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Tom
08.08.2010, 23:42
Just installed the app today and used it driving from Dublin to Kilkenny. Seems impressive enough, but I can't seem to set my home location as it doesn't return from a search. I've managed to save it as a favourite so it's not a major problem.

A question though, have you plans to support Irish Loc8 codes from http://www.myloc8ion.com/ (http://www.myloc8ion.com/)

mackerski
14.08.2010, 03:49
A question though, have you plans to support Irish Loc8 codes from http://www.myloc8ion.com/ (http://www.myloc8ion.com/)

I can't speak for Skobbler, but I'd guess not any times soon for the following reasons:


Those codes are not in OSM
The company promoting them has not made them public property, hindering any integration into OSM
They have no official status. The Republic of Ireland is in the middle of a protracted process to choose a postcode mechanism. Loc8 codes are not a part of this process, but a commercial undertaking looking to fill a vacuum in what is a confused market.


All this being so, it would be premature to jump on the first magic beans that come along acting like a postcode. Once the real ones emerge we'll want those instead.

The original difficulty you mention, that your home location couldn't be found, can probably be improved (as long as the location is on OSM) by having Skobbler check for locations using OSM's Nominatim geocoding engine. As far as I can tell, so far, Google geocoding has been used, which is both good and bad. Good, because some places not present on OSM (particularly house numbers) may be easier to find this way. Bad because Google's Teleatlas data set for Ireland is very poor and in those places where OSM does have good coverage (and especially house numbers), Nominatim would give much better results.

Perhaps there's potential for a dual lookup, that would fall back to the second geocoder if the first can't give a good answer.

garydubh
14.08.2010, 20:52
I think it unfortunate that Mackerski is answering for Skobbler when he does not represent them in any way.

Some related points to note:

1. Loc8 Codes do not promote themselves as a postcode and whether they do or not does not prevent anyone from using them - see http://www.myloc8ion.com/help#3
Loc8 Codes were developed by professionals in the GPS/Surveying/Mapping industry in Ireland. As well as in Ireland, Loc8 Codes are also in demand for use in Northern Ireland where the existing postcode does not satisfy modern navigation requirements.

2. Postcodes are of no value for personal navigation - i.e. finding tram stops, taxi ranks, meeting points, particular entrances to buildings, car charging points, accidents or even someone else waiting for you (or any other non property) - Loc8 Codes can as they are a much smarter form of postcode and designed for modern navigation requirements.

3. Loc8 Codes are supported by several Irish State bodies (OSM is not and this does not stop Skobbler from using it) Loc8 Codes are already being used by Garmin and are open for use by anyone under license. Loc8 Codes are supported by a cross party Government report (http://www.myloc8ion.com/res/docs/Oireachtas_Report_On_Postcodes_Published_1st_Apri_ 2010.pdf)

4. OSM is not in a position to solve address searches in Ireland. Up to 40% of all addresses in Ireland are non unique and to date even the Irish Government has been unable to resolve this problem. A few suggestions by Mackerski in a forum such as this will not resolve this and Google is not the answer (they will admit this themselves)
However, Loc8 Codes have invested in a solution. OSM has stated a desire to get access to this type of solution but as of yet there is no agreement.

5. If you wish to have a definitive answer to your question - please await for Skobbler to give you their own answer.

If you need any further detail about Loc8 Codes please contact them directly at info@loc8code.com

mackerski
14.08.2010, 21:48
I think it unfortunate that Mackerski is answering for Skobbler when he does not represent them in any way.


I think you should re-read my opening sentence.



Some related points to note:

1. Loc8 Codes do not promote themselves as a postcode and whether they do or not does not prevent anyone from using them - see http://www.myloc8ion.com/help#3
Loc8 Codes were developed by professionals in the GPS/Surveying/Mapping industry in Ireland. As well as in Ireland, Loc8 Codes are also in demand for use in Northern Ireland where the existing postcode does not satisfy modern navigation requirements.


Garmin, who I understand to be a collaborator in loc8, is currently running radio ads promoting what they refer to as "Loc8 Postcodes". If you feel, as I do, that this an inappropriate claim on behalf of your product then I urge you to have this corrected.



3. Loc8 Codes are supported by several Irish State bodies (OSM is not and this does not stop Skobbler from using it) Loc8 Codes are already being used by Garmin and are open for use by anyone under license. Loc8 Codes are supporting by a cross party Government report (http://www.myloc8ion.com/res/docs/Oireachtas_Report_On_Postcodes_Published_1st_Apri_ 2010.pdf)


It would be interesting to know which bodies these are and the nature of their support. The Oireachtas report you have linked does not mention loc8 codes at all. It does indeed allude to an earlier guise of loc8 codes, the PON codes, but with the best will in the world I cannot infer any level of support or endorsement from that document. They are simply named as one alternative to the (so far) preferred model of postcode. I have yet to see your intended loc8 licence - any licence that does not allow full redistribution of the codes to all comers under the same terms as OSM would inhibit their inclusion in OSM. That said, Scobbler would be free to engage on its own behalf in a commerical or other arrangement over a separate loc8 algorithm or database. Again, though, this to me would seem premature, as once official postcodes emerge, they will be the preferred code for address searches. Of course, if loc8 were to be selected as official postcode, they would have to be supported.



