't resist just one more scam.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Sep 28, 2009
Messages
11,840
Postcodes have been introduced already a few months ago.
Loc8 Code - The All Ireland Digital Address Code
Bang in your address and away you go. If the system cannot resolve your address automatically you identify your house on the map and the system will give you the postcode.

TBH postcodes are needed, especially in rural Ireland where you may have a congregation of murphys or kennys in the same townland.

You can get your postcode for free at the website above.

We already have a postcode system that works, is current in its technology and application and is compatible with GPS systems.

We already have a national database called Geodirectory, maintained by anPost, which has a unique identifier for each property and letterbox/delivery point in the country.

To combine the two systems would take one person with one laptop less than a day. Seeing as some eejit is just throwing the money abroad, Hell, I'd do it for just €210,000 Saving you, the taxpayer a nice 1/4 Million euro.

€560,000 for something that is already out there and Free of Charge??? Nuts!

Another huge waste of money.

I suspect some form of annual 'maintenance' contract for PA.
Or some licensing fee etc.

Or some new quango will be set up, once the new but already redundant system is up and running, to collect a handsome salary and pension pool.

Basing a postcode on the car registration system, as proposed by the article, is just stupid. So galway will be GAL and Athlone will be ATH it proposes. OK one obvious problem with that already.....

So what will Kilkenny, kilquay, kildare, kilcullen, kilbride, kilternan, kilmacanoge, killary be? KIL?

What will ballybrack, ballinteer, ballina be? BAL

Glebe? there must be hundreds of glebes around the country!

Postcodes are needed but we have a perfect solution already that is independent of town names and does not piss off the people in Dingle/Daingean already, and it's F.O.C., FREE!

Nice to see, with our country going down the Sh1tter, we are still pointlessly wasting money and looking after english companies.

Eamon Ryan please have the decency to wear a balaclava next time you are 'helping the country'.

BTW Eamon the postcode for that place you're supposed to be working is NP6-29-30D
 
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firefighter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
334
Postcodes have been introduced already a few months ago.
Loc8 Code - The All Ireland Digital Address Code
Bang in your address and away you go. If the system cannot resolve your address automatically you identify your house on the map and the system will give you the postcode.

TBH postcodes are needed, especially in rural Ireland where you may have a congregation of murphys or kennys in the same townland.

You can get your postcode for free at the website above.

We already have a postcode system that works, is current in its technology and application and is compatible with GPS systems.

We already have a national database called Geodirectory, maintained by anPost, which has a unique identifier for each property and letterbox/delivery point in the country.

To combine the two systems would take one person with one laptop less than a day. Seeing as some eejit is just throwing the money abroad, Hell, I'd do it for just €210,000 Saving you, the taxpayer a nice 1/4 Million euro.

€560,000 for something that is already out there and Free of Charge??? Nuts!

Another huge waste of money.

I suspect some form of annual 'maintenance' contract for PA.
Or some licensing fee etc.

Or some new quango will be set up, once the new but already redundant system is up and running, to collect a handsome salary and pension pool.

Basing a postcode on the car registration system, as proposed by the article, is just stupid. So galway will be GAL and Athlone will be ATH it proposes. OK one obvious problem with that already.....

So what will Kilkenny, kilquay, kildare, kilcullen, kilbride, kilternan, kilmacanoge, killary be? KIL?

What will ballybrack, ballinteer, ballina be? BAL

Glebe? there must be hundreds of glebes around the country!

Postcodes are needed but we have a perfect solution already that is independent of town names already.

Nice to see, with our country going down the Sh1tter, we are still pointlessly wasting money and looking after english companies.

Eamon Ryan please have the decency to wear a balaclava next time you are 'helping the country'.
Yes, BAL - Ballina should not to be confused with Ballymun. And RAT - Rathgar should not be confused with Rathnew. I can foresee the difficulties arising already...

A lot of assertions there about why we "need" postcodes, but no evidence. Business works perfectly well. DHL don't seem to have any problems.

The whole concept of postcodes and the homogenisation of the identity of places, is totalitarian in nature.

