All-Ireland address code provider urges Govt to go digital

4 Oct 2010

The provider of an all-Ireland digital address code system that has generated 45,00 new codes for the public has put itself forward as a potential solution for the country since the current system proposed cannot be used directly by sat navs, iPhones or other GPS-enabled devices.

The innovative business initiative, which has the support of Enterprise Ireland, and references map data from Ordnance Survey Ireland and Land & Property Services Northern Ireland, has been developed by Cork-based company Loc8 Code Ltd. in collaboration with Garmin Europe.

Loc8 Code is planning to employ up to 20 people, to ensure an effective and efficient rollout of the system. The system can also deliver considerable savings in transport costs because of the precision of the address when used in conjunction with a satellite navigation device.

CEO Gary Delaney is a former naval officer, and is an experienced land and hydrographic surveyor who has advised and trained both government and blue-chip organisations in the use of GPS for everything from precise surveying to people tracking.

“We are convinced that the Government will see the merits of using Loc8 Code’s tried and tested digital address code system as a national system providing the most precise information countrywide, including Northern Ireland,” Delaney said. “We are supported by Enterprise Ireland in our efforts and feel our offering is the solution to the Government’s requirements.

“Since our launch on 12 July 2010, in excess of 65,000 people have visited our website and over 45,000 new codes have been generated for people to utilise – proving that both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are adapting to this user friendly modern system,” Delaney said.

A smarter form of postcode

Describing the system as “a smarter form of postcode” (it brings the user to within + or – 6 metres of any location), Delaney stated that Loc8 Code is already being embraced by several multi-national and national businesses, organisations and members of the public who have moved to incorporate Loc8 Code into their day-to-day operations.

“Considerable interest in Loc8 Code has been demonstrated by the media, by emergency services personnel, organisations and individuals who traverse the country on a regular basis,” he said.

Delaney is an elected Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and professional member of the Irish Institution of Surveyors and has worked in the GPS industry in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Gary has supported Garmin and its products in Ireland since 1997.

He said the Government’s current Postcode Proposal that PA Consulting (who have been awarded the contract by the Government to look into postcodes for the third time) must now review cannot be used directly by sat navs, iPhones or other GPS-enabled devices, making it limited for popular and general use.

However, the Loc8 Code system, which, according to the recent Irish Government’s Oireachtas Report could be suitable for adoption as the national postcode, and which has been nominated for several Realex Web Awards is very simple to use, and works through the input of address information of any location into the Loc8 Code website, and the site then generates a unique navigation code and assigns it to the individual location.

Delaney said it will be suitable to anyone who relies upon navigating to, or finding, an individual location; whether it be a private consumer or delivery business. The system is an add-on to traditional addresses and is language independent.

Not only can the Loc8 Code be used in a sat-nav or GPS-enabled mobile device, but also it can be used in conjunction with a web address to map a location easily. A website will show the Loc8 Code on a map.

Garmin Europe has put considerable resources behind promoting the Loc8 Code functionality on its sat-nav devices and they have been thoroughly satisfied with the results achieved in terms of ease of access and the time/fuel saving it can ensure its sat-nav users.

Slashing costs

In its previous reports, PA Consulting identified how current Government plans for a broad area-based postcode would not solve the problem with non-unique addressing in Ireland and it is widely known now since the introduction of Loc8 Codes that Garmin and Loc8 Code Ltd have solved this problem by allowing properties and any other locations to have their own unique Loc8 Code to ensure they can be found fast and efficiently, saving time and fuel costs.

“The use of Loc8 Codes would slash the €50m costs currently budgeted for in a previous PA report for the broad area system proposed by the Government – as most of the work is already done by Loc8 Code with the support of Enterprise Ireland and the most precise mapping available through Ordnance Survey Ireland.

“In simple terms, the work is done, there is already a smarter form of a postcode in operation and we will be privileged to enter into negotiations with the Government’s consultants in bringing this modern solution to a forward-thinking public,” Delaney said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years