Free your post code!

Today, Ernest Marples Postcodes was shut down by Royal Mail. The service enables great sites such as PlannngAlerts.com and The Straight Choice as well as many others.

The action is stifling digital innovation in the UK and really needs to be freed up. So, in order to combat this let’s free up the postcode data by creating our own version of Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF).

UPDATE: It turns out, this isn’t such a good idea. Read Matthew Somerville’s comment.

It’s really easy to do, and here’s how:

  1. Go to the Get Lat Lon site.
  2. Type your post code into the search box.
  3. Zoom in so you can see your house/location (use the Satellite view, top right).
  4. Centre the map so that the cross-hair rests on your house/location.
  5. Below the map will be two numbers representing the latitude and longitude. Copy/make note of these numbers.
  6. Go to the Free the Postcode site.
  7. Type in your details, and paste in the latitude and longitude you took down. (Note: you don’t have to use your real e-mail address, see Bruce’s comment below.)
  8. Type in the postcode of your house/location and click Submit.

You can also submit your address to the Open Postcode Database to free it from Royal Mail’s licensing restrictions.

5 thoughts on “Free your post code!”

  1. Looks like an ideal candidate for a mash-up; find your latitude and longditude (with a much more visible bright red cross hair), enter your postcode and it’s automatically entered into the Free the Postcide website.

    Note that on free the Postcode site you don’t have to give your real email address; just submit it with the example. (I didn’t want anyone to be able to associate my email address with my physical addresss)

  2. Please do not do this. As http://freethepostcode.org/ states, you should only use data you have derived yourself. Using GetLatLon (which uses a Google Map), you may be deriving your postcode’s location from the Google map,and thus it is not free data, and you are simply polluting the dataset.

    See http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FAQ#Why_don.27t_you_just_use_Google_Maps.2Fwhoever_for_your_data.3F for more information (from an OpenStreetMap view, but the same argument applies).

    Use http://www.npemap.org.uk/ for example.

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