[okfn-labs] opening up what3words

todd.d.robbins at gmail.com todd.d.robbins at gmail.com
Sun May 31 22:48:40 UTC 2015

I just came upon this useful comparison essay
the Google-sponsored Open Location Code <http://openlocationcode.com/>
project's repo.

Anyhow, it's exciting to see all of these approaches moving forward.


On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 5:13 PM, willi uebelherr <willi.uebelherr at gmail.com>

> Dear Eoin,
> thank you for this information. But i don't understand, why they make this
> big theater with secret?
> What is Eircode?
> http://www.eircode.ie/what-is-eircode
> Routing Key
> The first three characters of each Eircode, called the “Routing Key”, are
> designed to benefit the parcel/postal industry. It is not directly linked
> to counties, towns, or geographic features.
> Unique Identifier
> The second part of the Eircode, called the “Unique Identifier,” is
> comprised of four characters drawn from a carefully selected set of letters
> and numbers that identify each individual address.
> About Us
> In late 2013, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources
> awarded the “Postcode Management License Holder” (PMLH) contract to Capita
> Business Support Services Ireland. The PMLH contract will operate under the
> trading name Eircode. Our company is based in Maynooth, Co. Kildare with
> some initial start-up work based in Dublin City Centre.
> If you would like to find out more about Capita Ireland, please visit our
> corporate site at www.capita.ie
> ---
> I ask you? How it works? For what is the routing key? How they define the
> house/appartment key?
> No, we need an open method with an open algorithm. And remember, we are
> here in the okfn-labs maillist. And okfn is "open knowledge foundation". Is
> that truth? We don't need any company with their private interests. We can
> do it self.
> many greetings, willi
> Cordoba, Argentina
> Am 18-May-15 um 19:43 schrieb Eoin Sharkey:
>> A propos the general point about what3words, I am from Ireland (which has
>> no
>> postcode system at to date) and live for a long time in the UK
>> (co-incidentally rather near Maidenhead).
>> When my parents visited last week they told me about a proposal to
>> introduce
>> a new 'super-postcode' which actually defines every address in the
>> country :
>> Eircode : http://www.eircode.ie/residential/overview
>> The guy blogging over here (http://mapscribbles.blogspot.co.uk/ ) doesn't
>> think much of Eircode, and perhaps of interest in the what3words
>> discussion
>> is particularly down on
>>   - the proprietary nature of the API
>>   - the non-hierarchical nature of the coding
>> Both features also of the (admittedly global ! not just 1 small country)
>> what3words system.
>> He also makes some interesting suggestions about alternatives including an
>> open source one OpenPostcode (apparently implemented n Yemen) and some
>> proprietary ones :
>> http://mapscribbles.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/eircode-alternatives.html
>> I feel rather sad, as an Irish person that the state seems to have messed
>> up
>> the introduction of a postcode system so badly. It is not just the
>> 'non-open' nature of the system but the inelegance of their solution which
>> is so sad.
>> EoinS
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Tod Robbins
Digital Asset Manager, MLIS
todrobbins.com | @todrobbins <http://www.twitter.com/#!/todrobbins>
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