Eircodes are finally up and running, and the response to it has been underwhelming. Why? Because we humans are resistant to change, the lazy animals we are. Even if that change makes our life easier.
“But what is an eircode, and why must I know what it is?” I hear you whinge.
An eircode is the new postcode system for Irish addresses. You should know yours. If you don’t know it; you can find it here.
But why should we use eircodes? Because they are a way more advanced method of navigating around our island than whatever it is you are doing now.
Ireland has never felt the need for postcodes (packages addressed to Pat Murphy, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow have been delivered successfully for years. Ah sure everyone knows Pat…!) But we now live in a more complex society. We have apartments, and groups of apartments, and huge shopping centres that go on forever with a zillion businesses in them, all needing to be found quickly. Time is money people, and getting lost makes us poor (or something like that).
Not needing postcodes until now has actually given us an advantage. Because we are late to the game, we have managed to develop the most modern, high-tech postcode system in the world. Most other countries use a code that identifies a group of properties in a small area. Eircode is a much more advanced postcode system, with a unique eircode for every home and business address. This means that you are always findable. And if someone can’t find you using your eircode, then they are the idiot and not you.
Once you start using your eircode, things will change for the better: your pizza delivery will get to the right place quickly and you can put your face into the cheesy goodness faster.
As for businesses, 35% of addresses in Ireland do not have a name or number. This is just lazy and annoying. But now, with an eircode, the delivery guy will find you without the 37 phone calls first.
We have established that eircodes are cool and that we should be using them. But here’s the catch: Google Maps haven’t started using the new eircodes for navigation yet (but they have shown an interest in getting on it).
But in the meantime, there is a new app made by an Irish company that solves this for you. The app, called Autoaddress can get you to where you need to go using the new eircode system. Or it can get your pizza to you, pronto. I mean, let’s focus on the important stuff here: hot cheese. And, the app is free. And that’s everyone’s favourite price.
So whether you’re frustrated with deliveries not reaching your address, or having to give directions to taxi drivers over and over, or whether you get lost yourself because the address you are trying to get to is unclear, this app will get you to where you are supposed to be.
So how do you do use it? It’s really easy:
-Put the eircode you want to get to into the autoaddress app.
-The app will find the location.
-You click on the link and it will show you how to get there using google maps.
Pretty easy, right?
So back to Pat Murphy in Roundwood. By adding the eircode to his address, his location becomes unique – Pat Murphy, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow, A98 H123. So if you don’t know him you can still find where he lives. You don’t have to listen to any wild forest man saying things like, “If you see the stone wall with three ravens on it you have gone too far.” With the eircode you can look up the location of his house exactly in longitude and latitude.
For people with more unique addresses like ‘Apartment 99, 1 Dame Street, Dublin 2’ it has benefits as well. For example when ordering your weekly Dominoes, you can simply type in your eircode and the website will fill out your address for you. You won’t have to keep putting your address into online sites like a professional typist.
Equally for emergency services, they now ask for the eircode during a 999 call. This shortens the time it takes to give your address and also acts as a double check as they read back your address to you which gives you confidence they know where they are going. The emergency services then use the eircode to get the longitude and latitude of your house.
Until Google Maps catches up with Ireland’s eircode system, you can use the Autoaddress app to navigate your world. Says Autoaddress software engineer Caoimhín Blake, “The app allows you to easily find out what your eircode is, by typing in your address. Or you can find out the Eircode of your current location e.g. The pub you are in.
“For businesses, there is an additional feature that allows you to add a list of deliveries you need to make. It will optimise the route and display it on the map and you can mark them off one by one as you make your deliveries. This is mainly targeted at the smaller delivery drivers who don’t have access to bigger company systems. The reason Autoaddress brought this out is to highlight how eircodes can really be used well. And Irish companies are starting to see the benefits.”
As with many apps, it’s a work in progress: and you can help it make it better. Your eircode points at your building, but sometimes navigation apps can choose the wrong street/entrance to navigate to, causing delays and unnecessary phone calls for directions. If this issue affects your address simply report it to Autoaddress and they will ensure everyone entering your eircode in the app is directed to the correct access location, no matter what navigation app they use.
So now, you have no excuse to be lost in Ireland. And your pizza delivery driver has no excuse to get lost on the way to you. With your damn pizza. If your pizza goes missing then the delivery driver has taken it to his gaff and he’s eating it with his friends. With eircode technology, he’s totally busted.