View Full Version : UK Postcodes do not work

24.06.2010, 16:36
(I have had to repost this becuase it disappeared into the ether.. apologies if you see 2 versions)

The UK Postcodes don't work because a) they can't be found at all (e.g. PO38 2QW) or they get truncated (PO39 0AH becomes PO39 0) which sends you about a mile away from where you need to be.

Unfortuanely this is just not close enough to be anything like useful for naviagation. I'm hopeful you can fix it quickly!



14.07.2010, 09:17
We've had a close look into this issue and it definitely seems that there's a limitation in the technology we are currently using for the interpretation of the UK postcodes. Thanks for bringing this up. We're looking for a workaround now.

23.07.2010, 22:35
I agree that UK Postcodes are the default method for navigation system address entry in the UK and so without full support Skobbler will not be a success. I believe that the Royal Mail official data is now available from the http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/opendata/ (Ordnance Survey Open Data) initiative.

31.07.2010, 00:22
Yes, only part of UK postcodes are being stored even when entered in full manually. Also, street names are being recorded in reverse to UK. Should be 1 Ladybird Road... NOT Ladybird Road 1

09.08.2010, 22:54
I agree , this one item is something that will severely hinder people from using this product as a full satnav , as the others do this nativly nowadays.

18.08.2010, 12:01
On my Desire , all the areas I put in work fine...
I have been testing my TomTom and this app ... and so far this app can find the addresses better ..

21.08.2010, 13:08
Hi All - Just found Skobbler (courtesy of theregister.co.uk )

UK Postcode - one of the WORST things to use for navigation possible - BUT every damn utility company and many others insist on using the things for directions. Postcodes can easily be 1 mile out - and even if you have the complete Postcode (xx1 1yy) it can still be out by several hundred yards AND be the wrong side of a river/mountain/motorway etc. To understand the folly of using a Postcode for navigation I would suggest you read up on how the Post Office generated them.

Any chance of getting UK National Grid Reference (as used by the Ordnance Survey - known as OS NGR) ?
This is the LEGAL definition for all things in the UK - from where a speed limit starts to where your house is. Further it is the ONLY system used by Emergency response services (disaster response; as against the ambulance/fire services) - There s a nice free iPhone app for converting to OS NGR GPS2OS - but it only works for where you currently are; I can't put in an NGR to find out where it is

Anyway - Postcodes are NEVER going to give a good result except in towns; so any chance of NGR -or even Lat/Long ?

23.08.2010, 10:03
It's actually a neverending story. We constantly look to improve the address input - be it postcode-based or any other type. Please keep your suggestions coming. It's always good to get some fresh ideas and different angles on this issue.

29.08.2010, 23:50
Navigating around a town or city can be very difficult. The ability to use full postcodes is vital. To be a few hundred yards out in the country is nothing compared with the same error in a city. I'd be delighted if the software could identify postcodes.

04.10.2010, 19:42
No offence Peter_dtm but for pretty much all situations, including rural addresses, a postcode works very well. Coupled with a house number/name, just about any address can be found and I'm confident that most people would like to see support for full 7 digit postcodes.
I don't think too many people know the grid reference for their destination but it may be of use to some and might a useful function for them. I don't think it's very useful to suggest that postcodes are 'NEVER' going to give a good result.......it's simply not true.

05.10.2010, 11:31
Peter_dtm is right.
It doesn't much matter whether the application only accepts 4 figure postcodes (as all early satnavs did), or the 7 figure podtcodes of more recent applications, you still have to enter the street name and number to reach your true destination. In another satnav application, which does accept the full postcodes, I am offered a choice of 3 different roads, for my home address.
As to the logic of entering an address in a particular order, both methods are in general use. In database terms is is most efficient to enter counrty, city, street, number. It takes a very powerful database query system, like Google's, to cope with entry of the search data the other way round.

