[OSM-talk] postcode idea

Andy Armstrong andy at hexten.net
Fri Mar 31 21:19:25 BST 2006

On 31 Mar 2006, at 10:31, Andy Robinson wrote:
> This is a good point. How does Royal Mail differentiate in their  
> postcode
> database between a block area which has a common postcode and a  
> specific
> address which has a unique postcode. As far as I can tell  
> everything is
> based around areas but that the reference to that area is a point,  
> does
> anyone know any different?

I don't really know any different - but I had some fun plotting  
voronoi diagrams based on the official postcode data - that's how I  
concluded that quite a few postcodes around here cover a /lot/ of  
ground :)

> For OSM I personally think that postal codes can fit any of the node,
> segment, way or area features in the database. We are not  
> necessarily trying
> to replicate a postal code database but rather provide postal code
> information for OSM database features.

Absolutely - it doesn't have to be very precise to be an extremely  
useful dataset in its own right.

I was thinking about just putting up a page where people can enter  
their postcode and either latitude and longitude or OS grid and  
getting a few sites like BoingBoing to publicise it.

So here's a legal conundrum: if you let people submit their postcode  
and location you couldn't be sure they hadn't just looked it up on  
e.g. streetmap.co.uk. Now, if you had a licensed copy of the postcode  
data you could use it to reject any points from the submitted data  
that exactly coincided with the official data. Would that still be an  
abuse of the license? :)

Andy Armstrong, hexten.net

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