4. OSM is not in a position to solve address searches in Ireland. Up to 40% of all addresses in Ireland are non unique and to date even the Irish Government has been unable to resolve this problem. A few suggestions by Mackerski in a forum such as this will not resolve this and Google is not the answer (they will admit this themselves)
However, Loc8 Codes have invested in a solution. OSM has stated a desire to get access to this type of solution but as of yet there is no agreement.


Not entirely true. In areas of good OSM mapping (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=53.29196&lon=-6.213933&zoom=18&layers=M), we can find addresses very efficiently. In the area posted, using the normal OSM search (driven by Nominatim) will pinpoint any house you can see based on housenumber, street name and the city name "Dublin". I've just tried it for a number with an "A" suffix, but have decided it's not fair to the stranger living there to post the result of the search. But try it yourselves, it works really well. Things are, of course, not so nice in sparsely-mapped areas. But that problem is solving itself, faster, it seems, than the postcode selection process :(

Non-unique addresses are a red herring - they do represent a problem right now, without postcodes. Adding even the simplest of postcodes will allow otherwise identical addresses to be placed in different postcode areas, thereby solving the problem.

So let's again take stock of where things stand with Irish postcodes:

There aren't any today

A long selection process is underway to select a postcode mechanism

There is a currently preferred type of postcode proposed (which many people, including me, will regard as sub-optimal, so please don't assume I'm looking to have that adopted blindly)

The currently proposed type of postcode isn't loc8 nor is it, unless garydubh can contradict me, very similar to loc8 either in format or underlying approach

At least one other private initiative, other than loc8, is also trying to popularise a non-postcode location code system

We won't know how postcodes will really work until an official selection is made.


Until then, IMO, we (everybody interested in navigation in Ireland) should implement nothing speculative that will only have to be replaced very soon. The Irish public are already utterly confused about postcodes in almost every detail. There is great risk of confusing them further.

garydubh
15.08.2010, 00:34
Did I get this wrong or was the question raised by Tom directed at Skobbler or OSM ??- I thought it was Skobbler especially since this is their Forum!!!!

Once again -(as pointed out earlier) - Loc8 does not need to be adopted by Government for anyone to use it - same as OSM -even though OSM is competing in part with National Government Mapping (and postcodes in the UK) - it does not need Government endoresment for Skobbler or anyone else to use it!!!

I think Mackerski is confusing 1950's necessity for a Goverment to implement a postcode for sorting mail with a modern requirement for personal navigation and logistics - different eras, different requirements, different technologies and even different models for implementing necessary infrastuctures (including PPP nowadays) Loc8 Codes do however have Irish State Agency support - some displayed on the website and others which could be discussed face to face if anyone is really interested. (I wonder have Mackerski or OSM ever spoken to anyone in GPS Ireland or Loc8 Code personally on this subject?)

As for non unique addresses and a 2.5 year delayed proposal for a National postcode - the postcode proposed could not be used for Navigation without adding names to all roads and numbers to all properties. Futhermore, all reasonable expert opinion identifies that having 200 irish postal towns identified by the first 3 characters is not going to be an easy task - not to mention which language is to be chosen. (and the legal disputes when a property ends up in the wrong postal area - property and Ireland you know - well just think of The Field - Property rezoning wars in the making!!)

A traditional postcode (as understood by OSM) will not work in Ireland (NB Northern Ireland - 1975 and the BT postcode), many believe it is not what is required in a modern society and it is now 2.5 years overdue with the latest official statement only indicating that it will be "developed by end 2011". (There is no tender for a postcode ongoing - it has never even been started - however there is a tender only for consultants to advise and such consultants were appointed for this purpose twice before since 2005!) Furthermore traditional postcodes only deal with properties - personal navigation requirements dictate an ability to navigate to a much higher resolution.

Let me repeat - Loc8 Codes are not a traditional postcode - they are smarter than that - they are a Loc8 form of postcodes - a digital address code for precise navigation - they do not require any Government acceptance to use them in the same way as Lat/long can be used by anyone without any higher authoritry - Loc8 Codes are just a simpler and localised form of Lat/long without inherent complications and the many conflicting (and often inaccurate) sources.

As for a license - Skobbler and Loc8 I am sure will work that out themselves without the need for OSM intervention if required. There is no need for OSM to support Loc8 Codes in order that Skobbler can use them. As they are not like traditional postcodes - there is no need for a database to loaded in the mapping. Loc8 is even simpler - it is just a coordinate handling issue implementd in a few lines of code by Skobbler programmers themselves - simplezzz!!!!