05.10.2010, 21:10
Hi again,
I don't want to appear argumentative but I've really never had any problems with postcodes. Just a house number has always brought me to the door. Each postcode deals with about 15-ish addresses normally all on the one road. In very remote areas, this might cover a larger area but not that big.

Clearly we want different things from a sat nav tool, which is fine. I would have no issues with being able to navigate with grid references but I don't see myself using it. I think most people will use postcodes and supporting the full 7 digit format would be a great enhancement, for me anyway. Please don't respond saying they don't work when every address in the UK is linked to one.

07.10.2010, 07:29
Just to expand on Gobsheen's reply. Many older systems simply used the free '4/5 digit' location data but pretended to doing a full lookup. Google STILL does this half baked approach, but most other sites are now switching to a proper lookup, in many cases with the full 'paf' file lookup, where house 'id' (number or name) + postcode give you the exact location of a property. SINCE the paf table is owned by Royal Mail, they charge a lot of money to use it. Simple postcode lookup has to get you to the right road, but could be some distance from an actual house. That information was also chargeable up until earlier this year, but the 'codepoint' table is now freely available ... except while it has postcode and coordinates it does not ACTUALLY include the address. SO we are still waiting for a freely available and searchable postcode table, which freethepostcode is trying to create but still has some way to go. Personally I have a fairly complete copy of the address data and have recently merged that with the codepoint table, so I know which postcodes I am short of and I'll slowly fill in the gaps, but I am not sure that I can publish that data as some of the sources were private a few years back :(

08.10.2010, 23:07
Here's an idea - can app bring up a minimap of the destination, with a movable arrow that you can drag and drop to where you want to navigate to? i.e. finetune the destination? Also in the online version for saving "my locations"

skobbler team
12.10.2010, 11:04
@PedroStefano: Your idea is very interesting and we will take it into consideration as a possible solution to this issue.
Thanks for your feedback and for your interest shown to skobbler.

07.01.2011, 15:46
Whilst the truncated UK postcode address is a problem, if you use "my locations" on the website you can move the waypoint pin to the right place. It is a pity that when setting "home" that this option isn't available from the iPhone or website.

07.01.2011, 20:33
Hi All - Just found Skobbler (courtesy of theregister.co.uk )

UK Postcode - one of the WORST things to use for navigation possible

Sorry - can't possibly agree. I've been using satnav with 7-digit postcode for many years and found postcode easily the best way of entering addresses. In urban situations, especially when coupled with house number, it usually takes you pretty-much to the door.

Sure, if there are no house numbers, postcode will only take you to the street...but so will any other method of address entry (except grid reference, but see below). And, yes, in the countryside, postcodes can be a long way out; e.g. try and locate a National Trust property by postcode and you could find yourself by the exit or the nearest village, with the entrance a mile or more away...but again there is no better way (except by checking the directions on the NT website and marking the location of the entrance on your satnav as a destination or even a Favourite or POI, which is what I do).

Suggesting use of grid references seems a bit silly. How many people can tell you the grid ref of their house or office? How many people even have any idea what a grid ref IS, let alone know how to derive one from a map or use one? Even the grid refs given on the NT website (for example) are of limited value - they mark the property, not the entrance which could be a very long way away. That isn't to say I wouldn't value grid ref support - for those who can use them, they can be useful. But, unlike 7-digit postcode, they are very low priority.

07.01.2011, 20:35
Whilst the truncated UK postcode address is a problem, if you use "my locations" on the website you can move the waypoint pin to the right place.
Only if you know "the right place".

I won't use a satnav app without 7-digit postcode capability.

24.01.2011, 13:08
I have mapped a few places that I will be visiting over the next few months using the web site and have found that even with a street and street number as well as fill postcode that mapping can be very hit and miss. It a rural setting this may not be too bad, but in towns the system has given me a waypoint several streets away from the destination, despite the specified street/road being on the Google map.

The upside on the web is that you can move the waypoint to the exact location manually.