Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why I was wrong - Loc8 codes are a great idea

Ireland is pretty unusual for a developed country in that we have no system of national postcodes. Although the government have being discussing the introduction of postcode system for the last few years, but the discussion doesn't seem to be getting any closer to reaching a conclusion.

Loc8 LogoIn the meantime an enterprising company from Cork have invented their own post code system called Loc8 and they are actively promoting its adoption as a de facto national standard. To quote from their new web site "Loc8 Codes are the first and only All-Ireland Digital Address Code which is a smarter form of postcode. You can now easily find an exact location anywhere on the island of Ireland".

I looked at their web site and was quite impressed by the very sensible system that they are proposing to algorithmically transform between latitude and longitude coordinates and a post code string which is easy to remember. However, my inner geek was disappointed with the lack of detail provided about how the transformation was done and the company seemed to have the attitude that since they provide a free and easy to use conversion utility on their web site they didn't need to tell people the details of how the conversion was done. I was further outraged when I clicked on the link to their terms of use document - although I didn't read it carefully I was surprised to see a lot of legal jargon setting out restrictions.

I recently wrote on my blog about how Loc8 codes were basically a good idea, but that their restrictions were unreasonable for any proposal that hoped to be adopted as an official government standard. One of the people behind the company responded to blog post pointing out that do not in fact place restrictions on the use of Loc8 codes. The restrictive terms are in fact merely restrictions on the use of the aerial images from the Ordinance Survey office that they use on their webs site (and these restrictions are outside their control anyway).

A closer reading of their legal documentation made it clear to me that I was wrong in my interpretation. I am happy to admit my error and publicly state that I have been converted into a fan of this proposal.


  1. I really appreciate that Brian - thanks for your comments and for taking a second look

  2. Gary, who made this claim "Loc8 Codes are the first and only All-Ireland Digital Address"? If searching Google with "Loc8 Codes are the first and only All-Ireland Digital Address", there are dozens of web pages with this claim!

    If the above claim is originated from you, this claim is either ignorant or plagiarizm as NAC is a digital address that covers the entire world including the whole Ireland since 1995.