Pon codes very important please read and comment.

If you visit http://irishpostcodes.ie/ you can learn about Pon codes a Poncode is a unique 7 digit code derived from a latitude and longitude.
where ever you are in the world a Pon code is available. Trouble is they talk about licensing the PON code from them for your application or website.

The big problem is it does look like this scheme is going to be rolled out in ireland at least. Which means big bucks for them, All the Sat Nav companies will need to license it and if we want to use it with our applications we would be forced to pay or get sued!

Any Mapping solution needs to be able to use something like this. Latitude and Longitude is too cumbersome to be used on a day to day basis, Postcodes vary from country to country. a seven digit alpha numeric code is a lot easier to deal with.

Ideally any code is relatively short, and capable of being translated into a Barcode and Open which means it has to be given away to all the commercial gps companies and users. we need a simple algorithm to translate latitude and longitude and then give it away. Chances are there are already license fee’s being paid for existing code systems but if we can get companies on board with us and they can have their satnavs use our code system we can have a free mapping system and they are free to compete with each other on the quality of their maps routing information and hardware.

So I propose developing a unique system of codes with an identifier to say what system it is and an application to generate the code. Then we will have something independent and free. it doesnt really matter if you use a zipcode to find a place or a postcode or the pon system or google maps or any other method just so long as we can find out the latitude and longitude and translate it into our free system.

without an open standard pretty much we are dead in the water, we need a simple system and latitude and longitude is just way to long to be practical.

I can see it now: before long, a website called FreeThePonCode.org will pop up!

Seriously, how can they go worldwide if they’ve divided Ireland up, A through Z, in squares? Will we have an international iPonc? And if we do, note that I said iPonc first. :wink:

so you think thats the base conversion ? besides your missing the point a short coordinate system thats usable anywhere regardless of copyright.

I’ve been playing around with different bases the largest being base 36 to see if its possible to pack enough information into a 7 digit alpha numeric code and I think it may be possible to pack enough information to locate a place with a short code. rather than a long string of digits for latitude and longitude.
The obvious problem is some letters and numbers are visually interchangeable perhaps leaving 30 as a base. It’s has to be an idea worth pursuing there’s no reason why a short code can be developed which is usable for normal people

Talking to myself here I reckon but http://geohash.org does exactly whats needed, so from gc1zmy5 you’ve approximately got my location and each character added to the end refines the location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geohash gives the method to convert between Latitude and Longitude and the Geohash value and the method is explicitly in the public domain.

I’ve made a simple standalone conversion tool with gui in java for converting between latitude and longitude and Geohash is there anywhere I can make it available for downloading and testing

Hi Lads,

noted your comments on PON Codes.

PON Codes are free to use and the word “License” does not mean “pay money” it just means those who have the algorithm are controlled. PON Codes can be used for free in any website where the user is not being charged for services - i.e. no cost.

We would only envisage a License cost for PON Codes if the licensee is offering paid for related products or services.

On the matter of internationalisation - PON Codes can be localised for any country. The key things about PON Codes is the resolution they offer, the structure and the ambiquity resolution contained within them.

So no problem if you want to use - just e-mail me and for non paid for web services - use will be free.

You can also contact Gary Delaney in GPS Ireland at 00 353 21 4832990 to discuss in detail or e-mail gary@gpsireland.ie.


Haven’t had any conatct since from anyone re PON Codes…

Would imagine also at this point that you have established that to get the same resolution as PON Codes (6 meters) with 7 characters you would need 11 in Geohash. No point in saying that you would cut down the numbers used with Geohash - it would just mean that the code would only define a position to within several hundred meters - not much point really.

A lot of designing and planning went into PON Codes - not least a desire to achieve a high positional resolution with as few characters as possible.

Once again, PON Codes can be licensed for use free of charge if the user is not charging for related services - feel free to contact us anytime…

delete /emj

OpenStreetMap is not just about making a “free of charge” map, it is about making an “open” map without legal restrictions. See http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenStreetMap_License and http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Legal_FAQ
Which says you can charge for distributing OSM data if you want. So if PON codes restrict that, then their license is not compatible with OSM.

The page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Republic_of_Ireland_postal_addresses#A_New_Way_Of_Post_Coding_Ireland may be of interest.


All you have to do is contact GPS Ireland and under a license (does not imply cost) agreement you can have all the detail you require.

Its simple really - let me explain again - if someone is not charging for goods or services with PON Codes included then there will be no charge for using them. The license agreement re-affirms this with the user and the algorithm is exchanged on this understanding.

Not sure why the subject has been raised here and comment is not as a result of contacting GPS Ireland to get the full detail - I am looking forward to discussing all matters on a one to one personal level - just waiting for that call or e-mail.

+353 21 4832990 info@gpsireland.ie

You clearly don’t get it, the problem is the “license”, not the cost. You can not license out an idea in Europe, you can not copyright it and you can’t patent it.

**Edit: because of censoring requests… I’m going to change this:/Emj:
I have no idea what you want to gain with this but it’s clearly a case of severe Moderation edit: censored, if you had any intention of publishing anything usefull at all the story would be different.

I was under the impression that Gary had posted the first messages as well, now I see that that isn’t the case at all. And he isn’t astroturfing (making it seem like lots of people use his software), but rather just making publicity for his idea. By writing things in the I’ve only managed to give him more publicity for his idea. Sorry for that…

Please provide a contact e-mail address as I would like to take up your latest post with you personally!!

Again I will add that I am open to discussing anyone’s licensing requirements with them personally - I have provided contact details - no-one has taken time to contact me yet!

Could this be discussed in public? There are probably more people interested in this discussion, especially when it involves OSM,



Here in OSM we like to do the discussing in public.

BTW, personally I don’t think you’ll convince lots of people here to use PONCs. Instead of telling us how cool they are and asking us to use them and ask you for licensing details, why don’t you set up some cool application with OSM+PONCs to show them off?

Why should someone want to use POCN when there are free and open alternatives ?
i think POCN is not something we are waiting for in openstreetmap

You could also use the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maidenhead_Locator_System or a modified version of it like below

coordinate : ABABAB… (A = lon, B = lat)

let’s say we want to use a…z and 0…9, then we have 36 combinations per digit/character
lon : 180 → -180 = 360 degrees
lat : 90 → -90 = 180 degrees

when using 6 characters = 3 digits for lon, we already have a lon resolution of 360/(36^3) = 0.0077 and a lat resolution of 0.0038

just some thoughts…

I have moderated a post from emj due to threats of legal action against the OSM foundation and me. Not because I agree with the person who complained about it, but purely to prevent OSM to become subject to legal actions.

Threatening with legal actions when there is ample room to defend yourself by explaining why the other person is not correct in it’s assessment and going into discussion about this is not a mature way of handling disputes in opinion. So much so that I would like to say it’s childish. Though I also would like to ask forum members not to start such rather useless discussions in the first place.