Ireland has a rich heritage of place names (the Gazeteer of Irish placenames is an excellent book) and applying machine-readable designations undermines this.
 

firefighter

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Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
334
BTW Eamon the postcode in that place you're supposed to be working is NP6-29-30D
That's retarded. On a credit card, the numbers are grouped into 4 for good reason: you can call out 4 numbers at a time and there's a good chance the person listening will remember the sequence correctly. Any more than 4 and the person listening will make more mistakes, and any less, the communication becomes less efficient, but slightly more reliable. Most postcodes in England have two groups of 3 characters which works well.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Messages
11,840
Yes, BAL - Ballina should not to be confused with Ballymun. And RAT - Rathgar should not be confused with Rathnew. I can foresee the difficulties arising already...

A lot of assertions there about why we "need" postcodes, but no evidence. Business works perfectly well. DHL don't seem to have any problems.

The whole concept of postcodes and the homogenisation of the identity of places, is totalitarian in nature.

Ireland has a rich heritage of place names (the Gazeteer of Irish placenames is an excellent book) and applying machine-readable designations undermines this.
Trust me, we need postcodes. But we have a perfectly good and free postcode system already. The codes are only machine readable if people print their letters, ie business, or write clearly.
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Messages
11,840
That's retarded. On a credit card, the numbers are grouped into 4 for good reason: you can call out 4 numbers at a time and there's a good chance the person listening will remember the sequence correctly. Any more than 4 and the person listening will make more mistakes, and any less, the communication becomes less efficient, but slightly more reliable. Most postcodes in England have two groups of 3 characters which works well.
I can count eight letters/numbers. (you could call it out in two sets of four?!)

I can see you do not like the idea of postcodes, but having a postcode does not undermine a placename no more than D4 undermines Ballsbridge?

My beef is about wasting more money needlessly. When will it end?
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Messages
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Is that "trust me, I'm a professional"-speak?
Well let's just say I should probably ring PA consulting and give them a hand, for a handsome fee. Because it sounds like they are going about it arseways already.

This new postcode system just sounds like giving money to people you like.
 

NYCKY

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Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
13,098
I don't see what the big deal is with post codes. Every other country in the western world has used them for decades, why is Ireland only catching on now?

A lot of the opposition seems to come from Dublin. In rural parts of the country there are lots of extended families living in close proximity with the same surname and no house numbers. I think this will help a lot in rural areas.
 

firefighter

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Sep 21, 2010
Messages
334
A lot of the opposition seems to come from Dublin. In rural parts of the country there are lots of extended families living in close proximity with the same surname and no house numbers. I think this will help a lot in rural areas.
Codswollop.
 

Pauli

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Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
1,181
Even for FF there'd only be a few million in that scam surely? Hardly seems worth the effort after all the tens of billions they've already stolen.

But I suppose like paper never refuses ink, FFers just can't resist just one more scam.
Let's see now.......

Fianna Fail. Software-related solution. Screw-up big-time. FF "Pork" element (storage). And voila! €110 million pissed away.

You know, I think you might be right :)

http://evoting.cs.may.ie/Documents/CostofElectronicvotingAsOfMay.pdf
 

EUrJokingMeRight

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Messages
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Codswollop.
Well speaking from experience you are totally incorrect, and I am afraid to say, very misinformed.
I agree some placenames have a lovely meaning and history,like muff for example, but postcodes wont change that.
Postcodes are especially helpful in rural communities I'm afraid, where houses do not have house numbers and people of the same surname live in close proximity.

so you could have 10 murphys, living in ballinaclash. How can you differentiate, when you are the stand in postman, covering the local postmans holidays hmm?
 

Antrim

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Sep 11, 2010
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I was made redundant about ten years ago and spent six months working at Royal Mail in Mallusk. It sorts all the mail for Northern Ireland. It was only built at the end of the 90s so is pretty high tech.

So, from having that experience, I would say that post codes are very much needed. From a sorting mail point of view the computers can only do so much. They can give you all the post for one area but they cant go down to the detail to sort the mail in such a way as to make it deliverable by the post person. You would need to sort the mail for your run for about an hour before you started delivering, without postcodes this would have taken about two hours. (Multiply the wages of all the post people in the county by one hour, I’m sure that’s a few Pound/Euro.)

