Tag Archives: postcodes

Opinion: Address wars – an armistice?

We take addresses for granted. How hard an issue can they be? Put an address on an envelope and it gets there, a gratifying proportion of the time. Stick a postcode in a satnav and it shows you a route which usually gets you to your destination. Add an address to a name and you usually have an unambiguous reference to a single person.

The problem lies with the word ‘usually’. Get an address wrong and a parcel doesn’t get delivered; the ambulance or fire engine arrives too late to save a life; a Council Tax isn’t collected; a household gets …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Liberal Democrats back campaign to free our postcodes

Welcome news from the blog of Lynne Featherstone (who, apart from being a LibDem MP, is also chair of the party’s Technology Advisory Board):

We need postcodes to be owned by the public – not sold to the public. Postcodes are the basic pre-requisite for allowing services to be developed that support democratic accountability.

It’s an important issue because the Royal Mail’s decision to take a hard line in enforcing its legal rights means a range of useful public services – including ones to help unemployed people find jobs and to help residents hear about planning applications near them – have …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 10 Comments

Tom Watson writes … on the Royal Mail and postcodes

It’s not often that The Voice invites MPs from other parties to do a guest post, but in this case we’ve asked Tom Watson as the postcode issue is one he took a close interest in as a minister and it is an issue that cuts across parties.

The recent decision by Royal Mail to close down the Ernestmarples.com web site shows us how our public institutions are woefully unprepared to seize the new opportunities created by the internet.

Ermenmarples.com is a web site that enables other sites to provide postcode driven, citizen focused web services on a not-for-profit basis. Sites like …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Royal Mail, postcode data and what you can do

With the recent takedown of the postcode geocoding API provided by Ernest Marples Ltd, there has been discussion of other ways to get hold of postcode data without paying prohibitive licence fees to Royal Mail. One solution is to collect the data from scratch, without using existing sources that are derived from the Royal Mail licensed database. This has at least some chance of avoiding the infringement of Royal Mail’s intellectual property rights.

There are several such projects already in existence. The oldest is Free The Postcode which invites visitors to collect the location of a postcode by visiting a location and recording the latitude and longitude of its …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Postcode campaign gears up to save popular web services

A range of popular websites, providing useful services such as information on local job vacancies and planning applications, have been closed down following the Royal Mail’s decision to crack down on the use they made of its postcode address database.

As Alex blogged previously:

With postcodes so increasingly important to national life, it’s ridiculous that they are not public data that is, as a minimum, free to use for non-profit organisations.

Posted in LDV campaigns | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

Royal Mail shut down useful community websites

Last month at conference, in two of our conference fringes, speakers highlighted useful online services set to revolutionise politics.

At our first fringe, “Campaigning after Rennard,” James Graham thought that TheStraightChoice (reviewed by LDV here), a website that allows members of the public to upload the leaflets they have received through their letterbox, had the potential to revolutionise politics. No more would politicos be able to put out close-to-the-knuckle material in relative obscurity. From now on, James argued, we’d all have to assume that at least one blogger would read our leaflet, and at least one journalist …

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged | 14 Comments
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