In nay case my information is that OSM has not officially approached Loc8 to discuss use of Loc8 Codes at any point and therefore I would imagine that Mackerskie raising the issue of the content of a license is a little premature. But it must be emphasised that Garmin implemented Loc8 Codes seperate to Navteq as Loc8 Codes are not a mapping content issue - they are a flat and robust form of coordinate system;- and easier used for destination addressing.

As is widely known, Loc8 Codes were field tested for navigation applications with Garmin as PON Codes for over 2 years. As such, PON Codes were referred to in the Oireacthas Report (Cross Party Political report) as a suitaBle solution. (Report published before full release as Loc8 Codes) However, whether they become a National postcode or not is irrelevant - they are a navigation option and they help to solve non unique addresses of which there are a very sigificant number in Ireland and OSM or any related application does not have the solution to this on its own.

Let me repeat - Loc8 is not a traditional postcode and it is not implemented as a mapping function - it is imeplemented as a coordinate system and therefore is not dependent on OSM (or Teleatlas or Navteq or any mapping agencies) endorsement or acceptance. (Doesn't even need road mapping on the device for Loc8 to work!)

As for the navigation community in Ireland abou which Mackerski speaks - some of those who navigate professionally in Ireland are already using Loc8 Codes - and Loc8, GPS Ireland and their founders have been at the heart of professional and leisure land navigation in Ireland for nearly 13 years (some are over 30 years in the positioning, navigation and GPS industry) - including representing the Royal Institute Of Navigation in Ireland and Northern Ireland. I am not sure Mackerski has that kind of pedigree or industry insight to allow him speak on behalf of "our Navigation Community" ?

Finally as I know that Mackerskie will want to have the last word (to follow this no doubt) - so even though he/she may revert with more apparantly measured and informed distraction; the facts are summarised as follows:

1. Tom Asked if Scobbler will be supporting Loc8 Codes - only Skobbler themselves can answer that qusetion - and who knows they may indeed not want to support Loc8 - but that is up to them not Mackerskie or OSM.
2. Whether Skobbler can support Loc8 Codes or not is not dependent on OSM supporting Loc8 Codes - Loc8 Codes are implemented (see Garmin Nuvi's) not as part of a map database but as a form of coordinate system.
3. Loc8 Codes are a smarter form of postcode more suited to Ireland than a the traditional model as they do not require an address to be changed in any way as recommended in the spec for an Irish National postcode. Loc8 Codes will also be used in countries where there is already a traditional postcode - they are not mutually exclusive - already in navigation, some use Lat/long in the many different forms, datums and quadrant representations, some use Grid References in several forms, some use addresses, some use traditional postcodes with property numbers and street names (depending on the country), some use directions, some use local knowledge and some just use instinct (often badly) - so their is room for one more alternative without threat of pain of death for not having Government Sanction as Mackerskie would have us believe!!!
4. If the Government proposal for a national postcode was implemented tomorrow - it could not be used by Skobbler (or anyone else in the SatNav or GPS navigation business including OSM) for destination addressing as it would only guide the user to the centre of between 20 and 50 properties and in non urban areas that could be the centre of a complete irish townland - i.e. no better than the current destination addressing from Navteq, OSM or TeleAtlas. Ireland has a higher precentage of its population living in non urban areas than any other country in Europe (at least 10 times greater) - so it has a very large issue with non unique addressing and all the related consultants reports highlight that Government proposals for postcodes do not resolve this problem - page 7 here explains (http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/NR/rdonlyres/F4CFBA0B-36C4-4996-9975-3FB8437460F3/0/NationalPostcodeProjectBoardTechnicalDesignReport2 006.doc) Lest we get confused - the UK postcode only guides the user to an area or street (a townland equivalent in rural areas) and it is the property number that gets you the rest of the way!!! (if there is a property number!!!)
5. As the above mentioned national postcode was to be introduced in Ireland by Jan 2008 and by the time it is "developed", as stated in the Dail by the relevant minister on 8th July last, it will already be 4 years overdue and implemenation will not have even been started...
6. Mackerski does not speak for the navigation community in Ireland - he speaks for OSM who's consent, support or adoption is not required for anyone to use or implement Loc8 Codes.

.....off you go Mackerski have the last word - I am done and happy to discuss on a professional level with anyone personally at any time - all the Navigation community know where to get me if they are really interested after all! The meeting could be here: (http://www.myloc8ion.com/index.php/maps/conf_page5/?f=21&b=g8csmx&g=3&e=2&p=W8L-82-4YK) http://www.loc8code.com/W8L-82-4YK

Marcus
23.08.2010, 09:58
Wow - sorry for holding back on this. Impressive thread so far though.

The answer is rather short and to the point: we'll have a close look at Loc8 and plan on getting in touch with them shorty. Postcodes are always useful and we're constantly looking for good sources for that matter. Thank you for pointing us towards a potentially very good one!