Free Our Postcodes

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 2 comments

VoteUK is no more.  In order to precisely show you where your electoral registration office was, I needed to take its postcode and covert it to latitude and longitude.  That's the service Ernest Marples provided.

A few days ago, the Post Office - in their infinite wisdom - set their legal dogs on those running Ernest Marples.

The Post Office charges for the file that they generated which converts post codes to location.  It can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £4,000 per year to get accurate data.  That's a price that I can't afford - neither can many non-profits, startups or innovators.

"I take the position that the postcode file and the data set of physical coordinates that go with it are a national asset that should be freely available to any UK citizen"  - Tom Watson MP

The Guardian has shown that there is more economic benefit to the UK by setting this data free.

So, what can be done about it?

The Royal Mail is in its death-throes. It is vital that data created and supported by public money is returned to the public before it is sold off to the highest bidder... only to be sold back to us.

2 thoughts on “Free Our Postcodes

  1. Josh says:

    Just a quick note... it's the Royal Mail doing this, rather than the Post Office (though they are a wholly owned subsidiary, they do other stuff). Small but important distinction 🙂

  2. Richard says:

    All good Terence, though I disagree with the petition - it only asks for postcodes to be made available for free to non-profits and charities - this doesn't go fa enough - surely to reap the benefits it should be free for all classes of users.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.