Post code


An address is … 1

This week a headline in the Telegraph caught my eye: Postcodes ‘no longer fit for purpose’ as study shows most people have one which does not go directly to their door The article goes on: Postcodes are “no longer fit for purpose” as three in four people in the UK have an address that does not lead directly to the door of their home or business, according to new research. British technology company What3words has said […]


A location grid is not an address 7

     This is going to be a longish post if you don’t care about addresses this might be one to skip. This post was prompted by reading Mike Dobson’s review of What3Words, shortly afterwards Rollo Home pointed me to an article about Google’s Open Location Codes, the topic also popped up on the OSGeo mailing list when someone tried to promote their proprietary grid and direction system, which prompted some quite strong responses to say […]


There’s a vampire in your data

You know that old adage that 80% of corporate data relates to location? Well it’s usually based on the fact that most records within a business or government database link in some way to an address – think customers, suppliers, staff, planning applications, requests for services etc. Did you know that you might not hold the exclusive rights to your own corporate data? Well at least not if your address data has been validated by using one of […]


Two’s company, three’s a crowd 2

On Friday the ODI hosted an Open Addresses Symposium in London (thanks to the nice people at Arup for their great facilities). The event attracted a pretty large audience of people interested in Open Addresses (remember that idea?) including the ‘usual faces’ and veterans of the Address Wars and a wide range of potential users. As one friend commented near the beginning, it is something of a disgrace that after over 15 years we are […]


To OAF or not to OAF, that is the question 1

You may recall my blog post a few weeks back about the desperate need for something/one to break the logjam around open access to UK addresses and inviting people to get in touch to discuss building an Open Address File (OAF). It prompted quite a lot of traffic and generally supportive comments. The nice folk at the Open Data Institute reached out to share details of their application to the Cabinet Office for funding to […]


Enough of this AB PAF, I need an OAF 3

Every politician has their defining moment, it may not be the most important policy/event that they were associated with but it will be one that resonates long after they have retired. For people of my age Margaret Thatcher may well be remembered as ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher’ rather than the woman who said their was ‘no such thing as society’ or any of her other exploits/achievements (depending on your politics). [Note to self: resist temptation to […]


How to amend PAF® licensing? 2

  Royal Mail just launched a consultation on simplifying the PAF license, actually you can only view their proposals at the moment as the consultation portal isn’t yet open for comments but at least it gives you a head start to formulate your opinions. It seems to me that Royal Mail are the most unreformed anti OpenData organisation within the public sector. Buoyed up by their inflated ideas of the value of the business in […]


A tale of 2 crowds at 2 conferences 3

An eventful week with both W3G “the unconference” and Everything Happens Somewhere (the National Land and Property Gazetteer Awards). W3G at the newish Google Campus near Silicon Roundabout, was loosely themed around the question “Is Open the New Black”  and a lot of the talks (including mine) were about open data. The presentation of the day for me was Lawrence Penney (@lorp) talking about 1 dimensional maps (or strip maps) with an enormous, amazing collection of […]


And you thought the Address Wars were over? 1

  A few days ago the Royal Mail published some information on their new Pinpoint positional accuracy programme “Location-based information is used by the emergency services, satellite navigation systems and smartphone applications. We want to help improve the accuracy of this information. So, we are mapping address information which is accurate to the front door of every home and business in your area. This could, for example, help the satellite navigation systems in the cars […]


In praise of OS 2

It seems a while since OS got a “big up” from me, not because I am in an anti OS phase just because there hasn’t been much to say about our NMA recently except some slightly sceptical comment. My friend Bob Barr is a tireless campaigner to resolve the remaining bits of the Address Wars and he now has the Royal Mail Address Management Unit in his sights, good thing he is not a member […]


There’s money in them postcodes 1

Thanks to Bob Barr for drawing my attention to the PAF Advisory Board which publishes some useful bits of information that the Address Management Unit of Royal Mail share with their user group. One gem which caught Bob’s and my attention was a brief presentation on the accounts for PAF. PAF was a profitable business unit in 2009-10, returning 10.5% profit on just under £25m revenues. Put another way it costs £22.3m to run the […]