Also, sorting UK wide parcels was a breeze using the post codes, you only needed to read the first four digits rather than the whole address. Any parcels that had no post codes really broke your sorting rhythm.

The last point I would make would be that the majority of addresses that people write are illegible. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how badly people write addresses, little more than a child’s scribble. The only way you knew where it was to go to, was that the postcodes were always readable because they were written in block capitals.

From a personal point of view, any time I am looking for somewhere, either on multimap or on my sat nav, I only ever use the post code.

So, in my opinion, postcodes are a great thing . I would have to commend your postal service for being able to do their job without them.
 

Radix

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Aug 31, 2010
Messages
10,031
Codswollop.
Some people have a will to power which excludes even basic niceness.

"If all the tradesman has left in his van, is a fire extinguisher, then sooner or later, all he will see are fires that need to be put out".
 

cricket

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Nov 7, 2009
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I was made redundant about ten years ago and spent six months working at Royal Mail in Mallusk. It sorts all the mail for Northern Ireland. It was only built at the end of the 90s so is pretty high tech.

So, from having that experience, I would say that post codes are very much needed. From a sorting mail point of view the computers can only do so much. They can give you all the post for one area but they cant go down to the detail to sort the mail in such a way as to make it deliverable by the post person. You would need to sort the mail for your run for about an hour before you started delivering, without postcodes this would have taken about two hours. (Multiply the wages of all the post people in the county by one hour, I’m sure that’s a few Pound/Euro.)

Also, sorting UK wide parcels was a breeze using the post codes, you only needed to read the first four digits rather than the whole address. Any parcels that had no post codes really broke your sorting rhythm.

The last point I would make would be that the majority of addresses that people write are illegible. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how badly people write addresses, little more than a child’s scribble. The only way you knew where it was to go to, was that the postcodes were always readable because they were written in block capitals.

From a personal point of view, any time I am looking for somewhere, either on multimap or on my sat nav, I only ever use the post code.

So, in my opinion, postcodes are a great thing . I would have to commend your postal service for being able to do their job without them.

Acquantaince tells me that An Post currently have a system that sorts mail sequentially , ie it is in route order when the postperson comes on duty , saving hours on route preparation.
It seems to me that Greens have to have this system because it was a promise they insisted on when coming into government , no matter what the cost. Crazy !
 

orbit

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Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
701
I was made redundant about ten years ago and spent six months working at Royal Mail in Mallusk. It sorts all the mail for Northern Ireland. It was only built at the end of the 90s so is pretty high tech.

So, from having that experience, I would say that post codes are very much needed. From a sorting mail point of view the computers can only do so much. They can give you all the post for one area but they cant go down to the detail to sort the mail in such a way as to make it deliverable by the post person. You would need to sort the mail for your run for about an hour before you started delivering, without postcodes this would have taken about two hours. (Multiply the wages of all the post people in the county by one hour, I’m sure that’s a few Pound/Euro.)

Also, sorting UK wide parcels was a breeze using the post codes, you only needed to read the first four digits rather than the whole address. Any parcels that had no post codes really broke your sorting rhythm.

The last point I would make would be that the majority of addresses that people write are illegible. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how badly people write addresses, little more than a child’s scribble. The only way you knew where it was to go to, was that the postcodes were always readable because they were written in block capitals.

From a personal point of view, any time I am looking for somewhere, either on multimap or on my sat nav, I only ever use the post code.

So, in my opinion, postcodes are a great thing . I would have to commend your postal service for being able to do their job without them.
Actually, An Post were against the introduction of post codes because, as regards delivering mail, postcodes are a 1960's solution to the problem. They already have a database of every delivery point in the state, with its exact GPS location. More significantly, An Post has another builtin advantage over potential competitors - ie. the local knowledge of their postmen, who knows Mary Murphy over by the lake, is different to the Mary Murphy by the bog. A detailed postcode would help competitors (and the rest of the delivery sector) overcome that lack of local knowledge.

Personally, I don't like the way they are going about this project. We won't know whether it is a good system or not, until it's too late due to the fact, it's all being done away from public scrutiny. For a start, public acceptance is a major aspect of projects like this. So, to ignore that is a major mistake imo.
 
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