Irish post code system launched
12 July 2010 | 0
A completely new postcode system for all Ireland was launched in Dublin today, with support from Garmin and Enterprise Ireland.
Developed by Cork-based company Loc8 Code Ltd, the code system allows anyone to find their own property, location, service or point on a map and to have that position turned into an eight character code. This code can be used as a reference for others or to allow the specified address to be located directly on the Loc8code.com website.
The codes are generated based on longitude and latitude, but an algorithm which generates the final code takes the difficulty in handling coordinates out of the hands of users, where confusion can arise.
As a naval veteran, Gary Delaney, CEO of Loc8 Code Ltd, is all too familiar with what can happen to longitude and latitude information when handled by those who are not trained to use it. Delaney said that codes are also a concatenation that means that each element marks an area that combined gives a specific, accurate location, but for more general purposes, such as in social networking, only certain elements of the code can be used to mark a general area rather than a specific location.
The codes give positions accurate to within +/- 6m, but there is also the facility to attach other useful information to a basic code entry, from which entrance to use, to local amenities such as public transport etc. The system is live and can be accessed via http://www.loc8code.com/, where commercial or private users can find locations and create codes to share as references. The codes can be looked up in this format: www.loc8code.com/NM3-13-V53
The system is already available on the current Garmin range of satnav devices, with unlocks for existing Garmin users to be available shortly. While acknowledging the invaluable level of support from Garmin throughout the venture, Delaney said that there is no exclusivity on the codes and that other satnav manufacturers will be able to available of the codes from Q3 this year.
To emphasise the importance of the system in accuracy and efficiency of navigation from professional support services to the emergency services, figures were quoted from a Newcastle University study that shows that 14% fuel savings could be made through the use of accurate navigation in transport services. Delaney added that in the Irish situation, this could go as high as 20%.
Producer, TV star and adventurer Charlie Boorman was also on hand to indicate that not only were such tools essential to his various globetrotting adventures, but that as he talked with other well-travelled people, there was a trade in unwieldy coordinates to share special locations of interest. Boorman said this kind of system would supersede all of that, allowing easy exchange of such information. He added that for his native Wicklow, this system would be invaluable, not least in directing tourists on their way to the likes of Glendalough.
The system works on an algorithm that creates or interprets the codes and requires very little in the way of technical effort to implement. Delany said that, while testing was extensive with Garmin, the actual code integration was easy, taking “about 20 lines of code”.