[OSGeo-Standards] [OSGeo-Discuss] Discuss Digest, Vol 103, Issue 20
J.Moules at hrwallingford.com
Mon Jul 27 03:23:28 PDT 2015
Hi Puneet, all
You raise some good points.
> Ease-of-use from the POV of the general public varies from culture to culture, context to context, time to time. Thinking that we can create a universal code that everyone in the world will glom on to is just fanciful and really a waste of time
Yes and no. Some of the limitations, like the digit span I mentioned are a fundamental tenet of how the human mind works. Across all cultures people are better at remembering short things than long things. You're certainly correct that the cultural and contextual aspects make it tricky though.
> Thinking that we can create a universal code that everyone in the world will glom on to is just fanciful and really a waste of time. If it had been needed badly, it would have created.
Respectfully, I must disagree. In this thread alone at least six different versions have been linked to, so someone is certainly creating them. I can think of several real-world advantages, of such systems, for instance if I type in "SW1A 2AA" to google, I (correctly) get taken to Downing Street, but that's because the UK have a unique format to their postal codes. If I enter "20500", I don't get taken to the vicinity of the White House because google doesn't know what to do with it. I need to enter "US 20500" for that. If I want to go to the Kremlin I must enter "103132" which does work - except it took me a while to find out that code because I don't know what they call them in Russia (it's not a "zip code" or a "post code") (seems there are lots of terms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_code#Terms ).
Perhaps this problem could benefit from input from the Universal Postal Union?
From: Mr. Puneet Kishor [mailto:punk.kish at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 11:01 AM
To: Jonathan Moules
Cc: discuss at lists.osgeo.org; Standards at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Discuss Digest, Vol 103, Issue 20
Hello all, hi Jonathan,
> On Jul 27, 2015, at 11:42 AM, Jonathan Moules <J.Moules at hrwallingford.com> wrote:
> These systems may fail from a GIS perspective, but that's because their primary design goal is ease-of-use by the general public.
Ease-of-use from the POV of the general public varies from culture to culture, context to context, time to time. Thinking that we can create a universal code that everyone in the world will glom on to is just fanciful and really a waste of time. If it had been needed badly, it would have created. Those who understand or can use lat/lon, already do so, or just punch it in a device. Those who understand “200 feet from the wooden bridge to the right of the banyan tree” use that and are happy with it.
And that mapcode site that someone mentioned is being considered as an ISO standard; first, mapcode is being filed by mapcode folks to become an ISO standard. That is not the same as “it is being considered as a standard.” Besides, what a confused jumble of instructions regarding its licensing:
"It was decided to donate the mapcode system to the public domain in 2008."
"The Stichting Mapcode Foundation is a non-profit foundation, established in The Netherlands (Chamber of Commerce RSIN registration number 852726284), which holds all the patents, rights, brands, designs, properties, collateral, algorithms, data tables and IP related to map codes.” (which part of Public Domain do they not understand?) http://www.mapcode.com/aboutus.html
"The Mapcode Foundation is the only authorized entity that is allowed to maintain, change or adapt its software or tables.” (Oh, good! I should trust them to do the right thing forever) http://www.mapcode.com/aboutus.html
"The mapcode algorithms and data tables may not be altered in any way that would result in the production of different (and thus incompatible) mapcodes. The mapcode algorithms and data tables may not be used in any way to generate a different system that produces codes to represent locations. In order to prevent misuse, unauthorised alterations, copying or commercial exploitation, please note that the ideas and algorithms behind the mapcode system have been patented and that the term "mapcode" is a registered trademark of the Stichting Mapcode Foundation.” (so, this system meant for global use cannot be used for commercial purposes; which part of the world can subsist on love and free air?) http://www.mapcode.com/downloads.html#devsec
There are a bunch of interesting problems to be solved in the geo realm. In my view, a globally usable location system is not one of them. But hey, its a free world and there are many wheels to reinvent.
Just Another Creative Commoner
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